Thursday, December 3, 2015

Wrapping it up...

Next week we move so we are really wrapping things up around here. 
Saying our goodbyes, visiting our favorite places one last time. 
And enjoying just being together in the same country. We thankfully had Adrian home for the holidays. It was great to be back together the long distance and commuting has been tough. We are really looking forward to being in the same country again. 
I keep thinking about all my favorite things here in California wondering how I will live without my mountain hikes and fresh tacos with gaucamole. But life goes on and I will have to find some new favorites. Or maybe someone can ship me Cali taco ingredients!! 

Hiking our favorite spots...

Enjoying time with Family 

This is my Women's Bible Study group hard to believe but I have been with this group a year and a half. I am really going to miss these ladies. I learned so much from our group sharing and studies. 

Here is my husband who is enthusiastically adjusting to life in England!! Love the bowtie.

Every adventure and every move for our family changes us in some way. We always get to meet great people and learn and experience new things. I am excited to see what this new season brings for us. We were hesitant at first about moving again. If you had asked us a few weeks ago I think our answer would be different. But now I think we are all ready to hop on that plane and get over there and start something new. 

The Secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new!

Friday, November 27, 2015

A different kind of Christmas

Can you believe the holidays are upon us? I hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving. We are super low key around here this year. We are just so thankful to be together as a family and that is what we are celebrating.

 The last several years our family has tried to walk off the beaten path with Christmas and we have tried to find different ways to celebrate rather than just the usual go to the store and participate in the Christmas shopping madness. Each year our family pushes further from retail and we look for more meaning in the holidays. I will share with you some of what we have done with links in case you have been on the search as well for some more meaning, community, or charity in your Holiday Season.  

You can make handmade home spun gifts  Handmade Holidays  
Angel Tree is a great organization to bring Christmas to children who's parents are in prison
You can support the clean water crisis in Africa Blood Water
You can purchase a farm animal for a family in another country Heifer International
you could donate to Samaritans Purse who are doing a lot for the refuges coming in from Syria they also have the famous Operation Christmas Child and you can fill that shoe box!

You can decorate duffle bags for local foster kids with Together We Rise

You can volunteer with your local food bank and give something very precious your time San Diego Food Bank 

Some other ideas...
REI closed their stores this black friday and it was #optoutside. How about rather than shopping you go for a hike or walk grab your family and go on an adventure

Patagonia is promoting to repair your clothes rather than buy new. They have videos they have been putting out on tips for repairing your ripped or torn gear.
Get out a mug out and put it on your counter and instead of going to Starbucks put the money that you would have spent in your mug instead and have coffee at home. You will be surprised how much you can save by saying no to Lattes and Mochas. You can then take that money and donate to your favorite charity, or make some goody bags with neccesities for those that are homeless in your community.

You can donate your old jeans to Madewell and they send them to a charity that then turns them into insulation for Habitat for Humanity and other organizations to put in the houses that they build. So those old jeans sitting in the back of your closet could actually be the thing keeping a family warm this winter! And if you do this they give a $20 coupon to go towards a new pair of jeans. Thats a win win!! Or you could start your own denim drive with your family and friends the instructions are on their website. 
Blue Jeans Go Green 

I hope this post inspires you to think outside of the box or in this case the retail stores this holiday season. 
Please feel free to share and leave your favorite charities or different Holiday ideas in the comments below. 

#thinkoutsidethestore #bighugs #Friends&Family #neighborlylove #whatcanIdoforyou #Itsnotaboutme
#shopyourcloset #handmade #madewithlove #optoutside 
#loveoneanother #itsbettertogive #repurpose #coffeechallenge

Monday, November 16, 2015

Art Classes

My art class is winding down we only have 2 classes left till the end of the semester. I have had such a great time with these kids I am really going to miss them.
Today we did a continuous line drawing. I got the idea for this off Pinterest, here is a link for the website this came from Owl Drawing
Supplies: Paper, Sharpie, Markers 
The kids had a great time with this it's a mix of control with lots of freedom for expression. 
Great for your elementary aged children. 
Here are some pics from the lesson today

The world is but a canvas to our imagination 
~Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Here we go again.....

I am not sure exactly what it is about my husbands job that makes this happen but it seems always near the 3 year mark a move is in the forecast. Yesterday as I was at the Veterinarians office getting 2 of our dogs ready for another move our Vet commented and said it had been 4 years. That's almost a record. Alaska still holds the title though for our longest stay. 

So here we go, The Watts are moving again. So far we have it planned to be gone for a year but you just never know so we shall see what happens from here. This move will be really different for us now that our kids are getting older.  Noah my oldest will be staying behind and continuing at college. He is busily into his second year now and is working towards the long term goal of becoming an Equine Veterinarian.

Our other 2 kids will be coming along on this move. Although we are still working out lots of details. I think this has been the most complicated move yet. Our middle son graduates this year. If senior year isn't busy enough try sorting out a move right smack dab in the middle of it to another country nontheless. 

The last few weeks have been a whirl-wind sorting out the ranch and getting ready. Hence the lack of blogging posts sorry for the lack of action over here it has all been behind the scenes work. It is really funny how life catches up with you sometimes. Or maybe life runs ahead of you would be a better way to describe it. Thankfully finding homes for all our ranch animals went really well, and much quicker than I expected. And I was really happy with the homes we found and the people that they went with. I was particularly happy that a friend from church now has my horse. It makes it easier when you know you can still visit your furry friends and keep in touch. And I even made some new friends in the process of all that. 

But wait I haven't even said where we are moving to this time. It will be another overseas trip for us. We are moving to England. We have rented out a very cute little thatched roof cottage in a village that has like 100 people. This should prove to be a very fun and memorable adventure. The weather in Southern California has been so hot we are all super excited about the cooler temps and have been very busy digging out sweaters and socks from the back of our closets. 

Having grown up in a common wealth country I am really looking forward to this. It reminds me of Canada which really gives me that nostalgia feel of home. I have been over to England a few times now and I really like it. I am hoping it will give our family a chance to slow down and enjoy life at a different pace.

My husband has been working overseas for months now and the separation has been really hard on all of us. We are all very eager to get under the same roof again. I have found that through this experience and the separation my priorities have really shifted. I am feeling like things that were important to me before just don't matter as much anymore. And for me that has been a great change! Change is not easy and having moved as much as I have you would think that I could just roll right with it. But I am here to say honestly I am never that graceful about it. This time grasping the idea of moving again was a little rocky for me at first and hard to wrap my head around, but overall it has been a good thing. It really got me out of the clouds and focused back on whats important in life. Rather than being stuck on a place or things I would much rather be stuck to the people I love in my life. Home is where the heart is. 
So here we go again!! 

Just when I think I have learned the way to live, Life Changes 
~Hugh Prather 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Vista Fiber Arts Fiesta

First let me say we had the most amazing day today of fall weather...yes it will be back up to 99 degrees by the end of the week but it was wonderful feeling the cold air and rain. Even the animals loved it. We just went through the hottest September I can remember and we really needed a break in the heat.

This past week has been the week of fiber arts. I finally decided to get busy with my alpaca fiber. I joined a local spinning class to learn how to spin. I cleaned and carded some of my alpaca and it just so happened that this weekend was the Fiber Art Fiesta up in Vista California.

The Vista Fiber Arts Fiesta is my favorite festival. There is a huge barn filled with looms and spinning wheels. All sorts of different vendors selling yarn and fleece and rovings and anything fiber art you could imagine. They also sell some really awful chili that I eat every year and say why did I just eat that??

This year I purchased some sheep's wool to mix with my alpaca and some other rovings of bright colored wool to practice my spinning with. Anna bought her first large loom. She found a wonderful antique tapestry loom for a great price. I can't wait to see what she makes on it.

Here are some snap shots of our week filled with fiber...

and a nice nourishing bowl of hearty soup to sooth the tummy after weekend chili mistakes. 

~George Elliot 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Its the Great Pumpkin Smoothie Recipe

Hopefully you got to see the moon this weekend. To me it looked like a giant pumpkin floating up there in the sky. It put on quite a spectacular show this weekend. 

This is a picture of the moon from this morning. He woke up like this hehehe Looking good even though he has been up late every night this week. 

If your feeling like pumpkin I have a smoothie recipe for you!
Chocolate Pumpkin Protein Smoothie *vegan

You need a blender ~here's what you put in it. 
1 cup of unsweetened almond milk 
1/2 cup of frozen organic pumpkin
1/2 banana 
1 tablespoon of creamy almond butter
1 tablespoon of cocoa powder 
1/2 tablespoon of ground flax 
1 scoop of your favorite protein powder ( I use Vanilla Raw Protein which is *Gluten Free *Vegan)

If you wanted to give it more of a fall kick you could add some nutmeg and cinnamon. I also like to add some probiotics for a healthy gut.  I like to add an extra cup of water and a few ice cubes since I do not prefer an overly thick smoothie. Hit that blender button and Viola you have one nourishing smoothie great for breakfast. 

Aim for the Moon if you miss, you may hit a star ~ W. Clement Stone 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Long live the summer!!

while everyone is pumpkin spice this and ankle boots that...I am trying to figure out how to stretch out the summer just a little longer...

By all these lovely tokens September days are here, with Summers best of weather, and Autumns best of cheer ~Helen Hunt Jackson 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Southern California Style

Sometimes you need to just get outside and play thankfully we have lots of places in California to do just that. Some people probably run to the beach on the weekend in Southern California but in our family we run to the mountains. We love spontaneous, impromptu adventures. The kind where you wake up eat breakfast throw on your shoes and leave a trail of dust behind.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Weekend In Wales

So to make a long story short my husbands job is currently in the UK. He bounces around from England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. He has been doing a lot of commuting back and forth and sometimes I have been able to travel with him. Over the summer we had the opportunity to road trip and we drove all over Europe. We went to Amsterdam, France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Scotland, and England. That was like crossing off a bucket list all at once which I will definitely have to write and share about in a future post. But that's a story for another day.

Just 2 weeks ago around the time of my birthday I was traveling with my husband and we decided to take a little road trip. We initially had planned to spend the weekend in Scotland (my most favorite place in the world) but we just did not feel up to the 8 hour drive. So we picked someplace closer that he really likes and we visited Wales.
He rented out for us a vintage Airtstream camper which was like heaven on earth after staying in stuffy hotel rooms all week.

It turned out to be a pretty memorable weekend. We did some hiking around a ruined castle, crawled through a cave, drove all across the countryside, cooked good food in the camper, and got some much needed R&R. Oh and I want to publicly thank my husband for putting up with me. I am not a savvy traveler and it is not easy traveling with a girl who has multiple food allergies and has a tendency to get hangry. He really should be sainted.

I will be daydreaming about this place and the time we spent together for a long time to come...

I was trying to day dream but my mind kept wandering...
~Steven Wright