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Posts tagged family

Goldstone Hosts Employee Family Day

Deep Space Family Day

Capturing signals from Deep Space is an interesting concept. Traveling out to Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex north of Barstow is an adventure.

Deep Space Complex, Goldstone CA

A sunset like none other through Goldstone Dish

Families whose fathers or mothers work out at Goldstone get to share the adventure with the next generation of rocket scientists? – we can only hope.

Space suits

Museum holds early space suits

Everyone wants to stare at the behemoth 70 meter dish — dish just isn’t the right word for the gigantic signal collector  — one of the largest in the world!

Goldstone Entertainment

All Ages

All Ages get to see Goldstone

Columbus Day, being a day off for most school children, was the perfect day to visit the canyons full of giant satellite dishes, roam through the Museum, and get free lunch.

martial arts

Guiterrez Martial Arts students demonstrate the floor routines






Martial Arts students

Martial Arts students




For entertainment, Goldstone admin and staff hosted Gutierrez Martial Arts students, who presented their floor exercises and routines; offered a close-up look at Ft. Irwin’s fire engine and police cruisers; and, held a Halloween costume parade for prizes.

Carpooling to see the sights

Families carpooled to the 70 meter dish


Interested in a tour of the complex with your family, civic group, or club? Just go to : and look for the tour info or call Contact: Leslie Cunkelman
(760) 255-8688 or email directly to

space suits

SUITS — past space trips

Rusty LaGrange

connect with me at



Freebies in the Desert–Part 2: Activities for School Aged Children, Tweens, and Teens.

SONY DSCPart one of this series focused on some of the many activities that are available for toddlers and preschoolers at our local branches of the San Bernardino County Library.  This installment will provide information about what activities are available for the older children in our lives.

School age children, six to eleven years, might enjoy story time where songs, rhymes, and puppets accompany some amazing stories.  Story time is good fun for the whole family.  Story times are Wednesday, 3:00 p.m., at the Lucerne Valley Branch Library, and Monday, 11:30 a.m., at the Phelan Memorial Library.

The Construction Zone provides an opportunity for your school age child to build some amazing projects such as paper airplanes or Lego cities.  The construction projects are sometimes done individually, sometimes as a group, and sometimes in teams.  No matter how they are done, they’re sure to be fun.  The Construction Zone is held on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. at the Hesperia Branch Library and Thursday at 3:00 p.m. at the Phelan Memorial Library.

The Hesperia Branch Library also hosts Game Time on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m.  This is a fun opportunity for school aged children to get together with other children and play games.  Whether they are playing group participation games, video games, or board games, your kids are sure to have a blast.

The San Bernardino County Library also has programs for teens.  There’s the Teen Movie program held on Mondays at 4:30 p.m. at the Apple Valley Branch Library, where teens can get together with their friends to watch a movie.  If your teen is more hands on and likes to make things, there is the Teen Craft program where teens have an opportunity to make a different project each week.  The Teen Craft  program is held on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. at the Phelan Memorial Library and Thursday at 4:00 p.m. at the Barstow Branch Library.

Did you know that there are free tutoring services available at the Apple Valley Branch Library?   If your teen is a good student looking for a way to give back to their community by helping others, there is the Teen Tutoring program available through the Apple Valley Branch Library.  Teens tutor students aged 8 to 18 years old in math and English.  If your child is struggling with these subjects, it’s good to know that there’s somewhere  he or she can go to get help.  Tutoring and tutor training is provided by appointment only.  For more information about the tutoring program, contact Shannon, at the Apple Valley Branch Library (760) 247-2022.

Come back next week for Part 3:  Activities for Adults

**Patti can also be found at where she tries to limit her blogging to stocking a pantry, budgeting, and recipes.  She isn’t always successful.



Freebies in the Desert–Part 1: Activities for Toddlers and Pre-Schoolers

file3211347375852Everyone loves a good bargain, especially in our current economy, and there are some great activities available right here in the High Desert Community.  All of the activities featured in this article are provided through a very surprising place–your local branch of the San Bernardino County Library.  Before anyone groans, rolls their eyes, and moves on to something more exciting,  let me tell you that libraries have changed.  No longer are they only for students and intellects.  In fact, you might be surprised at just what goes on at our local libraries.

Do you have a child or grandchild between the ages of one and three years?  Are you looking for a program you can attend with your toddler that will allow you to interact in a fun environment, while focusing on developing gross motor and listening skills?  You might want to check out Tiny Hoppers or Toddler Boot Camp where the focus of the program is on developing gross motor and listening skills while having fun.   These programs promise singing, moving and  finger plays to keep the little ones interested.  They finish up each group with story time.   Toddler Boot Camp is held at the Apple Valley Branch Library on Wednesdays at 11:00 a.m.  Tiny Hoppers is held at the Adelanto Branch Library on Wednesdays at 12:00 p.m.

The Phelan Library has a Little Artist program for children aged zero to five years.   During this program, your burgeoning artist will make art projects that are sometimes messy but always fun.  This program is held on Tuesdays at 11:30 a.m.

If you share your life with a preschooler, there is preschool story time at almost every high desert library branch.    Story time is more than just someone reading a book–the library promises songs, rhymes and puppets, as well as the letter of the week which will introduce your preschooler to the letters of the alphabet as well as the sounds they make.  Preschool story time might just help to promote a love of reading in your child that will last his or her whole life.

According to the Library website, preschool story times are as follows:

Adelanto:  Thursday, all day

Apple Valley:  Thursday, 10:30 a.m.

Barstow:  Thursday, 10:45 a.m.

Hesperia:  Tuesday, 11:30 a.m.

For those who wish to instill both a lifelong love of books as well as good fitness habits, the library also offers Movers and Shakers for children ages three to five.  Each class has a story, as well as the letter of the day, and is filled with active songs and props.  The purpose of the course is to promote health through physical activity, develop gross motor skills, promote a sense of rhythm and improve body awareness as well as to help them learn how to follow directions and improve listening skills.  This program is held at the Hesperia Branch Library on Monday at 11:30 a.m. and at the Phelan Memorial Library on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.

So gather up the preschoolers and toddlers in your life and head to the library.  You might just have some fun.

Come back next week for Part 2:  Activities for School Aged Children, Tweens, and Teens

**Patti can also be found at where she tries to limit her blogging to stocking a pantry, budgeting, and recipes.  She isn’t always successful.


Sushi, please

This past Saturday, the 11yo and I went out for sushi. One would
assume, as I did years ago, finding good sushi in the High Desert wouldn’t happen. Not true, my friends. There are quite a few Japanese restaurants in the area with more opening their doors all the time. (If only someone would open an authentic Ramen Noodle House, I’d be ecstatic.)

Lately, we have a particular spot we always go to. Samurai Sushi,
it’s on 7th street near the downtown area. When you walk through the
doors, you’re greeted with a resounding “Irasshaimase” and cheerful smiles from the chef and waiters/waitresses. (The chef sends each table a free appetizer and a dessert, we love this place.)

As a family, sushi is one of our favorite choices for a family night out on the town. Usually, our son sticks with teriyaki chicken and a few pieces of sushi. This particular night he decided to branch out and get a sushi roll instead.

We did big things. Sushi rolls, miso soup (seaweed, tofu, and broth), and sashimi (that’s raw fish without the ball of rice underneath). Oh yes, the boy eats raw fish. He’s been eating sushi since he was in preschool.

Times seems to be speeding up and the 11yo is getting older, he’ll be 12 next month. I pray our small family stays close and we don’t forget to treasure these moments. It seems like only yesterday he was eating his first bowl of miso.

I remember the waitress added ice cubes because it was hot. He was so small he couldn’t reach the table so he sat in a booster seat, clutching the spoon in his chubby little hands and carefully aiming it toward his pursed mouth.

Sigh…great, now I’m depressed. I might need another sushi night.

For more information or to get to know Just a HD Mom you can follow me on Twitter @MGEdwardsWrites and/or join my blog

A picture is worth a thousand words

“Are there any good (and affordable) photographers in the High Desert?” We had family visiting from out of state and I thought it would be a great idea to have pictures taken of our family. I wanted to use someone who was local and well known because as you can tell from my other posts, I tend to use referrals to decide where to take my business.

When I asked my friend Patty if she knew anyone she immediately  began talking about JRZ Photography. “She does all of our family photos. Senior pictures, baby pictures, soccer photos. You name it; I go to Lizz to take the pictures for it.”

Joe and Lizz Zuccharro are the owners and photographers of JRZ Photography. I’ve known Liz for a few years but I had never seen their work so I was a little nervous. As I looked through their portfolio, I was floored. They say pictures are worth a thousand words but I don’t know that I could find enough words to describe how impressed I was by their work without sounding like an informercial. If you have a chance, please take a moment to go to their website (address available on business card below). Joe and Lizz are both Award winning photographers and on their website they have many more amazing photos. I wish I could post them all here but I don’t want to ruin it for you.

Ultimately, we did have JRZ Photography take pictures of our family and we had so much fun. The atmosphere was warm, inviting, and cheerful. The smiles in our pictures are genuine which make those moments all the more beautiful. Our family can be a bit goofy and silly sometimes and our pictures capture that side of us without appearing cheesy or ridiculous. I appreciate the respect we were shown and I will always treasure those special memories JRZ Photography help create.

For more information or to get to know Just a HD Mom you can follow me on Twitter @MGEdwardsWrites and/or join my blog


What words, things, aromas, colors, sites, etc., do you think of at this time of November? Words are popping up in my mind as I ask you the question:

  • Pink Salad
  • Pink, Red, and Orange Sunrises
  • Thanksgiving
  • Cornbread Dressing
  • Family
  • Pumpkin Bread
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Yams
  • Chill
  • Fireplace
  • Holiday

We lead such busy lives that we can easily forget to take a few moments of every day to notice our surroundings and to show gratefulness for the beauty and comfort around us. My mother-in-law referred to this as “saying my gratefuls.” She loved to sit outside in the cool quietness of the early morning to listen to birds, bask in the color and scent of flowers while drinking her coffee – and express to God her gratefulness for her children.

I listed each word above as soon as it appeared into my mind. They all connect to today’s events – like connecting the dots – of family, comfort, and holiday.  The events began to unfold early as I admired the vibrant colors of the sunrise; ate a fresh slice of moist pumpkin bread baked by a friend; spoke with  family members on the phone about an uncle who is not expected to live; picked up a pumpkin pie I had purchased; discussed yam and cornbread dressing recipes with an aunt; chatted with another uncle whose wife makes the best Pink Salad; and wished for a fire in the fireplace to give me warmth from a chilly evening.

At the end of this day I’m thinking on the beauty of the sunrise this morning, grateful that I have eyesight to enjoy the beauty. I took a couple of quick photos and hope you enjoy.


High Desert Sunrise


I’m linking to Pink Saturday.

Pumpkin Patch and Family Time

As we come closer to Halloween and enjoy cooler nights, you just can’t help thinking about carving a pumpkin, hay rides, and remembering the hours spent planning what your costume would be like for the big night.

The change in the weather brings the migration of birds we haven’t seen for awhile. I saw a larger than normal flock of geese go by. Their leaders couldn’t keep the flock on v-pattern so several leaders emerged and wove overlapping Vs in the cloudless sky. The vultures, too, have returned to the high desert from their summer territories spent in cooler updrafts. We can’t boast about swallows returning to Capistrano … but we do know the vultures’ heavy bodies crowded in the tallest trees. It’s a sure sign that we’ve got autumn days ahead. Always the late-migrating blue birds will be here for the first chilly storm of the season. They’ll stay just long enough to rest and move on to Mexico then South America for sheltered valleys.

So, our families, ready to enjoy autumn, met at the Pumpkin Patch on Bear Valley Road near Lowe’s. We wandered through the acres of corn mazes, tromped through more vast acres of pumpkins on the vine, and sat in the shade of the grove. Children focused on finding the perfect pumpkin while adults lolled in the shade. Soon the air stirred and we could smell the heavy scent of decaying vines, the muskiness of brown leaves, and that last sweet smell of summer.

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