Thursday, February 26, 2009

Divine rolls

Don't you love great neighbors? I am teaching on Sunday and the lesson is on finding joy in our divine role as daughters of God.
I thought it would be fun to give each girl a "Divine ROLL" (cinnamon roll), but since it will be Fast Sunday, I thought it would be good to give each of the girls a "60 Second Cinnamon Roll" that they could take home and cook (therefore no temptation for them at church).
I called a neighbor who told me that she liked the "AnyTime" rolls more, and she said that her husband could bring some home for me. I told her that I could just pick some up, but she insisted.
Later that night, her sweet husband brought me 3 CASES of cinnamon rolls. I told him I was only planning on giving the girls 1 roll each, but he just shrugged it off and said that they would like a whole package more.
Well, I just finished "repackaging" the rolls. I cut a slit in the bottom of the outer wrap & put a handout in over the nutrition facts that said:
"RISE to your full potential. Find joy in your DIVINE ROLL as a daughter of God."
They turned out really cute & I think that my neighbor is right...the girls will like a package of cinnamon rolls a lot more than just one (especially on Fast Sunday).

Friday, February 20, 2009

Double Dip

The title of this post could have several being that Becca just asked me for some ice cream, another possibility being that this is my second post of the day, but really, it's because my daughter turned herself into a giant double-dipped ice cream cone.
Rachel loves to "wash" her hair. What is it with my children & their hair? Anyway, I was outside visiting with a neighbor when Rachel decided to use the remaining half bottle of kids conditioner on her hair...the question I have is HOW DID SHE FIND IT?! I really have learned from Ellie, and I don't keep shampoo & conditioner in reach, but somehow this bottle muscled its way into her hands. At present she is silky smooth and lovin' life in the tub (as I sit here on the toilet), but I think it's about time to put her down for a nap so I can clean up the carpet (where the other half of the conditioner currently lies).


Have you ever been so distracted that you really don't remember doing something? I was just cleaning the kitchen when I got a phone call. It was for Greg--a magazine renewal, and I really wasn't in the mood to talk to them, so I just half-heartedly answered their questions, while going about my business.
During said phone call, Rachel came downstairs totally naked, holding four "Mickey MOUSE!" diapers in her hands. I changed her diaper, finished the phone call, returned to doing the dishes and suddenly, POP!--a piece of toast came up from the toaster.
Now, I am the only one who has been in the kitchen (other than Rachel), but for my life I do NOT remember putting bread in the toaster.
Verdict? Dealing with annoying telemarketers and naked babies simultaneously brings on amnesia...either that or I am losing my marbles (but I'm hoping for the first answer).

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I tagged myself!

I just visited my friend's website, and she had this fabulous "tag" on her blog. I love it because it is a "tag yourself if you want to be tagged" so no pressure for anyone who doesn't want to do it!! How great is that?!

So here are the rules:
The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me! My choice. For you.This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:

1- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!
2- What I create will be just for you.
3- It'll be done this year.
4- You have no clue what it's going to be.

The catch is that you must repost this on your blog and offer the same to the first 5 people who do the same on your blog. The first 5 people to do so and leave a comment telling me they did win a FAB-U-LOUS homemade gift by me! Oh, and be sure to post a picture of what you win when you get it!!!

So there you have it! If you want me to make something for you...hmm, what could it be? A new toilet paper dispenser? just leave me a message.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Un-Valentine's Day

Greg & I have decided that it is much better (for us) to celebrate Valentine's Day on a day other than February 14th. On the actual day we make it a family celebration with heart-shaped waffles for breakfast, heart-shaped sandwiches for lunch, and heart-shaped pizza for dinner. Then we'll bundle up with a fire (assuming the air quality is OK) and watch a movie.
Then, on a weeknight just before or after the holiday, Greg & I go to a little hole in the wall Italian restaurant on Main Street for a quiet night out.
For the last two years we've been to the same place & it always cracks me up. When we got our bread, it was lined with hamburger paper from Dairy Queen, we were the only people in the restaurant, and when Greg paid with cash (for a 5% discount) there was only one ten dollar bill in the till aside from some change.
It probably doesn't sound like a great night out, but for us it was really fun. It was nice and quiet, we never had to wonder where our waiter was, and it wasn't hard to know that our food was made to order. :)
When we were first married we made reservations at Macaroni Grill & still had to wait over an hour to be seated. For us this is a MUCH better alternative...and a most RELAXING evening.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My Body is a Temple

As I mentioned in my previous post, we wrote Greg's cell phone # on the girls' wrists just in case they wandered off at Disneyland or the Airport. What I didn't mention is that yesterday morning when I got Rachel up (Greg put her down the night before) I was SHOCKED out of my shorts to see that my baby (I realize she's not really a baby anymore, but still...) looked like she had just walked out of a tattoo parlor. Her legs were COVERED with black pen. Listing her name, Becca's name, her other siblings' names, our phone number, and other miscellaneous art. I guess that I forgot to mention to the girls that writing on our bodies is not something that is OK under normal circumstances.
I have given Rachel a couple of baths, but the evidence has not yet washed away. I'm just hoping that by Sunday it will have faded because I somehow lost two pair of black tights on our trip & she will be wearing white stockings on her legs.

Monday, February 09, 2009

The Highlight of our Trip

For anyone who hasn't visited the town of Monrovia, you might not know my sweet relatives who housed us for the last half of our trip. As I mentioned, we went to Disneyland on Ellie's birthday and when we were done, the girls all fell asleep in the car.
However, they all woke up after being moved from the car, and while that would normally lead to a bit of a melt down for at least one of the girls, my aunt had a surprise for us waiting just inside the door of 336. She had CUPCAKES ready and waiting for the birthday girl just before my girls hit the sack. The picture above was taken just after the cupcakes, with all of us just a little bit waterlogged, (Rachel about ready to pass out) but all of us VERY content.
The day after Ellie's birthday it rained cats & dogs, so our plan to visit the beach was curtailed and was instead replaced by a personal tour of Monrovia and its neighboring cities, hosted by Sweet Aunt Sue.
She started our morning with a homemade "breakfast pizza" that the kids adored, and freshly picked oranges that the kids picked from their dwarf orange trees (and may I just say that they were DELICIOUS). Then she gave each of the girls a personalized Valentine gift bag. She gave them candy, heart socks, a kaleidoscope, a bubble gum watch, a notebook, and more. My kids were in heaven. Then she pulled out a few things from her "grandma shelf" and let the kids go nuts (while we watched for a break in the weather).
When it looked like it was going to be an all-out rainy day, she loaded us up in her car and took us all around town. We went to a little natural-history museum (which was closed by the way, but thanks to her sweet talking she convinced them to open up) and the girls got to spray water on stick bugs, play with a bone collection, and look at some great stuffed wild animals.
Then, she took us past a cute toy shop (it was closed but we got to peek through the windows), took us to In & Out Burger, shopping at a fun little Mexican store, to a great frozen yogurt shop (you got to dish your own yogurt and toppings), then invited my cousins who live in their ward (and who I haven't seen in ten years) to join us for dinner and games.
While Greg and I visited with Todd and Angela, Sue put my kids in their jammies and got them all ready for bed.
It really was a VACATION for Greg and me. (I mean, she even turned down the beds for us)...who else would do that?
As we left Sunday morning, my girls were not at all disappointed to be leaving Disneyland (although they enjoyed it) but they were so sad to be leaving Aunt Sue's house.
Greg & I would have to agree. It was WONDERFUL staying with such kind, thoughtful, generous people.

What we did at Disneyland:

We felt so lucky to have the rain during off season. We felt like we had the park to ourselves. At one point I even asked Greg if it was just me or if it was a little eerie being nearly alone in such a big park. But to give an idea of how empty the park was, here is a list of what we did in Disneyland/California Adventure & just know that we didn't wait for more than 15 minutes for anything in the park (for example we walked onto Splash Mountain). I hope I didn't forget anything!
Casey Jr. Circus Train
Small World
Dumbo, the Flying Elephant
Mad Tea Party--We walked right on & were glad we went when we did because it was closed for the majority of our visit.
Alice in Wonderland
Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin
Mickey's House
Minnie's House
Goofy’s House--we had Goofy's house all to ourselves to explore to our hearts content
Storybook Land Canal Boats
King Arthur Carrousel
Winnie the Pooh
Jungle Cruise
Pirates of the Caribbean--we probably should have done this one before splash mountain--the girls were a little nervous after the first drop in the ride that it was going to be as wild as the one we had just been on.
Splash Mountain--I walked on to this one, too--but poor Sarah just about died of fright. I spent the entire ride holding on to her shoulders just to make sure she didn't try to bale.
Tarzan's Tree House--it made me miss the Swiss Family version of the tree house, but it was still fun for the kids.
Tiki Room--I still love this one (and so did the girls). We went in just as it started to rain & avoided the downpour!
Honey, I Shrunk the Audience
Innoventions--Greg's favorite. He got to see some great stuff!
Buzz Lightyear
Astro Orbiter
Disneyland Railroad
Princess Fantasy Faire--we arrived just as the princesses were switching places & the girls got to see six of the seven main princesses with only one trip through the line--how great is that?! Then we got to meet Cinderella when we went to a little animation live-on-stage performance.
Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough
Pixie Hollow (The girls went twice because they were so excited to meet the fairies)
Star Tours
Peter Pan's Flight
Pinocchio's Daring Journey
Snow White's Scary Adventures
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
Finding Nemo Submarines

Heimlich's Chew Chew Train
Tuck & Roll's Drive 'Em Buggies
Francis' Ladybug Boogie--all the girls LOVED this one.
Monsters, Inc.
Muppet Vision 3-D
Animation—Turtle talk with Crush (Becca and Greg both got to talk with Crush in the live animation--it was really fun to watch)
Aladdin—the musical--this provided a great chance for Rachel to nap--something she desperately needed
Playhouse Disney--we could have avoided buying the dollar tree souvenirs if we would have known how much confetti they dropped on the crowd here! I thought it was a darling production
Pixar Parade--we got the best seats in the house--right across from the entrance & all the characters came to the girls to give high fives & hugs.

The Happiest Place on Earth!

Sorry for the dearth of posts...we have been on vacation. We left last Sunday and got home last night. Greg had business in San Diego, so we decided to fly down as a family with him, then surprised the kids with a trip to Disneyland on Ellie's birthday.
We woke up Sunday morning and arrived at the airport by 9:00. I dressed the girls in matching outfits to make it a little bit easier for me to spot them should they wander off (I also wrote Greg's cell phone number in pen on their hands). The girls had a great time wandering the airport, looking out at the planes being taxied around, and just anticipating their own flight (this was the first flight any of them could remember).
After an easy flight, we arrived in Sunny San Diego and checked in at the hotel with enough time to head to Balboa Park for a relaxing Sunday stroll. The park was beautiful, as usual, and Greg and I just soaked in the sun and warmth.

We stayed at the park until just after dark (the girls were particularly fascinated with the fountains and this dragon sculpture/play land) then headed back to the hotel for a lovely night's rest. We stayed at the Residence Inn in a 2 bedroom suite & could not have been more thrilled with the arrangements, especially since Greg was gone in the mornings--it was very nice to have a little extra wiggle room for our four wigglers.
The girls and I spent the next three mornings relaxing/swimming at the hotel.

I think the girls thought I was out of my mind as I kept muttering "It's February! I can't believe it's FEBRUARY" but really, who could blame my state of disbelief when you see how pretty it was?
When Greg got home from his meetings in the afternoon, we took off to see some of the local attractions. We went to "Shell Beach" which was appropriately named--the girls were in heaven collecting sea shells and looking in the tide pools where we found a lot of anemone.We stayed until sunset, then went to seal rock reserve where we watched the seals and sea lions coming in out of the water for the night.
The next day we took the girls to Coronado/Old Town. The girls loved Old Town, but didn't really care about the "big bridge" we were so excited to show them.

On our way home from Old Town we took the girls to see the San Diego Temple (which was only about 5 minutes away from the hotel). It was beautiful to see it again, but the pictures were taken just at dusk, and it wasn't the best lighting (but at least we have something).On Wednesday we took the girls to Birch Aquarium. They had some great exhibits, and we have a few pictures on Greg's phone, but our camera fell out of my bag in the car, so I don't have any pictures here to post :( but the girls had a GREAT time. They had some great tide pools where the girls got a ton of hands-on time with star fish, sea cucumbers, anemone, lobsters, etc. They also LOVED the sharks, jelly fish and kelp tank (and they loved making a news reel, and playing in a water-play area).

Thursday was the "BIG DAY." It was Ellie's birthday, and we surprised the kids by driving up to Disneyland. I don't know who had a better time--the kids or me. OK, I'm pretty sure I did :).
They got to meet SilverMist and Tinkerbell at Pixie Hollow

We walked right on to the teacupsThe kids loved Casey Jr.
And they found it quite humorous that the white rabbit's house was actually a store.
Sarah and Rachel LOVED Dumbo, and in general the girls did great at Disneyland.
And I think we did a pretty good job wearing them out!

I haven't uploaded the pictures of the last couple days of our trip, so I'll try to get back to it soon, but I will end by saying that despite a little bit of rain at Disneyland (which only helped to make the crowds smaller) it was a great vacation!