Archive for the ‘California’ Category

December 7, 2009

The day that we announced that the boat trip of our dreams was not going to happen, but that we were taking an RV trip around the U.S. instead, was a day that broke Hilary’s heart. She absolutely loves boating…and she cried her eyes out. After recovering, and a little time to things through she asked, “Can we go to California?”


“Can I learn how to surf?”


This is a glimpse into the day she had been dreaming about for quite some time…


Amber and Tyler caught a little wave action too! Of course they had a blast, and got completely drenched!

December 6, 2009

I think this one speaks for itself!WARNING TO PARENTS: If you have any little boys between the age of 3 and 13, there could be long term effects of sharing these photos with them. Proceed at your own risk.

My Day at Legoland: By Tyler

When I went to Legoland I was amazed!!  There were things made out of Legos everywhere and they had lots ofDSC02377 rides. I went on my first big roller-coaster. My family had to talk me into it but it was really fun!  We went on another roller coaster called the Dragon. It was even bigger and it started out inside a castle. The “Dragon” that we were riding on was actually made out of giant legos. It was so much fun that we got off the ride and got right back in line to go again!

DSC02400Amber went on this ride that was like a giant robot arm. You could pick the level, and if you  watch this video, you will see that Amber was freaking out on this ride. That was only Level 3!

This video doesn’t exist

That was it pretty much…But look at this!


Huge cities, like San Francisco, New York, Washington DC, all Legos and they weren’t even building sets (that come in one box.) That was it, but man, it was worth it!!!

Here’s a gallery from my mom. She takes A LOT of pictures!!!!!!

A Day in L.A.
December 5, 2009

After a morning of school and work we headed north to see what we could see… 


…like the Good Year blimp landing right beside us! 

Beverly Hills

                              …and Beverly Hills. Love the slogan.   


…and this place….

Hollywood's Walk of Fame

Hollywood & Vine


Do you know what’s better than the California sunshine and glitz of Hollywood? 


                                                     …a sister! 

And since it was starting to get dark…and Hollywood is really not in the best part of town, we headed back into Beverly Hills for dinner at California Pizza Kitchen and desert from Coldstone Creamery. 

Coldstone - Yum!

A Day at the Zoo…
December 4, 2009

Oceanside Pier

Our next stop was Oceanside, California, a little town centrally located for all the side trips we planned to take…

FIRST TRIP: San Diego Zoo

Did you know…

1. Polar bears fur is not white, but rather clear and hollow.

2. Koala bears are not bears at all, and they sleep about 22 hours each day. Koala’s get very little nutrition from their eucalyptus only diet, therefore, they have very little energy.

3.Elephants dust themselves with dirt and hay to protect their very sensitive skin from sunburn.

4. Horses are native to North America, contrary to what some history books say…

5. Warthogs really do have a face that only a mother could love. The warthogs here were watched for days by Disney animators while they were making The Lion King. Not only did they want to be able to draw them well, but also be able to portray warthog behaivor correctly.

Morro Bay & Hearst Castle
December 1, 2009

  We spent one night in Morro Bay, California. Arriving in the dark, we could hardly see the outline of the “pebble” that made this town famous. At daybreak we couldn’t believe our eyes. After breakfast Hilary and I headed 25 miles north to tour Hearst Castle, while Scott, Amber and Tyler headed toward the beach on bikes. The “pebble,” standing 480 feet tall, is actually a volcanic plug, and it towers over the buildings, over the sailboat masts, over the town.

As Hilary and I arrived at the castle, I discovered that my camera battery that read full the night before, didn’t have enough juice to even turn the camera on…How can I not take photos?

 Here is a little bit of what we were able to capture with the camera on Hilary’s cell phone:

 Surrounding the main residence (Casa Grande) are the three guest houses; La Casa del Sol, La Casa del Monte, and La Casa del Mar. We toured La Casa del Sol and parts of la Casa Grande. The estate includes 165 rooms and is too large to tour in one day.  The main house has 38 bedrooms, and 42 bathrooms.

Willian Randolph Hearst was the son of a wealthy mining engineer, but independently made his fortune in newspapers,  magazines, radio and film. He was kicked out of Harvard for being a prankster. The last straw might have been his purchase of ornate bed-pans for each of the chancellors and having each personalized with their names  inside. He then hand delivered them…

The Neptune Pool

The columns on the Roman Temple that you see on the opposite side of the pool are 2000 years old. The columns to the right were made to match. He re-used, copied and re-purposed many parts (celings, doors, walls…) of this residence, importing many things from Italy, Greece, Spain and Egypt. Hearst’s guest list included Charlie Chaplin, Carey Grant, Joan Crawford,  Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh, Clark Gable, Bob Hope, Franklin Rooseveldt, and Winston Churchill…to name a few. 

In 1957 the Hearst family donated the estate to the State of California. Maintaining the castle and grounds costs about $10,000,000.00 per year.

Hilary and I enjoyed our “girl-time” and the scenic drive along the coast back to Morro Bay to meet up with the rest of our gang, and then head south to our last stop in California.


Amber’s Video – Way Big Adventure & Steer Roping
November 30, 2009

She’s been working on this for quite some time! As we said goodbye to Mr. Roen at the Steer Roping competition (you’ll see it at the end) she asked if we could please just leave her there and pick her up in a week. Amber especially loved our time at the ranch!

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November 27, 2009


Kim & Erik

We were all sad to say goodbye to the Roen family, but are taking with us  many wonderful memories. We  have been blessed by Erik, Kim and their boys. Their generosity and willingness to allow us to be part of their family is something we will never forget! These are a few of my favorites…  

My cowboy

Only at E. Roen Ranch will you find "branded" crepes!

Amber and Jesse at their post

Brian Kim & Eron

Real California Beef!

Sara Dog & Tyler sharing a moment

Brian & Kim

November 26, 2009

We thank God for each other, our health, this time that we have together, our families and friends that we hold so dear in our hearts and His abundant grace…

Thanks to Hilary, here is a peek into our last few days on the ranch…

Doctoring a Calf
November 23, 2009

After church and a quick bite to eat, Amber and Erik set out on horseback to find a sick calf. With Sara the cattle dog, and a four wheeler for the photographer, we set off to find that particular herd. I honestly don’t know who was more excited to go out and work again, Amber or Sarah.

Amber, Jesse and I hung back as Sara took off to separate the mother and calf from the herd, and then isolate the sick calf, with Erik and Bett

y just behind.  It was very exciting to see each one of them in action! So exciting that I let my camera slip down for a moment (you’ll catch it) but I still got most of the action.


Erik prepared the calf by tying its feet, and getting the syringe in place… and Amber got to administer the medication!

“Mom, normally I would have been worried about hurting the calf (by giving it a shot) but knowing that it was sick, and that I was helping to make it better made me feel really good.”

I believe this is evidence that Amber is now an official “COW GIRL!”….notice her left hand is still holding her horse.

After checking on one more herd a few hills over, we were ready to head back.  Sara’s work was finished so she jumped on the four-wheeler with me for the ride back…and while you don’t often see pictures of the photographer, I wasn’t given a choice on this one. I’m only including it because many of you who know me well, know that I have a love for learning, and I think there are lessons to be learned each and everyday… The lesson I learned on this day; if you plan to take pictures standing atop a four wheeler on a downhill slope, don’t forget to use your parking brake!

A Glimpse of Life on the Ranch
November 22, 2009

We are spending some time with friends, Erik and Kim Roen and their boys, Eron and Brian on their cattle ranch

in Knights Ferry California.

Heading out on four-wheelers and horseback to check on the cattle.

Tyler and Sara the cattle dog. Tyler said “Mom, I kind of thought this was going to be boring but this is totally awesome!” Tyler loves that fact that there are boys here!


Erik keeping an eye on the coyote that is eyeing his cattle.


… more to come!