12 October 2014

Mexico

A few weeks ago for the kids "fall break" we decided to visit the nearby (4 hours away) beach in Rocky Point, Mexico. We did this two years ago with our friends and it has taken that amount of time for JP to decide he was willing to go back. The drive is easy even with the border crossing and it is all made even simpler because we go with another family that has been many times. They know which houses to rent and where to stop for beer and other necessities in town. Both times we have stayed in houses that are the outskirts of Rocky Point so we are not venturing into town with the locals and other tourists. It is a pretty quiet existence particularly on Thursday and Friday when we saw few others out on the beach.
The tide is very interesting in the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California) and there are actually two high tides and two low tides each day with meters and meters of difference between the two. The beach has a sharp incline where the waves crash pretty hard during high tide but when it is low tide there is a vast flat expanse of sand and tide pools where we can run and play. This is my favorite part and I really loved getting up in the morning and taking my coffee down to the waters edge to wade in the water and see what the ocean was offering. The tide would be going out again in the evening and we would wander down after dinner to explore.
This year we had some very windy days which really churned up the sea but that did not deter the older children (of all ages) from trying to wage battle with the waves. The boy and his buddy donned life vests and would charge through the crashing waves to get to a "calmer" spot where they could bob along until they decided to brave the return. If you did not time it right the incoming wave would pick you up and slam you right into the shell-covered beach. It was a good workout so the adults would attempt it as well much to the laughter of everyone watching safely from the sand.
There were hours floating in the water and digging in the sand. We all got scratched up from the shells and appropriately pink, red, and brown. After dinner the kids would pass out and JP and I would sit on the porch and watch for shooting stars, study the planets, and debate where the planes were headed. We had a great time . . . can't wait for JP to be ready to return.

01 October 2014

10 1/2

Someone turned 10 1/2 yesterday and for some reason this half birthday seemed to mean a lot to him. He talked about it for weeks and even requested new pajamas for the occasion. Humorous and odd, he announced last night that his two favorite things are pajamas and Cheerios so morning is the best time of day. We are certainly moving into a more challenging time as he matures and he has many typical young boy traits (MESSY!), but boiling down his essence he is still a very sweet and sensitive child. I think the best way to demonstrate the fence we are straddling is this: he speaks of having a girlfriend while his best friend is still a stuffed mouse.

21 September 2014

Pickle the Cheerleader

Pickle participates in Cheer Club at the elementary school which meets two days a week right after school. They learn basic cheers and practice a short dance routine for an end of semester assembly. The highlight for the club is their participation in the high school Homecoming Parade. Our elementary school and middle school sit in very close proximity to the high school and they all do a good job of creating a community among the schools. Pickle was VERY excited to be able to march in the parade and even took notes and studied for the event which JP shared on Instagram.







17 September 2014

Cuchara

Here are some of my favorite pictures from our trip this year.


 Last year we paired off with buddies - not a serious thing but more for fun - and the oldest member (Granddad) and the youngest (New Kid) were buddies. This year the grand kids seemed to pair off and these two were inseparable for a good part of the trip. He was kind enough to carry her on many of the hikes and would let her look over his shoulder while playing on his DS or doing other activities in the cabin. 


 We had a lot of rain this year and spent two days in "town" entertaining ourselves with whiffle ball games. Above is the pregame line up. Along with whiffle ball and the rain, I will also remember this trip as the year of the worms. Pickle enjoyed rescuing worms that had been left behind in puddles . . . no pictures of worms.

 We only had one bear visit this year and it was early one morning - only myself and the kids got to see him prowling around.


02 September 2014

First Day of School

Since most of the country returned to school today, I thought it was time we posted our first day of school pictures. The kids actually went back on August 12th and have (we think) settled into the routine. The Boy is now a 5th grader and Pickle is in 2nd grade!


New Kid went back to her Montessori School on the 11th as an official Pre-Kindergartner. This is her 3rd year at the school but now she goes all day and gets to take her lunch!



06 June 2014

Hall bath

 

     A few months ago a weekend was forfeited by all to touch up the hall bath. The bathroom is ridiculously long and was most likely once split in two. But as it was when we bought it it is big enough to put a Murphy bed in and rent it out. It was ugly, though. The original plan was to split it up so more than one child could use the bathroom and brush teeth, or whatever it is they do in there, with a simulacrum of privacy. This plan was scratched though because one weekend was really all I wanted to give up at the time. Plan b was to remove tile and re-tile as well as paint wall and update the walls and vanity. I went with plan b. As you can see from the pictures I got some help. The children watched me use the jack hammer with their protective eye wear on and New Kid pulled out the lucky charms from between the tiles!

05 June 2014

Swim Team



 I have fond memories of being dragged to swim meets as a child. I remember my role as being a mere accompaniment as my sister was actually talented and I was too young to stay home by myself so I was made to go. It wasn't all bad though. As I recall we rode our bikes to practice and the swim club and I imagine I enjoyed that portion more than the swimming. I wasn't particularly fond of the weenie bikini I was forced to wear but I sure liked eating Jello out of a box with my finger! And so my children will now have the chance to form such memories.
  They have been asking for years if they could join the local swim club and associated team but it just hasn't worked out. Until now. Due to numerous circumstances we can't pack up the family van and take the big summer trip like years past so we are stuck in the desert for the summer. This means we needed something to do and swim team became the something. This week was the first meet of what sounds like very many. They weren't rock stars but neither child that participated needed to be rescued mid lap either so I deemed it a success.