Amelie at 8 years, Mia at 6 years, Desmond at 3 years, Miles at 1-year
November 6, 2012


Millpond Music Festival was a blast this year, our third time. We camped out by the lake and enjoyed the music all weekend. Stephanie Hager of Hager Photo took all the Millpond pictures here. This is Mia and Grace-Ellen playing in the pond at sunset.



Basket heads are a common sight at Millpond. The amazing thing is these baskets can take up to a week to make and they sell for $65! It's crazy the life we live in the US.



This is Stephanie's kayak, and Naomi took the kids out for a short ride.



And at the end of day, there's always time for a nap.



There was a wind-storm Sunday night at Millpond, it was crazy inside the tent. This video doesn't really show how loud it was. But, when I walked around outside the tent, it was quiet, just very windy. Inside the tent it felt like it was going to blow away, though.



This is Miles just after his first birthday eating his birthday cake.



Desmond at three and half years old.



We took a camping trip with Mel and Lilly to Big Sur. We camped by a little stream, it was amazing. Big Sur was lot of fun, and Mel taught us how to build a fire.



Mel strung up a hammock and Desmond had fun abusing it.



Desmond had fun throwing rocks into the stream, and Mia had fun taking pictures at Big Sur.



When the kids got in for some inner-tubing fun, man, that water was cold!



Mia is taking the cold water well. We tied a 100-foot rope to the inner tubes and let her float down the river and then pulled her back up.



This is a cool tree we saw at Big Sur. That's Mia on the lower-right, blending in like a native.



There's a chair in the middle of the stream where you can relax and dip your feet, it's really cool.



And when you're done with the river, there's a green field next to the stream the kids could play in. Mia is slowly losing her baby teeth, as you can see here.



Miles wasn't quite done playing in the water, though.



All the kids are ready to climb a tree at a moment's notice.



On the way home, we stopped to see a waterfall, but I can't remember the name.



We also stopped to see the elephant seals along PCH.



After Big Sur, we wanted to find a spot closer to home, so we spent a few days camping at Caspers Wilderness Park. It had a top-notch park with a tire swing. Unfortunately, it also had tons of hornets, so it was a bit touchy trying to make food with so many of them around you.



Miles started eating the bars at the playground. Gross!



The kids found a garden snake and played with it for a bit.



We took the stroller and went for a hike with all the kids, but it didn't work too well. Two minutes into it Desmond decided to bail, and pushing the stoller through the dirt was too hard, so Naomi just carried Miles.



We're doing Junior Stewards with the kids at Bolsa Chica, where they go and work on the wetlands planting or pulling weeds. I know, it sounds like fun! There's a brown pelican keeping an eye on Desmond for us.



It is actually fun for the kids, first Amelie digs the hole and plants the native grass.



Then Mia comes along and waters it.



Meanwhile, Miles is sticking his arm into the watering jugs and ended up covered in mud.



This is a giant tower of little buckets that everybody planted.



We took a trip up to Marin County to check out the area, we're thinking about moving there but we're still in the early stages of figuring that all out. There was a home-school group doing a Halloween potluck, so Desmond wore what he normally wears to his ballet class, his tutu. It's so cute.



Mia and Miles played in the park, he's getting pretty capable of doing all kinds of things now.



We stopped by Safari West to take their tour, but it was full, so we just walked around and checked out the animals ourselves. That turned out to be a blessing in disguise, since the tour is two hours long and Desmond would have been a problem. Amelie was petting this Dama Gazelle on his nose.



Here's Desmond trying to get as close as possible to the cheetah that's already just a few feet away.



Here's Desmond trying to pet the tortoises. He never would have made it two minutes into a tour.



These are east african crowned cranes.



This is the monkey cage, and yet somehow the monkeys have all escaped and are posing for this picture!



Halloween was a lot of fun, Mia was a cheerleader, Desmond was a ninja but actually dressed as a pirate, and Amelie was a bandit.



The amount of candy the kids collected was truly staggering. If you watch the video, the kids are just wheeling and dealing, trading their candy for the ones they like. Surprisingly, lemon-heads were in high demand with limited supply.



We took a day-trip to Starr Ranch, which is part of the same land as Casper's, and there was a whole group of deer just relaxing under this tree.



We took a truck ride to the top of the mountain, and we thought it would be great! No hiking, something fun for the kids to do.



But unfortunately, the truck broke down so we hung out while they sent out a backup vehicle to come rescue us. In fact, we were only about a mile away, so it would have been an easy walk, but a couple who did decide to walk it were attacked by hornets and the lady was stung multiple times.



After the truck debacle, we signed up for a hawk class where you get a directional finder and use it to locate where the hawks are nesting. For practice, they stash some cardboard hawks around and Amelie had no trouble finding this one.



They had a great looking garden with an electrified wire around it to keep the squirrels out. But, it wasn't enough to stop the Mias.



Until next time, keep climbing those trees!



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