The California Coast: Just don’t eat from that tree in the middle.


When Alan and I were getting ready to move here, people just went on and on, telling us how beautiful it is here. Everyone seemed completely in awe of the place, describing the weather as “perfect, though cool, all year round”, mosquitos non-existent, perfect, perfect, perfect.

“Okay.” Alan told me, “This place has been so built up. I’m going to be completely disappointed if this isn’t paradise itself. I am fully expecting there to be a tree in the middle that you aren’t allowed to eat from.”

As we drove here, across the country, through the California desert, we began to have our doubts….

But I have to admit, it really is pretty amazing. We’ve been too busy to enjoy it much until this past week.

This morning my parents left, and they are now on their way back to sweet home Alabama. We were so sad to see them go that every single boy, except JD, got up at 6:30am, just to say good-bye.

JD would have, but the thing is that he was awful tired from waking up constantly between 8pm and 12am. Awful tired. I can’t imagine how that feels..

We had such a FUN visit. The eight of us really took on the adventures. Not only did we see the whales and the sea lions, but we also traveled Big Sur, ate clam chowder in Monterey, tried out our new wetsuits, and took a couple days off from work and school. It was a much needed vacation. We’re having just a little trouble now getting back into the swing of things. I finally gave up at 2pm and let all little boys run free.

Oh, and by the way, every single restaurant in Monterey boasts that it has “the #1 award winning clam chowder from this contest or that contest”. I guess you can’t go wrong.

My parents even made time to see the redwood forrest in Santa Cruz. Daniel got to go with them. The boys and I had to go back to school. (Boo fun.)  We live here though, so we have plenty of weekends to go see the redwoods. Some of those trees were truly, impressively large! Exciting!

More photos of that on the next post!

Of course, Alan and I took advantage of the babysitter situation and went kayaking. Oh wow, that was a surreal experience, with seals and sea otters popping out of the water to check us out. Alan took those pictures on his phone, so I have to wait until I can get my hands on his phone to share those!

And now it’s back to work. My goals this week:

1. Find better projects to keep Daniel busy during instructional times.

2. Assess Caleb’s new reading level. (He has DEFINITELY risen above the 1st grade level that I assessed him at before school started. His progress will knock the socks right off ya.)

3. Finish reading Preteen Wise,  complete with all the best points underlined for Alan.

4. Go to bed by 10:30pm every night.

5. Dig into Classical Conversations Connected.

6. Buy cornmeal and make cornbread. I NEED cornbread.

7. Blog at least 4 times.

8. Cook a real dinner every night, except Friday.

9. Remember to teach the children the character lessons I downloaded from   (Thank you so much for sharing that with us, Shannon at

10. Finish reading Isaiah. Begin Jeremiah.

11. Spend at least 1 hour each day cleaning house. (I got that tip from my friend Barbara, back in Virginia. Thank you, Barb!)

12. Put all the laundry AWAY before going to bed–hardest thing ever for me. No me gusta el laundry.

A beautiful thought for today– Jesus will return again to Earth, and the Bible tells us that ALL will be at PEACE.

“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.”   Isaiah 11:6

“They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain:  for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek:  and his rest shall be glorious.”  Isaiah 11:9-10

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