Friday, March 28, 2014


Today is a special day in our family!  It is Allen’s birthday and while he doesn’t really get excited about birthdays his boys sure do!

We just couldn’t let today pass without the boys and I putting together a little something to remind Allen about the amazing year he has had.  I know this coming year will be even more amazing!



Happy Birthday Allen, we love you!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

California Mountains a puzzle

On our travels in California we went East from San Diego a bit and traveled through some spectacular terrain.  I’m not that great as a passenger driving through the mountains, so on the way there I was focused on keeping us from plummeting to our deaths by using my imaginary brake on the passenger floorboard.  Do you ever do that?  I’m pretty sure I left some marks in the floorboard!

Anyway on the way back I had my camera out and from past experience know that using my camera as a distraction I might be able to make the trip easier for my sweet husband.

I could not get over the mountains…  I grew up near mountains, but it was nothing like this.  It seemed to me like got took all these boulders in His hands and shook them like marbles and just cast them down to earth.  The way they landed is sometimes really perplexing.  I also took a geology course {that makes me sound so smart, right} in college and know a little bit about the forces of the earth that had to be mind boggling to create such formations.

It starts out looking like this from a distance.


As we got closer to the mountains, we got an up close view of these wind farms.


Someone got a big kick out of this!


As we got higher up in the mountains you could really tell that the mountains are made up out of individual boulders.NIK_5483NIK_5485

Yes, I am a nerd, but I found it fascinating to look at.


See they look like typical mountains…NIK_5490NIK_5492

Then you get a closer look and see that they are in fact just REALLY big piles of rocks!



For some reason the boys were happy to see different types of cacti growing there.


as I was writing this for posterity, I realized that I didn’t know what these mountains are called, so I Googled it. 


Amazingly I still don’t know.  It just calls the area the Cleveland National Forest.  They have to be named, but for the life of me, I just don’t know what the name is!NIK_5505

Laguna Mountain?  No that is farther north?NIK_5506

It goes from sea level to over 4,000 feet in elevation, so they are real proper mountains…  I found different this indicating it was called Devil’s Canyon and Mountain Springs as well as


Anyone know what they’re called?  Bueller?  Bueller?


Whatever it is that they are called I found them stunning.  Not like I’d like to move there kind of stunning {are you reading this Allen?}, but really amazing to see.


So thankful that we had the opportunity to see this and share it with the boys!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

SEAL Tour- San Diego

During our trip to San Diego I decided that we ought to do a tour of some sort.  we have traveled a lot and as much as we love exploring on our own, it is always good to get an overview from a local or professional.  I picked out two tours that I thought might be fun and we ended up deciding on the SEAL Tour.  We were really pleased with it.

The tour began on dry land at the Seaport Village and winds through the historic part of the harbor area.


This BBQ joint was part of the movie Top Gun, where they sing “You’ve Lost That Lovin Feelin’'.


We some some of the older buildings that have recently been restored.


There is so much US Naval History in that area.


Our tour guide told us about lots of history in the area including the Abalone history.  I love learning new facts and old history, so this was perfect for me.


Here is our guide, Big Matty, he was an Army vet and a trove of information about the San Diego area.  he talked for almost 2 hours about san Diego and I have to say we learned a lot.


I took the above picture right as we were entering the water.  The boys loved that part!NIK_5558

The pelicans never even looked up!


We passed by another tour coming back in, but this is what we looked like out there on the water.


This Navy ship was coming into port and a Helicopter was flying over.  So cool!


Kirk Miller, this picture is for you!


I think this area was called Point Loma and after Coronado, it would have been my second choice on cool place to live in San Diego.


We got to get up close and personal with the Sea Lions.  They were so excited to see us!


Well this one was striking a pose…


As we moved a bit farther out into the bay we saw some wild dolphins!NIK_5586

There were quite a few of them and they were pretty brave and playful!


Keep in mind that earlier that day we happened to see the Blue Angels practicing.  Then we saw wild dolphins that afternoon.  We are blessed beyond measure!


When it was time to end our tour the boys both had faces like this!


I would highly recommend the SEAL Tour if you are in the area.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Field Trip- Ardastra Gardens

Last week Jackson’s class took a field trip to Ardastra Gardens and Zoo.  Calling it a zoo is a bit of a stretch, but since they do have animals in captivity, we’ll go with it.

First we were introduced to the head zoo keeper.  She brought her friend with her.


The snake had just molted and the colors on her skin were lovely.


As we walked around we saw plenty of animals and some pretty plants as well.


This monkey stole my heart!


While we were standing close to this monkey, the zookeeper walked by.  Look how the monkey is totally flirting and showing its prettiest smile.  For a minute we thought it was for us!


He is fascinated with animals and loved getting so close to the birds.




The flamingo show is the highlight of the visit.  Have I ever shown you the flamingos?  They are trained to march around in formation.


It is really amazing to see.NIK_6057

They pick a few students to go up and stand with the flamingos.  It is so fun.  They also let us know that it is mating season and if we come back in a couple of weeks, we may see some baby  flamingos. { I don’t know if I could stand the cuteness}


Ardastra gardens is such an original place.  If you visit Nassau, it is worth a stop.