Monday, August 25, 2014

My summer vacation by Lily Davis

Alex took the girls to England this summer for two weeks to visit Granny and Grampy. We had originally planned to all go and my father was to join us but since he was diagnosed with cancer in February our plans changed. I stayed home to help keep an eye on Dad and Alex got to fly 11 hours with the girls by himself, both ways! They did really well and all had a great time. The girls kept journals of their trip with the help of Granny and Grampy. This is Lily's journal and her account of the trip in her own words, I did not take the liberty to embellish her account so it is all hers. I tried to coax Gemma into narrating her trip/journal for me but she can't sit still long enough, although she never stops her chattering away.

First page, we were going on the plane. The ride was good, fun. We watched looney tunes on the TV the whole time. We slept a little bit. Then we arrived in England. We went to the Christmas shop in Lechlade the town where Granny and Grampy live. 
The next day we went to the library. We got books called dragon stew, and giddy goat. We mailed post cards at the post office. 
We went to the playground and met a chicken. We petted the chicken. On Sunday they had a party at their house. We played with our cousin Edward and did sack race, egg race, and ran in sprinklers in our nicks.
We went to the model village and bird land. Bird land was like a zoo with just birds. The model village was fairy size villages. The best bit was a bridge to get over the water between them. I got to hold an owl. We also went to lego land. I had a melt down at the gift shop. They had a splash pad called duplo valley but we didn't go there. We wanted to, but we didn't.
We flew to South Dakota of legos and had tea with the queen. We rode the spinning spider. The next day we rowed a boat down the river Thames. Daddy rowed the boat and we had to wear life jackets. We had snacks at the pub after, chips and sprite. The next day we went to the wild life park. We saw meerkats, camels, giraffes.
This is a story about penguins. Wake up penguin. Feeding time. Good night penguin. The next day we had a relax at home including a big bubbly bath. The next day we went to see the fish at the garden center. They had all kinds of cool fish. I'm kind of all about fish these days.
I got a fish story at the store. We found a kitty at the playground. We went to the boat lock. It started to shower so we stopped under a willow tree. We went to a craft shop with Granny and I made a paper mache kitty.
While on vacation I got my first wiggly tooth. We went to the big oasis swimming pool. They had slides and a wave machine. The roof was so dirty with muck. The next day we saw Granny and Grampy's old house and had a pub lunch. I had meatballs and chips.
We went to visit Granny and Grampy's friends and we got to go to the circus. They had spotted ponies. One guy was going to throw knives at another guys balloons but it was safe. They had old campervans there. It was all very funny. The last day we went to the Christmas shop. We went maybe three or four times.
The best bit about our trip was the Christmas shop.






Sunday, August 24, 2014

Mom camp 2014

Every summer starts with high hopes and expectations of all the fun we are going to have. We usually make a "summer fun list" to help make sure we cover all the activities we want to do and give us inspiration for days when we are feeling, gasp...bored! Many of the local kids spend much of the summer in day camps. While perhaps some day our girls will participate, for now they are stuck in...Mom Camp!

One thing we do every summer (and during the school year) is swim lessons. Both girls are becoming really good swimmers and while it is a fun activity to keep cool, for us it is also a safety issue to become proficient enough to spend our summer days in Goppy's pool.

Lily was an otter this summer and Gemma a seal. They both passed their level with flying colors. They were both also the youngest and smallest in their class which was really funny when lined up out of the pool.
We did other really FUN things like wash Granny and Grampy's car in our driveway. You don't get this at day camp folks.
We only made it to the summer movie series once. They show older kids movies for free in the morning at local cinemas. We also made sure to have lots of play dates with friends too.
The majority of our summer time was spent right here.
The girls go through at least two swim suits each during summer. We really put them through the test.
We did a really fun activity with one of Lily's school friends, we went to the farm to berry pick. Looks like they are ready for Halloween year round.
The troops making their way through the strawberry patch. It was actually muddy down the rows and you would have thought it was hot lava by the way the girls reacted. Lily, Sabina (her Kindy best friend) Gemma and Ravelle, Sabina's younger sister who is Gemma's age = double besties.
Ahhhh, natures candy.
We also picked (and ate) blackberries and raspberries. There were a lot of bees on those bushes and the panic patrol was less than amused. They ate their fill and made their way to the play area.
We also had a visit from our great friends Kimi and Miranda. They came over and took us for pedicures! It was Gemma's first time and she loved it.
Lily and Miranda could get used to this spa treatment. They told us all about their trip to Yosemite and we are ready to go ourselves!
We made the most of all the summer produce, strawberry pie of course. Gemma is my kitchen assistant, she always grabs the step stool and helps me out.
We also went to the hot air balloon festival in Santa Paula again.
This year we went on Friday night and it wasn't as packed as Saturday.

Selfies.
I definitely think this could become an annual tradition.



Lily was super crabby because they had the old goldfish and ping pong ball carnival game and she is obsessed with fish this summer. Like, checking out every book in the library about fish and talking about aquarium's obsessed. She wanted to win a goldfish in a bag, only with all her research she knew she would need a tank and all the equipment.
The girls also attended the birthday party of one of their best sister friends, Ravelle. It was at the fancy tea room.
All the girls get hair, make up (eye shadow) and nail polish. They pick out a fancy dress and shoes to wear.
After several wardrobe changes Gemma finally settled on the cheer leader dress. 
Then the girls do a runway show and pose on stage.
This is the best part, strutting their stuff.
Lily and Sabina.
Sister Loves. These two really do get along 87% of the time.
After the show they all sit around a heart shaped table for pink lemonade tea and finger foods, followed by a plate of sugar. I'm not exaggerating and they love it of course.
See we did put the "camp" in camp. We didn't even leave our back yard. It started as a virtual birthday sleep over with cousin Charlie who was having her 10th birthday party in Oregon as a camp out sleep over in their yard. 
We kept our cool by doing this at the park in Simi.
This past weekend we headed to the mall do do a little looking (are we the only people in America who left the mall without a buying anything?) We just so happen to be "looking" at the pet store (NO we are not getting another pet, I told you we were just looking) and saw a sign that Macy's was having a back to school event with a couple of special guests.
They were no Disney style princesses let me tell you but they were good, and free, and we were in and out in less than 30 minutes so I call that a win.

We have literally a couple days left before Lily starts 1st grade and Gemma has a week until she joins the fours class at preschool. While we are all mourning the loss of  summer break it will be good to get into a routine again. Lily met her new teacher at the back to school bash tonight and she was ready to start 1st grade right then and there! We're off to a good start!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Pool party cousins weekend

Our Portland Peeps came down the weekend after July 4th so we had a non stop pool party! I think we set a record for most hours spent in a pool in three days.
Owen took Gemma for a ride.
Then she took him for a ride.
We even managed to get Grandpa Lee outside and in his trunks. He hadn't been feeling too well after his chemo and radiation rounds. He made not have made it in the water but he enjoyed watching all the kids splash around.
Charlie was the mermaid for the weekend.
Even Ben is getting brave like his cousins.
On Saturday we had all Dad's friends over for a BBQ. Tony's youngest son Leland is so adorable. He and Ben had a fun time goofing around together.
It was hot out so almost everyone got to dip in the pool. Goppy loves the pool with her babies.
Risky move squirting the bigger kids Ben.
Even Aunt Penny came for a splash.
We had tons of fun and food. Dad's church friends had a great time too.
Sira makes a mean flan and she brought a huge tray that didn't last long.
Isabella had to rescue Lily from Tony Jr who was cracking us all up with his wild imagination.
The littles were behind the fence for safety and didn't appreciate that one bit!! They spent most of the afternoon eating ice out of the cooler and feeding it to each other.

We had such a fun time and by the end of the weekend everyone was wiped out!