back from California!

Here’s a quick recap of our 5 day trip to Northern California to visit my Mom. We went down to celebrate, as Mom just turned 55 (so when you do the math? yes. she was very young when I was born!) Most photos of her that I took I promised NOT to put on the blog because she loves having her picture taken (not!) So see? that brunette in sunglasses in the back of the crowd, waving a drowning arm? Say hi, Mom!

We went to the Turtle Bay Childrens Museum and the kids all loved it. On the right is my sweet sister Chris, her husband Cory and my niece Ashlie. Grampa Gordon is always wearing overalls and a cap! And despite the look on their faces here, Sam and Josiah loved this museum!
My sweet nieces! Ashlie is 13 years old and Mikayla is six.

Ian will be nine next month. Here, he and Sam are posing for the camera. We didn’t really fight off any killer sturgeon, this trip.
The beautiful Sundial Bridge in Redding, CA. Look at those clouds! A few hours later that storm broke and we actually saw lightning strike a power pole transformer in Mom’s backyard. Sam is STILL kicking himself that he missed it and only saw the black smoke, afterwards.

Caleb loved this LEGO tarantula! I, however, did NOT. ewww.

Josiah’s feet are growing fast, but Paul Bunyan’s footprint is still bigger…

We always go to the Jolly Green Giant Flea Market. You can see we came out of there without arms full of loot (this time). Gordon found a canoe paddle, and I found a 1940’s vintage cream flowerpot and a new John Wayne dvd for John. Still, even if we don’t find much, we can’t miss it. We don’t have a lot of traditions on my side of the family but the ones we have, we keep!

Mom taught me how to cut Josiah’s hair, and he actually liked how it turned out. This is the “before” shot. Pretty shaggy! I will post an “after” later, but trust me, there was a major improvement in mess-head appearance. I am thrilled to be able to save that $15 a month expense now!

Mom, Chris (and John, for a bit) and I sat around on the backporch, talking and cracking walnuts, for hours. It was messy, but fun. The boys were all intrigued and wanted to help (the hammer tempts boys) but we wanted walnut HALVES, not walnut BUTTER!
We went to the Subway Caves and explored. We had just learned about caves in Science and it was great to see how that previous learning made the experience more enjoyable. Caleb could have explored for hours and was disappointed that we drove “an hour and ten minutes!!” to only walk through it once. But the flashlights Grandma Jeanie bought everyone were a definite bonus, and he is STILL playing with that.Despite the cold drizzle (though last week it was sunny and 80, go figure) we stopped for a picnic. See my Mom spraying cheese product on to a Ritz? She added sausage, cookies and chips to the menu which caused her grandsons to declare “this is the BEST picnic we’ve ever HAD!” (They complained how their Mom always adds “healthy gross stuff”).

Playing with their cousins on Sunday was a favorite. Ashlie ad Josiah are 2 months apart. Caleb and Ian are two months apart (really Chris, why couldn’t you have joined me in a 1997 pregnancy, so Sam would have a buddy now?!! )

See how Ian folds his eyelids back? My kids are so impressed with this skill, and ask him to do it every time they see him! Who knows where such talents will lead?!

Grandpa Gordon is incredibly talented as an artist. He can create anything, in any medium. I love walking around his studio and checking out his latest work. Even though my boys are just his wife’s, daughters, kids, he treats them like real grandchildren. I appreciate that so much, the way he makes sure we know that we are family, despite the lack of any blood connection. It doesn’t matter, and that’s the way it should be. This time, knowing Caleb likes to draw, he sat him down and gave him a little art lesson…

Caleb drew a dolphin first and then looked for a second assignment. Caleb loves chipmunks and defines squirrels as “greedy impostors” so he had to alter the red squirrel directions, adding stripes and “a stubbier tail” to make his favorite rodent.

It had been over three years since we last visited my Mom, and you don’t turn a major-speed-limit-birthday-number everyday, so it was good to go. We made memories, that’s for sure! But now vacation break is over…and it’s back to regular life.

housework, schoolwork and moving the grandparents into their new home. I’ll post pictures of that real soon!
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About sparrowjourney

Christian homeschooling mom to three boys, married to my best friend, John, for over 20 years. I love gardening without gloves, learning history with my kids, cooking with lots of butter, serving others, great books, rich coffee, studying the Bible, camping outdoors, scrapbooking, vintage home decor, the smell of rain and cut grass, authentic people, poetry, laughing until your sides hurt, and babies. oh and black licorice is pretty awesome.
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One Response to back from California!

  1. Amy says:

    Looks like a great trip! Love your mom’s picnic! Lol! So glad some of the cave stuff ‘stuck’! Very encouraging! Can’t wait to hear all about it!

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