Hiking in February

I don’t really consider myself a spontaneous kind of girl.  For the most part, I like things planned well in advance.  However, whenever we do something spontaneous, I always seem to enjoy it even more; spontaneous lunch dates with friends, spontaneous trips to the park… and spontaneous hikes!

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We were driving home from gymnastics on Thursday morning when I made the comment, “It’s a beautiful day.  We should go for a hike or something.”  (not really thinking we would, of course, because that would be way too spontaneous.  After all, I had to make lunch, do school, and put little M down for a nap!)  “Ok,” my husband responds.  And, there you have it!  As soon as we got home, I made some sandwiches, cut up some apples, filled some water bottles, got the dog and his leash, and we were off!

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I took these 2 pictures as soon as we got out of the car.  (The hiking trail head is only 1 mile from our house!)  I really wanted more pictures of the hike, but decided it would be too much to lug around my big camera.  It turned out to be a good decision, as I had Malachi or Sierra in our hiking backpack most of the time.  The good news is, we had a super fun time and made it to the waterfall just in time for lunch.  Our sweet dog loves hopping through the creek while we eat.  Malachi and Allison also enjoyed a little creek walk.  I used ice cream as a motivation for everyone to hike back down, and Malachi took a little snoozer in the backpack.  Natalie got a science lesson on how and why blisters are formed from her daddy.  Such great memories!  If only I would learn to be spontaneous more often…

Valentine’s Day 2014

What a weekend… phew!  It felt like a whirlwind!  Friday, (Valentine’s Day), was awesome.  Saturday and Sunday were FULL, and the kids were zonked.  I think I’ve handled more 4-year-old tantrums in the last 2 days than ever before, but somehow God’s peace has kept me from “feeling it” as much as I normally would.  I’m actually thankful for the reminder that this is real life and I need God more than I could ever know.  Even as I type this, that Matt Maher song keeps coming to mind; “Lord I NEED you, oh I NEED you!  Every hour I need you!  My one defense.  My righteousness.  Oh God, how I need you!”

But back to Valentine’s Day… it started with the girls opening they bags.  It was especially fun since they had friend Valentine’s from a little Valentine party that they saved until this day.  Of course, they each got a special card from daddy that I have now filed away with the others they’ve received since birth.

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Breakfast:  eggs, bacon, and heart and star waffles.  I actually opted to have my bacon dipped in pancake batter as I have wanted to try that since seeing it on Pinterest.  (It was good, but I prefer my bacon mixed with eggs instead, I’ve decided.)

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Next we kidnapped or favorite teenagers, (whose parents happen to be some of our favorite friends), and headed to San Diego for the day.

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Despite it being a beautiful blue sky day, just over the beach was a thick fog.  It was actually very cool.

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A real sand dollar is actually purple when it is alive.  Who knew?  It made a great (and very smelly) addition to our girls’ shell collection!

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How do you like the heart puddle?  This boy LOVED it! 🙂

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Random surfer.  The fog made him look extra cool.

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So, the real reason we went to San Diego and brought along our favorite teenagers was so we could go to a marriage conference in the evening.

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First stop: sushi.

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And, not just any conference… But one led by none other than my childhood crush, Kirk Cameron.  I’m still kicking myself, a little.  I probably could have met him if I was pushy.  But, I didn’t want to be.  I did get to talk to his mom, though.  She was very kind and gracious.  It was so fun to be there with my husband on Valentine’s day.  I’m so grateful he planned it!

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I’ll spare you the video of me singing the Growing Pains theme song at the top of my lungs as it was being played.  Happy Monday, my friends!

This Never Happens

You know the saying… “A Mom’s work is never done.”  (Is that the saying?  If not, it should be!)  Today, let me just go on the record… We all got our hair cut.  I finished laundry last night, (including sheets).  The house cleaner came today.  (Wow.  She’s my hero!)   We are not doing school tomorrow, so I have nothing to plan.  I think this mom’s work is done!  (Well, I have some packing and other things to do, but for the sake of fulfilling the title on this blog post… I am DONE!)  I get to go to bed early; woohoo!  And, when I wake-up, it’s my birthday!  Ok, ok, I’ll stop… but did I mention this never happens?  🙂

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Sweet

It’s Valentine’s week!  So, here are a few “sweet” pics.

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A fun little Valentine party with THE BEST COOKIES!  (If my friend gives me the recipe, I will have to share!)

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An incredible little Valentine’s package all the way from Mississippi.  My girls keep begging me to take them there to meet their pen pals; the beautiful daughters of a friend I grew-up with.  (I wish!)  My favorite part was the little packages you smash that blow-up into balloons.  So cool!

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This little guy never ceases to amaze us with his coordination.  He has lots of fun with Operation!

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I love that my girls’ still love bubble baths.  (Wait a minute, so do I!  I guess that is not something one grows out of.)

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The cat.  Always sweet material.

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And, these two.  I find it so precious that big sister can always make Malachi laugh.  And I love it when this dude decides to wear swim goggles!

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Hope your week is off to a sweet start!

Valentine Fun Day

I know I’ve said this before, but I just have to say it again.  I am SO blessed with awesome friends.  (ALL of them!)  But, I am especially grateful for those that homeschool with me.  The kids think these homeschool fun days are for them.  And they are… with the added bonus of fellowship for the moms!

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First, we made heart doggies.

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Then it was snack time.  You know, because one craft takes a lot out of ya! (ha!  Or perhaps I shouldn’t leave treats out in plain sight so that suddenly everyone is “hungry.”  Gotta love kids!)

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Heart card sewing… No rules; just fun!

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The heart chopstick pick-up game.  First, I had the kids get all their chopstick energy out.  Notice my little curly top; she was NOT happy abut the “noise.”  (I know my poor girl is noise sensitive, but even chopstick noise?)  I just love this picture.  Her face is priceless!

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More energy-burning outside.

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Lunch.  Who knew Capri Sun balloons could be so fun?

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And, heart tp painting.  We didn’t even get to half our activities, but that is ok.  What an awesome day!

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Pray for Rain!

It is so weird to me (and most Californians) to turn on the tv this year and hear about the “arctic cold” taking place in most of the country.  Today it was 63 degrees… and that felt arctic to us, as we are in the middle of the worst draught in over 100 years. The good news?  We did get a hint of rain.  I don’t even know if it was enough to count, but I suppose a little is better than none right now.

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And so Sierra got to open her new $1.50 umbrella, (from the Japanese store, Daiko).

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And she twirled.

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And she was happy… until she caught me taking pictures.

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But, I kept taking them.

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And she pretended to be mad.

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And then she wanted to see them.  That’s my girl.