Tuesday, July 15, 2014

4th of July, LPA Conference and family visiting

After all the graduation and promotion celebrations were over and family had gone back home Ashley and I found ourselves spending a few quiet days together.  The boys were away at scout camp and Jeff was at work. We did some scrapbooking...

and I took her to downtown Riverside for some exploring. I asked her if she wanted to go into the art museum but the front of it was all she wanted to see.

We went to the Galleria which is a 4 story antique mall. There were interesting things, cool things, and Ashley said some things were kind of creepy.

She sat in this little seat that looked like it was just her size and I started laughing. I said "I don't think you want to sit on that" She stood up and looked down and I said the hole means it was a potty chair.

"EEwwww!!!  Eewwww!!!" she jumped up real quick.

She found some toys she liked and she almost convinced me she wanted to buy a Garfield telephone until I realized none of us really use the home phone except to say no to telemarkers, besides she doesn't even have a phone jack in her room so we decided to skip it.

This dressing table and chair set was a favorite. All in all we had a fun afternoon browsing through the junk and treasures alike.

One day I had the opportunity to serve food at a missionary zone conference lunch.

Since it was the last one before the mission president and his wife were returning home there were a lot of pictures taken.

I got to learn how to cut wedding cake when I was roped in last minute to help at the Cambell's wedding. The wedding cake cutters left early so I got a crash course and did my best.

The pressure was on when the guests were wanting me to cut through the top layer quickly so I could get to the chocolate! Ha ha!

 Jeff was invited to confirm CJ at his baptism. This boy used to sit in front of us at church with his grandma. In true Jeff fashion he would interact with him and his brothers and bring jolly ranchers for them. Even though they haven't attended our ward in years he remembered Jeff and wanted to have him confirm him a member of the church.

We also went to the wedding of one of Jeff's childhood friends. Her 1st, his 3rd and wishing them happiness. (Come to find out her son just graduated with Taylor last month.)

I've done some crafting with my free time. These are felt purses that I made with an 8 1/2 by 11 piece of felt folded in half. I used ribbons for handles and experimented with what I had to embellish them. Kinda fun.

I also decided to share the wealth and host a jewelry day. I invited a few people over and brought out all my supplies and let people go at it! The thought was they could make them for pine-cone pal gifts or for themselves.

Everyone did a little of both and it was fun to craft and talk.  

At the end of the day Jeanine Rioux surprised me with a beautiful quilt!! It has been her summer project for the last 3 summers and she felt that I would appreciate it. I was so touched and impressed with her skill. As she explained to me the way she crafted it and the research she did to make it I was more and more impressed.

Some of the fabric she used was brought back to her from Hawaii and she researched and used inspiration from Hawaiian quilting styles to make it. She knew that we liked Hawaii and felt that  I would enjoy it. It will be cherished always!

Another day with cousins going to the beach.

Ashley and I brought her friend Soli and we met up with the Williamsons. The water was great that day and they had a great time boogie boarding.

One evening we drove out to Newport and went to Mama D's with the Bagleys for dinner. They took us on a tour of their beautiful beach house they were renting that week and we had a great time hanging out with them.

Taylor and Jacob missed out.

Loved the beautiful sunset that night!

So I tried a couple of pinterest recipes. Instead of rootbeer and white cake mix I tried pink lemonade with strawberry soda.

I topped it with fruit and we have them out to the families we visit for 4th of July. They turned out OK but I learned that the cupcakes don't rise as much so it doesn't make as many and the lemon taste in the cake gave a weird aftertaste I didn't care for.

Later on I tried the rootbeer with vanilla cake and it turned out much better.

I also tried a pinterest recipe for Smores mini-bites. Now these were good and I'll make them again! Great way to use smores ingredients with out the mess.

My creations were enjoyed by the Oleson's when they came to stay for a few days with us. We are excited that they are house hunting in Southern California!

They won't end up in Riverside but wherever they end up it will be closer than Utah.

They got to enjoy the jacuzzi now that it's up and running.

Of course they enjoyed playing video games together more than anything.

One of the days we took a trip to Knotts Berry farm. Last time we went with them we had people sick and it rained. This time it was much better.

There were a few new rides in Camp Snoopy and the lines weren't even bad though it was mid summer.

They redid the mine ride and we all went on the log ride.

Everyone seemed to have fun and even those who were a little nervous faced their fears and went on some of the big rides.

Dean was happy to have Ashley as a companion on his rides.

We ended the day with a meal at Olive Garden.

The next day we said goodbye to the Oleson's and started packing for our trip to San Diego for the LPA convention.

The start of the convention happened to be on the Fourth of July.

Not a bad place to spend the Fourth!

We checked out the pool area and found all kinds of things to entertain the kids in the sun. They met a boy from South Africa right away and started playing Ping-Pong.

Across the street was Cheesecake Factory...

a great place for an early dinner/late lunch.

About 5:00 Cheri and Ryan and the girls met up with us at the hotel.

Luckily Jeff staked out a spot for us to have a good view. People had set up tents and picnic areas hours before and we found out that the fireworks were going to be shot off at 3 or 4 spots in the water off of barges. So we pulled a blanket and a couple of chairs out and had it sitting there until we came back. It was just enough room to fit us.

This is one of my crochet creations. Olive became the recipient since I know that Ashley will never wear it. I'll have to make something for Violet next time!

Uncle Jeff of course had to spoil the girls and get them glow toys.

The fireworks were great and we had a perfect view.

It was Olive and Violet's first time at a firework show!

Ashley took lots of video and pictures of the fireworks for us for us.

The next day I worked at the registration room and Jeff helped some too. We agreed to volunteer for a few hours each and boy that registration room was so busy that 4 hours felt like 10. Ha ha.

Mid afternoon we met up with the Foster family, who we met last year, and went with them to the beach. We went to Coronado Beach. The weather was great and the water was warm... 

but it was full of seaweed! The kids went in it for awhile but only Ashley and Laheri stayed and boogie boarded for a long time.

After we got cleaned up we went to dinner. Here we are waiting outside of The Spaghetti Factory for our table. We had some entertainment as a parade of people coming from some roof top pool party kept walking by wearing interesting outfits with various degrees of sobriety. We had a front row seat of a guy so drunk that we though he was going to pass out in the street. He was saved by a pedi cab driver who buckled him in like he was 2 and took him away. Classy

Ashley's cotton candy limeade. Quite a drink!

Eating dinner at Spaghetti factory.


The next day we hung out some and then said our goodbyes because we had to get Jacob home and ready for EFY.

Jacob met a new friend Katie. She actually wasn't a completely new friend, he met her briefly last year and we went to a camp once with her family when she was young. Since Jacob's time there was short they only got to hang out for a little bit. We got to know her better after he left and thought she was a sweet, nice girl!  Hopefully they can keep in touch. Since Jacob doesn't do social media and he isn't a good at texting that might be tricky! Good luck Katie Ha ha!

Saying goodbye

We rolled into the driveway from San Diego and exactly enough time to do a load of laundry and dry it and get Jacob out the door for EFY. We dropped him off at the Thompson's and we sung happy birthday to Ethan before they were on their way.

The next couple of days Jeff went back to work and we tried to do more wash and recover from a busy week.

I took Ashley and her friend to the skating rink one day. I found out from 2:00pm to 4:00pm it's happy hour and it's buy one get one free. They both got in for $5.50 you can't beat that.

I was too tired to skate so I read a book on the hard bench while listening to pumping music :)

On Wednesday Jeff skipped out of work and we went back down to San Diego to do another round of the LPA convention minus Jacob.

Jeff and I went to the one and only workshop we ended up attending and it was a "mixed height couple" group. There were 4 of us couples and one guy that was dating average height people. We are a small group but it was nice to meet some others.

We then took the Foster family to Old Town San Diego.

We toured through some of the historic buildings...

 and then ate dinner at Café Coyote. They had great homemade tortillas and the food was good.

After dinner we strolled around and found an open-air market.

We listened to some live flute music and

found a few souvenirs.

That night was the last dance for us. We didn't attend the banquet dinner but Jeff helped participate in the raffle. He bought raffle tickets and then when it was time to pull them and announce the winners the event coordinator looked at Jeff and wanted him to emcee. So he jumped in and helped. Of course he hammed it up like always.

The funniest part was when we actually won something and I came up to claim it he gave me a kiss. I think it shocked people until he told them it was his wife. :)

The last day of the conference and we went to the beach party. Ashley had two friends that she kept passing in the halls and finally was able to hang out with them.

Ashley and Kayla sporting their airbrushed "tattoos"

Taylor thinking he was cool with his....he wanted to show Kelzey but it pretty much washed off by the time we got home.

Leheri got the most use of the boogie boards out of everyone.

After the beach we made use of the pool (even though we were checked out)...

and ate one last dinner at Sea Port Village.

Saying goodbye and hope to see you guys soon.

The next morning I got up and drove up to Camarillo to stay with Angela and Robert so I could pick up Jacob and his friends at EFY the next morning. On the way I dropped off Ashley's friend Chloe  from LPA for a sleepover.

Angela and I took Ian out to Underwood farms for rides and animal feeding. I loved talking to him because he would have the most interesting conversations. He told me about his clothes and what was on them (the dinosaur on his shirt was nice and NOT scary), he told me about super heros and about his room...and so on. 

He ended up taking a late nap so he was awake for...

going to the annual street fair. He got to try some soda from Rocket Fizz (loved it), he had some candy and then ate 1/2 of a fresh donut from the local donut shop. Angela and Robert commented on how much sugar he had on the way home.

He turned to me and said "I LIKE sugar!"

The next morning I was up at 5:30 and driving up to Santa Barbara to pick up these guys. They all had a good time at EFY and came home happy but tired.