Monday, February 28, 2011

Beach Park

I am not a big fan of the rain.  But what I do love about the rain in Southern California is the beauty the comes after the rain!  When the sun returns, the sky is always so clear and blue, and the views of the ocean are amazing!  Even though the rain ended on Saturday, the crisp, clear sky was still lingering today.  The kids and I were in need of getting out of the house, so we headed down to the beach!  Faith had been sick few times in the last two days, most recently this morning, which meant no school for her today.  So we had a quiet morning at home, but by the afternoon we were all ready to venture out as Faith was feeling much better!!  We bundled up (despite the beautiful sunshine, it was in the 50's!) and went down to the beach for some fresh air!

The kids enjoyed playing at the beach park. 

Feeling much better!

He was so thrilled to be out and about! 

The boy has never met a swing he did not want to be in!

We were all thankful for our adventure out today and hope that the sickness has left our house!  And we look forward to warmer weather and more trips down to the beach in the near future!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Getting closer!

While the remodel is not finished yet, two major steps toward completion were made!  The tile back splash was put in along with the floor!  We are excited to have these things finished, and continue to work on being patient as we wait for the rest to be finished! Next up the finishing electrical work and the plumbing!!
Showcasing the floor...

Floor and tile!  Also, our first appliance is in...the microwave!

yet another picture!

Little Readers

A few mornings ago, the kids informed me that they wanted to go to the library that afternoon.  Since we had an open afternoon, it became the plan!  Shane was excited about looking for a dinosaur book - one of his latest interests!  So we went, found some great books, including a few dinosaur ones, and the kids sat in the reading area and just enjoyed their books!  The librarian was quite impressed with Shane's pronunciation and recognition of a Stegosaurus!!  And to top things off, the next morning Steve and I woke up to find both kids still in their beds reading!!  What a gift! 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Kitchen update

This was a week of progress as far as the kitchen remodel goes!  And progress is a great thing!!  On Tuesday our banquette (benches for our eating area) were put in, along with some finishing details.  Today, more of the side panels were put in place on the outsides of the cabinets, and the crown molding and base boards were put in!  This is particularly exciting because these were the steps we were waiting on to do other things!  So now it can be painted again, the floor can go in, and all those finishing things can be done!  The end is in sight!  Here are a few pictures of the work from this week...

We had glass put in the upper cabinet doors.  This also shows the crown molding.

The banquette/benches/nook - whatever you want to call it!  It's where we will eat upon completion!

My spice rack!

Slotted shelving above the pantry

Pantry!!  I love it!

A view of the crown as well as the upper cabinets

Also this week we worked on the window treatments and cushions for the benches!  All the final details are starting to come together!  We are so excited for this to be finished and usable!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Our Great Camping Adventure!!

Our family embarked on a new kind of adventure this past weekend...camping!!  We have many friends and family who enjoy camping and frequently invite us along, so we finally decided to try it ourselves!  While I wondered how it would all go, especially with the kids, I must say that the weekend surpassed my expectations!  It was great to catch up with many friends as well as Steve's Uncle John and Aunt Sue who went with us and helped us a ton! 

This was our home for the weekend...we rented this from a friend of Uncle John and Aunt Sue!  It was a great way to travel and a great place to stay!

Here is what the kids spent quite a bit of time doing...just playing in the sand!  I wondered what they would do the whole weekend, but soon found that some long-lost friends as well as the great outdoors are a recipe for tons of fun!!  They were always running around doing something!  In this picture the kids are playing with Chloe Taylor, whose family we vacation with at Lake Havasu.

The kids and Steve ventured out to climb the hill behind our campsite.  This was the first of many hikes!  We started calling the kids "hiking machines", as Faith climbed this hill 9-10 times!!  They were both so proud of being able to hike so well!

While it is hard to see, that is Faith and Uncle John up near the top!

There was a group of four kids on the trip who were five years old or almost five.  They all had a great time playing together!! Pictured is Chloe and Faith discussing the results of the boce ball game they just finished!  They, along with the other "nearly five" crew loved playing boce ball!!

Shane riding the quad!  Not to worry...he isn't actually moving!  And somehow he smuggled the paci, which was to stay in the motor home at all times!, out for the ride! He loved the helmet so much as he thought it made him look like Buzz Lightyear!  The only reason he took it off was to eat dinner!

Father and son...they look so great!!  And clearly enjoying themselves!

Faith and Jim Taylor about to take off in the four-seat Razor.  Just before this, I had gone for a ride in the Razor, and Faith was extremely sad she did not get a ride.  Thankfully Jim offered to take her for a ride too!  And she loved it!  As a side note...this razor creates a roller coaster ride in the desert!!  Very fun!

Besides what can be seen in the pictures, we did quite a bit talking with friends (there were 23 of us camping together!!), sitting around the campfire at night, eating really well (thanks to John and Sue!), s'more making (I was introduced to how to make them with a Reece's Peanut Butter Cup!  So good!), and enjoying the desert!  Again, we had a great time!  While I can still smell smoke in my hair after taking two showers and the kids had to undress outside before I would let them into the house when we got home, I think there will be a repeat camping adventure for the Poelstra family!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Afternoon at the Zoo

This afternoon was our first visit in 2011 to the Santa Barbara Zoo!  It was a gorgeous day (mid 60's and sunny), so we thought it would be a perfect day to go to the zoo!  And it was.  I would have been happy with just driving up there (the drive along the ocean on the 101 Freeway is beautiful), but of course the kids would not be too thrilled with that idea!  The zoo was pretty empty, which also makes for a fun trip!  The kids were very into having their pictures taken...
By some birds

The elephants were eating

Shane was quite excited to see some Penguins swimming!

We were able to get up close and personal with a gorilla, but they didn't want to get too close...or let him know we were there!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Kitchen Update

We have been back in sunny California for a week now!  While we had hoped that the kitchen would be finished by now, we are working on being patient as we wait for the final steps toward completion!  Some of the major things are in - most of the cabinets and the counter tops, and once all the cabinets are in we can finish up our remodel!  But I wanted to share some pictures of our project, even though it is yet to be completed.
Some before pictures...

During the demolition

Our living room/temporary kitchen!

With the cabinets in...

With the granite counters!

So while we do still have some things that need to be done, I was thankful to have the chance to start putting some things away this past week and just start to get things organized once again!  Stay tuned for more pictures and updates on the kitchen!