Family Lunch

Over the Thanksgiving weekend we were all together as a family, all seven of us.  We really had such a great time!  We started out in Santa Barbara to pick up the UCSB daughter and we hung out there hiking, going to the beach and eating.  We had lunch at a nice place that had seating outside.  The weather was perfect!

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Waiting for lunch.

This is taken after our hike and before lunch.  Based on how hungry they claimed to be, I am surprised at those smiling faces!

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The card shark.

We passed the time waiting for our food to be delivered by playing Uno.  This guy just laid down a draw four card on me, hence the smug look on his face.  And yes, he did go on to win!

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Drawing away.

The artist – her favorite thing to do is draw – this was while we were waiting for the check to come.IMG_1773

I really love her drawings, but I’m not biased or anything!

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!!!IMG_1778

from our family.  I know it’s a day late, but we were out and about yesterday, ALL of us!  It’s really so nice to be with all the kids again.  Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates and a great day to all those who do not.

Color Factory

I did an irresponsible thing…I pulled the kids out of school early.  More than a month ago I bought tickets to the Color Factory Museum.  You buy tickets for a certain day and time and if you are 30 minutes late you lose your ticket.  When I finally got into the system, all weekend, evening and holiday tickets were gone – that left only times during school.  A responsible parent would have said, “Oh, well, I guess we’ll just try again when the next batch goes on sale”…Not this parent.  This parent checked the schedule for classes that would be easier to miss and scheduled a tour at that time.  Bad Mommy!

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The Color Factory.

You can see how the three still in school are so disappointed to be missing class.

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Burying dad in confetti.

There were so many fun interactive rooms like this one.  We actually had an all out confetti throwing fight in here – luckily we were the only ones in the room at that time!

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The yellow room.

This huge ball pit was the last room and was so much fun!  It was really had to walk through it though.  The kids and us parental units had a blast.  This Bad Mommy is glad she did what she did!

Thanksgiving

We host our big family Thanksgiving celebration the Saturday before Thanksgiving.  We started this many years ago as cousins and siblings were getting married and would have to split the holidays.  My husband and I decided that the actual day was not as important as having the family together.  We usually have a full house.  Some years more and some years less, this year we had 20.

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Table One

Each year it’s always interesting how the tables are going to be arranged.  This is the DH’s job and he takes it very seriously – this year was relatively short as it only took about 2 1/2 hours to decide how to arrange them.

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Table Two.

This year he decided to have two tables instead of one long one.  We have had many iterations including the year we had 37 people come and he placed the tables in a huge rectangle with an open center where he put a little round table for all the kids.  The kids had a fantastic time because the were allowed to crawl under the “adult” tables to get to their table.  Now most of the kids are older, the youngest being 5 years old.

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Sand Candles made by my kids.

Each table had a few sand candles that the kids had made.

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More Sand Candles.

As soon as the evening was over, and we saw how far the candles had burned down, they all said they wanted to make more.  This will be a good summer time activity!

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Appetizers

I managed to get the appetizers out before the first guests arrived.  This may sound like a no brainer, but sometimes I don’t actually get them out in time.

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Shrimp wrapped with snow peas.

This is a favorite for my kids.  They were disappearing almost as fast as I could make them before I kicked them out of the kitchen!

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Deviled eggs.

This is another favorite.  Unfortunately my chickens have stopped laying eggs so about half of these are store bought.  The chickens are molting and it is getting colder so egg production is non-existent right now.

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Vegetable platter.

You might notice that this is a strange platter to be using for vegetables.  Indeed it is!!  I dropped my segmented vege platter which broke into a zillion little pieces and had to improvise.  I introduce my new vege platter which doubles as the baking dish for scones.

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Spicy artichoke and spinach dip with crackers.

This was a new dip I was trying out.  It was ok, not great.  Back to the drawing board for this one.

I have no pictures of the actual dinner or dinner food.  Once everyone arrived everything was super busy.  It was really a nice time eating, chatting and just hanging out with family.  These are the best times and times I am truly thankful for.

Cupcake Decorating Class

DD#3 loves to bake and recently she has wanted to learn how to decorate.  I signed us up for a class at Michael’s so we could learn together.

There was another family of 5 there to take the class.  Well…the teacher never showed up!  Did we let this dampen our enthusiasm??  NO!

We just jumped right in.  The other family had bought a beginner book on decorating cakes so we started working through that.

Some done.  

We had brought homemade cupcakes to decorate and I think we did a fabulous job.  Especially since we didn’t have an instructor.

In the end, we really had a great time.  I’m glad we stayed (the whole group of us stayed) and played.  We even got all our money refunded.  A special day out with one of the kids and it turned out to be free!

Cinderella

We went to the ballet!  It’s been such a long time – almost a year since we were last at a ballet show and it was great to go again!
IMG_5167I am totally loving this new app on my phone.  It is called Project Life and it makes it so easy to create pages like the one you see above.  Then you can print them out an put them in an album – it takes no  time at all and looks totally great!

One on One Time

Something I don’t do very well is spend one-on-one time with each of my kids.  I know that they crave it and I know that it’s very important to make the effort, but sometimes with our weekends full of activities, time can be very short!

Mini-golf with the 10 year old.

Mini-golf with the 10 year old.

We had a really great time!