This time of year holds such a love/ hate relationship for me.  I love seeing all the school supplies at Target, swimming every day, the thought of upcoming holidays, apple-picking, and cozy sweatshirts.  Fall is my favorite!  But, I will miss the lazy summer days… making fresh salsa, swimming after dinner, friends over for barbecues.  Aaaah, sweet summer!  Here are a few summer smiles as we hang on to the last little bit of summer…

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Face painting, (and lots of other free goodies), courtesy of our dental office!  They had a little grand opening fun.

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More fresh cucumbers!  (Time for more sushi!)

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Homemade salsa and guacamole thanks to our tomato plant.  We put it on homemade naan bread, and it was the perfect lunch for all of us!

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My kids love mason jars as much as me.  (smile)

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I had no idea what to make for dinner the other night.  Soooo… I grilled some chicken, made some buttered noodles, cut up some tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozzarella and had the kids build their own pasta for dinner.  It was a huge success and I am anxious to try it again with different options.  Oh, and we also roasted some garlic as an option, which was Natalie’s favorite!

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Love this picture.  That’s all.

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This gift sat unopened in our craft closet for over a year.  My kids aren’t the best at cutting; (Sorry kids!)  At least, they weren’t… I actually think this helped because they did a great job!  And, snowflakes in July make me smile!

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Finally, our church had Ben Carson come and speak.  I feel blessed to have heard him… what a gentle, humble, spirit.



I saw this idea on Pinterest and knew it would be something we’d do… It’s fun, it’s easy, and most importantly, we have all the materials on hand! First we painted the kabob sticks.

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After Sierra and Natalie painted, I poked the holes, Natalie helped put washi tape on the  clothes pins, and Allison fetched the ping pong ball.  We were set!

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Diamond Backs vs. The Butterflies

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Summer Craftin’

Other than swimming, I think crafting is our most favorite summer activity.  (Reading is a close third!)  Here are a few snapshots of some summer crafting…

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Painting our clay figures

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Coloring the American Girl summer poster

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Sierra learning to cross-stitch (I just dotted a teddy bear using a sharpie and she did great!)

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Natalie’s home-sewn and designed bee

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Water-colored paper dolls — always a favorite!

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Making the clay figures we painted in the first picture

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Fashion design-girls; this has been another summer favorite!

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More painting; (I love Natalie’s humming bird!)

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Challkboard coloring

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Painting items cut-out with our Cricut

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And, the easel… Happy summer crafting!

Goodbye, Grandma!


We said goodbye to Grandma this morning.  Poor Malachi cried all the way home from the airport. Saying goodbye is hard, but we had lots of fun.  While my mom was here, she:

  • changed lots of diapers
  • did all my dishes
  • allowed me to run 11 miles
  • gave baths and bedtime stories
  • babysat while D and I enjoyed 2 dates
  • treated the kids to Chick-Fil-A
  • treated the kids to ice cream
  • folded laundry
  • played lots of games
  • watched movies with the kids
  • went swimming
  • organized all our games and puzzles
  • gave me time to begin my back-t0-school organizing and planning

Thank you, Mom!

Thank You, Chick-Fil-A!

Did any of you go to Chick-Fil-A on July 11 for cow appreciation day?  For us it is an annual tradition, though most years it seems my husband is working.  This year we went with friends, which was a lot of fun.  The kids made their own cow costumes using markers and white trash bags.  In case you’re not familiar with it, if you dress like a cow on cow appreciation day then your meals are totally free.  You still get a receipt to see just how much you saved.  The total for just our 2 families came to almost $70!   What a huge blessing… Thank you, CFA!

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Next, we finished up our reading program at the library.  As part of our prize, each kid was given a free sandwich from CFA.  So, my mom took the kids while Daniel and I enjoyed our date.  Thanks again, CFA!

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Finally, we went to the circus this past Sunday where Chick-Fil-A was a sponsor.  They had a “Guess the number of cows” contest where the winner won a year’s supply of Chick-Fil-A.  Guess who won?  Malachi Yeh!  Thanks again, Chick-Fil-A!  We are so excited!  Here are a few more circus pics:

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Anybody up for a Chick-Fil-A date?


There is one thing about growing tomatoes that totally creeps me out: horn worms.  Something about them absolutely gives me the chilly willies.  I’ve known for a while that we’ve had them because their skat is everywhere.  Every time I reach for a tomato that and the plant rubs against my arm, I freak out and am certain I will find a horn worm.  And yet, I have found none.  Sneaky little things, aren’t they?!?!  Then last night I was harvesting yet another crop when I looked up and saw this:

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It turns out horn worms actually chrysalize (probably not a word, but become chrysalises), and then turn into hawk moths.  Who knew?  So, today my husband is going to put them in our butterfly cage so we can see them transform.  Hope it works?!?

626 Night Market

I love Sunset magazine.  A year or 2 ago, we read about a Taiwanese food festival called “626 Night Market” in Arcadia.  My husband is Taiwanese and grew-up in Arcadia — how fun would this be?  We never did make it that summer… or last.  But, this summer we made it!  (A huge thank-you to Grandma for taking the kids to Chick-Fil-A so we could enjoy this date.  I would NOT recommend taking kids here!  It is far too crowded)

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This is the general scene… food booths everywhere and people everywhere!

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We tried to get lots of “little” things so we could enjoy a large variety.  We also tried to avoid things we could get at local restaurants.

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Who would have expected a cool and beautiful evening in late July in Southern California?  What a blessing!

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Because we had no kids with us and no time pressure, we waited in the longest line for a ramen burger.  It took an hour, but it really was worth the wait.  Daniel took one bite and exclaimed.. “Whoa; this really is east meets west!”

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By the time we were ready to leave, the crowds were just crazy.  There were times we literally couldn’t move.  And, the cars and the people just kept pouring in.  We grabbed an organic peach/ strawberry sweet tea, (filled with bits of real peach and strawberry), then headed home.  It will go down as a super memorable/ fun date!

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Grandma’s Here!

My mom coming to visit is always fun for all of us… but this time around it is not only fun but helpful for me.  While the kids play games…

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And have tea parties…

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I will be conquering this mess:

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I am actually very excited to be doing some cleaning/ organizing/ re-arranging of our school items and getting ready for school.  Of course, there will be some fun, as well.  Daniel and I have a fun date planned, as well as a family trip to the circus.  (Grandma will be going to her first circus ever — can you believe it?)  I am so thankful for my mom!

Sushi Night!

Question:  What do you do when it is 2pm, you have nothing planned for dinner, and there is a large Japanese cucumber hanging out your kitchen window?

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Answer:  If your mom is visiting and your husband is home, you ask your mom to babysit then sneak off on a “date” to the Asian market and convince your husband to make a sushi night.

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…. With shrimp tempura, of course.

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Thanks for the yummy sushi night, babe!  I love that it is a favorite for all four kids, (and Grandma), as well.

Meet Roxy

I knew I shouldn’t have gone…  Gone where?  Gone to look at the bunny that was on the flier at the chicken feed store that read, “Free with cage to good home.”  You see, Allison has been asking me for a bunny ever since our cat died.  I have never owned a caged animal, and have never wanted to.  (Pretty much because I don’t like cage cleaning)  Not-to-mention, it seems a little cruel.  But alas, I went… now meet Roxy:

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Of course, my little artist had to draw her portrait the first day.  This kid can seriously draw better than me!

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She’s a sweet bunny with the softest fur ever.  I’m already annoyed by the cage — we’ll have to figure something out!  She came with the name Roxy, and Allison decided it fit her well… so, Roxy it is!