Friday, July 20, 2012

Adventure Update!

Well, we're mid-way through July and the adventures continue.  I'm proud to say that television time is at an all time low and computer time has been drastically slashed!  My cooking lessons with the girls were a success and everyone really loved the lasagna, apple pie and peach cobbler Josie and Katie created.

I guess my husband was inspired by the girls - an invitation to a pizza making class held by Naples Restaurant, Downtown Disney landed in his email inbox and he didn't hesitate before signing up himself and the little chefs for the opportunity.

Katie and Josie discuss what toppings will be on their pizzas

Chef gives instructions on how to work the dough

Apparently, they're 'naturals'!

The 'almost finished' product ready for the wood-fired oven

Don't worry, the wines belonged to James!

Oh, and the gang ran into our favorite server, Israel!

Katie was very pleased with her creation!

Visit to a Rescue Center


This morning we visited the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, which rescues elephant seals and sea lions in distress.  Some are sick, some are injured but all are nursed back to health and released back into the sea.

We didn't get very close to the residents of the Center.  They are kept behind two layers of fencing to limit human interaction.  The volunteers even hide their food behind a gate at feeding time so they don't get used to being fed instead of foraging for their meals.  It's hard to stand back...the baby sea lions are just stinking adorable!

The volunteers were generous with their time and knowledge, allowing the girls to learn quite a bit about the seals and sea lions.  Below are some photos of our visit:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence Day 1K!

Happy 4th Everyone!  Another big "first" for our family this morning... Josie ran her first race!  She and BFF Katie signed up to run a 1K Freedom Run based here in our community.  Earlier in the morning there was a 10K and a 5K.  Michael, Katie's older brother, competed in the 5K and was kind enough to escort the girls on their run.

Josie, Katie and Michael in the crowd at the Starting Line

Our friends - David and Jenny with son Michael, daughter Katie and Josie

As one might imagine, the race was over rather quickly.  There was a traffic jam at the Finish Line while volunteers gave the race participants their medals.  The girls were thrilled to receive the medals and even more proud to display them!

Summer Activities, Continued...

I'm staying on track with my Tiger Mom training - keeping a tight schedule of activities designed to keep Josie active and engaged academically throughout the summer.  On Friday, I took Katie and Josie to the Sawdust Art Festival.  I had never been - and it was well worth the admission price to visit the over 200 artists, demonstrations and kids art activities.  The festival is held in a spectacularly beautiful part of Laguna Canyon, just a mile inland from Laguna Beach.  The grounds reminded me a bit of many Renaissance festival villages we've visited.  No knights or jousting, just an incredible array of artistic works in all mediums.
For the kids, they had 'Art Spots' where they could learn to throw a pot, make a collage, sculpt with clay, etc.  We were all fascinated by the glassblowing demonstration - and I left wanting one of the beautiful and colorful blown glass creations.  But, with two dogs and one active kid in the house, none of them would stand a chance of lasting!

Here are a few photos from our outing to the Sawdust Art Festival:

The girls at work on their collages

Coloring sculpting clay with washable markers

Just having a fun time!

Viewing an Artist's 3-D creations (both the girl chose one to take home!)

On Saturday, Jenny took the girls to visit the monastery mentioned in my last post.  That left Monday and part of Tuesday (yesterday) open for the girls to have cooking lessons.  On Day One I taught the girls how to make lasagna and on Day Two each chose a dessert that they wanted to learn to make.  (The fruit dessert idea came to the girls while touring Centennial Farm last week!)  Josie made an apple pie and Katie made a peach cobbler.
The girls served their entree and desserts to their families last night here at our house.  Everything was delicious and the girls were so pleased to hear all the wonderful comments from their loved ones!  During dinner, we 'FaceTime'd with Maddie.  Her boyfriend, Israel, joined us for dinner too!  Israel was so sweet to come support Josie - she adores him!  We were also quite happy to see Israel ... we're missing him too, now that Maddie is away at school!
We have a lot more planned for the rest of this week, so hopefully I'll update soon!  Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday.  God Bless America!