Happy Birthday, Grandma!

Homemade cards, flowers from the garden, blueberry pancakes for breakfast, church, dim sum, a simple pizza dinner, cakes from the local Asian bakery, games and hugs from grandkids.  It was a simple day celebrating, but we are glad she was in town to celebrate with us!

Happy birthday, Grandma!

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Her Country.

She’s the first one to be able to do her own hair bun… the first to do the splits, and the first to do a cartwheel… the only one who can whistle, and the only one who can blow a bubble!

I could write a post like this on each one of my kids.  They each have their own unique, special, God-given abilities and talents that the others don’t possess.  I love how different they are… and how similar, too!  It is such a gift to study each of my kids.

Recently, I got around to playing “The Flag Page” game with each of my kids.  Basically, the game has kids sort cards into 3 piles according to “Always me,” “Sometimes me,” and “Never me.”  From there, each kid narrows the cards down some more, and then is given one of 4 “Countries” that represent them.  It is almost like a personality test, but with a book that goes with it to explain the goods and bads of each country.

I bought the game with this kid in mind, and it has given me much insight into her thought process.  I am so grateful for how it has improved my understanding of her, and I am thoughtfully re-reading each country to learn more about each of my kids.  Wouldn’t you know they all landed in different places?

It was expensive.. yes… but in the words of my husband, “It’s cheaper than counseling.”  Not to mention, it is a bonding experience and helps them learn about themselves, too. If you’re interested, you can buy it here.

Ready… Set… Jump!

The heat this summer has been brutal!  We lost one chicken to heat stroke, and our poor avocado tree burned up.  (Some of the branches and all the beautiful avocados literally turned black and shriveled up!)  Temps soared as high as 116!

And yet… I am still loving all the friends, pool time, afternoon iced coffee, morning jogs before it’s too hot, lack of a schedule, trips to the beach, and more friends…

This week I have begun the planning stages for school starting.  I know in a few weeks I will be needing more of a schedule and routine.  My heart will skip a beat when I walk into the stores and see back to school supplies and fall decor; it always does!  And, when I actually get to the fun part of planning… you know, the creative stuff and the field trips… then I may be a bit more excited.  Right now it’s the brutal organization that is killing me.

So… for now I will enjoy all the swimming dates and ice cream sandwich eating days in between some organization and planning that will help my school year go a lot smoother!  Ready… Set… Jump!

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???

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!