Family Camp 2019 (The Last Hurrah!)

I smile looking at this picture.  It was taken in the parking lot just before we got in our cars to drive home.  If you were to zoom in closely, you might notice sleepy eyes, but full hearts.  Family Camp is such a treasure.  We spent the majority of the trip with this lovely family, and learned a lot of new games!  We lingered over a second cup of coffee, and breathed deep the mountain air.  Though “Family Camp” is somewhat of a misnomer, as the kids were often off in the gaga ball pit or exploring with friends, they always found their way back for snuggles, games, and s’mores.

Xavi and I shot lots of bb’s.  I’m not sure if he had more fun shooting or collecting the bb’s that had fallen to the ground!

The “Animal Guy” is always a big hit, as is the malt shop!

He begged and begged for the ropes course.  After our third time through, I sent him to his Papa for more… I was beat!

Natalie and I did the “difficult” hike, (which was really  quite easy…)  She especially enjoyed hearing the tall tales of the trees, and I loved chatting with a new friend!

The rock wall/ zip line is always our absolute favorite.  Natalie and Malachi went up and down several times on all levels of difficulty.  I did my usual easy route to conquer my fear of heights, and then zipped down, which is the best part.

We came home to a sink full of dirty dishes, a bunny who had escaped his pen and was thankfully alive, and my bedding in the dryer from the day we left.  Oh, the morning we left… it was a doozy!

To begin, the boys had come into our room, and Xavi had an accident… hence, the bedding being in the dryer when we got home.  Things didn’t get much better from there.  I discovered my husband had used the last of my half and half, so I headed to the grocery store sweaty and gross from my run to pick some more up.  I left just as school traffic was at its peak, therefore taking me 3 times as long to get out of here!

I finally arrived home and was sipping my coffee, when Xavi said he hurt himself.  He was as calm as could be, so imagine my shock when I turned to see blood all over.  Still sweaty and gross, we headed to urgent care, where we waited an eternity before he finally got his chin glued back together.

By the time I got home, Daniel arrived back from work, but instead of packing the car I still had to pack their bags and get showered myself.  It was a rough start, but God’s peace prevailed.  Really, all you could do is smile and think what a comical movie it would make.

Our week up the mountain was fabulous, and though our bodies are physically tired, our souls found rest,  Thankful today is Friday and we have a holiday weekend to recover before diving back into school!

Summer Fun (aka Summer Photo Dump)

Somehow I blinked and in a week it will be September!  I was looking at a lot of my pictures, and I have a slough of random photos I thought I’d plop into one post.  Consider this August Memories:

We attended our first ever wedding of a sweet girl we watched grow up, and whose parents are our very dearest friends!!  Now I feel old!!

Malachi did a week of STEM Robotics camp and had a BLAST!  He is now enrolled in the robotics classes for the year!  Daniel took a day off work to bike with Malachi from robotics class to downtown Claremont where they enjoyed lunch then took the train home.  What a fun dad!!

My Natalie and her watercolors… I am always amazed!  It is so fun to see her unique creations.  (Can I have some of that talent, girl??)

Wearing all his hats…

Allison and Natalie attended their second year of Horsemanship camp at Ironwood, and loved it even more than the first year!  They graduated from level 2, and hope to attend multiple camps in the future… we shall see!!

My only kid who randomly takes naps on his own.  Adorable!

While Allison and Natalie went to horse camp, Daniel took Sierra and her friends on a trail ride.  They had a blast!

She had been BEGGING for kebabs… how could I say no?

Seriously the sweetest puppy ever!

Not only my favorite watercolor artist, but my favorite drawing artist as well!

Zinnias from the garden always make me happy.  I think I will always and forever plant them.

Daniel had to work Rams camp once again this year, and took the boys along twice to enjoy the fun.  Though they are not huge on football, it was some fun bonding time with daddy at work!

One day, Daniel took the girls ice skating while I took the boys to a trampoline park.  I took no pictures, and he took one.  He wins.

Last, but not least… one of our favorite go-to meals this summer: spicy shrimp tacos!  The ENTIRE family loves them… ‘Nuff said.  Here’s the recipe: (from GimmeDelicious)


  • 20 medium shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion or garlic powder optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Cilantro Lime Slaw

  • 2 cups cabbage shredded
  • 1/4 cup red onion thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro minced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded optional
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Creamy Sriracha sauce

  • 1/4 cup ranch dressing or sour-cream or greek Yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • 6 small corn or flour tortillas


To cook the Shrimp:

  1. Combine shrimp, oil, and spices in a medium bowl or ziplock bag. Use right away OR cover and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes or up to 48 hours. Heat a large heavy-duty or cast iron skillet on high heat for 2 minutes. Add a teaspoon of oil to the pan and shrimp. Cook shrimp until pink and cooked through, about 4-5 minutes.

To make the Slaw

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl until mixed through. Use right away or cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

To make creamy Sriracha Sauce

  1. Whisk sriracha and ranch or sour-cream or mayo in a small bowl. Taste and add more sriracha if desired.

To assemble:

  1. Grill tortillas on the stovetop over the flame until lightly charred (this step is optional). Top each tortilla with 4-5 pieces of shrimp and some slaw. Drizzle with sriracha sauce. Serve with lime wedges on the side. Enjoy!!

First Day of School 2019

And, just like that another summer is in the books and a new school year is upon us! Ready. Or. Not.  (Not!!)  Thankfully, it was a great first day and we are loving our new read aloud.  The main reason I feel NOT ready its the simple fact that I have a preschooler who can’t yet read, a high schooler who now needs to meet some requirements, and everything in between.  While the thought can be overwhelming, I know God is always faithful to give us just what we need when we need it.  And so we school  on.  

This year’s back-to-school treat has got to be one of my favorites.  I am a sucker for homemade sugar cookies and homemade icing.  (Especially with a little almond flavoring; yumminess!)  The kids also had gummy worms, chocolate milk, pancakes, and bacon.   I’m surprised they were able to sit through our reading after all that junk!!

Sierra had the idea to have each of the kids create their own grade sign on their i-pads for pictures.  I loved the idea, and so here they are!

How is it my kids are so big?  Gosh, I love these sweet faces!!

Locker Redo

I wish getting ready for school was this fun for me!  When my girl gets an idea in her head, she goes all out.  A couple weeks ago, we had our mother-daughter date, and she chose to go get boba (duh!), and then we hit the Dollar Tree and Hobby Lobby for a fun locker makeover.

Just like the girl on youtube, Sierra bought and painted pots, then filled them with rocks and succulents.  She wallpapered her locker using wrapping paper from the Dollar Tree.  She took her eraser collection and added magnets on the backs of them… and finally, she put everything back in.

Tomorrow we start school, and I don’t feel one bit ready.  In my book, it’s still summer!  Thankfully, we will ease our way back in, going to family camp next week, and then really get started after Labor Day.  Thankful for slow starts!!