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.



Kayaking
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.


Coronado
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.

video



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.


Easter
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.



video


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!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Junior Prom

Jack is a junior this year and asked sophomore, Annie, to Junior Prom.  He dropped off a pillow at her house with this written on the pillowcase: “It’d make all my dreams come true to go to prom with a girl as sweet and pretty as you”.  He got answered a few weeks later, the night before we were leaving out of town for Spring Break.


Prom no longer means just dinner and the dance.  There is always a daytime activity as well.  He went in a big group of 16 couples.  They picked up their dates at 10 am and went on a morning hike up in the mountains.  Then they took their dates home to get ready for the dance and picked them up at 5 pm.  We got to see them all and take pictures at his friend’s, John’s, house before they left for dinner at Market Street Grill and the dance at Rice Eccles Stadium.

Jack and Annie


Everyone in the group--all 32 of them


The Swag Team
 John, Logan, Logan, Jack, Kade and Jace

The Boys


The Girls

After the dance they went to a church and watched a movie and played volleyball then took their dates home.  Jack got home at 1:15 and even though he doesn’t like to tell us too much but just wants to text his friends about the dance after he gets home, he said he had a great time and lots of fun with his friends and Annie.  Seems just like yesterday that I was going to my own Junior Prom.  And to now have a child old enough to be going to his own Junior Prom.  It really is crazy how quickly the days fly by and your kids go from busy, wild toddlers to busy, (hopefully not too) wild teenagers.  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ryan’s Golden 15th Birthday

Ryan turned 15 on November 15th which meant one thing . . . it was time for a GOLDEN celebration!  Wait.  You’ve never heard of a “Golden Birthday”?  You’re not alone.  I never celebrated my own golden birthday when I turned 6 and didn’t even know I had missed out on anything.  Then my sister started celebrating Golden Birthdays with my nieces and nephews and I decided to look into this golden tradition.  In case you are wondering . . .   A Golden Birthday = the day when your age matches your birth date.  It’s a fun way to celebrate and make the birthday stand out for your child (or adult if your special someone’s birthday falls on days 18-31).  

I decorated the house in gold.  15 helium balloons with a picture from each year hanging on the balloon, cake with golden sprinkles and golden fountain and 15 presents wrapped in gold foil.  Each present having something to do with “gold”.




Ryan’s birthday was on a Friday but he didn’t have school that day since the trimester ended the day before.  He got to sleep in and wake up when he was ready to open his presents.  And then had big plans to go out with his friends for a Birthday breakfast.


His 15 Golden Gifts:
1.  Golden skull bank
2.  Golden Eye 007 Xbox game
3.  Goldfish Crackers
4.  iPhone 5 (wrapped in gold)
5.  Golden tie clip
6.  Gold yo yo
7.  Gold mirror cube puzzle
8.  Golden compass
9.  Gold iPhone stylus
10.  Black and Gold athletic shorts
11.  Willow Tree Heart of Gold figurine
12.  Gold Rolo’s candy
13.  Ferrero Rocher chocolates
14.  iPhone Golden case
15.  Hairdryer (couldn’t find a gold one so it was black--wrapped in gold)


Birthday breakfast with his friends

He had a little party that night at our house.  Pizza, Movie and Treats.
Ryan, Daniel, Tanner, Tate and Adi



In honor of his 15th Birthday . . . 15 random things about Ryan.

1.  He got his braces off in February and 9 months later is just realizing he has good teeth and should really show them when he smiles.

2.  Our school district switched things up this year and moved 9th grade up to the high school.  He was the first class to get moved up and is a big high schooler this year.  He signed up for AP and Honor classes and got a 3.6 first trimester.


3.  He is playing football again this year even though he lost his partner-in-crime, Tate, this year and didn’t have a quarterback on his team that could continue with a passing game.

4.  He started his first job last December at the middle school.  He’s a sweeper and works every day after school for about 2 hours.  He loves getting his monthly deposit in his bank and usually celebrates with a debit card transaction at the convenient store on the corner. 


5.  He went to EFY for the first time this summer with his friend, Tate and came home with a renewed faith and love for the gospel.


6.  He wanted part of his big birthday gift early this year.  We found just what he wanted at the Skullcandy warehouse in Park City.


7.  He learned how to bake in his FACs class.  He is going to make one girl a very lucky wife one day!

8.  Church basketball champions.  Once again.


9.  He went on Pioneer Trek over the summer.  I didn’t hear much about this from Ryan or Jack but am glad they had this opportunity to go learn more about the pioneers and the sacrifices they made so we can enjoy the gospel today.


10.  Fun Run with the family.  “The family that colors together, stays together!”  It took weeks to get this chalk out of car, carpets, hair, skin and house.


11.  He is a great big brother!

12.  I made a deal with the boys when they were younger that if they played the piano until they were 16 they could have any cell phone they wanted.  Jack stuck to that deal but Ryan quit piano about 6 months before he turned 15.  He got a cell phone for his birthday but had to agree to pay the monthly data fee until he did something else that equalled practicing the piano everyday.  He decided he would work on earning his Eagle in Scouting.  Let’s just say he is still paying the monthly fee since he hasn’t done any scouting at home since that conversation.  

13.  He is now old enough to get his Learner’s Permit to drive but the DMV is only open weekdays until 5:00.  Ryan works everyday after school until 5.  We just need to get him there before May 15th in order for him to be able to get his driver’s license on his 16th birthday.

14.  He loves to snow ski and takes the bus up to Brighton Ski Resort with his friends.


15.  Ryan’s middle school was torn down after his last day of 8th grade to build a new one.  


Happy 15th Birthday, Ryan!  We love you! xoxo