Jul 13, 2016

Introducing Roxie & Sunny!

Our "kids" are finally living with us on the homestead. We were supposed to bring Roxie & Sunny home at the beginning of May but Cameron gave himself a concussion putting in the first post of the fence he needed to install on the goat pen! The two weeks required of his recovery, as prescribed by the Urgent Care doctor I made him see brought us right up to our pick up date and the busy month of May. Our crazy June delayed their arrival even more, but we were able to pick them up the last Sunday of June. 

We've been enjoying getting to know them ever since. It's quite funny when I'm walking around the property and I get "maa'd" at. The girls have been fun additions to the farm. I get to watch them climb this tree almost every morning when getting ready for work as our bathroom window looks out onto the goat pen. 

The goats don't seem to mind the dogs at all and even seem curious about Sophie, though Sophie isn't as curious about them. The first real encounter - with a fence between them - Sophie hunched up and hissed a little. She's not really a social butterfly in general though. 

Roxie & Sunny have made quick work on stamping down and eating the tall, dry weeds in their pen and even the low leaves of the tree. 

And Cameron has recovered just fine from his concussion. He is also the proud new owner of a Cat Yellow Hard Hat and we have a new rule that he is not allowed to go out without his phone. 

Jul 6, 2016

London's 6th Birthday Party & June Recap

We held London's 6th birthday party on Saturday June 11. Because she wanted to invite over 30 kids to the party, we knew we had to come up with something to do at home. And in our area, June is usually pretty warm. But the thought of having 30 kids running around inside due to the heat made me anxious. Luckily, London loved the idea of getting a giant water slide so we could have the party outside. We also made it last only 2 hours officially. And luckily, only 10 kids said they could come!

London with her best friend from Pleasant Grove School - Sammy. We were sad to learn Sammy will not be returned to PG for 1st grade but understand what a hassle the last year has been on his dad to get him there and back after a move. 
I love watching these 3 grow up together. Maizy and Paige are daughters of some of our good friends so it's nice to see the friendships continue with the next generation. 

After some research, we decided we would buy the actual slide instead of just rent one for a couple of hours. Money well spent. We've even rented it out to an acquaintance for her son's birthday party. The slide has been a hit at both parties from kids and adults alike. We'll definitely be breaking this puppy out at least 1 more time before the summer is over (I hope). 

At the end of the day, Sydney decided she liked swimming in the splash zone.
I swear I have no clue where the month of June went. Ok, maybe I do. It started with me heading to Santa Rosa for the 3-day Country Summer concert series with a couple of girlfriends while Cameron flew out to Chicago for work the entire week. During that week, the girls and I were busy prepping for the party. 

Day 1 we won seat in the back of a Chevy truck near the stage - we may even had a visit from Chase Bryant ; )

Day 2 we were in Pit as planned and we got this close to Chase Rice!

Day 3 in the pit again - the heat was definitely getting to us by this point. 
Cameron got home late that Thursday night, with the next day being London's actual birthday. The day after the party, I headed out early that morning to Peoria, Illinois for a work training. Getting there was quite an adventure that involved being stuck in Dallas for 36 hours, 3 canceled flights and many delays. I got to the training a day late and almost just turned around and went home. But the training was worth it once I was there. The flights home weren't as adventurous but did include a missed connection and a delayed re-booked flight so instead of getting home around 8 PM on Friday, I got home at 2 AM Saturday. I lost that Saturday to exhaustion! And the next week was lost to the first week of Swim lessons and me getting sick. 

I enjoyed taking in the sites on my walks to and from my training. 

The last day I made it over to the Cat Visitor's Center for a tour. We don't get to see Mining Trucks often in our territory so this was quite the site for me. 
We capped that week off with my parents coming into town and celebrating my dad's 70th birthday with many old family friends and feasting on a lot from my garden. And that brought us to the last week of June. See - it flew! Of course, the heat struck hard this last week and included swim lessons so by the time we got home, it was a mad dash to bathe the girls, feed them and get them to bed. And the heat zapped all ambition and energy so most nights were spent splayed out on the couch just trying not to fall asleep too early. 

My dad with his girls

I'm hoping July doesn't pass by us so quickly. And I hope the heat backs down a little. 

Jul 1, 2016

Happy 4th of July!

I definitely have items to get caught up on for the month of June (it was a busy crazy month!) but for now I just want to wish you a happy and safe 4th of July holiday weekend. We're headed to a baseball game tomorrow night, have a BBQ to attend Sunday and what's the 4th without Fireworks. 

While I am working today, I was able to sneak away for a couple of hours to watch the girls' annual 4th of July parade at daycare. This is the 3rd year in a row Cameron and I have been able to make it over and watch. Sydney was excited all week for it, too. She can't wait for Fireworks later this weekend. And you could tell both girls were thrilled to have us in the crowd. I know we don't make it to a lot of the fun they have at their schools but at least we have made this one a tradition. 

Here are a few pictures from the parade. Enjoy!

Jun 10, 2016

An Open Letter to London on Her 6th Birthday

Dear London,

This has been quite a year. After the expected adjustment period at your new school, you have settled in well. You even made so many new friends this year that we invited over 30 kids to your birthday party tomorrow. You have a thirst for knowledge and have soaked up so much in Kindergarten. I'm often amazed at just how much you remember and retain at such a young age. You can read quite well now and are not only good with sight words but good with sounding out words you don't know. You also can not wait to start 1st grade, declaring so after I picked you up from Grammi's after the first weekend school had let out for summer. 

You've also recently shown a keen interest in cooking and I am trying to let you in the kitchen with me as much as possible. This happens more on weekends when we're not trying to get a meal on the table as fast as possible because everyone is hungry. You love watching cooking shows. You started out watching my recordings of Pioneer Woman and we now record Chopped Junior too. I hope this interest continues and develops into you trying new foods - you still retain a picky pallet. 

This year you joined your first organized club - 4H. You participated in two project groups - Baking & Wildlife and enjoyed both. I also learned by watching you that you are not afraid to ask questions in big groups. Your last meeting for the year was Wednesday. At it, the District 4H representatives came and presented on bullying which included a video. After the video they asked several questions. You weren't afraid to answer, raising your hand and waiting to be called on. You were one of about three kids answering in a group of about 30, spanning a range of Kindergarten through 8th grade. That is one thing I love about our new school - you have friends in almost every grade. 

The school has also sparked a small interest of yours in Basketball and Cheerleading. Once summer swim lessons conclude, your dad and I plan to evaluate venues for gymnastics. And we'll definitely look at getting you signed up for youth basketball - that is in your blood. 

We'll be ending the summer with a trip to Disneyland. You're quite excited about it as you know you are now tall enough for California Screamin' and you have an interest in trying Space Mountain and Tower of Terror again - now that you're not afraid of the dark. 

You have a strong love for your animals - each and every one of them. You graciously take turns with Sydney as to who gets what dog each night, though lately you seem partial to Gibson. I think this is because Sydney tends to reject Gibson for Tulley. Even Kelsey Lou has warmed up to you and allows you to pet her when you approach her the proper way. 

The bond between you & Sydney continues to grow. Of course, you two bicker and argue and know how to push each others buttons to the best of your abilities, but you also look out for her and continue to let her get her way much of the time. You're often considerate of her feelings and when the two of you are getting along well, it makes for a wonderful scene for your dad and me to see. 

I love that you love your Christmas Elf, Snowie, so much that you write notes to him throughout the year. You were quite surprised to see that Santa had allowed him to come down and surprise you with a visit this morning. I'm glad you appreciate the magic of the Christmas season as much as I do, and don't focus just on your list of wants. All you wanted for your birthday this year was a pink tent and a Doc McStuffin's vet kit. We'll see if these wishes come true today and tomorrow. 

Tomorrow is your birthday party. We purchased a giant, inflatable waterslide. I'll admit I'm happy only about 10-15 kids will actually be able to attend the party too. That way there won't be such a line for the slide and we got a two-slide Slip and Slide to add to the water play. I'm also looking forward to meeting more of your friends at school. 

And oh how I wonder what this next year will bring. Keep it up baby girl - every day is a joy. 


Jun 2, 2016

Hello Summer!

Today is London's last day of Kindergarten! Looking back, it feels like it has flown by. And I wish I was there with her. It's only a half day. It starts with Frog Jump competitions and ends with a school BBQ. 

Looking back at the picture of her from the 1st day of Kindergarten, I can really see how much she, and our grape vines, have grown!

1st Day of Kindergarten
Last Day of Kindergarten

We're also glad that London made it to the last week of school. She missed all of last week due to a virus and pneumonia. She only started to act like normal self on Sunday! It's probably been a good thing that she only had half days these last 3 days. 

London will be heading back to her old daycare next week. She is excited to see old friends and teachers and Sydney is excited London will be back at "her" school. 

We have a few fun things planned for the summer, starting with London's birthday next week and ending with a trip to Disneyland. We've also set a few goals for London this summer. 

1. Learn to wake up to an alarm clock instead of mom and become a self starter in the 
2. Learn to tie shoe laces
3. Learn to ride a two-wheeler

We happened to go to Chuck E. Cheese last night to celebrate McKenzie's 3rd birthday and London really started to grasp the concept of games and tickets. She got very upset when she was out of tokens to play games, so we made a deal - when she learns to tie shoe laces we will go to Chuck E Cheese to celebrate. 

Let the fun begin!