With Robert's illness we've had a lot of visitors to come down to see him this summer. This summer has been one that has been all about family. Angela and Robert (and I) have seen more members of my family in one place than we have in years.
I was lucky enough to be able to host a couple of families either on their way in or out of town.
We had Janell and Brandon and their 3 kids stay with us one of the nights. They drove in all the way from Texas.
I think they win the prize with 2 days of driving 2 days to visit and then 2 more days of driving to get back home for work. It was great to see them. They haven't been to California in something like 7 years!
I had one day to do something fun with them. Trying to find something local and fun before they were off to see his grandma brought us to the local splash park.
Ashley wouldn't have gone in by herself but she was happy to play with Bennie and Levi.
The bigger boys all stayed home and played video games (surprise, surprise)
We loved how outgoing Levi was. He has no fear.
He walked up to these girls in the play house and just started hanging out with them.
While we were at the splash park I found a couple of other friends and she suggested the new trampoline park in Riverside called Sky Zone. It ended up being a great idea.
While we were waiting for it to open and feeding the kids lunch we brought the swimming back to our house.
This is a kiddie pool I bought when Jacob was born. It's lasted all these years but again Ashley thinks she's too old for it unless she has someone to go in it with her.
When we were going to the trampoline park Taylor commented
"There better not be a bunch of 3 year olds there"
I didn't know what to expect but they were all pleasantly surprised, it was not geared for 3 year old but for older kids and everyone loved it.
Giant trampolines, a foam pit, basketball hoops and dodgeball courts kept them all entertained.
The little guys had their very own separate jumping area.
You buy your time in one hour increments. One hour was plenty...and these guys were worn out.
Two days later we met up with Janell and Brandon and my parents at Angela and Robert's new house in Camarillo.
They bought the house and moved in the weekend before they found Robert's tumor. They said if they would've known about his health they wouldn't have bought it but it turned out to be a blessing. They have a large house now with 5 bedrooms to host lots of visitors and helpers. Having an older home it needs a few fixes. Lots of people in their ward at church (whom they just had met) have helped them with home repairs and taming the back yard. They've stepped in and helped with Ian, meals and more and I'm glad she has a lot of good people helping her close by.
When we got there we enjoyed a family barbecue on their back patio and it felt like a mini family reunion.
The kids enjoying the backyard.
Ian downing his corn. I love how he just attacks fruits and vegetables! You guys must be doing something right!
Jacob and Levi
Cody getting ready for the shot.
I guess before the helpers came their basketball court was overgrown and couldn't be used.
We had fun with it when we were out visiting.
Jeff trying to take a picture of me (I'm usually the one taking the pictures) Don't know how flattering it is taking out the trash :)
Janell and her family.
Janell, Brandon, Cody, Bennie and Levi
When it started getting dark we made smores....
and listened to Grandpa Hovey play some classic guitar songs I remember from growing up.
(I was hoping he could show Taylor some guitar tips, maybe next time.)
The kids watched a movie...
While the adults played Wits and Wagers and ate snacks. My dad discovered peach rings and tropical Starbursts for the first time.
It was fun to sit around and play a game together. It's so rare that we are all together.
Saturday was our day to spend with grandparents.
Looking for an activity that we would all enjoy we decided to go to the Reagan Library since my parents and our family haven't been there and it's only 10 minutes from Angela's.
Robert was a good sport and followed us all over the museum even though Angela and him have been there a couple of times. It was interesting to learn about Ronald Reagan. There were things that I didn't know about him that I learned that day.
Did you know he was in broadcasting early in his career? Here are the kids trying their hand at broadcasting.
They were embarrassed when we played back their recording where everyone else could see it.
Checking out what a teleprompter is like.
This was the actually suit complete with bullet hole that President Reagan wore when he was shot!
Here is the gun, Crazy! They told how he joked with the nurses in the hospital and people would want to keep visiting him. The day he was shot he made a comment to the medical staff "I hope you're not a Democrat"... they replied with "Mr. President, today we're all Republicans"
Here was a replica of how the oval office looked when Reagan was in office. I thought it was funny that there were Jelly Belly candy dishes everywhere you looked.
(There was even a "painting" of the president made out of jelly bellys)
A highlight was being able to tour through Air Force One.
We couldn't take pictures inside of it...but it looked like a blast from the past in the 80's.
Ian did pretty good and slept during the beginning of our trip. Once he was awake he was ready to run around.
In the back part of the museum they had a special Disney exhibit with old vintage Disney stuff, and newer movie props, costumes and accessories from Disneyland rides. We were racing through by this point but it would've been fun to take in the exhibit more. It was very cool.
Here is a piece of the Berlin Wall. That was another thing I remember...the coming down of the Berlin Wall during Reagan!
Afterwards we all hit Olive Garden for a late lunch/early dinner.
Taylor ate his whole plate of pasta...it was like Man vs. Food here. He doesn't look like he feels so good afterwards!
While my parents went to a movie Angela and Robert took us to a soda shop in town. They had every kind of soda flavor and vintage candy you could think of. There was candy that I used to eat as a kid and forgot about until I saw it there. We ended up stocking up on cool salt water taffy flavors and tried a few sodas.
We bought marshmallow, strawberry creme, jelly belly pear, and huckleberry but we could've bought everything from bacon and buffalo wing flavor to chocolate mint and smores.
Very interesting store. I'm sure we'll be back again.
The Tuesday before our vacation it was the Stake Beach Party at Huntington. I drove a carload of kids down while Jeff tried to finish up at work so we could fly out the next day. There was a big turn out and our kids had fun.
At first Jacob didn't want to wear his swim trunks but then he had me run back home to get them and he ended up going swimming.
Joel and Virginia and their family was down visiting Robert and Angela and were going to meet us at the beach but they got held up in LA so they just met us at the house later that day.
Little did they know our air-conditioning went out the day before and we called in an emergency repair call so it would be fixed and they wouldn't die of heat trying to sleep at our house that night.
Jacob and Taylor got to say goodbye to JJ who was going on his mission while we were going to be gone.
We'll miss you!
Jacob's friend Greg.
The Oleson's stayed with us Tuesday night and the next day to kill a couple of hours before they were on their way to Vegas to catch their flight I took them to Sky Zone.
Twice in one week!
Dean and the boys loved it.
This time Jacob and Taylor hung out in the dodge ball room most of time.
Jacob would be the last one standing a lot of the time just by hiding behind people and waiting it out.
Then he'd get scared when he was the last one left and actually had to try and throw the ball at people.
After the Oleson's left we packed up and headed out for our red eye to Puerto Rico.
Ironically the Olesons were flying out on a different airline in Las Vegas within an hour of our flight.