Egg Drop Soup?

This actually happened a few weeks ago (evidence--joe's cornrows).  The whole school was involved in an egg drop competition.  You know, the kind where you get to pack up a raw egg and throw it off the roof and see if it survives.  Yep.  That's the one.

The kids anxiously watch as it is launched and lands.
Oh yeah.  And Dylan came as Batman.

It's unpacked and...it's GOOD!
The Mouse House (pre-school) was ecstatic.
Old basketball + styrofoam peanuts was Joe's contraption.
The egg survived the fall from the roof.
But NOT the fall from hand to table.
Abby and her friend went with tissue box + tissues + plastic baggie parachute.

Totally cracked up.

Most interesting egg vehicle prize goes to Mrs. Citron.  She put her egg inside a grapefruit.  The grapefruit ended up a little more juicy than it started but the egg was perfectly fine.
(**note: there were no official votes counted or casted for this prize.  i just decided.)

Fun with physics.
Thanks, Yuba Feather!


What's growing?

Our new greenhouse works!
If you haven't gotten a glimpse yet of our marvelous greenhouse made from recycled windows, click here!

 (from top to bottom)
beets and lettuce
mint and basil
Trek's bean plant and strawberries
more strawberries and cucumbers

(also growing in the greenhouse but not shown)
oregano, lavender, cilantro, rosemary, Thai basil
cherry tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, Cherokee purple tomatoes,
green peppers, jalapeno peppers,
yellow squash, zucchini, spaghetti squash

Due to our late frost date (last year it was May 31st), we have only two things in the outside beds.  Spinach and peas.  They are coming along nicely and if the weather continues to be as nice as it has we may get to transplant before June this year!!! 

Watching these tiny seedlings pop up is super exciting but it is even more exciting that the greenhouse is being used by several others in our neighborhood.  The different squashes have come from three different people.  Since a single squash plant can produce a plethora of produce we are going to share it between ourselves.  So, instead of force feeding zucchini to my children every day for the next year, we will have a lovely variety of fresh squashes.  And tomatoes.  And herbs. 
Now that's community, y'all! 



This is Ojai Valley.
This place is amazing.
You'd never guess that LA was just a few miles down the road.
Farms and orchards flourish.
All kinds of natural spaces to explore.
Rocks to jump in the river

with friends.
Nature to observe.
Sasquatch huts to discover.
And good books to be found at this adorable outdoor bookstore.

Love it!
It is so exciting to see the kiddos diving in, searching for those favorites that just must come home or discovering something that holds a new adventure for them.
This is what we added to our library...
2 Harry Potter books
The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
a Little Monster book by Mercer Mayer
On Good Land by Michael Ableman

Have you read any good books lately?


I made cheese!

I cut the cheese, too.
Not in the sense that would set my boys rolling with laughter, but literally.
The recipe I used was from this beautiful cookbook that my hubby gave me for Christmas.  Homemade by Yvette Von Boven.  Also available in Dutch. :)  She illustrates recipes.  She is a recipe illustrator!  I will find my niche yet.  See more of her work here.

 Garlic, green onion, lemon salt and pepper cheese (above).
Dill and lemon salt (below).
Wanna come over for a taste test?

1/2 gallon of milk and 1/2 gallon of buttermilk gave me about a pound of cheese and 2/3 gallon of whey.  I read that I can use the leftover whey when baking bread (check) and mixing with your smoothies (check) for an added protein boost.  My kids think they are so special getting smoothies all the time.  They have no idea how sneaky I am!  maniacal laugh.  maniacal laugh.


Poppies on the Grapevine

 The Grapevine is a road grade that starts at the mouth of Grapevine Canyon at the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley and ascends the canyon to the Tejon Pass in the Tehachapi Mountains via Interstate 5.

The mountains are quite impressive.  Steep.  And appearing to jump up out of nowhere.  You are driving for days down the middle of California seeing nothing but cows and orchards and then BAM! 4000 feet.  On the way down we saw these poppy fields.  Aren't the colors just amazing?! (Jono wouldn't stop for a photo op.  Something about traffic and getting somewhere.  Blah. Blah.)  Then on the way back it had disappeared into a snowstorm!  So many reasons to lift my eyes up!

"I lift my eyes up to the mountains--where does my help come from?
My help come from the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth."
Psalm 121:1-2 


Laguna Beach

The real Orange County
 What do you do at the beach when it is too cold to go in the water?
Go treasure hunting.

Chase waves.
And stomp on them.
Practice pitching.
And posing.
Protect sunbathers from wild animals.
Take a geological survey.


International Surfing Museum

At the International Surfing Museum in Huntington Beach we learned a little history.

Some of the first surfboards were these monsters.  Nine to ten feet long.  Made from Redwood trees.  They were so heavy they couldn't even transport them off the beach.  They just buried them in the sand and dug it up the next time they went out to ride!

Of course, we think we all would make pretty sweet surfers.

Check out these sweet surfers...


Sunset Beach

I love going, doing, and seeing new things and places and our family had some great adventures over spring break.  So much so that by the end of it Abby was begging for a "lazy day".   But our favorite part of the week by far was hanging with our friends.
These peeps.

They took us over to
for some sand and surf!

Heather took a quick pic of the fam.
Joe's brother from a different mother photo bombed us. :)

Things we saw...
kite surfers


I love the beach.


Angels in the Outfield

One of our spring break adventures was going to the kids' first major league baseball game.

Angels vs. Royals

First, a little pre-game tailgate.

Walking to our sky box.
(If sky box means the highest seats in the stadium)

First view of the field.

The dugout.

Albert PUJOLS!!!

Dylan--ready to catch a pop fly or a foul ball.
Top row of the upper deck.  It could happen.

After the game, the kids were able to go down on the field and run the bases.  Pretty cool.

It was a bit of a learning experience for me.
The Angels are not the A's despite the fact that all of their paraphernalia has a giant A on it.
You can lead off of any base.  I thought it was only first.
Major league pitchers do walk people. 
Also, balking was explained to me and why the batter can run sometimes on a third strike.
Oh, baseball, you have so much to teach me.