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Wrapping Up August

1 Sep

We were very busy trying to fit in as many activities and play dates as we could before school started.  So instead of doing lots of posts I decided to just wrap August up all in one.  Yes my posting often days are slowing down.  I plan to continue to always post photos but not necessarily write about everything.

So here goes August…..

Sydney was in a soccer class through the city. She was so darn cute and enjoyed playing.

Colin started tennis lessons and his first lesson was a private lesson. We have since had a join another class because no one else signed up for that day and time. He has always loved playing tennis in the driveway and cul de sac and so it has been nice to show him that you do need to hit it over a net.

My parents came out to help me while Brandon went to a wedding in Iowa. It was great to have them here!

We went to our favorite parade in downtown….. the pooch parade.

We also went to the aquarium in Monterey.

We have made it to music in the park almost every Friday night this month.

I put my parents to work. ;) My mom was just going to cut out the dead pieces and before we knew it we were taking off everything. It makes our view even better!

I found this battery powered jeep online for free and it needed a little TLC and so my dad and I painted it and it looks good as new. The kids are having a blast with it!

Then Grammy and Grandpa came out to watch the kids while Brandon and I went to Tahoe with his work.

They went to the lake by our house.

Went to an aquarium on the Pier.

They made donuts with Grammy.

Played at the park.

Colin got in a round of bowling which was on his list of things to do before school started.

We got in some Bocce Ball and dinner.

Then the ladies grew hair on their chests after downing a round of this.

This was the small crew that went rafting on the trip in South Lake Tahoe. We also played a round of golf, went to the movies, had some amazing dinners, relaxed by the pool, and ended with a massage. Some business trip, huh?!

When we hear the coast has great weather we pack up and head out. We went to Half Moon Bay and enjoyed exploring by the water.

Hermit crabs and snails were the big hit. I was glad to be in charge of the camera at this point. ;)

Oops! Someone got caught off guard.

We also stopped at Lemos Farm and did a pony, hay, and train ride.

A fun August it was!!!!

Wisconsin Trip

26 Aug

After a great time in Clayton, Illinois we then picked up Brandon in Chicago and made our way to Wisconsin for another great visit!

Our first stop was at Cheryl, Eric, and Aaron’s house for dinner out and some quick catch up on our lives time.

The next morning we got up and headed to a mini amusement park in Green bay. The weather was beautiful and we had a great time trying out all the different rides.

We then made it up to Amberg, WI just in time for happy hour with the Grandpa and Grandma. Although we didn’t need to rush as I’m pretty sure they live by it’s five o’clock somewhere, like we do. ;)

Colin informed me that he was going to race Great-Grandpa and I started to tell him that maybe he should think of another activity until I came outside to see this….

Grandpa with the remote for the remote control car. Let the game continue! I always let the kids pack their backpacks with whatever they would like as long as they can carry it. I’m always amazed what they can squeeze in.

Yes, we brought Colin’s scooter. It actually worked out perfect to bring until we walked down to the convenient store in Amberg to walk out and discover it was missing. We franticly looked around as Colin reminded us how he did tell us that he wanted to bring it into the store. A lady mentioned that some kids were just getting a soda a little bit ago. Brandon went chasing after them one direction(workout number 2 of the day) and the kids and I down another street to eventually find out that they legitimately thought the scooter was a friends of theirs that they borrow often and thought they had left it there. So they returned it back to their friends house. Phew.

We had scrumptious meals outdoors. Great Aunt Gail and Uncle Tracy came up north to hang out for a couple of days. Thank you for joining in the fun with us!

We visited our favorite zoo. The kids even got to feed the hippo. AMAZING!

Like I said this zoo is amazing!

The best way to spend an evening at the grandparents is around the campfire eating S’mores.

This had to of been a happy hour session. ;) Great-Grandma was learning the booty shake from Sydney.

The boys tried out Grandpa’s gun at the shooting range. It ended up being a little too powerful for Colin.

I love this picture!

Thank you so much Great-Grandpa and Grandma for everything you did for us while we were there. We are extremely lucky to have you both in our lives. You are always incredibly welcoming and we always enjoy every minute we get to spend with you both. Thank you!

Illinois Trip

1 Aug

Over the 4th of July the kids and I joined my family in Illinois.  It was an incredible trip that definitely will leave lots of memories for me and the kids as well.  It was the first time we had been back since my incredibly amazing grandma passed away and to be honest I wasn’t looking forward to being so close to where I had so many great memories with her.  We definitely changed the routine of our visit this time but a moment didn’t pass where I didn’t think about her and how much she would have loved to be in the center of it all.  Here is a recap of our trip:

What made this trip really unique is that we stayed at a little farm house. Our closest neighbors were the chicken coop and cows. I was very impressed how well 9 of us shared one bathroom.

Speaking of chicken coop…. the kids got to go out one morning and collect all of the eggs.

We started out the trip with going out to the cemetery where my grandma is buried to put out flags for the veterans.

We spent another day visiting the Lincoln Library.

Then the 4th of July was spent at Bailey Park watching Kayla win the talent show for dancing amazingly, playing, playing, playing some more, eating dinner, and of course ending our time having homemade ice cream.

The kids definitely had a huge fan club.

We then went down to a little lake and did sparklers and watched the fireworks from Bailey Park. Then some family friends did a mini firework show for everyone.

Some people got a little crazy with their sparklers and accidentally flung sparks into the hair of others. Guess who?! ;)

Another family enjoys photo bombing way too much. ;)

We had a picture scavenger hunt thru 3 different towns which was filled with all kinds of family history. This team definitely won for most creative pictures.

My mom rocked this photo while she was imitating what my grandma looked like on the fence she held on to while a tornado was coming through. Unfortunately the chiggers were just waiting for some flesh. Way to take one for the team mom!

Colin took us all on a hay ride.

Or maybe it was more like he was a co-pilot while farmer David drove us around.

We watched humming birds get caught and tagged, had a picnic and waded in the water at Siloam Springs Park.

We then had a barn dance and I had two of the cutest dates.

All I can say is it was an event that will be remembered.

We ended our time going to this tiny church in the country where our family made up half of the congregation. They spoiled us with ice cream, which apparently they have an ice cream social that you don’t miss, and breakfast.

Here is the barn where we had the dance.

We enjoyed a lot of time at Becky and Jim’s beautiful house. The farm is filled with 2 horses, 1 donkey (Becky’s ass), chickens, 3 geese, sheep, dog, cats, and a rabbit. Thank you both for spoiling our family. You guys were great hosts and we felt at home at your home. We know you put a lot of time and energy into prepping for everyone coming and we sure did appreciate it. Thank you! If anyone is ever looking for a great bed and breakfast I would highly recommend staying with them!

David and Kelly, thank you for opening up your farm house to us. What a great experience for us to be able to stay next to an active farm. You guys did everything you could to make sure we had a great trip, from sneaking away our dirty towels and leaving fresh ones on the porch, including us in gathering eggs, letting 4 crazy kids stay at your place, and taking us on a hayride was all extremely thoughtful of you guys. Thank you!

Thank you also to everyone else that changed up their schedules to come and spend as much time with us. It was greatly appreciated!

My family still has more pictures that I hope to add to the album sometime soon and so check back. ;)


Southern California Trip

20 Jul

Well it is time to start recapping some of our trips from this summer.  It has been one of our favorite summers yet and we still have some great things planned before school starts at the end of August.
We started off for Southern California on Monday after school was out on Friday.  We stayed at a “mansion” in the the eyes of the kids as it had 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. We chose this place, 20 minutes from the beach, for its size and the great backyard.  The kids had a blast in the pool and the spa.  Well I can’t just say the kids, as I think everyone knew if you couldn’t find me then I was probably relaxing in the spa.  It was so nice to be able to heat it up whenever we wanted to get in.  We even had breakfast in the spa the first morning. The trip started out with Jamie and the kids and then the guys flew in and joined us Thursday evening.

We then spent a day at Legoland. What a blast everyone had! It worked out great as Kayla and Colin went on everything and Jayden and Sydney went on the one’s Sydney was tall enough to go on.

We couldn’t pass up a photo by the plumber.

We went on the water side of the park where Kayla and Colin were loving it while the rest of us were shivering in the chairs.

Well we of course couldn’t pass up going down this one.

The Rice family visited us one afternoon to swim and play. Their family moved to Southern CA the same time we moved to Northern CA from AZ.

We also got in a round of miniature golf.

What a fun week with cousins! It is so fun having them so close in age and how well they all get along together. We sure do miss them often! :(



Mother’s Day

25 May

We had a very similar Mother’s Day as last years and once again I enjoyed it so much that I’m ready to repeat it again next year.

Actually it started a few days before with Sydney’s school having a lunch for the moms.

Sydney was so excited to give me a rose and a picture of her with a frame that she had decorated.

Both Colin and Sydney filled out a paper about me and I absolutely loved them. They know me pretty well. ;)

and now onto THE day…..

After having breakfast in bed and Brandon surprising me with getting HGTV for me for Mothers Day, oh and I guess that means we have other cable channels, we went along the coast and picked strawberries.

We got enough that we just had to make chocolate covered strawberries with some of them.

We then ate lunch at one of our favorite fish and chip places along the coast. We were planning on hanging out at the beach but it ended up being a little chilly, so instead we drove up the coast and stopped anywhere someone thought it would be fun to stop. So we pulled off to watch wind surfers, a barn, tasted some oils, Starbucks, and

along a creek. I absolutely loved the randomness of the day and getting to explore some new areas for us.  Thank you to 3 amazing people in my life that make me feel special each and every day.


Las Vegas

25 Mar

Brandon and I went to Las Vegas with a dozen of other employees from Reputation. We had two dinners and a night out that we spent with everyone and the rest of the time was time of just us without kids.

We went to this amazing place, The Mix at Mandalay Bay, both evenings as the sun was setting for an appetizer and a drink. Not only do they have this amazing view but you also have another incredible experience when you use their bathroom. I would say that this place is worth a trip to Vegas.

We then spent our time enjoying the Hofbrau house which is always a fun evening! Thank you dad for teaching me all of the oldies but goodies so I could share my lovely voice with the world and thank you Jeremy for reminding us about all the great places you took Brandon and I too forever ago.


19 Mar

The kids experienced Disneyland for their second time and like last time they had a great time. We are looking forward to next year when hopefully Sydney will be tall enough to join in on all the rides Colin can.

It was fun to explore Cars Land. Colin lucked out as he got to go on Radiator Springs twice in a row because Sydney was not tall enough.

Sydney was so excited to wear her princess dress and meet some of them. I think you can tell by the look in her face from this picture. :) Her favorite ride again this year was the Little Mermaid. The people finally told us to just stay seated and they would send us through again without having to go get back in line.

I just like pictures with these goofy glasses. ;)

Colin has a list that goes on and on of his favorite rides….. Pirates of the Caribbean, The Matterhorn, Space Mountain, Star Tours, Winnie the Pooh, and Radiator Springs in Cars Land. I have never seen Colin walk so much without whining. He loves rides!

You can always guarantee this look after leaving Disneyland. These kids were pooped. I think Brandon and I should have taken a picture of us as I’m sure we looked pretty special too. We did have one of the days where it poured rain and then hailed on us. Of course we had to squeeze in a ride where we stood outside during that time and then the rest of the day was off and on sprinkles. It is very true that lines are way shorter or not existent when it is rainy and cloudy out at Disneyland. It was one nonstop day of off a ride and right on to another.

The Funnies of the Day

27 Feb

Colin and Sydney make me chuckle constantly.  I thought I would share some of the stories that I have been lucky enough to have heard or seen in the last 24 hours.

Sydney walks back into the house pulling up her pants and saying, “I showed them (Colin and his 2 friends) my butt so they would laugh.”  I said,  ”I think we can think of another way to make them laugh besides showing them your butt.”  She continues, “But that makes them REALLY laugh.”

We are riding in the car and Sydney announces very boldly, but also looking for a reaction from Colin, “I know everything.”  Colin of course disagrees and says, “You don’t know everything.”  Sydney continues to repeat herself knowing that she has Colin all excited.  Colin then asks, ” Mom, Sydney says she knows everything, does she?”  So I say, knowingly that Sydney is being silly, lets see if she does in fact know everything.  I ask Sydney,  ”What is 2+2?” Her answer was equals.  Then I say, “Equals what?”  She thinks about it for a bit and then says, “4.”  Colin and I look at each other in amazement and smile and tell her nice job Sydney.  I guess she taught Colin and I that indeed she does know everything.  ;)

Sydney and I are finishing up in the bathroom and we come out to Colin getting up off the floor and he tells us that a customer (meaning his customer) just walked right past him and didn’t give him any money.  I ask, “Why would someone just give you money?”  He says, “Because I was break dancing for her and you are to give someone money when they perform for you.”  I guess we need to be getting Colin a tip jar for his birthday.  ;)

Quick Trip to AZ

7 Dec

The kids and I visited family and friends in November and here is a glimpse of what we were busy doing.

Sleep over at Grammy and Grandpas

Helping Aunt Kara and Uncle Keith load up a moving truck and move to Tucson.

Meeting up with friends at our old hang out.

Taking wild and crazy Christmas pictures.

Going to the dog park with Jeremy and Brandon’s dog.

Spending as much time as possible with Kayla and Jayden.

Meeting up with Santa!

Having a midnight snack at Jeremy and Brandons.

Thank you so much to my friends and family that hung out with us on our whirlwind of a trip! The breakfasts, coffees, beers, lunches, dinners, and shopping made it a very enjoyable trip. See you all in less than a month!



6 Nov

Colin’s school had an event called the Hootenanny which is mainly a fall festival of games, music, food, and crafts. It is also another opportunity for the kids to wear their costumes.

This was the booth that I worked at until these two lovely high schoolers came in to take over.  Hurray for community service hours that every high schooler in Pleasanton has to do before graduating.

These two were grooving to the folk music.

A new way to bob for apples.

We all had a blast! I never knew a school could put on such a great event. The 5th graders also put on a haunted house and we were rather impressed with it. Going through the haunted house was a first for both Colin and Sydney. Colin walked through telling everyone, “You don’t scare me” and Sydney was holding on with her tiger claws to Brandon.