Memory Keeper: This Week In June

 

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Happy Summer Vacation All. We are keeping busy and trying to have fun ūüôā As you can imagine juggling 5 kids and making sure everyone gets a turn to do something they consider fun can be a challenge at times.

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Left: So far we have attended our graduating 8th graders promotion and celebrated with a ice cream treat

Right: Hubbs snapped a pic of me and the tiny turkey

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I did a mini photo shoot in about 5 minutes while running out the door on Azure’s last day of school before his promotion. He did a cute little performance with the other kindergarten classes and had a small celebration for his graduation.

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Left: This little cutie is growing up waaaaay too quickly! Sniff, I miss my baby. Right: One thing I love about the big boys having a bit more time around the house is that they will sometimes stop and build a creation for the little guys. Cole’s version of Olaf from frozen.

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Left: Azure showing off his prized pinecone while we camped near Lake Arrowhead Right: Azure was practicing the 30’s and 40’s families and Brecks surprised me by lining up some mixed up flashcards I gave him on his own. I was trying to tell him to smile by pointing to my cheek, so he thought that pointing was what I wanted him to do. hehe

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Left: Azure finally getting to the dentist Right: Me and snuggle pants enjoying an afternoon story

Small family things we have been up to so far this summer is camping and hiking¬†for Memorial Day weekend up around the Big Sur area, camping, hiking and swimming near Lake Arrowhead and Lake Gregory, getting all the doctors, dentist, eye check ups for everyone (quite the process!) and I’ve been homeschooling Brecks (starting him with reading and pre writing) and Azure (continuing with reading practice, cursive penmanship and writing sentences to get ready for 1st grade). Cole and Kenyon decided to take advantage of summer school to get in their first 9th grade class, so they are away at the high school half the day. The kids are in the pool everyday and we will be celebrating Kenyon’s big 13th next week.

Last year when I was trying to come up with adding a few more family traditions in our¬†celebration line¬†up ¬†Hubbs had the idea of a day purely to celebrated our family. He thought mid year between our two birthdays would be fun, so next month we will celebrate our first ever Family Day! I’ll let you know what we end up doing. What special traditions or activities do you celebrate or do¬†during the year?

Family Fun Adventure: Alice Keck Park & Kids World, Santa Barbara, CA

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¬†Ah, here is a rare¬†pic of mom and dad¬†for the record book! Today’s post is on a fabulous little park in Santa Barbara, CA.

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Introducing Alice Keck¬†Park Memorial Gardens! Located at 1500 Santa Barbara Street, Santa Barbara, CA. This beautiful little park, think ‘garden’ was absolutely blooming with gorgeous spring colors on this visit. This is a fun little walk around if you happen to be in the area and a great place for a photo shoot. You often see wedding parties posing here.

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A cute little gazebo and there are¬†turtles and ducks in the pond too! ¬†Weirdly enough we haven’t found a duck pond anywhere near us, so this one an hour away (with traffic) is the closest. Hmmm, that just doesn’t seem right. Anyhoo, my six year old scientist was all about trying to feed the wildlife. Alas, we didn’t have any food along.

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A couple more pics of the flowers. Ahhh, so restful to view. And now for the¬†icing on the cake…

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Welcome to Kids World! A huge wooden castle park right across the street. I believe the correct name is Alameda Plaza. There is plenty of shady green space for the never ending BBQ’s and get together’s people are always¬†having in the park. We use to take our older kids here all the time when they were little. They spent many happy afternoons getting their beans out here. Now we are bringing the two youngest ones to enjoy, in my opinion is one of the top most awesome parks.

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I apologize, my pics aren’t usually the greatest. I just run around and try to snap a few with my phone while chasing my monkeys. You can tell in the final product…but it is what I can do right now and it means I can quickly and easily upload them and get them posted, so :).

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Be warned this is a very popular play ground and there is always tons of people and kiddos, so be prepared to keep tabs on yours. There is  a bit of a fence around the play area, so if your kids are about 5 or so, they should be good. Our little guy at age 3, still needed us to chase him, keep him safe from swings/falling etc. But, he had a ton of fun!

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I couldn’t take pictures of all the¬†fun features, but let’s just say it has all the regular stuff and then some. It’s a great place to play tag and be prepared to spend a couple hours enjoying.¬†In the pic above is a seated hang out area for parents to chat in the middle of the play structure. There are also¬†a few picnic tables and bathrooms located close by. This play ground is located in a neighborhood, so even though its a bit crowded and its¬†a large play space, it feels nicely and neighborhoody, neighborhoodsy?¬†Does my made up word make sense? There are also¬†vendors with push carts¬†offering¬†ice cream and giant mangoes on a stick. Hold or not, on the¬†sweet chili powder. Imagine a great Knight and Princesses themed play party here! Hope your summer vacation¬†is holds many memorable adventures!


 

Memory Keeper: This Week In May

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Happy May and Happy Spring! I am loving all the spring flowers that are out and the weather, yes please. Oh yeah, Happy Blog Anniversary to me this month! One year of blogging completed. It’s been¬†a fun way to¬†keep a log of our days and adventures. ¬†

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Left: Some hydrangeas I rescued from the clearance section of the grocery store last year. We had a week of scorching weather and some of the leaves  got real toasty, on the up side there are at least 40 blooms on the plant. Right: My Valentine gardenias are blooming too. The flowers only last a couple days on the plant, but the scent is so amazing

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Left: Azure’s photography. He keeps asking to take pictures of nature Right: Azure was impressed with this giant plant and wanted a picture in front of it

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Left: Hiking around Rocky Hook Park in Santa Barbara Right: Eating a stack of pancakes

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Left: Sparring Right: Demonstrating self defense. Cole tested for his red belt this month. He now has a red belt and a black uniform. So proud of him for sticking with it.

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Left: First time he tried breaking a board with a jump side kick…he nailed it!

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Lovely California Palm and blooming succulents on the coast

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Hope you are enjoying a lovely spring!

Left: Sprinkler jumpers Right: Mother’s Day gift & card from my¬†kindergartener¬†

Family Fun Adventure: Cozy Dell Trail Ojai, CA

 

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Hey Again Lovelies, Today I’m sharing a Family Fun Adventure: Cozy Dell Trail hike in Ojai, CA. Originally we were trying to hike to Matilija Dam in Ojai. For some reason we could not find any roads or trails to this lake! If any locals know the secret to getting there, please share! Anyhoo, since we couldn’t find any way to get to the lake we came across the Cozy Dell Trail on highway 150. We hiked this on Mother’s Day, May 11th this year.

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¬†¬†Left: Here is the trail sign on the left side of the road, where you park and carefully cross the highway Right: This is the sign on the trail side of the road. This trail isn’t jogger stroller¬†friendly¬†and¬†there are no restrooms. We found the trail really nice and easy for the little guys (6 and 3 years) that being said, we only hiked about a mile and a half this time. The ground was dry, but it was made of clay, so after a rain there will definitely be lots of mud. The trail is lovely and half shaded¬†on the portion we travelled, it was well maintained and easy to follow. There were tons of native wildflowers out¬†to be enjoyed along the way. They smelled lovely too.

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Some of the characters that were along for the hike

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I’m really not sure how long this trail is, some reviews say 3-4.5 miles. We made it to the first marker (see picture below), maybe it was the only one as some people mentioned the lack of them. We saw lots of bees, lizards and two snakes. Thankfully, that was all! I read that some saw bear tracks and even a bear. Yikes! I would not think a bear would like this area, its hot and dry, not like the cooler lush forests you normally think of. Maybe I just don’t know what to look for, as I’m always nervous about large wildlife and look for tracks. Anyway, just a heads up.

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This is where we stopped to rest and turn around. There were about 7-10 cars parked at the street and we met a few hikers along the way. Not enough to feel crowded, but enough to make you feel a bit safer should you need help. In any case be sure to bring water, snacks, discuss safety with your kids and tell someone where you are going.

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We decided to do some camping this summer, since we haven’t been in probably 7 years and all the kids can hike with¬†their own legs.¬†We got the tents and a little stove and made our first camping trip¬†to the Big Sur area up north. BEE-U-TI-FULL!!! Post coming soon. Get out and enjoy the great outdoors this summer ya’lls. What adventures do you have planned?