Friday, April 10, 2015

A Spring Break for the Record Books!

Call us crazy, but we decided to join the throngs of people at Disneyland for Spring break this year.  It was an exhausting trip, but worth the effort.  One unique thing about this family adventure was that the boys (Caleb and Andy) rode in the car with their Aunt April and cousin Ethen who also joined us on the trip.  So we were on separate agenda's on the way to California.  Our car headed out before school was even out on Friday to spend some time with our dear friends, Jenny and Todd, in Cedar City and I taught a couple of oil classes.  

Saturday we stopped in St. George and met another friend, Andrea and her family, to hike Dixie hill before heading on to Vegas for the night where we met up with the boys.



We decided it was worth it to brave gaining onto the strip in Vegas to eat at The Cheesecake Factory.  The aquarium outside of the restaurant is always such a hit with the kids.  I think they may get as excited about it as they do about anything they see at Disneyland.

Disneyland was crazy!!  The crowds were so big that we almost couldn't walk, but we found if we were there for the first few hours of the day and the last few hours of the night we got to go on every ride we wanted multiple times.  So the crowds didn't keep us from doing everything we wanted they just made it more exhausting.  We were there before 8:00 AM each day and at least a portion of us stayed until Midnight or close to it each night.

It worked out to have April, Josh's sister, and Ethen, her son, come along last minute.  The kids love having their cousin so don't be confused by the 6th child in most of the pictures. This is the one picture with all nine of us.

April spoiled Johnny with these adorable glasses and hat.  He was so so fun!! His facial expressions and excitement for the entire experience were priceless!!

Andy did amazingly well at keeping up with the big kids.  He's favorite rides were Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain. 

Even though he is only two Johnny did not spend all of his time on baby rides.  He was 40 inches!!  Making him tall enough to go on almost every ride. He didn't complain a bit about going on Cars, Splash Mountain, Thunder Mountain or any of the other big kid rides. It was so nice to have the entire family together for these rides.

Caleb made it in this picture in his own special way. 

Sometimes I wonder what we will do with all of our snacks and drinks when we no longer need a stroller.  Johnny may get spoiled with a stroller for a long time. 

Ali's favorite ride was Alice in Wonderland.  Having just had her Alice in Wonderland birthday party she was a little obsessed. She also loved the Little Mermaid which is a good one to love because it almost never has a long line so we got to go on in many times. 

I took the girls and Johnny character dining.  We got off to a really bad start with Captain Hook.

Captain Hook was the only thing about Disneyland that Johnny didn't absolutely love. 

The best part of Character dinning ended up being seeing the Fairy Godmother.  She was the only character we saw that could speak.  She asked Ali what princess she would like to see at Disneyland.  Ali told her "Alice in Wonderland"  The Fairy Godmother said that she happened to know where Alice and the Mad Hatter would be showing up at 2:00.  I guess you could say she tipped us off.

Amazingly it worked out for us to be at that spot just before 2:00.  When Alice showed up I was the first parent to talk to her and I introduced her to Ali.  It was so MAGICAL.  Alice said that the Fairy Godmother told her to watch for a girl with her same name and her brother and sister. 

Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter chose a few children to play musical chairs with them, including Ali and Cara.  Ali was shy at first so Alice took her by the hand and played with her.  

When a child became the "not winner" they would be asked to perform a talent or tell a joke.  The acting by Alice and the Mad Hatter was FANTASTIC as they played with the children and bailed most of them out of their talent.

When it was Ali's turn the Mad Hatter made up the rule that someone of the same name can perform the talent for the child so Alice danced in place of Ali. 

One fun highlight was riding in the back of the mona-rail. 

Cara and Caleb both LOVED California Screamin' and Space Mountain.  I love that they are getting old enough to be into the "big kid" rides. 

I'd never taken a ride down main street but one morning we rode a double decker bus right down main street. Pretty cool, recommended!

After four days at Disneyland we spent a couple of days and nights at the beach.  We stayed at an awesome beach house in Oxnard.  One of the fun things about the house was the hot tub on the roof. 

We lucked out having beautiful warm weather for the beach.

Cara loves the beach and the ocean.  This is the only picture I got of her . . . she was SO busy playing.   The water was really cold, but she didn't even care. 

Johnny wasn't scared of anything we did at Disneyland, but he was terrified of the ocean water, which was a great thing.  He spent the day playing on the sand, making my life a whole lot easier. 

Before leaving California we found some Easter Festivities including a petting zoo.  
The animals were so friendly!

We also got to see the Easter Bunny. 

After spending a night in Vegas we had Easter lunch with our friends in Cedar, and got to see their baby lambs. 

The trip was long, 9 nights, and it included a very a long drive, but I believe it is worth the effort at least every few years to enjoy the magic of Disneyland.  I think next time we will choose a different week, not spring break, but this year it worked out just fine. Now I need a vacation!!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Am I a pushover?

Does this look like a "non-birthday-party" to you?  This is our "off" year, so the compromise was to have a game night with Cara's friends, rather than a birthday party.  They are cute girls.  It was fun to have them over for a game night, in honor of her birthday, rather than a birthday party.

We didn't even have cake and ice cream at the game night, but you'd better believe we celebrated with lots of yummy treats.  Her actual birthday was on Sunday so she had a couple days of celebration. 

The best gift she received was a sewing machine from Grandma Iva.
Thank goodness for you tube to teach her how to use is.

Here is a sampling of the projects she made in the first few hours.

It was also Cara's class science fair the week of her birthday.  She chose to make stained glass sugar.  

Ali's class had a family pajama party.  
She has been lucky to participate in the USU preschool lab this year.