Saturday, July 27, 2013

Summer stuff and Jarek's wedding

After one day back in town I was on the hook for Jury Duty. All week I called and then was told to call back the next day. It was a relief to not have to go in, but it made it so I didn't plan anything big all week so I could be here if I got called in. I never got called Jury duty is done for this year :)
Ashley got to go to her friend Jenna's house one of the days so she was happy.
On Friday Ashley and I went to the Getty museum on our way up to Angela and Robert's. Jacob and some friends were up in Santa Barbara at EFY and I was picking them up in the morning. To break up the drive I thought it would be fun to take Ashley to learn about some art and culture....she didn't think it was going to be so fun. She said it would be boring.
But look at this amazing view of the city Ashley!
When we got there she wasn't impressed with anything. She kept asking how long we were going to be there. Well longer than 15 minutes...(when she would've like to have left)
I have been once before with Jeff and it was a brief visit too but I remember there were things that were interesting and it's not just all paintings. This is glassware that is hundreds of years old. I liked the big Welcome glass from Germany that has names scratched in it. I guess it was tradition when someone visited your house to drink from it and scratch your name in it...

and look at this Ashley, a funny drinking glass where they have to drink out of his nose!
It barely warranted a glance from her.
So we went to the courtyard and took a break and got her some food.

When we came into the building with the furniture she started perking up.
I pointed out this side table that had some pretty creepy looking heads carved all over it. It reminded us of the heads on the Hill House movie that we had watched at my parents house.
She agreed that she wouldn't want to have to walk by a table like that in the middle of the night with the creepy heads looking at you.

My favorite was the period rooms that are designed just as they would be during the time periods.


Ashley's favorite was this Turkish bed. It looks like a sofa here but it is really deep and it's really a bed. She said she would love a bed like this. It would take up her whole room!

She said she wouldn't have minded this bed either.

I could tell she was getting into it when I gave her the camera and she started snapping her own pictures.
We liked this set of chairs that belonged to Marie Antoinette, The looked like they were Ashley sized chairs. Very petite and low to the ground.

In the end Ashley ended up not having too bad of a time and I was glad we got to visit the Getty. I snuck in as much Art History lessons as I thought Ashley could handle, I bought her a souvenir, and in the end I think she enjoyed it.

When we got to Angela's and Roberts we got to meet new friends. They had house guests and then friends over for dinner, so we ended up with a large barbeque and some new friends. Ashley loved the smores ...
and some more kids to hang out with.

It's funny to me that you throw kids together and they instantly play together.
The next morning Ashley and I left at 6:00am to get to Santa Barbara by 7:00am to get the kids. I had a car full of happy teens fresh from EFY on a spiritual high.
Jacob had a great time and hopes to go back again next year.

The next weekend was Jarek and Kaylyn's wedding in Portland, Oregon.
Jeff, Steve and their mom represented all us southern California families.
Jeff left at 4:00am to pick up Steve to head to the airport. After a morning flight (that was luckily on time) they got a car and got to the temple in time for the wedding. It was a beautiful day and the couple looked very happy, Jeff reported.

Lots of family to celebrate with.

Jeff's best friend growing up was Chris Nascimento. He lives in Portland so we don't get to see them often but he came down to the temple and was happy to see the family.


All the boys!

Two couples, two cousins married in the same month! Happy for both of them.

Lesil and Elsa looking beautiful.
That night was the reception and then after sleeping and enjoying a free breakfast at their hotel, Jeff and Steve and Mom drove out to see Chris's new house.


Jeff's favorite was the beautiful backyard.
They went out to a nice lunch together and talked about old times and then it was time for them to head back to the airport.

Not without a quick stop to drive by the entrance to the Roloff Farm :)



Meanwhile in Riverside we are doing things closer to home.
Taylor got to take Kelzey rock climbing.

Jacob and I got to help Ryan Orr with his Eagle project by touching up a wall mural at a school.

Jacob and I were painting all morning.

When I got home I was irritated because it seemed that Maddie made a "deposit" for us by the back door because they hadn't let her out while I was gone.
I was getting after the kids and then was suspicious when Taylor was laughing and then came and picked it up with his bare hands. It seems while I was gone Ashley had found a video on the internet and taught herself how to make pretty convincing dog poop out of peanut butter and chocolate syrup.
Well she got me.
Looks like she did a pretty good job.

Luckily Maddie was in the front yard in the mobile groomer's van so I didn't get her in trouble (she probably would've eaten it anyway if she saw it).

Ashley didn't like Maddie's summer haircut...she looks like a lab right now but we told her it would grow back.
Oh and we had a family in the ward who gave us another chinchilla. The kids in the family loved her but a new baby in the family took precedence over a pet so we agreed to adopt her. It's supposedly Ashley's but we're still helping her out and caring for her. She is a sweetie but I'm thinking we are ending up with quite the zoo over here.
Ashley enjoyed hanging out with one of her school friends and watching Turbo. She didn't care for the movie but she was happy to hang out with a friend.

We have been able to get a couple of trips to the beach in. One of the days we met Kelzey's family at the beach. They were about an hour behind us...

but we noticed the Orr family was not too far down the beach from us so the kids were happy to go and start a smash ball tournament with them.

I had Jenae and Jolene with us and the Cowdens for a fun beach day.

Jeff's birthday was last week. We celebrated with presents

and a family trip to John's Incredible Pizza.
And another beach day this week. We met up with the Pendelton's, the Smith's and Sharla  and her kids. It was like the beach days of old times when all our kids were little, and now they are getting big.
It was a nice day and very nice to catch up with each other. There is nothing like sitting in a beach chair and watching the kids play and reconnecting with friends. One of the things I love about summer.
The kids "playing" involved burying Kelzey and Taylor at some point.

When the younger kids thought it would be a good idea to throw sand on their heads I'm sure they were wondering how good of an idea it was.

They got out just fine though. Ha ha.



Monday, July 15, 2013

Philadelphia and the end of our trip

We are leaving our hotel and the site of the convention today so time for one last goodbye to the Foster family
Jeff saying goodbye to Laheri

As we drove to Philadelphia we passed Baltimore which is where our nephew Josh served his mission and then passed through Delaware which is where Jeff's brother Dale served his mission.
Finally we got to Philadelphia

We were here a couple of hours ahead of the rest of my family so we explored some. We found the love statue and...

walked through the city admiring the architecture....

like their magnificent City Hall...

Then made it to the Reading Terminal Market

We were on a quest to get a good Philly cheesesteak sandwich. We saw this market on the Food channel but the fist place we found were already sold out of the cheesesteaks and it was only 2:30. We found another place that had a good size line (always a good sign of being a good place).

Our Sandwiches were worth the wait. Who would've known that Cheese Whiz is the secret to a good philly cheesesteak! 

Back at the hotel we met up with my parents and Michelle and Reese. Taylor and Jacob serenading whoever was in the lobby any chance they could get.

By the time we were hooking up most of the sightseeing places were closing soon. We let the kids stay in the room and Jeff and I walked with my family to a close-by cheesesteak place so they could get a sandwich too.

We came back, grabbed the kids, took a subway to the closest movie theater and we all watched a movie together. We watched the Lone Ranger. We all loved it so we were puzzled why it didn't get good reviews.
The next day we went to the historic part of town.
There was a long line to see the Liberty Bell.
We had most of the group sit down and relax while a few of us stood in the sun. It was a very hot day that day!
Finally it was out turn to see the bell. This bell wasn't used much. It cracked right at the beginning but it was symbolic and important to our history and special for the fact that it predates the American Revolution.



The crack was pretty big and I guess when they repaired it, it cracked even more, so now here it sits in safety.

We still had some time before we were due for our appointment at Independence Hall so we went into the Visitor's Center. They had performers and demonstrators dressed up in period costume. We caught the end of one of their movies.

Then we headed to Independence Hall and went through security.

While we were waiting for our tour Jeff and I headed over to look at to look at our nations first capital building.
In the 10 years that Washington DC was being build this was the site of the House and the Senate.
Finally it was time for our tour of Independence Hall.

Our guide remembered coming here when he was a child learning about history. He then eventually became a citizen. He was originally from Scotland, isn't that what America is made of though. A lot of people that originated from somewhere else at one point.
He is showing us a colonial courthouse. This is where the accused would "stand trial" they would have to stand in this box of bars while the trial was happening.

This is the room where the declaration of Independence was drafted and signed. Each table represented a colony.

Highlighted was this chair that was original to the room. It was called the sun chair. There is 1/2 of a sun on the back of it. There is a quote from one of the founding fathers that mentioned that he never knew if that sun on the chair was rising or setting. After signing the declaration of independence he said that he felt that is was a rising sun as our nation was being born. (Of course I'm paraphrasing)
In another building we saw one of the first printed copies of the Declaration of Independence.
Also the inkwell that was used by the signers.
I loved learning about all the history but after our tour was done we were hot and tired and ready for lunch. After walking to a Burger King and eating we were both ready to get started on our 3 hour drive back.

The day wore the kids out!

Coming back into DC we had a great view of the temple.
We booked a hotel across the street from the airport since we were flying out at 6:30 in the morning.

We thought we were done with our trip but Jacob had other plans. Since we were getting to our hotel about 6 he came up with the idea of meeting the Foster family somewhere between our two hotels for dinner.
Well somehow he got us to coordinate it all and we found a cute outdoor mall to meet them and eat dinner.  Here is Laheri sitting on top of Ashley, sitting on top of Kayla.

On last goodbye!

The next day started bright and early at 4:00 when we got up and ready to catch our flight home.
We flew on a Sunday and then I had to do wash and pack Jacob to go to EFY the next morning!