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
  • 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.  

June 6, 2017

happy birthday Alara

Happy 2nd birthday sweet baby Alara!

This year we kept things simple with just close family and a few friends. I chose to do an afternoon/evening party which gave the birthday girl plenty of time for her nap and post-nap-time recovery before her guests arrived.


Having a post-nap-time recovery is important and highly recommended when hosting a party for a 2 year old.

Trust me.

We took advantage the beautiful June weather and late summer hours, giving the kiddos extra time to play. My wonderful husband was in charge of the BBQ, and grilled up his famous burgers and hot dogs for a delicious birthday dinner.

Alara had a great time turning two!

I couldn't have asked for a nicer evening filled with close friends and family.

May 15, 2017

...flying solo..and Mother's Day...

Happy Belated Mother's Day.

This week I'm flying solo as a single parent. My husband is taking a class required for work in Michigan leaving us for 10 days. This will be the longest he has ever been away from home. We are about half way through the week and I'm ready for his return. It's exhausting being on 42/7. However, if anyone asks...this week went perfect, the house stayed spotless and the kiddos behaved like little angels.

For Mother's Day, the kiddos and I drove up to see my parents. The kids had a blast hiking, bike riding and horseback riding. And I enjoyed some adult conversation, and clean county air.

Wish us luck as we muddle our way through the last couple of days until Daddy comes home.

May 8, 2017

a baby shower for my sister

On Sunday I had the honor of hosting a baby shower for my youngest sister. It was a team effort between my sister's Mother-in-law, our own Mother and myself. We all worked hard putting this shower together and I'm really happy with how things turned out. Growing up, my sister loved horses. I wanted to incorporate ponies and horses in the shower decor. My sister's MIL found these darling pony cake toppers on Etsy, and my Mother made pony sugar cookies.

My sister is a talented artist. I wanted to have guests decorate their own works of art on plain onesies for my sister's new baby. I thought as an artist, she would appreciate having unique works on art for her daughter to wear. The shower guests had a blast creating and decorating the onesies. I'm looking forward to seeing the onesies in action.

...And lastly, this painting was in my sister's main bathroom. I was surprise and amused. The girl in the red sunglasses is me. My sister painted this picture about seven or eight years ago. I think its hilarious that she hung it in the bathroom. It's like I'm staring down on anyone using the potty....silently judging people as they pee.  

May 6, 2017

23 months

pc: Hollie Macomber 
I thought I'd do a quick baby update for Alara.
By this time next month she'll be two, and not a baby anymore.
Pass the tissues. 

  • The terrible twos have arrived! The cutesy saying about "letting her sleep for when she wakes she will move mountains" have taken on a whole new meaning around here. Alara knows what she likes and isn't afraid to let us  know! 
  • She's attached herself to one specific blanket. This blanket goes everywhere. She can't sleep without it. Originally, the blanket belonged to Dadi. I'm not sure when or how Alara decided that it was her blanket, but they are inseparable. Tears are shed when I wash it...and I usually have to wash the blanket when she isn't looking. 
  • Mama is still #1...and I'd like to keep it that way. However, Daddy is a close second (and could easily take first place especially if Mama has done something horrible like wash her blanket). 
  • I'm not sure if its personality, or a second born thing...or both...but Alara isn't afraid to push kids out of the way to get what she wants. She's a fighter. 
  • She's a caregiver and often tries her best to comfort anyone who is hurting or sad. She gives a comforting "Uh-oh" and "sad baby" when friends and or strangers are crying. 
  •  Lastly, this sweet little girl is growing up and I'm so blessed to be her Mama. I'm looking forward to celebrating birthday #2 with her in a few weeks. 

April 27, 2017

little girl's summer dress

I made this dress from the scraps of the national parks quilt that I did a few months ago. I'm in love with the yellow and teal combination. This dress is big, but my adorable model will grow into it. 😊 

April 24, 2017

Happy 5th Birthday

I can't believe my first born is 5 years old!  

This year for Lucas's birthday we did an Angles baseball party at our local park.

It works out well when your kid loves to play baseball, and your husband loves to play baseball. I didn't have to plan any additional activities or games...because baseball was the game. Between family and friends, we had plenty of players for a ball game. Even Lucas's Great-Grandma got in on the action. Everyone had a blast! 

The night before his birthday, Lucas asked me to tuck him into bed and to sing "Rock-a-Bye Baby." I happily obliged and sang for him. My baby is growing up. As I sang, I thought about the past five years and how quickly they went by..which led me to make this list of five things I love about Lucas...

1) I love his sense of humor. Lucas loves telling jokes. Often his misses his punchline, but laughs anyways. Currently his favorite joke is "What did the judge tell the witness to wear? A lawsuit!" He tells this joke to everyone. 

2) I love his self-confidence. Lucas inhered his Father's self-confidence. At times it can be frustrating, but I also love it. It also means that I'm often accompanied to the store by a Stormtrooper or Jedi. 

3) I love how friendly and social Lucas is. He makes friends where ever he goes. I love listening as he marches up to a boy/girl his age, politely introduces himself and enthusiastically invites the boy/girl to play. It's adorable and it is a skill that will serve him well.   

4) I love his creativity. Lucas has such a creative mind. He expresses himself though art, play and with made up stories that "reads" and shares with me. 

5) I love how hard he tries to please. Lucas does his best to be a good boy and to make his Mama happy...including picking flowers for her after he has done something naughty. I love the bouquets he picks for me...even if they are a little wilted.  

This next year will be full of new experiences for Lucas. It is my hope and prayer that he continues to grow in wisdom and stature with God and man. 

Love you sweetheart. 

April 17, 2017

Easter Weekend Recap

Easter weekend came and went in a flash. I felt like I dropped the ball this year. I had every intention to read the Resurrection story to the kiddos, attend our church's Easter service and do some sort of amazing Christ-centered Easter craft.

..ha.ha...The best laid plans...

Lucas and I did watch the Easter Sabbath service on livestream....so in a way we did "attend" church.
With the Sabbath service at noon I knew that if I actually went I'd spent most of the service in the hallways with Alara. By staying home, I put her to sleep then Lucas and I watched the service. This way I actually got to pay attention, Alara got her nap and Lucas got to have his lunch on time.

That afternoon, we headed down to Laguna Beach. My Mom was exhibiting in one of the local art galleries and asked us to come to her opening night. It was a lot of fun walking through the galleries, then taking the kiddos down to the beach for some fun in the sun.

On Easter Sunday, we attended a friend's third birthday. The kiddos had a blast hunting eggs and playing with their friends.

And by the time bedtime came around I was ready for the weekend to be over.

Till next year...Easter...may I be better prepared and more on top of things.

April 11, 2017

Family Easter Party

I'm happy to be back posting here on this blog. 

On Sunday, my Mom hosted her annual family Easter party. In addition to the traditional egg hunt, she prepared a treasure hunt for each kid, bird house building for the boys and flower planting for Alara. All of these activities kept the kiddos busy! 

Both kids had a blast hunting for Easter eggs. Alara kept looking around saying "more..more" and I hardly saw Lucas except for when he ran past, his basket loaded with brightly colored eggs. 

I wish hunting for daily "lost" household items was this exciting. 

That afternoon, my Dad helped each kid build their bird house. The bird houses came as kits, so all the kids had to do was tack in the nails, glue and paint. Lucas chose to paint his bright teal blue. 

While the boys worked, Alara and Grandma planted pansy flowers. When I was little, my sisters and I would plant Easter pansies and petunias every year. It became traditional. Alara had a blast digging around in the rich potting soil, planting her flowers and then gently (Ahem...dumping) watering the them. 

Fingers crossed that the flowers live, and that birds will nest in the brightly painted house.