Wednesday, October 1, 2008

It's Fall (not!)

All my senses tell me it should be fall. The stores are decked out in it. The calendar declares it. But at 88 degrees, I'm just not feeling it. I want to wear long pants and pull out the sweaters!!! So it helped that our neighbors invited us to a birthday party at a local pumpkin patch farm where we enjoyed all the traditional fall-like activities.

Andrea is the birthday girl. She was so excited to turn 4. Isabel has now declared she wants to remain 4 herself and not advance to 5. Oh silly girl. She doesn't realize that Princess Party Plans are already in the works.
The much anticipated hayride.
Yes, my girls were the only ones wearing long sleeves and they complained they were "sweaty hot" - but they had to wear their new shirts that my friend Marianne talked me into making. Aren't they cute? You can see Marianne's handiwork here and here.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

End of Summer Campout

Some families from our Life Group went to Camp Grady Spruce for a little retreat. It was fun getting to know everyone a little better and the girls had a blast with all the activities.

Here we are waiting for our Trail Guides to tell us how to ride a horse.
All one really needed to do was sit on it. They were pretty much on auto pilot which was perfect for the kiddos!
A tranquil canoe outing...
Everyone was actually plotting...
Canoe wars soon ensued. I had to put the camera away as there was too much boat bashing and water splashing going on.
The girls wanted to do it all. Here they're trying to get the hang of the bow and arrow.
The men took this way too serious.
On to the rifle range -- with REAL bullets!
That's me and Scott showing everyone how it's done. Can you guess who had the highest marks?
A relaxing boat trip around the lake soon turned into a boat fixit trip.
Thanks to my engineering husband we were soon on our way.
A little church alfresco before heading home. Can't wait for our next outing.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

More fun with the Kiwis

I'm sure they don't associate with the term Kiwi with much affection - they just happen to be living there right now and look forward to moving in a couple of years. It's just fun to say. Kiwi.

The Ice at Stonebriar Mall. Max did great his first time out. It helps to be fearless.
Shower curtain craft project with Aunt Leslie. The kids designed their own curtains using thick sharpies and wild imaginations.

The Nasher Sculpture Center is in Dallas and a great place to go if you don't have kids in tow. We had no idea how unfriendly the curators would be. We managed a little bit of fun while no one was looking though.
Can you find the real kids?
Don't tell anyone we played in the water. They were strict!
Having a moment. I wonder how her picture turned out. I only saw blue sky up there.
We took the kids to Plano Heritage Farm. It's an interesting place in the middle of a housing development.
Playing games - - the old fashion way.
At a Frisco Rough Riders baseball game. The kids would have had more fun if we rented the suite with the outdoor swimming pool! I don't know what you do if a ball comes flying your way. Dive deep?Out on Joe Pool lake with the Pages. What a great day with great friends. Some of us even did a little skiing.Saying goodbyes on our way out the door for school.After traveling about for 3 months I'm sure Leslie and Max were looking forward to going home. It was a non-stop, fun filled visit and we look forward to seeing where they wind up next.

But wait... summers not over yet!

Returning home from California coincided with a visit from Aunt Leslie and cousin Max from New Zealand. Reading in bed became their new nighttime routine.
Max couldn't wait to get his hands on Uncle Scott.
Well, you can see where this is going...
The poor boy didn't have a chance.

New School

This was at meet the teacher night. The girls are posing with the Abiog girls. The Abiogs are a family we met at their last school. They just so happen to be Canadian and have 4 girls too. Of course, we had to become friends! You can click on the picture to get a better look at everyone.

Greetings Fellow American

On August 18th Scott was sworn in along with 700+ others from all over the world and became an American Citizen.This is what it looks like when you become an American. It's kinda hard to describe, but we're proud of him!
The All American Family (even more fitting -- we ate Cracker Jacks while watching the ceremony!)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Summer's Big Adventure

What do you get when 2 moms and 6 kids all pile in a car together? An unforgettable road trip!
Mari and I hatched a plan to take everyone to California for a couple of weeks convincing ourselves we were really brave enough to do this... and besides it would be cheaper than flying (that was before gas hit the $4 mark). Warning: this is a long post with lots of pictures...
Here we are car loaded, ready to go.
Mostly all smiles as we head west.
Arizona Indian Territory.
A tame dinosaur we found along the way.
A little detour to the Grand Canyon. (l to r Isabel, Ashley, Gracie, Elie, Jessie and Matthew) I had a hard time enjoying myself here as the kids were restless and the edge a little too convenient to fall over. My palms still get sweaty thinking about it, but it's hands down a must see - even if for only a few hours.
This one couldn't sit close enough to the edge. There is literally nothing keeping her from falling.
This is our first day after arriving in Glendora, Ca. We are at Finkbiner Park with cousins Chantz and Cade.
Some Raging Water activity in San Dimas.
The famous Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles with my brother and his boys. We're having lunch at El Paseo Inn (one of the oldest Dinner Houses in L.A. - according to the sign anyway).
Typical Olvera Street shopping scene. Next door, they were building a movie set, but to the kid's disappointment nothing was being filmed yet and no movie stars were hanging about.
These guys were entertaining though.

This is a fairly new aquarium in Long Beach. It was ok, but doesn't begin to compare with the Monterrey Bay aquarium.

For those of you who've never seen a Sea Dragon before... here it is.
One of my favorite beaches to play at is Huntington Beach. We were on the City side (vs. the State side).
A little walk on the pier.
Isabel is bonding with Uncle David on a motorized scooter at my parent's house. She now wants her dad to have "real" tattoos too.
Working out at Little Dalton Park in Azusa. I would love to see this in parks everywhere. They had all kinds of equipment to "play" on. The kids couldn't get enough of it.
A shared 8/16 birthday with Jess. My mom had over 30 of my cousins and their families over. So much fun!
Love these girls!! Cousins Sheryl and Laurie are amazing women of God!
Me and my bro.
Saying goodbye and taking pictures in the dark are just not fun, but I had to have a pic of the Gilhousen connection.
A day at the San Dimas Nature Center. Lots of wildlife rehab going on here.
Tide pools at Laguna Beach. A great place for exploring.

We met my friend Cal and her kids Aubrey and Andre here.

On the way home we stopped at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. They rescue and rehab Sea Lions and other critters before releasing them back to the sea. A life guard from Newport Beach started this back in the 70's in his apartment bath tub.

Here's a pic of the family outside La Brea Tar Pits in L.A.
Hanging out with the Mammoths.
The last day we spent having a great time at cousin Laurie's house.

The girls had fun with their older cousins Allie and Jess goofing off in the pool and putting on a fashion show before we headed home.

The next day we picked up Mari and kids and busted a move back home. All in all we put in an exhausting 3,600 miles on Big Blue, but it was well worth it and best of all we're still friends. We may even do it again next year. Want to caravan with us?