Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Before the Scandal

Here's Carter, prior to being kicked out of SoCal schools for displaying his right wing agenda.

Off to research home schooling opportunities.

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pa's Visit

Pa arrived Friday of last week and stayed through Sunday.  It was such a fun visit!

Lots of pics:

We walked Old Town to see all the creepy decor.

And, toured the Whaley House!

Travel Channel's #1 Most Haunted Site in the U.S.

"Carter, stand next to the sign."


"Look, mom, I'm sitting on a ghost's lap."

Funny kid!

Listening to ghost stories.

The docent looked at Lainey's photos and confirmed she captured an orb in one!

One of my new favorites:

I want to stay here cool!

There was a zombie walk slated for 6pm.  We saw everyone preparing.

Totally normal.

We toured the nearby cemetery to find people who haunt the Whaley House.  Found 2!

Zombies everywhere.

Went to Jim Croce's famous place for a drink prior to dinner out at Fogo de Chao.

Such a fun day!

Woke on Sunday to bowl and carve pumpkins.

Sweet Jack helped Lainey with the bowling aide.  

Jack is VERY much into the game.

Love this picture.

Three pumpkins for three kids!

With roasted seeds.  Yum.

We educated Pa on What Does the Fox Say and other pop culture essentials.

I'm sure he's so glad we did.

Next up, Halloween night!  Lots of party planning still going on at school and shortly after, we'll start preparing for Caroline's arrival in November.

Back soon!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Allowance - A New Approach

Carter becomes a teenager next month.  Blake and I have been discussing a new approach at allowance.

The details:

He'll receive $75 at the beginning of the month to budget, save and spend.

All of his monthly expenses will have to come out of this money, so he will have to stay aware of his spending and make smart choices.  If he does not, he will have to sacrifice.

This money will go towards outings with friends (movies, paintball, Disneyland, birthday gifts for friends, etc) and we will not supplement if he doesn't plan.  He will have to miss out on things if he doesn't have the money.

For the first few months, we will insist he saves half for the month to ensure he transitions well.  We will help him monitor his account online, balance his ledger and more.  He already has a check card linked to his account, so he has some experience.  

We will provide the basics, of course.......including clothing and his Disneyland pass is already paid.  But, his allowance each month will go towards entertainment and extra things he'd like to buy for himself.  Extra things = Elite socks, a Disneyland pass upgrade, etc.



This is a big move and if we move forward with it, I want it to be long term.  I know there will be some tears and lessons learned.....but we think he's ready.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Bennett Family Visit

About 3.5 years ago, I told my dear friend, Jillian, "We're moving to San Diego."

Her response was, "I've been dreading this moment."

Since moving, we've become even closer friends.  Odd how that works.  But, I adore her and her family and we had an awesome visit.  They were here in Oceanside from Thursday until this morning.  

We did a lot!

Some highlights:

Finally......we went to Disneyland together.

I was so happy to share this place I love with three more kids that I love.

And, new friendships were formed.....or rekindled.......but it was the first time our kids had seen each other again since we moved from Kansas.  

Jack and Ainsley teamed up.  Both 2nd graders.  Both eccentric.  A perfect match.

These two goons clicked again beautifully.

Both first graders.  Both lively and fun.  

In the words of Lainey:

"It was like magic.  I saw her and I knew we'd be BFF."

Disneyland with 5 little kids is stressful, expensive, tiring, exciting, exhausting and worth every bit of effort.

I loved seeing this......controlled chaos.

Notice who is missing: Carter.  He had football practice and didn't want to miss it.  

And, I think he knew he'd be sharing his visit with THREE MORE PRINCESSES.

Understood, son.

Love this....Jillian does not.....but I love this picture.  We were on It's a Small World.

Jack was over it at this point.

He kept telling me, "Mom.  All doze gurls.  So many!"

Brooke was the most entertaining part of the parade.  Such a special thing to see.  She's 4 and so into each character and danced throughout the entire event.

And, just prior to Haunted Mansion, she was done.  Slept right through it.

Friday brought us to Carter's game and then back to our house for dinner.  The little girls put on a 4,827 part "Rock n Roll Show".

Saturday included Lainey's party with lots of help from Jillian.  More on that later.

While our kids were in school or at home, the Bennetts visited the beach.  They stayed in the harbor, super close to everything and enjoyed everything about Oceanside.  We are beach-free right now because of Jack's cast......sad we missed this part of their visit, but it gave them some family time, which was good.

Sunday afternoon, we met at the harbor for ice cream and a walk.

I love this part of our little town.

How lucky to have these people we love so dearly in this town we love so much.

It was a very special visit for all of us!

Until next time, Bennetts.