Monday, June 21, 2010

California Trip

We are a few weeks late with this posting. Ben and I took the kids to California for a few days. We took advantage of the Disney "Give a Day, Get a Day" and did a day of volunteering in exchange for a free day at Disneyland. While we were there we decided to spend a day at Legoland and at the beach. With our past trips to Disneyland we found that the kids had more fun at the beach so we finally wised up and planned for a full day of sand.

We found that many stops are required in order to keep the youngest of the tribe happy and chipper through the trip. We stopped in St. George long enough to play at a park.

Ben talks of memories of road trips with his family and sleeping on a hot floor of a large van. He changes his mind often as to whether sleeping on the van floor is a fond memory or not. We have found that traveling to California in the van provides a chance for the kids to experience similar "benefits". The trip was actually pleasant. No complaints.

I had to include a cute picture of Hyrum reading to Mari. They were too excited for Disneyland to sleep but we kept sending them to bed. Hyrum took it upon himself to try and entertain Mari until they both feel asleep.

The kids were all chipper on the shuttle to the park. We took this picture to contrast there appearance at the end of the day. We forgot to take said picture to compare this one against. Still, don't they look excited and ready?

Mari's happy! She got her turn on the "round n round".

We had our way to "It's a Small World". We think this was Mari's favorite ride. It had her complete attention and she sat as still as we have seen her during the whole trip.

Every time we take the kids on this ride Ben comments that Disney is missing an opportunity to make some cash. He thinks that Disney could sell tennis balls as you wait in line. $1 a ball. Then as you go through the ride you could unleash your tennis balls on the dolls inside. I, as usual, just shook my head and hoped nobody nearby is paying attention.

Mari had only one person she wanted to see on this trip. We waited in line until we got to see Minnie. She ran as fast as she could and nearly took Minnie out at the knees.

I required that we stay long enough for the parade. We staked out some space and got comfy until the parade started. The kids, using one of their great skills, made friends with many of the kids around us.

Mari entertained a group of girls for awhile.

Legoland was for Hyrum. We gave the kids a Lego game for the Wii at Christmas and ever since, Hyrum had been excited about going to Legoland.

As we sat in our first line we attempted to plan out our day. Little Marilyn took great interest in what we were planning to do.

They had many rides that we had not seen before.

The kids enjoyed themselves. We were a bit disappointed that the park did not have more rides but it did have a little of everything for all ages.

Hyrum had a ball racing the other kids. He was very competitive and gave a running "play by play" of how awesome he is at racing his car.

In an attempt to avoid rush hour traffic we took a trip to see the San Diego Temple.

Emma and Eve really noticed the different feeling on the Temple grounds vs. what we had been experiencing at the amusement parks, hotels, rest stops etc... It was a great opportunity to help them recognize that special feeling was the Holy Ghost testifying to them of the truthfulness of the gospel. We all agree that this was the best part of our trip by far!

Our last day was a fun day at the beach. We were a bit surprised to be the only people at the beach. There were a few guys in full body suits that were surfing and looking at us strangely.

Once the kids hit the water we were reminded that Spring ocean is still cold. This did not stop the kids. They had fun, fun, fun. Well, most of them had fun.

The kids were playing a game to see who could wait the longest laying on the sand before the waves would come and get them. A version of chicken.

Mari was not very excited about this game and thought her siblings were being reckless.

She is a bit of a worrier and tried to do the best she could to talk them out of this dangerous game. Ben and I couldn't stop laughing at her little motherly ways. She really cried and pleaded with them to move away from the scary waves. She tried to drag them out. Her little eyes were so fearful for her siblings. Finally she gave up trying to get them to move and came to sit by Ben and I. I held her and she just cried in frustration. I rocked her and reassured her that her brother and sisters were just playing and we would make sure they stayed safe. We didn't let the kids play this "chicken" game too long so Mari wouldn't get an ulcer.

Hyrum thought it was a great adventure and made his statement of wanting to move closer to the ocean. I think he likes to tease Mari.

Mari eventually founds a game she enjoyed. It was "throw sand on everyone". This lead to bury your brother in sand (if he's buried in the sand, he can't scare me by going out in the ocean). We got all the kids to participate and Mari was happy that she was able to convince her family to keep a safe distance from the water.

We un-burried her but she was persistent that this be the only game that the family was allowed to play. She kept trying to keep us busy burrying her.

Overall it was a great trip full of great memories. We feel very blessed to have this time together! We really enjoy each others company!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Our beautiful Marilyn has some amazing talents. She cleans up well and is as cute as children come. She also provides the family with many opportunities of accidental humor.

This was the scene for our Sunday dinner. Mari was trying to be patient but a bit upset that we had not had dinner yet. She was tired and hungry which is not a good combination for her. We called everyone to the table and it didn't take long to realize that Mari got very quite in a very small amount of time.

She was out! Not a little bobbing of the head but gone.

It did not look very comfortable. Her head was slipping down the back of the chair until she used her nose as a wedge of sorts.

When she went to bed her nose looked okay. It was very red but it took the original shape without any help from Dad.

We went ahead a tried to have dinner as normal as we can. We at times have spontaneous singing, dance routines that start without warning, and weird noises coming from the boy so trying to balance a limp noddle of a 2 year old was not too much of a challenge. She did fall off her chair twice, in mid bite, with food going everywhere. She kept missing her mouth and getting frustrated that she was not getting fed. Eventually Dad had to take over.

If you can imagine, after dinner she caught a second wind and was running around looking for someone to wrestle with. She did not go to bed on time. This girl is wonderful to have around. She is cute enough she gets whatever she wants out of Dad. It seems we have more opportunities to laugh at/with this child than we have in the past.