Family Camp Re-Invented…..When your Summer Family Camp Vacation Doesn’t turn out like you had Hoped

Many of you have read about our Summer Family Camp over the years, so you know it is one of our MOST ANTICIPATED FUN FAMILY ACTIVITIES every summer. WELL….this summer we had a hiccup in our plans when our Kitchen/Living Room/Dining Room remodel was not finished in time for Family Camp. The actual target date to finish was two weeks before the family was to arrive for the July 4th weekend and suffice it to say…it is August 10th and we are still in process. We are really close to the finish line but this summer our Family Camp had to be re-invented. We told the kids that we were going to host the annual event here and they …

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Rachel’s Summer of Adventure

This was a Summer for memories! We had such a blast traveling, enjoying the sun, swimming, and more!

We really focused this Summer on swimming. We are so blessed to have a community pool in walking distance, and we spent many of our days practicing our swim skills. Taking 3 kids to the pool is no joke, but these girls are amazing!

We participated in our library’s Summer Reading Program and this mama really enjoyed all the prizes – especially the free kid’s meals!

I didn’t burden myself with too many expectations of projects, but we did take advantage of a few fun afternoons to craft, learn, and play. We are really enjoying our Kiwi Crates – and had …

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Bekah’s Summer Update: The End of One Thing and the Start of Something(s) New

This has been quite a significant summer for us at the Bani Bungalow 🙂

We all survived intern year (Year One) of my hubby’s Pediatric Residency at UCSF Fresno. After one week off, we quickly started another year, but now we are that much closer to completing another step of this medical journey.


We found out that the newest addition to our family is a BOY.

He will be our second and are anxiously awaiting his arrival and seeing how Sophie likes being a Big Sister. This will be the 10th grandchild in our family making it a tie at 5 girls and 5 boys 🙂


We celebrated 5 Years of Marriage.

We did a mini celebration …

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Birthday Boy on a Budget

A week ago my little boy turned 1! I can’t believe it. A year ago I was blessed beyond measure with my little baby boy, who we named Garrett and has brought an enormous amount of joy into my life. And of course, in normal mom fashion, the one year old birthday party became a thing. I set out to not make it a big deal… but I was just having way too much fun! But one thing I did stick to was my budget. I was able to throw a fairly large birthday party and not spend too much money. It took lots of lists, preparation, help, delegation, and lots of time. But I loved it!

My best

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If you have been wondering where we have been for the past few weeks……we decided to take a break to fully immerse ourselves in our families for the month of July.

Starting tomorrow you can read about some of the fun experiences we have had this summer…..BUT as we all know, life is full of joys and sorrows so we will be posting about the difficult aspects of life as well. I will include a few pictures from the past month to entice you to come back and read about how we have been doing life together although we live far apart.

Rick and Kerry visit a full scale replica of Noah’s Ark-AMAZING!!!

Hiking Bishop’s Peak-INCREDIBLE!

Celebrating Garrett’s first …

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Relationships Are Meant to Be FUN!

Relationships are FUN! Sharing time, laughter and memories is a JOY!!

It can be easy to get caught up in our own schedules and our own struggles, but that is when it is most important to look for those connections with others!

I have made a personal goal to make more connections this Summer! I created a Facebook group to get other moms together for playdates and memories. I am guilty of waiting to be invited to things, so I decided to be the INVITER–To set up times for connecting and playing and not allowing myself any excuses not to get out and HAVE FUN!!

We’ve had a few events so far and it was a blast to see …

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Real Relationships through Tangible Connection


Do you find yourself connecting with people through looking at your social media feeds?? This may be a way to know about their life, to see what they are up to, but its not real connectedness. It almost feels like an empty connection. It is a awareness without the heart and soul connection.   We were created for relationships, togetherness, and real relationships.

When was the last time you shared a coffee with someone, went on a walk with a friend, had a real conversation. Or are you stuck knowing people through the phone or internet? It is hard. We are all busy doing different responsibilities, activities with our families, theres not much room.  But we can make space.  …

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Communicating in Relationships Using Love Languages

Do you ever feel like certain ways of communication that resonate with you do not for someone else? Maybe that is because how your love tank is filled is not the same as another. Gary Chapman wrote a book called “The 5 Love Languages” that explains his conclusion that there are “five emotional love languages – five ways that people speak and understand emotional love.”

He states in his book, “Inside every child is an ’emotional tank’ waiting to be filled with love. When a child really feels loved, he will develop normally, but when the love tank is empty, the child will misbehave. Much of the misbehavior of children is motivated by the cravings of an empty ‘love

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Couples Improve Communication by Sharing a Passion

Communication is key in relationships. Growing together in marriage takes time, focused attention and a decision to always be a student of your spouse-their likes and dislikes, their hopes and dreams, their struggles and their concerns. As we mature, we see the reality of the commitment and hard work that is needed to keep the love in marriage fresh and exciting. Marriage is not 50-50…yes there will be compromise and some give and take but unless each one of you are willing to give 100% there will be heartache. Marriages can become stagnant, spouses can get too busy with the children’s activities and all the time it takes to raise the kids. Marriage partners can drift apart as each …

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Creating Excitement Around the Table

Meals with little ones can be a struggle. Trying to get the kids to eat, teaching manners, trying again to get them to eat…it is exhausting.

I have found that cooking meals together creates more excitement around the table.

It might seem simple, but thinking of the cooking as a learning and bonding experience brings that attitude to the meal. Rather than seeing the frustrating and annoying things happening at the table, you see the meal you worked on as a family AND chances to teach and learn and grow together as a family!

I find that cooking together also creates an excitement to EAT the meal. PRAISE THE LORD! A meal the kids actually want to eat!!


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