Saturday, October 29, 2011

Soccer comes to an end

Faith's first soccer season officially came to an end today!  She played in her final game this morning - yet another huge loss! - and we had a team party this afternoon caping off the season!  While the team did not have much winning success, Faith had a great time and learned quite a bit.  Based on those things, the season was a success!! 

Here is the little soccer player at the party showing off her medal and trophy.  She was thrilled to receive them!  It was a nice ending to the season as it was such a nice group of girls and parents that were a part of the team this year.  And she told me tonight that she is alreay looking forward to playing again next year!  While the games were fun, I am going to enjoy the end of those 5:30pm practices on Wednesday nights that always made dinner a challenge!

A random picture...Shane was so excited about creating his Buzz Lightyear pumpkin!  I had wanted to actually carve the pumpkins with the kids this year, but they were way more interested in using the pumpkin potatoe head pieces once again this year! 

Another random one...Shane at swim lessons this past week!  He is wearing his swim trunks backwards!!  He insisted that he wanted them like that and would not turn them around!  I just had to laugh!

Friday Night Out!

As a very special treat for the kids, we decided to let them come along on part of our date night!  One of our favorite Friday night date nights is to see live music at a local Mexican restaurant called Yolies.  Faith famously tells us when we go there that she likes having dinner at concerts too!  So when Steve saw that Deke Dickerson and the Ecco-Phonics were coming back to Yolies, he thought that might be a fun show to take the kids to!  And of course when we told the kids, they were so excited!!

As we were waiting for our dinner to arrive, the kids went out onto the dance floor to do some pre-show dancing!  They both dressed the part as well as the music was country/rockabilly.

A natural cowboy!

He started taking off of his hat and yelling "Yee Haw!!" as part of his dance routine!

Once the show actually started, the kids didn't last too long as it was past their bedtime.  A big thank you to Grandma Poelstra who joined us for the evening and took the kids home and put them to bed so that Steve and I could enjoy more of the show!

And yes, that is someone dressed as a gorilla on stage!  The bass player in this band wears a gorilla costume! 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pumpkin Patch #2

Today's big adventure was going to a pumpkin patch!  A few weeks ago we went with Shane's preschool class, and today we joined other homeschool families for some fall fun at Pete's Pumpkin Patch.  It was especially exciting for the kids as we have seen this particular pumpkin patch numerous times (it is visible from the 101 freeway in Camarillo), but we were yet to visit it. 

Upon arriving the kids ran through the hay maze.  It was the perfect size for my kids to enjoy! 

After hearing about how pumpkins grow and the different stages of growth, we went on a hayride through the farm.

Part of the hayride took us up on the huge pumpkin hill.  So after we were finished, naturally the kids wanted to hike up the hill!  The plan was for Faith to pull Shane in the wagon as she thought the hike would be too challenging for him, but they didn't make it much farther than a few yards!!  I took over pulling the wagon, and will admit that I only made it part of the way up the hill doing so as it was so heavy!!  I didn't see anyone make it all the way up with a wagon!  But all three of us did make it to the top - me still getting a great workout as I carried Shane!

This was the view from the top.  The picture doesn't show it well enough, but we were able to see the ocean and even the Chanel Islands!

Super Shane can always find something on which to jump off!!  At least this time he was jumping from bales of straw into straw piles - a relatively gentle landing spot!

And the best part of the morning was that two of Faith's friends, who are sisters, from Awana were on the field trip with us!  Here she is with one of the girls.  And the mom of these girls is Faith's Awana leader!  It really made the whole field trip at the pumpkin patch even better as Faith loved having these friends with her, and we spent the entire time with them as they were literally the first family we saw when arriving.  As we were leaving and the girls were saying goodbye, the girl who is pictured with Faith asked me if Faith was home schooled.  When I told her that she is, this sweet girl started clapping and jumping up and down and was just so thrilled!  It was too cute!  My thought - what a blessing! 

Monday, October 24, 2011


One of my favorite things to do as a mom is eavesdrop on my kids when they are talking together or spy on them when they have no clue I am there!  While I don't generally engage in those activities, with kids it is just delightful!!  Today, I was washing some grapes in the kitchen and cleaning up from lunch when I heard the kids talking in the bathroom.  While I first worried that they were causing trouble, I soon realized they were playing school!  It was so cute, so I thought I would give everyone else an eavesdrop into Faith and Shane's conversation! 

Faith began as the teacher and was going over the sounds letters make with her brother.  She would make a sound, and he would guess which letter she was sounding out.  If he didn't get the correct answer on the first try, she would say, "Good try Shane, but you are not right.  Please try again."  And sometimes Shane would throw in a "That's a good one, Faith!"  They ended with going over the alphabet together.

When it was Shane's turn, he claimed it was story time and told the story of the "Three Little Dinosaurs."  It was a bit of a ferocious take on the "Three Little Pigs", but still cute to hear him come up with ideas.  This whole school time lasted a good 30 minutes!  And while I could have accomplished quite a bit in those 30 minutes, I enjoyed each second sitting there listening in to my kids have a special moment together.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mini Vacay!

Once again we decided to take advantage of the unusual schedules for our family!  We headed to Lake Havasu for one final trip of the year over Steve's four days off of work.  And again we were blessed with beautiful weather and great family time!  The nights are now cooler in Havasu, which means the water is not as warm, but it didn't seem to bother the kids at all!! 

The wetsuits were packed in case the water was too cold for them, but even though they didn't need to wear the wetsuits they wanted to!  Shane thought it was so fun to wear, he wore it each day!!

"Here I come duckies!!"

Of course Faith and Shane wanted to spend time at the pool! 

On our way under London Bridge and out to the lake and the Colorado River

Faith's latest thing is that she likes to drive the boat - with Steve's guidance of course!  Anytime there weren't any other boats around, she would sit by Steve and ask to drive!  Clearly she loved it!!

On our way back from lunch at Pirate Cove in Moabi, we stopped at a little beach on the river.  As we pulled in, we saw a wild burrow (donkey) eating along the shore!!  It was pretty cool to see!  It kind of blends in with the rocks, but it is against the rocks just to the right of Faith.

Time for a little hike with Daddy after the burrow was long gone up the hill again!

After this stop, we also stopped at the Sand Bar and let the kids run around!  They had so much fun finding foot prints (belonging to dogs!) and imagining what animal they were from!  Shane was sure he saw some Whale, Polar Bear, and Penguin foot prints! 

Since there were not many other guests at the resort, the kids were able to play on their riding toys quite a bit! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

More from Awana

It's Tuesday night which means Awana night for the kids.  Since they love it so much, it is always a highlight of each week!  Tonight was even more exciting than usual as Faith earned another badge, and Shane finally received his vest!

On the left side of her vest is the new award - the hanglider wings and red jewel one!  And she really was very excited!!

And the little guy with his Cubbies vest!  The one week that the kids missed Awana was the week that his group all received their vests.  Because they did not order enough vests (they anticipated 30 new kids and there were 42 new kids to Cubbies!!), Shane had to wait until the second shipment arrived.  He was pretty excited!  Not quite as excited as Faith was to receive her vest, but he may have jumped up and down a few times exclaiming "My vest!  My vest!"  He also is showing off his new haircut that he got today.  And yes, he is wearing the same shorts AGAIN!! :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Beach Afternoons

Here in Southern California it has been very hot the past few days.  I would say unseasonably hot, but it always seems as though we have some of our hottest weather in October!  To beat the heat, we headed to the beach.  Yesterday Steve was off from work, so the whole fam was able to go after Faith's Kindermusik class.  As always, it is so nice just to be at the beach - listening to the waves crash, smelling that fresh ocean air, and the enjoyment that comes just from being near the water.  The waves were huge, but the kids still loved running in and out of the water.  They are at times much to brave for my liking!! 

Since it was still pretty hot again today, the kids and I (Steve was back at work) went to the park at the Ventura pier in the afternoon.  A majority of the our time was spent at the park, but we did wander down to the water as well!  And Faith made a friend who she played with the entire time, which was so much fun for her.  While it will be nice when the weather goes back to "normal", it is pretty great to be able to go to the beach in October!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

CPK Field Trip

What a fun and unique experience Faith and I had this morning!  We had the opportunity to go on a field trip at CPK (California Pizza Kitchen)!  Since it is one of my favorite restaurants, I was just as excited as Faith was to get a behind the scenes tour!  Everyone was impressed with the fresh food we saw the chefs using, along with all the food that is made on site such as the pico de gallo and salsa!  And it was very clean!!

We started the field trip with a kitchen tour.  This picture shows a portion of the giant pantry!

Here are Faith and some friends inside the walk in refrigerator!  It was humongous!!

But out of everything in the kitchen tour, Faith was most impressed with the dishwasher!  If only she were excited about the dishwasher that we have at our house!!

In the next phase of the field trip, all the kids made their own pizzas!  Faith is carefully spreading the sauce.

The final product!  A tasty pizza made by Faith !!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Awana Parents Night

It has been quite the day for the Poelstras!  We ended it with not only Awana, but Awana parents night, which means that I was able to stay and see what exactly the kids do!  It was fun to see each of them in their own classes, and meet some of the directors of this great program.  Since Steve is working and I had to divide my time between the two kids, I spent the first half of the evening with Shane...

After hearing from the puppet Cubbie Bear (the group Shane is in is called the Cubbies!) and hearing the kids recite the theme Cubbie Bible verses, the kids showed the parents how they like to sing and dance!  In this picture they are starting in on the Hokey Pokey!

"You Give your life to Christ and He turns your life around, that's what it's all about!"

The next song they sang was one of Shane's favorite's - "Jump, Jump, Jump" by Jana Alayra!  He was really excited and really into the song!  Here he is doing the "run to Jesus, give Him your heart."

Upon arriving in Faith's class, I was able to see her say her verses to her teacher and color a picture that went along with the Bible story they heard earlier.  Faith was very excited as she said the final two verses in the first section of her book, which earned her a badge for her vest!  She was so proud that I was there to see this! 

Next the whole Spark group went outside to play some games.  Faith is walking here with a bean bag on her head.  The game portion of the night is always a highlight for Faith.  Tonight, I was able to see her enthusiasm to participate, but I also saw that she would get upset when she didn't get to play every single time!  So, I was glad as we could have a little talk about that and work on that for upcoming Awana nights!! 

Back inside to wrap up the night with the awards ceremony!  Faith's name was called, she gave a high five to the director, and ran off to get her badge!!

She could not be more excited to have earned this!  She told me afterwards that she wants to learn six verses in this coming week so that she can earn another badge next week!

Pumpkin Patch trip #1

It was a beautiful morning to go to the pumpkin patch with Shane's preschool.  The original day for the trip was last week Thursday, the day after our area saw 1.5 inches of rain!  And since there was still muddy areas remaining today, it was very good that the trip was rescheduled!  It is always fun to visit a pumpkin patch in the fall and feel all "fallish"! 

Here is Shane, doing his Spider man pose, and sporting the CPC Preschool t-shirt, which thankfully match the "color pants" that he insists on wearing every day!

Sales girl Faith showing off a Butternut Squash.

The little scarecrows!!  After posing for all the pictures, the kids were able to learn from one of the farmers all about different types of pumpkins and how they grow.  Then we were all able to go on a hayride to see some of the animals on the farm, such as mules, a cow, chickens, a pig, and a goat!

Shane is discussing what those green bumps on the pumpkin might be with one of his teachers, Teacher Bev.  He suggested that maybe it was mold!

Finally at the end of our time at the pumpkin patch, each of the kids were able to pick out a small pumpkin to take home.  Faith claimed to find the perfect pumpkin!!

After the pumpkin patch we stopped by the brand new Panera Bread in Ventura!!  After six plus years of emailing the company, they finally listened to my pleas to bring at Panera to my city!  To say I am thrilled is an understatement!!  Since we were onto our next event, a park play date with some of Faith's friends, we took lunch to go and ate it at the park!  We will soon be regulars at this Panera!