Friday, September 30, 2011

Pirate Party

On Wednesday one of Maggie's friends turned three. He had his pirate themed birthday party at a local park and his mom went crazy with the decorations, food and activities. I wish I'd taken photos of everything before the kids enjoyed it because it was so stinking cute. Maggie got to make a pirate hat, search for some jewels in the pirate's booty tub, spot treasures with her scope and, of course, play at the park. The food included the most adorable blue jello cups with orange floating pirate ships, cupcakes, tons of fruit, crackers, etc. Cute cute cute.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Monopoly Mania

Chad and I have been to a number of fundraising events lately. Friday night we went to HandsOn Central California's annual Monopoly Mania event. It was F.U.N. and I hope we get to go again next year. Food, drinks, Monopoly, prizes, auctions, raffles, going to jail...they had it all. Such a wild event and I hope HandsOn earned lots of money that night. I was sent to jail three times ($5 to get out and back in the game) and Chad was there a couple times too.
Courtesy of Mike Scott

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fire Station

On Friday Maggie and I went with our moms group to a nearby fire station for a tour. The three men were expecting us and had an age-appropriate talk and tour for the nearly 30 of us who came.  All of the kids received fire hats when they arrived (a bit hit) and before leaving they were given stickers (another big hit). They know what kids like. The kids got to go inside a firetruck, see the living area for the firemen, and learned that we need to have an official fire escape plan for our house. The only part Maggie didn't like was when a fireman tried on his full outfit for the kids. He started with the suit, then put on a beanie, then a gas mask and it was over from there. Maggie ran to my arms and said she wanted to go home and take a nap. It was 10:30am. Hilarious. Once he took off the mask she was OK again and happy to be there. It was a fun morning with our friends.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hot Air

Saturday morning, Chad, Maggie and I met up with our friends in downtown Clovis for ClovisFest, the city's annual hot air balloon festival. Chad and I have been before (click here), but this was Maggie's first time. Maggie and her buddy, Nate, enjoyed watching the balloons inflate and set off, but might have liked chasing each other even more. A fun morning for all of us, even though we did have to wake up super early.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Library Cards

Last Wednesday Maggie and her good friend, Kenna, met at the library to get their very own library cards. While the process of getting the cards was slow and boring to the girls, they did enjoy walking along the bookshelves, looking at the books, and playing on the furniture. Happy Library Card month!

Monday, September 19, 2011


The Tulare County Historical Society, an organization that my parents are heavily involved in, held their annual summer BBQ on last Sunday evening. Instead of hosting it on the museum grounds, this year we all went to a member's house for the fundraiser. She lives on a farm in the country with a huge area for tables, horses, musicians, a catering company, a dessert company (who made dutch oven peach cobbler on-site) and over 250 people. Maggie danced a bit, pet a horse, ran around, played with rocks, rode on a vintage toy horse (and subsequently smacked herself in the face with it and lightly busted her lip), met a handsome young cowboy, and looked cute in her little pink dress.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Grandparents Day

Sunday was Grandparents Day. Chad's station was co-sponsoring an event at the zoo that day so we decided to take my parents for the morning. It was a sprinkly, humid morning but we all had a nice time regardless. We fit in the bird show, made the rounds at the booth area, had lunch, and saw most of the animals at the zoo. Additionally Maggie fed a giraffe, skinned her knees (both knees, twice), gave money to a raven, and acted all cool like a pirate.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

She ate cake!

One of Maggie's friends turned three this past weekend and we helped her celebrate with family and friends at the local water park. Even with threats of thunderstorms in the air Maggie partied hard. The kids played in the water, climbed around the play ground, kicked around a beach ball, ate cake (a first for Maggie!) and overall had a great time. It might be one of the last few times we're at that park this summer so we let her soak it all in. She did and loved every minute of it.

Monday, September 12, 2011


As I said last week, we rented a boat on Labor Day weekend. Maggie wasn't digging it for the first hour and we all wondered how long we were going to actually enjoy our time on the lake. After lunch, however, and after we took off her life jacket, her mood changed and she enjoyed herself. She also loved playing in the water so we made sure she got time to do that. The rest of, and the majority of, the afternoon on the boat was great.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


For Labor Day weekend we went to the cabin. It was nice to be back in the mountains for three nights--but this time with a kitchen, bed and shower. Ahhh. We relaxed, played darts, Scrabble, went to the swing, watched a movie and walked through a craft fair. On Sunday we rented a pontoon boat and spent the afternoon on Shaver Lake. More about the lake on the next post. Overall, a fun weekend. Hard to believe summer is almost over...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Camping, Day 3

Sunday, our final full camping day, was the best of the weekend. We all had a blast and everyone was in a great mood. We began the day with a walk around the lake.

Then that afternoon we went to the beach area of the lake, called Sandy Cove, and spent time playing in the water, sand and in Maggie's case, with new friends. She really enjoyed the rides the bigger kids gave her in their boat, digging in the sand with her sand toys, and swimming in the lake with Chad.

Sunday evening we had our last campfire of the trip and Chad had the lighting
of, maintaining, and extinguishing down to a science. Anyone who knows him knows how much he loves building fires, so it was a fun event to watch.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Camping, Day 2

On Saturday, our second day of camping, we had a couple things planned that we wanted to do. The first was to make the trip to Buck Rock. After breakfast we loaded up and drove the 45 minute trip to the fire lookout station. About ten years ago I spent the night there with my parents who volunteered to watch for fires for a night. Chad had never been and wanted to check it out and see the view.

That afternoon we wanted to rent a canoe to tote Maggie around Hume Lake. So we did. And it was an experience. She liked it for the first 10 minutes. The next 70 minutes she didn't want to be there. She wanted to get out and run around and not be in the boat. She slept in my lap for the last 10 while Chad rowed us to shore. It wasn't a peaceful, relaxing boat trip by any means and unfortunately set the tone for the rest of the evening. Grumpy, whiny, Maggie took my patience and by 8pm it was time for her to go to bed. I would have put her down earlier if I could have. The good news is she fell asleep immediately and we didn't have to fight to put her down. The other good news is that Chad and I ended up with a quiet evening outside by the campfire with no crabby toddler to bother us.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Camping, Day 1

Our first day of camping began with a hike on the Big Stump trail. It was the same hike Maggie and I took a year ago (click here). Maggie's grown a lot since then and is much more solid on her feet. She still enjoys riding in the backpack, though. Who wouldn't?

After the hike we drove to our camp to unload. Maggie and Chad took a nap after the tent was up and I enjoyed sitting outside, relaxing and reading a magazine! Later in the day, after dinner, the air turned humid we noticed a few sprinkles on our bear box. Huh? It can't rain while we're camping! Good thing we have a good tent and a solid rain-fly. Fortunately the sprinkles only lasted about a minute or two and were super light, so nothing ever got wet. We did, however, get to see something at sunset that Maggie was excited about: a rainbow.

We ended up having about 3 minutes of rain overnight and it was so loud in the tent. I liked it and especially liked that there wasn't any thunder or lightning to accompany it.