Fair warning...

...don't always feel so free to just sit anywhere at the park.Picnic season has begun. We've got a great little park over looking the city just about 1/2 mile from our house. I drug both kids and our supper in the wagon the other week - and I mean drug. Regretting that fact that I was so exhausted that first trimester and got so out of shape.
Mike ran with the dog - still think I got the better deal.
San Diego from atop Golden Hill.

Tie breaker

Girls 3 - Boys 2

Take a whiff

Now if I was talking to my brother that phrase would have entirely different implications. But this time I am talking about our orange tree - full of blossoms. You can smell them all over the neighborhood. I had no idea. It is wonderful.

Welcoming Spring

Now that Spring is here I finally finished the scarf Olivia has been begging me to knit for her - in bright blue. She is also sporting a cute pair of fingerless gloves we got from a fair trade party we had here at our house to support Generate Hope - a safe house for girls coming out of the sex trade industry. Did you know San Diego is one of the top three cities in the nation for sex traffic-ing. The house opened it's doors on March 1st. You can read more about it at generatehope.org. We hosted the "Freedom Party" through notforsalecampaign.org. You can host one too.

Becoming California

If we move to California I guess we have to learn to skateboard. That's our neighbor, August, (and his mom, Lor). He's showing Joseph the ropes. I want to grow my hair as long as Lor.

Just a little

"I am probably the same size as Jesus," Olivia said. "But Jesus may be just a little taller."

In case you wondered.

They make me feel...

...so normal.Olivia's outfit was topped off with a pair of hot pink cowboy boots (I picked up for 3 bucks at a sale). Feel free to blow it up - feel free to envy the McBride sense of fashion and style...we all have it...especially Mike.

School in Spring

We made bird nests last week. They are still sitting on the front porch. Joseph calls to the birds every now and then, reminding them he has made a nest for them.

We also collecting cuttings from most of the plants in the front yard, then let the kids sort and color. I think Mike also taught them the anatomy of a flower. I really think he is better equipped to homeschool them than I am...too bad the PCA won't ordain women preachers.

They are so easy...mostly.

Letting go of Winter

Mike and I went on our second annual night away to The Victorian bed and breakfast in South Haven while we were visiting his parents. Usually we like to be a little adventurous, trying new things. But it is actually kind of nice to have a little routine here and even people who recognize us. The lake wasn't frozen but there were a lot of ice chunks floating into the...what do you call this...the dock area, the harbor?It was beautiful. And COLD. We considered going cross country skiing for a minute, but the wind was unbelievable.
This was Mike's grandmother's home. I met her once just before we got engaged. She had 3 sisters...Marguerite, Evelyn, and Dorothy. She was Frances. We were engaged on the same day as her funeral. Mike flew from her funeral in Michigan to New York City where I was visiting friends - with a ring.
We visited the Suret (I know that's not right) Nature Center on our drive back to Kalamazoo. We highly recommend a visit if you are in the area. One of the high lights was the birds.

My favorite. Can you see the flutter of red under the log - that was another cardinal flying away. I like it because the one bird is sitting in the log like it's a boat.
Mike's favorite.

Spring Travels II - sledding

I think they went out three times. You can see where I stood. This is what daddies are for, right? I did go sledding with them when we went out on the big hill at the golf course. That was fun. I don't know how the videos uploaded - the last one should be of the hot chocolate sledding finale.

Spring Travels I

These pictures aren't many or very good, but it is a little documentation of what we have been up to thus far this spring. Two weeks in the Midwest included a week in St. Louis where we camped in the Pollack's basement and a week in Kalamazoo where we saw enough snow to last us until next spring. The kids did great on the plane - eased my mind a bit about the solo leg I will have to fly with them in a few weeks.Lauren opted to stay seated on the heat grate rather than have her picture made. I don't blame her - it was cold.
The six ring in one.
Flying at the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo.

We have officially begun fundraising for the Harbor Golden Hill church plant. That was a main priority on these trips. We were so encouraged.

Our new Shaw?

Anytime we wanted to get out of the city in St. Louis we usually drove out to the Shaw Nature Reserve and wandered around. We have visited Julian, CA now 3 times. It is about an hour north (I think, but really how necessary are cardinal directions?). It is high enough to get some snow...and fire - the drive up there is kind of sad as you pass all the burnt out forrest areas. There is a quaint little town there with shops and diners (the picture is our regular spot) and there are apple orchards and famous apple pies in the fall. Mt. Laguna is about 30 from here as well and there is a lot more in the way of hiking and outdoor activities there.

Mt. Laguna. Elevation...Mike, do you remember?
Olivia's picture.
Can you find her mid-air snowball. They only thought this was fun until we went to Michigan last week and it snowed every day we were there.

Birch Aquarium

We visited the Birch Aquarium a few weeks ago with a neighbor and I was really quite impressed - for a small aquarium, they did a really good job. But the view out the back was spectacular. One of my favorite in CA so far.

If you click on the picture you can see some of the surfers to the left of the pier.

The nose knows

Olivia has this uncanny ability to smell (and hear the opening of) chocolate from almost anywhere. There are times I have put her to bed and eaten something chocolate, then gone into her bedroom 30 minutes later and she takes a deep thoughtful inhale through her nose and asks, "What's that I smell?"

On our drive from Michigan to St. Louis the other day, Mike and I were able to open a package of M&M's without her detecting it (because those are just the kind of parents we are - we secretly hoard chocolate when necessary). However, feeling proud we got lazy and forgot to refrain from exhaling through our mouths. From the back we hear in a sing songy voice, "I smell my special treeeaat."

Mike says we need to get her a job as a police dog.