Wednesday, December 31, 2014

House of Jump

During our Christmas Vacation time we got invited by Tiff's family to visit "House of Jump". It's a place here in St. George that has a bunch of trampolines and on Monday night's they have a family special. As much as I didn't want to, our family ended up going. And, I'm glad we did. It was really fun! Here's some pics from the night...

Not pictured is our epic dodge ball games, tag, and the basketball dunk fest by the boys.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

California Christmas 2014

We did something we've NEVER done before. We went away from home for Christmas. Todd's brother lives in California so we decided this would be a good year for us to try visiting them through the Christmas holiday. Don't worry. I had my fears. How would we do this? The kids had things on their list that would require organizing, planning, and $$$$. Surprisingly enough, the expense to get to and stay in California was pretty reasonable!

We packed our things up on the night of Tuesday, December 23rd and headed to Vegas to spend the night with the Dennett's. The kids got to sit in the hot tub with cousins and do a little polar plunging in the cold pool that night. We never spend enough time at their house. My kids LOVE it!!

The next morning, we woke up early enough to change our clothes, let aunt Cheri make us some breakfast, give our Merry Christmas goodbyes and be on the road to California. 

The drive wasn't too bad. Of course having head phones and movies to entertain the kids sure helps. Traffic wasn't even that bad! 

We arrived alive at Tav and Amie's house to find the rest of the family there ready and waiting. 
The arrangements were pretty nice since Amie's sister had a house right across the street from Tav and Amie's and she was going to be out of town for the week. We got to share the house with Todd's sister, Tara and her family. Each family had a room and we unloaded our bags, changed our clothes, and did what our kids had been waiting to do since we started our Christmas Vacation ... we headed to the BEACH!

The weather Christmas Eve was so nice! It didn't even feel like Christmas! The kids played in the sand, sun and the chilly water. Then the sun started to go down and it was time to walk back "home" (I loved that we were 5 walking minutes from the beach!!) and get changed, ready for the Christmas Eve dinner feast. 

 Amie did a great job hosting us all and we had a delicious dinner of Roast, Mashed potatoes, delicious roasted carrots, green salad, fruit, and hot rolls. Everything was soooo yummy! Then Grandma Julie read the Christmas story while the grand kids acted it out with the hand puppets. PJ Elf made a stop and brought the kids pajama's. Then we all sat around and talked about our favorite Christmas memories. I'm hoping our kids will sit around one day and remember how they spent this Christmas.

 Then it was time for bed...which was CRAZY! They kids had just had hot chocolate, goodies, and it was CHRISTMAS EVE so they were wired and not ready to sleep!! Riley wanted to sleep with the kids too and after lots of talking, giggling, fighting of who got to sleep by who they settled in enough that I could slip back over to Tav and Amie's to see where Santa might leave his stash. Todd was happy to stay in the room with all five of the kids and I was happy to leave him there! I'm sure he laid down the law after I left because when I returned everyone was sound asleep. The rule was that we weren't going over to see what Santa had brought until after 7:30. The kids were actually really compliant with that request. I even heard Payton and Porter whispering in the night that it wasn't time yet and they better go back to sleep.

Christmas Eve 2014

Christmas Morning--This was the picture we sent to those staying across the street to let them know we were awake and ready to see if Santa found us in California.

 Christmas morning was a blur. I remember wrapping paper, smiles, candy, more wrapping paper, lots of wheels spinning and happy happy kids! Did I mention there was a lot of wrapping paper? The boys got new scooters. Julia got a new bike, which the first thing she said was, "I said I wanted a pink and purple bike!" Porter played off it quickly because he was ready to wheel and deal. He was going to trade her for his green bike at home. Jul's declined with a firm, "No!" Jess was happy with her new baby and stroller and I have her on film saying how nice Santa is. Yes. He is.

The girls with their new friends at the skate Park Christmas Day 2014

Breakfast was our traditional deliciousness made by G-ma Julie and Amie. We spent the day (which wasn't as nice and warm as the day before, but still a good day) at the skate park making new friends, and then went to the beach that evening to play and eat Tinfoil, or Hobbo, dinners. When the fire died it was time to hit the road and find some warm showers, tubs, and clothes.

The beached Sea Lion before the Sea World Rescue came for it. We thought he looked like he was waving for the picture

Porter and Jul's ran up and down this hill tons of times!

Leu and Tav after running down the sandy hill

Tressa and I's attempt at a selfie on the beach. It would have looked better with just Tressa in it

Grandpa Blair and Jess on the beach cruiser

 The next morning was our last full day. The kids loved the skate park so much we decided to walk there with their new wheels and play for a while. While we were there a man was doing HUGE bubbles in the park. The girls spent a good hour catching bubbles, blowing bubbles, and probably driving the man nuts because we weren't ready to leave. They LOVED it! I'm sure I have too many different video and pictures of those moments.
Julie, Blair and Tressa had to get home so we said our goodbyes at the park (without Tav, Amie and Leuca--who were napping/working/not there yet). Later we found out that it had taken them 8 hours just to make it to Vegas because of traffic. It may or may not have motivated us to leave the next day instead of Sunday like we thought we would.
The Utahites in California together for one last picture

Missing Tav, Amie and Lueca for this picture :(

One of my favorites of these girls trying to pop a bubble

Riley getting a chance to make some bubbles

Julia's turn to make bubbles

Even Jess got a turn to make some big bubbles
After the park and some delicious tacos at Tav and Amie's we went to "the Pier". Tressa had mentioned before that she loved going to the Pier every time she came. She was shocked I hadn't ever been. Now that I've been once, I'm shocked that she wants to do it every time she comes! ;) 
It was fun to walk out there and think we were surrounded by the ocean. We even saw some dolphins swimming and some surfers catching the waves. We decided we'd go back to the beach by Tav and Amie's and let Todd and Tav try some surfing (and Payton some body surfing) and let the kids collect rocks, and play in the ocean one last time.

Julia with a Pelican on the Pier

Love this crazy family of mine

Walking back from the Pier

I feel bad to say I didn't even get in the ocean this trip. My legs got wet and that was enough for me. What a pansie!! I did enjoy watching my kids play in the waves and sand, though. It was fun to watch the sun set our last night there before we walked back to our homestead. We had homemade pizza and watched a movie. Then it was off to bed. 
The surfer's
Julia made a "home" for the rocks she was collecting. Porter later wrecked it "for" her

As the sun was setting, this was my view
  After hearing how long it took Blair and Julie to get home we decided to get the car packed that night and be ready to head out early the next morning. It was a trick to get all the scooters, bikes, gifts and then our suitcases, bags, pillows and blankets into the car but we did it! We headed out early the next morning and made pretty good time and avoided the traffic. The worst part of the drive was making so many potty stops. WHY is the line to the women's bathroom ALWAYS twice as long (sometimes longer) as the men's? I was trying to reduce our stops by getting Todd to take the girl's to the bathroom but I got no response from my texts while waiting in the long lines that wrapped around the gas station merchandise.
It was nice to be home but it was sure fun to spend time with our California family for a Christmas I think we'll all remember. (Maybe that will make up for not getting a Christmas Tree this year--which is hard to say really didn't happen this year! :o I'll have to try and find a picture of our paper tree and post later.)
The last picture I took at the beach for 2014