Thursday, April 11, 2013

Spring Break Week, San Diego

Most of our Spring Break was me doing normal every stuff like wash, errands and house cleaning and trying to get the kids to work on school projects. Not so fun. 

At the end of the week we tried to make it feel like Spring Break.

We actually own a couple of jet skis with a friend that I've never seen and we've never used. They've needed to be serviced and we rely on our friend to store them since we don't have a spot. Well he was out on the lake with them along with his family on Thursday so we went down for the last hour they were there so we could try them out. 

The rest of us didn't get in the water much because it was late afternoon and kinda chilly.

The boys did get to try the jet skis though and Taylor was thrilled that he can ride them himself now (you are supposed to be 16). 

We'll be looking forward to warmer days and more times to be able to take them out on the lake. 

The next morning as we were packing up to go to San Diego for a couple of days we found a little "present" on the lawn. 

Since hearts were involved we thought it might be Kelzey...she said it wasn't her so right now it's a mystery. 

(We told Jacob it might be for him but he insists it wasn't ;)

Whoever it was used the good kind of toilet paper...and left a lot of rolls almost full...they were dry so I'm thinking we'll probably use them. Ha ha ha! 

After we cleaned up the yard we headed to Sea World. 

We haven't been there in a few years and the kids were open to going. Ashley got to go on journey to Atlantis. She was scared at first but then realized it wasn't bad and she's ready to go again. 

I liked being back after not going in a long time...

But the kids acted almost bored. They felt like they've been there a lot of times in the past and had seen everything. They wouldn't do the dolphin show, the touch pools, the aquariums, or look at the sharks they would'nt even check out the flamingos that were right next to us walking around free or pet the hedgehog that was 2 feet away that a trainer was holding. 
"Eeeehh", they said and walked on.

How could you get tired of seeing this??

Well even though Shamu was impressive and I love the part where everyone gets splashed the show isn't as exciting as it used to be. The trainers are never in the water anymore and they don't even talk during the show to explain about them or tell you any facts even. 

Basically it's just a bunch of music playing while the whales are swimming around doing tricks. 

No more petting the orcas to see what they feel like, no trainers in the water and now there is a railing so the kids can't even come right up to the glass to get soaked. 

Maybe it would've been better if I didn't remember the shows in the past. 

We did like the new Manta roller coaster and here are the boys enjoying getting wet on the water ride but by 3:00 the kids were done and wanted to leave. 

That was an expensive few hours. 

Wow since it's buy a day, get the year free, we now have passes to a place that the kids act like they never want to come back to!

Well this summer I think I'll plan to go and I'll take whoever wants to come and whoever doesn't can stay home bored that day. I'll go see all the shows and look in the aquariums!

What DID the kids want to do instead of Sea World???

Check into the hotel and do this...

Welcome to "Spring Break" Jeff. 

After some down time the kids were ready to check out the downtown and get some dinner. 

We booked the Hilton Gaslamp through hotwire..pretty decent deal until you realize that parking is valet only and $40 a night. (That's almost 1/2 the rate of the room) Luckily Jeff found free parking the first night and parked in a $22 lot the next.

The good part was it was right in the heart of the gaslamp district and there were cool places to see and a mall right near us. 

Jeff and I were in the mood for a really good fish restaurant or at least something different, but since we have one child that hates fish and even the smell of it and is very vocal about it we ended up settling for a TGIFridays. Boring but at least we knew what we were going to get. 

We hit the mall afterwards and did a little shopping. That was interesting since 1/2 the mall is demolished for some kind of renovation project even though the rest of it is still open. 

Breakfast the next morning was at Denny's. Our favorite when we are traveling, their $2 and $4 breakfasts are the best. 

Taylor demonstrating his newest trick. 3 knives in a triangle holding a glass of water. This worked great until he started making it more and more precarious by moving the knives around and the glass slipped and sloshed water all over the table. Nice try. 

Our first stop of the morning while the kids were still fresh was the Mormon Battalion historic site. 

They've renovated it since I've been there last and I was impressed with the upgrades. 

We start in this courtyard where the pictures on the wall talk and start telling us the stories we then follow them from room to room as if we were going on the march with the mormon battalion members. 

Here we are stopping in the supply house to get our soldier's gear. 

Taylor getting outfitted. These rifles were a lot heavier than you would think and I couldn't imagine carrying them across the plains. 

The money from their uniform allowance (they were actually allowed to wear their own clothes) helped the rest of the saints as they were coming across the plains. 

Here they are at the outdoor campfire...looking exited ;)

At the end they could pan for gold and see molds of the bricks that they helped the San Diego residents make. 

I liked that we ended the tour in a replica of the first courthouse made out of bricks that the Mormon Battalion trained the residents to make....then 

We went over to the Old Town State Historic Park and 

Saw the actual brick courthouse that they helped make. Inside of it they talked again about the Mormon Battalion. 

You can tell that the kids were thrilled to be visiting more historic sites. 

A stop in the candy store helped them to be convinced to stop some of the complaining...

But eventually Jeff and I left them to hang out in the park as we walked into the historical buildings around the square. 

Since it was Saturday there was a lot going on like an art fair, a dance in the park and these dancers performing. 

Our last stop was this adobe house that was owned by a prominent San Diego family. The courtyard and garden was beautiful.

All the rooms were decorated in period pieces and you can tell that the adobe walls made it cooler for the people who lived in the house. 

After Old Town we drove up to La Jolla to possibly go to the beach. 

It took us about 30 minutes to find parking because there was an event they were setting up for and there wasn't anything open. 

We finally parked and the kids refuse to get out of the car. 

After trying and trying we said fine and Jeff and I got out and walked along the beach. 

We packed their swim stuff or even just flip flops if they wanted to go in the sand. 

It was a beautiful day.

People enjoying the tide pools (our kids still in the car)

Jeff and I walked to the children's beach and saw the seals. 

They look like a pile of rocks!

Then we walked back and took the kids to Seaport Village to look for some lunch. 

We ended up watching a couple of street performers, one juggling fire and another as an escape artist...and then ate the cheesiest calzone I've ever had. 

We then learned the kids do better with a break so we went back to the hotel to relax for a bit. 

The kids got in their suits and wanted to go swimming. It was still chilly for me so I just watched. 

Even though the pool was supposed to be heated it was pretty cold and they didn't stay in it long before they headed to the Jacuzzi. 

Much better (notice how they are refusing to look at the camera)

After swimming we got everyone dressed and we drove out to see Cheri and Ryan and the girls. We haven't see their new house yet. It's an adorable house in a great location in walking distance of the beach, the library and even the store. 

Ashley said that Olive talked to her more than she's ever heard before and they had fun hanging out together. 

When she walked in the door Olive said "I want to play with YOU" and pointed at Ashley. 

How cute!

After hanging out a bit we went to a great Mexican restaurant and ate with the Grovers. 

Olive sat on our side of the table and Jeff and Ashley hung out with her helping her eat her food and talking to her. 

My favorite was when a mariachi band came around and played children's songs and Olive was quietly singing "Twinkle twinkle, little star" with them.

The next morning we drove back home and tried to get ready to go back to school and work. Luckily it was conference weekend so church was TIVOed and we watched it when we got home.

Later when I asked Taylor how he liked our trip he didn't seem like he was that excited about it. He said Sea World is for little kids (OK that would've been nice to know he thought that before we went) and when I asked him what he would've rather done he said "Like go to the beach or something" Funny we took you to the beach, you wouldn't get out of the car!

Now this week I'm trying to start getting ready for Jeff and I to go to New York with his company and I'm making stuff for a craft show in May...

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Happy Easter and Spring Break

Hope everyone had a Happy Easter! I don't have any cute Easter family pictures...the morning ended up being crazy and the church clothes came off before Jeff was even home from his after church responsibilities so....this is our Easter picture. 

(I am secretly very jealous of everyone else's cute dressed up perfect family Easter pictures. Maybe next year )

To back up a bit...the Friday before Easter we went to what started out as a get together to see my two nephews down from Oregon and to be introduced to Jarek's girlfriend. 

It ended up being a happy engagement party since he proposed a few days before we got together (I found out about it on facebook)

Which then was turned into a double engagement party when Jared proposed to Vanessa the night before (which I also found out about on facebook)

Here we are watching the video of Jared proposing at Disneyland with the help of a barbershop quartet. Very cute and a fun way to celebrate with both of the happy couples. 

I have fond memories of going to BYU with two of my cousins. We all ended up getting married within a few months of each other and it makes it a lot of fun. 

Jeff snuggling with Caden :)

The next morning I was up early cooking for our annual ward Easter Egg hunt and brunch in the park. It was well attended and even graced by Brayden Bagley dressed up in a pink bunny suit. 

(The parents of little ones loved him and got pictures of their kids with him)

There were tons of eggs and candy and even boxes of peeps out for the kids to pick up. 

Everyone got plenty and I even had a couple of neighbors come out and enjoy the party with us. 

Thanks to some donations from a charity group that had leftovers we also had a prize table for the kids. We took an idea from our LPA parties and put a ticket in eggs and they could redeem their ticket for prizes. It was a big hit. 

That night we went with a couple of families to Ferrells for ice cream to celebrate their daughter's birthday. Maia got the coveted giant balloon hat. 

I remember Ferrells from when I was growing up. It went out of business and now that a new one opened up its very popular with lines wrapped around with people waiting to come in. 

It was a very fun, and loud experience. I have to say the servers have to have a lot of personality, energy and vocal chords of steel. 

Sunday morning I set out my well thought out Christ centered Easter baskets with scriptures and quotes about the atonement and Christ's mission attached to all the contents. 

It went downhill from there. 

I woke up and came downstairs to find that Ashley's "pet" slug had escaped in the middle of the night. It needed to be found before everyone else came over later that day!

As we were getting dressed I realized my brand new pumps I bought didn't really fit. They were too big...back in the box and I had to put on my old ones with the strap that is ready to break at any minute :(

Then we realized that Jacob didn't have any church clothes! He had brought his suit and church shoes to school to do a play in his classroom...and left them at school. 

It's 1/2 hour before church and he doesn't have anything to wear on Easter Sunday. Really! You couldn't have told me this the day before so we could've done something about it!?

So he ended up wearing Jeff's too big shoes and we found an old pair of Taylor's slacks in the closet that I am now hemming right before we are trying to get out the door. 

Ashley's 1/2 off black nail polish didn't get off, my make up barely got on and forget about breakfast.

When we got home I found candy remnants from their baskets I asked "did you read the tags on the candy" I got silence in return. So much for an ideal Easter....everyone's perfect family Easter photos on facebook just accentuated that fact. 

I spent the rest of the afternoon getting ready for an Easter gathering with Steve and Tahna's family and at the last minute Angela and Robert!

I was in church and thought about Angela and her spring break. I texted her and sure enough she had been in San Diego all week and they were driving back home. We are pretty much on their way home so they ended up coming over as I was getting ready for dinner and hanging out with us for awhile. 

Ian enjoying his Easter basket...

and the trampoline with Ashley. 

The last time he was over he didn't like the trampoline but this time he seemed to like it a lot more. 

We enjoyed lots of food and visiting with family. The kids were pretty quiet upstairs... Jeff snuck up to see why....

So thats why they were so quiet. 

The first day of spring break Taylor was invited to go to Knotts with Kelsey and her family and friends. They ended up having quite a group and he had a lot of fun! The Cowdens were very brave and generous to take all of them!

Taylor and Kelsey recently have opened up and have let us know as parents that they like each other. Since Kelsey isn't 16 yet they have been allowed to have supervised time together with each other's families. 

Since Kelsey and Taylor are both our oldest child this is all new for us. 

The rest of us didn't have such a fun first day of Spring Break....this was it...laundry. Jacob stayed in pjs the whole day and didn't go anywhere. 

Ashley ended up going to a friends late in the day...but other than drive her to her friends...all I did was laundry and clean the house.

The next two days haven't been much better. 

The kids are much harder to rally to get out of the house and do anything. A huge group went to the beach yesterday...did my kids want to go? No. They said they'll go in the summer. Everyone went to the beach had a great time. We were home. Again.

So we worked on Jacob's plant project and I did boring errands and more house cleaning stuff. 

Last night we finally took the kids out and went to the drive in. 

Jacob wanted to hang out on the roof of the car.  That lasted less than 10 minutes. He realized how uncomfortable it was. 

We brought Kelsey with the family to the movies. 

All the kids were watching the movies in the back of the truck. Jeff and I were in the van but we didn't stay there long...we kept checking on the kids and couldn't relax and ended up sitting in chairs right next to them. 

Still trying to figure this boyfriend, girlfriend thing out ha ha.