Friday, November 25, 2011

Family Camping (Oct. 6-13)

Tim and I had originally planned to go to Yosemite with our girls and my parents for a little camping trip in our friend's trailer; however, that was the week they were expecting a huge storm and very low temps, so we decided to make it a little easier on our girls (and us) by going to a campground in Bishop called Brown's Mill Pond.
I think the pictures do the talking best:

The first day we drove the entire way to the Sierras and needed a place to camp, so we pulled off onto BLM land and just set up, after a cold night, we were greeted by the  warming sun and this sublime view:
 Earlier in the day, I captured the shadow of our rig driving down the desert highway:
waking up freezing the first morning, but in good spirits:
The mill pond campground had lots of ammenities including tennis courts, horseshoes, a playground and a creek, not to mention the full RV hook-ups! My mom reads while my Dad and I play Backgammon; my parent's dog Rainey came too.
He builds a pretty good fire, considering his job is to put them out:
 We brought some plastic boats for Madeleine to float in the creek and she really enjoyed launching them from one bridge where Dada was and then having me catch them farther down the creek on another bridge:
We spent quite a bit of time at the pond feeding ducks. It was amazing; I would get caught up in just being at a duck pond like any other time and then I would look up and see the mountains all around us and it would astonish me.
 We took a few day trips which included Lake Sabrina:
G-money loved spending time with Nani:
 Say "Cheese!"
 Madeleine looks at the "Dada noman, Mama noman and baby noman":
 Tim likes to dabble in photography and some of his favorite shots include jumping, throwing or action of any kind. Guess who gets to be his subject? After about 100 head snowballs, I think these next few about sum it up: 

And, monkey see, monkey do:
 On a different day, we went up to Mammoth, I don't remember ever going, so it was nice to see it and have the cultural reference point. We visited some snow for the girls on the outskirts of town:
 Hiked up a snowy hill to the top of a vista and took a few pics. Notice the big sister/ little sister interaction...more "monkey see, monkey do":
 So thankfully blessed my parents are part of my life and my daughters' lives:
 One morning, Popi introduced Madeleine to the wonderful world of fishing: 
She got pretty good:
G-money plays on a playground:
 My parents left a day before we did. Tim wanted to try and capture the still-changing Fall colors, so we headed back up to Lake Sabrina, enjoyed a grilled cheese as a family in the general store and then drove out to some more lakes in the mountains:

 Our home was courtesy of Tim's captain and we really appreciate it! I definitely see an RV in our future:
 On our last day of the trip, we stopped by the Manzanar Historic Site in Owens Valley. I had read Farewell to Manzanar while teaching 9th grade; Tim and I started dreaming about all the wonderful options homeschooling will open up. Can you hear month-long Lewis and Clark expedition trail? When the girls are older, experiential learning is going to be great when it comes to roadtrips. They have recently remodeled the old community hangar into a walk-through exhibit and are still working on building the barracks. Should be good to revisit in a few years and see the progress:
  Lunch in the parking lot of the Relocation Camp: 
 Another rest stop on the drive home, this time for yogurt and a few "baby stretches": 
 Sweet loves of my life:
Love, Lauren

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Two days after we listed our house, I had a chance to spend some time with my wonderful girlfriends. My three book club friends and playdate chums met with me at Painted Earth to do a collective piece in honor of a birthday and personal celebration. We chose a large, square platter and decided to section it off according to seasons. We each chose the season of our birth (well, Jaime took summer, even though her birthday's in June). We worked for a few hours chatting over coffee, and munching personalized cupcake treats that Sarah brought from Truly Madly Sweetly Cupcakes. At the end of the night (and the close of the store) we signed our names on the back and left it for glazing. We determined that each of us would have it for 3 months of the year and then bring it to another friend with a gift or food or surprise on the plate to be displayed in their home for the next three months until they passed it on to another. Such a special time and such wonderful, special friends that I have!

 The next day, my mom and I were off to San Diego for Vanessa's bridal shower. I was told "cocktail attire", and that's what I did.
There are some ladies with whom I have been friends for over 20+ years. When we all went off to college, our moms would get together to pray for us and send us care packages. They've done more together than we have lately!!
I just call them "the moms".
Diane (and daughters Laura and Jeanette didn't make it), my mom, me, Belinda and daughter Vanessa, Meredith and her mom Jan (though other daughter Eliza was in CO) and Rilla (daughter Kate was at another event too.)
 Me, the bride-to-be, and my best childhood friend, Meredith- still friends after 23 years:
 The moms!
Happy bridal shower Vaness.
Love, Lauren

Chantilly Circle Home Tour

I think most people know we'll be moving out of our current house sometime in late January or early February if all goes as we've planned. I'm pretty excited. It's been a tough 4 years for me; the Lord has worked heavily on my heart. When I first moved in with Tim, after we married, it was no secret that I wasn't really in love with his house. I wasn't very grateful for what I had. I really had to submit to God in learning to at least be quiet about what I was feeling. But, it moved beyond that into trying to make the most of the space I had and be thankful. It isn't easy at times to remember that this is where the Lord has me, but I hope I've grown. I've had to increase the fight in last two weeks because, as I anticipate moving, I'm finding those old feelings of bitterness about this house creeping back into my heart. I'm seeing my frustration with the house ooze into my day to day as I live and move within the walls. I hope that I can leave this house more like Christ because of it, and I do have some treasured memories here...anyways, here's the home tour, just in case you've never been to my little house:
Girls' nursery:

 our master bedroom:

 master bath:
 kitchen from the hallway:
 looking into the kitchen from the front door:
 more kitchen
 guest bath:
hallway looking toward kitchen with guest bath on left:
 cute girls on our bed:

 in their first home:
Even though Madeleine was born in this home, I am looking forward to buying a home with Tim, one that we both love and both own. And one with a walk-in closet :)
Love, Lauren 

SHA: Week 2 "B"

For the second week of school we did a few activities that focused on the letter "B"
Madeleine helped me bake some bread. Every time I go to the store I buy 5lbs of whole wheat flour. Then I come home, put it away and forget about it. WE have close to 20 lbs of ww! So, we put some to good use:
 We talked about fractions again and using oil to keep the surface of the bread slippery so we could work with it and not have it stick.
We then let it rise. While the bread was rising, we glued buttons into a big "B".

 Finally, we eat the baked bread. 
We also went to the library and read books on bears and the Berenstain's Bears "B" book. We made a poster of the eight different species of bears in the world. Madeleine helped pick all the pictures and glue them down; I labeled them for her and Tim quizzed her throughout the week.