The Annual Labor Day Avoid the Crowd Coronado Trip

Another year in Coronado!

We have a strategy. Go against traffic.

My favorite poem of all time is “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. The last line is “I took the one (the road) less traveled by and that has made all the difference.” So, we take it to heart in everything. What is the crowd doing? GO the opposite direction. Alas…we are on our way to the beach as others are coming back. Brilliant.

Dougy (as Tot calls him) shows up early enough (heehee) and we (he) pack(s) up the car as we watch the spatial awareness genius occur.

Pictures before take off:

OK, now that that is over, when are we stopping to get coffee? First things first.

The minute we get in the car:

  1. Mommy, when are we going to be there?
  2. May I have a toy?

She was made aware that every 50 or so miles, a new “something” would be made available to her. That is code for NEW TOY TIME!

Mama packed her about 12 beanie babies, Doug bought a few goodies like a Paw Patrol set (winner!), and I brought a few Superhero figures and this magic coloring book. The CARS table helped immensely. Thanks, Dougy! We are getting better at this every single time.

Driving was just fine because we had plenty of podcasts since talk radio was …well, repeats since it was Labor Day. Not much juicy politicy stuff.

When is lunch? This came pretty quick, and shoot, I wouldn’t mind a Subway visit since it’s been since the LAST Coronado trip we went there…or some road trip.

Aha..we made it.

We all got our usuals since we all (well, Doug and me) are limited in our choices. Tot got some bracelet thing that was the size of her ankles. We tried it on her nose with little success.

Why did we do this? Because, in El Centro, CA, in the middle of not much, you make the best of a situation. Plus, we have ONE POINT FIVE HOURS till the WATER!!! We must press on.

We arrive in Coronado around 3:15 and head to the El Cordova. We loved staying there last year.

Upon dropping off our stuff, we literally changed in 10 seconds and walked/ran to the beach. Time is awastin’!


The usual happened. I run into the water with her and she runs away.

And she kept running. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

She did stop for a quick pic:

and then…..back to running. OOF!

A little salt in the eyes and sand in the ears. That’ll stop the running!

We had to bribe her with a fish taco waiting for her at La Salsa to get her to walk away from the water. We knew that we had a whole extravaganza day planned tomorrow. So we head back, picked up dinner, relaxed and turned in early.

With little sleep despite efforts, we are ready to face the absence of any stress for the next day.

Stay tuned!………

Show, Tell, and Skate!

Today was Tot’s first day to Show and Tell at school. She wanted to bring this devotional book we read every night! I was surprised and pleased at her choice. I gave her a Coronado shirt just in case they wanted to know what that was about. (more on this in the next post!)

Supposedly, she handed the book to Coach Matt and said, “This book my mommy and I read.” She spoke so softly no one could hear, but I told her I was proud of her! She will do better every week. Coach Matt and Ms. V were proud of her as well.

After this, I picked her up and we went to see Grant. Going to the rink together is a joy I love to share with Tatum. She loves learning to skate with Grant as her coach and cheerleader, and I get to watch with a front row seat as I skate around her.

Today, he put little fishes on her arms to keep her arms OUT without letting the fishes fall.

What fun! She did fall, and she got a bit discouraged. I reminded her this is part of learning and it means she is trying!

Today was filled with many “failures” which only help her grow and learn. It gives her motivation to try again and try again. There is no perfect, but there is perfect practice!

I love you, Tatum.

Lots of love in this family

This little girl brings out the love in everyone.


We adore you Tot.


And you know what? We were reminded that it’s truly the LOVE of Christ which CAN control all we do if we keep JESUS at the center.

Yes, I love my family, Tatum, Doug and Mama DEEPLY.

But it is the LOVE of Christ which controls me, motivates me and helps me love my family and others even deeper.

For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all.” 2 Cor 5:14. 

Cricket love

The other day, Tatum asked what was that chirping sound. I said that the crickets like to chirp at night. She asked me if they were mean or nice. I said they are harmless and basically just hop around chirping.

This gives context to our morning today.

Tatum had  me “come quick, Mommy!” right during the making of the oatmeal. This cannot be interrupted unless you want lumps. Buuuuuuut, it was urgent! So the oatmeal had to wait. Sacrifices!

Tatum showed me the little baby cricket in the hallway. This was the emergency?

Well, it gets better. She began singing to it. I mean belting away the tunes right to its little self. It didn’t move much so she sang louder. This trumped the drinking of her milk which, if you know Tatum, is unheard of. She wanted to return the love of his chirps.

Mommy, I think he’s dead. She blamed Coti. “He smoooshed it!” (I did not want to break her heart and tell her he was already dead, so we went with the Coti excuse).

She now had a sad song to serenade it.

I’m sure there’ll be more crickets, honey. 


How can you possibly love a pair of shoes? I mean, they go on your feet and they walk on the ground. The ground!

I guess that is exactly why you should love your shoes. You walk on your feet all day long, and if your feet are happy, you tend to be quite content.

This is exactly how Tot and I feel about these crazy shoes called Dawgz. (I like to call her’s Puppyz!)

First, we got one pair and now it’s growing.

They are therapy for your feet, seriously.

Today, I gave Tot a new pair for her Friday surprise. She loved them so much she gave them a bath, treating them like a true pet.

Now not only are her feet content but quite clean!


A Final Fun Frivolous Friday, Fish and all

Starting next week, Tatum’s and my fun day will be moved to Tuesday. The big reason? Show ‘n’ tell takes place EVERY Friday. How can I deny my child a chance to bring in her fabulous stories accompanying some showcased item? I couldn’t live with myself. Monday is PE, Wed is music, and Thursday is chapel, so Tuesday seemed perfect. Notice, I’m not focused so much on her academics. (she gets enough of that with mom and me). Socially, she could benefit from the showing and telling, connecting with her classmates. Especially since she leaves at noon each day, whereas the other students stay till 3:00.

So, with that, we decided to hit the art cart, add a little salt to our project, and we have a winner. Salt, you ask? Well, first, we read the wonderful You be You book. It’s full of colorful various fish, no one alike.

We took a black pastel and drew a fish! (on watercolor paper)

Then it was time to paint the water with watercolors

We sprinkled salt to get that ocean effect

She pointed out that she drew this puffer fish.

Now let’s design the fish!

Here he is! Colorful, isn’t it?


Now a quick bit of homework. Take your time Tot. She likes to rush!

Do your best we always say!

Now, it’s off to see Grant. She adores him.

Bonus: I get to whirl around as well. She starts with her hands up, then..



and now TADA!

He was so proud of her, she got a HIGH FIVE! She is really improving every week.

I’m proud of her as well. What a fun Friday.

I love being with you, Tot!