42 Beautiful Photos of Monterey, California

Janet took these beautiful photos of Monterey for us. These include the aquarium, the beach, a hotel, a farmer’s market (where we met some parrots), and Cannery Row.


JD contentedly held the parrot, until the bird owner said, “Show your mom. Where’s mom?”…..


…..Then JD looked up and realized I was gone. You can see the panic on his little face! I had slipped off to the car to get something.

Monterey photos

The Del Monte Hotel rose garden


A Joshua tree! These are not native to the area, but we were excited to see one since we do have a son named Joshua.


The hurricane-like winds made the family photo a lost cause.


It may look inviting, but the water is like 40 degrees, in my estimation, and quite full of sea life.


I love that Joshua is old enough now to read all the information at the aquarium and help his brothers too.


The itty bitty penguin habitat is Daniel’s favorite.




Leopard sharks, a native to Monterey Bay


Way back in the day, the sardine fishing and canning industry were big business in Monterey. So that’s why they call this street Cannery Row. There is no Canning going on here now, just tourism, shopping, and eating.

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Check back tomorrow! I’m planning to upload photos of 17 mile drive, a scenic route that hugs the coast from Pacific Grove to Carmel! Or maybe I’ll do the seal pup photos next…



Having Happy Helpers

We had an easy week around here. Alan’s parents (aka Nonna and DaddyO) came to visit, and our house stayed nice and tidy all week. Yes, Nonna and DaddyO, that’s our new “clean”. Standards get a little lower with each child and with each added load of hobbies and homework!

I can’t tell you how sweet this was of them to come help us. Nonna wasn’t fully over her surgery (for a broken bone), but they came anyway, and we were so glad they did.

On Monday, Nonna tagged along to Classical Conversations with us, while DaddyO stayed here and ran loads of laundry ALL DAY long. Thank you, DaddyO!! Then Alan and Nonna stayed up getting it all folded and put away while I attended a class on uses for essential oils. More to come on the oil thing soon!!

Nonna’s contribution at CC (our homeschool tutoring group) is nothing to sneeze at either. She went to Caleb’s class, and that’s an emotionally difficult class to go to. He has a sweet tutor, and it’s a fun, interactive class, but we just can’t get Caleb to fully participate.  It kind of reminds me when he was in Pre-K 3, and he refused to do the Art Center, and I kept getting notes. Nowadays, Caleb lives for Art, but something about the whole CC thing greatly intimidates him, and he folds up very deeply into his shell–which is funny–because who even knew that Caleb had a shell…

It’s hard to explain. It’s not all bad. There are parts of it that he enjoys. It seems to be a confidence issue.  The introduction of the tin whistle has caused a lot of stress. This is his first year with it, while most of his classmates are returning students.

On the bright side, he has learned a TON, and I guess that’s the most important thing. He’s also made fast friends with pretty much everyone he’s met.

Caleb may or may not have embarrassed Nonna a little bit with his overuse of the phrase ‘dang it,’  at school.  I blame Mater….certainly not me…I would never, cough, ahem, cough, uh, say such a thing…..

Each week at CC, the boys are required to give a presentation. There are suggested themes for each week, but you don’t have to stay on theme. Last week was “tell about a state.” I let the boys choose a state. They BOTH chose Alabama, which surprised me a little. I thought surely one of them would choose Virginia or California, but I guess we see where their hearts truly lie!

…..and that was just Monday! On Thursday and Friday, I was able to get in full days of school without any ankle biters tearing through “sensory bins” at my feet. The school room floor is so much cleaner now!

Thank you so much, DaddyO and Nonna.

I am always telling the boys, “Many hands make light the work,” as I drag them through chore after chore that they don’t really want to do. People were made to work though, and I feel like the key to keeping this house from imploding is to teach the boys to help out a lot.

Meanwhile, it sure was nice to have backup!!!

Of course, the best part was the sleep. JD is cutting his 4 canine teeth, as we speak. He was a literal sleep monster this past week. No, really. Boy woke up multiple times every single night, and DaddyO and Nonna handled it for me.

That in itself deserves a medal.

Here are a few snapshots from their visit:

These were from the famous “17 Mile Drive” in Carmel. JD, Nonna, and I went, and it was the first time for all of us!

This is the closest most of us will probably ever get to golfing at Pebble Beach.

our tiny runner

We weren’t the only ones having fun.

DaddyO WALKED JD to the park. Yes, you read that right. I always make him ride in a stroller, so DaddyO got bonus fun points for that!

My DaddyO lets me have fun.

My DaddyO lets me have fun.

Best of all, we just enjoyed visiting with DaddyO and Nonna. It’s hard to live this far away from every single member of our family, so it’s super exciting anytime we get to squeeze in a visit!!

We are so blessed to have two sets of grandparents that visit, help, AND babysit!!! Alan and I did get to go on a date night, and we needed that so badly.

Thank you again, Nonna and DaddyO! We love you!

I told Nonna while she was here, “There’s enough work here for me to have a full staff. I could have a laundress, a cook, a housekeeper, and a tutor!” But that’s just the phase of life we are in. Isn’t it blessed?? I’d much rather be overworked than bored, don’t you agree?

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”  Colossians 3:23-24

This truly is the Lord’s work.

Ok. JD needs me. Better run.

Don’t forget to vote:http://voiceboks.com/stories-of-our-boys/

I should also confess that one reason I have way less points than the top 4 contenders is that I have failed greatly at 4 Twitter challenges.. I will try to improve. You have to ‘tweet’ the most about our sponsors, and well, I apparently haven’t tweeted enough. I’ll work on improving with that. Thank you for voting!!!

A Week of Serious Breakthroughs

When I started college in 1999, the computer world looked absolutely nothing as it looks today. We barely used email, let alone websites. Books were purchased at stores that sold coffee, notes were written on paper, and Facebook, WordPress, and Twitter were not even thoughts in anyone’s heads.

On top of that, as an easily bored 18 year old, I swore off anything computer or business world related. I made my home in the school of Arts and Sciences. The only contact I had with computer geeks were the engineers that I flirted with at the library. I will say that for me. I did study a lot. I was pre-physical therapy, and let me tell you, pre-med studies are hard!

Therefore, my computer skills were seriously lacking when I started this whole blogging thing in 2007, with my private blog. It has been QUITE the learning curve for me, but I now feel so confident in website building.  I can’t tell you what a high it gives this non-computer-chic to tell you this:

Thanks to DaddyO and Nonna being here this weekend, I’ve had a little more time to work on the blog, and …….I moved the email subscriptions from the old blog to the new blog……..ALL BY MYSELF!!

One day, I’m going to take some computer classes, and then I’m really going to be out of control. 😉

Blogging friends, if you are thinking of taking the leap to a self hosted website in order to make income with your blog, go for it!!! It’s not nearly as hard as they make it sound. I went with Bluehost, and so far I’m as pleased as punch.

Meanwhile, the blog platform is still WordPress, so I don’t have to re-learn how to design my blog. It’s mostly the same as before.

Thank you so much for listening to my celebrating about my blogging education. Here are a few photos of what else has been going on around here:

JD has become attached to this puppy.

Oh, and I have had homeschool breakthrough after home school breakthrough!!!  So exciting!

We’ve been struggling with the skip-counting, so this week I used Caleb as guinea pig, and taught him only 3-4 numbers per day. This week we were on the 15s. That boy can roll out 15 30 45 60 75 90 105 120 135 like NOBODY’S BUSINESS now.  WhooT!!!  So no, he never got all the way to 225 like I’d hoped, BUT knowing 15-135 SOLIDLY is better than not knowing 15-225 at all.

It may be hard to tell in the photo, but we finally got the garage cleaned out to the point that you can actually park a car inside it.  This is us partying in the garage. It is now part storage, part playroom.

Daniel was so proud of this power wheel (doesn’t work) that we commandeered from the neighborhood dumpster. He sat in it for hours. It’s a firetruck, and the siren still works.

Daniel told Alan, “See your truck, Daddy. (pointing to Alan’s truck) This my truck. (pointing to power wheel) My truck have ladder. Your truck no have ladder.”


I found a new way to entertain JD. I gave him empty sippy cups and lids. He did whatever he did with them, all while studying his coin chart. Haaaaaa

Sometimes you have to work with what you have. The boys were doing great at matching states to capitals, but not so great with matching those capitals and states to the state shape on the map.

Then I went to my friend Joy’s house, and she had these awesome flash cards. I couldn’t find any to purchase, so I worked with what I had.

The dollar store had state “flash cards” that had so much information on both sides, they were completely useless…..until now. I cut out some bolder, less congested state images from the maps Amy sent me, blacked out the city/state names, and voila! Flash cards! These helped us BIG time this week.

I’m running out of time, so let me share this one last thing!!!  Character lessons! Here’s the link so that you can purchase them yourself:


I love these. The ones in the picture are just the ones we’ve been through this year. You spend a week on each character trait. Next week’s is “forgiveness.” I just think this is such a great way to start out the school day. What is more important than having godly character?

So I’m off to watch the Bama/MSU game. We recorded it, so don’t tell me what happens!  🙂

Roll Tide!

“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.” Zephaniah 3:17


Halfway there! Thank you so much for all the votes. I’m #9 right now, so please keep voting. I wish there were something I could do to tell you all thank you!! Virtual hugs!!

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