19 August 2018

Ready for School

Well, this last week has been eventful. Michael caught a cold and of course I got it a few days later, but way worse. I was in bed for a couple days last week, and am finally not feeling as sick, except I’m still coughing like crazy. And last week when I cut all the boys’ hair before school I found that Camden had lice — our kids had never had it before!  So I ended up shaving his hair in a buzz cut, :(  treating him several times, and washing all the bedding. And I’m confident that it’s finally all gone. 

Feeding 5 Boys

My sister in law was asking for details about how we do lunches & our system of bins for the boys’ food. So since I took the time to write that down, I thought I might as well share that here too — since everyone’s always asking how I feed 5 hungry boys. 😉

So when each of our kids turned about 5 they started making their own lunches on Saturday for the week -- which was a big mess to clean up when they were little (but at least it was one big mess one day instead of lots of little messes every day). 

They usually did peanut butter & jam sandwiches for school, or might have leftovers instead of a sandwich, then on the weekends they have more choices for turkey, tuna, etc.  We had them do a sandwich, a fresh fruit, a fresh vegetable, and an "other."  Others include applesauce, raisins, a pack of peanut butter crackers, a gogurt, granola bar, fruit cup, etc. And once in a while I throw in something else to mix it up, like a pudding cup. 

Earlier this summer my kids were really going down on all the "others" for snacks throughout the day, then we wouldn't have them when it was time to make lunches. So I started to put a portion of them down on the regular shelf that they could snack on, and set some aside on the top shelf where they knew not to get things down, so I wasn't buying way more than normal. 

Oh yeah, we used to say the kids had to ask us before eating food from the fridge or pantry, because we didn’t want them to eat the ingredients for dinner recipes for later in the week, and we didn’t want them to go overboard on treats. But a year or so ago I decided we needed to give them fewer restrictions so they could make good choices for themselves. So we told them the top 2 shelves in the fridge and the pantry are not available (that’s where we keep ingredients for upcoming meals and any foods that Michael & I want to save enough for ourselves to eat), and they don’t need to ask first for the things on the other shelves. That has worked out pretty well (once I started setting aside the “others” so they wouldn’t eat them all the day I got them). 

Oh, and for several years we’ve done this thing where each boy has a small bin in the pantry with his name on it. Because the boys used to eat oatmeal every weekday for breakfast, I would buy each boy their own box of cereal and each one their own box/bag of a snack (nilla wafers, granola bars, graham crackers, etc.), and they would write their names on them and put them in their bins. The idea was that they could do what they wanted with them — eat them all in one day, or make them last the whole month — it was totally up to them. But I don’t replace them until the next month.  Since then many of the boys have switched to cooking eggs for themselves for breakfast most days, but I still get them cereal & snacks for the month.  (And if they complain about not getting cereal everyday, I let them know they’ll have some more at the first of the month). It has worked pretty well to add a little variety without feeding them sugar cereal every day of their lives.  

13 August 2018

Ho Chi

We hiked down the ‘Ho Chi Minh’ trail in La Jolla today. That’s always a favorite. An easy hike because it’s so short, but it’s got some fun technical parts: walking on a board across a little ravine, going through a mini slot canyon, and a little bit of ropes at the end. Plus you get to swim at the end. And the water was great today. 

End of Summer

You know summer break must be coming to an end soon when you go to grab some sunscreen for one of the last beach trips before school starts back up next week, and you find 14 bottle of sunscreen, each with just a few drops left in the bottom. I’m hoping we have enough between all these bottles for a hike down to the beach today.  :)

Hawk Rescue

When we moved into our house one of the things that we loved was the pair of red tailed hawks that nest in the canyon behind our house, and we love seeing them soaring beyond our backyard most everyday.  We even named them a couple years ago: Carmen & Diego.  :)

So yesterday Camden looked out in the yard and saw a hawk by the glass wall at the back of the yard.  I went out to see if I could get a good photo of it before it flew away, but it was on the ground next to the glass wall and it wasn't flying, and as I approached it hopped into the rose bushes at the back corner of the wall, and was struggling.  It was so big!  Maybe 2 1/2 feet tall.  At first I wondered if it was injured, but it looked to be putting its weight on both legs ok, and fluttering it's wings.  We've had quite a few birds get confused by the glass wall (or fly into it and get stunned or even die).  So far there have been a number of mourning doves, a flock of quail, and a road runner. 

Anyway, I climbed back through the rose bushes to where he was stuck at the very corner of the glass walls, and used a couple of brooms to gently lift the hawk up to the top of the wall.  After pausing on the end of the broom for only a moment he flew all the way across the canyon.  Fortunately he didn't seem to be injured, but it seemed pretty stressful for him.  It was cool to be able to help out.  Too bad we didn't think to take a video -- I got a thrill watching that magnificent bird take off from just a couple feet in front of me. 

Indoor Skydiving

When Camden & Eli went to their boy scout camp last week they found out they had the option to choose from several special outings one day at the camp, including indoor skydiving.  We told them that if they were willing to earn the money and pay us back for half of the cost we'd be ok with that.  And since Michael was volunteering with them at the camp that day, and it happened to be the day before his birthday, he ended up deciding to try it out too. 




09 August 2018

Rock Climbing

I’ve been thinking about something to do that is good exercise and also something fun, so I won’t just give up after a few weeks, and I decided to give rock climbing a try. We found a local gym that has a pretty good deal for family passes, so three of the boys went with my to try it out for the first time the other day. We had lots of fun, were totally tired, and had some blisters by the time we were done. The boys also got to try out the slack line & the peg board. I think we’re going to head back over there tomorrow for Michael to try it out, since he took the day off work for his birthday. 

Happy Birthday Michael!

The boys (those who aren’t away at scout camp for the week) had fun getting gifts and making cards for Michael this week. And I got his college, med school, & residency diplomas all framed as my gift to him. Then we stayed up late playing a new Jurassic Park board game that several of the boys all went in on to get for dad. And tomorrow we get to go out for a special birthday dinner to our favorite restaurant, Amardeen, with Jennie, my parents, Grandma Faun, Aaron, & Sierra.

06 August 2018

Bike Ride to Disneyland

Last week my parents rode their bikes with my boys from San Diego to Disneyland.  (Coolest grandparent idea ever!)  They started out and rode to Oceanside the first day with all the boys.  I was the support driver the first couple days of the trip.  And Michael came and met up with us that first evening, then the younger two boys went and spend that Saturday with him.  On the second day of the ride the three oldest boys rode with my parents across Camp Pendleton to Laguna Beach.  Michael & the younger boys came back up and met us there that evening, and we had fun swimming at the beach and going to church there the next day.  Then on Monday we left the car in Laguna Beach and I rode with my parents and all the boys to Anaheim.  We got in 34.5 miles that last day of the ride.  That night Michael & Aaron came and met us, and picked up the car on their way.  Then the next day we went to Disneyland.  We did all the rides, and my favorite part was going to Tom Sawyer's Island and playing for an hour in the tunnels over there -- in all the times I've been to Disneyland I never knew there was anything to do on that little island.  Then after dinner, while everyone else caught one more ride together, my dad and I went and sat in the middle of the road while everyone walked around us, in order to save seats for our group for the fireworks display at the castle.  We were the first ones sitting in the road, but by the time the fireworks started the road was packed with people.  Then after that show, we hurried over to the Fantasmic light/fireworks show, which was a really cool end to the day.  The next day Michael & Aaron drove home, while the rest of us road the train back to San Diego.  So, I think the total bike ride from San Diego to Disneyland was somewhere around 103 miles.  (Plus, Dad & the three oldest boys also rode back home from the train station, so they got in about 120 miles total).  Pretty cool trip!  The boys will always remember doing that.

The beginning

After the first day of riding

The second day 
Riding into Camp Pendleton

A little tired in church the next day
Laguna Beach
(we just happened to go there on their busiest weekend of the year when they have a big art festival in town)

Courtland, deciding to order the muscles 

The third day of riding 
Riding the ferry across from Balboa Island

"No hands!" 
Made it to Disneyland!  Biked over 100 miles!!!

(This is just the third day of the bike ride)

Day at Disneyland 

'Tom Sawyer's Island'