Bean Boozled

Rarely do I open the door for solicitors.  But, it was a weak moment — our little neighbor boy was selling overpriced junk so he could win prizes and earn money for his school.  I couldn’t say no.  (Now you know why I rarely open the door!)  I didn’t even remember what I purchased, and I didn’t even pay him because I had no cash at the moment.

Fast forward 2 months.  The doorbell rings again.  I had completely forgotten about my purchase, and went to pull out my checkbook.  $13 for a tiny box of Jellybellies.  Oh, but it was so worth it!  These were not just ordinary Jellybellies.  This is a game where you spin and have to try a flavor of Jellybellies that can be either delicious or disgusting.  For example… Tutti Frutti or Stinky socks?  Peach or barf?  Buttered popcorn or rotten eggs?  Thankfully, I was the photographer rather than a player.  I have not laughed that hard in a long time!

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I told the kids this had to be a Halloween tradition.  Not so much, in their opinion.  Malachi said, “I am never playing that game again; it was too gross!”  His sisters and Grandma agreed.  Personally, I am just thankful for the good laugh, (and that they didn’t make me play!)

AWANA Crazy Hair Night

Last night was AWANA Crazy Hair night.  We celebrated in all it’s glory!

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When Sierra put her arm around her brother and tilted her head like that, my heart jumped.  I knew this would be a favorite new picture.

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I loved Natalie’s color and style; almost more pretty than crazy!

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I am so thankful for AWANA for many reasons.  Selfishly, I am thankful for a date night!  Last night I had so much to do to get ready for teaching our co-op the next day.  Since my husband was home, I was tempted to just let him take the kids while I had several hours to myself.  It was, indeed, tempting.  But, we hadn’t seen much of each other during the day, and a date sounded so much more appealing.

Typically, I am a work first, play second kind of person.  I would literally come home from a class in college, and get right to work on a paper that wasn’t due for 3 weeks just because I can’t stand to not be planned way ahead of time.  All that to say, choosing a date was out of character for me.  Yet… I am so thankful I made that choice.  We had such a fun time!  So often as a mom, it is easier to choose to want to “work first.”  The thing I am discovering is that, it is almost impossible to work first all the time, because the work never ends and the play would never come.  It’s ok… even good to play first sometimes!  And with that, I am off to bed while the dishes sit next to the sink, because sometimes it’s also good to rest first!  (And I am beat from staying up late planning!)  🙂

Thankful Thursday

It’s so appropriate to think of thankfulness around this time of year.  For us, however, it continues to be a weekly discussion.  I believe we are in our fourth year of Thankful Thursday tea parties.  Natalie just noticed the date on the inside cover of her journal and asked me, “Was I really five when I wrote this?” Yup, Sweetie… you were!  It is fun to look back and see all the things we have been thankful for!  I think Allison is close to 700 entries.

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This week was pumpkin scones and apple cider with whip cream.  You can’t beat a fall tea party!

San Diego Zoo

Legoland – check

Safari Park – check

La Jolla – check

Seaworld – check

San Diego Zoo – FINALLY!

After all our trips to San Diego, we have visited all of the above attractions multiple times, except one; the San Diego Zoo!  I am not even sure why, because our kids LOVE animals.  It was definitely overdue, but really well worth the wait.

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After walking for 6 hours, the kids were beat.   (And hot!)  It wasn’t in the plans, but we did go back to the beach where the girls jumped in the waves for 2 hours while Malachi slept on a blanket.  The only rough part was waking Malachi, who wanted to be at the hotel and cried until it was time to go — then he decided he wanted to play on the beach.  Ha! Isn’t that just how it goes?  We found a Thai place for dinner, then drove home while the kids snoozed.  Though it was a super short “vacation,” it sure felt great!  (And unpacking left just as big of a mess as a long vacation!)

Goodbye 2015 Summer Garden

Yes, it was time to say goodbye…

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You would not believe how overrun the garden had become.  I should have taken a picture, but really our gardening was somewhat impromptu.

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We have a long way to go to get it cleaned up…but it’s nice to have it started.

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Buddy enjoyed half of our last watermelon, and the chickens enjoyed the other half.

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Bell peppers are suddenly flourishing???  I think we’ll get rid of them, anyway.  I want a clean start to the garden.

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Next up, (if we indeed get it cleaned out), I want to have winter lettuce and flowers.  We’ll see!

Weekend Crafting

It’s been a while, (at least it feels that way to me), since we had a relaxed weekend as a family.  In fact, it’s been a full month since we’ve all been home, and it has been so nice!  (Maybe it’s that my husband did all the dishes… thanks, Honey!) Saturday afternoon, (since I didn’t have to do dishes!), I decided to have the kids do a little crafting.  We spray painted our old bird houses black, then went to town making them “haunted houses.”

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See why we do crafts outside?  (Thankful for the cooler weather!)

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Isn’t it always the simplest of things that bring the most joy?  A weekend together.  A weekend without dishes.  A craft with the kids.

Hope you had a nice weekend, as well!

San Diego Surprise

Kid surprises are the best.  It all began last Sunday night while the kids were at AWANA.  I rushed home to pack their bags and the car for a quick overnight in San Diego.  Even so, we had to pack for both beach and zoo.  Mondays are our homeschool co-op, and we finish at 3pm.  While we enjoyed the first half of our co-op day, my husband was driving around town, filling the car with gas, dropping off the dog, and packing all the cuddly bedtime stuff.  We ate lunch with our co-op, then broke the news to the kids… we wouldn’t be staying for the afternoon.

Once the disappointment passed, we shared the reason.  The excitement was priceless!

We checked into the hotel around 2:45pm, then headed 5 minutes out to the beach.  The kids had so much fun playing in the waves, time just flew by.  When we told them it was time to wash up and get some dinner, they couldn’t believe a few hours had passed so quickly.

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Allison and Natalie really jumped in the waves for the first time.  They were begging to go back the next day after the zoo, (and we did.)  Malachi and Sierra just found joy digging, splashing, and playing.  I snapped a few pictures, put my camera away, and enjoyed the next few hours with them.  The sun would disappear, then reappear every few minutes.  The water was amazingly warm.  There was a jr. international surf competition, and 36 different countries represented; that was fun to watch, too.

Back at the hotel, we enjoyed chicken soft tacos.  We always stay at the Residence Inn so we have multiple rooms, and a free dinner. 🙂  Once we washed up, we went out for gelati.  When we got back, the kids went right to sleep, and Daniel and I got to see Unbroken.  It was the perfect day.

Fall Craft Night

Last weekend, a few moms from our homeschool group came over to make some fall coffee cozies.  Just looking at felt, wood shapes, feathers, pom-poms, fall ribbons, and hot glue guns gets me super excited.  But, let’s be honest… coffee cozies aren’t super practical.  (They were really fun to make, though!)  Craft nights are never really about the crafts, but the fellowship.  I feel blessed to have gotten to know these ladies better, and thoroughly enjoyed the night!  (Oh… and they’re also about dessert.   You can’t have a fall get-together without pumpkin chocolate chip cake!)

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I ended up making four cozies, and then left the supplies out for my girls to have fun with the next day.  Yesterday, they spent hours making everything from headbands to pouches with their friend, while Malachi filled a plate with hot glue.  🙂

Short Hair!

It was tougher than I thought… but why?  I know hair grows back quickly.  And, it was so fun to hear that he actually wanted it cut.


He’s so much older, now!  Still adorable… just twice his age!  (or so it feels…)

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See what I mean?