Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Trip to San Fransisco, Sharp Nationals and Taylor's Birthday

A couple of pictures that I missed from Spring Break...

Ashley had her friend Jenna over one day and they made use of the hot tub.

Afterwards they watched Insidious which is a scary movie (notice that Ashley is covering her eyes) 

Ashley has been waiting for a friend who would watch it with her since most of them say that they don't like scary movies. 

A few days later we had Jenae and Jolene over. 

Again they were in the hot tub...

and then they watched another scary movie that they rented. Jenae deosn't like scary movies. 
When I came into the room 20 minutes into it they had every light on and Jenae had moved from the little couch sitting by herself to snuggling next to everyone else. 

I told Jenae we could turn it off if she wanted. She said "No, now I have to find out what happens!" 

Ha ha.

The weekend after Spring Break Jeff and I flew up to San Francisco early on a Friday morning so he could speak at a New York Life group up there. It's not often that I get to come with him on his speaking engagements so I was happy to be there with him.  He did a wonderful job, he was engaging and had high energy and I was so proud of him. 

After his speech he took lots of pictures with people and then we went to lunch with a smaller New York Life group and he spoke for 15 more minutes. 

Since we didn't have a car we relaxed in our room and took a nap (after waking up at 3:30 that morning) and waited until we were being picked up for dinner. 

Dinner was a great restaurant and I'm sad I didn't get a picture with our wonderful hosts. They were a sweet couple and I was glad to get to know them. The restaurant faced the bay and they said you could see the spot we saw in the news where the plane that didn't quite make it to the airport crashed.

Saturday morning was our day to ourselves. We took the Bart to the airport and dropped off our bag and then went into the city to explore. 

We had to walk from our Bart stop through the city to the water's edge. We were glad we did because there was vendors, crafters and artists all set up for an event that day. 

There was a lot of cool interactive art displays. This one Jeff is stepping on a square which activated a fountain behind him (on the right)

We bought a few wire puzzles from a guy who was making them as we watched. We recorded the solution on our phone in case we couldn't figure it out later :) The kids liked them.

We ended up at a park with this huge permanent art installment. I wish I would have one of us stand in front of it to give an idea of how big it was. 

 By the time it was lunchtime we made our way to Fisherman's warf. 

When we are in town our favorite food is the street food. I get the clam chowder bread bowl. 

Jeff gets the crab cooked while you wait. Super fresh and good. 

We ate our lunch balanced on a concrete step with lots of other visitors listening to a street performer and watching for Seagulls eyeing our lunch.

More exploring brought us to these Sea Lions basking in the sun. We laughed at their fighting over a little spot of dock when there were open docks all around them. 

We went down to Pier 39 and looked in some of the shops and then signed up for...

a double decker bus tour. 

We missed the first bus and had to wait 1/2 hour for the next one and by the time we boarded we didn't have enough time to do the whole tour loop before we had to head back onto the Bart to get to the airport. (It seemed like waiting and riding on transportation ate a lot into our day!)

We saw what we could and were happy we had a great tour guide to tell us about the city as we were driving through it.  We actually were really lucky that we caught the city on a a really warm day. 
I've actually never been in the city with it being as warm as it was! 

Here is the entrance to their old docks where it would take two weeks to unload and load shipping containers. Now it's done in a day and this is obsolete. 

We saw the older parts of town,

and learned about the history. 

We saw the newer parts of town,

and learned about the cities growth. 

They had these painted hearts around the city. This Star Wars one was quite popular.

The capitol building.

We hopped off the bus at China town since it was near our Bart stop and explored some. 

There were interesting shops and cheap souvenirs and we picked up a few things for the kids.  

Walking to the Bart station I realized you never knew what you were going to find around the corner. We stopped at a park to use the restrooms and felt like we had stepped into China. There was a traditional Chinese singer performing and the park was literally packed with people playing card games using cardboard boxes as tables.   

This is an opera singer being recorded for something.

We made it back to the airport on time to find out our plane was delayed. So we had a leisurely bite to eat and then flew home to the kids happy for a quick trip together. 

The next weekend Jacob and Jeff drove to Vegas for the Spark National Cheer competition. 

Jacob and the Mascots were competing along with the Cheer and Pom teams.

Tons of people there and it lasted all day and into the night.

Jeff said they did a great job. 

There weren't any other mascot teams but they still had to earn a certain amount of points to place high. 

They ended up getting first place along with the rest of the cheer and pom teams.  

Jeff originally had visions of hitting a buffet and maybe a show with Jacob. That was out the window because the whole day and into the night was cheer stuff, Jacob got to bed at 12:30 after their ice cream social. A fun experience for him. 

This is some of the stash that Jacob brought home from Nationals. Between all the gifties, medals and rah rah stuff he came home with quite a haul. 

While they were in Vegas I was hosting the Zook family. 

Angela and Robert had a wedding to go to so Ashley and I got to hang out with Ian on Saturday. 

We wanted to do something fun so we took him to John's Incredible Pizza. When we walked in the door he said "Do they have Peanut butter and jelly here?"  Nope but I got him to eat some pizza. 

We played games, some more fun than others. 
(Some seem like they just eat your credits in two seconds)

His favorite was the rides! He had no fear. If the roller coaster would have been open he would've been on it in a heart beat. 

He was happy with the other rides though. 

Before we left he discovered the joys of Icee's. 

We called it blue soda since he didn't know what it was. He wanted more but I thought he would be up all night on a sugar high so I had to cut him off. 

The next day the Zooks came to church with us and then after church and lunch we made Koolaid playdough (Haven't made that in a long time) and slime. 

Ian is happy but he was silly for the picture. 

The Zooks left about an hour before Jeff and Jacob got home. Just missed them. 

For mutual we've done a couple of fun things lately. This was a "speed friending" night where the girls from both wards got to know each other better. 

This was our human Hungry Hungry Hippo night that turned out to be a big hit. I saw a video of it on the internet and now there are all kinds of copycat videos. So now we've done it too. 

Ashley helped her team but didn't try it but everyone else did and liked it.

Taylor had a birthday this last week. 

He's 19!

He doesn't like cake so I made him and apple pie and we sang to him the day before since he was working on his birthday. 

A couple of days later he decided the beard was getting annoying and decided to shave it off. 

He took it off in stages so I could take pictures of how he would look with various facial hair. He said the smiling mustache picture made him look like a creeper, ha ha. 

On Thursday we went to Famous Dave's to take Taylor out to dinner. The only bad thing was that Jacob had a Calculus final that went until 8:00 so it was a late dinner. 

Happy Birthday Taylor!! We love you!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Spring Break and Easter

This year Spring break fell on two different weeks for our children now that Taylor is in college. For Taylor's Spring Break he got the house to himself  for most of the week.

One of the days he was home I went and volunteered for a day at the Jurupa Mountain Discovery center where my friend works. 

I tailed one of the instructors that was doing a presentation for and elementary school field trip. 

She did a great job and was fun and informative for the kids.

I even started a rock collection to bring with me when I sub. Last week I taught a class of 5th graders that were learning about minerals and was able to share some of them. 

Since the kid's Spring Breaks didn't overlap we didn't make any plans to travel far but we did decide last minute to try a quick 3 day cruise out of Long Beach. Jacob had to miss one day of school so we could get Taylor back before his classes started but he didn't seem to mind. 

We lucked out that the weather was nice...but since the pool was filled with ocean water it was cold! (The joys of our Pacific ocean ;)

Hanging out in Long Beach waiting to depart. 

We got two rooms so we didn't have to all be jammed into one. That turned out to be a smart move since the entire bathroom with the shower was the size of a handicap porti-potti. I couldn't imagine 5 of us sharing one.

The next morning we woke up in Ensenada. It was a beautiful day again. We ended up booking a tour through the ship that would take us around Ensenada and tell us about it and then end up at a restaurant for a cooking class and then give us time to shop at the end. 

When we got to the cooking class we found our own cutting boards and bowl full of vegetables.

Instead of huddling in a kitchen we sat in the dining room of the restaurant that was closed except to our group...

And our chef was there with us giving us instructions. We made Mexican Salsa (or pico de gallo) and then added the avacado to make guacamole. We had two more courses of food that we made (really pretty much just assembled).

Guys off the street kept wandering in and wanting to play mariachi music for us.

Our lunch was us assembling/making our food and then eating it. It was a nice way to have a cooking class and in the end we were all stuffed. 

When we left the restaurant to shop we were approached by some people doing a fundraiser to raise money for an animal sanctuary. Basically you could pay to have your picture taken with a lion cub and the money would go to the santuary.

Ashley was in heaven!  

This little guy was only 6 weeks old and sleepy. They laid him on Ashley and Taylor held his head as he was nodding off again. 

We got a couple of pictures as he dozed away. 

When we realized Jacob hadn't gotten to hold him we re-positioned him so he was on Jacob's lap and then he woke up. His crib is right behind us and he kept wanting to climb back in it. 

Then they got a bottle out for him and the kids got to feed him. 

In heaven!  

They would never get to do this in America :)

Shopping was more fun than I thought because the people were friendly and not as pushy and desperate as they seem to be in Tijuana. We had some friendly banter with some of the locals and enjoyed it. 

After shopping the kids were ready to go back to the boat but Jeff and I were up for more sight seeing.

Jeff and I went to the little local museum and checked out a historical building,

Then literally walked back across the street to the boat. 

We spent time at the pool

 (Taylor is sleeping in the background) and ate dinner that night in semi-fancy clothes. The show was good and Jeff and I even watched it twice because the kids didn't see it the first time and we knew they would like it. We had a really good day.

The next day was a bad day. I woke to Ashley knocking on my door. She said her and Jacob had been throwing up all night. (Even more of a reason to have two bathrooms!)

Jacob had a fever and swears it was food poisoning.

Ashley thinks her was sea sickness. 

It was rocking pretty bad I was feeling woozy too. I think the reason was we were pretty much standing still in the open ocean. We had the day at sea but in reality it wouldn't take that long to get back to Long Beach if they were going a decent speed. Hence the rocking all day.

Most of the day was spent in bed for most of the family (so much for the all you can eat) 

In the afternoon we roused Taylor to come to do a Bingo game. 

Just like a lot of things on the boat it was a pretty quick way to lose money. 

It didn't help that out of the 3 games the same guy won 2 of them!

The night all the kids went to bed early. By morning we were ready to get off the boat. We decided instead of navigating a buffet with all our luggage we would just hit a Denny's as we drove home.

It was fun to have a quick get away with the family but in the end I think I would reserve cruising for the longer trips and leave the 3 day ones to the Spring breakers and the Party crowd. 

The rest of the week we spend closer to home. We spent a day at Huntington beach with Steve and Tahna and their family. 

It was cool but it still was nice day to be out at the beach. 

When it started getting later we moved up the beach and started a fire. 

Hot dogs and chips are always better at the beach.

This was the last time we would get to hang out with JJ before he went up to school!

Jeff sitting on a mini-stool to roast marshmallows.

It was a great day with family at the beach.

Later that week my family met at Claim Jumper to celebrate Virginia's 40th birthday. 

Notice the kids in the background taking pictures of me as I'm taking pictures...

And Ashley is taking pictures of me.  Ha ha. 

Easter Sunday was also General Conference Sunday so we got to hang out at the house and watch conference. We had a full house of family that day. 

We had food and of course we had an Easter Egg hunt for all the little kids. 

And an Easter egg hunt for all the big kids (they weren't past getting eggs)

There were tickets in some of the eggs and we had a prize table so everyone came away with at least something. 

Confetti eggs were in the mix. When little girls get confetti eggs smashed on their head by dad and aren't too happy...mom gets dad back and the girls think its funny. 

It was a fun day and great to hang out with family.