30 August 2016

Old Poway Park

While we were in San Diego, we tried to take advantage of the 30 degree dip in temperature by being OUTDOORS as much as possible. We found this amazing historic park in Poway. It had old landmark buildings, scenic grounds, a working railroad station (complete with trains and trolleys) and a Farmer's Market to boot! It was awesome!

It ended up being a great way to spend the morning before we hit the beach!

 He's never met a dog he didn't like or want to pet.

 Snacking on kettle corn.

 Trolley ride.

 He couldn't wait to ride the "train."

 San Francisco, without the hills.

 "Hi, train!"

29 August 2016

Sea World

Family photo.

Flying Elmo: Zach's first ride!

Climbing with daddy.

Watching the dolphin show.

Touching the manta rays.

Shipwreck Rapids.

The girls went on it again by themselves.

He didn't know who the characters were but he still enjoyed them!

At least he didn't cry!

Stopped for a side hug.

He's drawn to his love for flags.

My pink ladies.

Journey to Atlantis: This was Grace's favorite ride.

She went on it FOUR times!

Strolling in style.

My little waddler.

Tea cups!

Thanks for a great day, Sea World!

We spent the last few days in San Diego where we took advantage of the fact that Zach was still 2 (and therefore, FREE) at Sea World. It's been YEARS since we've been there. It ended up being perfect because the girls got to ride some of the bigger roller coaster type rides that they were always too small for in the past and Zach got his first taste of the kiddie rides. There was something for everyone and the weather was FANTASTIC! Cool in the morning and sunny later on. Plus, with most of the kids back in school now, there were no lines. Hooray!

Funny, unlike their personalities, we learned that Grace really enjoyed the thrill of the roller coasters while Faith only went on to oblige Grace's begging. Faith said she'd be quite happy hanging out with Zach on the kiddie rides. It'll be interesting to see if their preferences change as they grow into their teenage years. Did I say, "TEENAGE YEARS?"
Oh, my! It's right around the corner, isn't it??!! :)

Considering Zach walked for much of day (without a nap) and the fact that we NOT lose him at anytime... I'd say the day was a SUCCESS!

So grateful for the opportunity to spend this quality time with my family and make some fun new memories together.

And God bless my husband who has more strength and energy than anyone I know! He's one amazing daddy. He can easily hang with most 30 and 40 year old's and even though he's 8 years older than me, he keeps us me young!

So happy he's mine. :) 

25 August 2016

Chicken Veggie Curry

 Gotta love TJ's for the inspiration.

A hot pot of goodness loaded with tender pieces of chicken and veggies.

It's no secret that I love curry and Indian food. Something about the warm, flavorful spices are so very comforting to me. Morgan's not a huge fan but he tolerates it. The girls enjoy it like me and even Zach, happily ate up this dish.
Go, Zach!

If you like the flavors of curry or you're just looking to change up/spice up your dinner rotation, give this a try!
I was inspired to make it by the 2% coconut milk I found at TJ's. Even at 2%, this dish is super creamy. Almost a bit too creamy for me but I think that's why the kids like it.

Also, this is not a spicy dish so it's family friendly (although you know I had to add squirts of Sriracha to my own bowl).

The recipe is easily customizable in that you can add any veggies you have and chicken thighs are a must. Breasts will dry out and be tough. And the leftovers are even more amazing the next day!

Chicken Veggie Curry
via Whole and Heavenly Oven

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2 in cubes
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 cup fresh cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • Hot rice for serving
  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil until shimmering then add chicken, onion, and garlic to skillet. Make sure your chicken is well seasoned with salt and pepper. Stir occasionally until chicken is cooked, about 7 minutes. Add broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots to skillet and cook 5 minutes until veggies are golden.
  2. Stir in tomato paste, ginger, seasonings, chicken broth, and coconut milk until combined. Reduce heat to medium-low and let curry simmer until slightly thickened and veggies are tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove curry from heat and season with salt and pepper and stir in lime juice. Serve curry warm with hot rice.

23 August 2016

Happy Birthday, Jill!

I love this sweet friend of mine.

A ferris wheel of cupcakes for the Queen of Cupcakes!

 A delectable salmon salad for lunch!

We're getting better with the selfie stick! Ha!

We celebrated Jill's birthday with lunch at Desert Willow on Sunday. It was almost as if we had the whole place to ourselves! It was wonderful! I couldn't be more thankful for Jill's friendship in my life. She's always been a willing shoulder to cry on, ready to lift me up in prayer, help me with anything I need, or share her fabulous and tasty treats!

She has a heart for humbly serving people with her gifts and talents and her selflessness is an enormous inspiration and blessing to me.

What a joy it was to spend the afternoon catching up with these beautiful friends.

Happy Birthday, Jilly!

May our friendship be sweeter and richer than all the cupcakes in the world.

15 August 2016

Summer, in a nutshell

Zachary has never met a book he doesn't like.

He's also been busy taking swim lessons twice a week with Miss Hannah.

It's been so nice that she comes to us!

Zach is also obsessed with the American flag. He points out every one he sees around town and he carries it everywhere.

This is the life.

The girls loved having Miss Gilmore, their 4th grade teacher come for a visit.

We had fun seeing cousin Christina in Bakersfield.

Zach and Coco, Chrissy's dog. He absolutely LOVES dogs.

A sweet morning hug.

Visited Grandpa in his new home.

Swimming in Christina's pool.

We never go too far without his ball.

Love this kid.

The girls spent a week happily dog sitting for Miss Lyndi.

Even in the heat, they walked him a few times.

Riley is an easy and playful dog.

Afternoons in the pool are always fun. Even if the pool is 90 degrees!

I love to watch them laugh and play. Sister bonding at its best. 

Taking a snack break in the shade.

The girls also spent 2 full days painting, cleaning, and decorating the CBS Kids classrooms.
This will be Zach's preschool room in the fall.

Weekly volleyball for the girls.

Zach has been monkeying around at My Gym all summer long.

Ball heaven.

Hang on, buddy!

Swim and lunch at Aunt Mary's with the second cousins.

Happy and waving his flag again.

Silly boy! Sometimes, I find him sitting in his bucket of Legos. :)

I can't believe summer is almost over. It's been a low key kind of summer for us. We didn't really go too far and our big vacation plans were postponed due to an unexpected accident. Morgan and his dirt bike have a love/hate relationship. Thankfully, no surgery this time. He's healing  a little more each day but not fast enough for him to be able to do the things he wanted to do on vacation. Thankfully, we were able to postpone our trip to October.

Zach is one busy boy. He loves his books, balls, dogs, and flags. He loves his time in the pool and he's slowly learning to monkey crawl his way out. Miss Hannah is unfortunately going back to college next week but hopefully, one of her siblings will be filling in for September.

Zach's time at My Gym is also coming to an end this month. He's been going faithfully every week since April. It's been a great way for him to learn new skills and burn off some of that boy energy each week, especially since it's too hot to go to the park in the summer.

In addition to all the reading and audio books they've enjoyed, the girls have been keeping busy with summer school twice a week at Miss Lyndi's. It's been wonderful to see them develop in their writing and math skills. She's an amazing teacher and the sweetest friend. We love her and we're blessed by her, to say the least!

We're all really excited about CBS this year. I honestly feel that this is the most important aspect of our homeschooling and I can't wait to do bible study with the girls again. Plus, Zach will be moving up to the preschool class this year and his teacher will be none other than our local librarian, sweet Miss Mandy. She already knows him, loves him, and chases after him at the library. :) He'll be learning short verses, songs, and the Pledge of Allegiance. And yes! She says she will make sure to have flags in her classroom. :)

This week, I took some time and ordered all the books and materials I'll need for the school year. For the first time ever, we'll also be attending a homeschool co-op on Fridays. We've signed up for our classes and we look forward to the learning, fun, and fellowship each week.

So, what's left for summer?

We have a weekend beach trip planned at the end of the month and we may even try to sneak in a trip up to the cabin.

For us, school officially starts the day after Labor Day but our fall schedule will be in full effect once CBS begins mid September. Until then, we plan to enjoy every drop we have left of summer!

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