August 7, 2017

half way point

Summer is flying by! We have about two weeks of summer left, and are determined to take advantage of these last few days to spend time together. Sabbath afternoon, we took a spur-of-the-minute trip up to Pine Springs Ranch. Anyone who knows our family understands the significance of Pine Springs Ranch in our lives.  I grew up there, I met my husband there and I love being able to take my kiddos to experience camp. 

Our kids loved exploring the camp Fort. The original Fort burned down in the summer of 2013, so this one is fairly new. Lucas enjoyed climbing the ladder to the Fort's main tower. The first time he tried it I was nervous and wanted him to wait for me. However, he apparently didn't "hear" me say wait and by the time I met him at the bottom of the ladder he was already standing on top of the tower's platform making ninja poses. 

It was crazy seeing old campers as staff. I had several young ladies say hi and share with me that I was their counselor/riding instructor at camp. I love seeing old campers become staff. 


With summer winding down I wanted to revisit my original "Summer Adventure" to do list.

Revisiting my to do list:
  • Take the train to the beach 
  • Family trip to the San Diego Safari Park/Zoo 
  • Day trip to the mountains for fresh air and hiking
  • Try something new and unique to our local area 
  • Go to a baseball game
  • Go to a movie (this one is for Lucas since he has never been to a movie theater)
  • Make ice cream 
  • Go horseback riding at Grandma's house 
Not bad for one summer. We still have two more weeks before school starts to cross off a few more things from our list.

July 28, 2017

summer zoo trip


Family Zoo Day! 

One of the things on my summer to-do list was to take a family trip to the San Diego Zoo. Our Baba's annual membership pass was expiring at the end of July so we needed to act fast if we were to have more more trip together. Plus, I really wanted to see the Zoo's new Africa Rocks exhibit. Although not all of the Africa Rock's exhibits were open, we enjoyed what we could see and I'm looking forward to coming back to see more of what the exhibit offers. In addition, apparently the Zoo opened their new foot bridge the morning of our trip. Walking over the bridge, which connects the front of the Zoo with the back of the Zoo was both exhilarating and terrifying at the same time.  I'm not if watching men working on the bridge helped with that feeling. 

Funny story. On our way back to the car, we passed a young lady sitting on a bench. She suddenly called out "Excuse me, your daughter's nose is bleeding."  We stop and I check her nose. A large dark blob was oozing slowly down from her nose. The dark color looked off to me. But I grabbed a shirt to stop the bleeding. However, as I got closer I quickly realized that it wasn't blood but a melting chocolate chip. Ew. After thanking the girl, I cleaned my daughter up and we went on our merry way.  


Overall, it was a fun day. The kiddos had a blast and I'm ready for bed. 

July 26, 2017

striped dress


Finished my second dress for the summer. 
I have instructed my friends and family to slap me if I ever buy striped fabric again. 
This dress is ok. 
In other news, how is it that summer is already half way over?? 



July 16, 2017

VBS week




For my kiddos VBS week was jammed packed with Bible stories, engaging songs, fun games and friends. This was Lucas's first year attending as a "big kid." Dropping him off with his two counselors felt weird. Like I was missing something...or someone. Lucas had a blast. At the end of each night, Lucas would share everything that he did during VBS. His counselors were amazing and he made friends. Having Lucas with counselors gave me the opportunity to spend time with my girly. It was fun going through the different rotations with Alara, watching her learn about Queen Ester, play games and do crafts.

For me, VBS week was exhausting. Growing up I attended VBS once or twice before starting summer camp. I know some people might argue with me about this....but summer camp is way more exhausting. At least the VBS counselors and volunteers get to go home each night. That being said...I'm not sure how I had the energy to make it through seven weeks of summer camp. It's a young mans game. (And I'm not even that old).

A couple of things I enjoyed about VBS was being able to reconnect with friends, both for the kiddos and for myself, listening to the kids sing worship songs on repeat and hearing the excitement in their voices as we drove up to our church. I want church to be a place where my kids feel at home and apart of. I didn't have much connection to a home church growing up and so giving my kids that connection is important.

The VBS program this year was ok. I'm not sure how Lucas's classes went because I wasn't there. However, the Pre-K group could have been better.  The crafts were not age appropriate nor did they connect what the kids were learning to what the craft was. The games were ok...but definitely felt like a second through vs. thoughtfully planned. The lesson time was designed for older kids, and many of the pre-K kids weren't engaged.

Other than the lack of planning in the pre-K groups, it was a good week and one to remember. 

June 28, 2017

handmade summer dress + ice cream social at the Heritage House


I finished this little sun dress just in time for summer's 100+ degree weather. This dress is my first attempt to make something for myself. It was a struggle at times. I ended up going to an Auntie's house for help with the blouse. I knew that I could muddle my way through, but having someone explain and show me what went wrong was helpful. I'm happy with how this dress turned out and I'm looking forward to sewing more. 

I wore this dress to the Heritage House ice cream social. The weather was a lovely 112 degrees, but with the breeze and large shade trees it was bearable. I have been wanting to tour this beautiful Victorian home, and thought that attending the ice cream social would be the perfect opportunity to check out something unique to my community. 

The house is beautiful. Everything has been well maintained, the docents were entertaining and knowledgeable. I wish that we had been allowed to go upstairs, however the second and third floors were off limits due to the heat. When the house opens again in the fall I definitely want to explore the rest of the house. 

Lucas wasn't thrilled to be out in the heat...or at a museum. However,  a bowel of chocolate ice cream did improve his mood.... a little. The Heritage House offered activities for kids- face painting (he didn't want to do that), games (he asked to go home), ice cream (he did say yes to ice cream), orange tasting from Citrus Park (nope, it wasn't orange juice...although I tried an orange and it was delicious) and recruitment into the Continental army. Lucas did "enlist" and actually enjoyed it. 

June 24, 2017

Aquarium of the Pacific and Harbor Cruise


Happy Sabbath.

This weekend Dadi and Dada treated the whole family with tickets to the Aquarium of the Pacific and  a cruise around the Long Beach Harbor. The kids and I have never been to the Aquarium or have gone on a harbor cruise, so this was a new experience! The kiddos and I had a blast exploring the aquarium. Lucas's three favorite exhibits were the Tropical Reef Dive, Water Conversation Exhibit and the playground. Alara enjoyed the Clown Fish Exhibit ("Nemos") and the interactive tide pools where she got to touch jellyfish and horseshoe crabs.

We wrapped up our day with a cruise around the Long Beach Harbor. The tour was about 45 minutes, which is plenty long enough with small children. The wind was blowing hard, so the kiddos ended up downstairs with the boys and Dada. Dadi and I stayed up top and enjoyed an afternoon at sea. The tour explored Long Beach's coastline, sailed past napping sea lions, the Queen Mary, a cruise ship, lots of cargo ships and several oil islands.

I'd love to return to the aquarium...  although on a less crowded and cooler day.  I felt like there was more to see and do. 😊

June 12, 2017

our summer to do list

This year we don't plan on allowing summer to pass without a few family adventures. This will be Lucas's last summer before kindergarten and Alara is now big enough to go on adventures. My husband and I agreed that this summer we would stay local. However, staying local doesn't mean no fun! While "swimming" that other morning, the kids and I complied a list of fun things that we would like to do. 

I thought I'd share our list. 


Here is our list of summer adventures.

  • Take the train to the beach 
  • Family trip to the San Diego Safari Park/Zoo 
  • Day trip to the mountains for fresh air and hiking
  • Try something new and unique to our local area 
  • Go to a baseball game
  • Go to a movie (this one is for Lucas since he has never been to a movie theater)
  • Make ice cream 
  • Go horseback riding at Grandma's house 
I'd love for more ideas - especially if it's local and or unique - let me know in the comments.