Sunday, June 20, 2010

The most challenging adventure yet....

I am sad to say that many adventures have passed by without any blogs to tell of them. But there are still many more to be had. This year has been a hard one. The age of nine and a half to ten was the age my daughter started making her transition from a little girl into a young lady. I know the more popular term would be teenager. So call it whatever you want but it is the precious and difficult time between girlhood and womanhood. She's there. Already. :( . I know I shouldn't be sad. But I am. I am starting to accept it so that her and I can keep our sanity. Because if I keep trying to push the pause button any longer I think I will do some real damage to our relationship and maybe even to her maturing process. I just didn't expect it yet. I thought I had at least two maybe even three years with her as a little girl before she started getting all well you know teenagery. There are a billion trillion things I would do different. Which makes it all the more hard to accept the end of that chapter of her life and move on to the next. Its like wait there was so much I didn't get Right yet. there is so much i didn't cover. there is so much more time i want to actually just enjoy with her. But like it or not that's it. The next chapter is here. And I guess that is the biggest adventure right now. I just need to close that last chapter regret and all and not look back. I need to embrace this new chapter for all it is, good and challenging. I realize that once I accept this then all the new good parts about this new chapter will be really fun. I will quit handicapping her maturity by trying to press pause. And I will help my girl through this challenging stage in her life. I wouldn't want to relive mine for anything. haha...Our adventures will continue...What will we do next?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Our latest adventure didn't take us very far from home. And that's unusual for us. I am most often someone that drives way too much. I mean can't I find anything close by? Well, I was a little proud of myself that for once I had found something close by. When we did our volunteer day, I signed us up to help at a school right here in Lakeside. And that's when we first heard about the international fair. We were helping to set it up. Katie decided that we had to come back the next day and enjoy the fair. Well Daddy didn't really want to but he gave in. I am beginning to suspect he's a softie ;). I was worried it was going to be crazy expensive but it really wasn't. The kids each got their face painted and that was free. We waited for an hour in line but it was still worth it.We got some shaved ice after that. It was pretty yummy on that hot day after standing in the sun in that long face painting line. The kids got to play games to earn tickets for the various international crafts. And then they got to go to a prize room and get loaded down with prizes with their left over tickets.
Before the vendors packed up I was able to get Katie on of those pretty ribbon crowns. And the boys got these really cool finger lights. I wasn't sure they would work but they actually do. It is like a little flashlight on a band for each of your fingers. The lights are nice and bright. The boys loved them.
Before we left we let the kids play on the playground. The booths started getting rid of their food so we got free pickles and hot dogs. It was fun and the kids had a great day.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Next stop....Julian!

I love Julian. I love the apple picking and the (cherry:) apple pies. I love the shops. I love the big used book store. I love the horse carriages. And even the acted showdowns are great. It all helps that historic atmosphere. But there is something pretty new happening in Julian now. This couple discovered a old mine on their property and have opened up their property for pioneer tours.
So Monday early evening I got a call for our next adventure! Bobbie called to tell me that we had the opportunity to do the pioneer tour in Julian for free because they were filming a show about their place and they need families for the background.
But then she mentioned it was the
next morning and we had to be there by 8:45. And I knew that meant I had to leave by 7:45. And if you know me you know that I am not even usually waking up until a half hour after that. And my kids....they could sleep another couple hours. She also mentioned they had to be dressed in pioneer looking clothes and no logos. Which reminded me that I was going to do laundry the next day because they had nothing to wear. I thought well i can get a load done before the laundry room closes. But I have no quarters. Oh yea and I have a quarter tank of gas and five bucks. I was supposed to clean my car tomorrow too because it is a disaster. I asked her about lunch and she said, "pack a sack lunch." I have no bread or much of anything at all to pack. Hmmmm probably wouldn't be wise......hmmmmm.... I thought........And then I told her," SURE We'll go for it!" God is so faithful.....It all worked out. Even in my craziness God is providing and preserving. I know he wants to teach me wisdom but in the meantime he never lets me down.
The drive up was beautiful and speckled with snow. I knew it would be cold. I had brought my big coat to go over my small jacket. And I had my mittens. I had made sure that the boys had their coats, hats, and mittens. And I told Katie to make sure that she had hers too. Well I guess I should have made sure that she actually did. All that girl wore was a shirt under a long sleeve shirt and a very thin sweatshirt. Did she have even one of the couple pair of mittens or hats her grandma and I have each bought for her? Nope! So, when I stepped out of my van and got slapped by gusty cold wind , I knew that Katie would be using my coat and my mittens.
How am I going to do this Lord? Again he is so faithful to me in all my craziness. I couldn't feel my feet by the end of the day but I was otherwise doing well.
We checked in to Lisa and Greg, the owners and tour leaders. Lisa gave Katie a bonnet and the boys were given bandannas. Lisa, Greg, and their daughter Ann were so cute, totally decked out in pioneer attire. Ann was carrying around a basket full of hard tac. We had tried it once before in Katie's early America class. I have to say Lisa and Ann's was much better than the one from Katie's class. Still not much, but the other was barely edible.
There was a long wait as the camera crew was getting ready. The kids were running and sliding in the mud. Well, the sliding part was mostly Brian and Michael. They were going to look authentically dirty for the show. Like true frontier children! Michael's angel mittens were not as authentic though...hee hee....
After much waiting we lined up and an official flag bearer was chosen. We were not to go ahead of our flag bearer. And we were to refer to Greg and Lisa as Sir and Ma'am. Too bad I wasn't very good at remembering that. Opps!
We started our hike up the hill into the covering of the many mature trees.
Brian was loving this so much he had left me behind in the dust and was in the very front of the line where all of the action was. He probably got some good parts on the show! At one stop up the hill the kids got to stop and collect acorns and learn how to make meal from them. Then we passed through a row of pretty apple trees.
We finally made it to woodsy area. Lisa had us collecting huge pine cones. And then the part that Katie loved she got to peel them apart and search for seeds. She got a good one that was still closed up and hadn't been messed with by animals so she was happily finding many seeds.
Next we hiked further along the trail and came to the frontier fort. The kids were given the chance to saw a log for the fort. But the camera crew was busy doing so many takes that we ended up standing there for a long time so it got cold just standing around. Poor little Abby was turning into an icicle so Bobby headed to the car just to get her warmed up before continuing on. Despite the freezing cold I enjoyed the pretty surroundings.The wind was whipping through the trees and it sounded just like the ocean. It was soothing and beautiful. I already love the sound of rain, I imagine if I lived there I would leave a window open and sit listening to the wind and rain with a warm cup of coffee. Don't know that I could actually handle living in the boonies though. It may be more of a vacation spot for this born and raised city girl.
After another ten minutes of standing around waiting for the host and camera guys to finish Matthew and Brian started complaining that they were freezing and Matthew said his hands hurt because he kept taking his gloves off. So we headed to the car to warm up. Katie, my trooper and the one that had my huge jacket, stayed with Nathan, Elijah, and Michael.
They got to protect the fort from an attack while my boys and I joined Bobbie and Abby in their car to warm up. Lisa was going to come get us when it was time to go into the mine so we figured we would just wait for her to come down. While we were waiting it started snowing. How pretty it was to watch the tiny white flakes drift to the ground and then disappear. Imagine how much snow it must take to really cover the ground.
When Lisa did come down she said it was break time for everybody. Katie came down with the group and now she looked like an icicle. We went to our car to go ahead and have our lunch. Katie said she couldn't feel her hands. So I thought we could just turn the heater on in our car and thaw her out while we eat. But then I remembered I had next to no gas and wasn't sure where a gas station was. So I decided to turn the car on for five minutes just to get the car heated up and then we would make sure to the keep the car doors shut so the heat wouldn't escape. I told the kids, "it will be good for you to eat it will keep you warmer to have full tummies." So I unzipped the backpack to discover they have been completely flattened and the grape jelly had soaked through one side of the sandwich leaving us with really icky looking and mushy tasting sandwiches. Brian said,"It's gonna make me puke!" And I couldn't blame him. It was gonna make me puke too. To our delighted surprise Lisa brought deli sandwiches over. We happily ate them up. "Now," I said, "your tummies are nice and full and you will be warmer. Thank you Lord."
After a very looooong break we lined up behind Lisa and the flag bearer to go plow the field. Watching the Host Adam plow the field was pretty funny especially when he got to be the pull horse. There was a real horse that was tied to a tree nearby. That horse either was really nervous or really wanted to be on TV because she was making a lot of noise. Which just so happened to be perfect background noise for plowing the field. I was supposed to be clapping and cheering in the background but I didn't do a very good job of it. We were a semi quite audience. Until Adam had to be the horse and Katie and Brian started hysterically laughing. Adam says "what? now you'll laugh. just wait until you have to do it." It was so funny because Katie and Brian were the loudest lAUGHS OVER EVERYONE ELSE AND THEN THEY GOT TOLD! Again we stood around for awhile as they tried to get the perfect scenes for the show. Then finally the kids got one quick turn to pull the plow across the field as a group but they still thought it was really fun!
Then it was choo choo time as Abby said. And here is where my mom of the year moment was for the day. But I am skipping ahead a bit. It started when all of the kids happily piled in the last train car. They were so cute sitting all together. Abby even sat in Katies lap. That was kinda surprising. But the train cars were filling quickly and I just managed to squeeze in but several cars down from the kids. I didn't think much of it because my babies are pretty big now. I did the occasional twist around in my seat to check on them but apparently it wasn't enough. I found out later that they were standing up in the car and grabbing the "edible" plants and drinking the nectar. I can only hope that either Greg or Lisa had told them that would be okay. I would like to think that they don't just grab any plant and start eating...
We did the loop and then we got off the train to film the fake ending for the day. After that we got back on the train and headed over to the mine. And that was what they really had been waiting for. When we got there Grandma, either Gregs or Lisa mom, made hot chocolate for everyone. Never been more happy to see hot chocolate! While the kids waited to go into the mine, they got to search for gold. And then take it to the trading station to get it weighed and trade in for licorice. It was cute.
They were also pretty fascinated with the water pump. As the bucket was overflowing and the water was recycling Micheal declared, "it never runs out!" But the kids really froze their poor little hands in the water. And that's when Matthews hands got puffy and red. And thats when Matthew stared to whine. But he was adamant that he didn't need to go home now. He just needed to whine. Maybe if he bugged me enough I would think of a grand solution to make his hands better. In spite of that he was still having a blast.
Finally it was time for the mine! The kids and I got to sit in the mine cart together wearing our hard hats. Greg pushed us in and gave us the tour. It was well lit. It had several places for candles, but they had lanterns hanging. He said that when he was cleaning the mine out he found an old soda can sitting in the ledge. He also had found an old half used brown candle. And the big find was the original pick and shovel. The kids were excited about that. But what I was most fascinated with was the rain dripping on us from above ground. The kids got to see and feel how the rain water literally soaks through the earth to get to the roots. When we were done oooing and ahhing at the small mine Greg gave us a thrill ride. He gave our little cart a big shove and we got to ride a rollercoaster from the 1800's as he put it. Brian giggled with glee as Greg pretended to chase after us calling,"hey! wait! come back here!"
We had had our thrills and we had definately had our chills and it was time for our adventure to come to an end. Just as this blog comes to its corny end as well! :)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

All Aboard!

Hello and welcome to my life which is quite extraordinary if you ask me! If you saw me on the street you may or may not notice that you were witnessing an adventure in the making. You may just see a young looking mom and three rambunctious kids, but every person has a story to tell, you just have to look a little closer.
Remember reading or watching the Magic school bus? My family is the real life version. Excited yet? I am! We are always on some sort of crazy adventure even if its just grocery shopping. And every step we take is a divine mission from the Lord. We never know just where Jesus will lead us every day.
Today was a very nice day! My sisters pampered me. They were the greatest in the kingdom today by being servants. April literally washed my feet as she gave me a pedicure and manicure. Kristina made delicious cinnamon roll crisps and yummy brownie bites(er...frisbees..hee hee). And mom made me a delicious mocha! Sooo good!
So the white mini van dropped me off for pampering and picked grandpa up. Grandpa, daddy, Katie, Brian, and Matthew were off for an exciting adventure at the desert tower. It was the first visit there for them. I haven't been there in years. Well I guess I was there once when Katie was a baby. And before that it had been another couple of years. Now of coarse for my family it was not just a visit to walk around and look but an adventure of exploring and rock climbing(even jumping I heard. Yikes!).
The first adventure was for grandpa, climbing into the van. You never know what you may find or what may fall out when you open the door. But I made sure Tim threw away the old tomato(light blush across my cheeks). We are trying to be better about keeping the van clean and ready for adventure but we are still working on that one. There are many things one accumulates with three kids when out and about!
The first stop was looking at turtles, dogs, and birds. The five of them then climbed up to the top of the tower. Katie said, "we thought it would go on forever." At the top there were wooden steps that you, yes, do more climbing and then get to look around. The wind was so strong and cold that Katie's hands went numb. Matthew got a little nervous and pulled Daddy back down. Katie and Grandpa enjoyed just hanging out and checking out the view.
Grandpa then announced that they were going to go explore the rocks. Katie said, "really?" She thought he was joking! The sign told them that if they went further they were risking there lives. Leave it to daddy and grandpa for a real adventure! The sign was warning them that if they got into trouble no one would be around to help them. Katie decided she was going to be really careful.
The kids were delighted to find that the rocks were shaped and painted to resemble various things such as an eagle, monster, alligator, Native American, turtle, lion, fish and whale. They ran around, on, and through the rocks.
All of the sudden grandpa called out, "try to find me!" Grandpa was hiding on top of the monster shaped rock and his laugh echoed eerily through the gap in the rocks. They found grandpa and he lifted them way up high to the top of the rock with him. It was the highest rock there of coarse. The wind was beating against them and they thought it would push them over!
They then had to jump from grandpa's arms to the next rock where daddy was waiting to catch them as they were exploring the many rocks. If I had been there I would have been holding my breath quite a bit. That is just something I do when nervous I guess.
Katie was on the lookout for a mountain lion but happily never saw any.
They found a rock that resembled a slide so of coarse it was asking to be slid down and that was exactly what they did.
They even stumbled upon some red rusty water. Hmmm... good thing no one decided to get wet.
Katie especially loved the big cave like openings with ladders into them.
After much exploration they headed back to the infamous mini van of adventure. Before picking me up they stopped at the general store for cones. Another adventure completed!