Friday, September 24, 2010

Reservations for Monley, party of FIVE!

April 2nd, 2011.

Baby number three!!! HERE WE GO.......................

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Summer in Review

I was NOT very good about documenting our summer on our blog I see. It felt like a really long summer this year. Totally fun, but long. Finn didn't start preschool until this week, and we were both really ready. I'm excited for Fall. We finally have some order to the week.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE summer. We did so many things this year.  We sort of front-loaded it with vacations. And by the end of August, I was just not in the mood to blog. I mean who wants to spend time in front of a computer when you can sit in the warm summer sun of your back yard, munching on freshly picked strawberries with your feet soaking in a kiddy pool watching your kids splash around? I'm just saying....  So here we are, starting into Fall and I'm finally ready to put some summer pics out.  Why not.

It might get lengthy, so have a seat.

Camping in Fort Bragg
I love this part of the state. My hometown friend Char and I took our families up there for the weekend. This is where Char and I used to camp all the time when we were little with our families. The ocean is cold and wild there and the trees are beautiful and almost other-worldly.  I love it.

Finn and Carter had a great time. They are good buddies.

The Family shot.

The four of us got good at sleeping together in a tent. Thank God for IPods.

The Echo Lake Trip
Shortly after the Fort Bragg trip, we headed up to Echo Lake with my extended family. We used to go every summer, and now it's less frequent so we didn't want to miss it. You have to hike in or take a boat to the cabin. It's a beautiful lake at about 8,000 ft and the melting snow is not far away. There are tons of other tiny lakes to hike to, there are paddle kayaks and canoes or you can just lay around the cabin deck reading and relaxing, playing cards. It's the perfect R&R location. There are more and more babies and kids now, so it's a whole different scene now than it used to be......a little less of the R&R now.  :-)


I got a job (working only a few hours when needed) in the daycare center of a racquet club nearby.  In return, we get a family membership and get to take full advantage of their 5 pools, gym, classes....and a discount on SWIM LESSONS! (It's a great deal)  This was Finn's first time in swim lessons. He started the summer with his usual hesitancy toward getting in the water. He got a LOT better during swim lessons, following instruction from someone other than Mom and Dad. And then weeks after the lessons were over, Finn would beg to go to the pool everyday, and he would practice swimming all by himself. And he did it. He can swim now! Just like that. I am floored by his swimming progress. My timid little boy cant get enough of it!

The first day of the lessons. A still timid Finn, waits nervously for the teacher.
The death grip.
Water wing! (Finn won't touch them now, thinks they're for babies.) He's big time now.
Selah jumps right in.
But she has a good death grip too.
This was at the beginning of the progress. I don't have a pic of the real swimming yet. Imagine a doggy paddle with only his eyeballs and nose peeking above the water. That's how he does it, and he is so proud! And so are we.

We also got Finn into a small Parks and Rec soccer class this summer for a few weeks. He thought it was pretty fun. He doesn't really have a competitive bone in his body yet...and I'm okay with that. I like that he just wants to have fun.
It is so cute to watch those little guys out there in their shinguards.

And it was at Finn's soccer practice that we discovered Selah's crazy talent for the sport. She can dribble it faster and better than any of the 4 year olds. She just likes it so much, and she wants to dribble it!
It was a full time job keeping her from stealing the team balls when they weren't looking.
The geese were a good distraction.

 The Cabin Trip
The other cabin trip we went on this summer was just a couple of weeks ago, with friends from SB. This is an annual trip, and so much fun. The cabin is tucked into the mountains of Kings Canyon among the sequoia redwoods. This group is getting more full of kids and pregnant women.  There were a lot of games, some hikes, some naps and GREAT food.  I look foward to this trip every year. Thanks Jared and Jos!

The ladies, minus Liza who took the picture.
Goofy kids in the attic

No one was surprised to see this.
Look at God's creation.....I mean, seriously!
I love this picture. That water is FREEZING and Selah is seriously thinking about following daddy.
Liza and little Wendy
Bag-O.  The game of choice this year.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Eight Years of Eats

Caution....EXTREMELY late anniversary post:

Well, we've done it. We've managed to survive another year of marriage. ;-)

To celebrate our anniversary, we splurged and went away for the night to San Francisco...WITHOUT KIDS! (That just doesn't ever happen.) We are so thankful for Granny Peg and Papa Tom and Tia Lina and Tio Mark for helping out that weekend. Granny Peg finally got a chance to try out the "Granny Camp" she's been thinking of doing for years. We came home to happy kids and tired adults! :-)

Back in the "the city" Nate and I ate good food, walked around town, spent time at City Lights Bookstore and for the big whammie...we saw Wicked! It was Nate's first time and we both loved it. We decided to splurge on this because my hometown friend Marcie played Elphaba, the green witch in SF for just a couple of months. She was fantastic and we got to go backstage after and visit with her in her dressing room. She even took us on a little walk on stage to see some of the big stage props and special effects up close. (Her dress weighed 35 pounds!)

I love Nate, for several reasons, but I love eating together with him. Over the years we've found some favorite restaurants, favorite dishes and some.....interesting food. Last year the post was on 7 weird places we've slept. This year, it's Eight Years of Eats, the good the bad and the ugly.

*Chile, 2004. A few friends invited us over for some traditional Chilean BBQ. Our Chilean friend took an old tractor disc (a what?) and scrubbed it down, turned it sideways, put coals on the bottom disc, and chicken, sausage and steak on the top. While we were waiting for the mountain of meat to cook, we all sucked down raw shellfish with a squeeze of lemon. When Nate and I stayed up all night barfing the next day, we weren't quite sure which food item to point a finger at. What were we thinking? (Plus side: That was the night we discovered The Office - the British was love at first episode.)

*SB 2002. Using a gift certificate from the best man, we spent our one month anniversary dining at the very upscale Wine Cask in Santa Barbara. To this day, that was the best filet mignon I have ever had. Too bad they closed last year. (Not like we could ever afford to eat there again anyway.)

*Recent dinner snafu:  Chinese Chicken Salad. The dressing calls for 1/4 cup of sugar. (Apart from the sugar, it's a healthy dinner....) I found an unmarked jar of white grainy stuff in the cupboard and thought it was sugar. It was SALT...... too late! Dinner ruined. After rinsing the salad under cold water, the kids and I picked at it and gave it up. Nate came home late that night. I told him. He ate it anyway. That's love right there.

*One of my go-to favs. Liza's Carrot Ginger Soup along with my home made whole wheat pizza or bread. Crowd-pleaser every time.

*Thailand 2002: Honeymoon. Nate ordered Pad Thai every single night. And I had french fries every single night, along side everything....lasagna, burgers, soup......(This was before my current health-nut self ) Nate never ordered any other dish, so I thought Thai food was all Pad Thai and it looked slimy to me. No thanks. It wasn't until we were back in the states that my love affair with Thai food took off....the curries, the soups......I am totally kicking myself that I didn't even try it in Thailand! I am such a dork!

*Chile 2004: We found a Thai restaurant in Chile! Why not? They asked Nate what level of "hotness" he wanted his curry dish. (I knew it was over right there. Nate likes fire.)  He told them on a scale of 1 to 10, make it a 14!  It was literally inedible. He just stared at his dinner with his face all sweaty, wondering why he could no longer taste anything.

*Saturday mornings, Nate usually makes fruity waffles or breakfast burritos. It's my favorite meal of the weekend, and just about the only one I don't make! What is it about dads and breakfasts? My dad and father- in- law make great ones too.

 *Cold Springs Tavern, Santa Barbara. Nate and I have gone there just about once a year since we've been married. There's nothing like it. It's a little lodge tucked into the mountains, with a mix between the biker crowd and the fine dining crowd of SB. That basket of home made bread ......mmmmmm. Order any entree and you won't be disappointed. (I try to block out the deer and mountain lion heads mounted on the walls) We've been hoarding a gift certificate we got about a year ago and we are waiting for the perfect dinner date (and SB visit) to use it. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Thank you Nate for a VERY memorable anniversary and all the years of yummy and memorable meals together. I love you.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The Newest Addition To Our Family.....

Trampoline Time!

We were at a neighbor's house a few weeks ago, getting some free tomato plants and as we walked by a pile of springs and poles, they said "Oh, by the way, that's a trampoline if you want it. We're done with it." "Um...yes please" replied Nate. (We don't usually turn away free stuff.) Ten minutes later our neighbors and we were setting it up in the backyard.

We had one in the backyard in high school and my sister and I spent COUNTLESS hours on that thing, trying to out-do each other in tricks. (I never won. Joanne was the real gymnast.) We would sleep on it, put the sprinkler under it, cover it with soap (not recommended, but slippery fun).... trampoline fun is endless. I was sad the day my parents got rid of it....when I was 25.

Now we just need some safety pads to cover up those pesky springs. No injuries yet.....but I've seen it happen and done it myself. We take it easy on ours. And there are lots of RULES and supervision when kids come over.

We were filthy that first day until we scrubbed it down.

Finn took to it in a millisecond. Now he's doing tricks left and right and loves to get bounced by Mom and Dad so high until that look of joy and excitement turns to total terror. (It's kind of funny to watch.)

Selah loves it too. She tries to do everything Finn can do, but she's still so light that she just gets thrown around if anyone else is on it with her.

Not trying to be show-offy but the timing of this shot is pretty sweet, right?!

How do the kids feel about the new toy?

Come over and jump with us! (Just sign this waiver first.)