Saturday, August 6, 2011

Fun and Farm

So in this day and age of everything being at the touch of a button (swipe of a finger for those touch screen folks). It is hard to imagine going to a farm, seeing livestock, having my kids experience the life of a farmer and picking/harvesting your own fruits and vegetables right.

Well that is what my kids and I experienced this past Friday. My friend Paul invited us along for a playdate with his two sons. We went to Underwood Family Farms in Moorpark, CA. Now I hadn't been there since I was 19 years old, which makes is 12 years ago. At that time I would frequent this farm almost everyday since I went to Moorpark College. Not to mention my route to school took me right passed it.

Anyhow, the farm has a lot to offer in the child entertainment department. Pony rides, tractor go carts, all terrain like bikes, a jumper, train, animal viewing and feeding areas, tunnels and hills and pick-your-own fruit/vegetable fields.

So the kids and I embarked on a pick-your-own produce adventure. We grabbed our red wagon supplied by the farm, containers and headed out into the fields. We got to see some real life farm machines, trekked through mud and arrived at the crop fields. We picked our own raspberries, which I had to explain to my kids how to tell if it was ripe for picking. I let them fill their own containers and I watched as they picked the ripest of ripe raspberries, listened to their amazed reactions and watched their smiles as they filled their pint containers. We also picked our own strawberries, romaine lettuce and bell peppers.

We did all this out in the hot sun of Moorpark, which is no joke. It does get hot hot hot there but it was a nice warm heat. All I could think about while we picked our own fruit and vegetables was how in the hell my grandmother did this for a living for 10 to 12 hours days. She would do this in such arduous (that is an understatement-she worked her A$$ off) working conditions and in the time of all those toxic harsh chemical pesticides. I definitely have a renewed gratitude and respect for her after we did this.

All in all it was a wonderful fun new memory creating experience that day. I also enjoyed getting home, washing the fruit and vegetables with the kids. They were happy to help, taste and ask when we get to cook/eat the fruit and vegetables. It was fun teaching my kids the value of food and harvesting it yourself. In the car on the way home all the kids wanted to know was when we were coming back so they could do it again. Yeah! It also brought some tears of joy to my eye. Another full circle moment for me. Enjoy the pictures below.

Jonathan and Janette smiling with joy
after they just fed the goats

Janette in action using the crank conveyor belt to feed
the goats

Jonathan doing the same

The goat awaiting its food

Emus eating their food

The combine harvester which has a slide on the other side

Jonathan and Janette rushing to the slide I found

Janette enjoyed it

Jonathan all smiles after a fun slide 

My little man enjoying all the kid activities

Janette is relaxing in the wooden train

 The chicken coop and look a real farm fresh egg,
it smelled real fresh in there ;-) 

Look at those pretty squash, they weren't ripe though

A gorgeous huge white horse

Janette enjoying the cow bouncer

Jonathan looks like he is about to do something bad

Train ride and Janette is happy as a pig in pooh teehee!

Jonathan and his best friend Zachary,
drive the train boys!

Another huge stallion

The fruit and vegetables after washing and prepping them for
consumption

Monday, August 1, 2011

Ahoy there Y'all

So I know it has been a very long time since my last post. I didn't have anything to really say but alas now I do.

My daughter had her 4th birthday party and the theme was 'Princess & Prince' and it was a blast. Note to self, next time make more than 4 pitchers of sangria for the adults. Boy did these parents guzzle it down. Oh and the two types I made were a lemon lime orange white wine sangria and an orange white wine sangria. They were my first sangria making success. What I enjoyed the most about the party was the fact that Sean's (my partner) aunt Francine, who was here in business from South Carolina, made it to the party.

I did get to know some of my newer parent friends that day. My friend Andy, his son and my kids' godmother Annette went to dinner with us. A BIG THANK YOU to Paul Kuszynski who grilled the hot dogs and hamburgers for us. You rock!!!

I served my homemade spinach sour cream dip and hummus with french baguette, tortilla chips and veggies. I made a cilantro lime shrimp appetizer, bruschetta and a balsamic vinaigrette mixed greens salad. In my opinion the pièce de résistance were the fresh strawberries from my hometown of Oxnard, CA. My aunt and grandma brought it for me. It was local California grown and oh so delicious. No other strawberries taste like the ones from home. =-) The following day I took the kids to Barnum & Bailey Circus at The Staples Center. Sean got the tickets and they were suite tickets. It was better this time.

Here are some photos from the birthday party.

Princess Janette and her lovely pink fuzzy crown

she is ready for cake! 

She is serious about her cake. Janette chose the type of cake and filling. Love it! 

Here we all are.... Joël, Janette, Sean and Jonathan

Janette showing off her princess gifts

Jonathan and Janette enjoying each other

Now onto another topic. Food. My children and I were at a playdate the week of July 24th-30th and the situation pertains to food choices. So the options for a snack that my kids had were cheetos, doritos, lays and fresh cut watermelon. I observed the behavior from afar without Jonathan and Janette knowing. I watched each of their two eyeballs pour over each choice in front of them. They both settled on the fresh cut watermelon. Mind you the other kids and siblings had reached for the chips and had their 'hhmm' and 'aahhhs' while eating them. My two kids took their serving of watermelon and placed it on a plate and had a napkin in hand. They sat down at the outdoor sofa/table and ate their watermelon quietly and slowly. I could tell they were savoring each bite. Now in that moment I felt proud. I felt like I did something right. I felt like I leaped out of myself and gave myself a celebratory congratulation high five. I am not judging anyone else's child, parenting skills or their food choice. I was just proud of how my kids made their own choice and didn't adhere to the feeling of peer pressure or a 'monkey see monkey do' action. And all that was left was watermelon rind, satisfied tummies and happy faces. Woohoo!

As for any other events, fun with the kids, fun as a family and some random stuff too. I will let the pictures do that talking.

The kids and I enjoyed the Navy Band while we shopped/exchanged b-day gifts. They were good.

Jonathan and Janette at American Girl. She wanted to look around.
We ended up being there for 40 minutes. lol 

A close up of the kids posing again. 

Sean and I went to The Abbey before a kids bday party. We needed some Daddy's Milk. 

The skyline view as we drove to sports for Jonathan today.
Look at those lovely fluffy white clouds!
My last item is some information on some family fun this summer at The Grove L.A. The first one is tomorrow. =-)

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