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Joe's Surfboard Shop in Morro Bay, CA

Joe's Surfboard Shop in Morro Bay, CA. Joey Nichols is the owner and shaper of NSL (Nichols Surf Lab) Surfboards. This shop is about surfboards not fashion statements or clothing trends. It is about getting you out on the water - custom boards, uses boards, demo boards, and SUP's. 

You will enjoy the experience. 

Check them out: 362 Quintana Rd, Morro Bay, CA 93442 (805) 225-1905  

http://www.joes-surfboard-shop.com

Joe's Surfboard Shop_Morro Bay, CA.jpg


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Twenty Inexpensive Activities to do with your Kids this Summer.

Play

I have a memory of fishing off the rocks near the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA with my arm around my dad and my other hand holding a soda pop. It was summer and I was nine years old. I don't remember fishing much. I just remember the day out with my dad. It was a simple day that gave me a lasting and good memory.

I want to help you get your fun bus back on the road. When summer is over, and your kids are back in school, I want you to have given your children fun filled memories.  I want your kids to remember laughter, fun, and adventures. Your kids will enjoy their moments with you. Remember: Kids speak the language of Play.

To help you, I came up with this simple list to jumpstart the fun.  

 

1. Popsicle Day. Help your children make homemade popsicles from orange juice, lemonade, strawberries, etc. Add little bits of fruit. Enjoy them in the backyard, park, or anywhere outside. 

 

2. Go to the movies. Make it an event -popcorn, candy, soda, refills. My parents always let us sneak in a pack of Red Vines. Let going to the movies be a reward. Give your children a  manageable chore. Keep the task simple, short, meaningful, and helpful to the family. I vividly remember my dad's best friend (Brent) having me and my brother stack firewood for an elderly lady. The reward was a trip to the movies to see Return of the Jedi. My brother and I stacked wood like little lumberjacks for two hours. Brent helped us the entire time. To this day, it is a great memory. The funny thing is that I don't remember much about the movie from that day. I remember the wood stacking. I remember how good it felt to work hard, get praise, and receive the reward.

 

3. Picnic lunch. No explanation needed. Get outside and eat.

 

4. Art Day. Finger paint, brush paint, any kind of paint. Paint rocks, scrap wood, paper, or canvas. Just let them be creative and transform something. My kids loved to paint with only water on a sidewalk and watch it evaporate.

 

5. Sprinkler Fun. Get out in the yard and run through the sprinklers. When our first child was three, we didn’t have a yard. I took her to the Junior High School when they were watering the football field. We played in these huge sprinklers. It was a lot of fun. Consider keeping an extra pair of swim suits in the car for these spontaneous moments. Your kids will always remember how you jumped out of the car and ran for the sprinklers. 

 

6. Get to the pool. Swim as much as possible. Don't just watch them swim. Get in there with them. I am still swimming in the kitty pool. I am one of the few parents that do this. In my town, the pool is open 11:30a to 1:30p then again at 4p to 5:30p. We can go twice. Consider make it a double header. Trust me, your kids will be in bed early and you will enjoy some quiet time. 

My daughter in the kiddy pool.

My daughter in the kiddy pool.


7. Backyard camping filled with popcorn, treats, stories, and flashlights.


8. Talent show. My kids love to make up dances to songs. We encourage it. My wife and I are highly entertained by this. Our kids routinely bless us with their latest routine. Set a date a few days or weeks away. Get them excited with anticipation. Encrouage them to practice for the big night. Show them you are proud of them and can’t wait to see their moves. When it is dance night - dim the light, use a flashlight as a spotlight, cue up the music and have fun.


9. Create a Family story. Before bed, work on a family story together. Mom or dad can start, then the kids add to it. Be sue to write this down. Either write as you go, or focus on the storytelling and write it down after they are in bed.  I am not talking about a large book. Think Picture Book.


10. Family Picture. Get your family photos taken. It doesn't have to be a huge event. Keep it simple, but get it done. Most people put this off because of the task of getting haircuts, or buying clothes, or coordinating schedules. In twenty years, you won't be looking at the perfect hair or perfect clothing choices. You will be looking at those beautiful babies of yours and remembering them as they were - their faces, personalities, beautiful eyes, etc. You will remember the real moments.  


11. Freeze Tag. Get outside during the last hour of light. I love this time of day. Play a game of Freeze tag, or Hid and Seek. Everyone plays - Mom and Dad. Kids love it when parents act like kids and play. 


12. Sidewalk chalk. Trace everyone on the sidewalk, driveway, or patio. Build a family scene. Use lots of chalk and lots of colors.

sidewalk chalk



13. Take your kids to a sporting event. It can be at a local high school, college, minor league team, or professional. We like to keep this cheap. We go to watch a minor league baseball team in our area. Tickets are $5 each and we bring our own food. The kids get to run around, catch fly balls, and play. 


14. Water Hose Battle Against Mom and Dad. Give the kids the power. Give them the hose. Their job is to beat you back with the hose. You are going to attempt to take the hose back but they have to spray you to keep you away. They will love watching you run from your water cannon. Pretend it weakens you. What every you do, have fun. Your kids will absolutely have a great time. I predict it will be one of the summer highlights for them. 


15. Friday Night Family Movie Nights. We have these every Friday all year long. However, attempt to make the summer family movie night extra special. Try outside, or decorate the area you watch movies, serve ice cream - we usually only have popcorn, so adding a little ice cream ratchets up the mood.


16. Breakfast. Sometimes just adding cinnamon rolls outs that extra smell into the air that says special. Make them just before the kids usually wake up. I have vivid memories of my grandmother coming over early in the morning. I woke up to freshly baked peanut butter cookies. She gave them to us after lunch. It is a great memory. I can still smell them to this day. Would you love to hear your kids say when they are adults, “that reminds me of my parents  and summer vacation when I was a kid. 


17. Kids Make Dinner Night. Plan this out with them. Take them shopping to pick up needed items. Let them have fun with the entire process. Moms and Dads do this stuff all the time. To us it seems boring, but to an eager child this is fun. Be prepared to eat the food and like it…with a smile. Give them guidance. Don’t take over too much. See my Opportunities for Big Victories blogpost to learn more.


18. Scavenger Hunt. Or, search for buried treasure. Bury pennies. Be sure it is enough to buy something. It could be $1 and a trip to the $1 Store.  Finish the evening with a pirate movie. Find one suitable for the age of your children. Pirate of the Caribean will freak my child out, so we watch Veggie Tales: The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything. 


19. Kid Hunt. When you get home from work, have the kids hide the moment they hear you pull into the driveway. When you find them, give them hugs and talk about how much you missed them. Make finding them just as much a reward for them as it is for you.


20. Love Your Neighbor. Do something for a neighbor. Make them a treat or do yard work for them. Have the kids make cards. Help your child learn about giving and loving their neighbor. It will be gift to the neighbor, the child, and the world.

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Great Opportunities for Big Victories

Photo by Elllie

Photo by Elllie

My six year old and I created a new pancake recipe.  

Children have a desire to help. It gives them opportunities to use their hands and to make things. They like to create and show it off. They love earning praise from mom & dad, grandma & grandpa, or older siblings. It is why they bring us their drawings, clay creatures, and show us their set-ups of animals or "guys" on the floor. It feels good to them to make, create, imagine, and complete a task. It is the feeling of victory. Remember that feeling?

As parents, we need to create opportunities for big victories and we need to cheer for our children often. Let your child make pancakes with you. He/she will love it. Don’t worry about the end product or the mess; focus on the process. Your child will love to pat the flour down (watch out - messy), crack the eggs, stir the bowl. What adults think as mundane work done 1000 times, is new and exciting to a child.

When it's all done, and the kitchen is a mess, just sit down and eat. Eat like a wild man/woman. I like to add hungry bear sound effects. Talk up the pancakes and praise her work and effort. Watch the smile on her face. I did. It was beautiful.

The next time your child asked to help you, let him. He might make a mess. It will probably take four times as long. It might look terrible. Don’t worry about it. Set up the environment for success. Encourage his desire to help you and others. Continue to be on the look out for opportunities for big victories. This is a daily work. As he grows, he will look for his own opportunities for big victories.  You might get really good breakfast in bed too. 

Recipe below.

Great Opportunity for Big Victories Pancake Recipe. 

(Note: I am not a recipe person. I am dad that wings it.)

  1. If your child asks to help, say yes. If she doesn’t ask, then ask her. 
  2. Get the bowls, measuring cups, etc out. Talk about each one and their purpose.
  3. Ask questions: What do I do with this spoon, whisk, cup, etc.? 
  4. Read the recipe instructions together. 
  5. Let her crack the eggs, pour the milk, level the flour, etc. This can be tricky. NEVER have your child crack the egg into the mixing bowl. Always use a separate bowl. When my daughter wasn’t looking I had to crack two eggs into an identical bowl and throw her's out. She had too many shells to pick out. 
  6. Let your child stir all ingredients together. Talk about the thickness and how it is beginning to smooth out, and how it went from dry to wet. What do the eggs do? Why add oil? I learn better when I understand the why of something. I think kids enjoy knowing too. 
  7. Let your child scoop out the first pancake. 
  8. Make them a snowman pancake. I do this because I can nail a snowman (sometimes I have to call it a Yoda). Go wild if you can pull off snow leopards, Santa Claus, or grandma. 
  9. Now eat. This is IMPORTANT: Talk it up. “These are delicious. Did you add your sweetness?”, “What did you do to make this so amazing?” “I am going to call grandma and tell her you just made the most delicious pancakes!” You get the idea.
  10. Clean up. Ask them to help you. This is my weak area. I love 1-9, but 10 is hard. So, make it fun. 

Incase you are wondering, we use Trader Joes Multigrain Baking & Pancake Mix. 

 

Those are my 10 Steps to Making Pancakes with your child. Let me know how it goes.

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A Girl and Her Horse

This Central Coast portrait session was completely casual - no styling, no lighting equipment, etc. It was just a real day on the ranch with a girl and her horse 

I always wonder how to describe my photographic style to people. I am still uncertain what it is. What I do know is that I like my photo sessions to be casual and fun. I don't like to force poses, smiles, or situations. I want my photo sessions with clients to be enjoyable. When I finish a photo shoot - and the camera is put away - and everyone is still smiling, I am happy. 

Yes, it is about getting the photos and delivering great photography. To me, the process of getting great photos is the best part. Days later, when my customers are looking at their photos, I want them to view the photos with good memories of their experience.  

This session was easygoing, enjoyable, casual, and down to earth. 

Visit my portrait page to see more. Click here

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Love Note

My youngest wrote this note to her mom. Tell me what you think this love note says, and tell me about the best note you received from your child. As a reward for your awesomeness, I will enter your name into a drawing for a free photo shoot. 

love note

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Light Scout Creative

And God said, "Let there be light. And God saw that the light was good." - Genesis 1 :3&4

Light is life. It is here now...the present...this moment. Light penetrates hearts. We crave it. We bask in it. We are wired to wake up because of it. We eat and breath because of it. 

When it's dark we look for it. We create our own light to avoid the darkness. In the night, we wait for morning; when it arrives we are thankful. Light wakes us up. It pulls us out of our homes. It makes us playful. Light gives warmth. Light gives sight and light gives life.

I look for light everyday. I love how it wraps around trees, mountains, hills, and people. I love how it penetrates water and pours through windows. I love that people smile in the sunshine. 

I have come to the realization that I take photographs because I love to find light. I am drawn to it. I am a light scout. I am a creative. I am a Light Scout Creative, and I give thanks to One that said, "Let there be light." 

This beautiful family is awesome. We took a break to let kids be kids. 

This beautiful family is awesome. We took a break to let kids be kids. 

I love the sun in her hair. 

I love the sun in her hair. 

This reminds me that in every moment we leave something behind. Let's make it good. 

This reminds me that in every moment we leave something behind. Let's make it good. 

Kids are amazing, funny, brave, insightful, honest, and beautiful. 

Kids are amazing, funny, brave, insightful, honest, and beautiful. 

Thank you for visiting. 


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Above it All

Montana de Oro State Park, California

Montana de Oro State Park, California

This is my buddy, Josh.  We have a group of friends we ride with, but our schedules don't always coordinate. When our schedules match, we get on the bikes and get above it all - fresh air, perspective, and friendship.  

I am thankful for the blessing of friends and family. They make me a wealthy man. Look around at your wealth. Make sure it is real. Make sure your biggest legacy is love.           

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