Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trunk or Treating

This Halloween, we found ourselves with many invitations to join friends and family for dinner and for door to door trick or treating.

For days, we had planned on going to the church festivities that we've gone to the past couple of years. But today, I got to thinking about trying a new church outreach that I'd heard great things about and to make a long story short, we ended up spending the evening with our good friends, The "W" Family, at the new church outreach.We arrived to the church shortly after 6:30 and boy were we not disappointed in this church's event! I think we'd defiantly go back here again next year. There were 75-100 cars for trunk or treating, about 20 game booths, food booths, and about 5 of those enormous bounce slides and mazes. It was amazing! It was was all organized and laid out nicely, and there weren't a lot of scary or spookily decorated cars. Which is really nice when you're trying to stay away from the scary stuff. We skipped the game booths and bounce houses and even a row of cars and headed for another church where some friends were hanging out. It's a church that neither of our families had been to and we just thought we'd check it out. But by the time we got there, they were wrapping things up and shutting things down, so we called it a night.The girls made a haul on candy, all good stuff!!! We came home and scoped out the goods. And here is the combined efforts of both our girls. We had a really nice evening hanging out with friends we've not gotten to do that with for a while and saw more great costumes and some really nicely done cars. Now it's off to raid the candy bag....

Halloween School Parade

Halloween at Hannah's school is kept to a light celebration. They are however, allowed to dress up and participate in the parade around the blacktop first thing of the school day. After the parade, students are to be back in regular school clothes by 8:45.

It's "The Best of Both Worlds", when you're Hannah Montana.
Hannah Montana and her clone trooper of a friend, Austyn.
Hannah and some of her classmates.
Over 700 kids, all dressed up and parading around the blacktop.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halloween Dance Party

Tuesday nights are dance for Hannah. But instead of having normal dance classes tonight, all dance classes were cancelled and the dance studio held a Halloween Dance Party. There was a ton of food and yummy snacks, and games with prizes, and the instructors taught a few dance moves to Micheal Jackson's Thriller. That was fun to watch! Hannah and Rachel both had a fun time.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Visiting Papa's Work

Papa works for one of the major grocery store chains in Southern California, and this afternoon, we got to go to Papa's work and take a tour of the brand new corporate offices that opened last month. Today's tour was pretty cool, because the last time we got to take a tour of where Papa worked, it was just over 5 years ago at their old facility, and Hannah was 2 1/2 years old. Upon checking in, because Papa knew his way around the joint pretty well, we got our own personal tour led by Papa. The place was huge and was a lot of walking, just inside the offices. One of the really cool areas was the room in which they train the checkers. The room was filled with checkstands and cash registers and conveyor belts where groceries are placed prior to being scanned and after, waiting to be bagged. Here is a future checker for Stater Bros. Markets. Once through the corporate offices, we went outside and loaded onto trams that took us out to the grocery distribution warehouses. The dry grocery warehouse is completely built, they are now working on building the shelving that will hold all the groceries once they are moved over after the holidays. The meat, bakery, and refrigerator sections are still in the process of being built and will open up sometime in 2008.It was such a fun couple of hours, getting to see where Papa works and all the happenings around there. I took so many pictures, that I put them into an album, you can check out the rest of our tour here.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hannah's Butterfly Box

I went yesterday and picked up Hannah's butterfly box that she painted last week at Color Me Mine. Here is the final outcome.Hannah was very pleased with how her little box turned out. We're thinking about going back and doing some Christmas presents once they get their Christmas shipment. :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

School Closed, Due to Unhealthful Air Conditions

We received a recorded message this evening on behalf of the Superintendent of our School District stating that due to the unhealthful air conditions from the fires, school will be closed tomorrow and Friday and will resume on Monday.

As excited as she was to have gone back to school three days ago, Hannah is excited to be getting a four day weekend.

The kids haven't been out playing in the smokey and ash infested air at school the past couple of days, they've been on "Rainy Day" schedule, which means, students aren't out at recess and no one is out to play at lunch. Makes for some pretty stir crazy students...and teachers by the end of the day.

Southern California Fires

I've received several emails from internet friends checking in to make sure we're okay out here in Southern California, I thought perhaps others might be wondering as well.

We are okay and in no danger of the fires. The nearest major fire is about 30 miles away. But because of where we live, we're kinda in the middle of all the major Southern California fires. Still, none are close.

The only thing that is directly affecting us is the smoke filled air and all the ash floating in the air. We've not opened any windows or sliding doors in days, first because the winds and dust were so bad and now because of the smoke. It's pretty bad. I took the above picture on Monday afternoon, before the worst hit.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Back to School

After being off track for four weeks, Hannah returned to school this morning.

When I went in to wake her at 6:30, she asked why she had to get up in the middle of the night. LOL. She did an awesome job of getting up and out of bed with a good attitude.

She had a good day back. Glad to be back with her friends. The teacher changed the room around a bit and made table teams a little bit larger and she was happy to be sitting next to some, and others, not so happy. LOL.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Mommy and Hannah Date

Hannah goes back to school on Monday, and since Rachel had preschool today, we decided to make today a "Hannah and Mommy Date" day. So a lunch was packed for Rachel, and I signed her in to stay for Lunch Bunch, meaning I didn't have to pick her up until 2:00, instead of the normal 12:00. And off we went... First, to Starbucks...for a Double Chocolate Chip Frapaccino for Hannah and a Peppermint Hot Chocolate for Mom. And then on to our old church to go to the bookstore in hopes of finding some cards for Pastor Appreciation month. No such luck on the cards, but it was interesting to see eleven police motorcycles lining the curb. They were inside the cafe, having coffee. From the bookstore, we made our way to Color Me Mine, a studio in which you paint your own ceramic piece, they gloss it, and put it in the kiln, and you pick it up a few days later. I've been wanting to take Hannah to do this for a while, and today was a perfect day to do it. She picked out a cute little butterfly box. We sat and talked about how she wanted to design it and color it and then asked the lady for the paint colors she wanted. Hannah had a lot of fun and really took her time in painting her little box. The lady gave the few kids in the store a little tour of the back area and showed them the giant kilns and how they gloss their pieces and put them in the kilns. Overall, it's like a four day process, so we'll have to go back to pick up Hannah's piece the middle of next week. It was after noon, by the time Hannah was finished with her project. Most defiantly time to get lunch, we decided on In and Out Burger. YUMMO! And enjoyed eating it outside, while watching a very interesting man with a palm frawm. We really didn't have much time to do anything else. We ran a couple errands, and then went to pick up Rachel, who had a blast staying extra at school. :)

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Beginning of the Last Week Off...

This day next week, we'll be back to the grind of getting up early, eating breakfast, and out the door before 8:00, and doing homework in the afternoons. Hannah will be back to school. So what better way to start off the last week of being off track then with a trip to Disneyland with her oldest buddy, Emma. Hannah and Emma have known each other since birth and went to preschool together and then went separate ways when they started elementary school with different schedules. They still see each other at church on Sundays, sometimes just in passing in between services, but it's been a while since they've gotten to spend any great amount of time together. Emma and her brother are now being homeschooled, and their Mom was able to work her lesson plans around being able to go to Disneyland together while Hannah is off track. The weather was on the cool side, and drizzly at times, but it didn't keep the crowds away. I was surprised at how busy it was for a Monday. But we managed to have a lot of fun, and as always, the girls enjoyed just spending time together.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Saturday Trip to Disneyland

You know it's going to be a really good day (meaning less crowded) at Disneyland when you arrive to find the lines for the tram like this on a Saturday afternooon: And the security check points look like this:And then your hopes of minimal wait time for the rides are crushed when you enter the park to find Main Street look like this: Oh well, we still had a great day despite the heavy Saturday crowds.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Conversations with Hannah

Yesterday in the car, Hannah and I had the most interesting conversation in regards to having courage. She was telling me the story of Daniel in the Lions Den and how he had great courage to sit that den of lions all night. She went on to tell me that perhaps because God gave Daniel such great courage, maybe God would give her the courage to try California Screamin again. LOL. I told her she didn't have to do something as extreme as California Screamin, she could try Big Thunder Mountain Railroad again, or even something totally new like Splash Mountain. :) But at any rate, yes it would be the Lord who'd give her to courage to get through whatever ride she chose to face.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Jumpin' Jacks

Last October, one of Hannah's classmates had her birthday party at Jumpin' Jacks, a really cool place with giant inflatable structures. A few months ago, I discovered on their website that they do walk in hours on set mornings and evenings. This morning I had errands to do in that neck of the woods and after my errands we stopped in for some fun!

The walk in hours last 3 hours and is only $7 per person to bounce. Expecting to pay for both the girls, they didn't charge me for Rachel cause she was so young. Wahoo! We had the entire room to ourselves for the majority of the time we were there, which was just over two hours. Having the room to ourselves was nice because I didn't have to worry about whether or not my children were beating up or bothering other children playing. LOL. There were able to run free from inflatable to inflatable while I sat and watched and worked on some continuing education for my nursing license. Towards the end of our visit, we had a couple of Mommies with their kids show up. Soon after the girls were tired and hungry, so we packed up and headed for lunch. We'll defiantly keep this place in mind to come back again. I only wish I had thought of it when my sister-in-law and her kids were down visiting last month. They would have had a blast!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The La Brea Tar Pits

Just before going off track, Hannah's class was learning about fossils and paleontology. Miss Barrett told the class about The La Brea Tar Pits located in Los Angeles and Hannah expressed a desire to go there while off track, so that's where we went today.She was excited as we turned the corner to see the mammoth statues in the lake. She said it was just like the picture in her text book. Every year, for two months out of the summer, paleontologists excavate a pit. Today was a great day for going because today was to be their last day of excavating for the year, and possibly the next couple of years as fossils were found nearby when construction began on expanding the art museum. The paleontologists will turn their efforts to those fossils now. It was pretty cool to see the paleontologists working on getting a few more fossils out of the tar. And it was pretty cool to see the fossils sticking up out of the tar. We made our way into the museum and saw all there was to see inside. Hannah was very much interested in all there was to see and shared a lot of what they've learned in Science.

Discovering what it is like to pull something out of the tar.
Hannah said she really enjoyed going to the Tar Pits and is looking forward to telling her teacher that we went.

Birthday Party for a Friend

Picture taken August 2006.

This afternoon, Hannah went to a birthday party for her friend, Austyn. She was so excited to be going to this party for two reasons: 1) she was excited to see all her school friends that she hasn't seen for the last two weeks, and 2) I was just dropping her off and leaving (thus the reason I have no pictures of the event)

Hannah had a great time! She enjoyed seeing all her friends she's not seen since going off track, and the party was loads of fun. There was a magician that she was very impressed with and keeps pondering as to how he did his tricks.

This was a perfect time for a party, right smack in the middle of being off track where the kids could all catch up and see each other!

After picking up Hannah from this party, we dropped both the girls off at a friends house to play with Zach and Alex, and for the teenage daughter to watch them all while us adults went to another party! Hannah had a great day of playing with friends and was surprisingly still awake when we picked them up at 11:00!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Oak Glen

One of the things I really enjoy doing every October, is going up to the mountain community of Oak Glen. It's about a mile high up into the nearby foothills, where the area is best known for the apple orchards and fall colors. Today, the girls, Gramma, and I made our yearly visit to Oak Glen. The weather was beautiful and the sky was blue and clear, unlike here at home. Had many great photo taking opportunities too!