Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Back to School

Here we are again, summer is over and it's time to get back to routines. We had mostly eager back to school crew this year. It is always bitter sweet. They are excited to see their friends but also sad to say good bye to lazy days filled with fun and sun. 
We have our proud 1st and 4th graders.
Kitty ear headbands are quite the thing, especially when you wear uniforms and don't have much of a way to express your style.

The walk to the school. Same old backpacks. Some people think we should get new ones every year. We did manage to get new shoes for school though. 
Two happy little eagles.
Pretty much the only thing they cared about was whether they would be in the same class as their friends.
Everyone was happy! Gemma gets to be in Mr. Taylors class with Liv and Abby and also Hannah this year, and of course Lily is excited to have Mrs. Bain with Scarlett.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Summer Fun, Had me a BLAST!

Summer time for kids means fun, sun and NO SCHOOL! For parents it means keeping kids entertained 24/7 and filling their days with fun. No pressure there! Since Alex and I both work week days there are several days a week the girls need camp or babysitters. Here's a bit of the fun stuff we managed to squeeze in this summer!

We signed up for skateboard camp for a few days after the Fourth of July. Cousin Reese signed up for camp and Scarlett too!! 
It was really hot out but they had lots of fun and got really good on their boards. There were quite a few girls and the teacher is really great. The class was 9:30-12 so not too long.
The following week was girl scout camp! Both girls attended last year and LOVE it. They actually wanted to do both weeks but we were away in England for the June week. They hold it at the local middle school. It is from 9-3:30 for one week and is all outdoors!
It was 80's theme this year. I'm not sure they really got what the 80's were but it is always a fun week and they love the middle school girls who lead the small groups.
We sported side pony tails and neon and that pretty much sums up the 80's.
Gemma's group did a lip synch the last day for the final performance. I guess they won for the Daisy group. It was a spice girls song...from the 90's, but really who's keeping track? Check out the video!

Because we can't get enough of the beach this summer we had a play date at the beach with Robbin, Carsen and Collin. It was so fun to see them and all the kids had a great time in the sea. We went to Will Rogers state park just north of Santa Monica. The waves were pretty strong so we played it safe close to shore. 
The kids did their own version of "surfing" on boogie boards. Let me tell you how this went. The wave comes in, you start to float, then you fall...HARD. We had lots of tears and injuries. HA!!
Check out Robbin and I in our matching "mom" swimsuits. Nope, not planned. I guess we just both have great style. We tried to get Mr. Universe in the background on the left. There was an elderly fellow in a itty bitty teeny weeny man bikini.
The kids had the BEST time camping this summer with cousins. Eric & Rach took them with the McCluskey crew to Lake Cachuma for a long weekend. 
They cozy cousins in the tent trailer.
Lily brought the pizza box solar oven she made in Girl Scout camp. She was so proud of it and Ben was a big fan of the pizza crackers.
The girls did a week of VBS camp at Ascension Lutheran. The theme was Maker Fun Factory. They had a fun week but I think we are reaching the age that gets too old for VBS. Well, that or it's sort of the same thing every single summer and the excitement is wearing off. 

We had a pizza party for Aunt Carol's 60th birthday at her house.
She seemed to like that everyone was there making a fuss over her.
Gemma has joined AYSO soccer for the fall and had her first practice. 
It's hard work but she's having fun and trying hard.
As summer comes to a close we had to go for back to school "Bobs".
The before and after shots.

Now it's time to say goodbye to an amazing summer and get ready for another school year!! Time flies when you're having fun!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Mom camp 2017

Well if you thought Zoo camp was for the cool kids you have obviously never been to Mom camp! Kristen and I have been talking about doing a summer weekend at the beach with all the kids for a while now. I think in our minds it was mostly going to be us drinking fruity cocktails on the beach while the kids quietly played around us. Big surprise, it really wasn't like that at all. 

Kristen, Charlotte and Elias arrived Friday afternoon to Carpinteria just after the zoo camp crew headed out. Talk about change of the guard! We walked to town Friday evening and based on rave reviews from Lily & Gemma we had Pizza Man Dan's for dinner. 

Saturday AM once we couldn't keep our lively crew quiet any longer we loaded up into the Mom camp bus and headed to Santa Barbara to scooter! We hoped to show our friends our skate park at the beach but apparently on Sat AM it is for skateboards only.
Our scooter crew managed to log a couple miles along the paved path at the beach instead.
Then after the kid time was over we could scooter inside the skate park. It didn't last long as the big kids and grown ups wanted to skate in peace.  Gemma is ever the dare devil so she led the pack.
We put the scooters back in the car and walked on the pier to the Sea Center. 
The tide pools were full of the most beautifully colored sea life.

They did some sifting through sand collected from the bottom of the ocean.
Gemma was wearing one of her favorite glowing outfits which looked especially cool in the black lights.
After some lunch at Padaro grill we needed to cool off in the pool. Luckily we did not get in trouble from the neighbors for making too much noise...this time. 
The next day we were itching to get ourselves to the beach! Such a crew of beach bums!
An endless supply of warm sand....
....and cool waves. Not a fruity cocktail in sight though. Better planning for next year.
Wait, wait, there was a fruity beverage waiting at the end of the day. A jumbo margarita.
The next morning we stretched our legs with a walk on the bluffs. Somehow climbing this fallen tree was more interesting than the bluffs. We could hardly tear them away to get to the sea.
We made it to the bluffs but the seals were not there.
We posed for some cheesy photos in the fog.
Then we hiked down to the beach to explore the rocks and tide pools.
It looks cold but it was really mild and the morning haze was in full effect.

What a great weekend with friends! There is still so much more to explore in Santa Barbara and Carp we will have to plan for Mom Camp 2.0 !!!!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Zoo Camp

Can I just tell you that this is the luckiest group of kids in all the land? This summer a new tradition was born. Nini & Papa generously volunteered themselves to take Ben, Gwyn, DJ, Lily & Gemma to zoo camp in Santa Barbara for a week. The day camp went from 8:30-12noon for one week. The whole gang also slept in Carpinteria at the beach house thanks to Granny & Grampy's generosity. Wow! What a lucky crew.
Everyone arrived on Sunday afternoon before the first day of camp. There was a LOT of excitement. Nini had every detailed planned out. Everyone cheerfully waved us away as they marched down the road to the park.
The kids were in different groups at camp based on their age. They had wonderful camp counselors they loved. They learned all about the animals and had special encounters with some of them as well. 
In the afternoons and evenings they had fun activities back at the beach house. It was all hands on deck with that many little ones.
They took walks to the park and beach. They walked to Pizza man Dan's for dinner.
There was plenty of pool time and scootering. These kids were WORN OUT!
Grandpa Dan got some clams at the beach and opened up the shell to show everyone. Then much to their delight and HORROR, he ate it!
I enjoyed all the pictures and updates throughout the week and returned on Friday AM to help pack and clean up. I got to pick up the campers on Friday after their last day at camp.

Nini promised the kids a trip to the gift shop after the last day if everyone behaved.
It sure was hard to make a decision with all the cute options!
Everyone was happy with their choice!
Of course immediately after leaving camp the littles were ready to crash! They are already talking about zoo camp again next summer!!
Thanks Nini & Papa!!