Saturday, July 23, 2016

A New Family Member ~ Harley!

The Farrell-Landers clan has been wanting a new dog to our family for the past year.  Since I am allergic to most dogs, including our current fifteen year old dog, Capone, we wanted to make sure that our next one would be suitable for me.  Typically, these types of dogs are not available through shelters or rescue facilities and so we were seriously looking to obtain our next dog through a breeder.  However, last week, Josh's sister, who was also looking to get a new dog, spotted a dog for us through one of her web searches and immediately emailed Josh, who, in return, emailed me.  Here is his profile from

After viewing his information, I immediately told Josh we should contact the rescue and check him out.  Josh emailed the contact and after much back and forth over the course of three days, we finally made an appointment to meet Hootie last Saturday morning.  He was so precious and good tempered.  My only concern was his size.  At eighteen weeks, he already is much bigger than we wanted, but all of his other qualities were exactly what we wanted..  If you can believe it, we actually left our first visit without him.  We wanted some time to think about him.  However, it didn't take us long, actually about fifiteen minutes, to decide that he was the dog for us.  So, we turned the car around and made Hootie a member of our family.  

The first thing we decided to do when we received him was take him immediately to the groomer.  He fur was all matted and he still had tons of all of the other dogs dander on him, so we want to get him cleaned up. Here is his before and after:

After we picked him up from the groomer, we went to Petco so the kids could assist in picking out all of his stuff.  It has been a long time since we have had a puppy.  We also conducted a family vote to change his name.  We all, except Aiden, decided on Harley.

So far, he is transitioning nicely.  He and I instantly bonded, but at first, he was super cautious of the kids and Josh.  Each day, he gets more and more comfortable with his new home.  The kids love him and wish that he wasn't so weary of them.  He and Capone are still getting used to each other.  She realizes he is here to stay, but she isn't too happy about it.  Potty training is in full force, so is walking on a leash.  He loves rolling in the grass and bringing me little treats from outside like leaves and sticks.

Welcome to the family, Harley!

Friday, July 22, 2016

40th Birthday Girls Trip!

Ten years ago in July, six of my college sorority sisters and I decided to celebrate turning 30 years old with a trip to the Big Island, Hawaii.  It was so much fun that we wanted to do it again for our 40th. This time we choose Central California as our destination locale.  We rented a house near Grover Beach (near San Luis Obispo) and spent five days enjoying each other and the beautiful area.  It is truly amazing that, even though we do not see each for extended periods of time nor do we speak to each other daily, when we all get together it is like time has never passed.  Twenty years of friendship is truly incredible!  I cannot wait to start planning our 50th birthday trip.  Where shall we go this time?

40th Girls Trip ~ July 2016
Thursday, July 21, 2016

Sharks Swim Team ~ Divisional Meet

Last Thursday, Madi had her last swim meet of the summer season.  It was held at Roadrunner Pool and three pools (including hers) competed.  The meet started at 6pm, right in the heat of the day. We came prepared though with snacks and tons of water.

Throughout the entire summer season, Madi has really enjoyed herself.  Always smiling, making new friends and working hard to better her strokes.  This last meet was no exception.  She did awesome and brought home three 3rd place ribbons and one 4th place ribbon.  Such a huge improvement over last year.  We are so proud of you Madi!

All ready to swim ...
 Getting prepared for her first relay race
 IM Relay ~ 3rd Place
 Staying focused ... apparently not!
Backstroke Individual ~ 4th Place
 Ready for race #3
 Individual Butterfly ~ 3rd Place
 Last race ... ready to swim
Freestyle Relay ~ 3rd Place
 Official Team Swim Photo
IM Relay ~ Swam Backstroke
Divisional ~ IM Relay 
Individual Butterfly
Divisional ~ Butterfly Individual 
Freestyle Relay
Divisional ~ Freestyle Relay
Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Sharks Swim Team ~ Meet #2

Madilyn had her second swim meet on Thursday, July 7th.  This meet was held at our home pool, Sunnyslope. She did great in all four of her events -- two relays and two individual races.  The selected individual stroke (besides freestyle) was breaststroke.  This is not Madi's favorite stroke, but she still did pretty good. Unfortunately, I was not able to attend this particular meet, so, thank you, to my husband for taking photos and capturing this night for me.

Waiting to warm-up
Photos after her races.  She did amazing!
Madi in action ...
2nd Meet ~ Freestyle Relay 
Tuesday, July 19, 2016

4th of July

This year, we spent the 4th of July in Phoenix.  We spent most of the day just lounging and relaxing at home. Our afternoon/early evening was spent at Paige's parent's house for swimming, water balloon fights, food, ice cream, fun and sparklers.  We didn't stay for the fireworks, but luckily, Moon Valley does there fireworks display on the third, so we were able to watch them from our front porch the night before.  It was a very low-key holiday, but sometimes those are exactly what makes it so much fun..

Happy 4th of July
Enjoying ice cream by the pool
Enjoying cupcakes too!
Monday, July 18, 2016

Soccer Camp ~ World Cup

On the Friday of soccer summer camp in Munds Park, Coach Tamera always schedules the kids to participate in a World Cup mini-tourney.  This is mostly so the parents can see how much the kids have learned in a week, but also because the kids just want to play.  And so the kids were divided into teams, boys versus the girls.  They all played so well and in the end the game ended in a tie.  Aiden was able to do a couple break-away dribbles, but Madi was a pretty good goalie and blocked many of her brother's attempts to score a goal.  

Warming up and stretching with Coach
A pep talk with Will
Aiden loves Coach
Ready to play
Brother and sister
Post-game cheer
Playing time...
Soccer Camp Summer 2016