Tuesday, October 28, 2008

FCS Cross Country Team takes a trip to Central Coast

This weekend we loaded up our hybrid and two other family vans with Ericlee's Cross Country team and a pile of food and headed for the Central Coast. It's been a year since we've made our trek to the beach. (Gasp!) We stopped for a fabulous Italian meal at Lombardi's in downtown Paso Robles and then arrived at the family beach house in Arroyo Grande. With six high school guys and six girls plus five adult chaperones and Meilani there's bound to be adventure. Friday night was a pajama party, including High School Musical 1, nachos and cookies, and even a rap performed by the girls!

Saturday morning we were greeted by sunshine and blue skies as we headed to San Luis Obispo for the Cross Country meet. The team ran through a really cool park with lots of winding paths through the trees so spectators could cheer them on at several points throughout the races. Meilani spotted a sandbox right away and parked there for awhile. Then she joined Mama and Daddy for a chase through the park to "coach the kids." (She's accustomed to this coach's kid lifestyle by now and tends to be one of the loudest fans.)

Frank, Nathan and Clark (pictured here) all improved there times on this fast course. The combo of beautiful weather in the 70s and all the fans along the route made this a great race for the team. Doug Daniel, the top guy runner, pulled 11th place and won a medal.

The star of the girls' team is Senior Janae ("Nay" as Meilani calls her) Ford. She had an outstanding race and placed 15th overall for a medal.

Following Janae was the rest of the girls team, including Kailey, Tatiana, Kaila, Chelsea and Rachel. Meilani knows them all by name and was excited to cheer them to the finish line with Daddy.

After the meet, we headed for the ocean for some party time. The team played ultimate frisbee, Red Rover and even buried Will in the sand at Grover Beach.

Meilani, of course, was in her glory as she had free reign to build sand castles and play with all her high school playmates.

Meanwhile, Mama attempted a nap. Not so successful a venture.

After our jaunt at the beach, we headed to downtown Pismo for dinner at Brad's Seafood place. The girls got Meilani this penguin balloon - a great distraction while we waited for our Clam Chowder Bread Bowls and Grilled Pineapple Salmon meals. Saturday night we headed for the movies: High School Musical 3 and Eagle Eye. You can guess who went to see which movie. Us girls sang, giggled and danced to the cheesy, romantic tunes. (Who knows what the boys did?) Then we strutted back to the Beach House for a night games and more sleepover fun. Sunday morning we enjoyed a Devotion & Worship time at the house along with brunch before heading home to Fresno. How we miss our high school friends!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Meilani finds fall fun at Nama's house

Meilani is a big fan of going to Nama Chris' house. Nama always finds fun little projects or crafts for Meilani girl. This week they made a pumpkin bear with a honey pot. (Last week was mud pies!)

Nama also has a furry new addition at her place - Smokey (aka Foky) the Cat. Smokey and Meilani can have hours of fun, chasing each other around the couch and hiding under pillows. He lets Meilani carry him around like a stuffed animal and play with his tail. The two are growing up together!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cooking Club: Whole Grains & Beans Bonanza

This month's Cooking Club was an adventure in new ingredients and foods. We decided to try some recipes from Cori's Super Natural cookbook by Heidi Swanson. One goal of the 2008 Cooking Club has been to seek out healthy and yummy-tasting recipes that are family friendly. We're always looking for inexpensive (can't get cheaper than beans sold in bulk!)

This month's menu included:

-White Bean-Sun dried Tomato Crostini
-Edamame Hummus and Pita Chips
-Wheat Berry Salad
-Crusty and Creamy White Beans with Greens
-Crock pot Tri-tip
-Chocolate Dairyless Mousse

If you're interested, check out the

One of the hits of the evening was the Chocolate Mousse made with Chocolate Soy Milk, Chocolate Chips and (gasp!) tofu. We didn't tell the daddies or the kids the ingredients until after they fell in love with this protein-packed dessert. Mia Vasquez smiles with chocolate lips in this pic. Um, yeah, we liked it!

We always try to think of goofy contests or fun games to play at Cooking Club. We decided to play the "bean game." The idea is to use a straw to get all your beans from the floor into your paper cup. Angel Pusey got the kid prize - a bag of garbanzo beans!
We could have housed a "Farting Contest" but all the beans were de-gassed (a new technique we learned). Not to mention we all know who would win that competition! Instead we had a fierce game of Scattergories. Josh Beery was the winner!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Big Fresno Fair means big fun with Fresno friends

Friday was our designated "Big Fresno Fair" day, an annual tradition for the Gilmores. We snagged a deal this year on tickets through Fotech photo studio. They sponsor the Shoot-the-Fair photo contest. Meilani and I went to the fair on Friday during the day for some of the kids events. We saw the Mermaids & Mariners show. Meilani was a bit spooked by the "mariners," who were doing slap-stick-style humor, pushing each other over the side of the diving pool and pretending to hack each other with swords. She did get into it when one mariner did his high dive (8 stories) into the pool. I told her it was like the Olympics and she liked that. Then we moved on to meet up with our friends the McGowens at the Pirate Ship Playground (total madhouse!) and Panning for Gold area.

The Ag Adventure area was our fave new addition to the fair. They had a whole area for kids to play. Meilani raked at the "Pooper Scooper" area.

She also tried out her tractor driving skills.

She practiced milking a cow named Bessy.

We returned home for the necessary afternoon nap (for Mama, of course!). Later Friday evening we met up with Daddy, Nana Maria and our friends Forest and Stacie. We dined on Gyros and Chicken Kebobs. (We thought those were pretty healthy options given the other pickins. Yes, we safely avoided the fried twinkies, fried avocadoes and fried White Castles - yech!)

We had big fun browsing the booths with vendors demonstrating gadgets, selling clothes and jewelry and we even happened upon Sarah Palin. We had to take a pic of Nana Maria with Sarah since they're both such MAVERICKS!

Uncle Forest and Auntie Stacie were big fans of this head massager. We were strictly told it was "not for kids to play with." Oops!

Our splurge for the evening was a famous Cinnamon Roll. Ericlee, Mom and I shared one with the walnuts and cream cheese frosting on the side. This was just the sweet treat to top off our evening without going overboard. Divine!

Meilani also dug the wooden toys in the Home Arts building while Stacie and I perused all the food items for the recipe contests and knitting/crocheting projects. We dreamed about what we might enter for the contests. (We do this every year and somehow never find the time to actually enter!)

We ended our fair evening with my personal favorite: the Footsie Wootsie. This fabulous attraction is a seat/foot massage. It only costs a quarter (the same price Ericlee paid when he was a kid!) and is worth every penny. My tootsies felt nice and ready for the walk to the parking lot. Meilani squealed with delight as she tried out her own version - a booty massage?!?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Road Trippin' with Papa

On Thursday, my dad invited us for a little road trip to the Bay Area to visit my grandpa. Meilani is always up for an adventure. Plus, Papa Doug was paying for the gas and eats and we love a chance to see great grandpa Frank. Grandpa was happy to see us although he doesn't talk much these days. We found him in the cafeteria at his nursing home eating chicken and rice. That was a good sign for sure.
After his lunch, we took great grandpa for a stroll in the garden. Then he wanted to go back to his room for a nap. Dad, Meilani and I headed for Gilroy Outlets. We caught a killer sale at The Children's Place.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Oktoberfest picnic with Daddy

On Sunday evening, we headed to the Oktoberfest Picnic at Fresno Christian schools to celebrate with the kids (and families) Ericlee teaches. Meilani had fun meeting bunches of Daddy's curious students. She also loved "getting air" in the Bounce House.
The Fresno Christian kids - especially the elementary girls - got great joy out of seeing Mr. Gilmore jump in the Princess Bounce House with his daughter. We chomped on a fabulous tri-tip meal with pilaf, salad, grapes and homemade goodies.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Children's Museum of the Sierra provides hands-on fun

Happy Birthday, Queen Meliz! On Sunday, we were invited to one of our fave little-known Valley hot spots: the Children's Museum of the Sierra in Oakhurst. We piled in the car with the Schultz girls and headed for the party to celebrate our friend Meliz's 10th birthday.

Meilani and Tessa jumped right into the action, driving this big school bus down the road. (Thank goodness we have a few years before these girls get their licenses!)

Next stop: the bank. Meilani manned the ATM while Tessa and Addy Schultz morphed into bank tellers. We thought it was slightly questionable that they allowed a check for one million dollars to be deposited in their mommy's account - signed by Dorina Gilmore?? Meilani just pulled out the "cash!"

The dress-up exhibit and karaoke stage were also a hit with the toddlers. Tessa did a Little Mermaid dance while Meilani dressed as Minnie Mouse.

Kamryn tried her hand as a bonafide fire girl, ringing the bell and sliding down the pole at the fire station.

Meilani aided with the water hose.

PeyPey played make believe and tried a walker. He made a might handsome "senior citizen." The party was great fun for everyone - not just the beautiful birthday girl.