Memorial Weekend

Thankful for those who’ve given everything for us to be able to enjoy weekends like this one.  It is not lost on us that our freedom comes with a cost, and we are beyond thankful.

First up was an exciting (not really) trip to look for patio furniture at way too many places.  But in the midst of trekking our kids in search of the perfect backyard accessories, we did find a fun splash pad in Oxnard:
Asher enjoyed it too – until he unexpectedly took one to the face and was done.  But Selah took full advantage.  Watching her so grown up in her new birthday bathing suit but still having an unabashedly “kid” good time was the best.  It’s those times that remind us how sweet our Miss Sassy pants can be.

   Daddy also got a lot done on the shed assembly – not of course without “help” from Crashy.  


We were also blessed with an impromptu visit from Grandpa & Grandma with another birthday present for Selah.  She put it to good use right away:

We’ve had several shows since – some with Ashy joining in too.  Of course, directed by Selah…she’s quite the ‘manager’ these days.

This morning we relaxed and did ‘art’ while Daddy worked on the shed.  Even partially done, our yard is 200 times more functional than before.  I’m so grateful to be using our space now and loving to just be home!

   It even tired Asher out (well, combined with a bike ride to the park where we skated, swang, and jumped off rocks!) – so much so he literally passed out on Selah:

And this afternoon was the block party potluck.  I cannot express how blessed we are in this neighborhood.  It’s THE best.  I’m just thankful.

Selah is too for her best buddy Madeline.  These two are peas in a pod.   


We even had some serenading (er…uh…noise?) by the girls during the party:
And Asher has a buddy of his own.  Our newest neighbor Scarlett is three months older and an absolute doll.  Asher thinks so too!     

  Such a good family weekend.  Hope everyone else’s was as relaxing and fulfilling.  Again, we know it comes with a cost, and are so thankful to those who have paid with their lives or the lives of their loved ones for us to be free.  



These days are the longest shortest time.  And I’m so thankful for them.



Lately Selah’s been quite the reader and Asher’s been quite the audience.

  We get monthly “magazines” from Grandma that come for Ash (a younger version) and an older version for Selah.  She works on sounding out his, which is awesome.  And hers, she asks us to read enough times she memorizes to “read” to him – which is pretty impressive because they aren’t short!  (And have Spanish too!).
Nothing could make me happier than if these kids love reading and books.  Such a blessing.

High five birthday

I cannot believe that this happened this past weekend:

  Selah chose a Rapunzel party and lucky girl has a Grandma who has set a precedent now of making princess dresses for her princess.  So, Rapunzel dress it was!  And I was a sucker for Pinterest and braided all the girls yarn braids to decorate with flowers…but had to rope in Daddy’s ‘native’ lei-making skills to cut all 60 strands per 15 braids, each 9 feet long.  I don’t do math on my days off, but that’s a lot of cutting.  😉.  We think the finished product was a success and certainly was enjoyed by Selah, which is the only important part 😍:
It was a really nice day, enjoyed in our newly cleared backyard!  It’s not the final product yet, but it is far beyond what it was, and we were thankful that could happen before the party since it was at Selah’s request that we have her special day at home.

The girls had a great time with Rapunzel, and Asher, coming freshly off a Disneyland stint, was feeling confident with his Princess photo skills and took Rapunzel’s hand to show the girls how it was done:

 He also refined his princess skill set with the group of girls.  I think this might be one of the better blackmail videos I’ve taken so far.  Pay particular attention to the curtsy.  It’s a multiple watch video too – hard to focus on both Selah and Asher in one viewing 😉:
The cake could be another whole post.  I will say that Selah (& Mommy) are lucky that Daddy loves us so much.  I’m pretty sure he’d have given up on me if it wasn’t for his daughter, and my visible stress as the first cake attempt failed.  Here is the tower from the movie, that I was attempting to create in cake form:

  And the Internet will tell you that making a Rice Krispie tower works great for this, complete with pictures and tutorials.  I loosely based my attempt on these, and created a very inadvertently inappropriate first try that we had to throw away and refuse to post pictures of publicly.  Without going into painful detail, we ended up with this final product that at least stood for the two minutes while we sang:
Clearly it was a leaning tower, but for our last ditch effort and second attempt at 10 PM the night before, it was a success.  And we also made little cupcake cone towers for the kids:

  I must give Jesse tons of credit here for staying up with me and carrying out the vision…this was a dual effort to pull off for sure!  
The whole party turned out very fun, and we were thankful that Selah has such great friends to celebrate with and enjoyed herself thoroughly.  Here’s an assortment of pictures to round out the memories:

  Swords for the ruffians:
  A shot of the hairpieces

  Asher beside himself with what to do with our sweet, beautiful neighbor, Scarlett:

 Selah with the girls (more came, but the timing was such that as more guests arrived, i forgot pictures!):



Selah and Rapunzel: 

The coronation ceremony (notice Asher is beginning to fade…taking a breather in the grass conveniently in picture range, always infringing on ‘Sissy’):



 And finally, Sey with two special Westmont guests, Missy & Ali.  These girls are two of our (& the kids) favorites this past school year (Hannah left big shoes to fill, so these girls have had their work cut out for them to win a spot in the hearts of Selah & Asher!), and were so sweet to come to Selah’s bash:

 A special day for our special girl.  Can’t believe she’s a whole hand.  Slow down, time!  You’re getting away and I have loving on my babies to do, please!


I should title this, “the things you say as parents”, but it was a by-product of Selah, so we’ll leave it at that. 

To set the scene, Selah has been having nightmares every so often lately.  I’d guess once a week or every other week, so while not every night, still frequent enough to interrupt everyone’s sleep patterns (yes, selfish parent alert!).  So, we’ve asked her to start just crawling in bed with us instead of yelling for us to come in her room.  We’ve figured out if she just crawls in, we sometimes can have relatively seamless sleep, whereas if I get up, all bets are off if I can even go back to sleep at all that night.

Needlesstosay, she’s about 50-50 on yelling vs. coming into our room.  But last night was almost worth the trip in.  After yelling for a good 4-5 times and yanking me from dreams into reality, I go in to see what is wrong. Keep in mind this is like 2 AM.

Me: Sey, what’s wrong? Mommy’s here.

Selah: I don’t want to go to college.

Me: you’re not, hon, you’re going to kindergarten.

Selah: (sobbing). But Mom, I don’t EVER want to go to college!  

Me: (realizing its in my best interest to comfort, not reason) ok.  You don’t have to go.

Selah:  (literally, uncontrollable tears). I don’t want to have to leave, mommy!  Ever!  I don’t want college!  Or to leave home, Mommy?

Me:  it’s ok, baby girl. Come lay with me & go to sleep.  You never have to leave.  You never ever ever have to go to college.  You can live with Mommy & Daddy forever, it’ll be ok, I promise.  And I will remind you that you don’t want to go ever in about 13 years, honey, I promise.  😉❤️

(Ps. We are not forcing our 5 year old to think of college to the point of nightmare, I promise.  Jesse let me know that Goofy Goes to College, or something similar, was the kids movie of choice that evening.  So, blame Goofy for making college seem like a bad dream!)

Good thing she already has leadership skills developing:


Tiny Dancer

It’s late and I’ve exhausted myself from party prep for tomorrow’s bash, but I really wanted to post a few pics from today’s recital.

  I will say that although I was dreading the all-day event (seriously, all day almost!  We left at 8:15 AM and returned home at 2 PM!), it was pretty impressive.
  The girls really enjoyed themselves, the dances were more fun to watch than last time, and it’s fun to see how Selah is so confident now and actually enjoys performing.
  She danced to the little mermaid song, “Under the Sea”, and did really well.  She also said it was her favorite part of the day, so I know she enjoyed herself.  
  And if her enjoying herself means we sit through two all-day performances a year, so be it!
  In turn, she has to deal with me taking a thousand pictures:
  We even snuck one in mid-performance even though we were banned.  Seems like it didn’t really matter – doesn’t look like one that will go for tons of money 😉:
  So, tomorrow is the big 5 party day.  If I took a hundred pictures today (I rounded up), you can only imagine what mañana holds! 
  Good night sleep tight!
            I love this sweet girl!

Job Update

DCIM100GOPRO DCIM100GOPROWhile clearly not as exciting as pictures of my kids, thought those of you who have seen the site a few times would like to see the jobsite I’m working on.  These are a few pictures from a drone that the driller brought onsite the other day and they give a good picture of what the creek is now compared to what it will be!  You can tell just how much we’re widening it.  You’ll also see where the old bridge is, and where the new one will go.  They have poured the abutment (which holds up the bridge) on the east side, so that is now where the side of the bridge will be.

I’m also glad that one of the pictures has a person in it for scale.  The walls are pretty beefy, so it’s hard to tell exactly how large what we’re building is!

OK, enough enginerding out for you today.  😉

Disney Birthday

  Without meaning to, we’ve unintentionally created a tradition for the past 3 years of celebrating Selah’s birthday at Disneyland.  It started by fitting in a “last trip” before she turned 3 (the ‘last ditch kid is still free’ trip), last year we went again around her 4th celebration, and this year we wanted to visit the Frozen celebration before it ended May 1, so we again used her birthday as our “reason” (as if anyone needs an excuse to visit the happiest place on earth, right?). 

This time was really fun with Asher because it was his first trip that he really understood what was going on.  Watching anything through your child’s eyes their first time has got to be one of the best things in life, so this was no exception.  He even enjoyed meeting his sister’s idols, the princesses…especially his beloved Mulan:

  She was his first princess and he was pretty impressed – enough so that each princess we met after he had to ask, “Where Mulan?”.  He loves that movie, so it was perfectly timed.
The two were lucky enough to meet I think 11 princesses in their two days!  Here’s the recap in photos: 


                 I’m missing a few that were on Jesse’s phone, but this captures the basic idea well enough!

Other favorites were:


  A cotton candy treat (you’d think we deprive her of sugar from her reaction!).  But what’s a birthday trip without a sugar high?:


  The Frozen experience in California Adventure was pretty cool.  Real snow and a little tiny hill for sledding.  Who would have thought my kids’ first snow experience would be in close to 100 degree weather during a drought, in shorts, but we’ll take it!

 Asher’s belly laugh while throwing bits of ice into the frozen fountain was too much:

And Selah loved sledding with Daddy (I got to go with her too, but only have his video):

Selah was pretty tentative with the rides still.  We did Alice in Wonderland, Jungle Cruise, Tea Cups, Autopia, the large Ferris wheel at CA Adventure, and the carousel.   


She did surprise us the 2nd day by loving the Goofy’s flight school ride, which is a legitimate roller coaster!  We actually figured out through some conversation about why that one was ok and others were “too scary” that she’s actually scared of the movie-based rides because of the “bad guy” character appearances, not the actual rides. She said she was fine with the turns and drops on the roller coaster because those were “really fun”, but even on a tiny Ariel ride she was so nervous about potentially seeing Ursula, she hid her eyes the whole time.  So, lesson learned there.

Asher was too little to go on most of the larger rides, but he loved the ones he did go on (& we foresee many roller coasters in his future if he could just get to that height limit!).  If I could have recorded his belly laughs all day I would have!  The ones on this lady bug spin were the best: 

They also both really enjoyed the water portion on California Adventure – jumping fountains and a big misting mushroom…perfect on a hot day.  And I came prepared with extra clothes and bathing suits!        

We did not even begin to capture the joy Asher had in the fountain, but here shows him running around a bit: 

They also really enjoyed the “Adventure Park” in CA Adventure.  I didn’t get many pictures, but it’s modeled after the Disney movie “Up” and has a little tire zip line, and a bunch of rope net ladders, slides, and other kid energy burning activities.  Fun for both of them, but here’s Selah on the mini-zip line:

All in all, a great two days, and we certainly tired them out both days (& they’re still recovering!)



All in all, a fun beginning to a “birthday month” of celebration coming up for Daddy and Selah!  Here’s one more of the kids completely passed out on me last night (2 days later) because they’re still recovering:

 Sweet little beans.  Guess being at the “happiest place on earth” turns out to be pretty tiring too!  😉❤️😘