May 29, 2012

Home from Sunny CA

We're home!!!  It was a fantastic, much needed time of relaxation with family.  Since we were with family, there was a lot of built in child care/entertainment, which means that I got a LOT of time to loaf, lounge, and reflect.  Can't a momma always use a little more time for reflection?  So it was just what the doctor ordered.  But lounging and meditation isn't all I did!  Nope!  There were a lot of fun activities in between sun soaked moments on a lounge chair by a fountain under magnolia trees.  Admittedly, those were the best moments.

We crashed the HOA party and instead of listening to the rules about what flowers you can plant, we rocked the  bounce house.

Every morning we did a little bit of school at Grandma's dining room table while Joe caught up on work e-mails.

We returned to the Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield with kids this time.  The only other time we ever went there was when Joe and I were first dating and I flew out to meet his family before our summer apart. love, when young couples  are heartbroken for 3 month stretched called summer break.
Oh look!  Here we are way back in 2000, looking like dorks in the same place.  Much younger and not nearly as happy.  We looked so weird and awkward.  Good times.

But Joe hasn't grown up completely.  No, he still needed a photo of himself being run over by the Jelly Belly bug.  That's right folks.  I'm a single mother of 4!
Hannah Jane's friend, Kacie, had told her that there would be large portraits made exclusively of jelly bellies, but it still blew her mind.  Reagan 

We spent the next day at Folsom Lake, soaking in the not so warm water and baking in the super hot sand.

Haven spent the whole day (seriously) just like this.  He wasn't asleep.  Just relaxing.  And when we made him go up to the share for a while, he whined, going straight back to this particular brand of relaxation the second he was allowed back into the sun.  Unfortunately his little back burned to a crisp and he's now shedding like a snake!

We hit the Sacramento Rail Road Museum.  That's always a hit!

Get off the track!!!!

Joe took this and I love it, so I thought I'd share.  I wish our home had a more modern, industrial flair so I could blow it up and hang it some place prominent.

I took this pic of my feet on the dashboard as we pulled up to the ocean at Dillon Beach.  That was when I still thought we weer going to have a happy, relaxing day at the beach.  That was before I opened the door and got pelted with stinging sand gusting in the high winds, into my ears and eyes and nose.  Yeah...doesn't this pic look all peaceful.  I had no clue what was ahead!

For a few minutes the boys were still excited to be there even though the sand was stinging their little bare legs.  Soon they were both crying, running back to the van while making vows to never ever set foot on a beach again.

Hannah Jane didn't seem to mind one bit.  She went shell hunting with the rest of the grown ups and came back with quite a collection.

 Joe had some sort of parallel experience because this was the beach of his childhood and he now got to go there with his kids, so to him it was a blissful day.  

THe next day we hit Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and that's where I found out that my camera had so much sand blasted into it from the beach wind that it no longer works.  Totally nit a beach trip worth losing a camera to, but what can ya do?  Eventually I'll take time to get the pics of my ohone and post them, but for now I've got too much on my plate.

While we were there, my first edit came back from the publisher and it wasn't nearly as traumatic as I had expected.  The editor seemed to mostly be pleased with the book and just rearranged things and asked for WAY MORE DETAIL.  I thought the bulk of my work was behind me, but it's clear that the editing process is going to be more work than the actual writing of the book.  When you write a book, you write what you know.  When the editor makes that content edit, she asks for a bunch of stuff you have to go out and figure out because you never thought to ask about it.  THe stuff you thought to ask about, you did, and then you wrote about it.  But these new questions...they are going to require more research.  But that's good.  Now the book won't only appeal to people out there who think just like I do.  It will be much better by the end.  But now I have to buckle down and really get to work.  

But before I can even get to work, I have to get these choir kids though their final performance of the season, which means this afternoon we have one final practice, I have to make up programs, coordinate refreshments and performance hall set up, and then get through the big night, registering new singers for fall's production of Fiddler on the Roof.  All of that is behind me Friday night and I can let myself slip fully into book brain.

So I might be heading back towards a blogging hiatus, but when it's over, I'll be an actual published author (squeee!  That feels good to say!) and back with more misadventures!


  1. Yay for your book - even though it sounds like a lot of work, I'm sure it will be GREAT!!! So excited for you :-) Hey am I the only one who feels like I know you, or do you think it's weird I now comment on every post like we are long time friends hehe.

    Actually I also want to ask for some advice since I feel we are probably similar on our view of what homeschooling is all about and what we want our kids to get from it etc... I'm looking into kindergarten curricula since I'm visiting the USA in July and really want to get something then (my son will turn 4 in September however I'd like to get the material so I can look over it and feel confident a year ahead of time lol, plus will be sooo much cheaper to buy in the USA and it's the last time I'll be there for a few years at least). Do you have any recommendations?! I just have no idea where to start looking. Google is killing me, too many options. Any advice much appreciated whenever you have a spare moment, no rush ;-)

  2. Haha! Chelsea, I feel the same about you, even though I don't get over to your blog as much as I'd like. But your comments and e-mails are ever present so I do feel like we're long parted friends. :)

    With regards to Kindergarten, I took a pretty loose approach to that grade. I figure that this is the time that you get to set the tone for emotional responses to learning for the rest of their lives. If it's too rigorous or stressful, they will get it in their heads that school is a negative thing. So, rule #1 for me is to keep it pleasant. That said, it's also a good time to lay the foundation so we did do some formal stuff. We used Saxon for K math. I liked it in that it was hands on with colorful objects to move and games to play, but still very structured and repetitive to get them into the groove of learning. It's very pricey, though. If you go that route, don't buy the manipulative kit. You can buy all of the odds and ends you need at a teacher supply store for half of what you'll pay for the kit, and a lot of the stuff is totally useless. But you'll read all over the net that you can't do Saxon without it. For reading I love the Reading for All Learners series of books (you can only get them online in most states)and Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. I prefer the first, but it's more of an investment than the second. The second is great, but leaves a bit of a gap between reading in that book and reading general library books. For science, we just did a lot of hands on activities from library books. Edible science is always fun, making things explode always gets their attention. We took lots of field trips and saw for ourselves the things we learned about. I would say don't drop a ton of money on K curricula. It's an easy grade to fly by the seat of your pants on. Additionally, you generally can't just drop into a store in the states and just buy a curriculum. Very few towns have an actual homeschool store. So I would browse online and if shipping is limited to within the states, go ahead and order now and have it all shipped to a family member's address to be waiting for you when you arrive stateside. I've never been able to actually buy a full curriculum from a store that I could walk into. Oh, and for phonics we adored Explode the Code! Super cheap and super engaging for the kids. But DON'T get sucked into the online version. It stinks! That's all I can think of at the moment, but drop me a note if you think of anything I missed.

  3. Awesome thank you SO much (and dont worry, I hardly post any more, too busy with my Radiant Hearts program!)! I will look into all of those and definitely order online as we wont have time to do much shopping. Really, really appreciate it. :-)


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