Why religion doesn’t work so great in our house:

Us: Some people believe that when you die, you come back as something else.
Signa: Yeah, like a ghost.
Us: (stifling a giggle) No, like other things.
SIgna: Oh, like zombies!
Us: (barely holding back) No, more like cows and cats and dogs.
Will: When you are a dog, Momma, you are going to bark and I’m going to spank you.
Us: -------(silently start William’s future therapy fund)
Us: Other people think that when you die you go to heaven.
Signa: (with joy and excitement) OR HELL!!!!
William: Or DAMMIT!!!!!
SIGNA DOES! She was tested and promoted on Saturday for her martial arts class. The instructor said such wonderful things about her that we've all been walking on air. Well, that is until the colds hit us so hard that are heads are too heavy to be held upright for long periods of time.

But she now is a Yellow Belt! Watch out...
I posted some items and now my whole site is gone. Just testing...

Mister Spock

Yes, I know that twice in one day is just silly, compared to how often I've written lately. But here's the thing... I have BIG NEWS!

Mister Spock, formerly known as Pauly, has just joined the family today. He was a stray that the owners decided not to pay the fee for at the dog pound... He's small, but big, super mutty, the most beautiful blue eyes and best personality ever.


I’ve been having a terrible time keeping up with pictures and with writing here. I know I missed telling you all about our trip to Oregon. Signa and I went and had a girls’ weekend (but with Grampa, too, so not really all girls…). We had a fantastic time just being. My favorite thing was watching Signa being fascinated with the different types of moss. All of us got involved and collected different kinds for her. We had fun at the mall with Grandma Molly and had fun just being around the house, all together.

I’m going to try to get pictures updated this next week, so I’ll be sharing those to those of you who asked to be on the list. We got new cameras, so I need to see how those look compared to our old ones.

In other news, Signa is now in martial arts and has just been told she’s ready to test for her yellow belt. Very exciting. We were unsure of it at first, but have found it to be really good for Signa. Plus she loves it. She never stops smiling the whole time she’s there. I wonder how her face cannot just be aching from all that smiling.

I also missed telling you about our vacation with our friends from Ohio. I could retell it, but their 10-year-old daughter, M, wrote the story herself and gave me permission to share. She tells it better than I ever could have. And when I read it, I just want to have that vacation all over again. I cannot wait to see them again.


Chapter 1 Meeting Up

It was the morning that spring break started and I had to wake up at 2:30 AM. We were going to California. I had never been there before and was very excited to go. My alarm went off, I quickly got dressed, and prepared to leave. I pulled my hair back in a ponytail and brushed my teeth. My dad and I put the suit cases in the truck and we all got in to drive to the airport. When we got there, the line to get our bags checked was really long. We waited an hour and a half to get our bags checked! They had to hold the plane because everyone that was on the flight was in line. After they checked our bags we ran through the airport to catch our flight. We made it there with enough time to go to the bathroom before getting on the plane. We had planned to get cinnamon rolls at the airport for breakfast but since we didn’t have time, we had mini chocolate cookies, coke, and fruit stripe gum for breakfast on the plane. We flew to the airport in the Dallas, Texas and ate lunch there. When we finally arrived in California, I was so happy. We drove across a really long bridge called the Bay Bridge. We stayed in a beautiful hotel. We had a junior suite. It even had a kitchenette.
After checking into our hotel, we changed our clothes and went to our friends Marc, Debbie, Signa, and Will’s house. We ate dinner and played outside. When it was time to go back to the hotel, Will thought we were not coming back and started to cry!
The next morning Will was so excited to see me because he has a crush on me. We split up into two vehicles. Mommy, Debbie, little Will and I all rode in Debbie’s mini van. We went to the Harley Davidson store and then to Target to get some Starbucks. A [K’s 6-year-old sister] and I had vanilla bean frappuccinos. Signa had an icee from the Target concession stand area. Will, A, Signa and I shared a piece of coffee cake. Will also drank half of Debbie’s and half of A’s vanilla bean frappuccino. After our snack, we went to downtown Livermore and walked around and went into some of the shops. They had a farmer’s market and we bought cheese and fudge. For lunch, we went to a winery called Wente. We ate lunch beside the golf course there. The adults did a wine tasting after lunch.

Chapter 2 San Francisco

The second day we drove into San Francisco. We went to the Golden Gate Bridge and walked two miles of it and then turned around and walked back. My dad was so scared that he always held onto a railing. We saw sea lions swimming in the water below us. We could see all the way to Alcatraz and the buildings of San Francisco. After that we went to Muir Woods to see the redwood trees that are only found in California. The tallest redwood at Muir Woods is about 258 feet tall. The oldest trees are at least 1200 years old. The trees seemed to go up forever and were so big around that we could fit our whole family in one that was hollow at the bottom.
It was time for lunch so we drove to Chinatown to eat. We all ordered something different and then shared it. We went to the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory to see them make fortune cookies. It was just a room with three old ladies folding up the cookies. We all got to eat a fortune cookie that was too cold to be folded. They were really good. After lunch we shopped in Chinatown. Will bought a little Totoro doll with a suction cup on a string attached to him. A got a jade Budda figure. We drove around and went up and down the hills. We went to Lombard Street which is San Francisco’s most crooked street. We walked down and back up. The street is made of bricks and we saw a boy trying to skateboard down the street. It was getting late and on our way out of town, we drove by the Painted Ladies which are pastel colored houses in a row. We drove back to our hotel and crashed.
In the morning, the Mascots came to the hotel and we followed them to the Bart Station. We rode the Bart into San Francisco. The Bart is the subway. We got some hot cocoa and then walked to Pier 39 to catch the boat to go to Alcatraz. Alcatraz, also known as The Rock, used to be a jail until it closed in 1963. It was used as a jail because it is a small island and it made it hard for people to try to escape. We took a tour of Alcatraz and saw the cells for the prisoners, the library, and the dining hall. We even saw the cells where some men escaped by digging through the cement blocks. They were never seen again. I got a book called Alcatraz the True End of the Line by Darwin E. Coon. Darwin was sentenced to four years on The Rock. He was a bank robber. He was in the gift shop and signed my book.
After the tour, we took the boat back to Pier 39 and we ate lunch, shopped and saw the sea lions. We also went to Fisherman’s Wharf and to Ghiradelli Square where we went to the Ghiradelli Chocolate Factory and saw them making chocolate from the cocoa beans. We got ice cream there. At the end of the day, we rode on a cable car. The conductor let A, Signa and I all pull on the brake together. The conductors also let us each ring the bell. After that, we rode the Bart back to Livermore and went to the hotel and to sleep.

Chapter 3 The Beach

On Wednesday morning, we went over to the Mascot’s house. The moms went grocery shopping for food to take to the beach house with us. The kids all played together outside. We played with live snails in a dollhouse. After lunch, we drove to the beach house on Hidden Beach in Aptos, California. The house was so big and beautiful. We went for a walk on the beach. Later that night, we had a little bonfire in the fire pit in the backyard and made smores. I ate four. After that we cleaned up and went to bed.
The next morning when I went downstairs, Will came running to me and gave me a big hug. He also said, “Good morning”. My dad made pancakes for us all for breakfast. After everyone ate, we went down to the beach. We took a two mile walk down the beach to see a ship that sank. They brought it back up and filled it with cement to create a pier to fish off of. We found seashells, sand dollars, rocks, sea glass, and small jelly fish on our walk. We jumped the waves, talked and took pictures. We all had sore feet after walking the two miles back to our area of the beach.
Our trip to California was to celebrate my mom and dad’s birthdays. For dinner that night, we went to the Beach Resort Restaurant for a delicious dinner. Both my parents got whole lobsters. The kid’s meals even came in a sand bucket with a shovel. After dinner, we went back to the beach house to play games and make more smores before going to bed.
Friday was our last full day in California. We went to Capitola where we ate lunch on the water and shopped. They had all kinds of art shops that I liked going through. We got some ice cream. After that, we drove to Santa Cruz and walked the boardwalk. We went in the arcade there and saw old arcade games like the laughing lady and the fortune teller. We went back to the beach house and made tacos for dinner.

Chapter 4 Going Home

On Saturday, we woke up early and went to the beach. It was windy and really cold. My feet felt like they were frozen. We were hoping to find lots of sand dollars before everyone got to the beach but the tide was still too high to find them. We found nothing but rocks and jelly fish. We dug in the sand for awhile with our shovels and buckets from the restaurant. We were all so cold that we went back to the beach house. We ate breakfast and finished packing up to go to the airport. Daddy took me back to the beach one more time to look for sand dollars and sea glass but we only found a few little pieces of sea glass. We went back to the beach house, changed our clothes, and said our goodbyes. Will was so upset that I was leaving that he wouldn’t speak to me. He just cried his heart out. Finally I got him to give me a hug and tell me bye bye. We all cried at the thought of leaving our friends. Mom, Dad, A and I went to the airport. Once we got through security, we got some lunch. We boarded the plane and flew to St. Louis, Missouri. We were going to get dinner in St. Louis but everything was closed. When we got to Dayton it was almost midnight so we drove home and went straight to bed. I will never forget my fun spring vacation trip to California.