Memory Keeper: This Week In January

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Posing in front of the Seattle Space Needle

This Memory Keeper post is a few snaps returning home to sunny weather

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Going up to the top of the Space Needle would have cost our family $146.oo  (Ages 13+ $26.oo, Youth age 4-12 $16.oo, Under 4 Free) and parking was $12.oo. Double yikes!!! Since we were just passing through on the drive down and still needed to get back on the road, we opted to just pay parking at $12.oo which was good for a couple hours  (though I did see less expensive parking later for $4.oo, though not sure how long it was for) and just take a quick stroll.

I’m pretty sure I would never pay that much to take the whole family up there just to take in the scenery, unless it was something they were all super into and they were desperate to see. Though one day I may save up and go for dinner with Hubbs. The dinner IS expensive in itself, but at least you would have the entire meal time to enjoy the view.

It was a nice sunny day and there were tons of people visiting and walking around. There is also the Pacific Science Center and Children’s Science Center in the area. In the photo on the left, was an outdoor skating area they had just closed for the season

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L: For some funny reason this circle was THE place to take a pic R: Drive through San Fran and across the Golden Gate Bridge on the way home

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Ahhhh, we’re HOME

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Goofys enjoying Christmas gifts

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I am enjoying the beautiful blanket Grammy knitted (she also knitted and sewed 4 more for all of us! She is AWESOME!) and gifted to me and the pretty trees

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L: Pina Colada Smoothie: Frozen Pineapple & a can of coconut milk R: Cucumber Pear Banana with Chia Seeds

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L: Strawberry Orange Pear with Chia Seeds R: Zucchini muffins topped with walnuts…Back-to-School

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And one happy face that’s missing a couple of chompers. Hope your Winter Break was fantastic!

Family Fun Adventure (Canada): Capilano Suspension Bridge

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Our newest Family Fun Adventure also hails from our neighboring country to the north. This time we are visiting the Capilano Suspension Bridge. Yes, its very touristy and quite expensive for our usual outings. We haven’t ever visited the bridge in all our many trips up here, so we decided to take the plunge in spite of the cold and rainy weather. And no, the rain had absolutely no effect on the other tourists and visitors to the site. They were there in large amounts, though not too bad (coming from California and the crowds we are use to) and after dark when all the billions of Christmas lights came on there were plenty of locals packing in as well

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Posing with the Totem Poles. These carved poles were traditionally used as story telling aids in Native cultures and I learned that some stories took up to a week to tell! If you are planning to visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge here is the lowdown. Number 1: Its pricey! Adults will pay to the tune of $32 Youth (13-16) $22 Kids (6-12) $12. Gulp! Triple AAA members get a tiny discount.

Its all paved and strollers are cool up till the bridge itself, then everyone has to walk. So, if there are littles too big to carry or too small to walk and climb all the stairs at the tree canopy part on the other side, maybe wait until they get bigger as they won’t allow strollers on the bridge. Our littlest at almost 4 years, was totally fine walking. It depends on the child of course. There are restrooms, coffee shop, food/snacks and a large gift store.

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Yes, it was cold enough to dress as an Eskimo for the day :) I was warm = happy, until the sun went down

There are 3 main areas to enjoy, the very long bridge, the treetops adventure and the cliff walk.

The original bridge was built in 1889. It stretches 450 feet across and hangs 230 feet above the Capilano River. So, very long high bridge.

The Treetops Adventure was my personal favorite part. You walk along 7 small suspension bridges and platforms, 100 feet in the air through an old growth Douglas Fir forest. This was really perfect for the little kids

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Azure and cousin Kalin on one of the bridges in the Treetop Adventure

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A view from the canopy bridges

If you have kids, go straight to the Treehouse and pick up a clipboard to take the self-guided interactive tour. Answer the questions on the paper and receive a Rainforest Explorer badge. Thankfully, a free souvenir!

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Littlest brother wasn’t feeling well so we left him to nap in the stroller in the covered snack area with a big brother while the rest of us took the Cliff Walk. As you can see, its pretty narrow and I don’t think strollers are allowed on here either. The Cliff Walk was added to the site in 2011 and its pretty spectacular. Its cool to take in the engineering feat of the walkways, but the best part is the view of the river below

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The walkways were totally safe, in spite of the wet surfaces and I felt very comfortable having the kids walk on it

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After the sun went down this guy and Dad braved the cold to view the many Christmas lights

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My conclusion about this attraction was mixed. Was it a great educational place to wander and explore? For sure! It was a beautiful and different way to hike/walk. You are walking on paved paths but feel as though you are hiking the temperate rainforest. Very cool and I would love to visit in the summer, though I imagine it would be a good deal more crowded. Was the price something we would normally stretch to include? Nope! But, since Vancouver is essentially our second home town and we haven’t really done many paid tourist things there before, we bit the bullet cost wise and had a good time. If you are vacationing, as we were and have set aside a budget for fun activities, its not TOO painful. Hope you enjoyed visiting the Capilano Suspension Bridge with us on this post of Family Fun Adventures

Here is the link to my Family Fun Adventure on Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/hellokate81/jugglingadventure/fivemonkeys-blog-

And here is the park link: http://www.capbridge.com

Memory Keeper: This Week In December 2

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Auntie Yvette doing the Gingerbread House with cousin Kalin and Brecks

Hope Everyone had the best holiday season! We got to make a very special trip to Canada and spend time with much missed family up there. Thanks guys for making it a lovely visit. Here are a few snaps from our trip

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L: Squeezed in the van for a long drive R: The mad dash of Christmas morning

This was the first time our whole family was able to travel up there at Christmastime. And nearly all my family there was able to attend (We missed you Uncle Reuben! Come see us anytime)

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Playing with Christmas gifts. Thanks Everyone!

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L: We got to finally meet our gorgeous smiley little nephew…Hudson Alexander aka Mr. Bacon. He is such a good dolly child. Congratulations to Dave, Tanya and doggie sis, Jax on your new addition

R: I have a picture of each of my kids with Grandpa’s noise reducing head gear on. This time it was Brecks turn to play with them. I think they are for flight controllers. Grandpa uses them for peace and quiet :)

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Skating and uhhhh, napping

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Walking to Burnaby Lake Regional Park to see the ducks on a very cold day

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Memory Keeper: This Week in December 1

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Yes, we can swim nearly all year round in the slightly heated pool here in Cali :)

Happy Belated December Everyone! I’m finally getting a chance to catch up on some blogging, so here are some pics of our everyday life. Lotsa love and stay warm

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Forget Disneyland, they should really call the beach the ‘The Happiest Place On Earth’ Our littles think so anyway

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L: Strolling around Lake Casitas R: Watching the Christmas Parade in Solvang, CA

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At one of our favorite parks…Sequoia National Park for our Christmas pictures this year

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Here’s one to make you feel better if you are freezing somewhere. We found a few patches of snow in the park and Hubbs snapped this beautiful picture of baby B

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Weekends are for pajamas! Snuggles and a game of mini Uno

xo guys!

Family Fun Adventure (Canada): Fort Langley National Historic Site

 

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Super excited to bring you this Family Fun Adventure from…Canada! Yes, folks we had the blessing of making our way up north to enjoy the holidays with our Canadian family, and it was LOVELY! Today’s post comes to you from Historic Fort Langley in British Columbia

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We did the touristy thing and went with the Grandparents and Auntie Yvette (not pictured here, she took the better picture so I used hers! Thanks Yvette. Start writing for my blog pretty please) to the Fort one rainy day. Here is the pricing: Adults: $8.oo Youth: $4.00 Family: $20.oo (not sure how large a family counts) My sister had some passes since she worked for Parks Canada, which took care of the kids and 2 adults. We ended up paying 3 adult tickets for about $25. If you had to pay for everyone it could get a bit pricey for a large group, but it is definitely great value. This site is nicely paved so strollers aren’t a problem. It also has the added bonus of being fenced, er, walled in so the kiddies are contained. We had our stroller, but our almost 4 year old preferred to run around

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Inside view of the palisades

See the shed like roof off of the wall? There is a window in the wall that they used for trade with the Native people

“Fort Langley is the exact location where, a century and a half ago, a huge fur trade organization called the Hudson’s Bay Company established a small post to trade with the First Nations of the West Coast. The enterprise grew, evolved, and influenced history, leading to the creation of the colony of British Columbia” (taken from Parks Canada website. See link at the bottom of this post)

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L: Under the wall walk R: Stairs leading to the wall walk

This place is perfect for kids in the 5-12ish age range. There’s quite a few things for hands on fun, like a children’s museum in that you can wander around and touch most everything for the younger ones and slightly older ones will be able to enjoy the historical value. My older boys (13 and 15) weren’t all that interested in the history, but they were fine with wandering around. My 1st grader was TOO excited and couldn’t stop running all over looking for everything on the map and interactive booklet that was handed out to the kids. I had a hard time slowing him down to point out different interesting things. He was the same way at the LA Natural History Museum (https://juggling5monkeys.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/family-fun-adventure-la-natural-history-museum/) too overwhelmed to focus on details, which is funny cause he’ll listen to me read plenty of detailed science books. As an adult, I loved the place! It was a wonderful educational peek into life in the 1800’s and the birth place of British Columbia

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Here’s a picture from up on the wall walk at the top of the log walls surrounding the Fort where soldiers could patrol on look out

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L: Grandparents talking to the cooper making barrels for shipping salted salmon, cranberries and other goods

R: Mom and Azure in the store house in front of pelts that would have made up the fur trade that this area was known for. An attendant informed me that bear fur was commonly used as the outer wrapping for a pile of furs as it was the least expensive pelt

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L: Pretend to be a blacksmith for a few minutes R: Big boys testing out the bellows at the smithy

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L: Boat used for trade R: Try your hand at panning for gold at certain times of year

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Some kitchen areas in the houses. Interestingly, two or more families shared these homes. Each family area consisted of one large room with kitchen and sleeping areas just like in the Little House on the Prairie books. Some thing that struck me was how dark these houses must have been. There was some electric lighting disguised as candles or lanterns, even still, in the cloudy weather that is Vancouver for the most part, inside was really dark

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They really try to make the areas lived in. Beds with blankets, knitting basket out, food on the table. Everything is very tidy which it probably really was, since people didn’t have too much stuff back then :) The grounds are, I imagine a lot neater than it was in real life. More park like and less like a muddy farm

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In the fall there are farm animals, a vegetable garden and mini orchard on site. Nothing to see when we visited late December. There also weren’t any crowds to deal with. Awesome! We pretty much had the run of the place

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A view of the Big House

“British Columbia was proclaimed a colony at a ceremony in the Big House on November 19, 1858. The present building was reconstructed for the centennial of this event. The original building served as the fort’s office and residence of the chief trader, the clerk, and their families” (taken from Parks Canada website) I learned that the Fort was built twice after being destroyed by fire and the only original building from the second build on site is the Storehouse. I didn’t think to ask the attendants what happened to the other buildings (its killing me now!) and I can’t seem to find anything online (let me know if anyone knows the answer) it seems like there was too much competition in trade and that led to the Fort ceasing to be a company post in 1886

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The kids enjoying some of the items they could touch and dress up with

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I was very impressed that the vintage clothing, dolls, china etc. could be handled. Very cool in my book!

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L: Old fashioned sink. A pitcher and wash bowl R: Furnace

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Some items in the stores that traders and gold miners would need

 I wished I would have read up about the site’s history before the visit. My overall impression of this place was…its an awesome educational gem! We had a great time and I thought the value was pretty decent. Some reviews I read suggested some visitors weren’t happy with crowds, lack of shows, activities and attendants to speak with. Although there weren’t any shows or special activities at the time of our visit (late December) there also were virtually no crowds, we still had a memorable and interesting visit. We spoke with a couple friendly attendants dressed in period clothing and they were able to answer our questions and tell us  interesting details of life and trade products of the Fort. I would certainly recommend this place for visitors to the area and would also consider an annual pass to bring the younger kids

Hope you enjoyed this post of our visit to Historic Fort Langley in British Columbia

Here’s the link to the Parks Website: http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/bc/langley/natcul.aspx

To Pin any of these pictures, see my Pinterest page: http://www.pinterest.com/hellokate81/jugglingfivemonkeys-blog-adventure/

DIY Tutorial: Framed Pet Silhouette on Fabric

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Welcome back for a super simple DIY Tutorial today: Framed Pet Silhouette on Fabric. BEWARE: This project is SO easy, ANYONE can do it and its a perfect Christmas gift for a special pet lover. Let’s start.

Items Needed/Cost of Project:

Frame (any size): FREE (I already had this lying around my house)

White Gloss Spray Paint: FREE (Again, I had this leftover from other projects) Though I recently bought one from Michaels, it was 40% off sale and I searched there website and snagged a 25% off total bill coupon. So I paid just under $4. You could also leave the frame as is, if it goes with your look

Fabric: FREE (Yup, I had this on hand) You only need a small piece of fabric, depending on your frame size and could probably buy it for less than .50 cents or you could go with a pretty piece of scrapbook paper instead

Black Paint: FREE (Had it) I used a .50 cent bottle of black acrylic paint from Walmart or a craft store (don’t forget to use a coupon if shopping a craft store)

Pen and small Paint Brush: FREE (Already had)

Printer: Black and White ink is fine for this project

Side profile Photo of your subject. You can use other animals, people or favorite objects as well

Total Cost of Project: FREE or about $5+ if you needed to buy everything

Aside from paint drying time, this project literally takes less than ten minutes (if you aren’t painting your frame) Awesome, right?

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Step 1: Print out a picture of your subject. Make sure its a good fit for your frame. Resize larger or smaller as necessary. For mine I used a picture of doggie niece Jax, this gift will be for her parents this Christmas

Step 2: Spray paint your frame, if you decide to do this step

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Step 3: Wrap a piece of cardboard with your fabric or paper, pull tight and tape down. I used the cardboard that came in the back of the frame and some thick masking tape. Iron fabric before taping if necessary

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Step 4: Check to make sure the fabric is tight and you have no wrinkles, adjust if necessary

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Step 5: Do a quick mock up and decide final placement of photo. Originally, I was thinking I’d go with putting the photo way down in the lower right corner, but afterwards I changed my mind and centered it instead. Notice how the photo cuts off on the bottom and right side? I just faked the rest of the outline. Also the ear on top got cut off in the printing and again, I just added an extra piece of paper and faked it

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Step 6: Trace your photo with a pen

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Step 7: Start painting the outline and keep your paint from dripping or flicking all over by doing this step carefully. I filled the paint cap with paint and set it on the area I intended to paint, in case of drips. Paint this outline as neatly as you can, keeping the lines crisp will make the effect nicer

Step 8: Fill in the entire space you wish to paint. I did two full coats and left it to dry in between coats, and then a little spot touch ups wherever I could still see the pattern peaking through

IMG_20141205_163039Sorry, the glass was a little dirty :) But, yeah here’s the finished product!

Go get creative with a piece of meaningful art for a gift this Christmas!

To Pin any pictures of this project visit my Pinterest page: http://www.pinterest.com/hellokate81/jugglingfivemonkeys-blog-projects/

Memory Keeper: This Week in November

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Our Memory Keeper for November begins with these two happy faces at the park on the beach

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I must admit I’ve been a bit of a slacker when it comes to the pumpkin carving scene in recent years. This year I decided to set that right, take the plunge and give into the mess. The trouble with carving pumpkins with little kids is that I end up doing all the work! I cut off the tops and made them scoop out the insides. Who knew they would hate it! Azure pretty much made a gross face the whole time he was getting the seeds out and Brecks refused to scoop his out. So, yup, more of Mom’s help. And then I had to cut the faces, at least Azure got to design his own face and tell me how he wanted it. Maybe, this isn’t as high on the Autumn fun list as I thought and we should skip a few years

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And we finally made it to a pumpkin patch as well. I haven’t really found any awesome ones around here for free, so we haven’t been since we’ve lived here. This year I really wanted to try one. Which we did and it was so-so in the fun/interesting department with very expensive pumpkins. But, the  kids had a few minutes of fun wandering around and fighting over pulling the wagon

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Such pretty colors!

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Haha, he saw the cow cut out and ran straight to ‘milk’ it and thought it was hilarious. Thankfully Daddy snapped a picture

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For Halloween Azure went as a fireman and Brecks refused to dress up and wear his little dragon outfit, though he did put it on for Daddy a couple days later

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And my latest homemade project…kombucha. Which is a fermented tea that is filled with probiotics that is good for gut health L: A picture of when I first started it R: A week into the brewing process and it looks great! and weird! But, its awesome good for your health. I decided to let my batch continue brewing for a month as I wanted it to have a really good thick layer of jelly, called a scoby, its currently on week 2 so I will have an update at a later date. This is my first time making this, so not sure how it will turn out, I’ll keep ya’ll posted

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L: My little helper when all the big kids are at school, making pumpkin muffins for breakfast R: This year we made a ‘Thankfulness tree’. Super simply its a bunch of branches in a container with little tags of things you are thankful for written down and hung on the tree.

In the last few years I’ve tried adding more and more to our family traditions. Some of them stick and some don’t, but I’ve tried to be more intentional with them. I want my kids to think back years from now and say, ‘Remember when we use to do that’ A couple we’ve done in case you’re interested are: a Celebration of our family, we chose mid way through the year between Dad and Mom’s birthdays, so far we’ve just celebrated with a cookout for this, Valentine’s Day special breakfast, yearly trips to spend with family out of state, Christmas Dinner on Christmas Eve, I never liked having the gift giving on the same day as all the cooking. We end the day with opening stockings, which are pretty much just snacky treats in our family. This year I added/will add a ‘Thankfulness tree’ and unwrapping a Christmas book every evening instead of an advent calendar. I started collecting this right after Christmas last year and within 3 trips to thrift stores and using paperbackswap (online book trading site) easily came up with the 24 books needed. I love the idea of Elf on a Shelf too, but don’t know if I have the commitment to get it done every evening. Though I bet my big boys would love to help out with it. I can imagine the silly things they will come up with

Here are some inspiration links for thankfulness trees: http://jonesdesigncompany.com/holiday/start-today-thankful-tree-printable-tags/ (we did this one)

http://www.thehandmadehome.net/2014/11/thankful-tree/ (and a fancier one)

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After visiting the Ostrich farm (see here: https://juggling5monkeys.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/family-fun-adventure-ostrich-farm-solvang-ca/) Azure and I wandered around downtown Solvang, California for a few hours. Solvang is a little town that’s set up like a European village where they sell European treats, merchandise and baked goods among all the regular shops. It’s a super expensive touristy area, but since we were in the area we enjoyed a nice stroll around town.

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Of course he sweet talked a treat out of me… a chocolate chip croissant

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He was kinda of a funny bunny about the rare light rain we had that day. He kept complaining about it and wanted to take cover. Being a Vancouverite myself, uhuh didn’t hardly notice the drizzle. Ok, at some point it was a coming down a bit hard and we didn’t have proper jackets on. Anyway, we spent some time at a little park with a bandstand and a statue of Hans Christian Andersen waiting for Daddy to come get us

Hope you all are enjoying a wonderful season of Thanksgiving

 

Memory Keeper: This Week in October

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Sorry my Memory Keeper posts are few and far between…but in order to maintain the ‘fun factor’ in posting to the blog I don’t stress or get too down on myself when I get behind…and so here we have some pictures of our family happenings for the month of October

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So this happened! We had the awesome experience of doing our first mud run at the end of October at the MuckFest, a 5K fundraiser for MS

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It was such fun and we got to team up and run with a bunch of Hubbs work colleagues. His company sponsored the employees and then friends and family signed up to run with them. I’m so glad they choose a charity fundraiser event and we had the best time doing this together. It was so weird to not have the kids with us and we kept commenting to each other ‘The kids would love this’ or ‘Azure could totally walk/jog this course (slowly, and walk around the difficult obstacles)’  Definitely want to sign the kids up for something like this next year

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And Hubbs got to go overnight fishing with some buddies

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He got to enjoy a little time away from home and we got to taste the catch. Delicious rock fish!

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L: Azure got to participle in his own fun run school fundraiser too. They switched it up this year, instead of just running, they had different exercise activities that the kids rotated through. Some of the fun was: relay races, zumba dancing, tae kwan do, hula loops, etc.R: And a picture of the funnies Daddy took while I was away in Florida

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This guy continuing to love drawing and making pictures for friends

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L: This little monkey starting his K5 school books in the mornings R: These sillys enjoying free kids Jamba Juices on Halloween

Hope you are enjoying a beautiful and blessing filled Fall!

Family Fun Adventure: Ostrich Farm, Solvang, CA

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Hey there Everyone, today’s Family Fun Adventure is our outing to OstrichLand USA in Solvang, CA. On this occasion we just took the littles, since it wouldn’t have been too exciting for our older kids. But, it really depends on the interests of the child. Ok, on with the details…cost of visiting with the emus and ostriches is $4.oo for ages 13+ and $1.oo ages 12 on down. Each bowl of feed is $1.oo. There is a picnic table and some other seating, quite small and cute. Think someone’s backyard patio. Not sure if they allow you to bring your own snacks. There is a gift store and they sell cold drinks but I didn’t notice if there were snacks for sale though. Pretty simple, pay at the gift shop and go through it to see the animals out the back door.

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We had an awesome day for our visit, it had been raining in the morning, so it was nice and cool with beautiful skies to enjoy. I’d imagine it would be quite hot and dusty normally, as per usual for California. We started by walking around the farm and checking out the different animal pens with them divided by age groups. It was actually very nice that they had them in the different sizes, because there was different heights for the feeding spots. Therefore it was easier for the little kids to feed the shorter birds and they could handle it on their own

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I was so impressed he actually was posing for Daddy taking the pictures. LOVE the Hubbs new camera on his phone! He always gets the good ones :)

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See, perfect height for a small turkey to feed the big birds

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He only needed the tiniest bit of help. These birds at the end (Left picture) were actually adults and even though the feeding spot was low, the heads sticking though were at times inches away from the little guys faces. They do warn that the birds will bite, so I just helped him back up a bit. None of the birds bit or even tried biting the kids, but you can feel how powerful they are pecking in the food bowls

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Azure is such an adventurous boy and loved this nice surprise of visiting the farm, plus he’s always talking about when he gets his own chickens, rabbits, cats…’What shall I name them?’ And this place believe it or not, I had absolutely no idea it was there! Which is saying something, since I’ve spent a lot of time researching and making running lists of fun or interesting places to visit. It was a treat to that the Hubbs suggested this place and it was a great little place to visit

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I was concerned the kids wouldn’t be able to hang on to the feeding trays on their own with those strong pecks, but they did very well leaning them on the fences. In the end I was more worried about them tripping and dumping it on the floor while running from one enclosure to the next

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We ended up being persuaded to run back for an extra bowl of feed and hung around to feed the birds and visit for about half an hour. This little farm was very cute for little kids and I certainly recommend stopping by if you are driving through or in the area. I would not recommend this place for a long visit, as there is not much else to do other than feed the birds

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I hope you enjoyed this family fun adventure and be sure to like and pin it to pinterest so other people can hear about this great little farm

Pinterest link: http://www.pinterest.com/hellokate81/jugglingfivemonkeys-blog-adventure/

Here is the farm website: http://www.ostrichlandusa.com/

Legoland California Photo Round Up

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Since our membership to LEGOLAND California is coming to a close, I thought I ‘d post a bunch of pictures of a few of the many awesome creations at the park for your viewing pleasure. Sit back and imagine planning your future trip. (*Disclaimer: I am not all affiliated with LEGOLAND and have not received any compensation for writing this post. All opinions and pictures are my own)

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L: My handsome family in front of Miniland R: Uhuh, raise your hand if that has ever been you?

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The smallest boy getting his lego play on

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Kids racing their lego creations

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Star Wars display at Miniland

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Lots of life sized creations for posing with

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Each time we visit we try to go on a new ride. The lines can be SO long, its difficult for a five year old to wait for 45-60 minutes at a time.

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They have fun seasonal activities like Trick or Treating at Halloween, Fireworks and a Christmas display and Snow Days

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Super fun play areas for Little people.

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My almost 3 and 5 year old LOVE this place. It is included in the annual pass and is a cute smallish aquarium. I don’t know that I’d pay full price to visit it, but its been a great add on and you can get through the place without the kids getting bored.

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Tide pool and large tanks

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Viewing fish up close

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We have certainly enjoyed all the great visits to this park and would totally suggest it to visitors with children ages 5-10 years that would get the most out of the park in my opinion. There is also a small water park that is included in the annual membership that we only visited once as its not open during the whole year. Keep in mind like most touristy attractions this place can be, ok well, its always crowded! Except the one day where it rained buckets, you have to wait in long lines to ride. Hope you enjoyed seeing a few more pictures of this fun park.

Here is a link to pinterest for saving the pictures http://www.pinterest.com/hellokate81/jugglingfivemonkeys-blog-adventure/