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July 2011 brought the first of our girls independent vacations.  Kaylee went to summer camp for 2 weeks and loved it.

Family Favorites

Christmas 2011 - Hawaii adventure.   Need I say more?

The 'haps'

December - Disney's Aulani in Hawaii

We headed out for a 7 day Hawaiian adventure. We snorkeled, swam, tubed, slid, went to a luau, explored the jungle both on foot and in a 6 wheel drive, checked out Pearl Harbor and visited all sides of the island. Whew, what at blast! Get all the details here.

October- Halloween 

Halloween brought us pumpkins, decorations and costumes. For school, Michele dressed up as Amelia Earhart and Kaylee dressed as a Brittish soldier. We headed out to a new pumpkin farm, went through a corn maze and got our just oh so perfect pumpkins to carve. Our whole family loves Halloween and of course had a great time for a week or so celebrating.

CREEK WEEK 10/22 and 10/29

We spent the day helping out Rocklin and the Rotary working on some development of their own community garden down by Lone Tree Park.  The cub scouts were there too, and we worked with rocks and concrete and had a messy good time.  The next week we headed out to Roseville to help on the biking and jogging trails. Kaylee and Michele planted trees and cleaned up an area by the creek, while Michael did some messy digging and creek work.  


September - Folsom Cycle-a-bration

We all headed out with our bikes to Folsom for a celebration of the bicycle. REI put on a family treasure hunt where we followed a map and either found clues, or competed in challenges such as matching up gear and safety, counting bottles in an old mining shack and timed stuffing a sleeping bag into its case. (Which Candice won by a mile!) The weather was good, the course was fun and our family got to spend some good times outdoors.


Michael took on the role of Cross Country Running Coach at our girls school. MMCA Coach Olberding will take our team of runners to several meets through the end of October.  Check out more details at


The first plants go in the MMCA garden!  The girls are so excited, their class docent lessons start in September, which means they will be in the dirt planting, and growing right along with our little trees.


We spent many many hours in the MMCA Garden in August. We claimed the field from the weeds, we put down the raised beds with vole screen. We filled the raised beds, we put up fence posts and fence. We sketched out the other planting areas, and the flow of the garden. Whew! Of course we didnt do it alone! Check out more details at


We took off to Out and About Treehouses this year for a four day adventure. Check out all the pictures here - SUMMER 2011


This July 4th there was a party on the Bayou! Just so happened the swamp was at Chez Kimpel. Of course it was a classic boil, with a PILE of food. There were games of skill, both physical and beverage related. Alligator wrestling, ice breaking, beer can shooting, swamp stomp and more.


All parents, all sisters and Mariana went to Six Flags to celebrate Kaylee's birthday. What a day


Time to head down to the Pirate stop in Granite Bay, where Pirate Candice lost a bunch of gold coins. The kids had to find them over the acre of yard and bring them back to the pirate treasure chest in exchange for kiddy treasure. After we were done, we had a frozen shirt game where the kids had to unfreeze a shirt from a block of ice and try to put it on. Kaylee and Hayden won, but all the kids got very creative on how to defrost a shirt.


We headed over to an indoor race track for Michael and Grandpa Gerard, then off to a BBQ dinner at Grandma's house. The boys had a good time racing, and taking turns beating each other in each of the two races. The kids played with the toy cars, which was funny as Kaylee was looking very girly in her dress.



We took the girls out for pizza and sky zone fun for the last day of school.


We worked on some trails in Hidden Falls, Auburn. A day to give back to our parks, sponsored by REI. Nice idea, however it was during a rain storm! What a unique day.


The work continues. This month we worked on the fence posts and fencing, and solor-izing the ground for weed control as well as building the remaining garden boxes. (yet to go down on the ground). Mother nature decided to give us some help with soil conditions for digging and provide a week of rain and thunderstorms. The ground was soft, but the pounding rain cause a bit of a distraction.

MAY - URBAN DARE - Sacramento (

Michael and I took the challenge and ran around Sacramento like crazy for a few hours on this Saturday. We solved clues, did challenges like having strangers pose to mimic well know pictures or art. Due to a small calculation error on roman numerals we ended up a few miles off course and ended our day before we hit all the checkpoints. However, I do have to say that the rain and the Yelp 4.5 star review of a local Greek restaurant made the choice easy to abandon dare at almost 7 miles of walking.


We also started work on the Maria Montessori school garden, and outdoor classroom. Our family and a handful of other dedicated outdoor classroom enthusiasts are attempting to get the garden up and running by the time school starts next year. This month we graded the land, moved the compost bins, and put in the underground pipe. It should be a busy summer!


Easter brings us to the Hall family this year. A good egg hunt in a park like yard, with 15 dozen eggs of various types, and some fried chicken for lunch. We were happy to see Saxon Hall, a cousin we haven't seen in a long while. Nice day, we even timed it perfectly as the rain waited until after we had searched. lunched and cleaned up.

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and Spring Break!

What a lovely combination. Three lovely leisurely days at the park, not too hot, not too cold. Crowds of manageable size. We got to ride everything we wanted, and some like Medusa, at least 15 times. We got to see all the animal shows and experiences, eat lunch in the park, picnic outside the park, swim, rest, and have fun as a family.

MARCH - Oh, the Artisan Cheese Festival, how we love you.

We took off to McClellands Dairy and met with farmer George who led us on a tour of his wonderful farm. After that we headed off with Farmer George to a four hour cheese making class, and learned how to make fresh cheese at home. YUM


Loving the California winter with a snow day in early Feb. We had a great time spending the better part of a day sledding, and good giggle watching Kaylee confront the 'new glove nemesis.' We were met with a wonderful light show from Mother Nature on the way home.

Videos - Michael | Candice | Kaylee | Michele



We started 2011 with running club at Maria Montessori. Michael is leading the after school running club, with weekly practices and promoting running local 5k races. He is also practicing off mountain biking with Michele. We all love having Michael at home with the girls.