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Our Adventure at Apple Hill

Apple hill Fun

Apple hill Fun

As a family we went to Apple Hill with some sweet homeschoolers.  It was a huge group of about 65 and possibly more, and it was Amazing!  In advance we signed up for a pie baking class for Gavin and then an apple ranch tour.

Because we have a Jeep we decided to rent a car and got a great deal with a company that our friend Debbie worked at.  We happened to rent through Costco and tried to make sure that the company we rented from was the right one.  She snagged us a 2016 Nissan Altima and it got gas mileage that went up to 40mpg!  That was So Cool! Especially when we have a Jeep that gets a gas mileage of 16mpg.  That is quite a difference.  ha!

We left our house at 6:45am and headed to Apple Hill by way of Carson City.  We didn’t anticipate the morning traffic, road construction, and the Lake Tahoe Marathon. Ha! Oh and we made a quick coffee and smoothie drive through break at Dutch Brothers in Carson….Mmm The BEST!

The trip was made more fun because we had constant Tweets of where the group caravans were at.  There was even added information (Carschooling) on each town that we passed on hwy 50 as well.

Despite the travel restrictions, we made it to our first appointment which was Gavin’s Pie baking class at Denver Dan’s with time to spare.

While Jay took his son to class, I took sweet Arielle to the orchard there and decided to take some photos of her by herself.

Sweet Arielle

Sweet Arielle

Her sweet Smile

Her sweet Smile

Arielle had so much fun.  She really loves the camera.  And the camera loves her.  I know I may be bias but I think she’s so Beautiful!  I dressed her like it was Fall hahah…Though it’s definitely October it was HOT there.

Once picture time was done, we went back to the class and got there right on time to watch the entire thing.  Gavin really loved learning and he did such an amazing job!  We’re so proud of him.

Pie baking Class

Pie baking Class

Working hard on his pie

Working hard on his pie

While waiting and watching I got to speak with some amazing ladies and made some new friends.  It’s so nice to meet ladies that I can totally relate to and instantly find a friend.

Once we were done there we headed over to Larson Apple Barn for lunch.  We packed our lunches but this place has a great kitchen to buy food from and a nice shady area to eat it.  It was here that I took some photos of sweet Gavin.

Gavin after his baking class

Gavin after his baking class

My handsome boy.

My handsome boy.

After that we headed straight for High Hill Ranch where we got a tour of the estate and then a hay ride too.  The tour was so informative.  The man that gave us the tour (I think Paul was his name) was the kindest person and he really tried to take care of us and show us everything that this ranch did.  And they did and had a LOT!  Cider, Fritters, Gourds, Crafts, Ponds, Pony rides, Candied apples, Giant refrigerators, etc.  He took us through the process of making cider and we watched the folks make it.  It was so fun!  And we didn’t leave without an Apple Fritter, a couple of Candied apples, a Jug of Apple Cider, and a Giant Spaghetti Squash.  Every bit delicious.

All finished!  Oh and he made a cookie too.

All finished! Oh and he made a cookie too.




Wondering what’s the deal with Apple Hill?  Wondering why so many love it?

Sweet Gavin his first year to Apple hill....but such a great way to ask the question.  Haha!

Sweet Gavin his first year at Apple hill….but such a great way to ask the question. Haha!


You might be surprised, yourself, at how amazing this place is too.

Apple Hill is located off Highway 50 right in between South Lake Tahoe and Sacramento.  It’s about 40 Miles east of Sacramento and 45 Miles West of South Lake Tahoe.  For us Reno folks it takes approximately 2 1/2 hours to get there by way of Carson city and highway 50.  It’s right off of highway 50, literally.

Every Location on Apple Hill has a number attached to it.  Not sure why, but the numbers are not in order.  They seriously are all over the place.  Haha!  But with the map it makes things a bit easier.  DO NOT LOSE YOUR MAP.  I did, and I didn’t have reception on my phone in this area to look up a map.   That was a crazy day.  I don’t want to repeat that, and I don’t want you to either.  KEEP YOUR MAP!  Hahah!

Apple Hill Map

Apple Hill has a Huge Variety of apples that grow there.  Some of the apples are: McIntosh, Golden Delicious, Empire, Pippin, Stay man, Red delicious, Braeburn, Winesap, Fuji, Arkansas black, Pink Lady, Mutsu, Jonagold, Cameo, Honey Crisp, and so many more!  Now if you don’t like apples, that’s ok.  Apple Hill is so much more than apples!  Sounds crazy, but it’s totally true.

If you don’t like apples, then you will be pleasantly surprised because this magical place has Cherries, Berries, Peaches, Grapes, Nectarines, Plums, Pears, Squash, Pumpkin patches, Christmas trees, Museums, Deli’s, Oh and even a Bavarian Restaurant!  Ha!

For Additional fun, sign up to do a baking class.  At Denver dan’s Apple Patch they offer Pie Baking classes.  It’s really inexpensive to get in and learn how the Pro’s make a pie.  Along with your tuition you get to take home your pie.  This year they advertise their classes for $10 with a minimum of 5 kids and a max of 20 per class.  And they only have 2 classes per day.  To me, even that’s a lot of classes per day with that many kids at once.  Ack!  I couldn’t be a school teacher to that many kids all at once.  God bless those school teachers.  Here’s the link to Denver Dan’s Cookin Kid’s class…

Denver Dan’s Cooking Class

We will be heading down This week and will give an update as to how it goes.  Yes, we are taking our sweet two.  It’s going to be so fun!




We were invited to head on over to the National Reno Automobile Museum with a homeschooling crew.  I knew sweet Arielle would have zero fun so she went to hang out with Auntie Ronna.  Amen!   So it was momma and sweet son time.  Love it.

This place had A beautiful array of vehicles that would rival the collection of any automobile museum.  The building facades and the car lined streets gave it a great outdoor feeling of nostalgia.

Reno National Automobile Museum Cool "Streets"

Cool “Streets”

For me it was a great reminder of some sweet videos I grew up watching…you know…”My Fair Lady”, “Gone with the Wind”,  “Singing in the Rain”,  and my favorite Christmas film “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  There really are so many more that I won’t go listing without reader boredom. You’re Welcome! hehe.

There was one car that I was told had been in a movie that I will totally be looking up.  The movie is with Jack Lemmon and is called The Great Race.

Reno National Automobile MuseumThis car was in the movie "The Great Race"

This car was in the movie “The Great Race”

Gavin was free of charge because he wasn’t quite 6 yet and I paid just $10 so I figured it was just $5 per person for us.  I am definitely a cheap date. hehe.

With admission came some rules: No touching the cars, with exception to a Model-T that has some dress clothes hanging nearby to take photos with.  Fun!  And later we found another Rule: No Running! hehe.  With a boy and some other boys, around the same age anywhere….running is something that will happen.  eek sorry!

Reno National Automobile Museum The clothes were way too big for him...sorry for the blurr...but my son is like flash sometimes hehe.

The clothes were way too big for him…sorry for the blurr…but my son is like flash sometimes hehe.

So Run, they did.  And Stop was said.  But running kept happening.  And Fun kept on.

I got a glimpse, literally, of some beautiful cars and some long ago Ladies attire as well as this great Space Exhibit with a few games for the kids to play.

All this time really was spent with Gavin running around with some of his friends he knew from elsewhere.  What fun we had Pushing buttons, wherever they were; whether along the wall or within the car exhibits themselves.

Reno National Automobile Museum Looked in the viewfinder to see what was in there

Looked in the viewfinder to see what was in there

Reno National Automobile Museum Turning wheel on the wall.   To him it was a steering wheel...close ha!

Turning wheel on the wall. To him it was a steering wheel…close ha!

Reno National Automobile Museum Crank that car to start!

Crank that car to start!

Reno National Automobile Museum And Honked that horn...A lot!  Oy!

And Honked that horn…A lot! Oy!


So, yes, we had a great time and played as if it were a playground that we stayed careful not to disturb; unless it said we could.  hehe.  But really, Anything that had a button was pushed, pulled or played on that was easily seen as ok to do.  And it was fun.  For us, learning and fun go hand in hand.  It was a good day.  And yes, we did our normal school work for that day.  If you were wondering…and I know you were wondering.  hehe.


Mailing out our cards...red flag up!

Mailing out our cards…red flag up!

September 1st we sent our first round of Nevada post cards out to 9 families.  Today, October 2nd, we sent out 11 Nevada post cards.  Throughout September Gavin got post cards from around the United States with information about their state.  How fun it is to see these things in the mail.  I mean really, who wants to see bills, credit card “pre-approvals,” and this weeks advertisements for what’s on sale at the local grocery stores?!  hehe.  These sweet notes from folks we don’t know is really a fun way to go to the mailbox.

I found this particular Post Card exchange on Facebook and signed up for the 5 month plan.  I knew that my son, Gavin, would love to see his name on these cards so I made sure to have the cards addressed to him.  I thought that it would only be fun to receive the cards but really it’s fun and educational to send them as well.  As we write the addresses on the cards, we lay the cards on a Rug of the United States of America…hehe.  I wanted Gavin to see where these cards were going.  And Yes, We do these in our Pajamas.  Hehe.  Love Homeschooling!

Map Rug to help us see where our cards are going.   And when we receive them we see where they came from.  Fun!

Map Rug to help us see where our cards are going. And when we receive them we see where they came from. Fun!

He’s traveled with us a few times on 9 hour drives from where we live here in Nevada to Southern California.  I would show him the distance between our home and California to sort of use it as a measuring tool.  (So Gavin, you remember how long it took to drive down to grandma’s house in California, can you imagine driving that 4 times to drive across the country?.)  At that point it clicks in his head that this map is now HUGE!  He often comes back with “that poor mailman.”  Hahaha!!!

We also talk about State Capitals.  Gavin is in Kindergarten!!  ha!  I am not asking for perfection from him, that would be crazy, however he has a good time hearing about the cards that leave our house and the ones that we get.  We live pretty close to our State Capital, Carson City, and he loved his visit there…but only because his first visit there was to the Children’s Museum.  Which isn’t a bad visit and it allowed him to light up when I started talking about Capitals.  So, I kept going.  To make it really fun, he knows where Disneyland and Disney World are on the map too.  Ha!  It’s the really important things in life that matter.  Haha!

Many of these Post Cards have a ton of information on the States that they came from.   State Flag, Flower, Capital, Bird, Trees, Approximate Population, what the state is known for, things to do, and the list goes on.

3 Limitations we Momma’s fall for:

1.  My kid is only 5 (or ?)…they aren’t ready to learn about things like ” ”        and ” ”   (fill in the blank),  because it will be over their head.

2.  How can a 3, 4, 5, or almost 6 year old, understand the actual measurement of something so big?  This is too hard.  

3.  Reading about these places, that my kid has never been to, or heard of, will leave them uninterested and might be a huge waste of time.   

Kids are like amazing little sponges, but even better than sponges is their capacity to remember and quite possibly their ability to relate and understand.   This life and these sorts of things are what we make of it.  If we have a good time, chances are, they will too.


5 Ways to stay in the moment. Family is Way more Important.

Grandpa and Grandma

Grandpa and Grandma

The longer one lives, the greater the realization of what’s important becomes more evident.  Life is precious…we can’t take for granted those around us and believe that we somehow have unlimited time to be with them.

A good friend of mine had passed away and it was the beginning of an awakening in me that forced me to re-think the time we have here together.  This life is fleeting, but still somehow there-in lies the belief that we have forever and take for granted that the people around us will be there forever as well.  In the wake of this friend’s passing, I realized that we only have now.  And in the now, I choose to live in it.

So, we recently visited my family from Elko, NV and it was really nice.  My grandma had surgery to take away a pretty good sized lump in her breast.

We got to see her about 5 days after her surgery and she looked Great!  She was in high spirits and it showed on her face and demeanor.

Being that it became a real thing in the life of someone around me…It made me realize that we have only a short amount of time on this earth and it really should be spent wisely.

My grandma is kind, feisty, quick witted, crafty, thoughtful, and always tries to stay a step ahead of those around her.  Sure her hearing has been failing but she still tries to keep up with the conversation.  Hehe, though it is pretty funny to see where the conversations lead now, but she holds her own.

I am not sure what tomorrow will bring but I do know that I am glad to have taken the time out and driven the 5 hours just to spend some time….some good quality time…just talking and just being.  It was good.  It was Real good.

My grandma is doing well and so as she lives I will continue to pray for her and put aside time while I still have it.

Even if you feel busy:

1. Be Present- even if that means driving a long ways with your adorable children that would much prefer to make noise (not words) that sound more like the sounds of a fire truck.  hehe. 

2. Make time

3. Listen and engage

4. Remember that we are not promised tomorrow.  Today is the day that the Lord has made.  I will (stay in the moment), rejoice and be glad in it!

5. Be positive in your heart no matter what.  Out of the abundance of your heart…your mouth will speak! You don’t want your last words to be awful…so leave in a way that is refreshing and loving.  

This is totally for me:

Matthew 12:34King James Version (KJV)

34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.  

Psalm 118:24King James Version (KJV)

24 This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Here is a photo of one of my sweet screamers…hehe.

We basically lived on cookies and hugs.  Love it!

We basically lived on cookies and hugs. Love it!

 My other sweet one is in the green in the front…

Pool time!

Pool time!


An Animal Sanctuary in our Backyard!

We Visited the Animal Ark which is a local Animal Sanctuary and had such a good time.  A Sanctuary is filled with animals that aren’t cleared to go back into the wild due to an injury.  Where-as a zoo has animals that can potentially go back into the wild.  This place recently experienced the death of two of their tigers.  We found out that it was due to meat that was bought from a place that sells to animal sanctuaries like this.  I am hoping that there aren’t any other deaths due to the same thing elsewhere.  It’s So sad.

What's your wingspan?

What’s your wingspan?

This particular place was located quite a ways off the freeway exit.  It probably took a good ten minutes of driving from the freeway exit.  Mind you, it took 20 minutes to get to the freeway exit from where we live.  It’s not a place to take a leisurely stroll too.  Hehe.


Waiting to touch the feathers.

A sweet Homeschool momma put on this event and we got to benefit from it with discounted admission.  And I LOVE Discounts.

Arielle loved to be near me.  Hehe...but boy it was hot.

Arielle loved to be near me. Hehe…but boy it was hot.

I took my baby carrier instead of a stroller to carry my one year old.   That was seriously a work out.   Ha!  Another momma took a stroller and I was almost tempted to ask to find room in their for sweet Arielle.  Haha!

The pathways were all dirt and some gravel.  So for those with a stroller that is pretty much all terrain you’re Golden.

This is on the pathway with a portion of the group.

This is on the pathway with a portion of the group.

This place isn’t flat either.   Its placed neatly on a hill.  For those that don’t want to walk or climb really. . Along with your admission you can pay extra to be driven around which looked like it could totally be worth it.  But for those hikers…like me…wink, wink, it wasn’t all that bad.

This beautiful place had so many amazing animals.  Our favorite was the tether ball bear!  No Really!!!  You can view him on YouTube.  Arielle loved that “baby.”  Her laugh was so sweet as she watched him eat and play.

Arielle's favorite! Hehe

Arielle’s favorite! Hehe

We learned so many amazing things about the animals they had there.   As a Group we were given a sort of private and hands on class about the particular animal we were looking at.  So fun!  When we were looking at the bear we got to see the difference between polar bear fur and brown bear fur as well as their skull differences.  I really loved our personal tour guided studies.

Polar bear fur and brown bear fur.  Love the hands on

Polar bear fur and brown bear fur. Love the hands on

They have a gift shop that offers Frozen sweets, cold water, and snacks.  So if you want to eat there make sure to pack a lunch.  And like a real 5 year old boy, Gavin LOVED the play structure they have out by the parking lot.  Haha!!!  He liked the animals but he LOVED the playground.

We loved how amazing and accommodating all the staff members were as they really treated us so personably.

A real Jaguar!

A real Jaguar!

We saw so many amazing animals! Look up your local Animal Sanctuary…and Go, you will love it too.

The Address for the Reno Animal Ark is 1265 Deerlodge Rd, Reno, NV 89508.



First Year at the Air Races

As a Homeschoolers we were able to go to the Air Races as a Family.  We went with the Northern Nevada Home Schools Group which is a Non-Profit Organization that put this event together as a “Field Trip.”

As a Group of more than 260 folks, we were able to gain admission into the Air Races for an amazing deal of $2 a person!  Oh Heck yeah!  The parking was free (saving us each $10), easy and located right next to our entrance gate. The field trip wristbands got us into the Pit area, and in total we saved $24 admission/adult +$32 Pit access/person.  We also went to a few classes that were held there about Space and then the other about Drones.  Fun fun!  With the price of admission we were able to see the planes and speak to some of the owners too, watch from the Grandstands, and go to a few classes.

The Kitty-Hawk Rides

The Kitty-Hawk Rides

Both Gavin and his cousin Dresden had so much fun…however their most favorite thing was the “kitty-hawk” rides where they can control their own little plane or helicopter.  Don’t get me wrong…they LOVED the flying planes above; especially the ones with the “smoke” coming out.  hehe.

Grandstands Time!

Grandstands Time!

Dresden wasn’t too sure about the Giant Military plane though.  He kept asking if he could just stand outside and wait for us…lol.  We pretty much acted like he didn’t say anything and once he was inside he did alright.  Gavin really enjoyed acting like the pilot.  I have a few photos of him sitting in the pilot’s chairs on a few different aircraft.

This was in the Black-hawk.

This was in the Black-hawk.

The classes were pretty nice as well.  The first class was the NASA class about space and how some local businesses create products that are used in space missions.  Oh and how we have places locally that you can re-enact space launches with math equations and problem solving just as if you were working for NASA itself.  They came up with really cool apps that, of course, Gavin wanted to make sure we downloaded.  ha ha!

This is the Giant C-17 Military plane.

This is the Giant C-17 Military plane.

The second class was about Drones.  The flying personal ones mostly…which were Super cool!  The boys loved the Goggles that had the “tv” inside of them.  The girl holding the drone, while the boys were looking through the goggles, was nice enough to point the camera at them so they can see themselves looking through the goggles.  Which was absolutely fun and surreal!

These Goggles have "TV" in them.  Haha

These Goggles have “TV” in them. Haha

One of the Booths in the classroom tents had this amazing Flight Simulator that we all totally bombed at…ha!  But it was still fun to give it a shot.  Anything with a handle bar that looks like a real pilot might possibly use is “so Cool!”  lol.

Flight Simulator

Flight Simulator

We will definitely be coming back in the same way we came this year!  We LOVE Homeschooling!  Field Trips as a Family is seriously the BEST!  We Love that our community is so friendly to us.


The Choice to Homeschool

When given the choice to send my son to public school or keep him home to Homeschool I decided to take the leap to the unknown and start Homeschooling.  I fought myself and the things I thought I would give up, like sanity, and personal time and realized that I really had a conviction to teach him too.  Not only did I like to be around my son, I also felt as though it was my duty to train him in the way he should go.

God gave me the ability, both financially and quite possibly the brain power, to do this!  Hehe.  This is definitely my first year and I am scared to death!  ha!  All these things just lined up all together (the fact that I am a stay at home momma helps too) and so I have stepped into this realm of the unknown.  But I know that With the Lord I cannot fail.  I am excited to see how this year ends up.  It’s day by day here, but I know that I want to see my kids grow and see how well they progress. I want to help train my kids to be what God intended them to be.  I have dreams for them…but I imagine that the Lord has even better dreams and visions that might possibly come to fruition because I am here to help.  And that makes my heart so happy.  I know I am going to need some homeschooling friends and support so if your out there…I support you!  You Got this!  We Got this!

I have met quite a few Amazing Homeschooling Momma’s that are so special to my heart.  Just in a short time you have taught me so much.  I am so grateful to have met you and will continue to pray for you as well.

3 Lies about Homeschooling

1.  I would be horrible as this

2.  I am not smart enough

3.  I can’t do this…I have a baby in the house.

Thankfully the Lord placed an amazing Woman of God in my path that actually took time aside to help this first timer.  You, girl, have no idea what you mean to me.

I am in the 7th week of the curriculum Little Hearts for His Glory and we LOVE it!  Seriously, I can do this!

Love this!  Haha!

Love this! Haha!

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Rose bushes are Spendy!

Well with moving into this beautiful house, we have things that need to be done like the regular maintenance that are both inside and outside.  I really didn’t grow up with much of a lawn and nothing more than a patio was considered normal for me.  Having bushes, a lawn, and trees, that I need to take care of is like learning a foreign language.  Or maybe it’s more like figuring out how to find balance because each bush, tree, and even the lawn has a certain temperament.  With the drought we have drastically cut back on watering and it shows.  Our lawn is definitely showing signs of drought (which has a lot to do with the sprinkler system that was put in improperly).  With Jay’s family business being primarily a summer (or whenever the weather is decent) job it seems like the only time to dig into the dirt of the lawn is when it’s the most inconvenient time to do so.  Ha!  Well one thing at a time I say….So:

One of the maintenance jobs we have are with all the roses that are in the front.  Well they have grown so crazy in the last year.  I had no idea that they needed much maintenance at all really.  But as time goes on we notice that they really need a good whacking off of their branches.  Cause they really go wild!  I mean everywhere wild.  These tame beautiful bushes can turn wild-like, tall, and shoot branches that anyone can see has no business being there.  Well being that I have no idea what I am doing and Jay is so busy we called some professionals to give us an estimate on how much a trim of all the rose bushes in the front yard would be.  We were blown away as to how much the quote was (almost $500).  Needless to say I didn’t give them a call back but instead I looked on good old Google and You Tube and typed in rose bush trimming, rose bush care, how to trim a rose bush, when to trim a rose bush, and I can’t remember any more of the endless search triggers I used.  It gave me some really good videos on when and how to do so.  Most of them said the same thing like for example Fall trimming is best so I chose to write down those things.  Ok, I am scared but I cannot spend $500 to trim my bushes.  I can do this myself!


God Knows I am praying they don’t die.  I just gotta get those verses in my head…John 15:1-7

I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Hehe!  Amen!


Kid’s Club at the Mall!

Yes, that’s right!  There is a kid’s club at one of the malls here in Reno, Nevada.  This particular club is called Kidgits.  The membership to be a part of it is $5 per child for the entire year!  Yup…the YEAR.  I happened to come across it on Facebook while looking for clothing deals at the malls website.  Facebook happened to be my way of getting to their website hehe.  While there isn’t weekly activities, there are activities posted for most major holidays; like for example Christmas, Easter, and Halloween as well as extra themed days which aren’t connected to a holiday.  Today’s event was a Dinosaur theme.  It was located right in the middle of Meadowood Mall so we didn’t miss it.  The kids were given a T-shirt and a water bottle and got to participate at the booths.  Today’s booths were dinosaur mask decorating, coloring, dirt cake stations where the kids could make their own dirt cakes with pudding and photo stations as well as a bounce house.  We even got to see a church friend….It was nice to see you Sharon!  It made it a bit more fun to see someone familiar as we were exploring the booths.  What a great way to get out and do something for very little money….and while we were there we did a bit of shopping too.  Not a bad idea Meadowood Mall.  Keep these going.  I am absolutely sure to be back. Here’s the link: click here.  Look for Meadowood Mall or your local mall.  Really, for $5 there was more than enough activities.  I almost felt like we were stealing…come on $5?  We’re In!

Coloring booth after the bounce house

Coloring booth after the bounce house

it's blurry but it's a great photo of the bounce house and booths...and the nice lady behind us.

  it’s blurry but it’s a great photo of the bounce house and booths…and the nice lady behind us.

Gavin posing with the T rex

Gavin posing with the T rex