The Wild Side…

We’ve had a few visitors lately that we rarely ever see, much less capture on camera.  First off…

These 2 “rascals” were wondering down our street when Daniel and the kids returned home from Taekwondo one night.  When we went back to snap a few pics, we found them in a neighbor’s yard.  We stayed for a bit to watch them play and the kids really enjoyed it!

This poor hawk was on the curb as I went to get the mail, and I thought it was odd that it didn’t move.  When I ran back to get the kids, they were actually able to pet it before it took it’s last flight, landed in a neighbors’ yard, and passed away.  Animal control said it was most likely .new castle disease.   Natalie did a little research and determined this was a baby female sharp shin hawk

Last, but not least, this is a bobcat in our backyard!  Long story short, we lost 6 out of 12 chickens, and then sent the others to live with another family.  After 7 years of raising chickens, we now have a quiet (albeit a bit too quiet) back yard.  I miss looking out the window and watching our girls waddle about as well as all the fresh eggs, but I do not miss the early morning cries when the bobcat decides to visit and terrorize our yard!

Roof Tops, Christmas Lights, and SNOW!!

Did you see all that snow on the mountains in the first picture?  Our Thanksgiving storm provided the perfect snowy mountain backdrop for hanging Christmas lights the next day.  The boys LOVE going on the roof with their Papa, and look forward to this day each year.  On the other hand, my stomach can only handle a quick picture, and then I go inside and pray for their safety — seriously!

Every day since, Xavi has asked to go on the roof.  Thank goodness it is only one day a year!

Thanksgiving 2019

Thanksgiving happen to fall on Malachi’s birthday this year.  How appropriate — we are so thankful for this guy!  We spent the morning enjoying quiche, hot tea, and watching Malachi open presents!

Snow also happen to fall on Thanksgiving this year.  It turned to water the second it hit the ground, but it sure was pretty and cozy while falling!

Our day was simple.  We bought a smoked turkey from Lucilles and just had to heat it up.  The other side dishes were just for our family and Daniel’s aunt and cousin, so everything came together rather easily.  With the pouring rain (and a little snow) as our backdrop, we played games, watched Malachi build his toys from his birthday, watched a movie, and enjoyed the cozy!  It was one of the most relaxing and fun Thanksgivings and I am so thankful for my family!

Malachi Turns 8 (Laser Island)

We celebrated Malachi’s 8th birthday by going to Laser Island for a couple rounds of Laser Tag, lunch, games, and mini golf with all his friends.  It is such a great package!  We celebrated 2 days before his actual birthday since it happened to fall on Thanksgiving this year.

It was my first time playing Laser Tag, and I realized a few things… I am super competitive and Laser Tag is a blast.  I want to go for my birthday!

Malachi requested an almond trifle with fresh berries instead of cake.  (Great choice, buddy!)  Thankful for my son’s sophisticated palate, because it turned out amazing!

He got to spin the prize wheel and walked away with 300 tickets.  Way to go, Dude!

The timing couldn’t have been better because we enjoyed a gorgeous sunny afternoon for the miniature golf portion of the party.  It was followed the next day by quite the rainstorm.

Unfortunately, the party ended before Malachi was able to open his presents with his friends, but he went home and enjoyed watching him open them as a family.  (And, he had a blast playing with them the next day with all the rain!!!)

Happy 8th Birthday, Malachi!

Santa Barbara 2019

Our sweet friends moved to Santa Barbara, so we took advantage of the long weekend, and went out to see them.  We are so blessed to have such wonderful friends…. who invites a family of 7 to stay with them?

It happened to be the free day for the Natural History Museum, so our bird nerds, (Natalie and our friend Mark), were thrilled to see all the birds

The property is so beautiful, with all sorts of fruit trees.  We came home wth avocados and oranges galore.  

The next day we went to the beach and then to East Beach Tacos for dinner and the batting cages.  We returned to sit in the hot tub and watch a movie before spending one more night.  The last morning, we took a walk through their gorgeous neighborhood before the long drive back.  Miraculously, we hit no traffic on the way there or back!

So grateful to know such wonderful people!

Huntington Library

For years I have tried to get the free tickets for Huntington Library.  They “sell out” within seconds.  This time I let Daniel try, and guess what… Since we were only allowed 5 free tickets and Daniel had gone before, he sent the 4 big kids and me while he watched X-man.

There was so much to see, and I had no idea what to expect.  The many gardens and different biomes were incredible.  The museum portion had a page from John Audobon for Natalie to gawk at, and the original Huck Finn for Allison to geek out about.  If we had had more time, (and if the younger ones weren’t there), we would have spent quite a bit of time there!

We ended our day in the Residence of Huntingon and his wife.  Before that I hadn’t even realized that this had once been a personal estate of a very wealthy couple, who had earned their fortune through the railway system.

I am hoping I get a chance to go beck with the older kids and just look at some of the older documents, and spend more time in the gardens.  It is just so spectacular.  It has been on my bucket list for quite some time, and I am thankful I finally get to cross that one off!

Sierra Turns 10!

…And the next day, November 2, 2019: Sierra’s 10th birthday… she was still sick!  She enjoyed presents, and a lot of time in her bed with her i-pad.  I honestly missed her that day!  By dinner, we asked if she still wanted her special 10 year old dinner with just Mom and Dad, and she said yes.  So, by her request we went to sushi!  (Meanwhile, Grandma and Grandpa took the other kids to In ‘N Out. )

 It was a nice time, though I could tell she wished she was feeling better.  Happy birthday, sweet girl!!

Sierra’s Special Day

She had it planned for weeks… perhaps even months.  This girl knew what she wanted to do for her tenth birthday celebration!  Rather than a party, she opted for a horseback ride with her best friend and her sister… then to Panera for lunch… then to Boba Break for her favorite drink… an afternoon spent with her friend in her room (making slime with her new slime scents!), and finally, cheese fondue and Caesar salad for dinner.

The only thing she (couldn’t have) planned for was waking up sick.  Thankfully, she was still able to celebrate, but she definitely didn’t feel like herself.  Poor Sierra!  This was November 1st… the next day was her actual birthday and…

Halloween 2019

I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that it’s November and Halloween is past.  Wasn’t it just summer?

We had a pretty low-key Halloween, but it was nice!!  We had one skier, one dragon, one cell membrane, and 2 cow girls.  Then there was the dog.  She was a clown for all of 5 seconds.  But, she did get to enjoy her first trick-or-treating experience and did quite well.

Grandma and Grandpa were here, and we had our traditional sloppy joes dinner with orange jello, and Grandma roasted us some pumpkin seeds.  Salt and butter — can’t go wrong!!  Until next year, Halloween…