Day 4: Back to the Bay {Tahoe 2016}

Note: Some links in the post will direct you to our reviews of the places. Links to all related/previous posts are at the bottom of this post.

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Day 4 – Monday, October 10
– Check-out: 11AM
– Apple Hill, Placerville / Camino – visited 2 orchards
– Lunch: High Hill Ranch at Apple Hill
– Homeward Bound!

Captions by:
Typed by:
Extra comments (in italics) by: Joyce
Photos by: All the Moys and other various people who helped take our pics

We really didn’t do much on Monday morning since we needed to check out at 11am. Packing up and checking that we didn’t leave anything was what happened.

Aston Lakeland Resort + Village Center 
Aston Lakeland Village Resort is a collection of more than 100 townhomes (1 to 5 bedrooms with free wi-fi) you can rent along with free continental breakfast in the winter months and free kids camp/activities in the summer months. There is also a shuttle that can take you to and from nearby destinations. The resort village also has a private beach with a boat/walking pier that jets out onto Lake Tahoe.

Our 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom with a loft was enough to fit 14 people. You can probably fit 2 more on the couches in the living room. There was a full-equipped kitchen and a mini patio deck. The townhome had 2-bedrooms and 2-bathrooms on the entry-level floor, the kitchen/living room and 1-bedroom/1-bathroom on the second level, and the loft on the top level. The rustic-themed townhome is apparently owned by the Richardsons. They have a big family, which explains the townhome accommodations.

If you have a big family or a lot of people, renting one of these townhomes is the way to go. Plus, you’re right on the lake.

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villagecentertahoe.com/shops/top-drawer
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On the Road Again 
On the way back home, we ran into some traffic.  Apparently, there was road work on a stretch of highway in Pollock Pines. They were one-laning and stopping traffic in each direction. We had to wait 30-40 minutes in stand-still traffic until we were allowed to travel through the one lane.

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Apple Hill, Take 2
On the way up to Tahoe, we didn’t pick up apple items for friends and family, so we decided to pick them up on the way home. We were also on the lookout for elusive APPLE MILKSHAKES.

The first stop was High Hill Ranch, one of the top apple orchards in Apple Hill. We ate a late lunch and in the same building, there was a window to watch workers cutting apples.

The apple milkshakes were being sold at “The Wine Shop”, which also sells Apple Beer, Apple Wine Spritzers, and Cider Champagne. We ordered the Apple Cider Shake and Caramel Apple Shake. They were the only non-alcoholic beverages sold at “The Wine Shop”.

Abel’s Apple Acres was our last stop where we picked up Apple Butter, Apple Fritters, and Apple Bread for home.
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And then, we were back in the Bay before we knew it!

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And so ends our trips for 2016. Where should we go next?
Click on the link to view the DAY 4 ALBUM.

Related Posts: Tahoe Trip 2016 Part 2 Recap | Day 1: Jelly Belly Factory | Day 2: Apple Hill | Day 3: South Lake Tahoe

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Day 3: South Lake Tahoe {Tahoe 2016}

Note: Some links in the post will direct you to our reviews of the places. Links to all related/previous posts are at the bottom of this post.

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Day 3 – Sunday, October 9
– California / Nevada Stateline (Van Sickle Bi-State Park)
– Lunch: Heidi’s Pancake House
– View of Lake Tahoe from beginning of the Vikingsholm Trail
– View of Lake Tahoe from private beach at Aston Lakeland Village Resort
– Dinner: Base Camp Pizza Co.

Captions by: Melody
Extra comments (in italics) by: Joyce
Photos by: All the Moys and other various people who helped take our pics

We went to Van Sickle Bi-State Park on Sunday. It was nice, and I was excited that we got to see the state line for the very first time! Then after, we went to Vikingsholm Trail and the elevation was so high, but the view was great!

Van Sickle Bi-State Park 
We went to the state line at Van Sickle Bi-State Park! It was cool that we jumped between the state line and we could stand in both states at the same time. (Thanks to some new friends we made at the state line, Heather from Sacramento and her mom from Colorado Springs, who helped us take our pic for us. The mom was so sweet and told us where we should stand for the best pic. :p )
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Heidi’s Pancake House
We had gone to Heidi’s Pancake House before in the winter, and it had yummy food. So we went there again. On the top of the walls, there were sculptures of Heidi. I had heard of the book Heidi before but had never read it, so this week, after our trip, I went and checked out that book from the library. At Heidi’s, I got the same thing as last time, The Matterhorn, which has a choice of two pancakes, two wedges of French toast or home fried potatoes, and includes egg plus two strips of bacon, but I chose sausages instead.
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Views of Lake Tahoe
Like I said at the intro, the elevation was great (more than 5,000 ft.), but the view was impressive. In the 2nd and 4th pictures (below), you can see the island behind us. That island is the only island in all of Lake Tahoe. When we were standing and taking the 2nd and 3rd pictures, I was so afraid I would fall, because you can’t stand on the rocks behind us – that is unless you want to fall to a certain death with a drop of more than 5,000 feet. In the 5th picture, we were on our way to a waterfall, but a lady came up to us and said that the walk was too far down for us to walk, and plus, someone had gotten stung by a bee just then, which is probably why I saw so many bugs when we were getting out of the car. So we just took a picture and left, because we had already assumed the waterfall was dried up due to the California drought.
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Before dinner and after we got back from Vikingsholm trail, we took a walk around our place, since it is right on the beach. The beach is private, so we walked along the dock, which is also private, and took this picture. Very pretty.
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Since we don’t own a TV at home, free time on our vacations is spent watching TV at our hotels. I watched the Food Channel, and Emily watched Sprout and Disney Junior. I watched Halloween Baking Championship and Halloween Wars. It’s funny how they have it on TV at the beginning of October when Halloween is on the 31st of October. (The main floor of the townhouse was the second floor where the living room and kitchen/dining room was located, so our rooms downstairs were fairly cold, thus the snuggling in their sheets and pillows.)
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Click on the link to view the DAY 3 ALBUM.

Related Posts: Tahoe Trip 2016 Part 2 Recap | Day 1: Jelly Belly Factory | Day 2: Apple Hill

Day 2: Apple Hill {Tahoe 2016}

Note: Most links in the post will direct you to our reviews of the places. Links to all related/previous posts are at the bottom of this post.

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After we went to Jelly Belly Factory, we stayed overnight with our friends’ house. Then, in the morning, we left for Apple Hill, which was about a hour’s drive away. The mom and older sister had to go to softball practice, so we arrived separately and met at Boa Vista, the second orchard we visited.

Day 2 – Saturday, October 8
– Apple Hill, Camino – super crowded, so we only visited 5 orchards
– Arrival in South Lake Tahoe at dinnertime
– Staying at: Aston Lakeland Village Resort

Captions by: Melody
Extra comments (in italics) by: Joyce
Photos by: Joyce and Norm

Below is a picture with me and my friend on our drive to one of the five orchards we visited. It was a little blurry because the road was bumpy and we were in the car. She asked to go along with us that time.
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Abel’s Apple Acres
Our first stop was Abel’s Apple Acres. (Kind of a tongue twister, right?) They have all sorts of baked goods there. My friend got a caramel apple there and then I had an apple donut. I also had part of an apple fritter too, and we bought apple cider. Then we got a pizza slice. (Because, a “real” lunch was needed. 😉 ) It was REALLY good and also very big so I had to share it. Also, there is a picture below with a bear. Reminder: if anyone ever wants to go there, there are two bears out front – Annie the Apple Bear and Andy the Apple Bear. Take a picture with them. There are bungee cords down the hill, but you have to pay to go on them.3 4

 

Boa Vista Orchard
Our second orchard at Apple Hill was Boa Vista Orchard. There, you can pick apples, but we didn’t do that because it was very crowded. We also tasted some samples of apples. Fresh apples = good. I ate the Empire apple and the Candy Crisp apple. If you haven’t heard of either of these, the Empire is a little crispy and sweet. The Candy Crisp is very crispy (like it’s name) and sweet. They also have a little shopping area with things that people sell there.
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Kids Inc
Just like it’s name, Kids Inc. is completely kid-friendly. They have: Kids arts and crafts, You-Pick pumpkin patch, pumpkins and apples, Corn Maze (all ages), Junior farm tours, and a nature trail. There is a very big hill that leads to the little kid corn maze. Kids were rolling down it. There was one girl and her mom, and they had their pumpkin. But unfortunately, their pumpkin rolled down the very steep hill! They also have vineyards at the end of it, so the pumpkin rolled INTO the vineyards! The dad went to go get it, but I think they should have gotten a new pumpkin instead of going through all of that trouble later.
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Rainbow Orchards
After that, we went to Rainbow Orchards. They are famous for their Apple Cider donut. This was our friends’ last stop, so we said goodbye and took the picture below before they left. There are benches that you can sit at there also.There are: Hay Bale Hop-a-Crooked-Mile, “Piper’s Pumpkins” Photo-Op Wagon with Heirloom Squash and Pumpkins, and a Fresh Cider Mill. We didn’t go to these because we didn’t have enough time, but I’m sure they are very good.
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Honey Bear Ranch
Our last stop was Honey Bear Ranch. We went to this one by ourselves, and it was very quiet there, which I liked better than all of the orchards, which were crowded. They have very good apple milkshakes there, but they didn’t have any left, because it was later in the day. There they have a waterwheel, a fish pond, and lawn area games.

 

Welcome to South Lake Tahoe
We drove to South Lake Tahoe from Apple Hill. This was 1 hour and 15 minutes, but because of traffic, it took us more than 2 hours to get there. We arrived at dinnertime. I had forgotten how much elevation there was there. I couldn’t look down almost the entire time. On our way there we passed Strawberry (population of 50 people) and Twin Bridges (population of 10 people).We stayed at Aston Lakeland Village Resort, which is a townhouse place. We went with my dad’s parents and his brother and his wife. We rented a 3-story place with 4 bedrooms and 1 loft bedroom on the 3rd floor. Then, we made fried rice there for dinner.
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Click on the link to view the DAY 2 ALBUM.

Related Posts: Tahoe Trip 2016 Part 2 Recap | Day 1: Jelly Belly Factory

Day 1: Jelly Belly Factory {Tahoe 2016}

Note: Some links in the post will direct you to our reviews of the places. Links to all related/previous posts are at the bottom of this post.

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Day 1 – Friday, October 7
– Departure was after lunch since Norm had a work thing in the morning
– Jelly Belly Factory, Fairfield – factory tour
– Arrival in Auburn was later than expected after fighting the Friday night traffic
– Dinner: Chick fil A (our first time!!)

Captions by: Emily
Typed by: Melody
Extra comments (in italics) by: Joyce
Photos by: Joyce and Norm

We went to Jelly Belly Factory as our first stop on our way up. Here’s our story:

On the Road
On the road, we had a bunch of stuff in the car and we were all packed up and ready to go. We played lots of games in the car, like Spot the Different Car Colors and I Spy. There wasn’t a lot of things to spot out there. (We did spot license plates from about 7 states.)
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Jelly Belly Factory Tour
There were a bunch of Jelly Belly beans there. The first thing we saw when we got there was a Jelly Belly Factory car with Jelly Belly beans on it. You might not see it there if you happen to go there. When I entered the building, I saw giant Jelly Belly Bean balloons hanging out of the ceiling. They were gigantic!
3This picture was inside the Jelly Belly Factory Tour. Be sure to keep your hats on! (This was not our first time at the Jelly Belly Factory, but it was the first time taking the tour. We learned a lot of new things!)
4These were real Jelly Belly Beans in the mosaics. I liked all of them!
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10There were a bunch of jelly beans that they made. Did you know that it takes 14 days to make one Jelly Belly Bean?
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We played this game where you have to drag all of the jelly beans that are oddly shaped or the wrong color up. There are ones like this in real life. These jelly beans are called Belly Flops.
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Here’s some info on the free self-guided factory tours that are offered to the public daily:
– Updated HD/4K quality videos to give you an up-close-and-personal look at our candy manufacturing
– Interactive exhibits and games along the tour lane
– A self-guided walk along the elevated, ¼ mile long tour lane to give you a bird’s-eye view of the entire operation.
– Free samples at the end of the tour

Other fun stuff at Jelly Belly:
– Browse the Jelly Belly Jelly Bean Art Gallery
– Shop the Jelly Belly Candy Store
– Dine at the Jelly Belly Café
– Shop the Jelly Belly Chocolate Shoppe and Fudge Counter
– Sample your way through the Chocolate & Wine Experience

Welcome to Auburn
(After the Jelly Belly factory, we started making our way up to Auburn. Our friends recently moved up there so we were making a fun stop before Tahoe. We got to eat at Chick-fil-A for the very first time. We do have ones closer to home, but we’ve just never had more reasons to make a trek there. (Yes, I know…the sauces!! :p ) We give it a thumbs-up, but didn’t take an pics while we were there since we were eating and catching up. Then we ended the evening with chatting, unboxing a double oven, and Jenga..and a movie for the girls.)
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Click on the link to view the DAY 1 ALBUM.

Related Posts: Tahoe Trip 2016 Part 2 Recap

Tahoe Trip 2016 Part 2 Recap

20161007_144516Since we are replenishing the funds after our Australia trip 😉 , our trips this year were closer to home. We went to Tahoe in the winter and decided it would be fun to visit again without the snow.

Before we made our way to Tahoe, we stopped off in Fairfield, Auburn, and Placerville/Camino for a factory tour, visit with friends, and hanging out in the orchards (respectively). It has been a long time since we have done a detailed trip recap, but if any ONE of our handful of readers is interested, we will write more!

If you have asked us or will ask us what we did, the answer was and is that we didn’t “do” much of anything. :p Sometimes, it’s nice to just “be”.

Big thanks to the Bagais for having us as houseguests! And also thanks to the Moys (Norm’s fam) for being our travel buddies this round, and making yummy meals when we didn’t go out to eat.

Day 1 – Friday, October 7
– Departure was after lunch since Norm had a work thing in the morning
– Jelly Belly Factory, Fairfield – factory tour
– Arrival in Auburn was later than expected after fighting the Friday night traffic
– Dinner: Chick fil A (our first time!!)
Read about Day 1 HERE.

Day 2 – Saturday, October 8
– Apple Hill, Placerville / Camino – visited 5 orchards
– Arrival in South Lake Tahoe at dinnertime
– Staying at: Aston Lakeland Village Resort
Read about Day 2 HERE.

Day 3 – Sunday, October 9
– California / Nevada Stateline (Van Sickle Bi-State Park)
– Lunch: Heidi’s Pancake House
– View of Lake Tahoe from beginning of the Vikingsholm Trail
– View of Lake Tahoe from private beach at Aston Lakeland Village Resort
– Dinner: Base Camp Pizza Co.
Read about Day 3 HERE.

Day 4 – Monday, October 10
– Check-out: 11AM
– Apple Hill, Placerville / Camino – visited 2 orchards
– Lunch: High Hill Ranch at Apple Hill
– Homeward Bound!
Read about Day 4 HERE.

After a busy start to the new school year and adjusting to new schedules and new groups and new plans, the trip was much-needed and very relaxing. We will add links to this post as we do reviews and daily recaps. Have you traveled lately? Where have you been? What should be our next destination?

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Summer Reading Programs 2016

As I mentioned last year, our family needs no incentive to read, but it is a fun bonus when there’s a prize for reading books. I’ll add to this list as the programs start and updates as we finish them! 🙂 TIP: Make sure to have a timer on hand to track those minutes! Pizza Hut BOOK IT! App is great for this!!

CEREMONY(Click HERE to read about some books and series we recommend.)

Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Triathlon
Half Price Books Summer Reading Program
Alameda County Summer Reading Game
San Leandro Public Library Summer Reading Challenge
Others


Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Triathlon
b&n reading

The free book prize is listed for kids in grades 1-6. If you have done this program in the past, it looks like it is different this year. Print out the form HERE, have your child answer the questions, drive them to your closest B&N, and choose your free book! There is also an activity kit on the site for more reading fun for the summer. Runs May 17 to September 6. 2012 |  2013

5/26 Update: The girls were able to go with their friends to redeem their prizes (and make other non-essential purchases). They all chose books from series that were new-to-them!

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Half Price Books Summer Reading Program

There are two programs at Half Price Books – one for 8th grade and under and one for high schoolers. Not sure we have many blog readers with high schoolers, so for my sanity, I’m just sharing about the one for younger kiddos. Print out the form HERE, read for 15 minutes daily from June 1st to July 31st, add up minutes, get parent/guardian initials, turn in complete reading log (300 minutes/month) after the end of each month to earn $5 toward something in the store. I believe there is a kick-off event Sunday, June 5th.

7/5 Update: Well, we went into turn in the June minutes, and the girls decided to save their $5 Bookworm Bucks to use after they finish their July minutes. It was a hard decision as you can tell from the pics below. There were so many books they wanted, and they were calculating which ones they could get without wasting any of the $5 because if you don’t use it all, it’s gone. So…they are hoping some of the books they wanted will still be there when we go back in August to redeem the Bucks.

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Alameda County Summer Reading Game

There are programs for all ages at the Alameda County Library branches. This year, there are two options – go and pick up a game board and/or play online to collect badges! I love this added online option because the girls go through their reading so quickly. I actually tell them not to color in what they have actually read because no one will believe them. #bookworms If you participate with the game board at the library, you will get one spin for every 30 minutes read. To get the first prize, you need to get a row stamped like in BINGO. For the final prize, you need to get all the squares stamped. If I did my math correctly, you would need to read 24.5 hours to complete the board. You can check here for the online game –> summer.aclibrary.org. The last day to sign up is August 13th. You can spin until August 20th. You have to claim your prizes by August 31st. 2010

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6/22 Update: Melody got a BINGO on her gameboard and received her first prize, which included passes to Chabot Space & Science Center, Legoland, The Lawrence Hall of Science, and sticker sheet, and a Smencil.

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6/29 Update: Emily got a BINGO on her gameboard and received her first prize. Melody got a blackout on her gameboard and received her final prize, which was a book of her choice. She chose Dragonwings by Laurence Yep.

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7/13 Update: I finally got 25 points, which is the halfway point, so I got my first prize. We love these book bags. Now we have them in four colors. Emily got a blackout on her gameboard and received her final prize, which was a book of her choice. She chose Flower Designs Coloring Book. I thought she would go for one of the fairy books, but I was wrong. :p Note: We go to the library every week, but the other weeks when she spun the wheel, she never got enough squares stamped even after completing the hours to color in the sports balls and some of the activities. She pretty much had to do all the activities to get her board stamped. And even then, when she spun the wheel, it took a long time because she kept spinning squares that were stamped already. All that to say, you need a bit of patience when getting those last few squares stamped.

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San Leandro Public Library Summer Reading Challenge

There are programs for all ages at the San Leandro Public Library branches. Same details about online and reading log, but the difference is how you receive prizes. If you participate with the reading log at the library, you will get your prizes for every 6 hours read. The log goes up to 24 hours, but you can get an extra card to complete more hours. (This is different for toddlers.) You can check here for the challenge –> SL summer reading. The carnival is on Saturday, August 13th. 2010 | Completion 2010 | Melody 2011 | Emily 2011 |  Carnival 2011

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6/28 Update: Emily completed 6+ hours of reading for her 6 hours of reading prizes, which includes passes to Fairyland, Oakland Zoo, Lindsay Wildlife Experience, The Lawrence Hall of Science, and a prize of her choice from the prize board (she chose a bracelet and Melody chose a pen bracelet). Melody completed 12 hours of reading, so she got all of the aforementioned items, plus Loard’s ice cream gift certificate, 1 Free Junior Green Fee at Monarch Bay Golf Club, and a raffle ticket to enter the drawings available (she put it in the Great America envelope, also available was the Ringling Bros, Oakland A’s game, SF Giants games, Water World, etc.). (FYI, these statues at all the libraries are their favorites since they were little. :p The statue people didn’t want to look at the camera for the pic though. haha!) Oh, and I got one card to put in for the weekly drawing. 🙂

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7/5 Update: Emily finished 18 hours of reading, so in addition to the 12-hour prizes (she put her raffle ticket in for bowling), she also received a swim pass, a free Mini Murph Pizza Kit from Papa Murphy’s, and a prize of her choice from the prize board (she chose the pen bracelet). Melody finished 24 hours and received the aforementioned, plus an invitation to the summer carnival, a free Chipotle kid’s meal, and a raffle ticket for a grand prize. I think she put it in the bowling envelope as well).

20160705_12530620160705_125015 7/8 Update: Emily finished 24 hours of reading! She collected all her prizes and put her raffle ticket in for bowling. I guess they want to go bowling! :p Also, she really likes that dress. 🙂 Also, it was an oddly cold summer day and we all brought out boots back out.

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I’m not familiar with the rest of these summer reading program, but you can check them out for more free stuff! I’ll add in the dates as information arrives.

Blog Year in Review {2015}

Hi Friends and Family!

Well, we are halfway through January already, and I am just working on this post about last year. We didn’t blog much this past year because “Be still, and know that I am God” was definitely on my heart. There is always something exciting about a new year, but I think any day can be a fresh start. That’s something I learned from being still. 😉 So we are excited for what all of 2016 holds for us, and you too! Thank you, our precious readers, for hanging out in this virtual space. Here’s a look at the past year on our blogs:

We didn’t quite blog enough to have a good top 10 and bottom 10 from our blog this year, but we still have 20 posts for you. Here are 20 blog posts from this year, the Top 10 posts from our family blog (the one you’re reading!), and also the Top 10 posts from our review blog. We don’t get many views on our review blog even though we have giveaways (hello, free stuff, people!), but again, we are equal blog post opportunity bloggers. We love all of our blog posts equally! :p

Top 10 from Our Family Blog

  1. 31 Days To An Organized Christmas
  2. Book List 2015
  3. Summer Reading Programs 2015
  4. Traveling with Kids
  5. Homeschool Supplies We Love and Use Daily
  6. Australia Trip 2015 Recap
  7. Christmas Lights in the East Bay
  8. Gift Guide: Series Chapter Books (Fiction)
  9. My Norwex Experience
  10. What Do We Have Hair?

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Top 10 from Our Review Blog

  1. When Calls The Heart
  2. Nichole Nordeman – The Unmaking
  3. Christy Nockels – Let It Be Jesus
  4. Michael W. Smith – Sovereign
  5. Philz Coffee Truck
  6. We Choose Virtues: Parenting Cards
  7. Hillsong United – Empires
  8. NIV Bible for Teen Girls
  9. Passport2Purity Getaway Kit
  10. Strong & Kind by Korie Robertson

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What are you looking forward to in 2016?

Happy New Year!

Christmas Lights in the East Bay

These are a few places we like to visit to see lights. You will have check their social media pages or website for more updated information, like the days and times the lights are on. Christmas Light Finder is one site to find info as well. (Thanks for the tip, Anita!) You can also use California Christmas Light too. Maybe I’ll add some pics in the future, but I thought this would be useful for anyone who doesn’t want to drive aimlessly around looking for just one or two houses with lights (or one string of lights :p ). I am sure there are more I am unaware of…for now. 🙂 Share you favorite spots below! P.S. I know there are some great places in San Francisco and the Peninsula as well…another post for another day perhaps. 😉

Livermore Lights (season 3 winner of The Great Christmas Light Fight) – livermorelights.com *NOTE: MOVED TO MICHIGAN…but looks like there may be a Bay Area display sometime?

Deacon Dave’s House of the Dove is also in Livermore – casadelpomba.com

Widmer World in Pleasanton (was featured in The Great Christmas Light Fight) – widmer-world.com

Christmas Tree Lane (a block of houses on Thompson Ave) in Alameda – facebook.com/christmastreelane and yelp.com/biz/christmas-tree-lane-alameda

Crippsmas Place (50+ homes) in Fremont – crippsmasplace.org


**MOVED TO TRACY**
The “Star Wars” and “Frozen” theme lights
 that was in Newark on the corner of Ruschin Drive and Lafayette Avenue (also featured on The Great Christmas Light Fight) is no longer there anymore…okay, the house is there, but the owner has moved. He is now in Tracy. If you don’t want to drive out to Tracy, just show this on the big screen and turn the AC on, maybe just a spray bottle to have some mist…or more if El Nino decides to show up. facebook.com/TracyLightShow/
Light show from 2014 (Newark): Star Wars – youtube.com/watch?v=z5dfpe_-Lgg and Let It Go – youtube.com/watch?v=pLphb8s0W88 :::
Light show from 2015 (Tracy):

Other old related posts:
joyceandnorm.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/christmas-lights-2012-part-1-of-2
joyceandnorm.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/christmas-lights-2013-friend-edition

Gift Guide: Children’s Christmas DVDs

We thought we would throw some DVDs into the mix. I *think* some of these are available to stream, but you can make sure to have them on the list of movies to watch for next Christmas if you decide to buy them. Since we don’t own a TV, we don’t own a ton of DVDs, but we do check them out from the library and watch them at family members and friends’ homes. 😉 Thanks family members and friends! 🙂 And all that to say, there are lots of Christmas movies we haven’t seen yet. We would love some recommendations!

Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas, Saint Nicholas: The Joy of Giving, The Little Drummer Boy, The Ultimate Christmas Collection – What’s not to like about talking vegetables? :p Every show has a great lesson for the kiddos (and adults) to learn. There are a few other Christmas DVDs, but I don’t think we have watched them before. You can find a PARENT GUIDE to the themes of all the VeggieTales DVDs on their website.
saint nicholasdrummer boy

What’s in the Bible Christmas – I love this DVD because we get to see how all these Christmas symbols came into being. The tree, candy canes, stockings, Santa Claus, the word Christmas. It does talk about the background of Saint Nicholas, so depending on what emphasis your family has put on Santa and your kiddos, be prepared for questions. THIS POST on the What’s in the Bible? website gives a good review of what the DVD covers.

The Promise: Birth of the Messiah – We got this DVD two years ago, and it is still one of the girls’ favorites for Christmastime. There are some pieces of the real Christmas story that we usually don’t discuss or see as often when we think about Jesus’ birth. You can read a more DETAILED REVIEW of this DVD on our review blog.

A Charlie Brown Christmas – Definitely a classic, but beware if you haven’t watched this one in awhile, remember that they do use the words “stupid” and “blockhead” quite a few times. I think the girls mentioned this in passing one time, but otherwise, it has gone mostly unnoticed.

Mickey’s Magical Christmas – (Mickey’s Christmas Carol) – This one is not available on DVD anymore, but it is a compilation of some older Mickey Christmas films, but is shown as old videos in a “current day” setting when they are snowed in at the House of Mouse. The whole casts of Disney movies are there to help a friend find Christmas joy again. Mickey’s Christmas Carol is one of the features in this movie.

The Polar Express and The Original Christmas Classics Gift Set are also great. The girls haven’t watch The Polar Express and it has been years since we checked out the book from the library, but I watched it with my students when I taught PreK.

Coming soon will be a gift guide for non-fiction books, Christmas books, and books on our to-read list! I already share the books I have enjoyed reading each month (although I still need to give an update for this month), so check out the complete book list HERE and some of the monthly updates HERE.

What Christmas movies do your children enjoy watching? What did you enjoy when you were a kid?