Welcome to the life and times of John, Alisha, Micah, Caleb and Lima the dog!

Monday, June 29, 2009

First Annual Williams West Coast Family Reunion

This weekend, we participated in the First Annual Williams West Coast Family Reunion, a.k.a. camping in Sequoia National Park.  My Uncle Paul invited quite a few family members to make the trip to Sequoia National Park to go camping for the weekend.  I think the first time the trip was mentioned was while everyone was in Ft. Worth, Texas for Rebekah and Justin’s wedding last August (special thanks go to Rebekah and Justin for getting married so the idea could be planted way back then).

Not everyone could make it on the trip this time.  But since we all decided to do this annually, you can come next year.  It ended up being Joy, Sean, and Amber Mack (and Amber’s friend Madison), Uncle Paul and Jacob, and the Stults family.  Alison and Lori came up for the day on Saturday as well.

Uncle Paul and Jacob got there early on Friday to reserve our campsites.  In my opinion, they were the best campsites out there.  We camped right underneath two giant Sequoias.  We had a huge campsite (since the two campsites adjoined each other) and we weren’t too far from the bathrooms (a big deal for a girl who prefers a real potty over squatting in the woods).

Here’s the view looking up from our campsite:

133 149

While dinner was cooking, John took the boys to explore.  They ended up doing a little rock climbing, but couldn’t do as much as John would have liked since he had to also keep an eye on Caleb.  But they had fun nonetheless. 

038 043 048 053

For dinner, we had hamburgers and roasted marshmallows for S’mores.  Joy and Sean also made a chocolate cake with cherries in their Dutch oven.   DELICIOUS!  I think there’s something about campfire cooking that just makes it taste better.

066  069


We enjoyed getting to sit around the campfire and tell stories and catch up on what everyone has been up to.  We finally called it a night and headed to the tent.  Sleeping in a tent with a 4 year old and almost 2 year old is not all it’s cracked up to be.  Both ended up waking up in the middle of the night, so John and I each had to cuddle up with one of them.  Needless to say, we didn’t get much sleep.

The next morning we woke up bright and early thanks to two little boys.  We had breakfast.  Uncle Paul had mentioned that there was this lake that you could fish at near the YMCA camp.  He said it was about a mile hike to the lake.  John had been really excited about getting to take Micah fishing, so all of us loaded up into our car and Joy’s Suburban and headed out.  Uncle Paul stayed at the campsite to wait for Lori and Alison.

We got to where we needed to park.  We unloaded the boys and the gear we needed for fishing.  Caleb was already cranky at this point thanks to his very early morning.  We started walking down the trail.  Both boys weren’t in the best of moods, but we decided to keep trekking.  Joy’s family was ahead of us.  We had maybe gone 3/4 of a mile when Joy came back to where we were to say that they had just seen a sign that said it was another mile and a half down to the lake.  I decided that I was going to head back with Caleb since he was so cranky.  The rest were going to continue on down. 

Now, the walk down wasn’t so bad since it was downhill.  But I wasn’t taking into account that if you go downhill, you must go UPHILL to get back to where you started.  Add to that the kicking and screaming little boy I had to carry and 6500 feet elevation and it does not make for an entertaining trip back up the hill.  Caleb finally cried himself to sleep on my shoulder by the time we made it back to the car.  I got us back to the campsite and laid him in the tent to finish his nap. 

A short while later, the rest of the group came back.  They never made it to the bottom.  They had changed their minds and came back up the hill.  They ended up going to Hume Lake to do their fishing.

081 082

086  104


Micah really enjoyed getting to go fishing.  John said that Sean would catch a fish and then call Micah over so he could reel it in.  But Micah probably wasn’t doing it just right so the fish ended up getting away.  There was one fish actually caught.  Then Sean told Micah to throw the fish back in since it was so small.  John said you’re supposed to put the fish back in the water gently and it will swim away, but Micah literally did what Sean told him to do.  He heaved that fish back into the water.  John said that you could see the fish flying end over end.  Hopefully no fish were harmed in the making of this memory.

While the fishermen were gone, Joy, Amber, Madison, Uncle Paul, and I got to visit with each other.  Lori and Alison arrived a short while later.  We had lunch and then all the fishermen got back.  John went off to take a nap, and the rest of us decided to go look for the Chicago Stump.  We had to take some bumpy trails but we made it.  Sean, Madison, Amber, Jacob and Alison all climbed up on top of the humongous stump.



This is the only group photo that we have.  Sean took the picture, and Madison didn’t want to get in it.  And John’s not in it because he was back at camp taking that nap.  But at least we got almost everyone.


After the Chicago Stump we headed to go see the General Grant Tree.  Caleb fell asleep in the car, so the rest went to go look at the tree.

125 130131129

We got back to camp.  John, the teenagers, and Micah decided to go off exploring and rock climbing.  I knew we wouldn’t be able to do as much as them, but I took Caleb so we could watch.  John just kept saying afterwards that he was so proud of Micah for all the climbing he did.  He was doing it all by himself, and didn’t need John for any help.

134 136

We had another delicious dinner that night.  Sean made hobo dinners that you wrap in foil and cook over the fire.  They were so yummy!  And of course, what is camping without some more S’mores?  We sat around the campfire, and only ended up telling one ghost story.  John and I were really tired, so we tried to go to bed early.  Again, it was not the best night’s sleep I’ve ever had, but it was better than the first night.

In the morning, we had breakfast and started breaking camp.  The Mack family had to drive all the way back to Las Vegas so we wanted to make sure they were able to get an early start.  Once we were all packed, we said our goodbyes and headed off to home.


We had a really good time.  We all enjoyed our West Coast family reunion and thinking up ideas on how to make it better than the Texas family reunion.  You might be asking yourself, is that a challenge?  And I say, you betcha it is!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


One of the blogs that I read is called A Cowboy’s Wife. She has a photo contest going on right now called the Blue Ribbon Photo Contest. This month, the theme is faces. If you read my blog regularly, you will have already seen this photo. But I wanted to submit it because it is a picture of 2 of my 3 favorite boys.


John took this when he and Micah went to the Dodgers vs. Rockies baseball game back in April. I just love Micah’s expression in this picture. He’s just got such pretty blue eyes! And if you have been hiding under a rock for the past 4 years and didn’t ever notice it, you should notice by now that Micah is John’s mini-me.

The rules of the contest say the photo has to have a name, so I'm calling this picture "Me and Mini-Me." Of course, the "Me" I'm speaking of is John, not actually me...Micah doesn't look anything like me.

Anyhoo, I hope I win. The prize is a Flip Mino HD Video Camera. The contest ends on the 20th. So there’s time if you want to enter a picture in the contest as well. Good luck if you do.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sleepover fun

Last night we had our nieces, Taylor and Madison, over to spend the night.  This was the first time Micah has ever had a sleepover.  John and I wanted the kids to have fun, so we decided to let them camp out.  We put up the tent in the living room, got their sleeping bags ready and then got the fire started in the fire pit in the backyard.  The kids were so excited!

005 009

We roasted marshmallows and made s’mores.  They were yummy.  John and I got the best end of the deal because the kids didn’t want marshmallows that had burned spots (those are the best, by the way) so there was more for us to eat.  Madison decided she didn’t like s’mores and just wanted the chocolate.  So we let her eat just chocolate.  We had already decided to let them stay up as late as they wanted, so we didn’t worry about the sugar high they were going to get.

When we were done roasting marshmallows, John put out the fire and we came back inside.  We had faced the opening of the tent towards the TV, and we put in a movie we had rented.  The kids had fun playing with the flashlights, drinking hot chocolate, and watching the movie.  When that movie was over, we let them watch Wall-E.  Our only rule by this time was that they had to stay inside the tent. 

We checked on them about 10:30, and this is what we found:

001 004

All 3 kids were asleep.  And Micah had fallen asleep with his head propped up.  I’m glad I had my camera.

We thought for sure that this would mean that they would sleep late.  No such luck.  We forgot to factor in that Caleb was sleeping in his crib and didn’t stay up as late as the big kids.  He woke up at 6:00 this morning, which ended up waking up the big kids.

For a special treat, I made the kids chocolate chip Mickey Mouse pancakes with whipped cream.  They ate a ton of them! 


We let them play around for a while, but then we got them dressed and took them to a nearby park that had just put in a new playground.  The kids had fun exploring all the fun parts of the playground.

023 045

The kids were getting tired so we went back to the house and had a snack.  Taylor and Madison both ended up falling asleep in their sleeping bags until their mom came to pick them up.  I think the kids definitely enjoyed their sleepover!


Friday, June 12, 2009

Ragamuffin Express

Guess what!  I just got done making myself a logo.  Why do I need a logo, you might ask.  Well, I’ll tell you.  I’ve decided to try to be crafty and sell stuff that I’ve made. 

I’ve kind of put the cart before the horse, though.  I created an Etsy account, which is a site where you can sell handmade goods.  Then I thought I would need a name for the stuff I sell, so I decided on Ragamuffin Express.  I came upon that because I plan on selling a variety of things.  Also, my Uncle Leslie used to call me Ragamuffin.  So it also has sentimental reasons.  And lastly, a lot of Christians call themselves ragamuffins.  I’m kind of good at procrastinating, so there may not be any “express” about it, but I thought it sounded good.

I also decided to create a button where people could just click and be directed to my Etsy site.  The only problem right now is that I don’t have anything listed to sell yet.  So it doesn’t really work yet. 

I’m pretty proud of myself because I came up with my logo all by myself.  The only problem is that I made it too big and I didn’t know how to size it down so that I could make the button for my blog.  Luckily, my friend Stephanie from middle school offered to fix it for me.  Yay for old friends!

I know that this blog is kind of rambling, but I’m just so excited that I don’t want to take the time to make it make more sense.

Wanna see my logo?  Here you go!


When I finally have something to sell, the button on the left sidebar of this blog should begin to work.  At least, that’s why I think it isn’t working yet.  We’ll see.

Oh, I guess I should tell you what I’m planning on selling. 

  • I’ve been making the children’s fleece blankets that you tie together for a while now as gifts at baby showers, so I thought I would sell those. 
  • Also, I just started making Scrabble tile pendants and glass tile pendants for necklaces.  I don’t have a finished product yet, or I would show you a picture. 
  • I also started making 8x10 clippie holders for girls’ hair clips.  Those are basically picture frames with fabric and ribbon so you can attach all your little girl’s hair clips and keep them in one place.  I have some made, but I don’t have pictures yet.
  • And I will try to sell whatever else I come up with.  That’s why it’s kind of a mish-mash of different things.  A little of this and a little of that.

In addition to selling on Etsy, I’ve also been thinking of renting booths at local craft fairs.  The Lompoc Flower Festival is too expensive for me, but the Lompoc Old Town Fair will be starting up next month and I think I might try it out.  I will definitely let you know how it goes.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Micah goes to school

Micah started preschool on Monday.  He’s going to a cute little school called A Child’s Village.  Their summer program started on Monday, so we enrolled Micah.  For right now, he will be going on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday until noon. 

We had been talking to Micah for a while about him starting school.  He wasn’t too sure at first, but he was pretty excited about it the night before he started.  Poor kid was so amped up that he just couldn’t go to sleep.  He kept getting up and coming out into the living room with any excuse he could think of. 

Monday morning we had his backpack ready and his lunchbox packed.  He was so happy!  John will usually take him to preschool, but I just couldn’t miss his first day!  So all four of us went to wish him well on his first day.  John left for work, and I almost started crying when I went to hug and kiss him goodbye.  But my big boy just went and played with a new friend like he had been doing this all along.  Caleb was actually the one crying because he wanted to stay too.

051 053 054

I went to pick him up after lunch.  The owner was there, and she said Micah did really well, except for one thing.  She said that they were showing the kids all around the school and Micah pulled the fire alarm.  I guess the alarm scared him, and he wet his pants.  They were able to call off the fire truck, so they didn’t get into any trouble with the fire department.  She said that it ended up being a good teaching experience, because they showed the kids where all the pulls were located and explained that you only pull those if there is a fire.

Today was his second day of preschool.  He was so excited to go, and John took him.  He had told me though, that he wanted me to meet his friends when I picked him up. 

Caleb and I went to pick him up this afternoon and I talked to his teacher.  She said that he wet his pants again.  She thought he was afraid to go while he was there.  So I said that I would take him while I was there.  I went and got him and he absolutely refused to go.  He started to cry.  I didn’t want to make too big a deal for fear that it would turn him off of going there all together.  So we are going to have to encourage him to try while he is there.  The owner said that he might have accidents for a while when he first starts, since that is what most kids do.  We’ll have to keep working on it.

All in all, he is having a great time at preschool.  This week they are learning about safety.  I don’t know if it was on the schedule, but they now know about fire safety, thanks to Micah.  They have a lot of fun things planned for the summer. 

John and I were told by Micah the other night that he can’t go to school on Friday because that is when we vacuum the house.  So I guess we will have to figure out how to get him to go on Friday.

Texas, Part 3

OK, I think I can finish it all up in one post.  The boys are napping, so here I go. 

Saturday evening I had plans with two of my oldest (as in time known, not age) friends, Deanna and Shauna.  I got to see Shauna on my last trip to Texas, but I didn’t see Deanna, and I got in big trouble for it.  So we planned a girls night out for while I was back in Texas.  We ate and played games at Dave and Busters and then went to Cowboys dance hall afterwards. 


Shauna was already having fun.  Can you tell?  It was good to see them and get to catch up on everything we’ve been doing.

Sunday was the day of Christina’s bridal shower.  So I was up early and my mom and I were trying to get things done at her house, since she had offered to let us have the shower there.  Corrie, Emily, Mr. & Mrs. Blakeney, and cute little Killian all showed up with everything else we needed for the shower.  And the rest of the bridesmaids showed up soon after.  We were ready just in the nick of time.

While the girls were all busy with the shower, Grandpa took Micah and Caleb to Jumping Jym, a bouncy house place.  The boys had a blast and came home sweaty. 

All the pictures from the shower were taken on my mom’s camera, so I don’t have any to post.  But the food was delicious and Christina got a lot of nice presents. 

The biggest thing that happened at Chris’ shower was that she started crying.  If you know my sister, you know that she is not one to cry.  But she started when she was trying to thank everyone and trying to explain how hard it will be for her to move away from home.  She has lived in New Braunfels for the past 16 years.  But the best is yet to come for her, and as it was pointed out a few times by others, at least she is in the same state and can visit easily.

My cousin Tre’, his wife Christina, and their kids Chloe and Noah drove down from Ft. Worth so that Christina could attend the shower.  After the shower, we all got to visit with each other.  Micah really liked playing Chloe and Noah, and Caleb enjoyed following all of them around.  It was really cute watching Tre’ play with Caleb.  Usually Caleb is shy around new people, but he really took a shine to Tre’.  I was really tired, or I would have taken more pictures of everyone together.  But this is the best I could do.


When Tre’, Christina, and the kids left it was time to get packing, since we were going to fly home on Monday, Memorial Day.  We might have stayed a couple more days, but the boys started getting really homesick for their daddy a few days into our trip.  Luckily, we were able to catch a very full flight to LAX, and John picked us up.  You have never seen two boys more happy to see their daddy!

We had a great time while we were in Texas, but their is really nothing better than your own bed to sleep in.  The boys did really well, but I think this might be the last of our long visits.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Texas, Part 2

Friday night, I got to go out with my friend Kathy and have a good time visiting.  We went to see Night at the Museum 2 and then went out for a little Mexican food.  Yum!  Mexican food is just not the same out here as it is back home.

Saturday Christina and I took the boys to the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch.  It’s pretty cool.  I had never been to anything like this before, but you get some animal food and drive around the ranch.  The animals come right up to you to eat.

Beware…Lots of pictures to come.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  Continue at your own risk.  OK, you’ve been sufficiently warned. 

And by the way, I don’t know all of these animals, so don’t ask me what they were.  I can only name the obvious ones.  We were too cheap to buy the book that told us what they were.  I’m a Williams, what do you expect?  The name might have changed, but this girl is still a Williams.

090 098 108

It was really neat.  We let the boys out of their carseats, and Micah had the whole backseat to himself while Caleb stayed up front with us.  The animals would come right up to us.  I was really impressed with my boys.  They weren’t scared one bit.

085 088

092 095

097 101

102 104

The ranch has all sorts of animals.  We saw a lot of deer, and some other deer type animals, and other deer type animals.  Christina warned me of taking too many pictures of the same animals, but I just can’t help myself.  So you, my friends, get to suffer through all these pictures.  It’s kind of like a newer version of those vacation picture slideshows our parents’ friends used to make us sit through.  Welcome to the 21st century version!

120 122 121

 106 123

Then we got to the zebras.  These were what I had been waiting for!  They were pretty cool.  The people in front of us kept spooking them and they would run off, but then they came right up to the car and ate from our hands.  What a neat experience!

128 132 130 133



141 144

127 126 125

Next, we came upon the ostriches.  Christina warned us that we would need to roll up our windows when we got to the ostriches because they will come right up to the car and peck at you.  Plus they have those long necks and they would come all the way inside our car.  But she said the trick is to throw some of the food onto your windshield.  Then the ostriches will peck the food off of your car.  And that’s exactly what they did.  One ostrich even came to my side and thought my finger was some food.  He pecked at my window for what seemed like forever, thinking he might finally get my finger if he tried hard enough.  Caleb and Micah weren’t too sure about that.

149 155 157 158 159 160

We got through with the drive-around tour right before it started to rain.  There was a petting zoo that was covered, so we parked and went over to check out the goats.

169 165 171 173

                 We had a great time.  This is my favorite picture. 


Whew!  I’m exhausted just typing this entry.  The rest of our trip will have to wait until another time.