Puberty Getaway

Just typing that title makes me laugh… my kids cringe whenever I use the word “puberty!”  But just like I took Allison up the mountain when she was in 6th grade last year, this year it was Natalie’s turn.  Despite the somewhat ‘heavy’ content, it is such a sweet bonding time… and lots of fun!

Our view:  not bad, eh?

Just like with Allison, we ate all of our meals al fresco.  Leaving behind 100 degree weather for temps in the 70’s was about as ideal as possible!

There is so much content in the program we use: Passport 2 Purity.  I was so thankful I had done it before, so I knew to work a bit ahead of what’s recommended the first night.  We got the “disturbing” part over with the first night so that we could sleep it off.

Hotel breakfast!

Morning fall walk: glorious!

For our afternoon activity, I bought Natalie a new Manga drawing book and clandestinely brought her markers and Microns to have a drawing date.  Unfortunately, the Microns were out of ink, so we made a little adventure out of it and found an art shop in the next town over.  I had such fun learning to draw with my girl!

Our dinner tradition: “virgin margaritas.”

Dollar Tree face masks — not what we expected, but we sure laughed!  (Surprisingly, we still had soft faces!)

2 down, 1 to go for me…

I sure loved our getaway, Naties!

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If It Has to be Summer…

…at least there are butterflies and bees and basil and bell peppers and zinnias and tomato plants!  Honestly, the hot weather has me a bit grumpy.  I mean, 102 degrees at the end of October!!!  Thankfully, after I tore out every single zinnia, every single one you see in these pictures spontaneously came up themselves!  And, our dead bell pepper plant returned to life for a third time.  (How many lives does a pepper plant have, anyway?)   And, of course, we are still loving our Friday night basil pizza.  Summer, you’re not all bad… But, Fall… we are ready for you any time now!!

Cookie Tragedy

One-on-one time is something I cherish with my littles, but not something I get to have very often.  For weeks, my son had been asking to make Halloween sugar cookies to decorate — just he and I.  Today I decided to surprise him.  First we made the dough.  Then we put it in the fridge to harden and went for a long bike ride/ run while we waited.  (He biked, I ran!)  Finally, we got out the rollers and the flour and the cookie cutters and got to work.  We made four trays.   They smelled glorious.  We went out to dinner with the family while they cooled, and then…

We returned home to discover our dog had jumped on the counter and ate 21 cookies, (and partially ate/ licked the rest!)  Grrrrr!!!!!  I swept the crumbs off the floor, and the kids gratefully ate one of Allison’s lemon cookies she had made just a few days before.  I’m trying to tell myself it’s not about the cookies, but about the mother/son bonding.  (But let’s be honest… I really wanted to decorate the cookies, too!)  We’ll see if I can find the time/ energy to whip up another batch.  To be continued…

Oak Glen 2017

I’m not sure how many years we’ve been going to Oak Glen in the fall for apples, but I do know that this was year 5 with our dear friends!  It was the first time we didn’t actually pick apples ourselves, but no one seemed to mind; it’s more about the play time, hiking, hot dog picnic lunch, and other traditions…

I love traditions…

I love apples…

I love fall…

I love our friends…

I’ll stop now…

LA County Fair 2017

Last month we did our annual trip to the LA County Fair.  This time felt much different than in the past.  For one thing, it was the first time my husband missed it — and so did Natalie, due to not feeling well.  It was also a first for X-man!  To top it off, the weather was actually chilly.   I don’t know if I’ve ever been to the Fair when it was below 100, much less cool.  Different.  People missed.  But, good.

We ran into friends right of the bat.  That always seems to be the case at the Fair!

X-man’s favorite was the bubbles…. by far!

The traditional chocolate milk picture!

Until next year, Fair!

To Blog or Not To Blog…

(Top)

(Bottom)

First things first… Isn’t that butterfly AMAZING?  The kids spotted it in our backyard, and when I noticed it wasn’t moving I ran to grab my camera.  Apparently, I didn’t need to run; it stayed there a few hours!  Natalie was the first to notice that the backside was totally different from the top.  Then Sierra had a picture of this exact butterfly in her math book that day.  Crazy.

And now, onto the question… You see, blogging has become a lot more difficult as my children have gotten older.  We’ve had later bed times, and I have been more tired.  Then there’s my photo editor I use.  I always loved Picmonkey, but after all these years they’ve decided to charge for their service!  Finally, just as I was starting to blog a few weeks back, my computer had issues downloading pictures.  It seems all these things have made it very difficult to blog, and I’m left wondering if I should…

I still have pictures from our summer vacation… plus several from the last few weeks.  My hope is to continue on.  I love this journey of documenting the joy in our days, (as well as the trials that seem easier to handle through a camera lens!)  I love going back, and re-living the memories and praising God for His faithfulness.  I will continue to pray and post as I can.  So, I guess that is my answer.  We shall see!!!