Friday, April 13, 2012

Spring Break - Day 4

Today we went to the Birch Aquarium. We got there on a great day and at the perfect time. Wednesday is feeding day for the fish tanks. It was so fun to watch the fish. This was the individual tanks in the Hall of Fish. The fish in each tank seemed to know when the food was coming because they would start to get feisty and swim in circles. Even the moray eels that seem to only sit at the bottom or curled up in a hole in the rock would start to get excited and move around. So for an hour and a half we just moved from tank to tank watching the fish eat their food.

One of the best parts of that was watching what the fish were being fed. It looked like cut up sardines and squid. The day before, The Dad ordered calamari with his lunch. Kelsey was happy to have two bites and loved it. (We didn't tell her what it was.) Then as while we watched the squid fed to these fish, we told her that is what she ate the day before. She was not happy with us. She would have been just happy to continue in her ignorant bliss. Later she told me she would eat it again because it was good.

Most places inside the aquarium were way too dark for any good pictures. Outside there was an area of educational, hands on activities.
 While the big kids monopolized the teeter totter,

Kelsey played in the water.

After the aquarium, we drove up along the Coast Highway and found a beach to eat our lunch. Then we started to go to a train museum, but it closed at 4 pm and by the time we thought of it, it was 3:30 pm. It was OK though. We went to Walmart for marshmallows and then had take out Thai food for dinner. Then we went to the pool.
This what just another fun day.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Spring Break - Day 3

That girl did not want to smile.
Today was another great day in San Diego. We went to Old Town San Diego. This is a 6 block section of San Diego that is now a State Park. It was fun for the parents and big kids, but Kelsey thought she was going to die if she had to walk one more step during the 50 minute tour. She must have woke up too early, because she was a stinker this morning until we got to the Candle Shop. Then each child got to dip a candle. They started with a white base, then dipped it into different colors. They turned out very rainbowy.
The flash makes them look like glow sticks.

That gun was heavy!

After the state park, we walked over to the Mormon Battalion museum. That was SO fun! It was a great mix of things I love, church and Harry Potter. OK, OK, only because the photos moved and spoke to us. There is a great story shared in a very inventive way. Kelsey was also very happy once the photos started talking to her.
At one point during the tour, Austin was asked to put on the gear the men of the Mormon Battalion wore. These men were offered $42 as a clothing allowance since they were not given uniforms. They decided to send the money back to their families and just wear the clothing they already had. Austin had fun putting those things on. After the tour and presentation, there was an area where the kids could build with bricks, scrub laundry, pump water, and pan for gold. I would go back again anytime.                                                                    


Yes, Jason and I were there, too.
Then it was time for lunch. We went to the Coyote Cafe. It was a Mexican food restaurant. Everyone loved their food except for me. I ordered a chili rellano, it was very bland. I was hoping for some spice. But my beef taco was good and Allynn's tamale was really good. One highlight was the entertainment with our lunch. Two guys and their guitars serenaded us with La Cookaracha. It was fun and they earned $2 from us. (We are on vacation.)

After lunch we started back to the hotel when Miss K fell asleep, so we used that quiet time to drive back along the coast. Beautiful houses and coastal views.

I am annoyed that the pictures didn't go where I wanted them to go, but now it is time for bed. Tomorrow we are headed to the Birch Aquarium.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring Break - Day 2

Day 2 was spent at the beach. And it was a gorgeous day for the beach. I just forgot how long it takes to get everyone ready for the beach.

1st I covered myself in sunblock and got myself ready to go. 
2nd I got the kids up and covered each of them in sunblock.
3rd I got breakfast ready (egg mcmuffins)
4th Helped The Dad get covered in sunblock.
5th Made sandwiches and gathered lunch stuff.

It was a busy morning. The thing that took the longest was convincing my children that they wanted to wear their swimming suites to the beach. They all thought for sure they would just sit on the blanket and read a book. No one was going to go near the cold, salty water, that pushes you over if you are not watching. After I made sure they all had their suits on, we were off. We were meeting Melanie at Tamarack Beach which was only 10 minutes from where we were staying. We were totally late. But finally got there. It was so beautiful.

The kids were still sure they were not going near the water. They are spoiled Lake Tahoe swimmers, where the water is clear and still and not salty. Aunt Kirin marched right to the water and they followed her like the Pied Piper. After that, they were hooked.
So while we visited, they played and played. Sydney was the first to get tumbled by a wave. Then Austin, determined to stand his ground, got a face full of wave that beat up against his body. Kelsey did a few funny things that I got on video, but haven't figured out how to add it to this blog. Allynn was disturbed by the sand crabs, but still kept coming into the water. As they got braver, they would go out a little farther. This beach was a surfer beach, so they couldn't get out too far or they might get hit. That was probably a good thing for this mother that didn't want to have to go rescue anyone.

At one point while we were there, a pod of porpoises surfed the waves for a few minutes. I will have to get that picture from Kirin or Papa. That was so fun to watch. We could not have planned that. There were probably 5 of them just out there with the surfers, riding the waves.

Thanks Odude for a great time at the beach. We will have to come back again.

After being at the beach, we all showered off at the pool and swam there for a while longer. I am surprised no one was all pruney before we were done.
The view from the pool. (There were too many other people in the pool, so I didn't think it would be a good idea if I took a mass picture of them.  I will try again. The dark blue on the horizon is the ocean. And right through the trees you can see some lights, that is Legoland.)

The evening was finished off with dinner and a great Easter Family Home Evening taught by Sydney and a card game called BANG. No one complained about bedtime at 9 pm tonight. And all were asleep within minutes of laying down.

Tomorrow we are headed to Old Town San Diego. (I keep saying Old Town Sacramento).

Spring Break - Day 1

Thank goodness Day 1 is a Sunday. We are all in need of rest. And it is Easter Sunday. The kids were told the night before that they could not turn on the TVs until after 8 am. My hope was that they would sleep until then. The girls did great about sleeping. Austin was probably up with the sun. When I came out to make breakfast, he was excited that the Easter Bunny had found them and come in the night. There was all kinds of candy on the table.

We started the day with breakfast casserole (our favorite). As I made that, everyone else got ready for church. We were lucky enough to be staying close to one of my high school friends, Melanie. So we went to her ward. What fun that was to see her and her parents. We talked about things we used to do and how Allynn is the age we were when we met. Sometimes I still feel like that 16 year old gathering friends to go drive around Almaden. More so lately since Allynn is already starting to talk about "When I can drive..." She is counting down the days until she can get her permit.

Anyways, after chatting with Melanie for a little bit, we decided to all go to the beach together on Monday. The weather is supposed to get rainy as the week goes on, so now we will be sure to have one great day for the beach. If we get anymore, that will be a bonus. I am looking forward to going to the beach tomorrow. The kids are dreading the waves and salt water.

In the afternoon, the resort had a HUGE egg hunt. Sydney, Austin, and Kelsey went with Mema to see how many they could find. They probably came back with over 100 plastic eggs filled with different candies. Then we had a lovely dinner of country style pork ribs and then spent the evening watching The Muppets and Inception. It was a really relaxing day.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Spring Break - Travel Days

It is Spring Break. We have been looking forward to this since October of last year. Jason's parents have a time share in Hawaii that they traded for San Diego and invited us to go with them. So finally the trip is here.

We left Friday April 6th in the afternoon after watching it snow most of the day. We had dry roads and a clear sky as we drove that first evening to Cedar City, UT where we stayed at our favorite hotel chain, Holiday Inn Express. (Nice rooms, one room sleeps all six of us, and free hot breakfast in the mornings).

After our breakfast, we loaded up again for the long drive across Utah, small stint in Arizona, across the bottom of Nevada and then across California to the coast. We left at 8:30 am MDT and arrived in Carlsbad at the resort at 4:00 pm PDT. (I love driving west and gaining a hour!) We are staying at the MarBrisa Resort in Carlsbad, CA. (We can look into LEGOLAND from the parking lot. We are above it. We are not going there this trip.) Here we met up with Jason's parents and his sister and her daughter (Uncle Josh couldn't make it). Then we hit Costco and Walmart for groceries. When we got back, Papa had cooked the hamburger patties and dinner was served. After some fun visiting and a little TV, we were ready for bed.

Austin was sure he was going to watch TV most of the night since he is sleeping in the living room and had it all to himself. I showed him how to activate the timer so that just in case he fell asleep, the TV would turn off by itself. We set it for 90 minutes. If he feel asleep, it would turn off. If he was still watching, he would know that his time was up. I went out there for something about 10 minutes later and he was out like a light. Too much adventure for one day.

This is going to be a great week!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Lots of fun things

2012 has been busy.

The house we were renting was listed for sale. We worked at being able to buy it. When that didn't look like it was going to happen, we started looking for new places to rent. Our dilemma was that none of our children wanted to change schools. The house listed at the end of November, so we also kind of thought it might not sell until spring or summer. In February, we looked again into buying the house and found out we could make it work on the same day the owners accepted an offer. BUMMER! So we started looking for houses again. There are not many rentals for large families. And we found that the school boundaries are smaller than we thought. We did finally find a place near Julie. That would change the elementary school, but not the Jr. high or the high school. We looked at the place a couple of times and filled out an application, and chose a move in date, but it just didn't feel right. We kept looking for other places, too. Then my mom called and invited us to move back in with her. I know living with your parents as married adults is not the ideal life we choose for ourselves, but this was the answer to my prayers!! Thank you, thank you mom for wanting your daughter, her husband, and four children to move in with you!! In all the times we have moved, this was the first move I did not want to make, so we took mom and dad up on their offer and have moved back in with them. This keeps the schools the same and our ward. We have a great ward.

OK so...In January, Allynn and her parents were called in to chat with the bishop. He called her to sing in the General Young Women's Choir in March. What a great opportunity. I was bawling as he explained the details. All I could think of were the experiences I had had with 15th ward youth choir and stake youth choirs. And now my daughter was going to have some of the same experiences. She will remember those songs forever. She was not the only girl, three stakes in American Fork were asked to participate. The best part were the rehearsals. The director, Merrilee Webb, taught the gospel more than she taught music. She told the girls to listen to their practice CDs everyday. She wanted them to internalize the music and the words. The girls were asked to diligently pray and read their scriptures daily and to attend the temple to do baptisms as often as they could before the broadcast day. We are so blessed to have a temple only 5 minutes away. As a bonus the leaders and girls that were not in the choir and all the mothers got tickets to the Conference Center for the broadcast. I also got to bring Sydney and Jason's mom. This was Sydney's first young women activity. (I can't believe she turns 12 this year.) Allynn and the other choir girls boarded the buses to Salt Lake at 11:30 am Saturday, March 24 and had great experiences of devotionals, practice, snacks and getting ready. Sydney, Mema, and I went to lunch at the Lion House, toured around Temple Square, and sitting in the Conference Center. After we got some dinner at Applebees. What a great day!!!!

Our next adventure is Spring Break. San Diego with the Wells Family. Only 3 more bedtimes. Kelsey has been wanting to pack her suit case for a week now. I am right there with her.

When we get back from Spring Break, I will be taking a long term sub job for my cousin while she has a baby. I am looking forward to that and am very nervous about it, too. Just another adventure. She is due the middle of April. So once the baby comes, I will then finish the school year in her 3rd grade class. I have subbed for her several time throughout the year, so I know the kids in her class. It will be fun (that's what I keep telling myself, then it will be).