Saturday, August 5, 2017

New little friend


About a month ago this little black kitten showed up around our house. It was pretty skittish when we would come outside, it would run away when it saw us. It was about the same time that I discovered a mouse in the house too and a mouse nest in the outside art cupboard. Anyway, one morning the boys went to the back yard to play baseball as usual and they came back in shortly because they said there were several chewed up mice in the back yard. Awesome news. The mouse inside was never caught and never found, but there is no trace of it anymore. I'm thinking it went out the way it came in and the kitten got it.
Well, Billy brought it out a little bowl of milk one morning as a thank you for helping with the mice... and it has stuck close by ever since. The kids can all pick it up and pet it and it seems to have adopted our family. Not sure I am too excited for one more thing to take care of... but we give it some cat food each morning and we shall see what happens.  It's NOT allowed in the house, and I am sometimes bugged at how much it sits at the door and meows... but, hopefully we wont have any more mice in the house.
The kids have named it Blackie. Seems to be a good little cat.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

New toys

We have been talking for the past 4 years, since we moved over to the ranch, that we ought to buy some quads to play on....
Well, one of Billy's co-workers was selling his and I told him we wanted to buy them!

So we now own 2 mini quads and the boys are in heaven! If it wasn't for the fact that it has been 100 degrees everyday and super humid, we would have already used them way more... but so far, around the house, our little neighborhood, to the mail boxes, and one trip on the ranch has made the boys super happy.  So many good times to come!




Wednesday, August 2, 2017

This years local fire- Whittier

On July 8th a fire started right by camp Whittier, just a few miles down the 154 from us.  It was a HOT day and it didn't take long for it to blow up and get into some dinosaur brush that hadn't burned for at least 50+ years.
And so our exciting and mostly exhausting week began of being evacuated, going back and forth, escaping the smoke, ash & heat, and being evacuated again.
Luckily, my sister and her family were in town when it started and were staying with her in laws. There was room for us too, so we stayed for 2 nights with them in Goleta. When they left to go home to AZ I thought it was a good time to start staying at home again. I had been back and forth everyday to grab things and mostly to check on the neighbors animals that I was looking after while they were away camping. So I knew it wasn't a big issue to get home and back from town.

We had lots of visits from fire friends during the week. A forest service engine with some of our former neighbors. A SB city engine with 2 fire fighters we new super well. And a Montecito engine rolled in one day to check on us as well :) We felt loved and safe.

Here are some pictures from through out the week that I took of the hillside above us. There was a lot of action around our house for a while, but i'm glad they got a handle on it and it's over with.







Sunday, July 30, 2017

A first for Jameson!

Amidst the chaos of the Whittier fire, Jameson lost his first tooth! It took me a little by surprise because he just seems TOO YOUNG for this first. But he is 5 years old and he did get his teeth starting at 4 months old vs 9 months old like his brothers. Not sure if that makes a difference or not...

Here he is with a his slightly shocked smile on July 15th
And one more really cute smile with his sweet little sister


Friday, July 28, 2017

A few Summer highlights so far

We have been enjoying summer break from school!

Swimming at the ranch pool



A day picking blueberries in Buelton

  Arts and crafts

And always- beach days!

This makes me realize I don't get the camera out enough. (even my phone camera).. but at least it's better than nothing!

4th of July 2017

Soon after Baseball ended came the 4th of July. This brings a big event and a lot of busy-ness to our family too. Billy, for some reason, has been in charge of the huge Montecito station pancake breakfast for the past few years. This year they were celebrating 100 years of service to the community and so it was free and HUGE.  I know that Billy was happy when the event was finally over- lots to coordinate and do.
We enjoyed the breakfast, bought some Montecito Fire swag, and walked down to the small little Montecito parade that follows. It was a nice morning.
 On the old fire truck in the small side engine bay.
 New hat and shirt- gotta give this cute guy new stuff once in a while ;)
Leila needed a shirt and hat too!

Champions!

Just a couple pictures of Williams championship day of his tournament. They went undefeated and William was the starting pitcher for the final game! He did awesome and pitched 4 out of the 5 innings. We are so proud of him.



He was the only one on the team that was given a nick name... Bull Dog! For being so darn tough.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Baseball Madness




The regular baseball season has come to an end... but I think our baseball days have gotten even more busy! Both William and Zachary were selected to be part of all star teams. Zachary is on a 7u team that will be practicing for 2 hours every day this week until their tournament starting this weekend in Ventura.
William has already been practicing with a club team that has now turned into the 8u all star team. He had his first weekend tournament last weekend and did awesome. They played 2 games on Saturday and he was the opening pitcher for the second game in the afternoon! He pitched 2 innings, struck out several batters and the team only allowed 1 run for the game. I didn't realize how nerve racking it is to have your son be the pitcher! A lot of the game is up to him. He has to throw strikes so that the batters don't walk bases. He did amazing for his first time pitching. The 3rd inning (and final inning, since it was a timed game & there was a 15 run mercy rule) William was the catcher. Also a hugely important spot! He had to make sure he caught all the pitches thrown across the plate so that the runners wouldn't steal bases. Man, it's a whole different game with kid pitch.
Anyway, this is what takes up our every afternoon and evening. We are hardly ever home at "dinner time" anymore because we are at one field or another at a practice or game until 7 or 8pm.
video


Jameson is content to help field balls during practices and run around with friends during the games. Leila is a trooper and knows that every day we will get in the car to go to brothers baseball. She doesn't seem to mind one bit and has come to understand that the baseball field is her second home right now. She just smiles and makes friends with all the players, she knows all of them by name faster than I do.

Looking forward to July 1st when hopefully the craziness will all come to an end and we can get in the pool more often.... cause that is really what my pregnant body would love right now :)

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Two May birthdays!

I have been so tired and busy between baseball, school, and pregnancy that I have not had the energy to sit and record what has been happening around our home for over a month!
Well, we celebrated Jameson's 5th birthday & Zachary's 7th birthday with the help of a fun surprise visit from Grandpa Mills. He came to town to watch the boys play some baseball and it happened to be our big birthday week too! It was so nice because I had no idea what I might do special for them besides a favorite dinner and birthday cake... no time for birthday parties when every weekend is filled with baseball games and church. Grandpa took each one of them on a special outing to get lunch, pick out a birthday present, and have some nice one on one time. He even managed to think of me too and bring home a mothers day gift. It really was so sweet, thoughtful, and special to have him here for a few days right during a special yet chaotic week. (William had 2 days of state testing this same week at a testing site in Carpinteria! His and ours first time having to deal with this)





I think that both Jameson and Zachary felt very loved and appreciated for their birthdays. Jameson chose a big BBQ tri tip birthday dinner which we shared with Grandpa as well. Zachary went with breakfast for dinner and I made all sorts of types of pancakes with toppings like chocolate chips, strawberries, and whipped cream along with eggs to balance it out. We went to a celebration of life the evening of Zachary's birthday, so afterwards we went and got frozen yogurt for a birthday treat.

Really, I am so very blessed at how well behaved, easy going, and pleasant all of my children are. There was no whining from Zachary that I made them all sit quietly at a "funeral gathering" on the evening of his birthday when he could have been opening his birthday gifts at home. I'm certainly a lucky mom :)


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter


We had a nice Easter weekend this year. Friday we spent the afternoon at the river with some friends and finished off the day with a nice dinner. Saturday morning, Jameson had a tee ball game and he played awesome! He played pitcher position in the first inning and made 4 outs at first with his great fielding and throwing. Good thing the team mate on first could catch that inning ;)
After the game we headed to our neighborhood OSH where they were putting on a cute little egg hunt for the kids. We headed home, Billy did some mowing and weed whipping, the boys helped clean up the yard, and then we went back to the river for more swimming. We dyed eggs in the evening (it's possible to dye brown eggs!) and then Billy hid them a few times for the kids to find.




This whole week we have been following a Walk thru Easter Week on Mormon.org. Just a short reading each day to help us remember all the events leading up to Easter Sunday.  Last night I made Easter rolls for the kids (and my primary class) to eat today. They were made by wrapping dough around a big marshmallow and then once baked... the rolls are hollow! Representing that Jesus lives, his tomb is empty, and we have much to be grateful for. It was a neat visual.
Church was nice. The kids all had a nice time in their classes and we relaxed for the rest of the day. I did manage to snap a couple pictures of the kids before we left for church. Billy had to work today, otherwise we would have tried for a family photo.  I will have to try for one of those soon.
Happy Easter.

Monday, March 27, 2017

New beds

Shortly after we returned from Hawaii, we did a big bed switch in the kids rooms. I ordered a twin over full bunk bed from Costco (it was called the Zachary bed, so I took it as a sign) for the boys room and they were pumped for a bunk bed!
When Billy's Dad was in town we took advantage of the extra set of muscles and the musical beds began. First the crib came down and out to the shed. Next the day bed came out of the boys room and scooted into Leila's room. Last was the construction of the bunk bed in the boys room. Rich and Billy got it all done pretty quickly, I think they were done by lunch! The boys room seems even bigger with the bunk bed in there and the white day bed is perfect for Leila and she loves it.
Now all the boys keep track of who slept on top last and they rotate every night :)  Whatever makes them happy!




Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Leila's 2

Monday was Leila's second birthday! I can't believe our sweet little baby girl is 2 years old already. Billy made the kids pancakes in the morning and we did our typical school routine. We played outside and enjoyed the nice day and before we all new it, it was time to leave for William and Zachary's baseball game. Leila fell asleep driving down the pass and stayed that way for almost 2 hours as I dropped the boys off at the field for warm ups, went and got gas in the car, picked up dinner at Valentino's, and then back to the field before the game. She woke up about 30 minutes into the game. Game ended around 7 and we were home around 7:30. A little more dinner was eaten and then funfetti cupcakes were served with candles and a birthday song. Leila was so happy to get a cupcake and be sung to, but she wouldn't take a bite of her cake... I guess I need to try chocolate next time. :)



Everyone in the family agrees that it is a blessing to have Leila in our home. She is as sweet as they come. She is always happy, always smiling, loves her brothers, loves to snuggle, and so easy going. She talks so well and is such a good little singer, i'm so impressed with her everyday!




Birthday two wasn't much of a celebration, but Happy Birthday Leila, we love you!