Thursday, September 29, 2016

This Week with CC

We are really enjoying Classical Conversations! The kids are learning so much.

Paige is not technically in CC (the age for classes is 4+), but she even knows our history work and some of our science and math. Her stalling-bedtime question for me tonight was, "Did Charlemagne wear a white shirt?" (To be fair, she also asked me if superheros wear underwear :) I love that funny girl!)

Daphne, of course, is not in CC either, but it is HILARIOUS to watch her as she tries to copy the hand motions for our timeline song!

Normally we have a nursery worker during CC, but she was sick this week, so I taught in the nursery for an hour (along with the 8th grade nursery helper, Mia.) I got some cute pictures of the kids!

I'm the CC field trip coordinator for the year (a job I chose out of several volunteer job options). So I planned a field trip to the Wheaton College Children's Concert, a free concert put on by the college's symphony orchestra and concert choir. It was really good and the kids really enjoyed it! Four other families from our group joined us.

We are so blessed by this group of families and the classical education model!

Last Cali Pics

This is a lot of posting about California! It was hard to narrow down the photos!

Janet and Ben took us to Yogurtland, their favorite frozen yogurt place:

If you ever find yourself in California, please visit 85C Bakery. There are several locations. Get the iced sea salt coffee and the taro bread. And send me some - I'm having serious withdrawals! Janet and I went there 3 times.

Russell and Rachel enjoyed the pastries one day while the other kids slept:

 A Random snacktime:

Janet and I - I love this sweet friend!

And flying home:

Goodness, what a fabulous trip! We will have to go back. Not sure when, but it will happen!

Jef/Sejal/Kieran Weekend

Our friends were out of town visiting family one of the weekends we were in CA, and they graciously allowed not only us to stay, but also offered to let Jef, Sejal, and Kieran stay at their house as well so that we could spend more time with them.

Friday nights are always pizza and movie night :) Strangely enough, the kids requested the same movie they watched when Jef and Sejal visited us in Chicago (Veggie Tales Jonah).

Janet and Ben had recommended a Saturday morning activity for us. Every week, a group called "Donut Derelicts" gathers at a donut shop in Huntington Beach and holds an informal classic car show. We are always up for a car show! And I wish I had gotten a picture of the donuts - they were specialty donuts and so delicious!

The boy cousins!

(2 of) The baby cousins!

They were playing a sort of modified Twister game :)

In the afternoon, we visited the Huntington Beach pier. It was a beautiful afternoon! We got the kids ice cream cones from Ruby's (a diner chain):

We were also excited to see a favorite pastor of ours, Ray Comfort (, who preaches every Saturday at the pier. Jason got to meet and speak to him a bit.

We got at 3:30: home wayyy past Daphne's naptime, and much too late for Paige to start napping, so she read a book with Uncle Jef:

and we did a little hanging out before they had to leave!

(If we photoshop Pops and Jon in here, we'll have all the boys of the family in one pic!)

Super fun family time :)

Monday, September 26, 2016

Cali Beach Fun

Of course, we spent many days at the beach (well, different beaches) while in California! Our friends' house is 3 miles off the coast in Huntington Beach, and we went to several beach spots.

One day, we took a ferry across a harbor. The kids loved it - except, it rained the whole time we were there that morning! Very unusual for this time of year.

This was our kids' first experience collecting shells. They all loved it!

We took a picnic to the beach one evening to watch the sun set. So beautiful. (And the pizza was so sandy!) But everyone had a great time.

Just another beautiful day at the beach...

The kids nicely took turns pulling each other on the boogie boards. Actually, they all got along really well all week.

Paige and Caleb forged a sweet friendship :) She told me they were "getting materials" and cooking.

I can't leave out the watersports that Jason learned! He practiced stand up paddleboard for about an hour one evening with Ben:

(and Russell pretended to surf):

and Jason learned to surf (and loved it, of course).

We took dinner to the beach one other night...and it was SO COLD. All of our kids were crying by the end (except Russell - that kid loves the cold and is so good-natured anyway). Probably the most ill-thought-out decision we made that week. Win some, lose some.

This was a bay and bird estuary, not actually the beach - but there was sand and water, so it counts! A beautiful, sunny day and a happy crew!

So much beach fun and so many warm, beautiful days! We can definitely see why people live here!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Santa Monica Pier

Monday was the last day we had with my parents in CA, and we decided to take a trip to the Santa Monica Pier. It was grand and beautiful and a lot of fun!

(My dad does an awesome job as the family photographer - most of these photos (and the ones from yesterday) are his! Thanks, Dad!)

We walked to the end of the pier, and then went over to the rides! The 3 oldest kids really wanted to ride the Ferris wheel, and also chose to ride an airplane ride.

The airplane ride was the first ride they have ever ridden without a parent :) Paige was very nervous, but Russell and Meredith were more excited than nervous. And Meredith sat with Paige and tried to calm her nerves<3 p="">

Daphne got to hang out with her grandparents while we rode the rides!

The kids had a hot dog dinner on the pier, and then we all walked down on the beach. This beach is known for its gigantic swings and rings. The kids had a great time (and so did Jason :) )

One more picture before leaving: