Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Amber's dress

Nicole was nice enough to take pictures of Amber in her baptism dress. These are my favorites. Less than a month and she gets baptized. I can't believe it.

Ah, spring

The clamor for the candy
Spring is upon us. We had a nice Easter. We only managed to have 3 Easter egg hunts, but we missed 2 when we went to Goblin Valley. That's ridiculous! 5 Easter hunts? It's getting worse than Halloween. Anyway, enough of my tirade. We had an FHE lesson about the last week of Christ's life the week before, and then on Sunday we went through scriptures about Good Friday and Easter Sunday. I love that Easter has so much to celebrate and more of a focus on Christ. We went to church and then had an Easter dinner made all by myself (ham, jello, homemade rolls, funeral potatoes, deviled eggs) and then we had people over for a devotional and I made lemon bars and almond strawberry shortcake. It turned out really well, I think.
Scott was in charge of our stake Spring extravaganza this year. They have a 5k and breakfast and then an egg hunt for the kids. Everything was going well until they announced the primary egg hunt and she looked at Scott asking for the candy. Well, he thought she was in charge of that and she thought he was. Needless to say, panic kind of set in. He took off for the store while the kids sang songs and did some races. He got back with candy that had to have been 10 years old and wasn't Easter candy, but every last piece was picked up. Alyssa said, "Dad forgot the candy? That's the only reason we come to this thing. How could he do that?" It cracked me up.
With spring also comes soccer. Amber really wanted to play this year as she hasn't ever played soccer, so we put her, Christian and Livi in. A couple days before the season starts, we still have no coaches for any of the kids' teams. So like a sucker I volunteer Scott and I to coach 2 of them. I am a glutton for punishment. I took Livi's team, thinking I could easily handle a bunch of preschoolers. Haha. The first practice they were running all over the field and out of the field, rolling on the grass, pulling my shirt and asking when snacks were coming. And practice is only 20 minutes! How can so much chaos happen in such a short time? Luckily, my wonderful husband showed up and saved me. I was a little bitter that they listened to him so well and the practice went so smoothly after that. On the other hand, I've let him take over, so one less thing for me to do.

Goblin Valley

The hole at the top of the cave we hiked to.

Livi coming out of the cave. It was weird because you couldn't see the hole, and suddenly there were little kids climbing out of this rock.
Lyssa and Christian hiking
Spring break started last week and we decided to take a day trip to Goblin Valley to see Mike and Nicole. I didn't want to camp, because it's not worth packing all that stuff for one night. We hiked around Goblin Valley in the morning, had lunch and then drove to a cave. It didn't look very far away, so we thought it would be easy an easy hike. 2 hours later I didn't think that so much. The kids were troopers and hiked all the way except for Soran. It was a cool cave, but I'm not sure it was cool enough for the effort. But we did have some yummy dutch oven dinner and smores back at their camp. And they were so sweet and had an Easter egg hunt for the kids. It was a great and tiring day.


Team match trophy
Phantom of the Opera (with the dressing room in the background)
Swing skirts
This is the dance they won 2nd in nationals (performed at their school)

Ballroom has been a love/hate relationship. I love watching Alyssa dance and seeing the friendships she's formed and the confidence she's gained. I hate that I have to leave all my other kids and things to do so I can drive her around, change makeup and hair and somehow squeeze in dinners for entire days at a time. Then there's summer school, practices 2 times a week and making sure she has the right leotard for the right night. Not to mention the money spent on hair pieces and tights. But in the end I'm glad she's done it, and I might even let her do it next year.
Her elementary school has some great coaches and they win a lot. Alyssa is the only one on the highest team that doesn't take private lessons as well, and I think she's done pretty well despite that. I haven't been able to attend any of her performances until the last one, but I loved watching it. She will be really sad that this phase of her life is over, even if she does dance more, it won't be quite the same.

Universal Studios

My kids LOVE Scooby Doo so this was a big moment for them
The Bates motel--what is he carrying?
The last splash on the Jurassic Park ride--there were no lines that day (Scott in front, Christian, Tyler and Lyssa in the back)
I love this pose. No matter what scary monster it was, Soran did this cutie pie princess pose. It cracked me up! This is at The Mummy ride, which was my and Christian's favorite. It was awesome. The ride starts out with mummies trying to grab you and then it goes dark and they speed you up really fast and the ride's pretty good, but then you stop right before you run into a wall and then you go backwards through the ride. It was so fun! I went on it 3 times.
Thompsons vs. Simpsons (who will win the giant pink donut?)
Amber with the giant pink donut
3D glasses for the studio tour and King Kong (that was the overall favorite part--the 360 degree 3D King Kong experience)

Michael and Lindsey drove out and met us on Thursday morning at the park. I had been worried the park was going to be small and we'd get through everything in one day and be bored, but it was great! The kids could ride on almost everything, and it was so interesting. The park wasn't too big and a lot of the rides were long so we could sit for a long time. It was great for our family.
Seeing the different sets was really interesting. And I liked how everything you went on was like being right there in the movie. We went 2 days and barely got through everything. Saturday we were going to go to Six Flags, but the weather turned hurricaneish so we left instead. As we already bought tickets, we already have a vacation for this fall planned out! Can't wait to go back.

AZ/CA trip

My little China girl
Charm bracelets for the girls (Christian got a sword)
Buddha, Buddha
Yummy Chinese noodles
My kids eating them up
With our tax return this year we paid off our credit cards (again) and still had enough left over to take a trip. We decided to go to Arizona and visit friends and then head over to California to go to Universal Studios and Six Flags. We wanted to leave early Friday, but Alyssa was at ballroom nationals at BYU that day so we waited until the evening. She was 3 hours late getting out, so we didn't get on the road until 9 pm. It was worth it, though. She got 4th place in one of her dances and their team won second place in the formation competition. Good job!
Anyway, we stayed the night at Uncle Kelly's, got up early and got on the road again. The kids were so good! I don't know if it's because they're older or we just hadn't been on a road trip for so long, but they played games, read books and we only watched 1 movie the whole way, and there was relatively no fighting. We got to AZ where Scott was able to golf with his old golfing buddies and it was just like old times. The kids and I went over and visited with our good friends the Henlines (thanks again, Tiffany) and the Kendalls. We sure miss you guys. We went to church the next day where everyone asked if we were moving back. Ha ha. I wish. Then visited some more before taking off for Mesa. We got to Michael and Lindsey's house and stayed for a couple days. We were able to see Michael's new practice and destroy it (we ate lunch there and the kids were running all over and spreading pizza with them). And we went to the park and basked in the glorious sunshine.
Then we took off for California! Except for the weather, Soran getting pink eye and Livi having the stomach flu the whole time, it was perfect! We went to China town, to the beach (which was freezing but Alyssa still got in) and a Farmers market. I have to say right now that we were an anomaly for California. People asked if the kids were all ours, commented on us having our hands full, and one guy even took our picture. By the end of the trip I was ready to go home and not be stared at so much. But first it was Universal Studios!