Memory Keeper: This Week In May And June


I’ve been a slacker in the photo department lately, so here is a mash up from May and June


Hanging out at the Kern River with friends in May

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L: Cole caught a trout C: Ready for wadding A: Another brave soul ventures in


Helping Daddy set up the tent

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Welcome Summer! These two are enjoying park trips and rollerblading in the house at 9 pm

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Getting too big too fast. Stay small tiny turkey!

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Azure asked me to make him this wolf mask to go with his report for show & tell at school

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One very happy beach bum and a rare shot of handsome oldest brother

Hope ya’ll are enjoying a lovely summer break!


Memory Keeper: This Week In May


Happy Spring All! And Happy 2nd year Blog Anniversary to this blog!!! We have been enjoying some cooler rainy weather here in Cali. Admittedly, its a little strange, but we are oh so thankful for the extra bits of rain during our long drought. Again, we have been sticking pretty close to home these days. The kids are all focused on year end testing and getting their grades up and Azure is practicing for his spring play of Peter Pan coming up next week. Here are a few family pictures and some more salad and smoothie inspiration for you

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I found this fun magnetic sand at the .99 cent store (it was $1.99 for a two lb. bag) It’s been a fun hit with the little kids. Yes, its still very messy, but one cool thing is it doesn’t dry out like playdoh and you don’t need to add water like regular sand to make castles, etc.

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L: We tried a pinterest project of making ‘Dinosaur eggs’ It didn’t turn out the best and was super crumbly, but we had fun making them together

Link to project we tried:

R: Brecks chilling with his orange snack while waiting for Dad to pick us up from shopping

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L: Brecks is continuing with his school journey. For some reason he only likes writing with capital manuscript letters. I guess all the youtube shows/songs he likes features capital letters

R: Got my craft on quite a bit this month with birthday gifts for loved ones

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Salad Inspirations

L: Pork and Avocado over greens with a sprinkle of dried Cranberries and Pumpkin Seeds

R: Beef, Avocado and Strawberries on a bed of Mixed Greens

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Smoothie Inspiration

L: Blueberry Banana Kale, Kombucha and Orange Juice

R: Sweet Potato (baked and frozen) Banana Kombucha Orange Juice

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L: Banana Pear Sweet Potato (baked and frozen) Kale, Kombucha and Orange Juice

R: Blueberry Banana Sweet Potato Kombucha and Orange Juice

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L: Did some face painting for Azure’s school Carnival

R: The Easter pail was Brecks solution to not having an umbrella when it rained. This funny boy is mesmerized by the rain, to be sure it IS a rarity in Cali

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L: A pretty blossoming tree and a large monkey that couldn’t resist climbing it. He hopped out real quick once he saw my phone out :) hehe

R: I have noticed I take a lot of pictures of the two little guys sleeping, I think the idea of them growing up too quick is hitting me. Thankfully, they aren’t too old for stories and snuggles

Well, that’s all folks. Have a wonderful week

Family Fun Adventure: Rose Valley Falls Trail, Ojai CA

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Today’s Family Fun Adventure post is from Rose Valley Falls Trail near Ojai, CA. Lately our weekends have been pretty filled up with birthday parties, track meets and other miscellaneous busy stuff. Other than our weekly beach trips we haven’t found the time to go in search of adventure. So I was delighted when quite spontaneously the Hubbs suggested this place. Unbeknownst to him, its been on my pinterest board for quite some time now.

The Rose Valley Falls Trail is off of the 33 past Ojai and located in the Los Padres National Forest

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The trail head you are looking for is located inside the Rose Valley Campground. Just outside the campground is the day use parking area, which is just a thin shoulder on the road in front of a bulletin board. After a short walk through the tiniest campground ever (I think there is 9 camping sites. So cutesy!) You will see the sign for the falls trail. There is a vault toilet available, but bring your own drinking water as there isn’t any

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Keep in mind this place is at 3,450 thousand feet. We left the sunny coast and within an hour it was overcast, rainy and even hailed! All but Daddy were immediately freezing cold and didn’t feel like the hike would be enjoyable in the cold. Turns out we were fine and warmed up within a few minutes of walking and it was actually was a very nice change from normally being SO hot when we hike

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The nice shady half mile trail was an easy walk for the littles and we pasted at least five families with little kids. I think you could manage a stroller easily except for a two spots where there was some puddling

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L: Follow the Leader on the trail R: Some huge fancy mushrooms

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The moss covered falls had some water running in February

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Very peaceful

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L: A little adventurer R: The stream leading away from the falls

Unfortunately we weren’t able to get a family photo due to a couple people taking their sweet time getting lots of pictures in…the older kids got tired of waiting. Truthfully, they were tired of the walk before we started. Teenagers!

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L: A small waterfall downstream will a few little splash pools. I wonder if there is enough water in the summer? R: Another shot of the big falls. The water comes down all over the the rock, instead of one big stream. All the moss gave it a wild jungle-y feel

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 The view from a hill on a different trail that starts by the bulletin board outside the campground. Beautiful country! I would definitely suggest this short hike for some good, free family fun. I want to come back during warmer weather and see if the water is still running in the summer

Memory Keeper: This Week In March and April


Hello. Hello. Sorry its been awhile. Busy, busy as is goes. Here’s some snaps of our lives from last month

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L: Azure dancin’ up a storm at his school’s sock hop dance R: Playing ‘guitar’ on the Mindstorm lego the big boys got for Christmas

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L: A smart little turkey that lines up numbers 20-100 all by himself. For.Fun! In fact this is how he keeps himself busy while I have breakfast R: A lovely little reminder note posted by one of the big boys in their bathroom :) Hehehe, we parents had a good laugh

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L: Homemade peanut butter in the new food processor. Just peanuts and salt! R: My version of Chile Rellenos stuffed with fresh queso, sweet potatoes, corn and garlic

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L: Azure attending his school’s science fair night. R: Holding ‘Rosie’ the 5 year old tarantula

Science Fair night is an absolute highlight of the year for this boy. The demonstrators are the older elementary students from his school conducting experiments and the other tables are staffed by local college students passing along their love of science. As soon as he saw the DNA strand model (pictured above) he ran right over and said ‘Oh it’s DNA! Like Cole’s model.’ Cole recently made a small version out of pipe cleaner, beads and tinker toys for his science class project

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L: Checking out the shark jaws and teeth R: Watching an electrocuted pickle light up. Very cool…until it starts stinking :)

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A couple of smoothie inspirations for you…PS I always freeze the fruit first, so I don’t need to add ice

L: Pineapple Banana Orange Juice Smoothie R: Cole’s creation: Yogurt Banana Pineapple Smoothie

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And some fresh salad inspiration too

L: Baby greens Blue Cheese Red Grapes Pecans and a tangy Honey Dressing

R: Cucumber Tomato Red Onion Pork and Pineapple with Honey Lemon Dressing in a Cabbage Leaf Boat

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L: Not sure what’s up with the silly tongue lately R: Posing with paper kitties they made during Spring Break

And that, my friends and family is where we leave off tonight. Hope you had some awesome spring adventures


Family Fun Adventure: Discovery Cube (Orange County, CA)

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Hey Lovelies, this Family Fun Adventure post is coming to you from the Discovery Cube in Orange County, California. Our big boy Azure turned 7 this month

When asking him if there was somewhere special he’d like to go for his birthday, his prompt reply was… ‘Yes! I would like to go to Africa and see cheetahs’ I promised him, one day. Since he is continuing in this ‘Mad About Science’ direction, Hubbs picked out the Discovery Cube as our next family fun adventure

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They had a LEGO travel exhibit while we visited and boy was it a hit with little brother. He literally played happily with DUPLO for at least 1 1/2 hours! We had to work hard to convince him to look at something else after Mom and Dad took shifts watching him here so the others could check out the other displays and activities

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His favorite was making long trains and racing them down a ramp

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Climbing wall and seat pulley to pull yourself up high

Here’s the cost scoop. Adults: $17 Kids 3-14: $13 Under 2 yrs: Free

So yeah, that’s not what our family would consider a cheap outing. However, they have a free day on the first Sunday of the month for Bank Of America cardholders. We thought it was the first full weekend, so went on Sunday the 8th of Feb. Upon arriving we learned the free day IS on the first Sunday no matter if its a full weekend or not! (Call ahead to double check) While in the ticket line I noticed a couple ahead of us getting their BOA cards out, when our turn came we inquired about the free admission day and they were kind enough to let us in for free anyways. Please note: We didn’t make any fuss or issue, we simply asked if this was the free Sunday. It pays to ask and be polite :) In the end we only paid for the 3 kids we had with us that day, about $40 and parking was $5 (if I remember correctly) So, $45 plus gas, not too cheap, but obvious it would make sense to get year passes if you lived in the nearby area. Tip: Get BOA cards for all members of your family to make the most of the free admission day

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Making clouds and having a go at being a hockey goalie

I found this museum very well kept, clean and in working order. Nothing funky or junky about it. Real nice quality place. On a whole it’s not very big and we were through with our visit in about 2 hours. Everything was hands on and touchable, which was perfect for kids. My suggested ages that would enjoy this place the most is 4 or 5-10 years. Our little guy who is almost 4 only wanted to play with LEGOs and run around. While our 13 year old was bored and just wandered around barely interested. My conclusion about this place is…wonderful learning fun, a bit expensive for a large family just visiting once from far away. Again, if I lived in the area I would go for an annual pass and take my littles often

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Using one of the interactive computer screens and trying on diving equipment

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Pretend to go on a Safari trip in this research vehicle and countdown to blast off in a rocket

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Checking out the scale of a dino in the outdoor exhibit

Sorry, my pictures aren’t too awesome, the camera phone was having focusing issues. Anyhoo, I hope this post gave you some ideas for a family fun adventure in your area

xo Happy learning and discovering All

Link to my Family Fun Adventure pinterest page:

Memory Keeper: This Week in February


Hey there and happy winter…that feels like spring…at least it does over here. We have been pretty low key on the trips and adventures since Canada, but here are a few snaps of the kids and some food inspiration for you

Above: An adorable Owl pillow I crocheted with a crash course from my Marmmie and sis, Yvette. Didn’t it turn out nicely?

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This handsome little man had a birthday and received some awesome science stuff from Aunt, Uncle and cousins. He started reading the book right away and dove into the circuit building after dinner. We gave him some science kits, which he worked on with one of his older bros. He was SO happy and excited to see the box arrive for him. Thanks again, Dave, Tanya, Hudson and Jax!

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I can’t get enough pictures of this little boy sleeping. My last baby is growing up too quickly! He has also began to take interest in drawing (for a very short time and mostly rainbows) and drew this bear during school time (it was one of those follow the steps project)

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L: Frosty Banana Milkshake R: Orange juice, Banana and Strawberry Smoothie

For some reason I haven’t made banana milkshake for my kids much…so I tried a nice frosty version made with frozen bananas, milk and a dash of vanilla. The big kids liked it, the little ones didn’t

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Here’s some salad ideas. L: Organic baby spinach, blueberries, red onion, walnuts and blue cheese

R: Healthy Greek salad, tomato, cucumber, red onion, olives, romaine lettuce and a tangy lemon dressing, with a side of fresh fruit salad of grapefruit, apples and blackberries

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L: I tried out my new birthday gift food processor from Tan and Dave and made these Vegan Black Bean Brownies and homemade Lara Bars R: Seasoned flour dusted Baked Fish Tacos

And that’s a wrap for today. Stay tuned for a post from Azure’s birthday outing to the Discovery Cube in Orange County, CA and our latest Family Fun Adventure to Rose Valley Falls in Ojai, CA.

See ya soon All

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:

And here is the park link:

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!