Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Playing at Manchester Beach

On Sunday our friends left to go home, but we still had one more day. We wanted a nice relaxing family day. We took our lunch and headed to Manchester Beach. We grilled some hot dogs and walked through some sand dunes to get to the beach. The girls enjoyed playing in the sand.Noah put together kites for him and the girls to fly and I enjoyed just laying on the nice warm blanket until Aubrey threw sand on my head. It was a beautiful day with plenty of wind for kite flying and warm sunshine. We spent three hours on a beach that stretched for 6 miles and only saw about five people the whole time. It was nice to have the beach to ourselves.
When we got back to camp it was almost dinner time. We fixed our dinner while the girls played. Noah started a nice big fire and we told stories around the campfire and ate s'mores. The best part of the whole evening was the story telling time.
The rules were simple: someone starts the story and at any point in the story someone else could chime in with a new part to add to the story. The last and funniest story we told went like this... Anissa started "Once upon a time there was a raccoon who" Ashlyn started in "who had a little sister raccoon. They were playing and went" Autumn said "down to the river to play" Anissa spoke again, "they jump in splashing, laughing, and having a good time." Noah spoke up and said "When all of a sudden a crocodile ate up the sister raccoon. Brother raccoon took out his sword, poked the crocodiles bum and slashed the crocodiles belly open. Out popped the sister raccoon and the crocodile said" Then Aubrey yelled ...What Happened? I Burped!
We all started laughing and decided that was the best ending to the story.
That night we were visited by a raccoon family who must have heard our story and liked it.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Exploring Gualala

On Saturday we had a wonderful breakfast together with our friends. We took all the girls to the campground playground. We checked out all the fun things to do there. Not only is there a playground, but there is a store, ping pong tables, botchy ball, basketball, and volleyball with all the equipment provided. We finished getting ready so that we could explore the area. We took our friends to Point Arena. We stopped at the pier and to eat some lunch at this cute little place called Pizza N Cream.We ate Pizza and afterwards we all had a scoop of ice cream.Then we went to Schooner Gulch to play, explore, and relax on the beach. It was low tide so we were able to explore the tide pools. The girls found star fish, sea urchins, crabs, a jelly fish in the sand, and a washed up dolphin on the beach(the girls were really sad). The girls played in fresh water that meets the ocean and in the sand. Noah and I relaxed on a blanket on the warm sand watching the girls. We headed back to the campsite to make dinner and eat fruit cobbler. The girls were really tired and went to bed soon after. Noah and I had a nice relaxing time hanging out with our friends and sitting by the campfire.

Camping in Gualala

Noah and I decided to take the girls on one last camping trip this year while the girls were on fall break. Some good friends of ours also wanted to join us. We decided to go to Gualala. It's hard to pronounce. Some people call it gwa-LA-la, but the natives call it wa-LA-la. From the Kashaya Pomo Indian phrase, "ah kha wa la lee" which means, "Where the water flows down", which makes sense--for the river goes out to the ocean right across from the center of town, right by that big sand bar. It's up on the coast of California, north of San Francisco a ways. It's not an easy place to get to and it's not a big place. But, once you've been to Gualala you'll never forget it. We spent a few days in the area about 3 years ago. We love it.

We made reservations for a three nights stay at the Gualala River Redwood Park. We had a beautiful site surrounded by redwoods and a river view. We left on Friday and didn't get an early start so we had to set up camp in the dark. On the drive there we say a beautiful sunset, a cow in the middle of the road, 5 deer, 2 raccoons, a fox, and a skunk. That night we were also visited by a family of raccoons trying to see what food they could find but, Noah scared them away.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Autumn Prayes

Thursday morning while Ashlyn and Autumn were at school I was comforting Aubrey who has been fighting a stomach bug for a week now. After Pre-School Autumn walked in the door and went straight to the table and ate Aubrey's Pedialyte Popsicle. I was busy getting Aubrey comfortable on the couch when I saw her eat the last of it.
Our conversation then went like this... "What are you doing? Why did you eat your sisters Popsicle?" Her answer "because I wanted it" I replied "Well I can see that and now you are going to get the flu and be sick like Aubrey. You better go sit on the couch and PRAY that you don't get sick."
While I cleaned off the table of Aubrey's "sick food" I could hear Autumn saying something and looked over to see her with her head down and arms folded. A minute later Autumn said "OK mom I prayed so that I won't get sick like Aubrey." What a smart little girl.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The First Day of Fall

Well its the first day of fall and our family is excited and starting to notice the changes. We have had cooler days, seen fall decorations around town, noticed the leaves on trees are starting to change color, and are already enjoying the apples that have become a fall tradition for us. What we did not expect is the abundance of Summer vegetables that are still being produced in our garden. We still have plenty of tomatoes ripening, cucumbers, bell pepper, green beans, and plenty of zucchini. In fact, with the fall weather upon us, we keep forgetting to check the garden as often as we did in the summer. We are growing enormous zucchini in the garden. Poor Ashlyn needed help to pick it.We are grateful and blessed to have such a plentiful garden this year.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Oh the Things Aubrey Does

Aubrey has done some funny things the past few weeks. Here are just a few of them captured on film.

1st Thing: One evening we found her with a cup of water and a comb.
She was combing her hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes. It was really cute to see her getting all dolled up. 2nd Thing: When Aubrey takes a nap she will come out of her room and find me downstairs. This paticular day I heard her door open, but never saw her when I went upstairs to check on her this is what I saw... 3rd Thing: The girls are always playing on the computer. Well Aubrey wants to play on the computer too. So Sunday afternoon Noah and I found her trying to get the ear phones plugged into the computer just like her sisters.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Primary Luau Party

On Friday afternoon our ward primary held a luau party. The girls were very excited. I was too until I was asked(a few hours prior)to be the human face target for the water ball toss. I was a good sport about it and said yes.
So for 45 min.(it felt a lot longer) I stuck my face in a round cutout and waited for kids to throw four wet foam balls at my face. The balls being wet were not the problem. It was the force at which the wet balls came flying at my face. A few kids had no mercy, with a fast arm, and excellent aim. Even Ashlyn took advantage of the situation letting me have it eight successful times. Autumn refused to hit me. She walked over and to kiss me instead.While I listened to Hawaiian music and tried to put myself in a more peaceful place the girls did three rotations. They played a water relay, made grass skirts, and of course tried to hit me. When they were all done with this we watched one of the leaders and her mother perform a hula dance for us. Then they taught the children how to hula. At the end we all had popsicles and danced to music.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Having Fun with Aunt Amber

We have been having a great week with Aunt Amber. We have gone shopping, played guitar hero, went out to lunch with her and had fun being silly. We even went on a 4 mile bike ride to the park for a picnic lunch. It was an adventure, but we had a great time. We are so glad that she could come for a visit.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ashlyn's 2nd grade Field Trip

Ashlyn has been waiting for this day ever since they sent home the permission slips(about a month ago). All the 2nd grade classes went to the Jelly Belly Factory. Ashlyn started her trip on the blue school bus. When they arrived they broke it groups of four. They had a snack and then stood in line for the tour. Her favorite part of the tour was when she saw the sugar getting added to the jelly beans. Her favorite jelly bean flavor is strawberry. After their visit to the store where she bought a jelly belly straw, spider gummies, chocolate mints, and strawberry jelly beans they ate lunch. They took pictures out front by the giant red jelly bean and played some games. Ahlyn had a great time on her field trip.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Autumn's Birthday Party

Autumn wanted a birthday party with friends this year(last year we opted for a family one instead). We decided on an outdoor swim/water party. I borrowed a couple of pools from my sister-in-law and set up our slip-in-slide, giant spray ball, and our two pools we own. Autumn decided on an Ariel themed party with yummy snacks and fun toys for the goodie bags. She invited her pre-school friends and her church friends to join in on the fun. Aunt Amber, Grandma Smith, and her Cousin Preston were able to be come celebrate with Autumn. Autumn and her friends had a wonderful time running from water toy to water toy. They also enjoyed the trampoline and swing set.Then it was time for the Happy Birthday song and blowing the four candles out. The kids loved the underwater cake with Ariel on top.
We ended by opening up her presents. She loved all of her presents, but especially loved her fisher-price digital camera and purple dress-up dress with matching dress for Barbie. What a great 4th birthday Autumn had!