Through a Child's Eyes

Me: {putting away my bed's clean sheets}

Addie {with curiosity}: Mom, what are you doing to those sheeps?

Me {matter-of-factly}: Putting them away.

Addie {even more curious}: But, why?

Me {still matter-of-factly}: Well, I washed them and dried them and folded them and now I'm putting them away.

Addie {insistent}: But WHY did you wash them?

Me {still managing matter-of-factly}: Because they were dirty.

Addie {with some pity}: Is it cause you peed your bed?



Surviving . Our . Summer

How are we handling all of our free time? This is my recipe:

1. Take at least one day trip out of town each week. We have 13 weeks of summer. I chose 13 destinations. We go to one a week. Sometimes, we go with Grandpa Bob. Sometimes, we go with friends. And, when I'm feeling really brave, we go alone. We always pack a lunch to save on money. I prep the girls with the planned activity and what they can expect in terms of drive time and how bored they might be on the way. So far, so good.

2. We leech off of our friends with pools and spend a lot of time in the water. After naps, we grab our swimming container (yup, I put in all in a little rubbermaid container so I can just grab and go) and descend upon our ever understanding friends and family members who have the luxury of a pool. I get to have some adult conversation. Swimming = happy and tired kids. Score for all.

3. We play outside most mornings when we are in town. Sometimes, we ride bikes and scooters on the side walk in front. Others, we either go outside in our yard or try a new park in the city.

4. Daily rest time is mandatory. Every day (except for travel days), we all lay down in the afternoon for at least an hour. Most of the time, we all sleep (and then the time stretches into two hours - woot! woot!). Some days, the older two don't but they are still required to decompress for that hour.

The in-between time fills in pretty quickly. Grandma takes the older kids on rotation for sleep overs. Emily has speech appointments once a week. I'm giving riding lessons once a week so the kids get a sitter and have some interaction with someone else - which is always good. We go to the library every couple of weeks. We go to the local water park. Allen took the kids camping and then kayaking with Papa. Soccer practice starts in two weeks and that will take up two nights a week.

This has been our best summer by far. In fact, it's flown by. We start back up in 3 1/2 short weeks. I'm sure the kids getting older has helped. But, I really think having a plan has been the saving grace.

Hope you are having an awesome summer too!


Just Stuff

For our Family Home Evening the week of the 4th, we made our very own fireworks.
Lexi remembered making graham cracker flags a few years ago and asked if we could it again.  
Then, we had some sparkler fun.
It was a leeee-tle windy that evening.

And then some of our own fireworks. Look at us right next to the fire hydrant. Such examples of safety.
And this is why FHE is important to our family.
We did the Hokey Pokey. We put of left legs in...
we put our heads in...
we put our heads out...
we put our whole selves in...
we put our bums in...
And we turned ourselves around.
Then, we had an old fashioned dance party where Daddy showed off his ballet skills.
Like a boss.
On our way to the parade on the 4th of July.
Emily got me in one of those blasted basket ferris wheel death traps at the park. Cousin Ben happened to be in the coffin across from us so I got a quick picture of him in his super cool shades.

Waving to the crowd below.
COLD lemonade!


Step: Done.

 Allen asked a couple of his friends and all our family if they'd be willing to help get 5.5 yards of gravel (via wheelbarrow) back to the playlet area from the street in front of the house. They did not disappoint! It was kind of like our own little Mormon Helping Hands day (and Grandpa Bob who drove out to help schlep the gravel from the street to the yard - at 72 years old no less). They got it done in just over an hour. Thanks to everyone who helped us out!!!


Food vs. Exercise

It's a debate as old as time. What matters more if you're trying to lose weight?




Well, I'm going to settle this for you once and for all. No, I'm no doctor so if having years of schooling and a degree and all that jazz matters to you, then disregard my advice.

Otherwise, here it is:


It's the winner hands down. If you eat right, you'll lose weight. If you eat wrong, you'll get fatter.

If you exercise and eat good, you'll lose weight and get toned. If you exercise and eat bad, you'll still get fatter.

I did NOT exercise during my weight loss phase. Not a lick.

Now, I am not advising against exercise. I'm just saying it's a waste of time to run on the treadmill for an hour and then think you can eat a cheeseburger and see results.

You've got to change what you're putting into your body to see a change on the outside of your body. Plain and simple. I once saw this quote: "your body keeps a food journal whether you write it down or not" and it's totally true.

I think this information gives people like me hope. I don't always feel like I get the time to dedicate 45 minutes to an intense workout every day. If attaining optimal health were solely, or even mostly, dependent on exercise, I'd be hosed.

Thank goodness that's not the case.

You don't need to belong to a gym. You don't need to be a marathon runner. You just need to have self control and access to healthy food options. (Easier said than done sometimes, I know.)

So, if you're feeling hopeless and overwhelmed and like you can't afford a gym membership and you'll never climb out of the hole you've dug with Reese's peanut butter cups and ice cream sundaes, have hope my friends.

It is possible!


Independence Day!

I think we have an official tradition for celebrating the Fourth of July. We go to the local parade, then on to the park with carnival rides, booths and tri-tip sandwiches (so what if it's only 10 in the morning?), home for naps, swimming at a friends, and then the fireworks at the stadium. And now that fireworks are legal here, we do some of our own too.

We see our family. We see our friends. We get overheated. We eat some candy. Our kids run with their friends and make memories.

The next day everyone has a total hangover.

It totally works.

Antici...pation! For the candy, you know?
Run, Addie, Run!

Emmy finally joined the fray. She had a piece of candy in her bucket!
More running.
This year, one of the local cheer groups led all the kids in a fireworks finale cheer routine.
All of the kids were really into it. 
Addie took it very seriously. They rehearsed and then right before the fireworks, they joined in the routine with the cheerleaders. At first us parents were a little skeptic about this whole thing, but the kids liked it so much after the dust settled, I think it ended up being a really good idea.

Sparklers after the fireworks show.

Our own fireworks finale.

We were beat at the end of the day! Allen and I took stock of how the day went for our family and we were so content with how it all panned out. Not only do we get to see the people we love the most, but our kids are also developing a love for their country. They are learning to respect the history of our freedoms. All of these fun actives are a great springboard for having history lessons about what it took for this country to come together. We get to talk about sacrifice and commitment and standing for what you believe in. Sure, there's candy and fun and games, but the reason for all of the fanfare isn't forgotten and it's all definitely worth the celebration.

Happy Fourth!


Crown Memorial State Beach

We love to go to the beach. The only issue for us is that I have to run a zone defense instead of man-on-man for most of our day trips. And, at the beach, that means a lot of little bodies in the water without proper supervision. And, that makes the trip full of yelling and anxiety and crying and frustration.

I desperately wanted to get away for the day, but had to find a beach that was safe for the little ones. One where they could basically swim and play on their own with a low death risk. I got a great recommendation for Crown Memorial State Beach.

This place is fantastic! There is a little aquarium and helpful park employees. There is a huge park with picnic tables and plenty of grass to play on if that's your thing. The beach is clean and easy to traverse (even with two year olds carrying the gear). There are bathrooms and even a "bath house" for changing. And, it was free! Usually there is a $5 fee, but the kiosk was un-manned so we got an entire day on the beautiful ocean for the cost of fuel.

The best part of this beach is that it's really more like a lagoon. And yet, there are tiny little breakers that make the kids feel like they are out in the big ocean being really brave and having quite the adventure. A person can wade out for hundreds of yards and it'll just be hip high. There is no under tow. There's not too much sea weed. The water is warm (a real treat for a Northern California beach).

Happy campers.
My view. I really could relax while they played. It was that perfect.

There was lots and lots and lots of running. 
We all had to do our part to get our caravan to the beach with only one adult in the group. There was no complaining by anyone. What are the chances?

Addie loves to read the map and play navigator. She was preparing for the walk back to the car and wanted to make sure we knew our way.
Fear of water?  You wouldn't have known my kids are petrified of swimming by the way they played at this beach. 

 I'm over the moon in love with this place. If I could, I'd go every day. It truly was a place where I could actually enjoy a day with the kids worry free.

You should go. No, seriously, you should go. Like, pack a lunch right now and go. You'll love it too.

About Me

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What started as a way to communicate with far away friends and family has become a place for this horse trainer/HR manager turned stay at home mom of 3 girls to hold on to a bit of her own identity. It's my take on the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the thoughts and feelings, the mistakes and triumphs of this family as we bumble our way to eternity.