Monday, January 26, 2015

Ashley's Birthday and Ice town

A couple of weeks ago we had a friend's son who was in the hospital. We went out to visit him on a Monday night and then met up with Cheri and the girls who happened to be staying the night nearby! They loved seeing Ashley and we loved seeing them ;)

So we ended up giving away our couch that's been in the loft. Ashley started getting emotionally attached to it as it was ready to go out the door. I told her it was time to find it a new home. 

She was fine as soon as we got the new one set up ;)  

It happened to be on her birthday when we set it up so everything we did that day we told her it was for her birthday.

We went to In-N-out for dinner for her birthday (she did pick it for her dinner) on our way...

to meet Perry and family at the airport. (Which we said was for her birthday) Perry was flying in from fire camp and we were all out to meet him after not seeing him for 6 1/2 years.

We also got to see Chase and Gage who we haven't seen in over a year. 

Glad to have uncle Perry back. 

Not nearly as glad as he is to be back I'm sure! We got to meet his wife Sonya for the first time as well. We are happy for both of them that they can be reunited.  

Nice to be back together again as a family :)

Ashley's birthday celebration with friends was on Saturday. It started a little early with Jenna coming over to help decorate and plan for Ashley's party. 

We did a birthday lunch for Ashley at Famous Daves (with a little discount from Sarah)

At 6:00 we had a houseful of girls for a game/movie night plus birthday party. 

Her's a few of her party guests...

with some fun presents...

music, clothes and girly stuff is always nice.

Ashley had fun with all her friends. 

We played some silly games and it all worked out.

Happy Birthday Ashley!

13 years old! We are now officially a house full of teenagers.

That weekend was a 3 day weekend for the kids. Jeff decided last minute to take the Monday off and do something with the kids. 

While Ashley's birthday party was going on Jeff was looking at cheap hotels. So we booked a hotel in Oceanside and went down to hang out with my family after all our church meetings and visits were done for the day. 

Luckily our hotel had a nice hang out spot for the kids to play games. 

The next morning Ashley wanted to go to the beach. She put her suit on and actually got in the water. We didn't put suits on but it was really nice to be at the beach and enjoy the waves for a bit. The weather was nice but not nice enough to swim in the water in my opinion. 

We went walking on the pier and...

Watched the surfers (who were wearing full wetsuits). 

This was Jacob's position pretty much our whole trip. During breakfast that he wouldn't come down for, during our time on the beach, and everywhere else he stayed in the car. He said he wasn't feeling good but I think some pouting was involved.

Jacob sat in the car while we went and checked out Mission San Luis Rey that is right next to Joel and Virginia's house. 

This is the oldest pepper tree in the distance. 

This is one of the oldest chapels still in use in California. 

Most of the missions had their chapels destroyed by fire or earthquake but when this mission was build they knew about earthquakes so they made the walls thicker. 

While we were learning about the mission Ashley confiscated my phone and this is a sample of the results...

All this while the guy behind Dean was telling us about the history of the Mission and the Jesuits that own it. 


I did like that Ashley got a picture of this guy coming in to mass. 

He was wearing black robes and jeans and sandals. I would've like to know his story. I guess he comes every day but nobody know who he is.

Afterwards we walked the grounds and saw the ruins of the barracks of the Mormon Battalion who defended the Mission in the past. We saw where they made the bricks and the lavandaria.

After the mission we went to the harbor and went to lunch.

Jacob was fine to come with us when we were eating at Joe's Crab Shack.

If we would've stayed home we would've done errands and sat around. Sometimes making last minute plans is better ;)

I did hear from Taylor that Jacob complained when we got home. I asked him what he complained about and he said "we did nothing while we were gone"

Ha ha got to love kids

This last Tuesday for our youth activity we rented out Ice Town skating rink and everyone played broom hockey. No skates required.

We got a great turn out and lots of youth came. 

Lots of fun..

This would be fun activity every year if we could pull it off. 

An after school trip to Cherry on Top with a gift certificate from her Birthday.

 Hope you had a great one Ashley.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A New Year!

Happy 2015!!

We spent New Year's Eve chaperoning the youth dance...along with couples from our ward.

All the couples had youth, and none of them were actually going to the dance. So we all went to dinner and tried to make the best of it. 

Since Jeff is the Young Men's president and I'm the Young Women's president we can't easily pass off stake youth assignments ;)  

So 1/2 way through dinner Jeff got a horrible migraine. We ended up staying at the dance for a little over an hour but he was in the foyer trying to sleep with a jacket over his head the whole time. Since there were plenty of adults we went home so Jeff could go to bed. 

It actually ended up working out because the Cowden kids were all at our house hanging out. So I pulled them all into the kitchen and made them play games with me until midnight. 

They had fun (despite Jacob's dumb and dumber look)

The Williamson's brought over goodies that night...this what was left when I got home at 10:00

New Year's Day we had our internet being fixed in the middle of the day so I brought the cousins to a 2 dollar movie.  

A New Year means organizing. Here we are trying to organize Ashley's room. Why does it always seem "organizing" always makes a bigger mess!

We got time in for another hike at Sycamore Canyon before the kids went back to school. 

This time we gave Maddie a bath as soon as we walked into the door. It's worth it though.

The weekend before school got back in we met up with family in San Diego for a quick lunch and a harbor cruise. None of the kids came with us so Jeff and I enjoyed the drive to ourselves. 

Where's Ashley?? We were able to bring her to Jenna's house on our way down since she doesn't get to see her often. 

During the tour our guide narrated and told us what we were seeing in the harbor. This was our first time doing the San Diego tour.

We enjoyed a beautiful sunset on the water...

This was Ashley and I trying to tie dye with Sharpie markers. I saw the idea on Pinterest. You are supposed to color on fabric with Sharpies and then drip rubbing alcohol on it which it makes it bleed and look tie dyed. I had all kinds of ideas for projects...

but it didn't really work as advertised. Most of our attempts looked pretty bad...this was a couple of the better ones. 

It just didn't look that good. Ashley took the two best ones and made herself a mini-pillow. I don't think I would do it again. 

Mutual night at our house...

getting ready for New Beginnings.

When things get done a little early, games are always a hit!

The girls helped make invitations. They did pretty good...except for the fact that some of them ended up blank inside. :)

Taylor's friend Maddie got married this weekend. I remember her coming over and helping Taylor with projects when they were younger and now she's a married woman! Happy for her but luckily Taylor doesn't feel any rush to follow in her footsteps ;)

Our attempt at saving money was to switch out some of our lightbulbs with LED bulbs that use a lot less energy. Seemed like a good idea until we put them in and we realized that they were bright white/blue and didn't match the regular bulbs at all. When we put all LED in they buzzed and flickered. Nope not worth saving money to hear buzzing and get headaches from the flickering. 

Hope everyone elses New Year is starting off well!