Monday, July 17, 2017

our sunday...

The kids and I were out the door by 7:15 Sunday morning. I had to stop at the store for some marshmallows to use in craft for Sunday School. I've subbed a few times this summer and yesterday was one of my days. For the early service, they put ages K-5 together, so Kendall and Cameron like to go so they can be together and also have mom as the teacher.

The class went really well. Sometimes it can be hard to engage such a big age range, but hopefully I did a good job.  So by 9:15, we were ready for some outings.

We first stopped at Starbucks. I'm addicted to the Sweet Vanilla Cream Cold Brew. I justify my frequency in that I have a gift card...but I really shouldn't use it all this summer!

Next was Chuck E Cheese. We had some tokens we found in the car leftover from last summer. We got there right when it opened and I'm REALLY glad we did. Apparently they check all the machines in the morning. This also means they leave all the tickets sticking out for anyone to grab. The kids loaded up!!

Sam's Club was right down the street, so we headed over for ICEE's (I don't partake...they gross me out). However, we are quickly learning that, since Sam's is a Walmart company, they tend to be very, "Walmart'ish"...meaning they had one food court worker and a huge line. We learned our lesson last week when it took us 30 minutes to wait in a line that would have taken 5 at Costco (where they always have plenty of cashiers). The kids did not want to wait we left.

Luckily 7-11 was just down the street.

The rest of the afternoon didn't include a whole lot. Cameron and I decided to send my dad a text. He is known for taking bike rides in the middle of the day when it's 100 degrees outside. I think my love for heat comes from him.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

party of five

*I like to browse various blogs and this time of year the Nordstrom Anniversary sale is a huge topic of conversation and excitement. I would like it if Target had an anniversary sale. I could get excited because there would be things I could actually afford. ;)

*Yesterday I took the kids to a planetarium at the library. Cam seemed to enjoy it. Kendall reported it was, "Kinda boring." At least it was something to do! :)

*I started watching Party of Five recently. While it's 20 years old, I like having a series where I can get attached to the characters and their story.

*Chris left for Vegas this morning with two of his friends. I went over to Ana's house (whose husband was one of them) and had a great time. The kids swam and even brought their piggies to share. :)

*One of the things I've done recently, in an effort to fall asleep, is listen to a podcast. I really have enjoyed listening to Mike Erre. He has had several guest speakers, which have all been super interesting.

*I keep pushing the thought that I only have two more weeks of summer out of my head. The kids and I have had so much fun together. They are the best little outing buddies, even if it's only going to the library and finding some books on guinea pigs. :) 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

harry potter fan

*While in Reno, Deb made the most amazing coconut rice. She had actually made it on our prior visit (a few years back) and I had remembered loving it just as much then. It has so much flavor (use sweetened coconut milk and add crushed cashews).

Big Bear Lake, CA 

*My sleep has been terrible the past several nights. It takes 4+ hours to get to sleep, and I still wake up before 6:00 a.m. It's completely in my head, which is almost worse because I can't pop a pill for that. :( I've done my best to still enjoy my days with the kids and our activities, but fatigue and headaches can sometimes make that difficult.

*Kendall got braces (on her two front teeth) a couple of days ago. She was such a trooper.

*Chris recently bought a membership to Sam's Club on Groupon. While we don't like it quite as much as Costco, the kids love the fact that their foodcourt has ICEES and soft pretzels. After their orthodontist appointment, I promised them a visit. :)

*This morning Kendall had a friend over for a playdate. We decided the piggies needed a walk. :)

*We are now on the second Harry Potter book and Kendall is officially a fan. I've been so surprised at how hard it still is to get a hold of the books. They are always checked out and we have to wait a while to get a copy. I found a bootleg copy of the book online, so we've been reading that until we can get an actual copy. :)

Sunday, July 9, 2017


Last Saturday we drove to Reno to visit Chris' aunt Noonie and Deb. We had last visited them a few years prior and had just as good of a trip this time around. They live in the most beautiful setting and we took lots of fun outings with plenty of down time in between.

Last time we were up, we bought each of the kids a Lego set for the trip. We found this to be an excellent activity (occupying lots of time!) for them during down times at the house.

The kids and I got to spend a lot of time together, just the three of us. Noonie and Deb are fellow golf fans, so while they golfed, we found fun things to do. On Sunday morning we went to a trampoline park. The kids LOVED the climbing wall.

That afternoon, some of their friends opened up their home to us and let the kids swim. This picture doesn't do their view justice. So beautiful.

Each night, we ate dinner outside on their patio. Their home is situated in a wooded area and a highlight for all of us were our nights relaxing and talking during dinner and into the night. The first night they had planned some S'mores roasting at their fire pit.

The next day was lake day. Instead of going to Tahoe, we went to Donner lake. It was less crowded and the water was warmer. We rented a couple of paddle boards (which I loved...I could do that every day) and picnicked. 

That night we went out to dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. The kids were exhausted, but the promise of getting their own piece of cheesecake made them beyond eager to go. :)

The next day was the 4th of July. During the morning, we took a walk down a creek a couple blocks from their house.

The country club they belong to held a barbecue, complete with water activities for the kids. Cameron liked going in the dunk tank. :)

Here is Chris helping Cameron during a putting contest.

Kendall, teaching Deb how to play Spot-it.

We had such a wonderful visit and felt so spoiled. It's quite nice having family live in such an idyllic setting, in addition to being so willing to host all four of us. :)

After four nights, we drove back down to Chris' parents. It was super hot, so the kids didn't play outside very much. They did take a turn on the swing. I snuck out and caught this syrupy sweet picture before they knew I was there. :)

They got in a couple, very rambunctious games of Yahoo (Aggravation).

Debbie treated us to pedicures. This was Kendall's first ever. She was quite a fan. :)

I've said before that saying we eat well up there is an understatement. Here we are at one of our many yummy meals (Tri-tip, baked potato casserole, potato salad, corn on the cob, squash, homemade rolls, fruit salad).

I also got in four Hallmark movies!! Some of my favorite times during our visits are after the kids go to bed. Chris and Wayne watch baseball in another room and Debbie and I watch movies in the living room. Pair this with homemade ice cream and cake...and you have some VERY relaxing evenings. :)

While it is nice to be home, we all agree that the past week held some pretty amazing memories. :)

Thursday, June 29, 2017

cold brew

*This week has been the kids' Camp TLC (Vacation Bible school) at church. This is the first year in a long time in which I didn't volunteer. I'll be honest, it has been wonderful to have some free time. I had to work one of the days, but otherwise, I have done tons of relaxing, took a long walk today, and just enjoyed my time. I invited two of my friends' kids from work. It's been fun chauffeuring them all back and forth each day.

*I recently started reading Harry Potter to Kendall. Some of my sweetest memories are from when Cameron and I went through the whole series together. I'm excited to do it again with Kendall (and I love that Cameron wants to listen again too!). Each time we read, they get a "special treat", which consists of a small bowl of dry cereal. ;)

*Speaking of Harry Potter, yesterday I bought myself a shirt from Kohl's. I wore it today and have already received three comments. It's quite the conversation starter if you understand what it is. :)

*A friend of mine recently told me about a new drink (Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew) she had tried at Starbucks. I tested it out the other day and loved it. I only ever go to Starbucks in the winter for hot drinks. They lost me as a summer customer many years ago when they changed their frappuchino formula. This drink won me back. :)

*Chris's brother recommended a movie the other night for us to watch. It was incredibly dumb,  but also had a ton of funny parts and was very entertaining. :)

Saturday, June 24, 2017

oak glen

*Last weekend our Toys R Us trip didn't yield a purchase for Cam. On Thursday we drove to Ontario Mills, where our nearest Lego Store is located. I was so proud of him. He found the set he wanted, however decided against buying it because he had spent so much time saving up his money and didn't feel 100% sure it was a good purchase. The set was very small for the price (as are many Lego sets!!). I was happy he made such a smart decision.

Afterward we headed over to the food court.

Yes, having your mom pack you a peanut butter sandwich and applesauce isn't the most exciting when you are sitting in a food court full of a zillion yummy options...

...but when saving money on lunch equals your first taste of a Cinnabon for dessert, I think they were in agreement it was worth it!

*I had noticed the kids tooth brushing sessions could sometimes be quite short. I found a little timer on Amazon. They now know they have to wait until that sand runs out before they can stop brushing. :)

*Yep. As tacky as foil is on our back door, it makes such a huge difference in the temperature of our kitchen/dining room. Totally worth it. :)

*Yesterday we met some friends for a hike in Oak Glen.

It ended up being quite warm. Luckily the trail was mostly in the shade, however by the end we were all sweaty and the kids were excited to get apple cider floats as a cool off treat.

*Last night the kids asked what we were doing today. I responded that we didn't have any plans. Kendall then said, "Just PLEASE not Costco!!" Apparently she has gotten a bit tired of the place. I was tempted to boot her out of our family right then and there. "Tired of" and "Costco" are words that are allowed in the same sentence. :)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

hot hike

*On Sunday, Chris was playing in a golf tournament, so the kids and I headed to Toys R Us after church. They had earned some money taking care of a friend's cat and were eager to look around. On our way, I stopped and got myself an iced coffee from Jack in the Box. It had been a long time and I forgot how good they were. It motivated me to explore making them at home again. I've tried before, but never landed on a recipe I love.

*Yesterday, Cam and I went on another big hike with my dad. This time we tackled Mt. San Bernardino. We had planned for possibly going to the summit, however we ended up turning back early and we are so glad we did. Even though we were going downhill on the way back, the heat was pretty intense. We ended up doing 10 miles, which is a good length for me (the full summit hike would have been 16).

*I knew we had a good chunk of time this morning to kill, so I decided to give a little Lego nudge to Cam. Usually if I get the set out for him and help him sort the colors, he'll take off running. :)

*I've done a few Beth Moore studies over the years and I always enjoy them. I decided to do one again that I had from college. I wish I could say I complete an entire lesson a day, but it usually ends up being part of one. I love her descriptive writing (even though some of it can be a tad too syrupy) and I like how much scripture she has you look up with each lesson.

*Right now I'm relaxing, watching a Hallmark movie. Chris took the kids to lunch and to see, "Captain Underpants". I'm so thankful he is willing to do the kid movie thing....because that's an area of parent-fail for me. I rarely (well, never) take the kids to see movies. I just get really bored and antsy. :)

They were excited for In & Out. :)