Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Fishing Friday

Garrett took Shannon, Riley, and Caleb Brubaker to The Delta fishing for Striped Bass. They trolled back & forth along the banks. Caleb and Shannon kept getting their lines tangled together while Riley was catching fish! And Garrett drove the boat. They kept 3 and threw back two.

While the men were gone, Tami and her children came over for for a quick lunch and to check out our motor home. (no pics -shannon had the camera!) Annie did some errands with Gina, then baked chocolate chip and vanilla walnut cookies for her.

afternoon Gator ride through Garrett's almond orchard
Friday night we were invited to Scot and Deborah Boone's for supper. She served a delicious meal of lasagna, corn, and garlic bread. Dean & Amy Crawmer brought an equally yummy salad to go with it! The children really enjoyed the trampoline while the men inspected Scot's new personally rigged video surveillance security system. :) They have a lovely private yard, outdoor brick fireplace, and penned chickens. You would never guess we were on a corner of 2 streets in the middle of a 200,000 populace town!

Kara serving real lemon dessert (with strawberry garnish)
We are loving these beautiful lush lawns that are an extension of the home! Not sure if any of it can be duplicated in dry, windy Kansas, but sure are having fun dreaming!

Matt & Anne's...by Annie

We did some of school in the morning and then in the afternoon Daddy & Riley dropped all us    ladies off at Anne Long's to spend the afternoon together while they went and toured the Exact Manufacturing Fab shop and a local RC Hobby shop. Riley went to baseball practice and stayed with Alex & Andrew while Shannon came back to Matt & Anne's for supper.

Sierra, their oldest daughter, had a tea party all set up for us girls. The menu included: cinnamon & sugar almonds, carrot slices  filled with peanut butter, and cupcakes with can whipped topping on top. There was Green Tea and Mint Tea. It was very fun and the tea set was dainty. Anne had little blue round boxes that you could decorate with clouds, a fluffy cross, a shiny sparkly heart, and an airplane. We had the tea party up in the air in a playhouse that Matt had built. 

fun baby toy rides

big girl, all by herself

tea delicacies

Sierra's new tea set

playhouse tea party
After the tea party we dressed up in their dress up clothes and played church. I was wearing a German Baptist member dress Anne had gotten at  'The Swap Shop'. Sierra and I enjoyed being mothers and taking our babies out when they cried. 

delightful dress-up 
We had a yummy dinner with Matt & Anne Long, Thomas & Michelle Bauman, and Tyler Lynch. It included: hamburgers, nacho and potato chips, asparagus, and strawberry shortcake for dessert. After dinner all of us children played outside on blankets. It was a really fun evening for everyone!

BBQ CA style

dessert servers: Anne, Sierra, Annie

so scrumptious

cousins: Tyler and Shannon

Monday, April 29, 2013

A Day In The Mountains

Wednesday we drove up 118 past Sonora, CA to the little town of Sugar Pine to spend the day with Eric and Lori Leensvaart. From their home, nestled in the mountain, we hiked out the dirt road into a national forest for a nice view. They had prepared a nourishing lunch of white chili soup, bread & jam, vegetables, fresh fruit, and chocolate chip cookie bars that we chowed when we got back from our walk. 

trying out Lori's ergo carrier
Jace & Riley building a fort
Meg and Meg
Eric dropped Shannon off at Covers Apple Ranch to see an old-time friend, Aaron Bowman at work. The rest of our family came down to meet up a couple of hours later. Aaron gave us a ride on the ranch's train and a sample of cider.

engineer Aaron
the little railroad went through 2 tunnels 
For supper we went to Aunt Shirley & Robert Millers. We enjoyed the backyard waterfall fish pond and the tiny wiggly stray dog someone had dropped off recently. She served salad, pizza, and applesauce. After eating we looked at their many pictures in albums and giggled at Robert's Donald Duck impersonation.

in front of the house
feeding the fish

standing between the kitchen and dining table
Another full day; friendships, family, food, fellowship, feeling God's abundant love!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Modesto Mix

Since we are camped out in Garrett & Gina's back almond orchard, we're living life with them! Which includes private school immersion. :) Today Gina was in charge of 'hot lunch', picking up 20-some pizzas at Winco. Oops! They had the wrong order date, so Gina, Caroline, Cora, & I watched them make & bake them lickety split.

What a cart load!
Gina had arranged for her family to come to lunch too, so Shannon could see his cousin, and I could see young folk friends. The first time (out of 5) that I went to CA church camp I stayed with these sweet Rumble folks.

It was also Gina's turn to for 5th & 6th grade PE. Garrett & Shannon took care of that while we watched.

Riley (left) and the dads (right)

We then drove through Modesto to friends near Waterford, that have a fantastic game room of exotic mounted animals. The Africa room has several full body mounts... giraffe, rhinoceros, lions, & monkeys plus many shoulder mounts. There are 3 rooms with animals from hunts in South America, Australia, Africa, and Alaska. 

Michael kindly took us on a quick overview drive of Frantz Nursery which has grown tremendously from 16 years ago when I used to houseclean there. The children weren't overly excited about a plant tour, but they sure enjoyed listening to Michael!

a hippo's feet make nice coffee table legs

Riley getting 1 on 1 hunting info

a deluxe 'Swiss Family Robinson' treehouse with swinging bridge 

the real zebras fenced in at Frantz's
We wrapped up the day at Doug & Pam's, enjoying a meal and visit with her parents too. This night ended too soon, but we were super glad we got to be with Boone cousins and Shannon's '95 almond harvest crew-leader.

delish strawberry shortcake

Doug, Pam, & sweet family
More new friends for our children and more great memories for us!

Muchas Monday

Annie went to BHS, the private church school, with the Bowman children this morning. Here is an excerpt from Annie's journal for Monday April 8th.

I went to school with Alex & Andrew along with Tilly. Everyone was wondering who I was and Alex & Andrew plainly told them! I got all my school work done and got 1 word search & picture done! :) I also did a math drill with the class. I had lunch with Marcy, a girl who befriended me! It was the 1st I had been to a school and ate a packed lunch with them!

Riley, Caroline, Meg, & I stopped in at Tami's in the morning to do a little homeschool together. She fried French donuts with powdered sugar for a snack. Here's Riley and Colson delighting in their sweet crispiness on their front porch...

Next on the agenda, lunch plans at Shawn & Tara's on his day off. We had a great lunch -more fresh strawberries- and a great visit all afternoon in a great home! The men moved on outside to do a little shop wiring to hook up the electric out there and the younger girls played outdoors too.

Shawn & Tara in their kitchen before lunch

Then to Travis and Laurie's for the evening. (A full day for us!) Laurie was a wonderful hostess as well.

the dinner line-up

children's table
They have a nice backyard play area where the children were all playing, waiting on dessert. Somehow the grapefruit tree got raided and Cora got caught in the grapefruit fight! Quite traumatic, but rather funny at the same time!

one unhappy camper, thanks to big brother

assembling gingerbread with warm sauce & ice cream

Travis serving French-pressed Starbucks
Travis showed Riley some creative clips he'd done with his radio controlled airplane. Laurie showed us gals "The Finn & Sully Show" Travis had put together of her sister's preemie twins who are now at least 4. Sweet memories.

Tara, Mom Jan, Heather (Meg), Laurie
We're blessed to be served by friends! And so neat to see our teenage cronies all grown up with families & homes of their own!