Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Family Photos 2012

Family Photos.  I love having an updated photo every year, I think that it tells the story of our lives, and the different stages that our family is in.  This year Jordan suggested that we do photos while we were in California and I loved the idea.  With the help of some friend we did find a photographer that we could afford, and we took photos at woods cove which was a really great little beach with rocky outcroppings, and really just beautiful.

On our way south to take pictures Ethan informs us that he has to pee.  I ask if he can wait and he says yes.  Moments later he starts rocking and I could tell that he really couldn't wait (why do kids wait so long to tell you that they have to pee?!?!?!) We were at a light right next to a restaurant so Jordan pulls in, and I unload kids and head into the bathroom.  As I go to load kids back into the van Jordan asks what we are going to do about Ethan's peed pants - what I just took him to the bathroom.  I look at his booster seat and it is covered in pee, I look at the back of him, and he is covered in pee. Well not enough time to do anything about that one - he fell in the water right?

We got to the beach and started taking photos and Ryley stubbed her toe on one of the rocky out croppings and starts to bleed.  Awesome, I can't wash it off in the ocean so I start bothering people on the beach to see if I can use some of their drinking water.  There was a kind couple who helped, but now Ryley is whining and does not want to be put down. 

All in all it was super fun, and we did get some shots that I really like, it was just full of excitement.  Also not gonna lie - a lot of the pictures are taken on an angle and that bothers my type A personality and so Jordan already photo shopped some so that they can be straight and even, just the way that I like things.  Enjoy.

California 2012

We had a fantastic time in California, it was seriously the best vacation ever.  Although I do need a vacation from our vacation, it was soo fun, but soo tiring.

Thursday we flew into LAX and everything went really smoothly, at least until we had to try and drive through rush hour traffic to Sunset Beach.  We were fortunate enough to be invited to stay at the Archibalds beach house (they served as the mission presidents of the Calgary mission from June 2009- June 2012)  Their home was beautiful.  Skyler loved it and said that it was the only house with an elevator in it.  I loved how custom everything was, and I loved walking out the back door barefoot onto a beautiful sandy beach.
  This was a shot that Jordan got of the sunset, it was beautiful!
 Friday we decided to just get familiar with where we were staying.  We walked down huntington beach pier and had an ice cream at Ruby's Diner.  At the end of the pier the kids saw a pelican - the locals were telling us that the pelican was too lazy to fish on its own, so it would attack the fisherman and steal the fish as they caught them.  Then we carried on along the coast and went to Dayna Point Harbour.  I loved having some fresh seafood at a little mom and pop shop in the harbour, but the pigeons were driving me nuts!  After our sight seeing we went back to the beach house and played in the ocean.  Skyler became a master boogie board and loved playing in the ocean. Ryley refused to go in the water, but did enjoy playing in the sand.  Ethan was always a wild card, but that is just Ethan.  Some days he really had fun with it, and some days he refused to go in.  On this day he had the most fun chasing the birds around the beach.

Saturday we took the kids to Carlsbad to Lego land.  The kids did have a good time, although I am sure their favorite part was spending their money on lego sets.  Personally I don't think that we will ever return to the park, but it was still a fun day with the family.  There is a lot of amazing lego structures to see.  The new york city skyline, an elephant that moves it's head up and down and shoots water, a Volvo car, the Eiffel tower, people and  many many other things. Very cool to see, and knowing that they were made with millions of pieces of lego fills me with awe.  Lego building is a skill that I do not posses.  If it is not square, or smooth lines then it is incomprehensible to me. Throughout this vacation it often looks like we only have 2 children since Ethan refused to be in the pictures.  Lego land was the exception.  Nothing moved and he was not freaked out, so we actually have documented in photo that our whole family was indeed on the vacation.

 I found that the rides were super inefficiently operated, and the rides were mediocre, but the kids didn't know any different yet.  Lego land does have a water park, and on this hot Saturday it was a welcome stop, but again it didn't impress me too much.
 Skyler loved to take me around in the lazy river and try to get me under ever water fall or sprayer that there was.  That boy has an evil streak to him for sure!

Sunday we went to church with Sister Archibald, and afterwards we walked through a bird sanctuary and along the beach.  We played some games, and just hug out at the beach house.

Monday was our first day at Disney, but our excitement started before we even left when we realized that we didn't have the camera, or the video camera, we had lost them at lego land, and were just realizing it.  Thankfully they found them and we stopped by to pick them up first thing Tuesday morning.  With a borrowed camera we were still able to record our day.  Ryley wore her mini costume, and we got a picture of her and mini together it was the cutest thing!
 Our first ride of the day was space mountain, and there was very little line up, so Jordan took Skyler and Ethan and off they went.  Skyler thought that it was the best ride ever, and Ethan was terrified.  He was bawling and shaking and soo upset.  We did not realize that it was spooked out for halloween and had holographic demons that would chase them, and we didn't think about maybe building him up to the experience we just did it, and then kind of ruined him for the rest of the trip.  At least until I forced him onto thunder mountain which became his favorite ride, but sadly anything that got dark really upset him.  Who knew Nemo and the little mermaid were so scary??? The kids loved toone towne, everything from goofy's playground to the little jail where they could show off their strength.
The kids were able to meet Donald Duck, and Jesse from toy story.  Before I had forced Ethan onto thunder mountain Jordan and Skyler went on it and Ryley and Ethan went to the petting zoo.  They wanted a picture with every goat in there, sometime multiple times, so we have a lot of goat pictures.  They did have on cute halloween bandanas. On our way home Ryley picked out a baby mini that she wanted.  I tried hard to talk her into something that I thought was cuter, but in the end she got baby minie and she adores that toy, and I learned that it is ok to let her pick some things our on her own.
 Tuesday we saved our Camera from Lego land and then carried on to Sea world. It may have been my favorite day. I love the shows, like actually I laughed soo hard in the sea lion show.  I though that the dolphins and whales were majestic.  I loved the layed back feeling, and there was no line up for any of the rides. And I really loved learning about some of the crazy sea life that lives in the ocean, and so did the boys.

 Wednesday we took a day to let our feet feel a little better.  Sister Archibald and I went shopping and Jordan took the kids to see Finding Nemo in 3D, and got the boys hair cuts - unfortunately they did a really bad job and we went back on Saturday so that I could get them to redo it.  Skyler had 3 lines cut into the top of his head which they were not even able to completely blend when I took them back.  Perhaps I should just keep cutting my boys hair no matter how much I hate doing it.  When we met back up at the beach it was just like Friday Skyler was right into everything and Ethan and Ryley enjoyed the sand, and chasing birds.  Skyler did get a kite up and flew a kite, which he was very excited about.  That ocean breeze sure makes it easy to get them up.

Thursday we went back to Disneyland this time using our magic morning, we were disappointed to realize that  everything we were hoping to do that had a long line up on Monday was not even open.  Jordan took the kids to Pixie Hollow to see tinkerbell, and I went to save a spot for the Jedi Training.  Skyler really wanted to be chosen for the training so he made a poster that said pick me with stickers and a picture of R2-D2 and C3PO that he had drawn on.  Jordan and the kids took a llittle while though, and I was starting to panic and feel pretty dumb telling all of these little kids that they couldn't sit there because it was for my sone, and then the show starting and just me sitting in this large area.  They made it just in time though and Skyler was chosen and did a great job.  It was funny though, he was chosen as "The little boy with the biggest poster that I have ever seen"  He was beaming with pride for the rest of the day.  Ryley caught up on some jail time in toone towne.
We went home a little earlier and got showered and changed to head down to Laguna Beach for some family photos.  I will share them in the next post, but it was an eventful evening as well.

 Friday we went to California Adventure. Our first area was Cars Land and Jordan and I both thought that we had made a horrible mistake the wait times were super long, the day was super hot, and nobody was very happy.  The park opened at 10 am and by 10:30 all of the fast passes for McQueens race track were gone and the line was over a 2 hour wait.  We were happy that the craziness was isolated in Cars Land and we were able to have a great day.  We rushed from Cars Land over to Ariels Grotto where we all sat down to lunch with the princesses. Ryley was able to see 5 princesses, and although she was distracted and putting so much attention into decorating her crown that I almost had to pull her away to see the princesses. Ethan gave his crown that he made to Belle, she is his favorite princess, but he still wouldn't stand in for a picture.  Skyler tried to be the manly man, but was just a tiny bit twitterpated by all of the pretty princes.  One of the kids favorite parts was the obstacle course set up to get their wilderness badge from Up.  There was a zip line kind of thing that I thought for sure Ethan wouldn't do, but he loved it, and did it twice. Ryley got a picture with Doug the dog while the boys were on the zip line since she was too short again.

Saturday we took it easy at the beach house again, and got everything in order for our flight home.  Sunday we  went to sacrament meeting, and then had to head off to the airport.  Thankfully we had an uneventful day of travel and made it home to my Mom who was waiting.  It was a glorious vacation, and I am so grateful for my family.