Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Field Trip and Padres Game

I joined the 2nd graders last week for a field trip to the awesome San Diego Wild Animal Park in Escondido, California. It was such a treat to experience it with them!

Last year's field trip was to Guajome Park and the most exciting part of it was when we found a dead duck.

This year? Fight Club with the goats. Pretty exciting.

We toured the park on our own, but with two obligations. The Butterfly Exhibit was one of them and it was awesome.

Out on the tram and into a 25 minute ride on safari-like land. The animals were amazing.

Such a fun trip!

This Monday, we got tickets to the Padres vs Rockies game at Petco Park in downtown San Diego. I love when stadiums are downtown. Denver had this, too. Feels different than out in the middle of nowhere.

We arrived early to tailgate and play our own game in the parking lot.

Lainey started it....and eventually each Starnes child perfected throwing down the glove in protest.

Proud mother here.

See that look on Carter's face? It matches a little girl's who shows up often on instgram memes. He thinks she's hilarious. (She is.)

Very light crowd due to a Monday night game.

We had a blast!

We're into Holy Week now with my Confirmation on Easter Vigil, this Saturday.

It's almost time!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014


We are living the baseball life right now.

Jack has two games a week. Lainey has one. Both practice.

It's hectic, but fun!

Lainey and I took off last weekend for a girls' day. We shopped and ate lunch at the Cheesecake Factory and attended Alice in Wonderland at the Young Actors' Theatre.

We love our girl time!

Kids had an additional day for Spring Break and so we met Blake in San Diego at the gorgeous Catamaran Resort. He was working......and we barely got to see him.....but we enjoyed the hotel for a few days, spent the night and loved being there.

The grounds are beautiful. Reminded us of Mexico.

Back to the ball park! Kids are living off of the snack bar it seems. Luckily, they have healthy options. (Sometimes)

And, finally.....DLR Prep School is far surpassing the goals we had set. I couldn't be more thrilled and proud and excited for how it's developing. Stay tuned!

Also, I have been approached for a couple new writing jobs. I'm flattered and thrilled to be part of both options. I can't remember a time that I've been busier. Confirmation will be here soon and that will relieve me of some commitments, so that should help a bit, time-wise.

But, it's all good things. No complaints!

Oh, and 91 days until Disney World and the Florida Keys.

The Keys have the most beautiful water and I'm so excited to snorkel with our kids.

Cannot wait for island hopping, tropical drinks, and Bahama-like waters.

Off to plan!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Carter, Employed

We have a hard working 13 year old in this house right now.

Over spring break, he started his own business, passing out flyers to the neighbors with pricing on jobs he'll do. Included on that list.......trash can removal/replace, landscaping, pet and house sitting, etc.

He got his first job quickly and worked 15 hours over the past two days.

He has more disposable income than I do right now!

Many months ago, we started him on managing his allowance to include all social events and expenses for the two week period until he gets paid again. He's learned some lessons and has worked hard at grasping this important part of life. And, with a taste of earning money, he wanted more.....thus, this new business venture.

He already has two more jobs lined up and I'm sure there are more to come.

So proud of this kid!

He's 2.5 years from driving and is getting a good start on money management. And, he's looking for more opportunities to earn.

And, he's done all of this while playing on the middle school basketball team, maintaining a 4.0, continuing his CCD studies, and handling his own chores around here.

Good work, Carter Starnes!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Longest Post Ever - A Trip Report on Santa Monica and Disneyland & Caroline's Spring Break Visit!

Caroline's week long visit has come and gone and we had a great time together.

Started off en route to Santa Monica at the Shake Shack off Pacific Coast Highway. Gorgeous views for lunch.

The longest rainbow loom kept the littles tied together.

Checked into this no frills, but quaint little motel just blocks from the Santa Monica Pier.

Fun fact: This tiny motel room cost the same as a large, high end one at Disneyland.


We walked to the pier to check things out night 1.

Day 2 brought us back again and Laine shocked everyone by climbing up this exercise rope effortlessly.

These pictures are from the original Muscle Beach, just south of the Santa Monica Pier.

Littles helped out in a magic show!

And, we saw the end of the famous Route 66, which we've been on before during our Griswold trek years ago from KC to Dallas to San Diego and back through the Grand Canyon and Telluride.

After looking at the pictures, Blake sent me this gem from when Lainey and Jack were just 1 and 2.

Still having fun together.

Zoltar's fortune telling machine was unplugged!

We left the L.A. area and headed back south to Anaheim. Had to stop for sunblock and Caroline treated Lainey to a fringe suit so they could match.

We swam and slept and prepared for an early start at Disneyland the next day.

We were there for Rope Drop and Carter secured our spot in line to meet Anna from Frozen.

Elsa was not there, so Lainey filled in. Anna told her she couldn't wait to tell her sister about Lainey's darling dress.

After a 16 month refurbishment, Big Thunder of our back and better than ever!

While waiting for our dinner reservation, Laine enjoyed the band.

We enjoyed dinner at the very pricey Blue Bayou in celebration for Caroline's birthday....and Jack's, too!

Everyone was fast asleep.....even Lainey, who sleeps like a princess.

The next morning, Lainey buckled in new friends and we set out for the parks again.

Our Disneyland visits with Caroline are so special. 

The rest of the week was low key with a movie, some shopping, baseball and more.

So glad Caroline was here for so much!

Next time we see her will be at Orlando International when we land around the same time in July for our mega trip to Disney World and the Florida Keys.

We're so excited!!!!!!

Now, it's Spring Break for the Starnes children and I'm busy making plans. Back soon!