Ellie: picking out the perfect pumpkin!

Ellie: You are playing soccer like a champ! Your first “sport” and you love it!

Ellie: We took a walk up in the hills of Montecito. The trails were definitely different (from the fires and mudlslides last year) but there was still nature, alive and well. We spent quite some time exploring a creek and its inhabitants.

Ellie: We visited the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum this week to catch the tail end of a lovely celebration of the Chumash Indians of California. You and I have been reading a lot about the Indigenous Peoples of the U.S. and getting to learn more about the local Natives in our part of California was a treat.


Ellie: It’s Autumn here and that means Santa Ana winds and fire season. Gramma and Grandpa had to evacuate their house for a couple days (but my childhood home is safe) and some of my friends from high school ended up losing their homes. It’s been a very solemn couple weeks. We joined some friends for a lantern walk in the park and it really was just what we needed.


Ellie: I love watching you learn new things. You’ve been wanting to craft a lot more and so I’ve tried to find some fun things for you and I to both learn together. This is a basket you are making. Love seeing you so intently working on something new.


Our Trip to Kings Canyon and Sequoia

I’ve been meaning to write about our trip to Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park and a couple weeks later, I’m finally getting around to it. I hadn’t been up there since I was around Ellie’s age, so it was like the first time for me too. We drove up with our wonderful Homeschool friends and stayed for a short couple days. It was quick but we managed to pack in quite a lot. We hiked up to the General Grant tree on our first day. The girls were in awe of the giant trees and it was really neat to see how much fun they were having with all of it. We stopped to sketch the trees and birds (I spotted a bright blue Stellar’s Jay while in the park, which I was thrilled about). The girls loved climbing in and out of the big knotholes and exploring the little off path areas they had available.
The next morning, the girls wanted to sketch the sunrise, so we woke up very early (much too early for this mama) and hiked up the hill behind our cabin to try and catch it. I think we were a wee bit too late, but the girls had a nice time exploring the area on the rocks. I was a little worried about mountain lions being too close by, so we made our sketching quick. We decided to head to Sequoia the next day. It was such a beautiful walk through to the General Sherman. The kids enjoyed asking the rangers questions and it was really special being amongst all the giants. We headed home after that and after a very long and queasy trip down…. we all made it home safe and sound, with lots of wonderful memories.