Sunday, April 21, 2019

Easter 2019

We had a fun Easter weekend.  On Saturday morning we went to our neighborhood's annual potluck/egg hunt at the park just up the street.  Well, Kayley didn't go because she was at a sleepover but the rest of us did.

The older kids receiving their instructions

The food table

The older kids' eggs are hidden in the woods to make it harder--the rest are just all over the grass fields. 

Then today we to church and then up to my brother and sister-in-law's place in Mount Vernon, about an hour and a half away.  We had a nice dinner and then another egg hunt.

5 out of the 6 kids, plus Kona

They love slime so I found this for their Easter baskets.  It smelled awful but had these cute little tiny chicks inside.

 One of these years I'll manage to get a nice picture of all 4 of us.  I'll probably have to resort to bribery.

Friday, April 12, 2019

11th Birthday

The girls turned 11 on February 28th.

They wanted to have separate parties this year.  They're tired of having to share a birthday and it's become increasingly difficult for them to agree on what to do.

Olivia wanted to have 3 or 4 friends spend the night and make slime.  Easy.  4 friends came for pizza and slime making, but only 3 spent the night.

Kayley wanted to take 3 friends to the Cheesecake Factory in Seattle and then to Wings Over Washington (similar to Soarin' Around the World (formerly Soarin' Over California) at Disneyland).  Paul had to stay home with Olivia (who, of course, wasn't invited) so I took them by myself.

The Harbor Steps, on the way down to the waterfront

The famous Gum Wall

Fun times had by all!

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Mid-winter Break Trip to California

We took the girls to Disneyland 5 years ago this May when they were 6.  I'd been wanting to take them back for several years now and we finally went over the mid-winter break.

We flew down on a Saturday and the next day we went to Universal Studios, figuring Sunday would be the best day to drive up there with traffic and all.  They loved the new(ish) Harry Potter land (or whatever it's called) but everyone except Olivia agreed that the Mummy ride was the best!

Had to try the Butterbeer at Harry Potter land (or whatever it's called)

Monday we went to Knott's Berry Farm.  Paul had never been, nor the girls of course, and I hadn't been there since 1987.  I couldn't believe all the cool roller coasters they have now!  It is a coaster-lover's dream.  And we rode them ALL, most of 'em twice, except Montezooma's Revenge which was closed.

Hangtime.  Coolest. Ride. EVER!

Tuesday we finally went to Disneyland.

We ate lunch at Blue Bayou.  I love the atmosphere in that place.  So cool.

Wednesday we went to California Adventure.  We really enjoyed the Incredicoaster and thought it was a lot better than the former California Screamin'.  Also new and improved was Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout, formerly the Tower of Terror.  Probably my favorite ride there, although Radiator Springs Racers was right up there.  We missed that one 5 years ago because it broke down while we were there, so we were super excited to finally get to ride it this time.  It is so fun!

Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout

Thursday was not going to be very good weather so we decided to forgo the parks and head up to Hollywood to do the Walk of Fame.  But we were driving around looking at some other stuff first (Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills Hotel, etc.) and Olivia started feeling carsick.  It was taking too long to get back to the Walk of Fame so we ended up just heading back to Anaheim, hoping that maybe Saturday morning we could try again.

Friday we started out at California Adventure at 8:30 AM and then went back to Disneyland around 2:00 and stayed until almost midnight.  That was a really long day but so fun.

We met Chewbacca

Then Saturday morning we decided to try once again to get to the Walk of Fame.  We drove straight there this time, no messing around with other stuff, but we (well, Paul) didn't want to pay $20 to park for just an hour or so so he ended up just dropping me and Kayley off while he and Olivia drove around.  So Kayley and I walked around and got pictures of the Pantages Theater and then started walking East toward the Chinese and Dolby Theaters and Johnny Depp's star (he's my favorite).  But we didn't realize just how far away we were!  But we finally made it and it was so cool to see all the prep going on for the Oscars which I had kind of forgotten was the NEXT DAY!  I had it in my head that it was still several days away.  Then we had to find Paul and Olivia so we could get heading back to the airport.  We were on the phone trying to explain to them where we were and it was taking forever.  Plus Hollywood Boulevard was obviously closed for a few blocks right around the Dolby Theater, making it that much more difficult to get to each other.  They finally were able to pull over on a side street a few blocks away and we found them and got on our way.

Pantages Theater

My fave

Oscar prep and the Dolby Theater

The top of the Chinese Theater

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Snow Day #6

First, we got about 10 inches of snow on Superbowl Sunday.  School was closed that Monday and Tuesday and they had a 2-hour late start on Wednesday.  Then last Friday it started snowing again and didn't stop until Monday and then snowed some more off and on until yesterday.  I think we got about two feet this 2nd time.  School has been closed ALL week, this being the 6th total day so far and tomorrow will be the likely 7th.

I've been working from home all week which has been difficult with them being home all day and running in and out and having friends over and what-not.  I finally decided to just take today off and actually spend some time with them.  Plus I could really use a day to get caught up on some household stuff and projects and I need to start packing for our upcoming trip to Disneyland/Universal Studios/Knott's Berry Farm.

Neighbor girl was helping us shovel our driveway

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

50th Birthday in Las Vegas

I just turned 50.  Half a century.  Ugh.  We decided to use this occasion to go to Vegas where we would also be able to meet my half sister for the first time (still working on that blog post, but a little over a year ago I found out I have a half sister I never knew about).  It started out with 3, maybe 4 couples going (including us) and then a few singles got added, and then some of the husbands dropped out and a few of the couples so when all was said and done it ended up being 4 girls and Paul!  He was a trooper, though, and totally didn't mind and had a great time regardless.  We would have made it a girls' trip but he really wanted to meet my sister, too.

My birthday was January 24th, but we went over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend to take advantage of the extra day.  We flew down on Friday, and one of our friends was on an earlier flight and waiting for us at the airport.  We went together to rent a car (since Paul and I would be driving to my sister's place a little over an hour away), drove to the hotel and then walked around and had lunch while waiting for the other girls to arrive.  Once we were all there we sat at the hotel bar (just a tiny bar in the corner of the lobby) and enjoyed free drinks for awhile!  Then we went to dinner at the Foundation Room in the Mandalay Bay hotel and then to Blue Man Group.

Paul and I at Blue Man Group after the audience threw tissue all over

On Saturday Paul and I drove to Pahrump where my sister lives.  She took us to lunch and then we went to the China Ranch Date Farm across the state line in California.  It's a cool old date farm with trails, old farm equipment, a gift shop and bakery.  It was a cool place.


This interesting rock formation was on the road leading down to the farm from the main road

When we got back Saturday evening we had drinks in the room and played a game for awhile, and then we went to dinner at a tapas restaurant in the Bellagio called Lago.  It had views of the fountains.  And I forgot to take pictures of the tapas but I managed to snap the desserts!



Sunday morning we had brunch at a buffet in Ceasar's Palace and then the girls did some shopping while Paul sat in a bar somewhere and watched one of the football games.  Then we all went to the top of the Eiffel tower.  After that, one of our friends left to go visit her mom while the rest of us rode the roller coaster at New York New York.

That night we went out for my official birthday dinner at Tao at the Venetian.  So good!  They gave us a free dessert, a giant fortune cookie with two different fillings and fruit and chocolate sauce.  Yummy.  After dinner we went to Cirque Du Soleil Mystere.  Great show.  On our way back to the hotel we stopped at the Welcome to Las Vegas sign for a group photo, then went back to the hotel where the gang surprised me with a cake from Carlo's Bakery from the show Cake Boss.  They had picked it up the day before while Paul and I were in Pahrump.



Monday morning we checked out and everyone had flights at different times except one friend was on the same flight as us so the 3 of us went back to the Venetian because Olivia wanted a shirt from Carlo's Bakery, so we bought that and then went to In 'N' Out Burger for lunch (and breakfast) before returning the rental car and heading to the airport.

It was an awesome trip!