Thursday, April 24, 2008

Andrew's beautiful new smile...

Andrew has never, ever remembered when his upcoming orthodontist appointments were. I would drop him off, he would get the work done and then make his next appointment. When I would get around to asking him when it was scheduled...he would have absolutely no clue. We would wait for the call from the orthodontist's office the night before his appointments.

This was not the case this month. I asked him on Monday (keep in mind that it was the day after a 9 day vacation) if he remembered when his orthodontist appointment was. "Thursday at 8:00 a.m. It will be a 75 minute appointment." I was in shock. But, why was I surprised he remembered the last appointment? It was the day he was supposed to get the braces off!

He was a bit worried since everyone at school warned him that sometimes they tell you that you aren't quite ready and then you have to wait another month. (That sounds like many of my OB visits on the due dates of all of my children, but that is another story.)

Luckily for Andrew, today was the day. Here is Andrew before he went into SmilePerfect this morning. Maybe he will now smile more!

Nathan on the beach...

I've done a terrible thing. Out of all of the vacation pictures I took last week, Nathan is the star of 90% of them. I feel bad. You know how psychologists always say that things like this aren't necessarily "accidental", they usually stem from a tragic childhood. Well, you see, I was the youngest of 7 children. I haven't counted recently, but from the time I was born to the age of maybe 6, I have approximately two pictures of myself. When I was six, my sister Jennifer got a camera and I was her model for a while.

I don't blame my mom for this, she had her hands full. But, there were many times, when I complained, that she would say, "You just wait until you have your last won't have time or you won't remember to take pictures of them!" Well, that is partially true. The scrapbooking phase of mine only went until Harrison was about 2 years old. Nathan doesn't have a scrapbook and I know that I will have to rectify that before he gets too old. But now I do make up for it. Here is proof with these darling pictures of him on the beach. Enjoy.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Home Sweet Home...

Whew! We are home! Why is it that the trip home always seems so much longer? I swear the drive seemed twice as long coming back today.

It is very cold here in Utah. I think it is actually 35 degrees. I am sitting in my basement shivering right I will make this post very short.

I am very glad to be back home, as are the kids. California was wonderful and it was the perfect time to go. Having grains of sand everywhere does get a little old (I even started finding it in my cereal), and yesterday was overcast and chilly (not as cold as it is here). Our kids are happy to be in their own beds. They are sound asleep now. I am making sure clothes are ready for an early morning tomorrow, school will not wait for us who are still on California time. Rick went to bed shortly after getting home, he isn't feeling well. He did a very good job of getting us home safely. Sally has finally stopped crying in her temporary room (the bathroom...the garage is still too cold). The Barneys next door took very good care of her, but I think she was spoiled! Nathan was so happy to see her tonight.

While getting things ready for tomorrow, I anxiously downloaded my pictures. This was my first real experimentation with my brand-new camera. I had a lot of fun with it this week. I apologize in advance for how many photos may be posted. I did take a lot of pictures. Please feel no obligation to even look at any of them! I will post some tomorrow. But, for now, here are two of my absolute favorites. The one above is of Harrison riding the beach bike. We were on the boardwalk in front of the ocean. It was a beautiful sunset and I took a couple of pictures of the kids riding up and down the boardwalk. Harrison was going too fast for me to catch him, I kept saying to slow down. I followed him with my camera while I took the picture. I didn't think it turned out...but what a fun surprise! I told Rick I would spend the next year trying to duplicate that effect.

The last one is of Nathan enjoying the sunset on Coronado Island. It actually looks like the tail of a whale. It is just him lifting up his arms with his pockets in his sweatshirt.

We really did have a perfect week. I'll post more later...good night for now.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Our last day in sunny (actually cloudy) California...

We had to check out of our condo on Saturday morning. None of us were quite ready to go. For one thing, we had called on Tuesday morning to make an appointment to do baptisms at the San Diego temple and the only slot they had was Saturday at 7:00 p.m. Another thing was that the kids hadn't really gotten to "swim" this trip. They played in the ocean, but Harrison & Nathan didn't love that as much and Andrew & Janessa. They wanted to swim in a pool that didn't have sharks. And, the last reason why we didn't want to leave on Saturday morning, was because I hadn't finished any books and I really wanted to sit in a chair, sunbathe and read.

So, we said goodbye to our awesome condo and said our goodbyes to our little green pathway to the beach. We took one last photo by the ocean and headed to our hotel.

My friend Wendi had told me about this great resort called Paradise Point, right down the road. It is actually on Vacation Island (sounds cooler than it is). It was a great resort and we got a steal for one night in a little bungalow. The only problem was that it was FREEZING cold. We were almost the only ones enjoying the pools.

Rick's idea of sunbathing was a little different than mine. Actually, I felt bad making so much fun of him because when we got home on Sunday, he was super sick. He was catching the flu and was chilled. Pretty funny though, I always tease him about being terrified of sunburns. Everyone who walked by was laughing thier heads off!

Nathan finally started swimming! He has been our hardest child when it comes to water. He takes after his Grandma Cozzens...he hates water going over his head. So, this was quite the accomplishment (that is him under the water). After a while though, he only wanted to be with me in the hot tub!

That night, Rick took Andrew & Janessa to the temple to do baptisms. They had such a great time. That temple sure is beautiful! While they were gone, Nathan, Harrison & I ordered dessert from room service and snuggled in bed and watched National Treasure on the t.v.

What a fun trip. I'm actually pretty glad that it was cold the last day. It made it easier to come home. I still love San Diego and want to move there...even if it is cold once in a blue moon

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Tide Pools at La Jolla Beach...

I met a new friend in San Diego. Her name is Wendi and she was showing me around a gorgeous beach house that was for sale across from ours. I was trying so hard to think of a way that I could buy a 2.5 million dollar house. I even tried to talk Sytske into going in on it with me (although we would need a few more people as well). Wendi was super nice. She has a mortgage company and was helping show the house for her client. We had a fun chat. She lives in La Jolla.

When I got back to our house (OK, the house we rented for a week), the kids were all a little bored. We had spent the last 5 days at the beach and Sea World and they wanted some new scenery. I told them I would go and ask my new friend Wendi what to do. She had great advise. She told us to go into La Jolla and walk up the beach to see the tide pools and the Children's Pool (which had wild seals). She also suggested a great sushi restaurant (which everyone but Nathan loves). We took her advise on all of it and had such a great evening!

The tide pools were so cool. the sand was really hard, like sandstone and it had crevices, cracks and pools. The tide brought in some really great treasures and kept the pools full of water as it went back out. We found cool shells, anemones, fish, and amazing little creatures. The kids spent about 2 hours exploring everything. This was my favorite part of the whole trip!

The tide was starting to come back in while we were there. The kids loved to stand on the edge of the cliffs and see if the water would splash them! They kept watching for the waves while I was taking pictures! They would just giggle and laugh!

For some reason, this has been the preferred pose of Andrew's. I'm not sure what he is trying to prove. But, I think it's pretty funny.

Janessa, on the other hand, is all about good poses. She has it down. She especially loved wearing her cool, new, sunglasses!

The seals were really cool, but very, very smelly. A lady named Ellen Browning Scripps, a philanthropist that lived in La Jolla, donated the funds to create the Children's Pool in 1931. It was an area where children could play on the beach in an area protected by a large rock wall. It kept the water calm. The wild seals began migrating to the area in the 1990s and now have taken over the entire pool. There is so, how should I put it...well, the seals use the restroom all throughout the pool now. It is too contaminated to swim any longer...some people still do, but you wouldn't catch me swimming with them! They were fun to watch.

La Jolla is my new favorite place in California. My friend Wendi talked me into looking for property there instead of on Mission Beach. This is a house we walked by when we were down by the tide pools. The ocean comes right up to the house when the tide is in. This is the one I am going to buy someday. Wendi, will you check on financing for me? And dad, don't come and visit me...this place really would probably fall of into the ocean!

I gathered that people in La Jolla have quite a bit of $$. The boys screamed every 10seconds as we drove by the many exotic car dealerships. Janessa and I were screaming at every fancy boutique we saw. The boys insisted on stopping and seeing the cars. I think this was the Ferrari dealership. Luckily for all of us, the boutiques and car dealerships were all closed. We have to save our money after all, if we are going to buy that house!

Hanging out with Smellie/Hunsaker Family...

We had so much fun with Aaron, Sytske and the boys in San Diego! I had originally looked at going to Mission Beach & Sea World for Spring Break, but had never made final plans. When Sytske found out we were thinking about it, it was all over! She helped find our incredibly cheap condo on the beach and told us the "down-low" on the Sea World deal. She's such a great friend! I was worried about crashing their vacation with their new little family, but it turned out fine (that's my story, call Sytske to get hers).

Daxon & Nathan go to school together. Systke drives them constantly (another reason I love her). They are best friends and are together a lot. They both thought it was the coolest thing in the world to vacation together! They were excited to tell everyone in their kindergarten class.
Tayson is Daxon's little brother and loves to hang-out with the boys after school. he is such a cute little boy!

Sytske & Aaron were just married last fall. Aaron had never been married before and has made such a smooth transition to having a wife AND two boys. I am very happy for both Sytske & Aaron...they are perfect for each other! And, we would love to vacation with them again sometime soon...if they are up to it!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Manila 10th Ward Party at the beach...

We knew that Aaron & Sytske (from our ward) were going to be in San Diego...they are the reason we finally decided to go (boy that Sytske is persuasive). But, we also found out that the Sanches family (also from our ward) would be there too! I talked to Maria on Tuesday night and invited them to a little hot dog roast on the beach the next evening. We were all going to be at Sea World the next day, so we were planning on discussing the details there.

When we entered the park that morning, someone ran up behind me and started hugging me so tight and screaming! I thought that was uncharacteristic of sweet, quiet Maria, and I was a bit confused (and scared). It ended up being Shaylee Burns, one of my laurels (I'm sorry, but I still call them mine even though I have since been released from YW)! She and her dad, Scott, were on a little daddy-daughter vacation by themselves! So, we invited them to our party.

We had a great time, even though it was windy and chilly and the food was full of sand (how they have perfect, picturesque picnics on the beach in movies, I will never know). We even teased that maybe we could call it an official ward party and turn in the receipts! What do you think Bishop?

The s'mores were a huge hit...and managed to be sand-free! Scott was the best at roasting marshmallows...they were perfect every time! What a great talent!

We really have some wonderful friends in our ward. We feel very blessed to be surrounded by such good people. Maybe we'll make this an annual tradition and invite the whole ward next year!