We did not think we would go back to Disneyland for a few more years but when the opportunity came up to go with family we decided to tag along. We are glad the Bensons allowed us to crash their party. Our kids love their cousins and it is fun to have other people to hang out with. Grandma Kay and the Stocks also joined us so it was a real family vacation. We started our trip by driving to SLC and celebrating our 10th anniversary. Then we drove to Las Vegas and spent the night with our good friends the Donats. We are grateful they were willing to share their mansion with us! Just kidding! We had a great time visiting with them and our kids loved playing with their kids. They had a great time swimming in the Las Vegas heat. We then continued on to Ananheim where the kids were excited to have bunkbeds in our hotel room. We had 3-day tickets to Disneyland and California Adventure.
The first day we went to Disneyland and hit Thunder Mountain Railroad right out of the gate. JJ is 39.5 inches tall and most of the rides have a 40 inch height requirement. So we brought along some old cowgirl boots made brown with shoe polish and hoped he was 40 inches by their signs.
Luckily he was and he only put up a little fight while putting them on the first time. We joked with the guy working the ride about the boots and he said he might have to report us to security. We learned our lesson and did not say another word. After that JJ knew to wear his boots with pride so he could do the rides. With the fast passes we did all the big stuff we wanted to do with little wait in line. I was so impressed with all my kids and their bravery. But JJ was exceptional! He did everything and loved it. After the ride he would give high-fives and say "that was awesome!" On some of the rides they take your picture and show you at the end. Mike snapped a quick picture of the picture on some of the rides to show how much fun the kids were having. Here are Eliza, Luke, and Abby on Space Mountain. They are so brave!
We also did the Jedi Training Academy.
Luke decided at the last minute he did not want to be chosen. But Eliza did it. We learned how to fight like a Jedi and then got to use her powers and fight Darth Maul. She did a great job and was the cutest Jedi I have ever seen.
The next day we did California Adventure. Eliza was so excited for California Screamin. She did it 5 times and loved it! The Tower of Terror was one I was nervous about. Luke also seemed very nervous and actually cried for most of the ride but after he said it was his favorite. I am so proud of him for going through with it. That night we got to see the Color Wonder show. It was awesome, we all loved it! The next day we went back to Disneyland to hit some small stuff we had not done yet and the Stocks joined us. Abby and Eliza got to meet Tinkerbell at Pixie Hollow.
They also met Minnie Mouse and got the traditional Disneyland photo by Sleeping Beauty's castle.
That night we met Grandma Kay for dinner and the famous Lego store that Luke had been waiting for. It was worth the wait. He wanted to spend some of his souvenir money and it was fun to check out the cool things made with legos.
That night we went back to California Adventure for more fun. We got the chance to do all the rides we wanted to again. Some of our favorites were Toy Story and Soarin over California. In Disneyland the boys loved Star Tours and Space Mountain. The first time on Splash Mountain Luke got the very front and he looked nervous. I wanted to move him but it was too late. He did not like the big hill at all.
We had to do some major convincing to have him do it again and he definitely wanted the back the second time. Here is JJ and Eliza getting ready for the second time, Eliza really wanted a chance to be in the front.
Everyone was very brave and well behaved. We did a lot of walking and standing and no one really complained. JJ napped two of the days and fell asleep on the walk back to the hotel twice. We all slept very well every night. Here are the kids on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride and I even got the chance to meet Minnie Mouse.
After our long sunny days at Disneyland we got a short cloudy and chilly day at Corona Del Mar state beach. The kids still had fun despite the weather. Everyone enjoyed the waves and braved the chilly water.
The sand of course was also a big hit. We just did not stay as long as we might have if it were sunny.
That night we went to an Angels baseball game. JJ got to hang out with Aunt Tiffany and have a sleepover at her hotel with Taylor and Cameron who he loves. We went with Eliza, Luke, Sam, Belle, Jon, Brennan and Abby.
It was a great game and the kids had fun. Brennan won an Angels art set at the ring toss game and gave it to Eliza. He is a sweet boy. I love how all the cousins got along the whole time.
On Saturday we went to Long Beach and checked out the pier, it was a beautiful sunny day. That night we had a hotel in Newport Beach. The pool was awesome and we had it all to ourselves at the end. We walked to the mall and enjoyed a yummy dinner at PF Changs. On Sunday we left sunny California for equally sunny St. George. That night the kids enjoyed swimming again with cousins. On Monday Mike did the Subway hike in Zions with Kevin and the big kids. We hung out with Tiffany and Abby at the pool again and then drove home to hang out in Orem while the boys did the hike. Mike said it was one of the coolest hike he has ever done. We will go back when our kids are old enough to do it. The only bad thing about our trip was Tiffany got really sick with a kidney infection on Saturday and spent some time throwing up and she missed the hike. But other than that we had a wonderful vacation. We got home Tuesday at 2:30 in the morning, the kids slept in until 10:00 every morning that week. We are so glad we got the chance to go and hope our kids remember something about this fun family vacation.
So I know it has been a long time since I last did a post because the blogger website is all different. It would be hard to blog about all I have missed: Thanksgiving, Christmas, JJ's birthday, visits to SLC, and daily stuff. So I am going to do the month of May in a nutshell.
Grandma Kay and Grandpa Dennis came to visit us and Great Grandma Ruth came with them. They delivered Great Grandpa Jay's old desk. We love having it!
Mike celebrated his 32nd birthday. The kids made him breakfast and dinner. He picked out new golf irons as his birthday present and only got to use them twice before they were stolen out of his car in Twin Falls. But don't worry the insurance covered it and he was able to buy new ones. His wedding ring was also stolen from the car. I am actually surprised he did not lose it in the last 10 years. So for our 10th wedding anniversary he got to pick out a new ring. We celebrated with a night out on the town in SLC without the kiddos, thanks Mom and Dad. We also celebrated with our kids on our trip to Disneyland, I will post about that in a few days. Eliza stared dance in January and she has loved it! Her teacher is the dance coach at Rigby High School and she went to her clinic and learned a new dance.
She also had a recital with a super cute costume and she was very proud to show off the dance she had practiced for 5 months. She wasn't even nervous to perform in front of 100's of people. Way to go Eliza!
The first graders at her school did a play called "Bugz the musical". She made her own bug costume at class and memorized her lines in one day. They spent months learning the songs and practicing. It was a fabulous performance. Here she is with some of her friends.
Luke was also busy in May at preschool. Everyday he brought home some cool things he made in class. He is a very smart boy and loves learning. At his graduation program and did a great job. He had his speaking part memorized. He also knew all the songs and actions, he worked hard to learn them. We are so proud of him!
In a few short months he is off to Kindergarten! He also started t-ball and I will post about that when I have pictures.
And we must not forget sweet, little Jameson. He is my little shadow. He follows me around the house and helps when he can. He loves to play with Liza and Luke and of course Dad. He definitely keeps me on my toes. We love him! Here is a picture of him relaxing after church listening to a movie on headphones. What a cutie!
We had a great Halloween at our house. Eliza was Batgirl.
Luke was a stormtrooper from Star Wars.
JJ was Spiderman.
Eliza and Luke each had a carnival at their schools and the whole family got to attend. The kids had tons of fun at their school carnivals playing games and winning prizes. Eliza also had a parade at her school and loved showing off her costume and being with her friends.
The boys enjoyed watching all the kids walk by in their fun costumes. They also both made cool crafts at school that were proudly displayed at home. We decorated cookies and carved pumpkins like we do every year. Mike makes a scary one and I do a happy one.
On Halloween night of course everyone was excited to go trick-or-treating. Even Mike, who dressed up as Mayhem from the Allstate insurance commercials. The picture does not do his costume justice, he looked just like him in person. If you have seen the commercials you would recognize him. The messy hair, the cut on his face, and the ripped and dirty suit. He got the suit from the DI and he was going to cut it but after trying it on he decided he liked it and it fit well so he is going to wear it for real.
It was a little windy, but not too cold and everyone got plenty of candy. Liza and Luke thought it was just as much fun to pass out candy at our door as it was to go trick-or-treating. We had a fun evening and everyone had a great time!
So what did JJ and I do while the rest of the family was touring the great state of Missouri. I'll tell you, we had a relaxing, easy time in SLC. When you are the third child you don't get much time with mom just by yourself and I can't remember when I ever had so much time with just JJ. It was fun. We had to drive Mike and the kids to the Salt Lake airport and we decided to spend the weekend there. I stayed at my parents house and it was so fun to hang out with them. I have forgotten how nice it is to have someone make you breakfast, my dad spoiled me. The first day we went to Lindsay's house to eat lunch with her Grandma Ruth, and Grandma Kay. It was a nice visit. That night I went to dinner at the Spaghetti Factory with my mom and 4 sisters. What a great time. On Saturday we went to Jungle Jims.
JJ was in heaven. He got to ride fun rides with his cousins without his brother and sister in his way.
That night we went to visit Grandpa and Grandma. JJ got to wrestle with Grandpa because Dad was out of town. After church on Sunday we had a family dinner to celebrate my Dad's birthday. It was so good to see everyone. I can not tell you how easy one little boy is compared to 3. I was able to just sit back and relax all weekend because he just played with cousins. Here is the little boy tea party.
Plus that night Nana put JJ to sleep for me so I could watch a movie with Allie at her house. No kids=fun for mom. On Monday before I went to the airport we went with Nana and Papa to Liberty Park. JJ loved having the undivided attention all to himself. He played on the playground and in the Canyon water area.
Then we rode a few rides.
Nana and Papa are great hosts and I appreciate them letting us stay with them. We always love to come and visit!
It is one of Mike's dreams to visit all the MLB stadiums. So some of our vacations are to locations with baseball teams. Mike and I usually go together but we thought it would be a fun experience for him to take the kids. We had 3 airline tickets to use so he took Liza and Luke. They went to Missouri, Kansas City and St. Louis. The kids were so excited to ride an airplane. They first flew into Kansas City, it was 100 degrees when they landed with 100% humidity. They had red cheeks and Eliza needed new sunglasses.
That night they ate famous Kansas City ribs for dinner. The kids love ribs! Yummy!
The game that night was a little hot but luckily the Royals stadium has water fountains and they were able to cool off some.
They had seats on the first baseline outfield and a hard-hit foul ball came very close to them.
The next morning they rode the Amtrak train to St. Louis. It was a cool train ride with a dining and observation car.
They were excited for the St. Louis hotel because it had a swimming pool. They enjoyed the view from the window and had fun jumping on the bed.
That day they toured the city and went swimming.
The Cardinals game was better because it was cooler. They loved watching the games and eating yummy food. They both got a St. Louis shirt and a foam finger for cheering at the game.
The next day they visited the famous St. Louis Arch. You can actually ride a little elevator up to the top and enjoy the view of the city 630 feet in the air. They all said the elevator ride was a little spooky.
It was a fun trip. They loved the airplane rides, the train ride, 2 baseball games, swimming, staying up late and eating good food. But mostly they loved the uninterrupted time they had together. Mike said the kids never fought or got upset. I guess being with Dad all day is more fun than being with Mom and JJ. I am so glad that they had this time to be together and have fun.