Modeling Class

Pippi really wants a desk for her new classroom.  I told her she needs to earn it, and her idea was to start teaching modeling classes.  I wasn’t aware that she was an authority on the subject, but I love a little out-of-the-box thinking.
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She says that this is a great modeling pose.
Haha!!
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It looks like she has one student so far.
I’m not sure he is a paying student.
I am also not sure he is taking the whole thing seriously.
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Good thing the teacher and the student have a great relationship outside of class — because once she saw the pictures…she was not pleased with Dash’s efforts!

Preemptive Strike

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Dash said a choice word tonight.  Knowing that it was a trash can word, he looked right at me and ran out of the room.  When he came back in, he had a mouth full of soap!  He knew.  My darling little boy knew!

Problem Solver

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What does a six year old do when they hurt their arm?
Most six year olds cry to their moms.
But this little problem solver went and got her own bag of ice, and made a makeshift sling out of a bandana she found.
Pippi — you are a girl after my own heart.

Weasel Cheaters

After a long Christmas break, with some really late nights…I talked to the kids about having great attitudes when I woke them up really early for our first day back to school tomorrow.  I told them to wake up happily, and get their beds made and get dressed to be out for scriptures by 6:15.  After our talk, I went to take a bath and get ready for my early morning too.
When I came out –
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My kids were all out in the Family Night Room, beds were made, rooms were clean, and they were mostly fully dressed for school tomorrow…
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…down to the shoes!
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I love me a good life hack!

Pippi Grew

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I know Pippi has been growing — but when I saw her today, I had to take a double take!
She thought it was the most hilarious thing she has ever been a part of!

Mini CYOA

We decided to take a mini CYOA around southern California.  It paled in comparison to the real deal, but we got a lot in for the four days we meandered through the landscapes of southern California!
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We headed towards the Salton Sea to collect desert balls — perfectly round balls that look like they are made from hard sand — but are solid.  They are awesome — and my kids love collecting anything — so it was a hit.  Scout also pulled out his sled, and took Dash and Pippi on some dirt sledding routes.
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We also hit up a pretty cool 4×4 track for off road trucks — we didn’t get to see anyone really attempt the main attraction at the track, but rumor is that cars have attempted and completed it — but also failed!
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While driving around — we encountered tons of stuff — like the hugest and smelliest cow stable I have ever dreamed up.  I am talking hundreds of thousands of cows!  Micah got us to these bizarre mud volcanoes bubbling from the earth, but the mosquitos and smell kept me in the car! We then had a really bizarre encounter at Slab City (creepiest place I have ever driven through!), where some car tried to intimidate us — so I was intimidated and drove off.
Then we hit my happy place!
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We set up tents and we went to sleep on Gecko Road IN GLAMIS!!!
The real-deal Glamis!
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Dash and I woke up early, and he grabbed the sled, and we walked into the dunes and played for an hour by ourselves!
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While there, we got royally ripped off by “Ice…Ice for Sale!”
(I think we got ripped off because they recognized me as Ryan’s sister — all these years later!)
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We then found a steep enough hill to sand sled down. The kids sledded for three hours.  They built jumps, they made trains, they rolled down…it was what childhood dreams are made up of.  I FaceTimed my dad, and we both agreed that it was a “happy place” for both of us.
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And no Glamis trip is complete with a dip in the canal to get cleaned off.
Obvi!
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On our drive out from Glamis, I pointed out all of the crops in the farmlands we were driving by — just like my dad did while I was young.  We were so excited to come across cotton!  I have never seen cotton in bloom, so we stopped and checked it out and talked about Eli Whitney.
Our final stop is a tried and true Denison favorite..
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Just before dark, we arrived at Limonite, and everyone was immediately at it.
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Most of us slept in the car, but Pippi and I had a camping night in the tent.
We woke up extra early to get the first scores of the morning!
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We had others join us pretty soon after.
Limonite is always a hit, but this time, we did a nighttime Limonite hunt, and it was ME who finally put a stop to the hunting.  It was like a bunch of addicts couldn’t stop picking up the little black rocks!
But before we left, Scout asked if he could learn to drive.
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He nailed driving 101, and parallel parking!
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As did 10 year old Navy!

New Year’s Eve

There are a few anticlimactic holidays in my eyes.  New Year’s Eve is one of them.  When we woke up this morning, we just wanted to have some fun — so we created Denison Challenge Day!  It was a day filled with challenges around town….and of course, there were prizes attached for the winners!
Rock Art Challenge:
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We collected rocks for our rock art we were going to create.
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Navy’s Art.
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Scout’s Art.
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Mom’s Art.
Clearly I should have won.
I didn’t.
Scout did.
Navy came in second.
Somehow…I was last.
HUH!??!
Park Challenges
Heat Out Challenge
We told the kids that whomever was the sweatiest in 20 minutes won.
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Scout ran with a down coat on.
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Pippi covered up in a hot blanket in the sun.
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Navy disappeared.
Until we found a random girl trying to climb the play structure, but turned away disappointed.  Little did she know she was going to be greeted by the playground troll, who would tell her the rock wall was taken!
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Navy’s tarp idea served her well…
and she tied with Scout for the win!
Hand Stand Challenge
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It isn’t hard to guess that Dash won this one!
Hanging Challenge
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Although Navy was impressive in this one, Pippi took first place in this challenge.
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All of our challenges culminated that night, at our most delicious Indian restaurant — where anybody with a first place, got a Mango Lassi!
Navy got three!!!
After dinner — we headed to our version of the Polar Plunge this year — the harbor pier.  NayNay was in town, and requested the pier…so we were in!
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Navy and Scout were both on board…
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but ultimately, only NayNay and Scout jumped in.
2020…I hope you are a good one!
(Update: 2020 you were an awful one — maybe the worst on record!)
(2021 — COME FAST!!!)

Cousin Best Friends

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After a long New Year’s bash…Skilly found the best spot in the house.
Right next to her best friend cousin.

Ms. Pippi

Honestly, I never know what Pippi’s teacher name is.
But I do know, that after a trip to Lakeshore Learning Cetner and the great help of NayNay, Pippi’s classroom is set up and ready to go — students and all.
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She says that all she needs is a teacher’s desk (which she is saving up for), and she will be official.
Pippi had the greatest day with NayNay — thanks Nay!

Winter Kayaking

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It was a smooth transition, on this winter day of kayaking.
These Christmas gifts look like they will be a great addition to our adventuring family.