Blog Year in Review {2016}

Hello there Friends and Family!

Another year is ending! We’re sure there were ups and downs through the year for you, just as there had been for us, because life. Whatever it was like for you, a fresh start awaits us in 2017. Really, there is a fresh start every single day, right?

It has been quiet around the blog for us, which has been good to live life, but it has always been a good way for us to reflect on what we’re up to and what we’re learning, and hear what you’re up to and what you’re learning too! So we are all hoping to get back to sharing about the happenings in these parts. 🙂

Thanks again for our lovely readers who still come for a visit from time to time.

So, as such, we don’t have too many blog posts to share, but if you weren’t able to come around, here are some things you may have missed.

From Our Family Blog

  1. Summer Reading Programs 2016
  2. Work-in-Progress Mom: 1 | 2 | 3
  3. Gift Guide: Stuff for Advent & Christmas | Dayspring | Games for Kids
  4. Field Trips: USS Hornet Museum | 200 Years of Castro Valley History
  5. Tahoe Trip 2016 Part 2 Recap

2016 posts

 

From Our Review Blog

  1. Passion: Salvation’s Tide is Rising
  2. Raising Uncommon Kids
  3. The Plans I Have For You Devotional + Journal
  4. Captive DVD
  5. Jesus Today: Devotional for Kids
  6. The Legend of the Easter Robin
  7. Loved + Blessed Box
  8. Under the Sea Holy Bible
  9. Trim Healthy Mama Plan
  10. Esther: The Belle of Patience
  11. Phil Wickham: The Children of God
  12. Would a Worm Go for a Walk?
  13. All Things Beautiful and Bright
  14. The Biggest Story CD/DVD
  15. Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change
  16. Bible Journaling Kit
  17. Amy Grant: Tennessee Christmas
  18. The Beginner’s Bible

What are you looking forward to in 2017?

Happy New Year!

P.S. Joyce’s 2017 Book List is coming soon!

Advertisements

200 Years of Castro Valley History {Field Trip 2016}

20161215_143244
Captions by: Melody
Introduction and Photos by: Joyce
More info here –> adobegallery.org

One of our favorite things about the library are the cool display cases with new collections in them every month. One of them has a bunch of art work in it this month, and we saw someone was going to have their work displayed at the Adobe Art Gallery, we were reminded that there was a CV History exhibit on display. So we took our books and headed to Adobe Art Gallery. It was a rainy, rainy day, but we figure we would take advantage of that since there will (hopefully) be fewer people there and we will be able to see more of the stuff.

Getting There
Adobe Art Gallery is kind of hidden, but from Castro Valley Boulevard, starting from Safeway, you go straight down Castro Valley Boulevard all the way to San Miguel Avenue, turn right, and then you come to a stop right before you see the yellow signs about the pedestrian crossing for the schools. Then you’ll see the sign that says Adobe Art Gallery. We got mixed up on the buildings and on parking, but you just follow the sign and go into the parking lot, then you’ll see a wall that has paintings on it. From there you turn left and then you’ll see a building that says, “Redwood Studio.” You park in front of it in the parking lot and walk to the right and turn left and open a door. You’ve arrived!

postcardprstfrst_4x6_front

 

Exhibit
When we entered, I knew we had come to the right place. There were panels everywhere that had photos on them. A lady at a desk told us to go around so we walked around the gallery, starting from a panel that says Panel #1. Castro Valley used to be a chicken farm! The glass display below shows an egg case.
20161215_140405

Castro Valley Library has changed in the past. In 2009, they started construction on the new library. They also have a lot of old newspaper clippings on the panels, which I thought was cool.
20161215_140503

Above is my sister pointing to the hospital where she was born. They demolished the hospital after, and then built a new one. We got a tour of the new one a couple years back. Below is a picture of an egg scale.
20161215_141049

20161215_140327

 

Trader Joe’s opened on Redwood Road next to our church. They got in the panel! I don’t know when this newspaper is from, but now we can go and get food for lunch after church!
20161215_140756

 

Speaking of churches, here is a photo of 3Crosses a long time ago. Still looks the same as it does today! And next to it is the people who the schools in Castro Valley are named after, including Strobridge Elementary and Stanton Elementary School.20161215_141307

As we were walking to see some films, which you’ll hear about shortly, we saw a huge photo…of Castro Valley, aerial view! We tried to find our house, and succeeded! So below is a picture of us pointing to our house! Find us if you can! 😉
20161215_141826

 

Film
After we took a picture with Castro Valley, we headed into the room where a film was being played. I don’t mean a video or episode, a film! They collected old film footage dated way back from the 1920’s or the 1950’s and then made a video out of it! Did you know that Castro Valley Boulevard used to be a 2-lane road? That was way back in the olden days! And that Adobe Art Center was once the first schoolhouse? And you’ll never guess what was there before Starbucks moved in!20161215_142053

 

On our way out, we signed the guest registry and took some crossword puzzles for home. I’m still doing mine! We think that we were supposed to do it during the tour, but that’s okay. I’ll finish it eventually!

20161215_143136

What are some of the interesting local-to-you spots you have visited as a tourist in your own town? If you are in the SF Bay, where are some of your favorite places to visit or where would you like to go visit?

Check out more photos in our 200 Years of CV Exhibit PHOTO ALBUM.

Work-in-Progress Mom Part 3

I guess there is a part 3 to my Work-in-Progress Mom post, too! :p Y’all are champs to stay until the end…or is it? I am not even sure myself.

What I’ve learned…and what I’m still learning:

What haven’t I learned should be the question. :p If you know me, I am a life-long learner. There’s always something to learn about…sometimes they are trivial things like a celebrity’s birthday (did you know I share one with Bruce Willis?) and sometimes they are big life lessons like how need to stop drifting through the days without intention, without listening to the still, small (or sometimes loud and booming) voice of our Lord, and without putting to use the time, talent, and treasure He has given to us. That’s a big one for sure!

road

Where I’m at…and where I’m going:

And finally, like the ebook, assessment, and webinar I shared about earlier, no course, training, or group will automatically propel you forward to be a better fill-in-the-blank (disciple, wife, mother, friend, neighbor, etc.), unless YOU intentionally put yourself out there to achieve your next step. I should repeat this to myself…unless I intentionally put myself out there to achieve my next step. (So glad we are working on pronouns in CC this year. :p hehe)

“The most important step is always the next step.” —

So, there it is…what I have been missing for the past few years. I was trying to dig into all the things, and getting lost in all of it…but all I need to do was take the next step in whatever goal, project, or task was right before me. This resource below is definitely NOT FREE, but another thing I have learned is that when you have a bit of skin in the game (someone please tell me where that phrase came from), you are more likely to have follow-through. (This is an affiliate link so I do get a percentage when you purchase through the link.) –> bestyearever.me/a18721/2017byesales Registration ends in a few hours (December 15, 2016, at 11:59 pm Pacific), so make your decision, and let me know if you are in. OR if there is another program/course you are going through, or websites that offer free content that is helping you through all the overwhelming things of life, I’d also love to know about those too!

ccfam

An Invitation to Community

I have a lot to work on, but I am okay with being okay, which is a lot better than being tired of being tired. Moms, we don’t need to do this alone…we aren’t alone!, so if you are interested in a project I am working on or you are in need of a mom community, please fill out the form at this link –> joycemoy.activehosted.com/f/3 and share it with friends who may need encouragement in their mothering journey. (As my online friend Heather says, “Don’t mom alone.”)

I’m still trying to put all the pieces together in my head and moving that data onto the screen (and hoping to move it to real-life one day), but here are some more details of what it will look like…over the course of the year, each month we will work through one “life area”. You will have the option of just reading along with any blog posts on my blog, signing up to receive weekly email notes from me with exclusive ideas/tips/hacks (if you will) or resources, possibly live chats (replays will hopefully be available) with people who are more expert than I in the “life area” topic, or joining a VIP accountability group (for a small fee…it will be low to begin with since this first groups will be my guinea pigs, so this will be the year to join in!, although I will make options available to join for free). Again, this is all in my head right now, so please fill out the form for more updates –> joycemoy.activehosted.com/f/3. And as another friend Kat says, “Go be awesome.”…well, both Heather and Kat both say some pretty amazing stuff (go listen to their podcasts), but you get the point.

Posts in this series
– Work-in-Progress Mom Part 1
– Work-in-Progress Mom Part 2

Gift Guide: Dayspring

I don’t want you to miss out on the good deals ending today! So check these items out before you read this post…below are the items I think are the must-haves from the current sale! (Yes, there’s more to come!) FYI, all these are affiliate links, which mean I received a percentage if you make a purchase with no extra cost to you. Thanks!

BOGO Mugs
Gift Sets Sale
Buy 2, Get 1 Free Calendars and Planners
– And lots more that you will have to check out for yourself
– $20 off any $60 purchase plus free shipping coupon for my readers! Use code SHINEHISLIGHT at checkout. Offer will expire December 31st.

My Favorite Dayspring Items!

My favorite sales of the year are from Dayspring! They are the best places to get quality gifts that have a whole lot of meaning. I love the little touches of Bible verses on mugs or plates, and they also have plenty of fair trade items to purchase.

I am STILL shocked when I opened my last order…I think it was from the Black Friday sale, and I bought a bunch of journals and mugs as gifts. Ignore this if you think you will be receiving a journal or mug from me sometime soon. :p

These are bigger than regular sized journals, and I want to keep each one for myself.
20161210_113123

 

And I am mad at myself for not ordering more of the jewelry to give as gifts. I’m not a good gift-giver…it’s way down there as a love language. I don’t care to receive gifts, except if you are the rare person who knows exactly what to get me, and there’s only like 2 or 3 of those people in the world, and I’m not fond of giving gifts…I would seriously give you practical stuff like wrapping paper or blank thank you cards…which I think Dayspring has! 🙂
20161210_113923

 

There are many other items I have purchased over the years that we just love having in our home. I can’t find pics right now, but trust me on this.

Here’s a basket of goodies I gave out as an inRL meetup gift…I really like those pocket notebooks:
inrl

 

This is what our house looks like for Christmas time: joyceandnorm.wordpress.com/2012/12/24/hope-begins-here-fabric-wreath

This is another item we love in our home: joyceandnorm.wordpress.com/2012/05/21/review-and-giveaway-bless-this-home-wall-art

And this is some great stuff too: joyceandnorm.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/review-and-giveaway-dayspring-back-to-school-supplies-and-u-neeks

Work-in-Progress Mom Part 2

I guess there is a part 2 to my Work-in-Progress Mom post. :p Thanks for hanging in there with me. I’m wordy.

What I’ve learned…and what I’m still learning:

Whether you want to just read one Bible verse each morning, or you want to launch a new business, I really believe having low-goals is better than having no goals. (Sometimes, it is even more practical “goals” like remembering a meal for everyone in the family or brushing your teeth…) I know some people do not like calling them “goals,” or don’t think “goals” is the correct term to use, but whatever you call them, I think it is worth it to know YOU have a purpose, and there is always something worth aiming for.

These are hard lessons I have learned, and are still learning. I may have missed the target for many goals, projects, or tasks, but I *think* I am a step closer to becoming…being…who God has called me to be, as I look with intention in my days. Now, don’t get me wrong, God knows how to mess up a good plan that WE have for OUR lives with HIS a-whole-lot-better-than-my-human-plans for my life, because really it’s not our own. This past year, I have learned that leaving (or at least, trying to!) the “overwhelm” and having a “plan” (I’m not sure if that is the right word to use because it was quite loose and flexible) allowed me for some whitespace for listening to His voice and some margin to spend time with those who support me, encourage me, and help me grow.

view

Where I’m at…and where I’m going:

Recent nuggets I have come across that are hitting me on the head!

From Crystal Paine‘s email newsletter:
No one wins when we go through life trying to prove that we can handle it all.

From Kathi and Cheri’s Overwhelmed book:
Overwhelmed feels far more survivable with a friend.

From the Bible:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

No test will help you find your calling, reach your goals, achieve success, etc. But what I have found is that they help me find out a little more about myself, or at least to be thinking about what it is I am currently doing and where I am heading. This is a FREE Lifescore Assessment to help discover where you are in 10 life areas. –> http://bestyearever.me/a18721/2017assessment My own score is between 71 and 76 (I took it twice…once when they were still fixing the quirks of the system and once after), which helps me see that one of the domains in my Transformation Zone is Intellectual (I’m not taking this to mean I am a genius…probably just nerdy) and one of the domains in my Frustration Zone is Vocational.

No webinar or training will help you directly get to the next level from wherever you are, but I think these nuggets I got from this FREE 7 Steps for Taking Control of 2017 webinar speaks volume to how we can hold ourselves back from doing big things to help others because of fear. –> http://bestyearever.me/a18721/2017webinar

“The fastest way to lose the game is to get discouraged by what you can’t control.” —

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” —

Realize your potential. It’s crucial. God has given us a purpose. –

“People lose their way when they lose their why.” —  (Michael’s wife of 38 years)

“You only achieve what you intentionally pursue.” –

So, where are you at? Are you in the fog of overwhelm and feeling stuck, or are you gaining clarity? I would love to hear from you.

An Invitation

(If you read my first post, this is the same as the end on that one. But read on if you need a refresher.)
If you have felt “stuck” or are feeling “stuck,” I invite you to join me, in my journey as a work-in-progress mom…a work-in-progress human, really, in this upcoming year. I’m not sure what it will look like, or what my plan is, but ideas are swirling in my head, and I know that the peace I have felt from putting into practice some of the things I have been learning through my discipleship group, through mentors (virtual, through books, and IRL), and His Word has been amazing.

booksasmentors

Without realizing it, I had a “theme” for each year, these past 3 years or so – Discipline, Still, Reflect. (There seems to be a trend in my post with the quotation marks, huh? :p I didn’t intend to do that…the thoughts are just flowing from my mind through my fingertips.) And I don’t know what this upcoming year holds, and I don’t even know that I am ready for it, but I would really appreciate a buddy, a community, a village of work-in-progress humans to go through it together.

And in this journey, I will probably have some resources, and books OF COURSE!, and people, I would love to learn from…I may share them on this blog, or I may share them in something new I would love to start, so hang tight with me while I figure all of this out.

There are SO MANY things to share, but one thing I was glad for this past year was some thoughts from Michael Hyatt, who was the former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, best-selling author, and speaker…and it all started with this free PDF download that I believe I hesitated to download at first…because free things aren’t always what they seem, but as I am learning, sometimes it all depends on what we want to take away from any lesson in life.

Thanks for getting through all those words (and quotation marks and ellipsis)…I haven’t blogged much this past year and the words are many. If you are interested in hearing more of what I will be up to, email me at joyce319 at gmail.

Whatever I will be up to will most likely include a mix of encouraging and inspiring content, as well as practical (monthly) “challenges” (i.e. to help with emergency preparedness, becoming clutter free (a la Kathi Lipp), managing your calendar, digital organization, getting to Inbox Zero (or close to it!), and more!)

Examples of topics:
– spiritual and personal development
– family and home
– health and wellness
– career and ministry
– fun and community

Thanks for reading all the way through to the end!

Posts in this series
Work-in-Progress Mom Part 1

Gift Guide: Games for Kids

The Moys love a good board game, so I’m not sure why we didn’t have a Gift Guide for this already. :p This is not an extensive list as we play many various games after family dinners at my parents’ house every Sunday. We will for sure add to this list soon!

(*Disclosure Policy: These are great products that we have used and love, or have been recommended to us! Links are affiliate links. We will get a small percentage of the sales if you make a purchase through the links at no extra cost to you.)

Sorry– The kiddos chose this one for this list, but I have never been a fan of this game because I think it is mean to send someone packin’ from their space if you don’t have to. :p We have the newer version with the Fire & Ice pieces, but we don’t usually play using those pieces. I think it is a bit confusing, but it can be fun too. I think maybe someone else needs to do a soundbyte for this one. :p haha Oh, but not to fret! They also have this is various versions like: Moana, Star Wars, and more!

 

The Ladybug Game* – We LOVE this one. It is for younger kiddos, but we still love it. It was created by a girl, and there is no reading involved to play this game. It is great for learning to follow directions and beginning counting for younger children.

 

 

The Game of Life– This is another of the girls’ favorites. It is a bit long for my taste, but they really enjoy this one. I believe we have the newer version that has careers like fashion designer(?), which are fun for the kiddos. I do like that they learn about “life”.

 

 

Eye Found It!* – You would think this is a game that kids will get bored of it, since once you have found all the items, you kind of know where it is, but they still love it! I think they are mostly a fan of the super duper long board, but that’s fine if they are having fun. 🙂 If you enjoy I Spy books, this is the perfect game for you.

 

 

Checkers* – We have the sports version of checkers, but it may be a collectible. It has the baseball teams on the board, and the pieces are baseball helmets for the Oakland A’s and the San Francisco Giants. 🙂 This is definitely a classic.

 

 

Gravity Maze* – Melody received this last year for Christmas, and I thought (I’m sensing a theme of me thinking wrong :p haha) it wouldn’t last long at our house since it is more of a logic, solo game. M does enjoy it more, but they can play this for quite awhile once they get into it. There are many levels so it is a challenge if you want to do some thinking.

 

 

Kanoodle* – We received this as part of a summer fun kit full of books, Mad Libs, puzzles, etc. I figure we would bring some items to my parents’ house that the girls can play with when it was too hot to hang out for long periods of time outside. So….it turns out that MY MOM really LOVES this game! My dad likes it too. This one and another logic game (IQ Twist) are still at their house! It looks like they have an Extreme version* and a Genius version of this game as well. Anyone want to buy it for my mommy for Christmas? :p (I already have something in mind for her. hehe)

kanoodle

 

Hedbanz* – We have also played the smartphone app version of this game, but who doesn’t like wear a plastic headband with a picture card on their head. We had family over for Christmas one year, and they tried to get out of playing it by saying they only speak Chinese. Well, guess what? You can play this in Chinese too! :p hehe I think they all had fun. 🙂 We did play the phone version of this yesterday. Always a good time.

hedbanz

 

Jenga* – We have the classic version of Jenga, but they have lots of different versions of this one too. And of course, there’s some generic brand called jumbling tower, but do not be fooled – the original is the best. :p I have seen the human-size version as well. I have not played, but it seems like it can get dangerous. And I must be a party pooper because I’m not a super huge fan of this game either. Norm LOVES it though. The girls also enjoy using the blocks along with other blocks to build little cities in our house, or they use it as dominoes. Love their creativity and thinking outside the box!

jenga

 

 

I’m not sure if there are anymore gift guides coming soon on our blog this year, but if you have any guides you would like us to put together, leave a comment below and let us know.

What board games do you and your family enjoy?

Other Gift Guides:
Children’s Christmas DVDs
Easy Read Books (Fiction)
Chapter Books (Fiction)
Series Chapter books (Fiction)
Stuff for Advent & Christmas

Gift Guide: Stuff for Advent & Christmas

Advent is still (a few years) new for us. The first Christmas we were at our current church, they asked our family to light the first candle. I had no clue what all it meant, but through the years, I have really enjoyed this season of preparing for His arrival.

(*Disclosure Policy: These are great products that we have used and love, or have been recommended to us! Links are affiliate links. We will get a small percentage of the sales if you make a purchase through the links at no extra cost to you.)

Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas* – This has come as a recommendations from many, and we have it on our “to buy” list. This is the family version of The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp.

 

Love Comes Near: An Advent Bible Study – We really enjoyed Love Comes Near last year. I have worked with Jenni Keller in HelloMornings, and we got to meet for a retreat last year before Advent. She gifted us with this lovely Bible study, along with a kit to use with our families for Advent. The girls enjoyed doing the reading and activities each day.
love_comes_near_kit

love_comes_near_garland

 

The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas – This has come as a recommendations from many, and we have it on our “to buy” list. If you have not read any of Ann Voskamp’s books, she writes in a flowy and poetic way. I have not read this book, but I have read One Thousand Gifts, and while, it is not my typical choice of books, I really enjoyed the message, and I am certain I will enjoy this one as well.

 

Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight Of Waiting – This is a new one from my online friend of many years, Kris Camealy, that I will be reading this year. I loved her book for the Lenten season, Wholly, Holey, Holy: A Lenten Journey Of Refinement. Her words are beautiful, and I know I am ready for some calming words this season.

 

More Than Candy: A 25-Day Christmas Countdown that Counts – This countdown by Sarah Mae puts a more hands-on approach to what it meant when Jesus entered this world as a little baby. I know this is one we will read through again…good for anytime really! 🙂 If you think random acts of kindness are amazing, you’ll enjoy intentional acts of kindness ideas in this book.
more_than_candy

 

All the Colors of Christmas Devotional – Focus on the Family puts out an Advent devotional every year. I can’t remember if we received one as an insert in our Thriving Family magazine, but you can download one online.
all-the-colors-of-christmas

 

Truth in the Tinsel (the code is old in the link, but there should be a Black Friday special coming soon) is fun for the little ones, and I just got the recommendation for Pieces of the Promise puzzle, which looks like a great indoor-day-when-it’s-cold-outside activity.

I’m not sure if there are anymore gift guides coming soon on our blog this year, but if you have any guides you would like us to put together, leave a comment below and let us know.

What Advent and/or Christmas books or activities do you enjoy?

Other Gift Guides:
Children’s Christmas DVDs
Easy Read Books (Fiction)
Chapter Books (Fiction)
Series Chapter books (Fiction)

Work-in-Progress Mom

Stay with me…this is a long one (well, it’s all relative, right?)…

I was feeling “stuck” and it was not a good feeling. The pressure of being pulled in all directions to do all the things can be overwhelming. Knowing endless nights that flowed into mornings was not quite great, because there’s that whole HelloMornings thing ;p , but mostly “angry” mom is not a pleasant person. I knew that I must become of student of how become “unstuck.” This was just the place this lifelong learner found herself!

What I’ve learned…and what I’m still learning:

I have learned that practice does not make perfect, but practice does make progress.

I have learned that small steps can move us in the right direction.

I have learned that sometimes there are even steps backwards…but that is okay, because…

I have learned that there is hope…for ALL OF US…because there is grace…for ALL OF US…because there is love…for ALL OF US. Thank You, Jesus!

I have learned that those in my life really, really love me to stick around for this long! :p Again, thank You, Jesus!

Where I’m at…and where I’m going:

I’m not quite “there” yet, and I know I never will be…wherever “there” is anyway…but I can move where God is calling me, I can learn to love better, I can grow in the things I am passionate about.

An Invitation

If you have felt “stuck” or are feeling “stuck,” I invite you to join me, in my journey as a work-in-progress mom…a work-in-progress human, really, in this upcoming year. I’m not sure what it will look like, or what my plan is, but ideas are swirling in my head, and I know that the peace I have felt from putting into practice some of the things I have been learning through my discipleship group, through mentors (virtual, through books, and IRL), and His Word has been amazing.

booksasmentors

Without realizing it, I had a “theme” for each year, these past 3 years or so – Discipline, Still, Reflect. (There seems to be a trend in my post with the quotation marks, huh? :p I didn’t intend to do that…the thoughts are just flowing from my mind through my fingertips.) And I don’t know what this upcoming year holds, and I don’t even know that I am ready for it, but I would really appreciate a buddy, a community, a village of work-in-progress humans to go through it together.

And in this journey, I will probably have some resources, and books OF COURSE!, and people, I would love to learn from…I may share them on this blog, or I may share them in something new I would love to start, so hang tight with me while I figure all of this out.

There are SO MANY things to share, but one thing I was glad for this past year was some thoughts from Michael Hyatt, who was the former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, best-selling author, and speaker…and it all started with this free PDF download that I believe I hesitated to download at first…because free things aren’t always what they seem, but as I am learning, sometimes it all depends on what we want to take away from any lesson in life.

Thanks for getting through all those words (and quotation marks and ellipsis)…I haven’t blogged much this past year and the words are many. If you are interested in hearing more of what I will be up to, email me at joyce319 at gmail.

Whatever I will be up to will most likely include a mix of encouraging and inspiring content, as well as practical (monthly) “challenges” (i.e. to help with emergency preparedness, becoming clutter free (a la Kathi Lipp), managing your calendar, digital organization, getting to Inbox Zero (or close to it!), and more!)

Examples of topics:
– spiritual and personal development
– family and home
– health and wellness
– career and ministry
– fun and community

USS Hornet Museum {Field Trip 2016}

20160915_161316
Captions by: Melody
Introduction and Photos by: Joyce
Free passes courtesy of Alameda County Libraries’ Discover & Go Program
More info here –> USS Hornet Museum

While I’m not a fan of the high cost of living, I love being here in the San Francisco Bay Area! It is our never-ending playground! Most, if not all, of you know that we love the library. (We’ll need to do some kind of blog post about this sometime!) This school year, we decided to make use of the Alameda County Libraries’ Discover & Go Program. There are so many participants in the program, it can be hard to choose which one to get passes for. (They are all a little different…some will take mobile passes, some you have to print out, some are for 1 adult and 2 kids, some are for a total of 5 people, etc.) I had been to the USS Hornet Museum as a kid, but this was the girls’ first time there. I thought they would be bored (which was quasi-true toward the end of the loooong tour…still interesting, but it involved a lot of walking and they wanted to explore on their own). We got there later in the afternoon because we went to the Japanese Garden and lunch with my mom earlier, so we will definitely have to go back again some day. Also great to see my high school friend Carrie! She will be in the museum store if you ever stop by. It’s a bit lengthy, but Melody did a fantastic job sharing how our day was like at the USS Hornet Museum, so read on, friends!

Before We Got There
At first, when we were trying to find a place to park, we didn’t know where to go, because the USS Hornet is kind of in a place that reminds you of a shipyard. Actually, it is! Some of the ships can instantly take off anytime the US declares war, but others, like the USS Hornet, are retired, and cannot go anywhere else. And then, after we finally got to where the ships were (that was scary!), we had to find parking. We couldn’t tell where the USS Hornet was, because it was so hidden. After we found the correct place to park (after 10+ minutes!), we saw a sign that said: “Welcome to the USS Hornet Museum.” And that’s how we found it!
20160915_140846
Also, when you turn to the left of the sign, you walk to this walkway and it leads you to these stairs. Actually, a lot of stairs. I (Melody) am scared of heights, so I was terrified at the thought of ACTUALLY entering the USS Hornet – the real one, not a duplicate. We had to cross of the water to enter! <gulp> The thought of me falling! But luckily, we made it, and I’ll tell you the rest, just scroll down and I’ll tell you facts…
20160915_141137

 

Guided Tour
Yes! You made it! Okay, so we went on the guided tour, but not the audio tour. I don’t know what the audio tour is like, because I only went on the guided one, but I looked at the handbook on the ship, and you get to see more on this guided tour. We had a guide named Dennis, who used to be a high school principal. This was the last tour of the day, so we made it just in time. There was another guy named John, and he was actually a veteran of the war, and it was cool that he was there and we met him.
20160915_144218
Here is a view of the runway from a place up above (I forgot where exactly) and when I heard the news, I couldn’t believe my ears. Being a captain, or on the crew, is a very hard job! You only have one chance to land your plane on the runway, and five seconds before those yellow-black thingies release a net that stops the plane. But this can actually still not stop the plane from crashing! This is why you have to be very skilled and trained in order to fly these types of planes.
20160915_144750And this is a view from a lookout on the ship. Here’s another fact for you: During the war, the places where the ship’s lookout and the ship’s captain were were on opposite sides of the boat. In order to tell the captain there was an enemy ship advancing on them, or there was a bomb coming, a crew member, only about 16-18 years old, sometimes WITHOUT training, had to race up or down those very hard steps to climb, and then back down again to keep his post. Whew! Being a crew member is very hard work!
20160915_144756

This was one of our last stops on our tour. This is one of the most important rooms in the entire ship, where the controls of the ship are. After the lookout tells the captain, the captain runs to the control room and tells the person standing there to stop the ship – well, not without help, of course. You can also steer from this room, which is why this is such an important room that the captain spends so much time in. He even has an extra bedroom right next to it, so he can be up and ready to go in case of danger!
20160915_151635

 

Looking Around
After the tour ended, Dennis told us we could just look around if we wanted. So we did! See these planes? They are mostly army planes, and they didn’t tell us, but I think the reason why it is a shark is to scare enemies away, and if it didn’t, to remind them that we Americans are fierce. And it was so windy there, so make sure to bring a coat if you ever go there!
20160915_154256
We actually stood on the runway, where we began our tour, of course, after we climbed some steps! I think my legs needed some serious exercise before then, so people, here is your workout for the week! And there is the view of the Bay again – just beautiful, I just love seeing the Bay.
20160915_154413
20160915_154446This, I believe, is a Army helicopter. But the USS Hornet didn’t only carry army supplies. It picked up Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, the first men to walk on the moon! if you don’t know this, when astronauts return from their trips, a ship usually picks them up. And Richard Nixon also stepped foot on the USS Hornet! Amazing!
20160915_154509After we returned from all of that wind, as you can see from the previous photos, we climbed all of those stairs again and then saw this plane. It’s an original Navy plane!
20160915_154815
We didn’t have any coins with us, so we just traded in dollars for cents, and then after that we got pressed pennies from the museum store. There were many different options, and we got them all! I don’t know about you, but still, after all this time, I still enjoy watching those pennies transform.
20160915_155830Then, as we got ready to leave, I saw something that caught my eye. A ship registry! It was for everyone to sign their names. I just love registries! So I wrote our names down in the book, and then we walked out the door.
20160915_160758

 

All in all, I think our trip to the USS Hornet was great. I learned a lot. Before, my cousin went to the museum, and I thought, “Oh, it’s just some old museum that you learn a few facts and then you leave.” But I really learned a lot, and I highly encourage you to go for a day. It’s still the same ship that it was so long ago (it’s held up by ropes) and there is a whole ton of history behind it. I shouldn’t reveal any more to you, because then you won’t learn anything when you go! The USS Hornet is really and truly amazing. Go and learn more about it!

20160915_161542

Tips: Wear comfy shoes if you take the guided tour! Bring a jacket to wear, it is windy out there.

What are some of the interesting local-to-you spots you have visited as a tourist in your own town? Does your library have a Discover and Go-type program? If you are in the SF Bay, where are some of your favorite places to visit or where would you like to go visit?

Check out more photos in our USS Hornet Museum PHOTO ALBUM.