Friday, June 28, 2013

Sister wives reunion

Last summer my two good friends Ann & Clare came to visit and brought Lily and Gemma's little BFF's too! We all had so much fun we had to do it again! We called it sister wives because Alex was the only guy with all the women and kids. This year David came along so Alex wouldn't have to be the only dude!

Of course as soon everyone arrived the girls hit the trampoline. 
It was warm and sunny so we cooled off in the sprinklers. We even broke the 3 at a time rule in the trampoline since they are all pretty small.
We had dinner outside and the kids table was pretty happy. Lily couldn't wait to dangle a pickle in her mouth.
On Saturday morning we packed up and drove to Carpinteria for the weekend. We made it down to the playground where it was deserted. I guess everyone and their mother was at the beach!
We were quickly hot and bothered so we headed to the beach too.
It was a gorgeous day and we couldn't have asked for much better.
We all played in the waves and dug in the sand. It is really the best beach for little ones. They can go pretty far out and still stand.
Lily and Pops kept making sand castles, but Gemma is a home wrecker so they never last.
Gemma and Natalie have really similar personalities. In other words, we were all really busy keeping them happy, and alive.
These two are really similar in personalities too. In other words they play really well together or alone and require very little from anyone. Ahhhh.
That evening we all went to our fave place, the Padaro Grill. It is great food and super kid friendly. That is why this time it was PACKED with softball teams. Oh well, Auntie Clare kept all our girls occupied with games and songs. We can't wait for her little baby girl to join us this Fall!
We even managed to check off star spotting from our list of LA things. At the table next to us was Julie Bowen from the TV show Modern Family. She had her little boys with her and kept trying to get them to play with our "cute little girls." Not a bad match I would say.
Sunday morning it was overcast so we headed out to the bluffs for a short hike and seal spotting. Our girls were all ready for some adventure.
We consulted the map before heading out. Wouldn't want to get lost!
We found the seals and enjoyed watching them relax on the beach. By the time we left they had all wiggled into the water for a morning meal I guess. Good thing we got a chance to see them. 
On our walk back we were lucky enough to get to see the train pass. We were super careful crossing the tracks and then gave them all a wave hello.
We headed home to chase the sun but it was in hiding. It was still plenty warm out and didn't keep us from enjoying the playground and making a stop at in n out. These girls all just love each other and have so much fun together. We just miss them so much but at least we get to skype all the time.
We can't wait for next years sister wives trip and hope Clare and Ryan will bring their new baby girl too!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Miss Kimi & Miranda girl

 Once Kimi and M girl arrived at our house and had a little recovery sleep-in, the girls were raring to go see more sights! We love "playing tourist" when company comes. Since M girl was interested in seeing some "stars" we thought we would take her to Hollywood! Even if we didn't see any  movie stars we were certain to see some other stars.

We started off with lunch at The Hard Rock Cafe. It was perfect, fun and loud!
After lunch we made our way down Hollywood Blvd to collect our well earned awards. Look at the winners of "sisters of the year!" Ha! 
Now for some stars!! We found this star and Lily was thrilled to see her name! Lily Pons was a French born American Soprano opera singer. Not a bad act to follow. Not sure our Lily is going to be an opera singer but you never know!
This little number is Snow White. One of our faves.
After all this star spotting we worked up an appetite, for ice cream that is. We discovered they have a Disney soda fountain shop next to the El Capitan theater.
One row of happy customers. My girls had never had ice cream at a soda fountain before. It was quite the thrill.
This little star was so wiped out she fell asleep on the way home clutching her Minnie Princess doll, a souvenir that Miranda brought her from Disneyland and a huge hit.
 On Saturday morning we took it easy at home and enjoyed the backyard. It was warm and sunny so the girls could not waste a chance to cool off on the trampoline.  We checked the beach cam and saw the marine layer was starting to burn off so we decided to head to Malibu for the day!
 First stop was the Malibu Fish Co. We have driven past this place a hundred times and it always has lines out the door. It did not disappoint. Awesome fish and chips and Mahi plate lunch.
 Next up....Zuma! We could not let them come to LA and not go to the beach. It was a great afternoon for the bathing beauties.
We always see dolphins at the beach but this time we saw a seal too! He kept popping his head up and staring at the beach. This troop of girls were going wild screeching and chasing him. I think he was as confused by it all as the rest of the beach go-ers were. 
Although Alex was on call this weekend and spent over an hour in the car dealing with some emergency, he still had time to dig and explore. They discovered some sort of sea creature in the water. They were gross like little bugs. Ick.
 Kimi played DJ to the girls with her MP3 player. They loved rocking out to Katy Perry. California girls ARE undeniable.
Sunday we had a relaxing morning. It was Father's day so the girls surprised Alex with donuts, a balloon and this sign!
Kimi and I took the girls to our favorite Moorpark zoo and gave dad some peace and quiet for father's day. Miranda wants to be a veterinarian so she was really excited to see how these students train to work with animals. Lily needed to wear her princess crown to the zoo.
 How big is your wingspan?
 How tall are these animals?
After the zoo and a nap for Gemma we went to Goppy's to cool off in the pool and have a BBQ. It was a great day for it too!

Kimi and Miranda spent the next two days at Six Flags Magic Mountain and Universal Studios. They are some theme park experts! We met them out for Mexican the last night of their visit. You can't come to LA without a trip to Los Toros! We are going to miss these girls and hope they come again soon!

Southern Belle's

If you know anything about us by now, you know we never pass up a chance to meet up with friends at Disneyland!! My good friend Kimi and her daughter Miranda planned a trip to LA from Georgia. 

Kimi and I go waaaayyyy back. We met in Hawaii and she went to Africa with me which is when I met Alex. She likes to take credit for me meeting him. I guess she is right. Half way through the trip she decided to spend her time getting to know one of the other guys on the trip and Alex and I  took the opportunity to get to know each other! The rest is history. 

We caught a lot of shows and rides we had never experienced before. Who knew after all this time there was still new things to see and do? We saw the Aladin show, and even Gemma sat still for it. Well, mostly. Aladin is Lily's new favorite after seeing the movie for the first time at the beach house.
They also have a new show at Disneyland called Mickey's magical map. It was really good too.
We never miss a chance to ride the tea cups!
We also happened to see the Fairy godmother. She was really sweet. And obviously very funny to Gemma?
The kodak moment.
We also managed to find Jasmine. We thought she wasn't going to show and we were one minute from walking away when she arrived. She is the new fave so glad we got to see her.
The Belle show at Fantasy Faire was good too. We did get mad that she could not sign autographs after. Something about having to get ready for the parade. Puh-leeze!
We spend two days at the park and slept overnight with Kimi and Miranda. We were WIPED out after that. Our passes are blacked out all summer so we are on hiatus until the Fall and then they expire!! What will we have to blog about then?

Those girls powered on and did 4 days in Disney! Wow! They had already done several days in San Diego at Sea world and the zoo! We had more fun in store because they were coming up to our house next to stay with us!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

May~ Memorial & Memories

May was a very busy fun month. We went on vacation, celebrated Mother's day and don't forget Goppy's birthday. We all went to Cheesecake Factory for dinner. She had some helpers to blow out her candle. 
 Some very important visitors also came to town.  Granny and Grampy England!! Or as Gem's calls them "Eng-wand."It had been a long 6 months since we last saw them. We had so much fun and threw a Memorial Day BBQ.
 The girls were hot and sweaty from jumping on the trampoline but we made them pose for some photos anyway.
 Winsty was not to be left out as grand-dog of the year.
Speaking of trampoline. We couldn't let Grampy leave without trying out the Christmas present he and Granny picked for the girls. 
 It was even hot enough to turn on the sprinklers. What a good sport.
 Don't ask why Gemma found it necessary to wear a swim cap?
 After the departure of our visitors we only had one thing left before it was officially summer break. The end of the year carnival at preschool. They featured the Alana Banana band.
 She was really good, and there were snow cones of course. I don't think my girls remember snow cones from Kauai.
 The artist even let some groupies up on stage with her to sing along. She was mobbed.Quite the hit.
There was also face painting by the eighth grade girls. These were the chapel buddies that accompanied the four year olds to chapel every Wednesday.
 Lily has been begging to have her face painted at every carnival or faire we attend.
 They both chose butterflies. I think that was the only option really, considering the limited talent of the newly established artists.
 Time to pose for photos with our butterfly girls. They loved it and didn't want to wash it off.
 Since Lily is in the four's class and leaving to go to Kindergarten next year they got up on the stage to perform a few songs. It was very sweet. Here is the "little light of mine, letting it shine." So glad Gemma is going to preschool here next fall. We are not ready to be finished with the wonderful preschool years, especially at this school.
On a side note, you may have noticed a change to our back yard. We had some work done to fix up the back yard and make it more useable and shady. The side of the house was mostly dirt and shade so nothing would grow here.
 The back of the house had a narrow patio that wasn't big enough to sit out and there was no shade!
 This is the former spot of the "vintage" jacuzzi that was non functioning. Pretty much just an ugly dirty hole in the ground.
We also had to remove all the jacuzzi equipment.
The end result is a beautiful back patio with a pergola for shade. The side of the house is all nice concrete now so the girls can have scooter races and obstacle courses. There is a video at the end of the post of Lily doing an obstacle course. 
The old jacuzzi spot is now another giant seating area. We hope to get furniture for it, but for now it is the Fiesta/Hookah lounge. Minus the hookah... so far. 
We have also had some friendly neighbors move in our jasmine bush. It began with three lovely spotted eggs. 
 Now we have these three furry balls. They are getting bigger and noisier each day so I am sure we will be ready for them to vacate the premises soon.
Why not throw in a garden update while we are at it? We have been enjoying cucumber, zucchini, and chard. A few of the green beans have tasted good and they way it is growing I expect to be inundated soon. It has been enough to keep up but not overwhelming so far. The basil is out of control and I have been freezing pesto like mad. 
We have enjoyed some tomatoes from our home depot starts and our heirloom plants from seed have fruit that is just about to ripen. We had a bad incident with a blue jay who pecked holes in all our tomatoes so we have had to drape with netting. We also put out the scarecrow for good measure!

Scooter girl (yes, I know she should have her helmet on. As well as knee, elbow and wrist guards).
We are gearing up for a busy June filled with out of state visitors!!! We can't wait for the fun and excuse to go play tourist!