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Reunited!

Guess who I spent the day with on Sunday? Yes, the day finally arrived for me to see my nephews! I was super excited to see them…besides my wedding, it has been years since I’ve seen Brent or Josh and I couldn’t wait to pick them up on Sunday. I had arranged to pick them up from their Grandma’s church in Ventura at 12pm. I arrived around 12pm but from the look of the parking lot, it looked like church was still in session. I found a nice shaded parking space and waited – eagerly checking the church entrance through my rearview mirror.

As I was waiting Dad called and, of course, once I was on the phone I see the church doors open. Then Brent walks out. I wave, but he doesn’t see me. I tell Dad, “I see Brent, but I don’t think he recognizes me!” At that moment Brent looks my way again and I frantically wave my arm. I see a big smile cross Brent’s handsome face and I know he sees me. He comes running over and I give him a BIG hug! Once reunited with Brent, I tell Dad I better get going – we say our goodbyes as I see Josh heading our way. Another BIG hug is given!

Our day consisted of lots of activities! I have to get as much done with them as I can since they are in California for only two months.

The first stop was Wendy’s for lunch. We ordered, ate our lunch, and talked about their schedule. I wanted to get an idea of how busy they were going to be helping their Grandpa so I could figure out which days I could ask to see them. After lunch we walked next door to Starbucks and ordered a few coffees (thanks Josh for sharing your employee discount!). During lunch we had decided to go to the harbor and we decided to buy coffees to drink as we strolled around the harbor. Unfortunately, we never got the chance. The parking lot at the harbor was packed full of cars and there was no parking anywhere! We circled the parking lot at least three times and the street parking was bumper to bumper. I know they were probably a little disappointed when I asked if there was anything else they wanted to do.

We decided to go to the movies and the boys suggested Pixels. I think Bobby mentioned this movie to me before, but I couldn’t remember what the story was about. Checking the movie times on my phone, I saw it was PG-13 so I said, “OK, let’s see Pixels”. When we got to the movies, I still had a good amount of coffee still in my cup. What to do?!

“Maybe I can fit it in my purse”, I said while Josh chuckled at me.

“You think it will fit Auntie?”

“Sure, I can make it fit. I’m not going to waste my coffee!”

And I did! Even though my purse was small, I got it in there and was able to zip it close…although I did have to bend my straw just a bit. ;)

Coffee in hand (err, purse)…we headed inside to buy our movie tickets. Once inside, we found out that the movie was going to be in 3D. Making sure everyone one was okay with that, we purchased the tickets and a bag of popcorn and made our way to “door number 1 on the left”.

The move was fun! It kept us all engaged while delivering action, humor, and an interesting story line. I even heard Brent and Josh laughing at some of the jokes in the story. Overall a good time was had by all.

Me: Hey, why isn't the flash working. Look how weird the photo came out! Josh: Auntie, you had your finger over it (the flash).

Me: Hey, why isn’t the flash working. Look how weird the photo came out!
Josh: Auntie, you had your finger over it (the flash).

There, that's a better picture of these two handsome guys! :D

There, that’s a better picture of these two handsome guys! :D

After the movies, I decided to take the boys to Hueneme so I could pick up my mail. Heading into town I saw a sign that read “Hueneme Beach Festival”. Since we missed the beach scene in Ventura, I thought we could check out the festival in Hueneme since we were headed into town anyway. We picked up a few drinks at the local liquor store and then walked to the beach (we parked in the Wendy’s parking lot since you have to pay to park at Hueneme Beach). I was kind of afraid we would miss out on the festival since it was almost 5pm, but as we got closer to the beach we could hear music playing; a good sign that the festivities were still going on.

The festival was a gated section with vendors displaying their merchandise. A band was playing music and we decided to listen for a bit. Then we continued to walk around as we looked at a few of the booths. Nothing really eye catching, so after circling the area we headed back out.

Listening to the band...don't know who they were, but they were fun to watch.

Listening to the band…don’t know who they were, but they were fun to watch.

Since we were at the beach, we decided to walk the pier. The breeze was refreshing and we talked as we walked, stopping here and there to gaze out at the ocean. Lots of people were fishing off the pier too. It was nice to be outside.

After enjoying the ocean air, we headed to the post office. As we were driving back to Oxnard, I was surprised to see it was already 6pm. I asked the boys if they were hungry and Josh said he was a 6 on a scale of 1-10. We decided on Mexican food.

We ate fajitas at El Torito. I didn’t know El Torito had family style fajitas. It worked out perfectly for us since we all were going to order fajitas anyway. The family style came with chicken, steak, shrimp, and carinitas with bell peppers and onions. Side dishes were refillable and included tortillas (flour for the Beltrans, corn for me) rice, beans, sweet corn mash, guacamole, and salsa. It was SO good! We all ate our fill and we even had leftovers to take home for Bobby!

ElToritoBeltransWith our bellies full of delicious food, it was time to take the boys home.

Thank you Josh and Brent for spending the day with me! I had a wonderful time.

Thank you Josh and Brent for spending the day with me! I had a wonderful time.

Our next adventure will be on Sunday (8/30) – we’re going to go to Bethany Chapel, see Grandma Tanny, put flowers on Grandma Mary’s grave (perfect timing too since Mom’s birthday is that week), and then do a walking tour of Hueneme so the Brent can see where his mommy grew up. Josh has been on the tour already, but I’m sure he’ll still enjoy the wild stories I share about his mom, LOL! :D

I’m so excited! I received a text from my sister saying two of my nephews were coming to California for a visit! This Auntie is stoked and I can’t wait to see them. Now I need to look at my calendar and schedule some time to spend with them. Let’s see…we can go to Hueneme and do the walking tour of their Mom’s hometown. Then we can go to the beach, maybe do some miniature golfing, and of course visit Bethany Chapel. Oh! Can’t forget seeing Grandma Tanny and all their cousins in El Rio…

Can you tell I’m super happy that they are coming? :D

I took this picture off my sister's blog (www.homeschooling6.com) because I don't have any recent pictures of Brent. Can't wait to see that handsome smiling face in person.

I took this picture off my sister’s blog (www.homeschooling6.com) because I don’t have any recent pictures of Brent. Can’t wait to see that handsome smiling face in person.

Josh-Starbucks

Josh working at one of my favorite places. Wonder if he’ll share any coffee secrets with me. ;)

As most of you know, Caleb is in town!   Once I knew about his arrival, I was quick to call Estella – I needed to book my days with him before he became too busy with his California family and friends.  Estella was a sweetheart and I was able have him for the whole weekend – from August 4th through August 5th.  Our agenda?  Check out the pictures below to see what my weekend with Caleb involved.

Saturday – August 4th, 2012

After picking him up at his Grandparent’s house, we headed to the church to pick up a few other kids – our destination…POOL PARTY!!  I was kind of concerned about the Youth Pool Party because the day before it actually rained.  Luckily the day was BEAUTIFUL!  The sun was out and the kids had a blast splashing in the pool.

When first arriving, Caleb decided to wait until after eating lunch before jumping into the water.  Lunch (huge hot dogs and nachos) was served about 20 minutes after our arrival, so luckily he didn’t have to wait long.  Once he was fed, he enjoyed the cool water.  He spent the rest of the time in the pool.  He swan from end to end, practicing the different strokes; back stroke, forward stroke, underwater stroke…okay, I’m making the names up, but you get the idea.  Since Caleb was comfortable in the water and practicing his strokes, I wasn’t as fearful about him drowning like when Annette and Josh were in the pool.  I did watch him with my hawk eye though because I love my Caleb and wanted to make sure he stayed a-okay!

Then after the Pool Party we headed to Ventura.  First we went to Bobby’s house to see a movie, “Roger Rabbit”.  While there, we ordered pizza (Caleb’s choice for dinner) and enjoyed the fun antics of Roger Rabbit.  I could tell from the giggles that Caleb enjoyed it.  His favorite line was, “Oww!  My biscuits are burning!!” LOL

The picture above is where we headed after the movie.  Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures while at Bobby’s house.  So after watching the movie it was almost 8pm.  Since both Caleb and I had to be up early the next morning for church, I decided we should head home…but first we stopped at the Coffee Bean.  Earlier that day Caleb said he liked coffee and I promised him we’d get some.  And yes, we ordered decaf.  I had a regular mocha and Caleb ordered a dark chocolate mocha.

Once home we each took a shower to wash off the summer sweat and pool chlorine before we got into our pajamas and watched a few episodes of DuckTales, again Caleb’s choice (and a good one too)! :D

Sunday – August 5th, 2012

Sunday morning we were up at 8am.  I made some coffee and fixed Caleb some waffles.  He happily ate while watching DuckTales and while I got ready for church.  Heading out the door Caleb said, “That coffee was good!”  Oh how I love this boy!! ;)

We picked up the Fosters and then drove to Bethany Chapel in El Rio.  I walked Caleb to his Sunday School class and then I headed up to my class (I”m teaching the Youth kids while Rachel is on maternity leave).  After class, I headed back down and asked Esther, Caleb’s Sunday School teacher, if I could get a picture of Caleb with her.  She agreed and I took the above photo.  I think they both came out great!  Esther said Caleb was a good student and that he had a talent for drawing.  Caleb showed me his picture and I just had to take another photo.

For lunch we headed to Montezuma’s and again I forgot to take pictures.  I had asked Caleb if he liked Mexican food and he said, “Not really”, and I go, “Oh…”  Then he said, “but I do like quesadillas”, and I said, “okay, then we’re going to Montezuma’s for lunch!”  Caleb enjoyed his quesadilla and I enjoyed my delicious cheese enchilada and tamale. :)

After eating such a yummy meal, we were ready to head to Grandma Tanny’s house.  Grandma was excited to see Caleb and we clicked a few pictures of her with him.  Auntie Rose was there too and so we took some more pictures of Caleb with Auntie.  Then we had a grand ol’ time while Bobby took our pictures and then distorted them with an app he had on his phone.  Let’s see…he made us fat, then old, then he mixed our photos together to see how we’d look if say Caleb was mixed with Eric, or if I was mixed with Auntie, and so forth.  We all laughed as we saw the different pictures.  I might have to ask Bobby for a few copies to share with you all.

While at Grandma’s we found this on a tree.  It caused a debate as to what it was…a lemon, a grapefruit, or a hybrid of some other citrus like an orange or something.  Venessa and Bobby thought it was a grapefruit – Auntie Rose declared it was a lemon – Grandma at first thought it was a grapefruit but then when she asked which tree we plucked it from she said it was a lemon – I had no idea whatsoever because it was huge and I’ve never seen such a huge lemon.  Plus is didn’t smell like a lemon, more like an orange. So to find out for certain we cut that sucker open and discovered it was indeed a lemon!  Wow!

Grandma was gracious enough to serve us some cookies and root beer.  It was a fun time with family!

Next on our list of things to see and do was Port Hueneme.  Linda likes when I take the kids to Hueneme and share with them the areas where their mama grew up.  First we stopped at Anacappuccino – I know it wasn’t there when we were growing up but it is right next to Wendy’s and that has some significance since all us Herrera sisters worked there at one time or anther.  After ordering our drinks we walked down to Willowbrook Dr.  A picture by the good ol’ street sign.

If was fun telling Caleb about different events like when we heard the ambulance’s siren while visiting Auntie Emily, about trash diving, about the time we broke into a house next door with Dad and Mom, about the police jumping the fence and taking our fireworks, and other fun stories like that.  I had Caleb laughing at a few of our Herrera adventures!

We ended our tour of Hueneme at the beach – always a fun surprise!  Caleb had no idea (although Auntie Rose mentioned the beach during our visit…and I had to hush her) we were going to end up at the beach.  As we were crossing the street I asked him if he knew where we were going and he said no.  As we got closer I asked him again and he said, “The park?”  Then I gave him a hint and told him how Grandpa Joe use to fish off the pier…he still didn’t know.  LOL, he was clueless until the beautiful ocean was in view.  Then he became excited and said, “The beach!”

We walked the pier, played in the sand, dug for sand-crabs, and got a little wet!  Yes, truly a memory making moment.

Before giving Caleb back (LOL), Bobby and I took him to Wendy’s and we enjoyed our last meal together.  After being seated I pulled out my phone (I used my phone camera since I had forgotten my regular camera) and asked Caleb, “Let’s get a picture.  I promise, this will be the last one.  So are you tired of taking pictures?”  And Caleb’s answer?  He shyly replied, “Yes”.  I snapped a few more and then we were done for the  night.  He was such a sport!

I had a wonderful time with my nephew and I hope he enjoyed his time with his Auntie.  Hopefully the memories we created during our weekend together will stay with him (and me) for many years!

I do have a LOT more photos to share of our weekend and will eventually add them to my blog (in an album).  Then I’ll share the link here.

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