Thursday, August 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Kaleb 12!

August 23, 2010

Kaleb Joshua Chinchen turns 12!

Has to go to school for the first time ever on his birthday.

Mom and Dad feel old.

Kids choice.....Brat BBQ at Mill Pond. Rope swing. Swimming.

Wish list....Anything that has to do with baseball.

-2 all leather baseballs
-The Sandlot (movie about baseball)
-bag to carry all baseball gear in
-pitching practice net (from grandma and grandpa)
-all leather baseball glove (from nans and grumpy)
-all wood baseball bat (from uncle brian and lauren)

I'd say....SUCCESS!
Happy Birthday Kaleb! We Love You!

Grass Lake

It's Saturday. That means No work and No School. What will the Chinchen family do?
Sit at home and relax? For a bit. Get outside and play? Definitely!
It's hot here in Bishop. We knew it would be. But seriously, 103? That's hot. It's been right around 100 since they day we moved here. We've gotten use to it for the most part. I now think a 92 degree day is pleasant. We learned that 6 pm is ideal for rock climbing. We also know that if you want to play in the middle of the day, you have to get above 7000 feet.

We decided to go on a hike that we fulfill every one's desires. Geo-cache, climb, hike and swim in a mountain lake.
I'm not positive how many total miles the hike was. Somewhere around the 4 mile mark. With a bit of elevation gain. And I'm stoked on my kids. No whining. No complaining. Just fun! The older two are great hikers. Avery, it depends on her mood that day. It's amazing to watch her love for the outdoors grow. She admires the mountains daily and tells me how beautiful they are. She's so innocent and so pure. You know the words coming out of her mouth are true. And to see such amazement at nature makes my heart melt.

We followed a creek up a mountain side. It then levels off. Jason did a bit of climbing while the kids played hide and seek among the boulders. We then continued on to the lake. A small river crossing and BAM, there you are. Lake, mountains, wildflowers. I swear I live in a Bob Ross painting. It seems like you can just reach out and touch the mountains. We were in the heart of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I am in love!

As I starred in awe, I heard talking. There was "a man and his dog" out in the back country camping. He had a map (what a smart man!). We took a peek and found a trail that looped back down to where we had parked. YAY, a circle. I like loops. I don't mind the whole turn around hike, but loops are way more fun. We hopped, skipped and jumped through the mucky lake grass and found the trail. Down the switchbacks. Through rock fields. It was a blast! I didn't want to find the car. I was wishing we all had packs strapped to our backs and were out to explore for days. Until the blisters started forming. Ouch!

We never got our swim on. The clouds were rolling in and looked black. We avoided the rain, but the temperature dropped quite a bit.
Everyone was fulfilled. Even the dog. I made it out without being attacked by a bear or cougar. (which i swear that's how's it's going down for me). The kids were dirty and happy. Jay tackled and won on a few boulders. It was time to head back home .
Look for us in the next Bob Ross painting you see!

ditchin mom for school

Yep, you looked at that picture correctly. That's ALL 3 of my kiddos wearing backpacks!
All of them left me. Ditched the nest. Grew their own wings. For a few hours a day at least. They all come running back in the afternoon to tell me how much they love me. Or ask for food.
They've been home schooled or "road-schooled" for the past few years. Kaleb went back for part of the year last year up in WA, but my girls stayed home with me and hit the books.
This year, with the move to a small town, they all felt they wanted to go back to "real school" mainly to meet new friends. It was hard for me, but I get it. They left all their friends 2 years ago and miss those friendship bonds. They've met great friends on the road, but it's just not the same as having them right down the road.
I'll be honest, I had anxiety. Seriously sleep issues as the first day of school approached. But I was the only one. The kids all slept with ease. Not an ounce of fear about being the new kid. Not one speck of hesitation. In fact, Kaleb refused to let us walk him to school. I did follow him with the girls. We have to walk pass his school to get to theirs (really, I swear I wasn't stalking). I had my camera ready as I yelled out his name to snap a picture. It's the only way at his age. :) He is, after all, a big middle schooler. (7th grade) How embarrassing to have your mommy help you find your way. He reassured me he'd be fine. And guess what....he was!
Now came the hard part. Letting go of my baby girls!! I made Daddy go to work late so he could come along, mainly to be MY support system.
Ani is entering 4th grade. She was smiling ear to ear! She reminded me that she hasn't been in "real" school since the 1st grade. There's a big difference between 1st and 4th. She's so big now and so independent. Where'd my baby go? She's the girl in class that makes every teacher smile. She's everyone's friend! She was a little concerned at first cause *gasp* she has a MALE teacher. No problem though, he's already wrapped himself around her finger. She thinks he's hilarious! She's a book of information already because of him. I'm pretty confident that she's going to have a great year!
Little Miss Avery.......My treasure. Who makes me go crazy every day! And then makes me laugh til I pee. What will I ever do without her. She's my buddy. She goes everywhere with me. She calls me out when I'm being "bad" and compliments me when I need to smile. She can read me like an open book. And she's been waiting for this 1st day of school for a few years now.
I was that mom that cried on orientation night. How was I ever going to get through the drop-off? She had her "pack-back" packed and ready 2 days ahead of schedule. She leaped out of bed before the alarm clock went off. She was ready and the bell couldn't ring soon enough. I, on the other hand, seriously contemplated grabbing her and running away to Never Never Land.
She shed no tears. Didn't even hesitate at the door. This was her moment! She hugged and kissed mommy and daddy goodbye. Then she kissed her momma again. And again. And again. But only because I made her. It was time for me to let her go. How dramatic right!!! :)
I was fine. Really I was. Until I walked outside and my hubby said "Alright Babe, I've got to go to work".
I was really going to be alone. Seriously ALONE! Now the tears starting falling. Alligator tears. Runny nose. Yep, it happened. I was that mom. Who stood on the sidewalk outside of the school balling! Now what? For the first time in 12 years I was going to be alone. Jason looked at me and told me that now it was time to take care of me. Hmmmm, that sounds great. But I'm clueless how to do that. I walked home. Poured a cup of coffee and stared at the walls. I watched the clock. Could I go pick them up yet???? I paced. I cleaned. I paced some more.
Finally it was time to go get Avery. I was so excited to see her, take her out for ice cream and hear about her day. She greeted me with a huge hug. As we walked home I asked her if she missed me as much as I missed her. Her response..."I forgot all about you Mom"
HUMPH.......A note to all Kindy teachers. First lesson...How to lie to your mom and make her feel good!!!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Willy Wonka? No, the pencil gnome!

What happens when your daddy works at a toy/pencil factory?
ENDLESS amounts of pens, pencils, sharpeners, erasers. Daddy brought home the kiddos a years supply of writing utensils today. Good starts Thursday. Let the sharpening begin!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A place to call HOME

The search is over. 2 years ago today we left Bend, Oregon. We left in search of our new home. Of what Bend use to be 12 years ago. We made some U-Turns along the way. And went down a few wrong paths. All for a reason. To eventually lead us to Bishop, CA, a small town nestled up to the Eastern Sierra Mountains. A town we had never heard of before.

We found Bishop by mistake while traveling down the open road. We spent about 3 weeks here, 1 1/2 of those because we were fortunate enough to have our transmission blow in the beautiful area. Made good out of the bad. We instantly fell in love and the town made it to the top of our list as a place we would like to settle. That dream came true last month when Jason got accepted for a job here in town.
We've been here now 1 month and keep waiting to wake from the dream. I pinch myself numerous times during the day. Especially when I look out any of our windows to a view of 14,000 foot peaks.

We have world famous climbing out our backyard, endless trails into the wilderness, rivers, desert, lowest and highest points of the US, the local organic U-Pick garden, petroglyphs, snowboarding, SUN, new friends and big huge smiles!

Life is finally settling down a bit after the move. Family and friends have visited, Jason is happy at his job, the kids are all involved in the community, school starts next week and I'm venturing down the path of childbirth educator. This move is good for all of us. We're excited to share it with you all.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hello out there

That was the last time I wrote on our blog? Dang....! I'm embarrassed. I have every intention of keeping this current. I wish that I had a good excuse. Does moving back into a stick built house count? How about homeschooling? Starting our own business? Having 3 kids and a dog? Really? Come on. Like I can't find a few minutes every week to sit down and update. You know there's always something exciting to share.
I admire those of you that write everyday. Even if it's a few short sentences and a pic. They usually put a smile on my face. I should try. Put this on my to-do list. A "have you visited your blog yet today?" reminder on my phone.
As the kids rush up to bed, I'll take a few quick moments to give you the run down before I go tuck them all tightly in.
We're still up in Anacortes, WA. We decided to stay after starting our own yacht care business that just "kinda happened" after a few projects we did. It's going well.
We moved into a rental house. When the gray wet winter skies appeared, we decided that the RV was feeling small now that we were stuck inside and it was time to spread out. We've been in our house 6 months now and have loved the comfort. Hot running water!! A dishwasher! Longer than necessary showers! (need to control that!) A fireplace! Laundry at home!
Ani is still being homeschooled. Kaleb started at home and then decided he'd like to go back to school. He's in 6th grade and doing well. He's acing Social Studies. After all the cliff dwellings and history sites he visited the last year, we're not surprised one bit. Avery is...still Avery! Causing trouble all day long and making us laugh every minute!
Life is different after living the free life that we did. We're trying hard to adjust. Funny how I thought it would be tough to go from a house to a RV, but honestly the transition back into a home and "real life" is way harder!!!! We've got the itch! Gypsy's at heart. Colorado has been calling lately.......we'll keep you up to date!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Recycle this!

Dear Starbucks,
Thank you for reminding me why I chose to boycott you over the last few years. I truly try to practice the "Support your local coffee shop" idea. It was hard not to notice you in every little town and grocery store I visited during the last 15 months on the road. I could've taken the quick route and jumped out at any corner for my Chai and coffee fix. Instead, I ventured on down the lonely road to find the local coffee hut. When buying my coffee for home, I chose to pay just a bit extra for the local grind. And I always look for and if found, purchase fair trade coffee.
Now that I'm back to paying rent and bills I opted to purchase a bag of Organic Starbucks coffee because, well, it was on sale that day. My guilt lifted a bit when I got home and noticed the little writing inside the bag that said to return my empty coffee bag to any local Starbucks for recycling and a free cup of joe. I thought way to step it up Starbucks. I've heard stories about the support you give to the communities. How you support our troops and so on. I even went as far as to google you and read about your "green efforts" and how much you recycle.
Well then, one question. Tell me why then, after I gave the girl behind the counter my "recycled bag" she turned around and tossed it into the garbage?
Lesson Learned!
Thanks for the reminder.