Thursday, May 24, 2007

Adventures in San Diego

We arrived back to reality on Tuesday morning at 1:00 am. The week has been as busy as ever since returning and sadly our trip to San Diego is almost a blurr. Good thing for lots of pictures!

Birch and I had a wonderful time in San Diego. I LOVED not having a schedule and just being able to spend time with myself and with Birch.

We had to take this shot in memory of one we took during our engagement period. Ten and half years and five kids later we couldn't imagine how much more we would love each other.
We ate lots of yummy food and I only did the dishes once! Like the good coupon clipper that I am, I had printed off lots of restaurant coupons for San Diego prior to the trip so it helped keep the dining costs down. This picture was taken at the Boat House restaurant on Harbor Island.

I loved all the time to myself. It was the perfect combination for me. The first two and half days I was on my own. We had the evenings together but during the day I slept in, watched a movie, read two books ("Dear John" by Nicolas Sparks and "Where the heart lies" by Cindy Woodsmall), and took long showers. Once Birch got home I was ready to go party!!

Friday evening we picked up our rental car and went to the San Diego temple. It was just a gorgeous as all the pictures we had seen. It was wonderful to be there together and remind us of the plan of happiness.
Much of our time together was spent walking on the beaches. My only grumble about the trip would be that it was warmer in Yakima than it was in San Diego. With the ocean breeze and overcast "May Grey" weather I didn't come home with a tan.
This picture was taken on the Mission Bay walkway. We had fun watching the surfers try to catch the waves.
My handsome husband!
One night we decided to be adventuresome and go to Belmont Park, which is the home of an OLD WOODEN roller coaster. I think it had been twenty years since I had ridden a roller coaster.
From the shear tear in my face you can see why it will be another twenty!
Birch was somehow able to hold his arm steady enough to take these pictures. I am sure it won't surprise you that the next two days I had a very stiff and painful neck. The kids thought we were really cool for going on the Belmont Park Roller Coaster (see behind us).
Many of you emailed suggestions of books for Birch to read. I got all of them from the library and then had Birch pick out two to take with us. He only read one but LOVED it!! It was great to see him enjoy reading. The winner was Emily, who recommended "Angels and Demons" by Dan Brown. The only problem was I had finished all my books when Birch was still enveloped in his--next trip I will have to bring a couple of extra books for me.
Saturday we went to the Kobay Swap Meet. It wasn't that great--mostly recycled junk! After we went to Coronado Island. Behind us is the famous Hotel Del of Coronado. It has been around since the 1800's and is still in use today.
Enjoying the sand at Coronado Island.
Sunday we went to Old Town to walk around. There is a very informative visiting center about the Mormon Battalion. Birch and I really enjoyed watching the movie about all the Mormon Battalion did to help set up San Diego and the wagon trails. It is truly amazing!!! Birch and I dressed up in the pioneer wear for an authentic picture.
Monday morning we headed to La Jolla for a ocean kayaking adventure. Knowing that I am not a very adventuresome or athletic person helps you all appreciate this adventure. It was probably about 60 degrees and the water in San Diego is certainly NOT warm. Despite this chilly conditions it was probably one the favorite things that Birch and I did on the trip. We saw seven caves, sea lions, lots of kelp, and tons of pelicans. I am so grateful that we rented a double kayak so I could rest when my arms started burning. Kayak surfing is quite an adventure!!!Our last stop of Torrey Pines State Park. Honestly it wasn't really that awesome. Maybe that is because my legs still were frozen from the kayaking adventure?

It was a long flight back but savored every minute. Birch was able to finish his book and I read a short read called "The Christmas Jar" by Jason F. Wright. I highly recommend it. We had such a wonderful time together. When we arrived home the house was all in order and the kids were sawing logs. We're so grateful for my mom's willingness to care for our kids. What would we do without our mommies?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Simple Pleasures

I love this picture of Cooper because it reminds me of how simple and wonderful life is. Coop was crawling by the door and noticed that he could see his reflection in the metal. He got such a kick out of his reflection.

I'm looking forward to enjoyed some simple pleasures this week as well. Birch and I head to San Diego in the morning for six days. Birch will be attending a Gary Gray course on Functional Rehabilitation for three of the days while I read books, watch Oprah, shop at IKEA, and stare at the beach. We can hardly wait!!! I've arranged a penthouse (one wall of the penthouse is all glass looking out at the beach) for us right on Mission Bay. The ocean is only 150 feet from our doorstep. My mom drove in yesterday to look after the kiddos. Cooper is the only one that I am really worried about...he ought to like her in at least a couple of days, right?

Till next week...

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Honored Place of Woman

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“The great strength of a good woman—a Saint, if you will—is her personal testimony of the Savior and her faith in his spokesmen, the prophet and the Apostles of Jesus Christ. If she follows them, she will have the countenance of Christ for her beauty, the peace of Christ to support her emotionally, the Savior’s example as a means to solve her problems and to strengthen her, and the love of Christ as the source of love for herself, her family, and those about her. She can be sure of herself as a wife and mother and find joy and fulfillment in her role in the home.” -As quoted by Ezra Taft Benson, “The Honored Place of Woman,” Ensign, Nov 1981, 104

Yesterday along with cute cards, a fun scavenger hunt, and homemade coupon books, I was given this beautiful statue of Christ. Birch included the above quote with his own thoughts on motherhood. I love this quote and the way that it reminds me that I am uniting with Christ to raise our children. Now the trick is finding a safe place that we can all see the statue but not touch!

Whirlwind trip to Oregon

Last weekend our family had a whirlwind of a fun trip to Oregon. I got to attend a two day workshop called "Time Out for Women" in Portland. I joined my sister, Emily (she lives in PA), my sister-in-law, Caroline (living in OR), her mom, and my mom. We had a great time together and I enjoyed celebrating womanhood. The speakers were fantastic but the company was even better!

While I was gallivanting around Portland, Birch and the kids were partying in Kaizer, Oregon. They all had the best time playing with their cousins, Grannie, and aunts and uncles. Saturday they all went to a park in McMinnville, Oregon. Apparently it was SUPER DUPER FUN!!

Saturday night we all met up in Corvallis at my parent's home for a yummy dinner and an evening together. Sunday morning we all jumped out of bed and headed back to Kaizer for baby Claire Ditto's (Brent and Deena's baby) baby blessing. We enjoyed an afternoon together and then off we went. It was all way too short but we certainly made the most of it.
Blayre (by the way she will be leaving in her mission to Las Vegas in a couple of months) and Alysee making their way up the sand covered foam mountain thingy.
Andrew (graduating from high school in a couple of weeks) allowing Alysee to give him some lovin'.
Crazy Alex
Nate and Uncle Brent
Jacob, Nate, Alysee, Malia
Sweet Cooper, who was a bit emotional without his mommy and with being around so many new faces.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Mommy I love You

This past Wednesday Alysee had a special Mother's Day Tea at her preschool. All the preschool kids sang several cute mommy songs and then their teacher did a little guessing game for the moms. She read the answer that the preschoolers gave to five different questions and then we had to guess which mommy it was. Well, when mine was read I had no idea Alysee was describing ME. Here are her answers:

Favorite color - red

Favorite food - lettuce

My favorite thing to do with my mother is - play games.

My mother's favorite thing to do by herself or with a friends is - watch mom and dad movies.

If you know me well you will probably find these answers comical too. After her teacher said that this mommy's favorite food was "lettuce" I pretty much tuned the rest out. This is the first year that I have actually come to tolerate lettuce (as long as it is covered in a sugar/vinegar/olive oil dressing). The other thing that was funny is that I like to watch mom and dad movies. That is actually true but it is a rarity at our house. Birch isn't much of a movie/tv watcher and so it is something we do maybe a half dozen times a year. Anyway, we got a good chuckle.

I did appreciate Alysee's picture of me, though. Recently she noticed that I have one silver filling in my teeth and so she has been drawing all the pictures of me with an "owie" on my teeth to represent my filling. I love my butterfly earrings that she drew on me. Gotta love a child's honesty!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Lover of legos

Nate, like the other kids, is a lego lover! He spends hours each morning before the rest of us wake up creating lego cars, airplanes, houses, etc... I love that ALL my kids ages 8.5 to 11 mo. can all enjoy the same thing (yes, Coop loves putting lego pieces in his mouth).

Bubble Fun


Unfortunately, Tyler's smile changed a bit this past week. We returned for our follow up visit to the dentist this past Tuesday where Tyler got a spacer put in (to hold the spot open where they had to pull a tooth two weeks ago) and a big ol' metal cap put on. Ugh... I am adjusting to the new silver smile. The worst part of it all is that we are late bloomers at this house and so we will be stuck with them for many moons until these baby teeth fall out.

On the bright side of things, Tyler still has a wonderful smile and did great at the dentist!

Awards and Space Derby

This past pack meeting Alex really had worked hard and earned LOTS of awards. He got nine beltloops, two pins, and three elective arrow points. If you are not a past cub scouter or a parent of a cub scouter that won't mean much to you--but it means that he passed off a lot of stuff. He certainly has caught the fire of scouting; it helps that he loves a competition!

This past month the boys had also been working on their rockets. We decided that our den was just going to have fun and not make it into a competition against the other boys. Alex loved carving his rocket out of the balsam wood, painting, and then putting it together with dad. He had a lot of fun seeing how far it would go.

My little cute ducky