Where should I start?

The moment our feet hit the land we have been busy busy busy.  Looking back at the calendar I see that we’ve been home for 2 months and this is my first post.  We departed just before dark on an overnight trip from San Diego to Newport Beach.  Passing Mission Bay we saw the fireworks at Sea World and arrived at the entrance to Newport Harbor at first light.  I think that we all enjoyed passages because it was a time of rest from all the chores as well as fun activities life in port had to offer.

We called Krista to come pick Eric up and take him to the car we borrowed from his mother.  Meanwhile the kids and I piled our necessary items up in the cockpit.  I went in for a nap after talking to the teacher in charge of our family at our new homeschool charter school. Oh my, the beginning of schedules and responsibilities.

The Aanonson family had spent some time a few days ago straightening up our house.  Krista filled our refrigerator and left us with a crockpot and a casserole and this was perfect as we had to immediately get started on sorting things out. We spent the rest of the day unpacking everything we stored away in the sisters’ room, rearranging beds so everyone had a place to sleep that first night, and making plans for upcoming projects.


Before we could complete the first task, we had to go up to our cabin in Angelus Oaks and retrieve our cars.  So the very next day up to 5800′ to see what the spiders and mice left behind for us.  Lucky for us, the Aanonson family had been there too!

The place was neat as a pin and looked much bigger than I remembered.  Maybe its because before we left we took a good look at all the kid items and passed them on, donated, and threw away what we thought we wouldn’t be interested in when our kids returned.

Topaz found her pillow bed and grunted a sad sigh thinking about her days swimming off the back of Makai and running along the beach chasing fish.  It took two days to make trips to Costco for new batteries, AAA’s DMV service to get temporary registrations, the SMOG check place for inspections, and the car wash to scrub away the years of pollen and dust.  Finally we had two street legal vehicles to take back.

By day three we were back on the boat moving more of our belonging off, securing lines and setting up fencing and other deterrents for the birds looking for a perch and harbor seals that like nap on the boats.  To try to make us feel better about Makai’s new home we went to the nearby amusement pier for ice cream.

By Monday morning Eric was off to the office and I started on the projects that we had been discussing for weeks and months leading up to our return.  First, we had to empty the bedroom we stored all of our possessions in while we were gone.  Grandma Beth spent the winters here when it got too cold in Colorado and we didn’t want her to have to live with our stuffed animals, exercise machine, books and trinkets. Next was to paint the room.  Before we left I painted all of the other rooms but left this one to be done when it was no longer considered a storage compartment.

That first day with the cars I noticed that my tires had cracks all around the side walls and by the end of the day Eric called to be rescued on the side of the road because his tire split a few blocks from home.  When he went to put the spare on he found out that the lug nuts didn’t line up with the holes on the spare. We were lucky enough to find a tire shop open to switch the tire and rim and as long as we were there Eric went ahead and ordered new tires for both cars.

By the end of the week we were working on the next project.  We all have queen size beds on Makai so the kids and I hatched a plan for queen size loft beds.  The internet offered a hand full of plans to choose from.  Jack is an expert builder and came by with all of his tools to get us started.


By the end of the weekend Roy’s bed was built and prepped, ready for a Varathane clear finish.


The next week was spent getting the loft beds made for the girls.  During the week the kids and collected the wood from Home Depot, had it cut, routed and belt sanded.  Then Eric came and drilled the holes for pre-assembly.


I got the girls involved with the 3 coats of clear Varathane and by the end of the week we were installing the beds in their room.  When we weren’t working on the wood, we were researching and purchasing mattresses.  This was a real headache.  I couldn’t decided where to get them, what time, or how much to spend.  In the end I got cheap 5 inch spring mattresses from Big Lots and put on a nice memory foam topper.


There wasn’t much time for breaks, but we tried to have fun too.  The kids discovered slurpy refills from 7-11. Just like life before we left on our adventure, the Mears and Aanonson kids were inseparable.


We had summer passes to a trampoline place in the mall. Besides trampolines they had foam pits.

And bull riding.

All of our favorite stores are in this mall as well as Walmart.  They have the best deals on bicycles which Roy was in need of.

We also joined Grandma Beth in upgrading our iPhone 4 to the new iPhone 6 plus.

The list of errands was long, but we worked our way through them.

On  another day off we all went to Makai for the afternoon.  Visiting the boat has become a real challenge.  First, we have to have a way to get out to the mooring.  Eric found paddle boards to be a little more civilized than laying in the water and paddling a surfboard back and forth.  Now he keep a paddle board in the garage which can be transported to the bay on top of the Jeep.  From there he paddles out to Makai, unlocks every thing, rolls up the fencing to keep the seal off, lowers the dinghy and comes for the rest of us while I cruise the neighborhood looking for a parking space for the car. Once we get to Makai, we have to start up the watermaker and then wash the pollution dirt off the decks, pull the cockpit cushions out of the salon, defrost the freezer, and unpack.  Whew, are you tired yet?


In the end we get to have guests, Topaz swims, and we can enjoy water sports in Newport Bay.


The Gough family came down from Long Beach in their boat for the afternoon.  Grandma Beth was still visiting with us and we all went on a little harbor cruise for the afternoon.


It was a great day, but we had to get back to work.  Now that the loft beds are complete, the kids need workstations because school this year is going to be more challenging than they’ve experienced so far and their own private work spaces sounds like a good idea.  We made our first trip to Ikea and after being in rural Mexico, Central America, and the Bahamian Islands for the last 9 months, Ikea was just too overwhelming.  After a walk through we left and decided to think about what we saw, shop around a little more and then go back.

They each selected a desk and a chair.  We loaded them onto the car’s roof rack and each kid got out the instruction booklets and began assembly.

Ikea does a great job with their assembly instructions.

Everyone enjoyed assembling their work stations.

Now, like on Makai, they are all very happy to disappear into their own little spaces.

Roy always had his own room, but the girls had to share.  For years they would put book cases up to separate the room in attempt to have their own personal space.  Now they each have a queen size bed and a room underneath it to decorate as they wish.

This year Ikea only offered us two choices in furniture color.  Roy and Genny chose the dark brown/black.

Marie chose white. We shopped around for lights, fans and accessories for their new living spaces.


We have to give thanks to the grandparents for all their help and gifts that helped us get back on our feet on land.

These projects are only the beginning.  I have several more posts lined up, so stay tuned.



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One Response to Where should I start?

  1. Ellen says:

    Glad to see you back posting! missed your daily post!