Good Kitty, Bad Kitty

Our sweet Midnight is a hunter.  (At least, she wants to be!)  With our current rat problem, she sits on the wall right below where the rats are and just waits.  The other day she finally caught one!  Good kitty.  Of course, it was just a baby.  And it was pretty cute… but I was so proud of her.

Fast forward to today.  I watched her run by with something in her mouth that was black and white.  I rushed out to have a closer look, and my heart sunk to see a beautiful butterfly.  That was a first.  (And last, I hope!)  Bad kitty.  Let’s stick with rats, ok???

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Monday.

Monday.  I had big plans for you, today.

 This week I have one less kid in the house, as she is at a summer day camp all week.  That means I have 2 young boys to keep each other entertained, and 2 big girls to keep each other entertained all while I ORGANIZE.  (In theory, of course!)

First there was the dropping off business.  Apparently, everyone has the last name Sm – Z because it took forever, while all the other lines were pretty much empty.  Then I ran into old friends, which is always a blessing… time just flew by and my poor kiddos were waiting at home!  So, I stopped for smoothies to surprise them.  After all, they are BOGO on Mondays this summer and right on the way home.  I think everyone else had the same idea, because that also took forever!  And then, I accidentally dropped one.  Ugh.

I came home with lots of motivation and started 3 organization projects today.  Perhaps I should have stuck with just one and actually finished it.  I am now staring at big messes around the house and wondering what to do next.

Of course, that put me in a dismal mood, (thanks a lot, Monday!) so I decided I ought to go outside and take pictures of my lovely sunflowers.  It worked.  I think I’m ready to go finish one of my projects.  (With a big ice tea in hand, naturally!)

Hope you’re having a wonderful Monday!

Getting Creative

I walked by the curtain, and had to take a peak… the cute voices behind it were too irresistible!  My girl spent hours creating this lovely scene at her desk.  Ah, the rewards for cleaning your desk area!  She used Lego pieces, Littlest Pet Shop pieces, drawers from a jewelry box, fidget spinners, old strawberry containers, and a myriad of other items to create her little nook.  And she was so proud.  And she loved it.

Then there’s me — loving her creativity, yet cringing just a tad that all the pieces from different places were not “together.”

I didn’t want to stifle her creativity, so I praised her efforts and took pictures.  Then something happened.  Suddenly, I wasn’t worried about how her things were all “out of place.”  This is her.  I would rather have a girl with a big imagination and doing her “own thing” than one who keeps all her things “in place…”  (at least most of the time!)

Santa Barbara Zoo

It’s always a little bit tricky for me to blog about an activity that I was not a participant of… But I am ever so grateful for a husband who plays “Superdad” and takes the kids on an adventure without me.  (And takes pictures, too!)  All I know is, the kids had a marvelous time and got to do all the “extra” things a daddy would say yes to… feeding the giraffes, feeding black swans, going for a train ride, and of course eating dip n dots!

Thanks again, Daniel, for being an awesome daddy and letting me have a little getaway!

Oxnard Beach

You know it’s a good summer when you make it to the beach 3 times in June!  After our Literature Soiree, we met up with the husbands and kids for dinner, then spent the next day at the beach before driving home.  We played so hard, even I had to take a cat nap on the drive home.  The kids just asked again today, “Can we go to the beach again, soon?”  Yes.  Always yes.

Fourth of July 2018

I love the Fourth of July.  This year included: the obligatory red, white, and blue breakfast, the annual 4th of July kid’s picture, (note how one kid was not so happy she didn’t get to hold her little brother the first round), bagel lunch, red, white and blue sour patch, chocolate sprinkle ice cream bowls, bbq, games, and fireworks with dear friends.  It also marked our 2nd Fourth of July celebration with X-man.

Hope you all had a wonderful Fourth!

Feelin’ Hot, Hot, HOT!

It’s going to be 114 degrees out today.  You can find me in the pool  or over here catching up on some blogging.  For now, here are some pics from the garden earlier this week.  The rats may have eaten all my zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, and peas… but at least I still have some pretty flowers to enjoy!  (And, to bring inside to enjoy when it’s 114 outside!)

Literature Soiree (Girl’s Road Trip)

One thing I know… if you are blessed enough to have a husband who encourages you to take a road trip with a girlfriend… aaannnddd…. if you are blessed enough to have a wonderful girlfriend who enjoys thrift shops, yummy food, spontaneous trips to Homegoods, and staying half the night talking because; (No kids!) … aaaannnddd… if you hear of a homeschool literature soiree located in gorgeous central California and includes the most wonderful coffee, speakers, and scenery… wwweelllll… you NEED to do it.

From the moment we left it was all about the food… so our lunch stop had to be poke bowls!  We may have pinched ourselves a few times, as nobody complained about not going to McDonalds or needing to stop for the bathroom.

Our first stop once we arrived?  The local thrift store, of course!  Not only was it adorable, but it also supports classical homeschoolers.  Very cool.  We also found a gum wall, strolled the entire downtown, visited the Madonna Inn, and ate the most yummy burger for dinner that may have included chardonnay soaked onions.

After dinner, the first part of the soiree began… a coffee shop meet and greet.  There we met the 2 ladies who were to host the soiree.  They were so lovely!  And I want to move in to the coffee shop.  For reals.

We found an awesome restaurant, “The Breakfast Buzz” for breakfast, and then hit the coffee shop one more time before going to the soiree.  (I just love saying soiree… it makes me feel like Fancy Nancy!)

The soiree was at the lovely Monday Club in San Luis Obispo.  I took lots of notes, bought some books, laughed, cried, met lots of precious homeschool mamas, and throughly enjoyed every minute.  They even had the best food truck for lunch!  We have decided this must be an annual tradition.  Can’t wait for next year!

And THANK YOU to our husbands who braved taking 8 kids to the Santa Barbara Zoo and endured car sickness and potty training accidents.  We are forever grateful.  After our Saturday session ended, we headed back down to Santa Barbara to meet up with our husbands and kids and spend one more night.  II’ll post pictures of our time together at the beach next…

Doll Spa (Boredom Buster 5!)

The magazine girl did her spa outside, so we set ours up outside…

The magazine girl was licking a popsicle, so we ate popsicles…

The doll in the magazine had medium-length hair, so we cut the doll’s hair to be medium-length…

Yes, it was a bit silly to make it look just like the magazine.  But, I’ll admit it was fun, too!  When this girl gets an idea in her head, she runs with it.  Sometimes it can be frustrating because if things don’t turn out exactly like the magazine, or exactly as she pictured it, then sadness and drama rob her of her joy.  (When she was younger, we went through endless amounts of paper when she would attempt to draw a picture and it didn’t look exactly like the one she was copying!)

Here’s what I do love, though… Rather than beg for a doll or clothes that she doesn’t have, we did our best to make do with what we did have.  So the doll’s hair won’t grow back… so what!  Sierra was so happy with the new look, (and we did cut off lots of tangles), that she played with this doll literally ALL day!

A long time ago, I sat in a Barnes and Noble with a friend, looking through clearance books and sipping our Starbuck’s.  (Those were fun days!)  I came across a book about Organized Living.  There was one particular line that really caught my attention, and has stuck with me ever since.  It said something along the lines of not wishing you had more space, but opening your eyes to your space and trying to see it in a new light.  Look vertically for more space, or think of things in creative, unconventional ways.  It was referring simply to organizing, but it opened my eyes and mind in a whole new way.

It’s like the line from one of my kid’s preschool shows that I sing to them all the time; “Be happy with what you have… happy with what you have… Just take it from Tucky.  You really are lucky!  Happy… so happy… with what you have!”

Instead of always wishing for more… bigger… better…  Look at what you have in a new light.  Be thankful for the doll you do have.  Be creative with her clothes and create your own version of a swimsuit.  (She pinned one of her own suits for the doll and I didn’t even realize it!)

We don’t need more.. newer… better… exactly like the magazine, or Pinterest, or this person.  DIdn’t God even give us a commandment about not coveting?  What we need is grateful eyes, hearts, and minds.  Thank you God, for who you are and al that you’ve done!

Beach Day

Every summer we have great intentions to make it to the beach as much as possible.  Then reality hits… Beach = traffic, packing the car, traffic, sunscreen galore, traffic, sandy kids, traffic, expensive parking, sandy food, and traffic.  Then we reach the beach and all my worries are gone… we have a wonderful day and I vow to go again as soon as possible!  This summer, we have made it to the beach twice.  And, we have hopes to go again, soon.  Honestly, despite all the negatives listed above, the good really outweighs the bad.  (That is, until the day after the beach comes, when kids are tired and cranky, but that’s another story!)  Beach, we love you!  Friends, we love you!  Family, we love you!  Summer, WE LOVE YOU!