Wednesday, January 13, 2016

It's Great To Be 8!

It's hard to believe this littlest girl of mine is 8 and getting baptized this week.  She has been so excited and looking forward to this day for a long time.  I took her to Deseret Book to pick out her own set of scriptures.  She had picked out a nice burgundy set until a tiny little set of four books (new testament, old testament, book of mormon and doctrine & covenants/pearl of great price) caught her eye.  She instantly knew she wanted that little set (and it didn't hurt that it was on sale for $8).  She picked out a few book marks (one with a picture of each latter-day prophet and the other with a schedule to read the book of mormon in one year), a scripture case and scripture marking pencils and we were good to go.

She was so excited to start marking her scriptures and Gavin told her she should look at my scriptures to see how I marked mine and do something similar with hers (using different colored pencils for specific themes).  I found her a few minutes later with my scriptures going through each page and highlighting the exact same scriptures that I had highlighted and in the same colors (except she chose orange to mark her favorite scriptures).  The first scripture she marked with orange as one of her favorites was the one her big brother, Jack, chose as his favorite to share on his mission plaque that is hanging up in the church.  Awwww!!

The next night I had my mission reunion here at my house and it was late.  I had asked the kids to please hurry and get in bed since it was a school night and almost midnight.  I went into Mia's room and was upset that Griffin and Mia were still awake and talking. They were sitting on Mia's bed with scriptures open and reading the Articles of Faith and trying to decide which color they should use, (I gave Mia a sticky note to put in the front of her scriptures with the color key for different scriptural, Christ, prayer, commandments/obedience, missionary work, etc)  "I think we should use red for the 1st one because it mostly talks about God and Jesus." Then a few minutes later, "I think that scripture is about missionary work, don't you?" So cute!  How do you get mad about that?

She is excited for her big day and wants to invite everyone that she knows!  She also can't wait to get her baptism memory book from her grandma.  When I told her Grandma and Grandpa might be out of town for her baptism, her only concern was whether she would still get the baptism scrapbook or not. Luckily, we changed the date to earlier in the month and not only will Grandma and Grandpa be in town but so will her cousins and Aunt and Uncle from Washington!

It's definitely GREAT TO BE EIGHT!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Surprise Golden Birthday Party

I LOVE celebrating my kids' GOLDEN BIRTHDAYS.  It just adds one more fun addition to an already special day.  I wanted to make Hadley's birthday even more exciting by making it a surprise party.  Hadley had been grouchy all week and especially on her birthday because she thought I hadn't planned anything fun for her this year.  I seriously had to almost force her in the car to get her to her own surprise birthday party.  We went to the dollar store to get some treats for the party (she thought she was looking for treats to take to her cousin's surprise party that night) and she sulked as she walked around the store.  Did she really think her mom would forget her golden birthday? 

14 years old on the 14th!

Every golden birthday should start with dinner at the GOLDEN ARCHES.  Hadley was so surprised (and so happy) when she walked into McDonalds and saw all of her friends inside the restaurant (does McD's qualify as a restaurant?) waiting for her!  

After dinner we headed down to the hotel to start the celebrating and get settled into our hotel room.  I had gone to the hotel earlier in the day and decorated the room all in gold.  I had 14 GOLDEN BALLOONS with a picture attached to each balloon from each year of her life.  The girls got so excited when they walked into the room and couldn't stop talking about how cute all of the gold decorations and balloons with pictures were.  It definitely made Hadley feel loved and celebrated! 

We sang Happy Birthday to the birthday girl, ate a little cake and then got ready for the activities.


Manicures and Pedicures with GOLD fingernail polish as one of the options.

Lots of Games

And birthday gift opening at midnight.  14 golden gifts! 
(One birthday guest wasn't able to stay up late enough to see the gift opening)

2. Gold sunglasses
3. Gold sandals
4. Gold necklace
7. Swimsuit (not gold but wrapped in gold paper)
10.  Rose Gold Watch
11.  St. Patrick's Gold 4 Leaf clover tank
12. Gold belt
14. Joggers

We were barely able to wake up in time for our free hotel breakfast.  I avoided eye contact with the other hotel guests, hoping they wouldn't realize we were the loud room that kept them awake all night.  Oops.

Then it was time to check out of the hotel and head home.  The surprise party was a success and Hadley definitely felt loved and golden on her special day!  Happy 14th Birthday to this amazing teenager!  She is so loved!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Baptism Pictures

I look at these pictures of Griffin and Morgan and am overwhelmed with love and gratitude.  I am so very blessed to be their mom and am so proud of both of them with their decision to get baptized, together.  Both being a support to each other on their special day.  Even though Griffin is the little brother and Morgan is almost 4 years older, he has always been an example to Morgan and a source of strength for her.  I remember when Morgan was turning 6 and we had a swimming party at the rec center.  Morgan was nervous to walk out into the water, not knowing if it would get deeper or she would get too wet.  She looked over at Griffin as he was making his way out to the water with no fear.  He took her hand and they walked out together.  She knew if Griffin could do it, so could she. They bravely walked into the water together.  We felt like Griffin’s baptism would be the perfect time for Morgan to also get baptized.  Griffin was nervous to have all of the attention just on him and Morgan was unsure about getting baptized but together they gave each other what the other one needed.       

The Baptism Invites

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Spring Break

We just got back from a fun and busy trip to San Diego for Easter Break.  We planned this trip over a year ago so that we could be sure to get a spot at Capri By The Sea.  After we booked our condo, I asked my parents if they wanted to join us.  They are always up for another trip and immediately booked their condo about 20 minutes north of Pacific Beach.

Our current family vehicle has been having issues with the transmission, heat/ac and needed new tires which made driving it to California not a safe option.  After looking at renting a car, flying or buying a new car, Gavin decided it was time for us to buy our very first brand new car.  The boys were so excited and went with him to pick it up.

We drove all day and made it to San Diego just in time to get settled in the condo and go to sleep.  We woke up the next morning and opened up the curtains and couldn’t get over the view.  

Pacific Beach
We grabbed some yummy breakfast at a little spot on Pacific Beach boardwalk called Konos and then headed down to the beach for the day.  It was sunny but the wind made it chilly.   Apparently not too cold for Gavin and the boys who spent most of the time out in the freezing water, boogy boarding.

One of the highlights of the trip was getting to go to church in San Diego.  It was so good for my kids to see the diversity that the church offers outside of Utah.   They all said that it was the best sacrament they had ever been to and that they learned so much.  There was a sweet spirit present as we listened to so many newer converts share their testimonies.  And hearing Gavin share his testimony of the Book of Mormon and prayer was just an added bonus.

Balboa Park
After church we headed to Balboa Park for the free Sunday afternoon organ concert and (not-free) lunch.

We walked through the International Cottages and grabbed lots of free samples and since it was House of England’s turn to host there was a Beatles impersonator band and lots of English people walking (and bike riding) around.  We even saw people dressed up as characters from Alice in Wonderland.

Mormon Battalion Historic Site
We finished off the afternoon with a tour of the Mormon Battalion Museum.  We took the kids here 3 years ago but only the big kids remembered it.  Mia loved how the photos inside the picture frames came to life to take us through the tour.  “We should get pictures like that in our house, Mom!” And Mia even got to dress up in all of the gear that they soldiers wore in the battalion.

At the end of the tour the kids got to go back in time and pan for “fool’s gold”, wash clothes by hand and pretend to make bricks.

La Jolla Tide Pools and Children’s Beach 
The next day we drove into La Jolla for a kayaking tour.  Only we were 30 minutes late and had to reschedule for another day.  We drove a few blocks down to the tide pools and walked around looking for sea life.  It definitely didn’t compare to the tide pools we went to 3 years ago at Cabrillo but Jack and Ryan did find a few crabs.  We walked over to Children’s Beach and saw lots of seals (including ourselves) sunbathing on the rocks.

Universal Studios 
We only wanted to spend one day at an amusement park and gave the older kids the option of Sea World, Knott’s Berry Farm or Universal Studios.  They wanted to try somewhere new and chose Universal Studios.  We drove 2 hours from our condo to Universal Studios.  Morgan was so nervous the whole ride up and walking into the park.  She is not a fan of scary, fast rides.  We only had her go on the new Despicable Me ride and The Simpsons ride.  She didn’t like The Simpsons ride but acted like she liked DM even though she didn’t want to go on it again.  The big kids loved the Transformers and Mummy rides but everyone’s favorite was the Studio Tour.  Even though Morgan doesn’t like amusement parks at the time, it seems like she likes it after we are all done and back home.  She talks about Shrek 4D movie and that Princess Fiona needed help all of the time now.  Just wish she could enjoy it more while it was happening but the fear of the unknown takes away all of the fun for her.  Grandma and Grandpa joined us for the day and Ryan kept commenting on how cool it was that Grandma and Grandpa are so young at heart and go on all of the rides with us.

The next day we all just wanted to sleep in after walking all over Universal Studios and getting home late but no rest for the weary.  We had an early morning kayak tour set up in La Jolla.  We had already had to pay a $50 rescheduling fee for getting late and missing our first tour so we all woke up early and got ready to brave the cold waters.  Gavin, Jack and Ryan really braved the cold by not paying the extra $10 for a wetsuit rental.  We walked down to La Jolla and got into our kayak teams and headed out into the ocean.  I’m still not sure the purpose of our helmets.  Maybe it was just to let everyone else know that we didn’t know what we were doing.  The waves that we had to paddle over were huge, surfing waves.  The smallest person had to sit in the front of the kayak which meant that person got soaked on the way out to the smooth part of the ocean.  Poor Morgan, Mia, Griffin and Hadley. After the experience of the huge waves, Mia cried for remaining two hours of kayaking.  We kayaked over to some caves and then saw lots of sea lions on the rocks.  We all made it without tipping over except for Hadley and me.  We tipped over on the way back to the beach when we tried to go over a huge wave.

San Diego Temple
We spent the afternoon in the temple with Jack, Ryan and Hadley.  It was definitely a memorable experience.  Such a beautiful temple.

We’ve never taken the family over the bridge to Coronado Island and thought we’d try something new.  What a beautiful part of California!! We had so much fun walking around the island and seeing the San Diego skyline in the background.  We rented surreys that held 6 of us and rode around the island.  We rode around on the boardwalk for about 30 minutes.  That was long enough for it be fun and not exhausting. 

Jack and Ryan were crazy drivers and almost crashed into us several times.


Hotel del Coronado

Seaport Village
We drove back across the bridge to San Diego and went to Seaport Village to walk around and get some dinner.

Las Vegas
Crazy how quickly the week fly by!  I think we all wanted one more day to just hang out at the beach and condo but it was time to pack up and drive to Vegas for the weekend.  We stayed at South Point Hotel.  It’s about 10 minutes from the strip and has a movie theater and bowling.  We were all ready to be home and didn’t do too much.  Gavin took the Mia and Griffin bowling one night.  We met up with Jeff and Rae and went to the New York New York casino so the big kids (and Uncle Jeff) could all go on the roller coaster.  Then we made our way down the strip to Serendipity’s so Hadley could finally try a frrrrozen hot chocolate.  We stayed at the same hotel as Weichers but only saw Sylvie and Surie.

The Easter bunny found us at our hotel and left everyone a basket of goodies.  Each basket had confetti filled eggs that we thought would be fun to break out in the parking lot on our way home.  This fun event ended with lots of tears and a confetti mess all over the sidewalk and in our hair.


We had a yummy Easter dinner in St. George with Nan and Papa on our way back home.

What a great way to spend Easter break!  After 9 days and 2000 miles of driving, we were all ready to get back home, except for Morgan.  That girl LOVES vacations and being out of school and doing whatever we want everyday.  And I have to agree that nothing quite compares to being on vacation.  Until next time. . .  stay classy, San Diego!