Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Captain Jack and A Princess

It wasn't just Halloween day for us this year it was Halloween week! First we went to a school party at Citrus South.
Then spent the night at my parent's house and had tghe kids dress up in their costumes to trick or treat at Nono and Nini's early since they would miss it on Monday. My Mom pulled Caleb into the bathroom and gave him his first beard.

On Halloween night we went to the church and had a carnival/trunk or treat. It was so simple and good. It was more about the kids than the lavish decorations. After all what are the kids really going to remember? The decorations? or the happy feeling they had?

Mickey Mouse is okay but...

Nov. 8, 2011

...not these guys. This is a disgusting story so if you don't like mice then turn away.

We had mice playing and having a picnic on Hannah's and Caleb's car seats in our car. They chewed up part of the trunk and even the fabric on the floor of the car. There was poop inside the car and the trunk and we tried again and again to catch those little turkey's every night. And every morning when we woke up the traps were empty. Well not two mornings ago! We caught three! Caleb cried when we threw them in the trash and Hannah accepted the sentence very well, (i think she wanted justice for her holey chair. - the saddest part about her chair is that she screamed and sobbed when we put her in it the first time. She was scared that the mouse was still in her chair and that it was going to bite her just like it had bitten her chair.- )

We are setting traps every night. We have now included the snap traps (all sympathy for the mice has flown out the window) but those mice are finding away to lick the traps clean and not set them off. How are they doing that?

The one positive note is that they are out of are car. Probably because they are now too fat to climb up inside it.

Veteran's Day Parade

Nov. 11, 2011

At my eye appt/ earlier this week, (where I, Stephanie Summer Randall picked out a pair of eyeglasses in 10 minutes. The same Stephanie Summer Randall that always orders my dinner last and before that I have asked the waitress 3 times to "give me just two more minutes) I asked the receptionist what Porterville does for Veteran's Day. Well it just so happens that I asked the woman who knew everything about the parade, past present and future. She told us it was awesome and we had to go.
We got there at 10am and it was nice. I love going to parades period and I love America. So it was double good. I love reading the signs people have made and to see first hand the sacrifices the sign bearer has made with either the loss of a friend or family member or that someone they know is currently serving our country.
Thank you Veterans!

Friday, October 21, 2011

For Dinner

Sept. 25, 2011

We invited friends of ours from the ward over for Sunday dinner. Tim and Louisa Suorsa (Sue-or-suh) came over and brought their 3 funny boys with them. We ate outside because it was soooo nice outside. After dinner was over we walked around outside and gave them a tour of the property. The barn was the last stop. All the kids climbed to the top (which was very high up) and posed for a picture.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hannah's Birthday

Sept. 17, 2011

Hannah was born today! three years ago!! Doesn't it go by in a blink?

For the first order of business all the men had the task of putting the tire swing up in our Mulberry tree. My Dad tied a rock to his climbing rope and tried a few times to get it up and over the right tree limb. When that didn't work, Jesus tried using a bow and arrow. That didn't work so we went back to using the rock.

The girls were the first to enjoy the tire wing.

Hannah opening presents.
After the presents and cupcakes we went down to the pond and fished for a couple hours. Jesus caught the most fish! He has a gift, or maybe he is a fish-whisperer.

Monday, October 3, 2011


We stayed the night at a hotel the night before we went into the Park. We swam in the hotel pool, which was heated (so nice). Then went to bed.

While Caleb and Cory rode Splash mountain Hannah and I met Pooh.
The Haunted House was closed (boo) Hannah was none too pleased.
A quick picture together

Caleb was one of the kids picked to dance with an awesome drum group. He really got into it!

We rode out to Tom Sawyer Island (something we had never done before). After we got to the island we let the kids lead the way. Where ever they wanted to go we followed. Caleb found a lost Pirate treasure.

We went went into a cave and made it our alive...

Hannah and I pose for a photo

We waited for over an hour to see Tinkerbelle and Vida.
Totally worth it!

Music before bed

Sept. 5, 2011

Before the kids went to bed Cory got out his guitar and played a few songs. Caleb found his guitar and Hannah "sang." Life is about "moments" I think. I hope I remember this one.

"there's a sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall"

Sept. 1, 2011

Tonight was the night that I have been dreading. But I'm not the only one. It was easy to see on the faces of many that Amber and her family would be greatly missed.

I hope that the people if FL get to know her as well as I did. She has so much to offer as a friend:

Faith - she is an incredibly Faithful person.
Obedience - if something is asked of her she does it right away and above and beyond expectation. She is exact in keeping the commandments and although she admits she isn't perfect she is someone I look to as an example.
Loyal: She is as loyal and true of a friend as one could hope for
Trustworthy: I always knew I could tell her something and it would be kept safe
Fun: Understatement of the century! She is the Most Fun!
Can you see Jesus?
Me and Jen Garrett. Isn't she great?

A "first"

Aug. 31, 2011

This is Dennis Moore. He is my Father's dad. I met him for the first time this morning.

He knew me as a child of course but since my parents divorced when I was 3, I have no memories of him. This morning at Connie's house he came over (he lives in OK and was in Bakersfield to visit family members he hadn't seen in years and since he and I are corresponding via snail-mail [my favorite] we set a date and a time to talk in person.
I was very nervous to meet him. I was afraid he'd be like my Dad, or at least look like him. I was afraid that if I let Dennis into my life I would be letting in all the other things I had kept out and forgotten.
Well, even though I was nervous, I decided I wanted to meet him anyway. I am very glad that I did because it was better than I had hoped. He was very kind and good to Caleb and Hannah. He told me about himself, his family and asked me about mine. After 2 hours we said Good-bye and parted ways. I watched him drive away thankful and grateful.

It was good.

A birthday and TIME

August 30, 2011

Elena was born today 3 years ago and I am so glad that she is here and so is Alison. I love both of them so much and I can't imagine a life without them.

We went to Dewar's and had yummy ice cream and...
a few laughs!
Then the "girls" went to a movie. I got lost! (what else is new?) but luckily Alison is a human GPS and steered me in the right direction.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Citrus South Tule

August 15, 2011

Caleb was very excited to go to school this morning. We didn't have any issues with clothing, or him being too tired to wake up. He was happy to go and I was sad. His whole little life I have thought about how great it will be too have him at school and have more time to...play with Hannah/do "stuff" etc. But now that it's here I'm sad and I miss him already.
First Day of school his teacher, Ms. Brisco, let all the kids pick their own seats. This is the seat Caleb picked. It was in the middle. I was going to try and convince him to sit in the front row so he would (in theory) talk less and focus more, but I decided against it. I'll let his teacher figure it out.
After the morning bell rang I watched him stand in line with the other 5 and 6 year old's with their backpacks that were as big as they were and thought, This is it; the beginning of the end." and then I cried. The first one must be the hardest and maybe the last one is really hard but for a different reason.

I hung around even after all the kids were in their classrooms and let Hannah play with a new friend she made. I just wanted to hang onto the moment a little longer.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Farmer's Market - Ventura

I look forward to going to the Farmer's Market on Saturday morning. We always buy: Kettle Corn and eat it as we wander up and down the aisles, Strawberries, big, fat juicy red ones, and I always love to smell the beautiful cut and potted flowers. We usually stay less than an hour and it's always the same stuff... but I never get bored!

My Mom told us about a nearby water park/swimming pool that she had gone to to swim laps. She said that the kids would love it and "love" turned out to be an understatement. After My Mom and Dad swam a few laps they joined us in the kiddie area and played with Hannah until she was just too tired to swim.
My Mom and I went down the water slides a few times together. She always let me go first which was good because how else would I have captured this great photo of her? She laughed and yelled every time she went down.
Once Caleb discovered the joy instead of the fear of the water slide he couldn't stay off.
We went to a neat Park on the Beach in the morning. It had a cool pirate ship (on the sand) with a zip line. We did that a few times...
Then we headed over to the water and even though it was over cast Caleb played with a group of kids who were on their last field trip for Summer Camp. Having all the other kids there made it really fun for Caleb. He ran and screamed with them and Cory caught sand crabs for anyone who asked.

My Dad took us to a local surf spot he knew and took Caleb out for a few rides.
Here he is walking in...
Cory used my Dad's "other" boards and took Hannah out on her first, but not last ride.
The ride isn't over until its over!
Me sitting with two tired but very happy kids.

To t he Beach before School starts

My Dad grew up at the Beach. He loves collecting shells and knows a lot about the Ocean in general. One of his talents is what he does with all of the beautiful and unique shells and rocks he collects. He and my Mom make interesting pieces of art with them and hang them in the Condo they have in Ventura. My favorite is the one they recently made together. They glued the shells in groups (if they were small) or just one of each. Then they glued a small piece of flat drift wood beneath it and then hand wrote each shells name on one piece of drift wood. They identified 30 different shells or sea "things." It is really amazing.
My Mom and Dad thought Hannah and Caleb would like to make "art" of their own. They went one of the many awesome, and fabulous 2nd hand stores bought two frames and let the kids go to town. Caleb was meticulous. He carefully and thoughtfully placed each shell or piece sea glass in it's proper place. Hannah only put 10 items on hers compared to Caleb's 40 -50 and was done. I guess she's a "less is more" kind of girl. When we got home I spray painted the black frames silver and then put them in their bathroom upstairs.
We went to the Tourist office and talked to two really nice people and got a map and some suggestions of where to go and what to see. We have been to Ventura for several years and never done this. I'm glad we did because we saw and learned things that we never knew or saw before.
We couldn't wait to get our feet in the sand so after we had breakfast we went straight to the Beach.
Sometimes Ice Cream just sounds really good. We thought so our first night there and headed over to Ben and Jerry's for something decadent.

Friday, August 19, 2011

A month in pictures (words too)

None of the members of the Bishopric were in town to speak at Girls Camp this year so Cory was asked to go. He was really excited. We made it a little vacation and spent the night up at Girls Camp. Cory spoke to the girls while the kids and I explored the "world" up there. It was beautiful. The kids were so SO happy.

We went for a little walk...
Had a little food
Went on another walk and had a fantastic time.