Strawberry Picking

Strawberries have always been a big favorite of mine.  The good ones, the ones that are packed with that yummy sweet flavor.  During the season we always make a weekly trip to the closest fruit stand to buy fresh strawberries.  And I’ve been saying for years that I wanted to go to the Strawberry fields in Carlsbad and this year (since I’m playing catch up…it was really last year, June 2017) we finally went.

 

The boys each got their own bucket and we set off into the field.  I let them choose which rows to go down and gave them a few tips about which strawberries to choose (avoid the under-ripe green ones and the over-ripe mushy ones) and showed them how to twist the strawberry to break it at the stem instead of pulling them off.  They quickly got the hang of it and like everything else, it became a competition on who could find the best strawberries.

It was a beautiful day and there were very few people there.  So we just took our time and walked around.

And whenever we find a hill, it must be climbed.

At the end of our time there, the bottom of the boys shorts and all our shoes were red from them falling, sitting and walking on the mushed up strawberries on the ground. But we were happy with all the yummy strawberries we had and will absolutely go back again!

Visits with Santa

Last year Jacob was a bit hesitant with Santa.  This year however, he was very excited to see him and tell him all about the “Stinky Truck” he wanted.  Thanks to commercials on the kids channel, he learned about this robotic garbage truck that moves, talks and swallows matchbox cars and burps…The Stinky Truck.  At first I kind of rolled my eyes at it and figured he would move on to something else when it came closer to Christmas.  But he didn’t.  We had three encounters with Santa and every single time he told him he wanted a Stinky Truck.  I knew then I had to find one.

Our first visit with Santa was completely unplanned.  I was returning something at the mall and when we were coming down the escalator we saw Santa.  So we walked by and stopped for a minute to wave and let the boys get a good look at him.  Jacob was so excited and dancing around.  It was early, the mall had just opened and there was no line, so I decided to take the boys to go sit on his lap.  At first Dylan was jumping and dancing along with Jacob just a mere few inches from Santa’s lap, after Jacob climbed up onto his knee, I started to lift Dylan up and he completely lost it.  I froze for a few seconds trying to decide if I should save Dylan from the jolly man in the red suit or back away so they could snap a picture. Yep, I backed away for the picture…

I then quickly rescued Dylan and listened to Jacob chatting Santa’s ear off.  Of course I ended up paying a ridiculous amount of money for this picture, but it is kind of priceless. And for the record, I did feel a little bad for Dylan, but he got over it real quick.

The following week, we went to the Bernardo Winery for their Holiday Nights.  This time there was a long line for Santa, so Justin and I were taking turns standing in line, and walking around with the boys.  One time when I was walking with them, we scored a bench next to where Santa was so the boys climbed up and danced to the music while watching all the kids have their turn with Santa.  Jacob and I asked Dylan several times if he wanted to go see Santa and each time he shook his head, nooooo.  When it came our turn, he was actually okay with it, so I put him on his lap and stepped back for the picture.

Our final encounter with Santa was at the Rancho Bernardo Inn for their December Nights.  This time my parents were with us.  Usually Santa is on their outside patio next to the fireplace, but it was raining so he was moved inside of one of the ballrooms.  When it came our turn, Jacob hopped up and I started to put Dylan on his lap and he decided he was not going to like it again.  So I put him on my lap and we did the family picture first,

then I slid him down to Santa’s lap for the boys picture.

And not only was Santa there but Elsa made an appearance too!  So the boys had a nice little visit with her.

I wonder what next year will bring when we see Santa…

When we were not busy chatting up Santa Claus we were busy preparing food and baking in preparation for Christmas.  And I often find myself wondering why we only make this stuff one time a year?

First up on the agenda was Gingerbread cookies! The boys were great helpers with this one.  They couldn’t wait to get their hands on that dough (yes, they were clean!)

When working in the kitchen, Jake really likes to help, or I should say he likes to do it himself!  Every step along the way he says “I can do it!” and takes over, and he really is pretty good at this.

They both had fun with the cookie cutters

Then the best part is decorating them

The hard part was convincing them that we couldn’t eat them all because we had to save them for Christmas!

The day before Christmas Eve, my mom and I started getting all the food prepared for Christmas Eve dinner and made Oma’s sweet rolls for Christmas morning as tradition calls for.  It was a little bittersweet since Oma went home to Heaven just about 2 weeks before.  This is definitely a tradition that will carry on.

And what fun is baking without a little bit of Champagne!

The food was wonderfully delicious!  And it always amazes me how quickly it all disappears after you spent days making everything.  Maybe that’s why we only do it one time a year.  But to me the preparation part is just as fun as the celebration part so it is all well worth it!

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New Beginnings

Justin’s parents recently moved.  Same town, different house.  They bought a triplex in a great location nearby shopping and restaurants.  So they have been busy fixing them up, moving into one and getting the others rented.  In February, when the dust settled a bit on their renovation, we made a trip out with the boys to spend time with them. Papa J, daddy and Jacob kept busy doing little projects around the property.  There were golf cart rides, a trip to the Children’s Museum, a walk down the street to an old car show and swimming in the pool.

My favorite times during these trips are the family dinners.  Papa J is a pretty great cook and the food is guaranteed to be good,

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but I really enjoy the time just relaxing, letting the kids play and talking with everyone.  I’ve been feeling bad since I don’t have many pictures of Dylan with the family (second kid syndrome, I know…) so this was the perfect time to get out my camera.

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Snuggles with GG

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We are very happy for Papa J and Nonnie and their new beginning.

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At the end of our trip, Justin and I got away with my dad for a while to drive out to Whitewater.  We’ve been trying to find materials for our fireplace hearthstone and we finally found it!

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Some day I will get a blog up about our remodel/move, someday…

Frisco Thanksgiving

Yes, I know it is the end of March…As I’ve said before I am trying to go back and blog the pictures I never posted.  So in the current sunny springtime, let’s go back to chilly November and revisit Thanksgiving!

This year, Justin’s cousin Lisa and her family hosted Thanksgiving. We had a few minutes before we needed to leave and since I am always behind the camera, and have very few pictures of me with the boys, I asked Justin to take a picture of us. It is NOT easy getting them both to look at the camera and smile, I think he did a pretty good job!

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Lisa’s parents were in town from Kentucky and none of them had met Dylan yet, so it was a fun day of them meeting the littlest Frisco boy.

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I love this one 🙂

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We had so much amazing food and enjoyed time catching up with family.

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The best part for me was the built in babysitters!  Lisa and her husband have 6 kids who love playing with babies/younger kids.  I feel like I hardly saw Jacob the entire day.  He was busy playing all their musical instruments

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They took him outside with them to play football

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And Dylan took a nice long nap when it came time to eat, so I actually got to enjoy a warm Thanksgiving dinner!

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We are so thankful for the blessing of family and love spending time with them!

Christmas festivities

We had a bit of a rough start to Christmas this year.  A week before Christmas Jake was running a high fever for two days, then once the fever broke, he had a cold complete with a runny nose, croupy cough, no appetite, little to no naps, restless nighttime sleep, and grumpy mood swings.  Jake has only had a couple of colds prior to this one and they only lasted around 3 days and he has never lost his appetite and his symptoms were never this intense, poor guy was hit with a doozy this time around.  In the middle of all this Justin left to go to his parents a few days before Christmas to help them move into a new house, and my mom came here since we had planned to make my grandma’s pecan sweet rolls for Christmas morning, a family tradition, before leaving to go to my parents cabin to spend Christmas.  We got the rolls made and Justin’s parents moved, but delayed going to the cabin for a day and a half hoping that Jake would get better (and that my mom and I wouldn’t get sick!).  Even though Jake still was not 100% better we figured the worst (and most contagious) part of it was probably over so we loaded up the car and drove to my parents cabin. Over the next few days, we made lists, went shopping for food, continued to help Justin’s parents get settled, Justin saw some clients in the desert and one night we took a break from it all and went to the Living Desert for the Wild Lights.  It was a fun night of sipping coffee/hot chocolate while strolling around looking at the lights, the village with the trains running through (Jake’s favorite), a giant Rudolph and a ride on the carousel.

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The next day my mom drove in to pick up Oma and brought her to the cabin and we started the process of cooking and baking to prepare for Christmas Eve dinner.  At this point Jake was better but still trying to get rid of his cold, we were slathering him with Vick’s Vapo Rub, running a humidifier while he slept and trying to roll with his mood swings.  On Christmas Eve Justin’s parents and grandma came to the cabin.  It was a blustery cold day, at one point we looked outside the window and saw Apollo helping out by holding down the tablecloth on the table outside so it wouldn’t blow away.

IMG_3093Jacob is one lucky guy to have such wonderful grandparents who love him dearly and spoil him rotten.

IMG_1801ed IMG_1800edBut it really warms my heart to see him with both his great grandmothers.  Jake loves his Oma and GiGi!

IMG_1794edJake is not really content just hanging out and playing in the house anymore, he is much happier when he’s outside so he can explore, especially when he knows grandpa has a tractor outside.

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And he likes to kick the ball around for the dogs

IMG_1820edTo keep him busy inside the house we started letting him open presents

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After we had dinner, we gave Jake a bath thinking it would be an early bedtime since he had not been sleeping well due to his cold and was getting a little grumpy.  But after his bath he turned into his usual fun, giggly, playful self so we let him stay up for dessert and to open some more presents.

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I’ll be back soon with more on our little elf on Christmas Day.

The Wedding

After the two fun days exploring and learning more about the area of Sonoma County we came to the reason for our trip, the wedding!  The morning of the wedding we visited some of the vineyards close to the house.  The first one had some of my dad and Jacob’s favorite things, dogs and tractors. So they spent most of the time playing outside.

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Then we went to Martin Ray vineyards where they had a pretty garden area so we could do our tasting outside.

IMG_9022edThen it was time for Jake’s nap and time for us to get ready for the wedding.

IMG_1933ed IMG_9035ed IMG_9029edThe wedding was a beautiful ceremony in a church in Occidental and the reception was at the Vine Hill House which was a gorgeous venue.

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IMG_1956edThe lighting coming through the trees was so pretty and I was wishing I had my camera with me, but I think this is a pretty good shot for an iPhone!

IMG_1950edThe day after the wedding, we went on an adventure that none of us had ever done before…Zip Lining!  The Sonoma Canopy Tours zip lining adventure through the Redwoods is one of the top ten in the nation and we had so much fun!

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Afterwards we celebrated with a drink!

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That evening we went over to our friends house for a relaxing BBQ dinner.  The house they rented is on a golf course and had a huge deck where we sat around and visited and chased Jacob around,

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We had a delicious dinner!

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And then just like that, our vacation was over.  The next day we all went our separate ways to make the journey home.  It was really a nice getaway and to spend it with friends and family made it even better!

While unloading Jake’s car seat and all our luggage at the airport, Justin thought it would be easier to leave Jake strapped in so we didn’t have the chase after him while getting all our things.  Wonder what the other people thought when they saw this on the side of the street 🙂

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The Fab Fair

Summer is in full swing and we have really been taking advantage of all the fun things San Diego has to offer.  And one of those things is the county fair!  I’ll never forget during my senior year of college, Justin and I played hooky one day and decided to go to the fair on a Monday hoping to avoid the crazy weekend crowds.  We drove all the way to Del Mar and kept commenting on how the traffic was not bad at all and how it seemed we were going to have the place to ourselves.  Well, we kind of did since the fair is closed on Mondays…oops!  It wasn’t until about 4 years ago that we finally did go, on a day that they were actually open.  We didn’t play hooky that time, but we had tickets to one of the concerts so we went a few hours early and enjoyed the fair before the concert.  Now with a toddler in tow we thought it would make for a fun family day. So we packed up Jake and gave him his first county fair experience!

IMG_8413edFirst up, we looked at the animals. The baby goats were so cute and a favorite for Jacob.

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Then we got to the cows.

IMG_8388edThis was Jacob’s face when I told him that is where his milk comes from 🙂

IMG_8384edEvery year the fair has a theme and this years theme is the Fab Fair to celebrate the 50 year anniversary that the The Beatles (the Fab Four) first visited the United States.  They had a large area that had tons of pictures, posters, headphones to listen to their music, videos playing, records and pretty much everything involving the history of The Beatles.  We gave Jacob a break from the stroller and let him explore a bit.

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We even got to walk Abbey Road!

IMG_1730By then we had an appetite and started exploring the countless food vendors until we found just what we wanted.  Yum!

IMG_1733Then it was off for more exploring which included Jacob’s first carousel ride, which he loved and kept signing more, more, more when it was over.

IMG_8427ed IMG_8420edThen daddy played some games to win some stuffed animals for Jacob.

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When I saw this guy it made me think of the movie Mary Poppins, and I’ve been wanting to watch it ever since.

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Then we went to the family adventure part of the park, where they had more areas to let Jacob out of the stroller to play and explore.

IMG_8446edWe went into the butterfly emporium and had a very up close experience with thousands of butterflies, which was really cool! I think Jacob’s favorite part was this wrought iron musical contraption thing.  He spent quite some time banging around on it.

IMG_8496ed IMG_8478ed IMG_8500edI’d say it was a very successful trip to the fair and Jacob is enjoying his loot!

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2nd Anniversary

I know, I know, I am on a blogging roll!  Lots to share!

Last Sunday our church celebrated our 2nd anniversary with another chili cook off!  We had a wonderful guest speaker during the service and celebrated afterwards in the park.  We invited our local fire department to come participate and the kids loved getting to explore the fire truck.  Julia and I wanted to recreate the picture we took last year on the back of the truck with our pregnant bellies, unfortunately, they had the truck backed up into the edge of the parking lot and there was a tree obstructing the back.  But we made it work anyway and got some cute shots with the kiddos.

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IMG_1900edOne of the firemen we were talking to even noticed that Jacob had a big fire truck on his shirt 🙂

IMG_1905edWe thanked the firemen for serving our community and let them dive into the chili

IMG_1919edIMG_1924edAfter lunch we spread out a blanket and let the kiddos play

IMG_1907edKJ and Jacob were passing a toy back and forth “taking turns” playing/chewing on it

IMG_1911edIMG_1915edIMG_1917edOur blanket quickly filled up with friends and even our buddy Micah joined us

IMG_1929edAnd here is our 35 week old

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Peaches, and kale, and squash, oh my!

So a while back I decided to join a CSA (community supported agriculture).  We were getting tired of the standard veggies with dinner, and wanted to broaden our options.  Joining a CSA was a great way to force myself to look up new recipes and figure out how to cook all these different kinds of vegetables.  How a CSA works is you sign up to get a box either every week or every other week, it is filled with organic produce from local farms, so you never know what you are going to get, it is whatever is freshly picked from the fields. The one we joined is Be Wise Ranch.

It was winter when we first started so we were getting lots of dark greens like, bok choy, mustard greens, kale, mizuna, collard greens, chard, and a wide variety of lettuce. Some of it we loved…others were okay.  Now that it’s summer, we are getting more fruits and summer veggies which I love!  Here’s a picture of what was in the box I picked up last week.
Plums, tangerines, spring mix, eggplant, artichokes, grapes, cucumber, kale, carrots, radishes, tomatoes, peaches & squash.

It’s a pretty good deal for $30!  It helps reduce my grocery shopping as well. I usually have chicken, salmon or beef in my freezer so I just make sure I have some whole grain pasta, wild rice or the fixings for a salad handy and voila…there’s dinner!  The peaches, tangerines & grapes are perfect for snacks during the day. Plus it supports the local farms, it’s fresh, it’s organic and dinner is now a little more interesting! For dinner last night we had Eggplant Parmesan & Kale chips, yum!