Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!


Hanging out by the fireplace on our "chilly" New Years Eve.
(I think the temps dropped below 60. brrrrr )

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Books for this month

We've been reading winter and Christmas books all month long.  Here is our list, so far:

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
The Big Snow by Berta and Elmer Hader
The Legend of the Christmas Stocking by Rock Osborne
Mystery in the Stable by Lisa Flinn and Barbara Younger
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss
If You're Missing Baby Jesus by Jean Gietzen (we love this one)
We Three Kings Illustrated by Olga Zharkova (this is the song illustrated)
Mary's Treasure Box by Carolyn Walz Kramlich
Gertie the Goldfish and the Christmas Surprise by Naomi Judd
Cuddly Dudley by Jez Alborough
The Pine Tree Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs
The Christmas Pageant by Christy Colby Heno
A Child's Calendar Poems by John Updike
The Night Before Christmas illustrated by Jane Brett
Counting to Christmas by Nancy Tafuri
Hopper by Marcus Pfister
A Wish for Wings that Work an Opus Christmas Story by Berkeley Breathed
Sky Tree by Thomas Locker
If You Take a Mouse to the Movies by Laura Numeroff
Father Christmas and the Donkey by Elizabeth Clark
The Other Wise Man by Henry Van Dyke
Norman the Doorman by Don Freeman
Frosty the Snowman musical board book
Biscuit's Christmas by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Madeline Christmas Activity Book
Pooh Christmas Days
Dream Snow by Eric Carle
Snow on Snow on Snow by Cheryl Chapman
Snow Shapes by Judith Moffatt
Snow Day! by Barbara M. Joosse
All About Snow and Ice by Stephen Krensky
The Twelve Days of Christmas illustrated by Jan Brett
Going West My Little House Books
LipLap's Wish by Jonathon London and Sylvia Long
White Snow Bright Snow by Alvin Tresselt


There are more, but that's all I have time for right now!  I'll come back later and share our favorites in more detail.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

What's Old Becomes New Again

I'm not sure when it happened.  Time has a way of getting past us without us really paying attention.  At some point we outnumbered in people the amount of bicycles we own.  Or more accurately, we outnumbered in bike riders the amount of bicycles we own.  The girls have been happily content on riding scooters, so we didn't really pay attention to the fact that there weren't enough bikes to go around and the bikes we did have were beginning to show signs of living in the desert. 

Now that S. is actively riding his bike w/o training wheels the girls have taken up a renewed interest in bike riding.  Uh oh, what bikes? LOL  So, today we took the bikes to our local store to have the chain fixed on one and a new inner tubes put into the other.  Having our two bikes ready to go, S. zipping around on his bike (which he has actually outgrown but we're not worrying about that right now ;-) ) the wagon all spruced up for J man and we're left with one girl standing alone.  Kind of like the Farmer in the Dell where the cheese stands alone or more accurately, Musical Chairs where there just aren't enough to go around.  One girl was left standing asking "Can't I ride a bike too?"

Fortunately, a relic of the past came into play at that moment.  A veritable antique LOL was dusted off so that my eldest daughter did not have to stand there all alone asking the question, "What about me?  I'd like to ride too."  What heirloom of familial importance did I pass on to my eldest?  Nothing less than the bike I had growing up. :-D 

The history of my bicycle is grand.  I'm the youngest of 4 (all girls :) ) and my parents in their infinite wisdom bestowed certain gifts on us at certain ages.  Rights of passage one might call them.  At the age of 8 we each received our very own Schwin Bicycle.  We each had to contribute $20 to the purchase and we had to pick out a bike that would last us a long time.  No fancy banana seat bikes for us (mom wouldn't allow them anyway) w/ low seats and streamers flying.  No, we needed to pick out an adult size bike that would last us, well, a life time.  Dad was only going to buy one bike for us, so choose wisely.

The months leading up to my 8th birthday I dutifully practiced on my mothers ancient bicycle in our backyard learning how to kick the pedals up so I could actually ride the thing! LOL  I had many falls, scrapes and mishaps yet managed to not only survive but thrive (bike helmets?  Unheard of back then. :D).  I'm pretty sure I picked out the bike of my choice, one exactly like my older sisters only in a different color.  My bike was a beautiful Aqua blue.  This was the '70s so aqua was quite "cool" back then.  I wasn't with my parents at the time of the purchase nor do I know when and where they stored it but when I woke up on my 8th birthday, there was my brand new shining aqua blue bike. 

Ahhh, freedom was mine at last.  I could travel far and wide on my not so little aqua bike.  Ok, truth be told, I was only allowed to ride in a circle on our driveway, directly across the street and back onto our driveway for quite awhile.  Then, I was allowed to go down to the corner and back for another "quite awhile".  Then, I was allowed to go around the block for even more of "quite awhile".  Eventually, I don't remember how many "quite awhile's" had passed, ahhh, freedom.  I could now go exploring wherever I liked (as long as I didn't cross any busy streets.  Oh, and stay out of the alleys and the empty lot - did I mention my parents were very strict ;-) ). 

I have fallen off that bike so many times, crashed into things, got cut up bruised and scraped but oh how I loved my bike.  Of course, as I got older, like 7th grade, my friends were now getting their cool 10 speeds w/ the skinny tires and handle bars that curled down or if you were ultra cool, you curled them up.  Not me, nope, I had the bike that I was going to have forever. 

I won't say I minded having my clunker one speed as they zipped on their ten speeds, I did.  But, I'm venturing a guess that my circa 1970's Schwinn one speed bicycle has outlasted all those zippy little ten speeds w/ their fancy gears and skinny minny tires.  It was hard when we'd go on long bike rides to keep up, but I did.  For really long rides, I'd just borrow my friends brothers bike so I too could change gears and easily get my pant leg uncaught from the chain - just pedal backwards! (anyone else remember the pant leg getting caught in the chain on a pedal brake bike?  You know, how you're happily riding along one minute and the next your body is being thrown into the handle bars while your leg remains firmly affixed to the chain?  Argh, how many ripped and oily pant legs did I have growing up?  Bell bottom pants and pedal brakes do not make a good combination!)

For my, ahem, 40th birthday a few years back my parents reintroduced me to my bike.  My father had it restored, as best they could.  The seat is original and it shows, there's still a bit of rust on the fenders, rim and handlebars but that bike is solid.  It stood the test of time and to ride it is an experience that brings back memories and just a general good feeling.  There's something about the weight of those old bikes that gives you a whole different experience than when you ride bikes from today.

So now, 35 years later, I can hand down my old bike to my daughter and she can now enjoy the freedom and exhileration of blazing new trails.  She just needs to  watch those pant legs.  ;-)


Me w/ my bike in 7th grade
(please ignore the squint, my mom is a notoriously poor photograher lol)

Reunited :-)

Passing on the legacy

 

Friday, December 19, 2008

Book Club Christmas Party

Our Mother Daughter Bookclub is in our 5th year of meeting.  Once a month we get together with other homeschooling moms and their daughters at each others homes and discuss our book selection, play and chat.  It's been a wonderful addition to our lives here since we moved.  The girls love it and I've gotten to know several Moms I never would have known otherwise.  Definitely a blessing to our family.

Every year we have a Christmas party where the whole family is invited to attend.  We do different things year to year from cookie exchanges to an old fashioned Christmas gathering.  This year we met for a little mixture of old fashioned Christmas and regular ol party.  :)


Come join us!







The kids played outside, mainly soccer (what else? LOL) for awhile, then came in to chow down on some yummy food.  We had homemade mac and cheese, meatballs in the grape jelly/chili sauce mixture, spinach artichoke dip w/ fresh bread, veggie tray, fruit and cheese tray, pretzels hand dipped in chocolate w/ colored sprinkles (all feingold friendly :) ), homemade Christmas cookies, baklava and white chocolate covered pretzels.  YUM!  Everything was delicious and looked so festive.



 


Besides playing outside, we had popcorn and cranberries for the kids to string if they wanted to.  This was a first for many of them.  I think they enjoyed it.


Popping corn




The kids also either read a favorite Christmas story, played the piano or did both.  It's always fun to see what books they'll bring each year.  It's also fun to listen to them through the years on the piano as they all improve.



Acting out their story


Just because he's so cute and was everywhere at all times! LOL

Duet!








It was a great evening spent with friends and family.  Thank you all who came and joined in the fun.  For those who weren't able to make it, we hope your families are well and we'll see you in the new year!


Merry Christmas!!!








Monday, December 1, 2008

Who's watching you?

Ever have the feeling that you're being watched?







owl in our eucalytus tree

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thankful Leaves




E's leaves:
My Family
Being able to pray and worship Jesus
Crunchy food
Health
The Bible
The New Baby
The Fruit of the Spirit
My Imagination
The Right to Vote
A good education
Friends
A free country
Mommy and Daddy
The ability to play the piano
A soccer team
Jesus Died for me

R.'s Leaves:
Jesus and God
My brothers and sisters
Balloons
Mommy and Daddy
The New baby
Soccer being fun
America

A.'s Leaves:
My brothers and sisters
The New Baby
The Day
The Bible
Soccer
Fall
The New House
Mommy and Daddy
Trees
Friends
Horses
Our home
Fish
Jesus
Birthdays

In the past we've done a Thanksgiving Tree and every night after dinner the kids would write on a fall leaf (paper ;-) ) something they were thankful for.  We'd then hang it on the tree.  We'd start the first of Nov. and by Thanksgiving, our tree was bursting w/ fall color and thanks. 

This year, I didn't get the tree up due to a variety of reasons, running here and there, sick kids, my tiredness from being pregnant, basically, the general busyness of life.  The kids would ask and I would think "Oh, I've got to do that" but never did "that". :-( 

I had an idea last night of how we could still think about what we're thankful for and display our thanks, w/ only a few days before Thanksgiving.  I still had some fall leaves from past years so I had the girls (the boys were playing outside) write on the leaves what they are thankful for, just like we did in the past, just write them all at once. :D  I then took their leaves and strung them on gold thread, that we had on hand.  I hung them from our entry window, where on this overcast day, they look quite appropriate.

As we prepare to spend time with family and friends, what are you most thankful for?  Today, I'm thankful for my beautiful family.  Thank you Lord for entrusting them to me.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friendship Friday

I did this once, several months back and never got around to doing it again.   Mainly because most of the blogs were inactive and then I lost my "linked friends". LOL

I thought I'd give it another try and see how long I can keep it going. 

I often visit other people's blogs but don't leave a comment.  My goal with my Friendship Friday is to visit 4 blogs, leave comments and then share those blogs here with you all.

My first blog I visited today is from someone I know in real life!  Kim and I met years ago when her oldest, now 9, was just a wee little baby.  I have a picture of them in my backyard from a Welcome Tea I hosted, only I won't post the picture because I don't think Kim would like it.  It wasn't taken of them, but of the general setting.  The picture consists of her husbands profile, a glimpse of the little one and Kim's backside.  LOL  Kim's latest entry is videos of her kids in their tae kwon do tournament.  You should go check it out, they did a great job!  Love to Learn

The next blog I visited was Candace at His Mercy is New.  Candace is one of the many women I've "met" through the Five in a Row boards.  Her blog is full of things they do throughout their school day as well as things on her heart.  She has a beautiful family. 

I next journeyed over to my pal Kristina's blog at, My Family Life Rocks.  We met on the FIAR boards as well, and through this last year I've gotten to know Kristina better.  She is a beautiful woman, inside and out, with a beautiful family.  Kristina is a runner and inspires me with her dedication and talent. (I've never been a distant runner, only a sprinter ;-) ).  Kristina blogs about all sorts of stuff, cute pictures of her kids to video's of her pastors sermons.

I then journeyed over to Lynn at A Mother's Journal, and what a journey it was.  Lynn's blog is a wonderful peaceful oasis in the busy wide world web.  She loves nature and has oodles of pictures of her gardens and their nature projects.  Everything about her blog oozes peace and tranquility.  Lynn is someone that I also "met" on the FIAR boards, but got to know a little bit better when we were both part of a round robin letter exchange.  She is someone I long to meet in person one day.  She exudes such a calm demeanor, I'd love to soak some of that up along with her knowledge of herbs and flowers. :)

Well, that's four blogs, enough for today!  After visiting Lynn's, I'm inspired to go on a nature walk with my munchkins.  The weather is perfect, 77.  Cool w/ a slight breeze but lots and lots of sun!  First, I need to go leave a comment on Lynn's blog, I forgot.  Old habits die hard. ;-)

I hope you've enjoyed journeying through some new blogs today.  Maybe they are new ones, old ones revisited, either way, an encouragement to you today.  Also, I hope I've inspired you to leave some comments along your blogging travels today.  :-)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

FALL BOOKS

With the days finally getting cooler (except for this week,  but we won't talk about our 89 degree weather!!! ) , I've pulled back a little on the schooling to let the kids have some free time outside.  We've still been plugging away at our normal studies, only about half time though.  We've added in some fun read alouds both from our public library and our home library.

Here are some of the books we've been reading:

Thanksgiving at the Tappletons' by Eileen Spinelli
Don't Eat too Much Turkey by Miriam Hoban
The Memory Cupboard by Charlotte Herman
Thanksgiving is Here by Diane Goode
Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes
Thelonius Turkey Lives! by Lynn Rowe Reed
Beauty and the Beaks a Turkey's Cautionary Tale by Mary Jane and Herm Auch
A Thanksgiving Wish by Michael Rosen
Turk and Runt by Lisa Wheeler
Fall Changes by Ellen B. Senisi
The Very First Thanksgiving Day by Rhonda Gowler Greene
The Thanksgiving Visitor by Truman Capote
Apples by Gail Gibbons
One Fall Day by Molly Bang
An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving by Louisa May Alcott
Thanksgiving is... by Gail Gibbons
Silly Tilly's Thanksgiving Dinner by Lillian Hoban
The Thanksgiving Door by Debby Atwell
Apple Picking Time by Michele Benoit Slawson
The Pilgrims' First Thanksgiving by Ann McGovern
When Autumn Comes by Robert Maass
The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dalgliesh
A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting
It's a Family Thanksgiving! by Deborah F. Fink
Possum's Harvest Moon by Anne Hunter
If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620 by Ann McGovern
If You Were at...The First Thanksgiving by Anne Kamma
County Fair (my first little house books) by Laura Ingalls Wilder


What have you been doing to make fall extra special?  Are you all tucked in for the cool weather or are you like us desert dwellers just breaking out of our summer hibernation?

Our years spent in Ohio made me appreciate many things.  One was the changing of seasons.  Fall was by far my most favorite.  I loved the crisp cool air, the beautiful changing leaves and an overall anticipation of change in the air.  Fires burning, piles of leaves to jump in, family and friends gathered together for hayrides and bonfires, all in preparation for hunkering down for the cold months ahead.  Those times definitely kept you going through the long bleak winters where, come March, the anticipation of Spring was on everyones minds.  It's harder to find the same feeling here in the desert, but it's there, if you look hard enough and ignore the near 90* temperatures!  

Over the next week or so I'm going to take my kids out in search of fall in our neighborhood.  There are some trees that turn colors, although most have probably already peaked (peaking lasts about a day around here LOL).  Other trees are budding and blooming thriving in the cooler weather.  One big change is the citrus ripening.  We've already picked some lemons from our tree.  By Christmas the tree is in it's full yellow glory.  Maybe that tree would be a good place to start for the kids to note the changes in their nature journals.

Enjoy your fall weather, while it lasts, wherever you live!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Rash update

I took my guy to the pediatrician yesterday to see if he could figure out what the rash was.  Fortunately, our pediatrician had an opening, so we could see him.  On Saturday when hubby took him in it was another pediatrician who focused strictly on ruling out strep and not much else.  Had she only been a little more thorough, we might have had our answer before he broke out in the rash.

Since S's rash was only a trace on his face, and the rash on the rest of his body had begun to fade away, still very much there but it wasn't continuing to break out and was beginning to blob together like his face had, I almost didn't take him in.  I thought for sure he would tell me "It's viral" w/ nothing more specific.  I printed off the pictures I took of him the day before, at the height of the rash and brought them with me. 

The dr. walked in admiring the  pictures, LOL.  He then asked me a couple of questions about him coughing, he wasn't.  He listened to his lungs, then he listened to his lungs some more, then he listened to his lungs even more.  I noticed the look on his face and could tell he was really concentrating on those lung tones.  I told the other kids (because yes, they were all with me ) to stop talking so the doctor could hear. 

The dr. then asked a few more questions, I told him how last week he had been complaining of a pain in his upper abdomen and chest area.  All sort of in the middle with no real specific area rotating his hand above that area. 

The dr. then told me what he strongly believed to be the diagnosis and why.  We also went through all the typical childhood rashes and why they didn't fit those patterns, which is what we had figured in our research as well.

My little guy has Valley Fever.  The rash was "textbook", his symptoms of  pain in his stomach/chest go along w/ the pneumonia he most likely has as well because yes, he heard crackling in his lungs.

He sent us for a chest x-ray, where they confirmed fluid on his lungs.  Poor guy.  No wonder he's felt so miserable. :(

So now I wait for the Peds office to get back w/ me on what we're supposed to do next.  The good news is he's not contagious, he's getting better and being a healthy kid, he should get better fairly quickly w/o complications.  His rash might scare a few people while we're out, but he's cleared to be out in public.

Unless you live, or have lived, in an area that Valley Fever is present, you probably have no idea what I'm talking about.  LOL  For those of us here in the SW desert, it's so common anyone who has lived here for an extended amount of time has probably contracted it.  Typically the symptoms are really mild and you don't even know you're sick.  Our ped. told us that he had just diagnosed a 6 year old a few weeks ago as well.  You can read more about Valley Fever here.


Thanks for helping us working through this and for your prayers.  He still needs prayers to clear his lungs quickly and w/o complications or long lasting effects, but for the most part, my guy is on the mend.

The hardest part now is keeping a 5 year old boy from running around non-stop all day long!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Spelling Bee

E. has always loved to spell.  She's a natural speller and enjoys having people give her challenging words to spell. 

Tonight was our support groups Spelling Bee.  There were two divisions, K-2nd and 3rd-8th.  In our Bee the oldest kids participating were 5th graders, E. being one of them.


E. is in the brown shirt


The younger kids went first and went through round after round of words.  They were great spellers.  Finally, the winner was declared and it was time for the big kids to line up.


Waiting to spell


It was fun watching the kids get up there and spell.  Some went out on words you just know they knew.  You just felt for them, they were so disappointed.  E. got a word that she missed when we were practicing.  She spelled it perfectly.  When she got back to her chair she looked over at me w/ a huge grin.  Yeah. :)

As they advanced through the rounds, the final two people standing were E and her friend S..  In the end, S. misspelled her word which left E. needing to spell her word correctly to win.  She knew her word, spelled it w/o a mistake and won the Bee. 


At home w/ her certificate.



She was so happy and we were happy for her.  She was excited to get home to tell Daddio all about it. 

She is now eligible to advance to the District Spelling Bee.  We'll see when the time comes if we actually participate.  We understand how much different that bee will be compared to what she just did, a nice friendly non-threatening atmosphere w/ her fellow homeschoolers vs the "REAL THING".  She loves spelling and having participated in this bee might be enough to satisfy her, or maybe not. 

We're so proud of you SweetPea.  Congratulations on your win!  We love you. :)






Sunday, November 2, 2008

We're seeing spots

My 5yo is sick. :(  He has a high fever and now a rash.  Poor little guy is so miserable.  Here are some pictures of his rash.

Last night as the rash began to spread


Stomach last night



This morning



His stomach this morning



His back this morning

Anyone have kids that had spots like this?  We're guessing it's one of the many viral rashes you can get.  It doesn't fit any of the "known" rashes in it's presentation.  He still has high fevers, it's itchy (but not miserably itchy), he has no spots in his mouth, but there are some on his palms and soles today. 

Wouldn't you know we went to the Peds yesterday morning to rule out strep (neg on the rapid and we'll hear about the culture tomorrow).  Too bad the rash hadn't manifested at that point.

Being pregnant, hubby wants me to stay away from him as much as possible.  We're praying that tomorrow, when he goes back to work, our little guy will begin to show signs of getting better.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mommy and Me

You know how they have classes for toddlers and preschoolers called "Mommy and Me" time?  I never invested any time or money in them when my kids were little, usually because I had more than one "Me" I was toting around. ;-)

Now that my oldest is turning 11 (tomorrow!), I decided to take a few days and spend some special Mommy and Me time with her.  I asked her where she wanted to go and we would see if we couldn't make it happen.  We've been planning this for a year now, btw. ;)  She loves the beach and anything to do with the ocean so it was no surprise that she picked going to the beach. 

A few months ago Hubby and I decided we needed to make some plans and reservations if this was going to happen.  Since I was just ending my months of HG, I didn't have a lot of gumption to plan anything beyond my next breath.  Fortunately, Hubby had enough gumption for us all and made me sit at the computer and figure it all out.  He knew that October would come quickly and if I hadn't planned anything, I would be mad at myself for disappointing E. 

We knew we were going to go to the beach, but what beach was the question.  Having frequent flyer miles on Southwest made getting there, wherever there was going to be,  easy.  We thought of all the different beaches in CA.  Should we go to one we've been to before, try something new, go to one by an Aquarium (I'd love to take her to Santa Barbara's aquarium ).  After thinking about it, we decided to try to go someplace where we wouldn't need a car.  I can drive on CA freeways but I don't want to if I don't have to! LOL 





I started researching Coronado remembering when I stayed there years ago (can it really be 20???) with some girlfriends.  I remembered we didn't have a car and were able to get around the area and even venture into San Diego w/ little effort.  I wanted to stay at a place within walking distance of the beach, the stores and the restaurants.  There is, of course, The Hotel del  Coronado or "The Del" as it's known to locals.  But, that one is a little out of our price range.  

Even though we couldn't afford the Del, we could walk around the beautiful grounds and lobby!

There were no trees on Coronado at the time the hotel was built.  All the lumber to build the hotel came from trees up in Northern CA and floated down along the coast to Coronado to build this incredible hotel

Inside the lobby
A close up of the ceiling

We were told to check out the Crown Room if it was open.  They were having meetings the time we were there so we never got to see it in person.  But, we did see a picture of it on their digital picture frame!  Very cool.  Here's a link to some interior pictures, including the Crown Room.  the ceiling is all carved, curved wood.


The Dragon Tree, planted at the turn of the century



I found an ad for a hotel that got great reviews right across from the Del, Glorietta Bay Inn.  They had some specials for mid-week and we decided to stay there for our Mother/Daughter get away. 


    Front of our hotel

Glorietta Bay Inn is the original home of John D. Spreckles a sugar baron.  The hotel has since been renovated and more rooms added on, unattached, to the original mansion.  We were able to get a room in the mansion, which was really neat.

Here are some pictures from the hotel:


E. wanted her picture taken by the rose. :)

 


Our Window/balcony (you couldn't go out on it).  The window you can just make out on the side was our other window.

Marble staircase going up to the rooms


This is at the landing of the stairs.  You can see it in the last two pictures.  There was no access to this spot, you might be able to tell that it's about 5 feet higher than the landings floor.   I don't know what it was originally used for.

The following are pictures of our room.  My 7 year old wanted to know what it looked like.

Here are those two windows I was talking about from the exterior shots.

This shows the old "ventilation" system.  See the transom over the door? :)  I love these old houses with all the great architectural detail.  Huge ceilings, lots of moulding, carvings, etc.  It's so beautiful and incredible craftsmanship.

The Bathroom

The bathroom skylight.  E. took this picture by laying on the floor.  I love the rounded ceiling treatment.
The skylight outside of our room.


These are pictures from the "parlor":



The ceiling treatment.
Zooming in on the carvings.  Isn't it incredibly intricate?

They had a player piano that would play in the afternoons.  E. was disapointed that she couldn't play her piano pieces.  She loves to play any chance she can get, a grand piano is always a nice bonus. :D


The main thing E. wanted to do was hang out at the beach.  I convinced her that she would also enjoy going on a Trolley Tour that would take us all around Coronado and major tourist areas in San Diego.  Knowing she would be back in time to spend hours on the beach later, she was all for it.  We really enjoyed the tour.  The guides were awesome, entertaining and educational all rolled into one 2 hour ride.  We decided to get off at Balboa Park and go visit the Science Center.  We spent several hours there, E. running all over from one exhibit to another and me trying to keep up. LOL 

Balboa Park is such a beautiful city park that has so much to offer.  I love looking at all the architecture and was able to take a few pictures as we walked to the Science Center and before the trolley took off again to take us to Old Town.  When we go back to San Diego I've convinced Hubby we need to explore Balboa Park.  He's looking forward to it.




Originally built in 1915 for the Worlds Expo, all these buildings were supposed to be temporary.  Obviously, the decided to keep them and they have all been renovated and brought up to current building and earthquake codes.  Thank goodness!  It would have been a shame to have all this destroyed. :)












When we first arrived and checked into our hotel, we headed out to get lunch.  We ate at a great seafood restaurant.  E. ordered shrimp.  They were the largest shrimp I've seen.  They looked more like giant prawns.  She could only eat a couple of them!




After our late lunch we walked over to a bookstore a couple of doors down.  Bookstores are probably E's favorite place to hang out.  The library is a close second. :D


Yes, she's in the little kids section.  She still loves touch and feel books! LOL  It's that sensory thing, ya know. :)  However, the book she picked out to buy was The Mysterious Benedict Society (which she finished in a few days).  Definitely not a little kid book. ;-)


So, finally, after lunch, the bookstore and the store for some water, we hit the beach!  We spent a lot of time at the beach.  These are all a mixture of the two days we were there.  The beach in Coronado is rated as the best family beach in the country.  The sand was incredible.  Even finer and nicer than the sand on the Gulf Coast.  We had a blast playing in the waves, looking for shells (we found tons of sand dollars), digging in the sand and just playing around.  E. really enjoyed our moon shots. ;) 


The Beach, FINALLY!!

Playing in the sand with The Del's famous turrets in the background
She liked making "quicksand" and sinking in as the waves buried her feet deeper and deeper.






Here we are goofing around:

She may be small for her age but my, she sure is strong. ;)
Holding up a Cruise ship!
The moon!
She wanted to see if I could hold up the moon too. ;)
One finger even.







The moon coming up over The Del.


We had a great time while we were away.  Traveling with one and that one being old enough to do things for themselves was such a novel experience!  LOL  No naps, no diapers, no whining from being overtired.  It was fabulous.  It was actually relaxing.   We had time to just talk and joke together.  We both enjoyed ourselves and it was difficult to leave.  I know that we will both look back with many fond memories of our special time away together.