Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas Eve Night

Even though we were out of town for Christmas we still took the time on Christmas Eve night to read the story of Jesus' birth. We all went to my parent's room and my dad read. All of the kids paid attention (Grandpa gave them all lollipops) and it only took 10 minutes. It is nice that we made time to remind ourselves of why we celebrate in the first place.

California Adventure (Wednesday 24)

On Christmas Eve we went to California Adventure. It was threatening to rain all day but the rain held off until the parade at the end of the day. It was actually warm and we all lost our jackets by lunch time.
We all went together to see A Bug's Life 4-D show. Boy was that a mistake!! 3 out of my 4 kids were screaming the second the first puff of air touched their legs. If you have even been to see it, there is this part where water lightly mists you and the bug says it is acid, well that is where Haley lost it. Literally lost it. She was screaming at the top of her lungs, rolled up in a ball on the floor. I had to grab her, laughing the whole time, and DRAG her out of the show. Meanwhile Adam and Jason are screaming and chasing me out of the show. I could not stop laughing while my 3 oldest children are hanging to me for dear life. When we got out they were still screaming about how horrifying it was and there was this young Asian couple that obviously did not speak much English. When they saw the kids faces and heard their screaming they turned around and ran out of the waiting area. I felt so bad but all I could do was laugh some more. The funniest thing of all was that they LOVED the roller coasters and everything fun and fast. They hated the cartoon bugs with water misters. Go figure. Here is a picture right before the disastrous, horrifying bug show.

On to the BEST part of the day, for me anyways. We were in this building and as I walk around the corner I see this:
Oh! It was a whole room focusing on Beauty and the Beast! I love Beauty and the Beast. It is my favorite Disney movie. I remember going to see it in the theater when we lived in Germany. I was in 7th grade and I loved it! This room made the trip for me. Marlo was watching me as I walked into the room and she said she wishes she could have gotten a picture of my face. It must have been pure joy and excitement. Isn't that what Disney is supposed to be all about? Thank you Disney people for this. You made my vacation!
At 6:30 they had a Pixar parade. We had a great time even though it was totally raining. Even Jason still had his smile!

After the parade we called it a day and went out to dinner. We went to Tony Roma's for ribs. It was Adam's choice, which is funny because he doesn't even like ribs!

Ouchy Olives

We left San Diego after lunch on Tuesday and headed up to Anaheim. The traffic was light so we were able to get there very quickly. While waiting for our hotel rooms to be cleaned, so we could get inside, the kids decided to go swimming. People all around us were wearing scarves and gloves with jackets and here we are swimming in the pool. It was 64 degrees and sunny. They thought we were insane. Now, I personally kept to the hot tub, but the kids and Lewis were back and forth. Once we were done swimming and had checked in, we all left for dinner. We finally got to the Olive Garden, after a set of really BAD directions and were seated within 30 minutes. Which I think is a great feat for a party of 17. Yes, our numbers rose with the addition of Angel, and Sam with his kids. As we were sitting down Adam got his fingers crunched by Abigail's chair so he was less then happy during the whole meal. Unfortunate because it was delicious!!

Notice Jason is still smiling? He really wanted that $5!

Seaport Village (Crazy Cat Man)

I was really trying to keep this trip about the family, but I have to include this strange guy that we saw. He has this cute little pink stroller that could only be holding... a cat. Of course! We should have known that his baby was a cat! He was so funny. Strolling it around to all of the decorations and globes. Almost like something Katie might do with her 2 cats....

Seaport Village (Tuesday 23)

On Tuesday after a quick breakfast of donuts and juice from Target, we headed to Seaport Village to meet up with everyone. My brother Sam and his kids, along with my sister Angel were meeting us there. They left 2 days later then we did because Angel did not fly in from New York until Sunday night, and Sam had to work on Monday. My grandma and uncle were meeting us there as well. It was sunny and warm, again, except for the wind. I love Seaport Village. Growing up our family used to drive to San Diego during the summer to visit my grandparents. We always went to Seaport Village to ride the carousel and eat ice cream. Even when I went to San Diego for my Spring Break when I was 18 I went and did those things with my friend Colleen :)

While we were there I made a a deal with Jason that if he smiled for all of the pictures during the vacation I would give him $5 to spend at Disneyland. For those who know him, you know he is funny about pictures. But offering money worked! He started smiling immediately.

Pool Party (Monday 22)

After dinner we went back to the hotel and went out to the pool. It was pretty warm except for the wind. But the pool was heated so everyone was happy. The grown ups mostly stayed in the hot tub, trying out the pool maybe once and the kids went back and forth the whole night.

From Primm to San Diego (Monday 22nd)

Adam looks excited, huh?
We passed the largest thermometer in the world and Lewis would not stop so I had to take a picture of it through the window. Isn't that what you do on family vacations? Stop and look at the big balls of sting, and the largest thermometer? Whatever.

We got to San Diego just in time for lunch so we stopped at:

or better known to our kids as Barf in the Box. (The last time I ate here it was the year that they found tainted meat, and everyone got sick from it. Yea, like 20 years ago.) It was raining and the kids were tired of being in the car so they got out to eat. After this we headed to our hotel for the night. We unpacked and went to see my grandma and uncle. We did not stay long. (Once Abigail broke one of the vertical blinds it was time to go. In all seriousness they were well behaved. They sat on the couch and watch television the whole time.) We went back to the hotel to get everyone else and we all went to:

for dinner. It was a short wait which was good for everyone. We got a table by the televisions so that the men could watch the Bears win the football game. (Some of us do still consider Chicago the place that we grew up. Maybe because we lived there the longest of anywhere our whole lives... until Utah that is.)

My kids hit the jackpot on tickets so they were able to get a ton of stuff. Just what we wanted and needed, more crap to haul home. There were tons of kids and family there having fun. Mostly it was giant family Christmas parties hanging out watching the game while the kids ran around. It was a ton of fun for everyone.

We left on our Christmas trip on Sunday the 21st, somewhere around 9 or 10 in the morning. Here we are driving to Primm Valley in Nevada, where we were going to meet up with my parents and my brother Cris and his family for dinner, and to stay the night.

Yes, Abigail does have a seat belt on. She is just all confungled around it. So don't judge me for my kids not being in booster seats anymore.

We stopped at subway for lunch. Yea! It is not like I don't eat a sandwich almost everyday anyways...

We made it to Primm and had to wait in a line for 45 minutes to get our rooms. We opted for 2 rooms. They were $24.00 each so we figured we would splurge so none of the kids would be subject to camping on the floor.

We ate at the "buffet". It was small but it was a better deal then if we had all 13 of us go to a fast food place for dinner. We then went and walked around the outlets that are attached to Primm. They were amazing. They had all of the good stores. I got Adam a zip up sweatshirt (very in) for $6.00 from a store that he loves. I also got the boys Christmas Pj's (way to wait until the last second, I know). And I got a couple of long sleeved t-shirts for me too. I would have gotten more but everything closes at 8 on Sunday, and doesn't reopen until 10 on Monday morning. We were planning to be long gone by then.
Then we saw this guy. I just loved what his tag line was so I took a picture of him. He owns this body jewelery company. I had a few body hole questions for him, but my mom smacked my shoulder and so I walked away.

When all of the kids were tucked in for the night Jason decided that he needed me to pull out his loose tooth. So I did.You can't see it from this picture, but he now has 3 teeth missing and 2 more that are very loose. At this rate the kid will not be able to eat.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Activity #6

This activity was all me. I spent all day on Saturday the 20th packing and doing laundry for our trip to California. I did 10 loads of laundry and was up until 2 or so packing the bags. I did manage to get everything packed and ready to go. I noticed only one thing was forgotten as soon as we were too far away to turn back. The stockings. The one thing that I promised the kids I would not forget. How was Santa going to leave them gifts when the stockings were at home? I had gone from the best mom in the world, taking my kids to Disneyland, to the worst mother in the world who forgets all of the important things. Bah. Humbug.

Activity #5 (Haley and Mom only) Plus Snow

After school on Friday the 19th, Haley and I went with a bunch of friends to eat at Red Robin. We went with Susan and her boys, Rebecka and her kids (her hubby came right at the end and ate leftovers), Lindsey and her son, and Sheryl and her girls. Whew.... that is a lot of people. I did invite my other kids, but they were all Scroogy and did not want to go.) Haley had a good time hanging with "the big girls". After dinner we went to see Despereaux. I liked it to spite the fact it was nothing like the book.
During the evening while we were eating and watching the movie the snow was falling like crazy. Abigail got a few minutes in it even though it was freezing out! She loves to play in it no matter the temperature.

Activity #4 (Part 2)

We really did have a good time at the Tree Decorating Party, that is until the tree came crashing down upon us. Not once, not twice, but 3 times!! Lewis held the tree while my mom and Sam tried to "fix" the problem.

The "fix" came when my dad tied the tree to the wall to keep it from falling again.

Here they are working on the problem for a second time...

Sam tying, or was that trying to save the day...

I OFFICIALLY christened this the "Ghetto Tree Party" when my mom sat down on the couch holding this little ditty. Yes, it is a mason jar. Merry Christmas!!
*And yes, she is wearing white socks with black shoes. IT makes it all that much better don't you think?*

Activity #4

We went to my parents house on Sunday the 14th to decorate their tree. They have all of the grandkids come over and do the decorating for them, while the adults enjoy quiche and crepes. The kids had a good time. Everyone came dressed up from church so the pictures came out great.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I know I am behind. I have so much to say and update but it will have to wait because it is midnight and I am still packing for our trip. I am about 2 loads of laundry away from being done. Lewis still has shopping to do, but is playing a computer game. I have most of the clothes packed but that is it. I want to get all of the clothes and Secret Stuff packed tonight and loaded so it is all done before the kids get up. Wish me luck. I am gonna need it!! And a Dr. Pepper. Yeah, that would help too.
I will update when and if I can while we are gone. Merry Christmas!!