Friday, December 13, 2013

December Days in Cali 2013

Consist of:
Taking and picking Cash up from school - these little monkeys 

 Ivy the little diva!

 Christmas activities - including writing letters to Santa!

 Hard at work - using good form with that pen Ivy!

 Griffin wanted to draw pictures on his!

 Cash wrote his list all by himself!

 3 happy kids!

 Baking lots of holiday treats - our favorites include white chocolate popcorn and Salty Toffee Bark

 Advent days!  Getting ready to open my favorite gift!

 A new nativity set to display in the house!

 What the season is all about!

 Getting dressed up in their Christmas best for pics with Santa and church! (you have no idea how long it took me to put these together and find everything!  And actually I bought a different sweater for G after this!)

 Getting a pic with all 3 looking was impossible this time!

 Our ward Christmas party where a visitor showed up at the end!  Boys were super happy!  Ivy was super excited to see him until we got close - then she wouldn't let Chip go (or his neck) and cried the whole time!

 Our ward Christmas program was so good this year and when they read something at the end and it included dresses is red and white and loves you ---- all the children screamed Santa!  The real reason you see is on the right and the way the program ended by talking about the Savior was very touching.

 This little princess had a little jet lag when we got back and a hard time sleeping in her own bed at times - and so ended up a few times in my bed at 4 or 5 am.  Then she would fall back to sleep around 6:45.

We are having a great December and the only thing is that it is going too fast!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Florida Thanksgiving!!!

We journeyed off to Florida for Thanksgiving break and it was a FANTASTIC trip!  We had so much fun, from playing with cousins and just hanging out at Paul & Anne's new home, to Universal Studio's and Harry Potter Land, to Chip's b-day surprise of going alligator hunting and catching a 7 footer, to Animal Kingdom where Cash's highlight was riding the Yetti ride 5 times over, to yummy food and a delicious feast on Thanksgiving, to a Christmas Tree getting fun time, to more cousin time and countless hours of playing in the dirt and pool and HUGE yard that my boys can only dream of in Cali, and so much more!  Really we had the best time and my kiddos keep asking when they get to see Cohen and Addi again!  They had such a good time, and they got along great.....minus the times when the boys ganged up on sweet Addi - but overall it was a great time and we are so thankful for Paul and Anne and their hosting us for so many nights!  We love you guys and already want to play another trip!
So many pictures - so enjoy the trip through them!

Getting ready to leave on our first flight....which was delayed 1/2 hour:(

 Being Silly!

Tired by the end of the trip!

 Emma sat by the boys the first flight!

 Ivy and Griff enjoying their own seats on the second flight!

 Hanging out with the cousins, entertained by the phones and dress ups!

 Welcome to Universal Studios!

Harry Potter Land - Cash was in heaven!

First roller coaster for little Griff!

Waiting outside the big castle - the inside was awesome!  So much like the movies!

 Cash picked out Harry's wand as his wand of choice!  Waiting for Dad and Emma to come off the castle ride!

 Hanging out!

 I loved everything about Harry Potter Land - except the masses of people of course!

 Emma and I in the castle ride line - my favorite ride of all time!!!! SOOOOO cool and well done!

 The sorting hat!

 Brothers waiting for our food at the 3 broomsticks!

 Let the Great Feast begin!

 Chip with his food and butterbeer!

Drink up!

 Cash loved it!

 Outside the restaurant!

 Inside Honeydukes!  SO MUCH SUGAR!

 I loved how they did all the houses and stuff - it was seriously magical!

Emily and the whomping willow tree and car!

 Castle pics!

 The Hulk and the kids were enjoying taking pics acting it out!

 Cash and Emma after they got soaked on the tube ride!

Dr. Seuss land!

 Ivy loved the rides!

 Fun play!

We went to a great place called Yellow Dog to eat lunch near Paul and Anne's house!  This was so sweet as Griff was sharing his drink with Ivy all on his own!  Had to capture it!

 The boys went miniature golfing and they had these in cages there around the course.  Cash was the only one brave enough to hold it!  Where did he get this new brave side?!

 Paul's yard was under major construction and so the kids had these HUGE dirt piles with which to have MANY an adventure in!  Way too much fun for them ---- NOT SO MUCH fun for the moms to have to wash up after:)

Chip's b-day surprise was to go alligator hunting.  He caught a 7 footer, came back with both hands and told me it was a bit scary at parts, but that it was awesome and he loved it!  We are getting the head and skin shipped to us to have some belts and wallets made --- and where should we put the head in the house to admire?! 

 Thanksgiving day = the ladies cooking all morning long to enjoy about a 20 minute feast - albeit it was a delicious meal!  I still think about the sweet potatoes Anne made - my favorite of all time!

 Ivy got some good snuggle time in with daddy!

 Animal Kingdom was another day of fun!

 These are what I was envisioning when I sent my hubby off on his hunting adventure - but these are crocs - they are meaner and more aggressive than alligators - and these ones are about 14 ft. long so considerably bigger!  Scary aren't they?!

 The safari ride was one of our favorites!

 We figured out the system to get on the rides fast and a bunch with the fast passes and child swaps - made for us each getting to ride the Yetti ride quite a few times with no wait!  Cash went on it 5 times and it was his favorite!

 The water ride that poor Griff just got drowned on --- poor kid had no idea he was in for some serious water soakage!

Too much fun!

 Meeting Rafiki!

 Ivy and I waiting while they all went on a water ride - we were cold and didn't want to get wet!

 On saturday we went to a fun Christmas tree farm where they had a zipline, trampoline bouncy thing, donkey rides, hay rides, and more fun stuff to do!
The boys LOVED the zipline!

 Griff just did the lower one but had a blast!

 Cash wasn't scared and wanted to do the high one a bunch!

 Griff got to go a few times because there was no line for this one!

I was nervous for him!

 And he was off!

 The ponys were fun, and this year Griff wasn't scared and didn't cry.  Ivy wanted the little pony but when she saw Cash's horse she kept shaking her head and saying "i want bigger" pointing at the horse.  This is a girl who knows what she wants!  She did get a little scared tho once on the pony!

After church on Sunday we stopped for a visit at the Orlando Temple --- it is gorgeous and was the perfect day!

 Em with all the nieces and nephews except Bear!

Because it's normal to do ninja arms and faces at the temple!

 My boys!

 Love this pic - i shot it after the boys had run away from Chip -  guess he was a little tired after church - or else he is in deep prayer ;)

 The crazies!

 Attempting the family shots!

Hanging out with Cohen and Cash - best buddies Sunday afternoon!

 We were sad to leave after so much fun - but it was time to head back to reality and get into the Christmas spirit and on to all our activities of this season!

The airport helped us get into the mood with this big festive tree!

 Noteworthy it how awesome our pilot of our second flight was.  We got to Denver and since our first flight was delayed 20 minutes we walked off one flight and were pretty much the last ones to board the next flight.  Being on Southwest and not having assigned seating we were worried since it was a full flight we wouldn't be able to sit together, and as a second flight with no time to use the restroom or anything else I was dreading it.  As we walked up to the gate the pilot saw us and went onto the plane and blocked off the last 2 ENTIRE rows - so that we had 6 seats total across from each other and reserved them for us.  He moved others out and we got two extra seats because of this!!!  He was my heroe that day - as this allowed Griff to lay down on Chips lap and have two seats to sleep on the flight, Cash and Ivy each had their own seat by me, and it was just so kind of him.  Also, he told Cash that after the flight was over he could come up and sit in his seat and see all the buttons and start the engines if he wanted --- and he let them.  Cash and Griff had a blast doing that and Chip has the pics on his phone so I will post them soon!  Seriously the BEST pilot ever!   The only thing that could have been better is if Ivy hadn't dropped the Ipad and had the screen shatter basically on one side, and if I didn't have to hear the guy puking in the bathroom right behind me for 20 minutes of the flight!  Otherwise, no complaints and a LOT of gratitude for that pilot!

 We got back on the 2nd of December and so had to jump right in with Advent days --- good thing mom was prepared and had stuff before we left so that the first night home we opened........

 New Jammies!!!!  Love the kids in their cute Christmasy jammies!

 And love Chip's Good Grief Charlie Brown shirt - since he is actually Charlie Brown by name!!!

It was nice to be home in our own beds, but we all miss FL and would love to go back!
Thanks Paul and Anne and company for great memories!!!