Friday, September 26, 2008

California Adventures- Week 2, Part 2

Due to a last minute cancellation, here I am sitting at home on a Friday morning instead of being at work. So, since my house is (relatively) clean, I figured what better way to spend my morning then by finishing up Week 2! So here we go!

I last left you with our Saturday afternoon visit with Grandpa Tom. Sunday morning, Stacey, Kayleb, and the Eddy clan walked down to the park and some fun play time.

That afternoon, we headed over to the Hunter's house for a super yummy dinner!! Heidi is such a great cook... I always look forward to dinner at her house! And it was a lot of fun to catch up with them and let all of the kids play! I cannot believe that her daughter, Kiersten, is already in Jr. High! The kids all had a blast playing together. The highlight of the night, though, was when the kids brought out Kiersten's CD player, and performed for us. Even Mom, got in on the action when the "Cha Cha Slide" came on! :-)
Cha-Cha Slide

Madi, Lindsey, and Kiersten

Caiden using "The Force"

Caiden, Lindsey, Kiersten, Madi, Makenna (well, her picture anyways... she had already gone to bed!), Kayleb, and Kamrynn!

Monday brought a trip to the Sacramento Zoo! Everyone made the trip except for Grandpa who stayed behind to work on Stacey's truck. We had a great time together, and amazingly a lot of the animals were out!

Group shot! Caiden is being "chased" by the alligator.

Giraffes! I am always amazed by how tall they really are.

The kids kept waiting for the hyenas to laugh!

A rare photo of all five of us!

Tuesday, we all woke up nice and early so that we could get on the road and head to Lake Tahoe. My Dad had gotten us all tickets to Shakespeare's "A Midsummer's Nights Dream" (kid version) at Sand Harbor. I think the show started at like 9:30 or 10 or something, so off we went! We made good time, and only had one minor hiccup.... right after we pulled into Sand Harbor, Caiden said "I don't feel very good", and then he coughed, and I knew what was coming next. So I told Dad to pull over and quick... Caiden barely made it out of the car in time! But he did, so at least we didn't have to smell it. We have since come to the conclusion that Caiden gets motion sick. So that was fun! He was fine the rest of the day, thank goodness. The play was good, but let me tell you... it was HOT!!!!!! That sun was beating straight down on us! We were glad when it was over so we could head back to the car, and find some water and some shade. We had parked by this great little picnic spot, with all of these big rocks for the kids to climb on, so we had some lunch, let the kids play, and waited for Mom, Stacey and Kayleb to arrive.
The Sand Harbor Theater is so cool! The chairs are in the sand! And the backdrop of Lake Tahoe is amazing!


Playtime on the rocks!

My three babies!

Gotta love the timer mode on cameras, but not as much as I love the goofy smile on Tyler's face!

Mmmmm! Oreos!

Grandpa with his kids!

Yay! Grandma's here!

After lunch, and the arrival of Grandma and co., we headed down to the beach. Even though the water was FREEZING cold, the kids still had a blast!

Kayleb, say "Cheese!!!!"

After the beach, we headed to "Fanny Bridge". Unfortunately I wasn't able to get a shot of all of the "fannies", but it's so funny to drive past the bridge because all you see when you look out your window is fannies!!! Grandpa disappeared for a little while and came back bearing yummy treats! I guess I know now where I get my love for ice cream!
Fanny Bridge
The gang (minus Tyler)


Kami loving her ice cream!

So that's the end of Week 2! Only one week left! I can't believe it's taken me this long to post pictures of our trip home. I guess I'm just trying to make our vacation last as long as possible! :-)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

California Adventures- Week 2, Part 1

Okay, so I think it's about time that I wrap up posting about our CA trip, but alas, I still have Weeks 2 & 3, to go! And we were WAY busier during Weeks 2 & 3, than we were during Week 1. I'll try to keep it as brief as possible, but if you know me, well then you know that I really don't do brief. Let this be your warning! So, I think I'll start off Week 2, by posting my very first video on the blog. It's pretty self-explanatory, so enjoy!

The kids think this is a blast, and always look forward to cutting Grandpa's beard.

This time around actually involved a bit of a hair cut, too, which turned out, uh... interesting. Mom was able to clean it up the next day when Tyler, the kids and I took a little day trip to...

The Jelly Belly Factory! The Jelly Belly Factory is in Fairfield, about 45 min. away from my parents house, and they have FREE tours of the Factory! It's actually a really fun day out. I took Madi and Caiden back in 2003, when Tyler was deployed, and Kami and I went a year ago when we went home for my Dad's retirement/birthday. But Tyler had yet to go, so off we went! Despite getting a late start, and having to wait over an HOUR in line for the tour, the kids were very patient and well behaved. We all had a lot of fun, and especially loved our FREE bag of Jelly Belly's we got at the end of the tour! I highly recommend visiting, if you are ever in the area, but I also recommend getting there EARLY in the day so you DON'T have to wait in such a long Factory tour line.
Madi, Caiden, and "Jelly Man"

Mmmmmm, Jelly Belly's! What kind should we get?

Getting ready for the tour. Everyone gets those funny little hats, and you HAVE to wear them... factory rules!

See ya next time!

The weekend brought a visit from Tyler's Dad, Grandpa Tom, and his girlfriend Jeannie. We hadn't seen him since October 2005 when he came to visit us in North Carolina. He and Jeannie drove down from Reno, Saturday afternoon, and they treated us to a fun day of Bowling and dinner at Red Robin's!

I love watching Caiden bowl!

Madi and Caiden are just TOO cool!

Funny faces!

Once again, I am going to stop mid-week. It is just about time to get ready to pick up Thing 1 & Thing 2 (otherwise known as Madi and Caiden) from school, and then we are off to Stagestruck for "Velveteen Rabbit" auditions, where I will start my stint as one of three show producers! Should be fun! Hopefully Week 2, Part 2 will be posted in the next couple of days!

Grandpa's visit!

So, for those of you who've been following my blog, you'll remember that almost a month ago my grandfather, Nagypapa, passed away. Well, my Dad decided to embark on a week-long road trip from SoCal, to Hilton Head Island, SC, with his sister who was taking Nagypapa's old car (literally, old... it's like an early 1980s Ford Wagon) home. After arriving safely in South Carolina, and spending a few days with my Aunt, Uncle and cousins, Dad hopped on a train up here. I had kept his visit a secret from the kids. So when the day came we told them we were going for a drive. And of course we were met with all kinds of "Where are we going"s, and "Are we almost there"s, and "Please tell us"s. We arrive at the train station, and tell them that we thought it would be cool to watch trains. They were still totally oblivious. After waiting for about 10 minutes, the train finally arrives. And the one and only passenger to step off was my Dad! Madi was the first to realize when she saw one of his bags before she saw him. She turned around and said "Grandpa!" to us, and then the other kids caught on and took off running to him! It was pretty cool to have pulled off a surprise like that! We had a great week with my Dad, and he was even able to go to one of Caiden's soccer games, which they won! The week came to an end all too quickly, however, and on Saturday after Kami's dance class, we headed up to Raleigh to take Dad to the airport. Here are some pictures from our visit!
Grandpa always makes sure to keep our freezer stocked with yummy ice cream treats whenever he's here!

Kamrynn loving on Grandpa

Eating palacintas! (A Hungarian treat... I imagine they are very similar to crepes)

Madi & Grandpa hanging out at Caiden's soccer practice.

Caiden & Grandpa

Hugs goodbye!

Thanks, Grandpa, for coming out and spending time with us!! As always, we had a great time, and can't wait for you to come back to Goldsboro... don't stay away too long!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Kami, the Ballerina

For about the last year, when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, although there were numerous answers (typical of any pre-schooler), the one constant was that Kamrynn wanted to be a ballerina. So this year, Tyler and I (well, okay, it was all me) decided to enroll her in dance class. Unfortunately, Kamrynn's debut as a ballerina was thwarted by Tropical Storm Hanna. She was so disappointed that she had to wait a whole week before her first class. Since TS Hanna, Kami has had two dance classes and has LOVED every minute of it. My favorite part has been asking her what she learned in class, and letting her put on a "show" to tell me. But the most classic line yet? When showing me her plies,

Me: Kami, what did you learn at dance today?
Kami: (heels together, knees out, bending down and up) B-A, B-A, B-A
Me: (stifiling laughter) B-A? Do you mean "plie" ?
Kami: No! B-A! That's what my teacher said, and we're supposed to say it like this. (demonstrating her B-A's again) B-A, B-A.
Me: Oh, okay. Well, I love your "B-A's"

Kami in front of the dance studio.

Kami is doing her dance class with her best friend, Kylie.

Almost time for class to start!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Water Country, USA!

Over Labor Day weekend, Tyler and I decided to take the kids to Water Country USA up in Williamsburg, VA. This trip came courtesy of Anheuser Busch and their "Hero Salute". Just about every year since 9/11, Anheuser Busch has given military servicemembers and their families (well up to 3 direct dependents) free admission to any of their parks (Sea World, Busch Gardens, Sesame Place, etc.) once a year. It's actually a pretty cool deal, and the kids have been to Sea World twice (once in San Diego and once in Orlando) thanks to them. So anyways... I've been trying to convince Tyler to go to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg for the last two years, but he just isn't a real theme park (especially roller coaster) person. We almost went this year, but decided that we would all have WAY more fun at Water Country, since the kids love to swim and they LOVE the waterslide at the pool on base. So we loaded up the van early Sunday morning and headed to Williamsburg for the three hour drive.

Caiden looking oh-so-excited to be going to Water Country. He is NOT a morning person!

The weather was a little cloudy and rainy on the way up, and even for the first hour or so we were there. But then the sun came out and it was a perfect day... not too hot or humid! We all had soooo much fun together! And what I loved about Water Country, was that there really wasn't but a couple slides that Kamrynn couldn't go on. Most places have height restrictions and such, but with the exception of a few rides, Kami could go on EVERYTHING as long as she wore her life jacket!!!

Madi making a splash in the Kid Zone!

They even had a couple "family" rides that we could all go on together! Those were WAY fun! One of the funniest parts of the day was when we went on the family ride called "Aquazoid". It was one of those waterslides in a pitch black tunnel. Well, I convinced the kids that we all needed to go on it. The whole time we were waiting Kami kept saying "I'm not going. I'm not going," or "I'm not going up, I'm just going down.. do you hear me?" So then we'd have to pick her up and move her to the next step. I know, Mom of the Year, right? We even brought out the bribes, but made no promises of: money, cookies, a new kitten. She finally said she would go when we mentioned the kitty. This girl has a memory like an elephant (isn't it elephants that never forget?), so imagine my surprise when almost one week has gone by and she STILL hasn't mentioned the kitten... thank goodness! And then when we're at the top I notice that the people who just go on were already at the bottom, and I make the BRILLIANT comment to Caiden and Kami: "See look guys! Those people just got on and now they're all done! That's how fast this ride is!" I was totally meaning to show them how quick it would be over, not how FAST the ride was! Yeah, again, Mom of the Year. Tyler just rolled his eyes and told me how smart I was. So it's finally our turn, and we all get on... Caiden and Kami VERY reluctantly. And off we go through pitch black! It was soooooooo much fun... we were all (well, Madi, Tyler and I)screaming and laughing the ENTIRE time! Caiden had this look of sheer terror when I did see his face and screamed "NO!!" the entire time...even after we got off and were walking away. Remember... Mom of the Year. And I don't know what Kami did... all I know is that she was all smiles when we got off and said she loved it! Even now she'll tell me that was her favorite part.
Our mid-day lunch break in the van. We went the cheap route and brought a picnic lunch from home!

Their bums are so cute!

We crammmed all we could into our 7 1/2 hours there! Then, exhausted and water logged, headed back to the van for the three hour trip back home!

Tired after a long fun day!