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/