LA County Fair 2015

I’m a little late getting the pictures out… yesterday we went to the fair for the second time.  We always try to go once for the animals and once for the exhibits.


We took the traditional milk shot, which didn’t turn out great.  We brought along our little camera so the picture quality wasn’t as good, plus we were all HOT.  Overall, it was a fun time, though!

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Lunch break:  Hooray for A/C in the exhibit hall!

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Our camera battery was dead, so www got no pictures of our second trip to the fair.  It was also hot, but fun.  I’m ready for fall!

Dinner Fail, Breakfast Win

For quite some time now, I’ve been diligent about trying to bake any baked goods we need fresh rather than buying them made.  We have many exceptions, of course, but it is fun to bake and have the house smell delicious as you pull fresh bread from the oven!  We’ve been pretty successful with following the recipes, but the other night we had a huge fail!  I was grilling some sliders for dinner and wanting Hawaiian rolls, but not wanting to go to the store.  No problem, I thought… I could make them!  The recipe I found called for pineapple juice, which we didn’t have.  We did have fresh pineapple, so I pureed it in the Vitamix and used the puree instead of the juice.  No big deal, right?

My first clue should have been the dough texture.  It was weird.  But, I held out hope.  I baked them, and they tasted exactly like Hawaiian rolls; except, the texture was completely different.  They were much more like biscuits; it was weird!  And, they were disgusting with the hamburgers.

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Not wanting to waste them, the next morning for breakfast I made an apple syrup and poured it over the biscuits.  The kids loved it and I didn’t have to waste them — yay for us!  (Sorry, chickens… maybe my next fail!)

Spoon People

It wasn’t meant to be a “kid project.”  I spent some time last week preparing for our weekly co-op by making some geography girls to travel the globe with us this year.  It was a lot of fun for me to do a craft on my own while Daniel took the kids out.  When they returned, however, they wanted to join in on the fun… how could I say no?

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The best part is watching them play when they’re done!  They also brought in their rag dolls they made at the fair.  (That reminds me… I’m off to sort fair pictures!)

Bread Bowls

While making my menu for the week, I had no idea we would be experiencing a day full of rain.  Yesterday was absolutely wonderful, and such a blessing for Southern California!  I even went for a jog in the pouring rain early in the morning and had more energy than usual.  It felt glorious!  We rarely experience cooler temps in September, and certainly not rain!

Anyway, I had asked my daughter Natalie what I should put on the menu for dinner, and she requested broccoli and cheese soup bowls.  I have always wanted to try to make soup bowls, but never got around to it.  Since she said it and I was at a loss for ideas, I wrote it in.  Done.  Now I had to try!

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I really wasn’t sure what I was doing.  I just divided the dough into 6 rounds and let them rise on parchment individually in bowls.  In the meantime, I worked on the soup…

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As I suspected, the two little ones didn’t eat much of their bowls.  But, I was ok with that.  I used my new favorite simple bread recipe I keep talking about, so I only wasted a little flour… these were so much cheaper than buying 6 little bread bowls!  I would rather waste a bit and let them have the full fun of eating out of a bread bowl than make them eat out of a regular bowl while watching their big sisters have all the fun.  Not to mention, the chickens loved the leftovers!

I’m excited to try these again some time!

Always Something…

… to be thankful for!  It s true.  Just look at the sky from 2 nights ago:


Does it ever get old?  Never.  The sky always takes my breath away.

But, there are disappointments in life.  I want to teach my children how to handle them gracefully.  Not by my words, but by my actions.  Yet that is so much harder!

Today I didn’t show much grace.  The morning started off exhaustingly as I spent most of my night with my 8 year old complaining about an itchy head then coming into my bed and kicking me all night.  Low on sleep and energy, I decided to go for a jog anyway before getting ready to teach Sunday School at church.   My jog quickly became a full-on sprint (For my life) when I spotted 2 coyotes coming my way.  (What is one suppose to do with coyotes, anyway?  Run, or stand firm?  I don’t know, but I ran!)  Thankfully, they crossed the street.

I made it back in time to make some pumpkin muffins and head off to church, but my daughter was still complaining.  I wish I was a sweet, sympathetic mom.  What should I do?  I didn’t want to not show up to serve, but I thought I should take her in.  When I got to church, it turns out there were enough helpers, so I got her back out of Sunday School and we went to Urgent Care.  Guess what?  LICE!  YUCK!

We headed to Target (for the 3rd day in a row) and bought some medicated shampoo and combs; only to find out, those don’t work well.  But, they did let us know that we ALL have lice.  (Eww!!)  We’ve probably had it for 6 – 8 weeks, already.  It is an overwhelming and disgusting feeling.  I wanted to clean everything, but I had so much to do to get ready for our co-op, etc.

So, tomorrow we miss our co-op.  But we have a professional coming to de-lice us (For quite a bit of money, but I hear it is worth it!)  Next weekend we will not do our Mexico mission trip because we do NOT want to bring lice to an orphanage!  The kids are sad about missing both.  We talked about looking for the positive, and for thanking God in all things.  But, I was not super sensitive to their complaints, and didn’t show as much grace as I should have.  I’m so glad God’s grace is sufficient for all of us.  And, I hope we will be rid of these bugs by tomorrow!

626 Night Market… with kids!

Last year we tried out the 626 Night Market, and I knew we had to go again.  To be honest, I wasn’t excited about taking the kids because I remembered the crowds were a bit much.  But now… I am so glad we did.  They had a great time and enjoyed the food as much as we did.  (Well, the drinks and desserts at least!)  One of our goals as parents is to have our kids not be afraid to try new foods, and I think we’ve been pretty successful.  Even our one super picky eater is surprisingly open to new foods!

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I waited in line for my Ramenburger first thing.  Delicious!

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Yes, this may just have to be an annual tradition… with the kids, because they all want to go back!  (Sierra still thinks she was in Taiwan!)

Evening Bike Rides

I still remember the first day Allison rode a bike around our old cul-de-sac in the evening.  (Actually, it was her trike, not a bike.)  I sat on the curb while Natalie waddled around.  My kids had entered a new stage; they felt so grown-up at 1 1/2 and 3.  Funny, isn’t it?

Now we’ve reached a new milestone.  My youngest is riding his very own bike now.  I found it on Craigslist for just $15 and it was a house just down the street.  He still needs training wheels, but we now have 4 kids on bikes.  Malachi and Sierra were introduced to Allison and Natalie’s “Around the World” game they play on bikes around the neighborhood.  Watching them ride into the sunset made my heart smile.  We don’t have a lot of kids in our neighborhood, but I am so thankful they have each other!

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Now if only summer evenings would last a little longer…

In the Garden

We haven’t had much good news to report on the garden… Tomatoes are slowing way down.  (We had to buy some for our salsa today!)  Zucchini plant is ginormous, while the zucchini have also slowed way down.  Then there’s the cantaloupe…

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A mouse!  Can you believe it?  I was so glad that our current cat is not a hunter.  I did not like all the mice and lizard presents our previous two cats brought us.  But now?!?!?  I am thinking we need a hunter cat.  After this picture, I picked the cantaloupe and cut it for the chickens.  Later I cut 2 more that I thought were ripe so the mouse wouldn’t get them.  They were awesome.  Then, the mouse got our last one.  Grrr… So we were 2 for 4 on our cantaloupes this year.

Last but not least is our pepper plant.  We had SO many just get rotten before they got ripe.  But then we had one ripe one.  It looked amazing…

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I cut it and the texture seemed perfect.  We added it to our pizza, and then…

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We took it off again and gave it to the chickens.  It was bitter.  Bummer.

The only good in all this is the lesson my 5 year old has been learning.  I keep telling her we learn best through our mistakes; not just when we do things right the first time.  I have used the garden as my personal example.  She has learned this lesson well.  She now rejoices in hr mistakes and says, “Because I am learning even more, right Mommy?”  That’s right, sweetie.  It has revolutionized our schooling.  We still have our challenges, but making mistakes is no longer one of them!

Beach House

My friend called the other day and asked if we wanted to join her for a day at their beach house.  They are there for an entire month every September!  My response?  Of course!  What an awesome day…

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Have you ever seen a better backyard?

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Yummy lunch, then we headed out for more fun… and then drove to the “baby beach” 5 minutes down the road.

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Sweet baby!

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Wait a minute… are those my kids getting off the sheriff’s boat?  Yup!  Apparently they went out too far!

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The day didn’t end here.  Everyone showered then we headed out to pizza.  They all crashed on the drive home… and I was soon to follow!