Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hurray For June!

Our actual calendar- funny it should be bees this month!

June is such a great month! We have lots to celebrate and much to be thankful for: birthdays (his and mine- Happy Birthday fellow June Bugs!), Father's Day, and an anniversary of when we first met (awww!).  The first weekend in June is Jam Berry Day at a local strawberry stand. They sell their ripe strawberries with the tops cut off for $1 a pound! (And, RATS!!! NO pictures AGAIN this year.  I am always so focused on getting 20-30lbs of strawberries that I don't juggle my camera well.  Next year, I PROMISE!!!).  There is June gloom- which I happen to LOVE!  If you don't live in soCal, it's a persistently foggy, cool weather pattern that settles in for at least the first half of June- it's lovely! June also brings the promise of luscious summer fruits. And there are June bugs (of the real sort. Not fun when they wind up in your burrito. Ask Mr. Bee...). :P

June also starts summer visitor season.  We have been blessed with amazing friends and family who will travel great distances to come see us.  I think our close proximity to the beach doesn't hurt, either! Last week we had our friend Jodi come stay with us for the whole week. We are so thankful that she spent her vacation on us and drove a great distance to be here.  We had a very fun visit with her, consisting of many late nights...and later mornings! She brought coffee (Yay!) and bananas...have you ever played Bananagrams? It is sooo fun...kinda like Scrabble, but a bit different. And fun bonus, it actually comes in a banana. :)

The very first game :)
First winning compilation...compliments of Gabe!
 We are a word-loving bunch (ha!), so Bananagrams is a perfect fit!  Someone decided to take it to the next level, and used every single tile in the bunch (that would be 144) to make one big puzzle...

This was done after 11pm, which was the average activity time while she was here.  We stayed up and took goofy pictures...

Jodi went around the house and took pictures of owls...over 60 for sure. Here's a fave...

Who-hooo's the cutest?!
She took some really cute pictures and made compilations of the kids.  She also brought down an awesome photo album that she made for us, including pictures of our time up in northern California, of her visit when we lived at the beach house, and of visits here.  So special.

We made brunch almost every day...because we woke up waaaay after breakfast.  This was usually the time of our first meal.

Gabe does not like brunch. He says he feels like he's getting cheated out of a meal. Growing teenagers!

I would be remiss if I did not mention Jodi's current Korean obsession, which centers around a certain k-pop boy band (can you say Big Bang?! Have you heard of this craze?)

File:LG전자, 4.3인치 대화면 스마트폰 ‘옵티머스 빅’ 출시.jpg
Big Bang
We went to the thrift store, and she found a really cute Korean mug:

Flashing the ASL sign for Korean
We watched movies (inside and outdoors!), stayed up and talked, and played games. I dragged her to Costco, Trader Joe's, Green Thumb- and she never complained. All of this was fit in between a really busy church/ministry schedule (Wed.-Sat. night), as last week was our first switch from Sunday service to Saturday night (can you say Sunday Surf Day?!!!)  And yes, we made it to the beach (yay!). All that to say that Jodi was such a blessing! It was a crazy week for her to come, but she is so go-with-the-flow that it all just worked. We are all so glad she came.  It just made June that much better!

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Day of Rest

Last weekend was a fun but crazy-busy one.  I think I am just recovering from it! We were getting ready for a church rummage (and bake) sale to help raise funds for kids to go to camp.  We were also getting ready for a certain someone's birthday.  There was a lot of baking, sorting, bagging going on before the sale.  Saturday we woke up (after going to bed at 2am) at 5:30am to get everything ready.  It was a fun, but tiring day, which ended with pie and celebration.  Sunday it was time to relax and unwind. 

It was Noelle's first real trip to the beach.  She's been a bunch of times already, but this was her first time actually ON the beach, sand between the toes and all.  I think she's hooked.

While we kicked back on the sand, the rest of the tribe was in the water. It was totally like Point Break. Except, no guns. Or presidents.  Or Anthony Kiedis making cameo appearances. Umm, never mind. More pictures, please!

Ava has been wanting to learn to surf.  She has also been watching Soul Surfer (minus the shark attack part!) and flashing us "hang loose" Mr. Bee took her out.  Over and over. She was ecstatic. :)

While the older ones were out with the long board, we went for a walk. This beach is my heart. It was a refuge for me when I was young(er) and on my own, it was our home for 6 months when we moved back from northern California, and it is still our favorite place to be.

We looked for crabs and other friends among the rocks and crevices. Cool stuff.

We stole some her chubby little hand on my face.  She's so sweet.

We ran and played in the waves.  We followed each others' footprints.  We had fun.

I love this man!

I am so very thankful to be able to see wetsuits hanging and surfboards resting up against our house. I feel extremely blessed to share it with these beautiful gifts God has blessed us with. Sunday was indeed a day of rest. A day to refuel our souls. A day to marvel in the beauty only God could give.  I am so thankful.  And so ready for another.  Hope you get to rest and recharge this weekend!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bee Treeats: A Happy Birthday Pie!

This last weekend we celebrated Mr. Bee's wonderfulness (and his birthday- we love you!) with a yummy Strawberry Rhubarb Slab Pie.  A very generous lady offered up some fresh-from-her-garden rhubarb on Freecycle (like- "call me before you come and I'll cut you some" fresh!).  When I got there, she had a lovely, jam-packed garden, and loaded me up. Not only did she give me fresh cut rhubarb, but also plants: a rhubarb plant to put in my garden, a potato plant, yellow squash, 3 tomatoes, mint, and 2 chive plants! What an unexpected gift!

We decided to use the rhubarb to make his pie (we both love pie instead of birthday cake for our June birthdays!).  I've never baked with rhubarb, but this recipe was easy and really yummy.  It's from Martha Stewart, and you can find it here.  All the girls love to be in the kitchen, and since Sophia is now skilled and confident enough to be on her own, I'm focusing on the younger ones.  Olivia wanted to help with this, and she did a great job.  Here's what it looked like after Olivia and I cut the strawberries and rhubarb and coated them with sugar and tapioca:

Those colors are just gorgeous!  I love how baking is multi-sensory...everything works together to make it a wonderful experience. This variety of rhubarb doesn't turn red, so it really looks like celery.

Brush on egg yolk and cream...

Add (a lot, if you're me!) turbinado sugar...

Ready for the oven


Make a wish!


I wish we had more pie!
Topped with homemade whipped cream, this pie was amazing.  I can't wait until next year, when we can use rhubarb from our own garden! If you have any great rhubarb recipes, feel free to leave a link below!

Monday, June 11, 2012

(A Garden) By Dawn's Early Light

Good Morning!
Heirloom Tomato
Surprise Squash
Different Surprise Squash
Tangerine, Plum, and Geese :)


Beet Shoots

Mandavilla with Cat
Part 2


Unknown Furry Plant :)
Rosemary Starters From Clippings
Hawaiian Sugarcane
Narnia Fountain :)
Mint Transplants and Herb Garden in Waiting....

Have a lovely day!