For Christmas this year Ashley got a new bed. She wanted a bigger one, lower to the ground.
It was pretty much the only thing she got other than clothes but she was happy. Jeff kept saying "Why does the smallest one in the family need a big bed?" Ha ha
Unfortunately it didn't come until after the new year but finally we got it set up and put together.
Jacob now has Ashley's old bed in his room.
You'll love it Jacob ;)
Ashley and Cassidy and came with Jeff and I to Chad and Erin's wedding down by the beach.
On the drive home Ashley and Cassidy wanted to try and find this dessert place called Dragon's Breath in the Irvine Spectrum Center. I guess they had a friend that had gone there earlier in the day and they wanted to try it out.
After quite a hunt we finally found the place that sold it. We had to ask a lot of people and wander a number of places and it ended up being a kiosk in the middle of the place. I thought it was ice cream but basically it was colorful kix cereal balls in liquid Nitrogen that you dip in a milky sauce. It tasted like you were eating cereal.
Not much of a dessert but it was more of a fun experience.
(I saw another family throw their "dessert" away in disgust)
It was fun to see your breath when it wasn't cold outside but it will probably be a one time thing for us.
Taylor having fun with Maddie.
So we planned a trip to Big Bear for the end of Christmas break but some of us needed water proof jackets for the cold, snow and rain. We have a lot of sweatshirt jackets because that's all you normally need so we had to go out shopping.
I found one for Ashley and I ended up having to cut off more than the sleeve than I kept!
After all that she ended up wearing it once and then all last week when it rained here she didn't wear it at all.
I am finding that its pretty common that I'll hem things for her and then she barely wears it or decides that she really doesn't like it. Sigh.
On our Big Bear trip we took Jolene with us. Her and Ashley were sick with colds but we loaded the van up with medicine, Kleenex's and Cough drops and were on our way.
We were happy that there was snow in Big Bear but it wasn't fresh we started out at a snow tubing place where we knew the snow would be good.
I had just as much fun as the kids (though I didn't climb up the stairs as much as they did)
Ashley wasn't feeling good so she was in the car with a headache, she was OK though because she knew we would only be there an hour and she had already been there a few times before.
Jolene seemed to like it and we have a lot of videos of her squealing as she slid down the hill.
After tubing we continued driving up the mountain. Beautiful view.
We got stuck in traffic and there was a rock slide that they were clearing so we took the time to turn off and enjoy the view.
Visiting the visitor's center when we got to Big Bear...to pick up a bunch of brochures...
and be silly.
Stopping for lunch...Taylor asked "does this french fry look like it's flipping me off?"
Well now that you mention it...
We got a tip that there was an old ski run that is good for sledding. We found it and it was pretty icy and bumpy and much more overgrown than the last time that Jeff visited but we still had fun.
Ashley tried out the snow scooter that Jeff got. I wasn't sure how it would work but Ashley ended up being pretty good on it.
Fun sledding in the snow...you had to be careful not to run into bushes, rocks or other people.
While we waited for an hour to be able to get a table at the restaurant we wandered the village and did some shopping.
Taylor spent some time in a music shop playing their keyboard. I was getting a kick out of all the vintage old records there.
Ashley found a hat she liked from south America and eventually our table was ready.
We were outside on the heated porch. One side of me was warm and the other was cold.
The next day we woke up to rain...so we went bowling for a couple of hours.
I realized I am way out of practice when it comes to bowling and Taylor has gotten better since he has been going to college bowling night. He actually got a 165 which was his best game so far. The rest of us never broke 100.
The rain had stopped by now so we headed over to ride on the Alpine Slide.
Riding up the ski lift after a 1/2 hour or so wait in line.
Lots of fun. We had tickets for another ride but we thought we'd come back in the evening when the lines died down. We found out later that it closed earlier than we thought so we'll just have to go back another time.
We drove over to the Discovery Center to check it out.
Before we left the kids decided to do a coloring page.
Before the sun set we found another good place for sledding. It was an open field that was for sale but there were tons of people sledding there.
The snow was softer today (maybe because of the rain and it was warmer) it was perfect sledding weather. The funny thing was there was no parking signs everywhere and at one point right after we got there the police came and started giving tickets. You should have seen the hill clear out!
Jeff ran and moved our car before we got a ticket, and then the crowds thinned out.
Our last night there and we had the best food at a local place called Teddy Bears.
The upside was the food was good.
The downside was it was cash only and there was an hour wait again.
But it gave us time to check out more shops...here is Taylor trying on the Santa Crochet hat.
The next morning we went to church and then packed up to come home.
The drive down took 2 1/2 hours...it didn't help that all these people were parked on the side of the road illegally to play in the patchy snow. The road was blocked and narrow with all the cars.
The bad thing was that people left trash everywhere! Broken sleds, food wrappers, cans, bottles and all kinds of junk everywhere, even if there was a trash nearby. Sad!!
Saying goodbye to Big Bear and back to the reality of school and work...
I realized that this picture looks like one of those optical illusions....I have one giant hairy arm. Thanks Taylor.
And news from Jacob...
January 2nd 2017
Happy New Year!, I do have the same companion! This was a huge transfer though, it was the biggest and strangest one with this president, that’s at least what the other missionaries said, but i trust president that its right. As For us in Salisbury, the people here are great! Almost everyone who accepts lessons with us, accepts the baptismal invitation, which is great! But they’re very wishy washy in the south, Its Crazy! Like a miracle will happen, they’ll say, "you came at the perfect time!" and they’ll think it was so amazing that we came as soon as they needed us, but a few lessons later they change their mind, so the lesson in this, miracles don’t make conversion.
Also! I got to drive for the first time last week! It was kind of scary, since it’s been so long, but it’s easy here compared to Cali. And I got to drive today, and I get to drive far tomorrow! We have to drive an hour away, drop off my companion for MLC with the zone leaders, then I pick up two other guys whose companions are also going to mlc, then driving them all day! It’ll be so much fun! I haven’t seen Greggy since Christmas, but hopefully we'll be together soon!
There have been some rough times lately, but now it’s more of other people canceling, or stuff i cant control, which is better than before. Cuz its hard for me to get discouraged, especially if its not something I’m doing. So I’ve been trying to help my comp through the rough time with the investigators.
I will say though, that I have made some resolutions, and lets just say, I’m gonna be buff by the end of this year! I love ya'll so much!!
Here is a picture of Jacob at an appointment singing with his companion.
Here is an excerpt from the letter from the Ward Mission President's wife who told us about that night.
"Also, tonight we had dinner with the elders at a part-member families home. The wife is a member and the husband is not. They were one of the families that we went caroling to right before Christmas and this is the first time that they have had the elders over for dinner. They also invited my husband and I over since we have become friends with the wife. The husband told me tonight how much it meant to him that we came and sang to them that night. I think that might have been the first step to opening his heart. Tonight, the elders sang the song Hallelujah while the wife played the guitar and I got a couple of pictures of them doing that. It was a really nice evening and we along with the elders are going to be praying that Lewis Brendle might be receptive to letting the elders teach him about the gospel.