Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Family Fun Expo

2 weeks ago I had the opportunity to set up a booth at the Family Fun Expo here in Monterey. They invited me to come represent Shelf Reliance so I got to set up a booth to show off all our amazing products & let people taste why my family loves their food so much.

Trek was a good sport & took the kids around the Expo while I was busy inside. They had a BLAST!!!! The first thing they did was get their hair painted. Lorien got hers painted orange with glitter!

And Cadence got orange streaks put in her bangs. (She was a little nervous about getting all her hair sprayed.)

Then both Cadence & Lorien wanted to throw a pie in someone's face. This cracked me up because it was the commander. They have no idea who or what a commander is. They just wanted to hit someone in the face with a pie. All the military people thought it was hilarious.

Taya & Bladen opted for the fishing pond. Taya got a necklace & a slinky while Bladen got a really fun airplane to play with. They thought that was the coolest thing ever.

Then Taya wanted to jump in the bouncy castle. Bladen wanted a cupcake so he stayed inside with me to eat it while Taya jumped outside.

Finally, the big girls got their faces painted. The ladies doing it did a FANTASTIC job. The girls were in HEAVEN.

Cadence wanted to be a black kitty cat.

And Lorien was a fluffy white bunny rabbit.

I'm so glad the kids had fun while mommy worked a little bit. A big shout out to that awesome husband of mine. I LOVE YOU!! Thank you for your support.

Good 'Ole Salinas

People always joke that Salinas is the ghetto. . . & it is for the most part. But there are some really fun places there. We go to the mall a lot & let the kids play on the rides & in the play places. We have always had a lot of fun there & enjoy our visits.

But then you go into the mall parking lot & this is what you find. Come on Salinas, I'm trying to tell people you aren't the GHETTO, but then you give me this.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Time for School . . . Time for School

I can't believe it's that time of year again. Our summer of fun is over & school has begun once again. This year I have a
They really do get too big too fast.

Lorien is thrilled to be in 1st grade. She no longer has to go to the "baby kindergarten" school like she did last year. She is officially at the BIG ELEMENTARY SCHOOL with her sister this year & she couldn't be happier. Her teacher, Ms. Reidy, seems to be good. She is much stricter than Lorien's teacher last year, so we'll see how Lorien adapts to that environment. But it's good for her. Different teaching styles make you a more well-rounded learner. She's excited about everything in 1st grade. She was ADORABLE on the first day of school.

Cadence is in 3rd GRADE this year. (I know, I can't believe it either.) She was SO excited to find out who her teacher was. She has known who she wanted as a 3rd grade teacher for about 6 months now. I even caught her praying this summer that she would get Ms. Farmer. ha ha ha. Was it because Ms. Farmer had a fantastic teaching style? Did the kids learn better in her class? Was she just super nice? Why was Cadence SO DRAWN to this particular teacher? The answer will crack you up.
You should have heard her shrieks when they posted those class lists & her name was listed under Ms. Farmer's name. She was screaming so loudly I thought someone was going to think I kidnapped her. She was SO EXCITED. I happen to LOVE Ms. Farmer. She has a reputation at the school. . . a GOOD REPUTATION. She's one of the best teacher's they've got. So I'm thrilled Cadence gets to work with her.

Both girls were excited to get to go to the same school this year. I was thrilled to not have to drop off/pick up from two locations. See, everyone is happy. And the best part is that their classroom doors face each other so as soon as school gets out, they simply walk out the door & voila, there is sister.

I took some pics of all the kids together on the 1st day, but the boys were NOT into taking pictures as you can see. ha ha ha. Taya was happy until she realized her two best friends were going to school & she was getting left behind. Poor thing. She loves her sisters SO much.

Cadence did great with Ms. Farmer. Ms. Farmer took me aside after school to inform me about how excited she was to meet Cadence Potter. She said that Cadence has quite the reputation among the teachers of the school. I was nervous to hear that, but she told me that everyone ALWAYS talks about this Cadence Potter girl & what a sweet, loving little girl she is. When Ms. Farmer told the other teachers that SHE got CADENCE, they were excited for her. Cadence is such a good girl. I'm glad everyone knows her name based on her loving & sweet nature. She makes this mommy proud.

Oh & the guinea pig is even cooler than she expected it to be. (ha ha ha)

Lorien did well on her first day too. Comparing her to Cadence is like comparing apples to oranges. Though she may not be as focused or organized as her sister, she still excels in the learning process & enjoys it. Lorien's strong attribute is her ability to make friends. She told me after school that there is one little girl in her class that nobody would talk to or play with so she decided that SHE would be her friend. That made me SO proud. Then she proceeded to tell me that this particular girl was "special" because she uses a stick to walk & a special machine to write her letters. But she said that even though she was "different" than everyone else she really liked her & loved playing with her. I got to thinking about it, & I wondered if the little girl was blind. But then I thought there was NO WAY a blind child would attempt to attend a public school. I was completely WRONG. Melina IS blind & Lorien IS her best friend. She walks with her walking stick (she taps it on the ground to help her around obstacles) & she brings a braille machine to class every day to do her homework. (AMAZING GIRL). Lorien ADORES her. She brought home a piece of paper with "Lorien" written in Braille that Melina gave her. It's her prized possession at the moment. I am SO VERY PROUD that my girls are GOOD PEOPLE. They teach me lessons as an adult that I would never learn on my own. They teach me more about life than I could ever teach them.

And so another year begins. And this is ONE HAPPY MOMMY.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Another fun weekend in San Francisco. . .

There really is nothing like driving into San Francisco on a Friday night. We are so blessed to live so close to such a famous & fun city. And even MORE BLESSED to have a sister that lives right in the middle of it all. My favorite part of driving in is going under the HUGE BAY BRIDGE & passing Giants Stadium. In my opinion, the Bay Bridge is just as majestic & beautiful as the Golden Gate Bridge.

We always drive straight to Tylee's work to pick her up on our way to her house. She doesn't have a car, so she loves it when we pick her up. She works right next to the
"Big Triangle Building"
on the edge of the skyline. I know I SHOULD know the name of it, but I don't. But it's really a cool building.

So we picked up Tylee & went to see her brand new apartment right next to Union Square. I love her new location. It's in the middle of EVERYTHING. We put our stuff in her studio apartment & went out for a stroll through Union Square. If you ever visit San Francisco, THAT is the place to go if you're a shopaholic like me. We walked to the mall (the whole square is like an outdoor "mall," but they have an actual mall too). This is the view from the middle floor of the mall looking up.

Yes, that's right.
Now THAT is what I call a MALL.

We ate dinner at the best eatery EVER. All this awesome food & what do we get? Charley's Sandwiches. The one FAST FOOD joint they had. I hadn't eaten a Charley's sub since we left Germany over a year ago. It tasted SO good. I missed it. After subs, we ate gelato at the Italian Gelato shop. (still not as good as the real thing, but pretty good nonetheless).

Then we went home & watched movies at Tylee's house until we all fell asleep. Saturday morning Trek & I woke up & had a "morning date" in the city. We walked down to a little crepery called "Honey Honey." It was FABULOUS. I had a
& I was in heaven. It reminded me of the festivals in Germany. (Oh how I miss Germany.)
Trek had a NUTELLA STRAWEBERRY CREPE & it was equally delicious. Thank you Tylee for such a fun "date" idea.

After breakfast, we picked up the kids & we headed out to the
Golden Gate Bridge.
The weather wasn't cooperating, so it was a bit foggy. . . but it was still a BLAST. We drove to the Sausalito side where there is a parking lot, & took some great pictures with the bridge & the San Francisco skyline behind us. It was a bit cold, but we loved it.

I always laugh because no matter where we go, strangers are CONSTANTLY asking to take pictures with our 5 little blonde kids. Nobody ever believes me when I tell that to them, so this time I took pictures of
TWO of the FIVE
people that asked to pose with my cutie pies. I guess I can take it as a compliment. My kids are definitely one of a kind.

After taking a TON of pictures, we walked across half the bridge. It was crazy cold & the wind was blowing so hard you could feel the bridge sway a little bit, but we had fun. Tylee was so funny. She had surgery on Friday to remove a mark on her forehead so she had a little bandaid in the middle of her head the whole time. We called it her
We love her. She was a good sport with all our teasing. My kids love their Auntie Tylee.

We took a lot more pictures next to one of the famous orange pillars. At this point the kids were FREEZING & DONE. But they were good enough to pose for a few more pics for mommy.

Trek & I love walking bridges together. Our first bridge was the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, then we walked across the famous bridge in Venice, Italy. Now we can add the Golden Gate Bridge to our list. I have so much fun with my sweetheart.

After driving, then walking the bridge, we headed into Sausalito for some lunch at a Taco Bell. We drove around & crossed the biggest (& scariest) bridge EVER from Richmond to Oakland. (I don't plan on driving across that thing again anytime soon!)

We found a cute little park under the freeway in Oakland. We wanted the kids to play for a bit before we headed to the temple, & found this little hole-in-the-wall park with 2 swings. Well, once we got into it, we realized that it was a HUGE park & that part of it was hidden. Most people wouldn't have given it a second glance, but I'm sure glad we did. It was a FUN PARK. We will definitely be going back soon.

After playing at the park we headed to the Oakland Temple for the rest of the evening. Trek & I volunteered to babysit for our ward's kids for ward temple day. We didn't realize we would be watching 52 CHILDREN. It was INSANE. Tylee was such a good sport to help us all out. We had 2 other couples there helping us as well. Yes, it was stressful, but SEVERAL GOOD families got to go to the temple who haven't been in a very long time. We were happy to be of service to them.

Then we all hopped in the car & headed back on our 2 hour trek home to Monterey. It was a FABULOUS WEEKEND.