Thursday, August 27, 2009

Lazy Days of Summer

We decided to "take the summer off" this year. That decision resulted in a wonderful summer of extended play time with my girls, more family time, less travel and less appointments or events on the calendar (which meant less miles on the car). The only two major things we did was: 1.) Eric & I went to Catalina Island for our annual 5 days without the kids. 2.) Eric & I were leaders at a Young Life camp called Woodleaf. (My sister flew in from Colorado to watch the girls for us). Other than that, we just had a kick-back summer (isn't that the way it's supposed to be?). I read 6 1/2 books (skimmed one) and we entertained the neighbor kids a ton. Here's a slide show of our lazy summer. We...
...played with neighborhood children and saw a lot of Pete (a Young Life teen)...

...had a few tea parties...
...celebrated Father's Day...

...did water aerobics 4 days a week (Christine, that is)...

...celebrated 4th of July...

...had Gourmet Group at our home...



...made lots of crafts...

...did a babysitting swap with the Gonzalez girls...

...watched our garden grow...

...went to a nearby alpaca ranch...

...celebrated each other at Catalina Island...

...found 2 frogs in our bathroom...

...found 3 lizards in our house...

...saw cousin Sarah (Eric's niece) when she visited from Canada...

...had fun with Auntie Deborah (Christine's sister)...

...went to the Sierra Nevada Mts. to hang out with teen-agers...

...made scrapbooks with the neighbor girls...

...had McKayla stay the night.
It was a wonderful summer!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Funny Story from Guest Blogger, Eric Hodge

My husband, Eric, wrote this after his recent boat trip to Cortez Bank--an off-shore sea mount 120 miles off the Southern California coast.

***

Okay Guys,I have a confession to make,I really don't take James out on the boat because he is a nice guy or a good friend or even a good diver, It is really because of the FOOD!

As many of you know, James is a private chef and brings along some of the most amazing food, and I just happen to never bring enough out when we go out together. It all starts with the really good smoked turkey sandwiches with some high dollar sharp cheddar. I start giving them wayward glances, hoping that James will ask if I want some. When he finally asks, I make one that is way bigger than his normal sized one. Then out comes this chicken in some crazy herb stuff-- no more looks here, I just go straight to asking for some, thinking that after the huge sandwich I made, he might never offer me anything again. I know there was some other stuff that I can't even remember, but I do remember begging and groveling for some.

Then after a long day of diving he brakes out what I have been waiting all trip for: the cookie bars with chocolate chips, walnuts and sun-dried cherries! I then resort to the very lowest of of all forms of food gathering, I start to sneak and steal, waiting until he is totally exhausted and sleeping in the cabin before I start on the cookie bars. I then realize that the bars are almost gone. He wakes up, goes to the cookie container and opens it with a gasp. I look away with a "What? Me?" kind of look. Like there was anyone else 120 miles out in the ocean that is going to take the cookies.

After all this, I think James knows my plan anyway. I guess it just comes down to the fact that I have the boat and he has the amazing food. We both need each other.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Young Life's Woodleaf 2009

The week of August 3, Eric and I took Young Life teen-agers to Woodleaf, a camp in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, near Sacramento. It was a week of fun and excitement and exhaustion, a week of reflection and growth. (If you want to know the whole story, let me know and I'll email you the long version I typed for my family.) Woodleaf is what I am now dubbing the "camp of many clothing changes." I decided to keep a tally of how many times I changed my clothes in one day and it was FOUR to FIVE times EVERY DAY! We'd wear one thing to breakfast, and then change into athletic clothes for games and then change into free time clothes, (which usually meant a swimsuit), then change into clothes for our adventure of the day (ropes course or sand rails, etc.) and then into night time clothes, which every few days meant dressing up in a themed outfit. We were life guards one day, sported athletic apparel another day, dressed in 1980s outfits one night, and twice we had to wear "clothes we would never wear again" for the muddy games! We rode the zip line, kayaked in the lake, did the ropes course, climbed the Tower and drove sand rails around a muddy track! You can see now why I love being a Young Life leader--I get to dress up in fun costumes and participate in thrilling adventures. Here's just a few of the 122 pictures I took. Enjoy!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Amber's first day of school

Amber is officially a first-grader! Yesterday Amber told me that she wanted to start school today. I wasn't going to officially start until August 25, the day Autumn returns to preschool, but since Amber was so enthusiastic, I decided to go for it. She really wanted to do math, her favorite subject, so I got out some fun addition flash cards. She already knows a lot of the answers, but it was an easy way to ease back into things on such short notice. Then I started teaching her how to tell time, which was going to be the first thing I did with her this school. year. She had a fun time with the clock. While Amber was in school, Autumn looked at alphabet flash cards and played with Legos. It was a fun and stress-free first day of school.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Getting back into the swing of things...

It's been four days since we returned from Woodleaf. The first day was spent taking my sister to the airport and buying necessities like pull-ups & toilet paper from Target. The next two days were spent playing with my girls while doing laundry, more than normal because everything including shoes and backpacks had to be washed (Woodleaf dirt is the worst). Today is "computer catch-up day." I've done all of the Facebook stuff (ignoring almost all of the invites and gifts people sent me--sorry). Then I read all of my friend's blogs--not commenting on them because that would take too much time--sorry. I've uploaded, deleted and enhanced pictures from camp and from the time spent with my sister before camp. And now I am sending out a quick blog before having a late lunch with my girls. There's so much to blog about, but I will have to do that later. I just wanted to send out a quick "hello" to everyone...