Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Happy 4th

We love fireworks, and we were really bummed last year when July 4th fell on a Sunday. Plus our town didn't have money for fireworks anyway. So this year we were very excited when some last minute donations made it possible for our money-strapped town to do fireworks again.

I love holidays! And I love to do simple little things to celebrate through food. I made American flag pancakes for breakfast by putting blueberries in the corner for stars and red sugar crystal spinkles in rows for the lines. Dave had the idea of puting the sprinkles in a half-folded sheet of paper to make it easier to pour. I thought they turned out so cute, and the boys LOVED them.

Dave spent the whole day working on the sprinklers, since all of our grass was dying. The boys and I made these fun fireworks hats from Family Fun again. Then after dinner we went to the park for fireworks.

We were so stoked about parking. We usually park in the field, which is fine, but it costs money and involves a lot of walking. Well this year we missed the turn and went into the park to turn around, but the attendants there said they thought there was one (free) parking spot left. Sure enough, there was one right next to where we usually sit to watch the fireworks. People probably just assumed it was full, like we usually do, because they were already parking really far away. It's little things like this that make me happy.

We had a couple hours to wait, so we played football and ate lots of snacks and walked around.

When it got dark we played with glow sticks and took crazy pictures.

We even thought to pack our light-up Mickey Mouse toy, which has since broken. I guess we'll need to go back to Disneyland to buy another one.

It was an awesome firworks show. Here are a few of my favorite pictures.

Levi was scared, so Dave put a blanket over his head. He was fine after that.

Here's the grand finale. I like the Saturn one. Afterwards we just casually walked over to our car and drove home. It was fabulous!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Dinner and a Movie

I'm getting behind on blogs. You may have noticed. I guess summer's keeping me busy, which means I have even more things to blog about. It's a catch 22.

So back at the beginning of July, we got together with family to celebrate birthdays for Dave and Jacob. We met at the park by mom and dad's house, which was actually quite crowded because there was a baseball game going on with fireworks afterwards.

We had pizza, because that seemed easiest. Kristen made chocolate cake with cherries, and I made scotcheroos. Dave's not a huge cake person, and he had already had 2 cakes at work.

I also like to make scotcheroos when I know there will be other dessert options for Brennan, since they have peanut butter in them.

Then we went to the drive-in to watch Cars 2. We traded Levi for Jacob and Peter, since it was too late for Levi (actually, it was too late for everyone, but they love it), and Jacob and Peter really wanted to go.

They all started out thinking they wanted to watch from the roof of the car, but that didn't last long as the sun went down and the temperature dropped.

Brennan and I fell asleep during the movie. Pillows, blankets, late night, etc. But from what I saw, it was a cute movie. Several adults told me they didn't like it as much as the first one, but my boys all said they liked it way better because there was more action.

It was very crowded! We got there 30 minutes early and still had to park in the back. But that's okay, it's a big screen. It's a really fun thing to do with the kids. And at $2/kid (under 12), it's cheaper than the movie theater.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


The last night before Emily's family left to go back to Utah and Spencer and I flew back East, we all went out for fish and chips in Morro Bay.
After dinner everyone ended up down at the water catching gobs of tiny jellyfish (not the kind that stings).

Then we drove down to the park at the end of the embarcadero, and the big kids ended up down at the water again, looking at big jellyfish.

We stayed a really long time, not wanting to say goodbye. The kids played at the park and the adults chatted.

Luke and Levi love Jonathan's longboard. Big brothers/cousins are so cool.

We sure miss these fun people. Why do we all have to live so far away from each other?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cub Scout Day Camp

The first week of summer was cub scout day camp. Unfortunately it was the hottest week of the summer so far. The day I volunteered was over 100 degrees.

Our pack was in charge of the skills station for one day. After a police officer talked to each group about bike safety, we helped them make license plates for their bikes. We had a heck of a time finding adults to help us, so my nephews Alec and Braden came to the rescue.

They were there all day, helping 125 cub scouts laminate their license plates and punch holes in the top. The great thing is that it counted towards a 6 hour community service requirement they needed for boy scouts.

I actually really enjoy being at day camp. There is so much happy energy, even in 100 degree weather. Plus I love to see my boys and nephews having fun.

The highlight of the day was when the fire department came after lunch to spray all the boys. They had done it the day before too, so when the boys saw the truck coming, they all started screaming and running towards the fence.

This went on for quite awhile.

I think the firemen were having fun too.

They had fun throwing their hats into the air and watching the water blow it around.

It sure cooled them all off.

Emily's son Daniel came to day camp too. She heard someone say, "People have come all the way from Utah to be at this day camp!" Plus Emily helped me with the skills station and her son Andrew was a den chief for the day. I hope they come back again next year!

This was Peter's first year at day camp.

Tyler loved everything about day camp, but getting sprayed by the fire truck was his definitely his favorite part.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Elephant Seals

My sister Emily and her family came to visit right after school got out. We went to the beach with them, but first we drove up the coast to see the elephant seals. They had never taken their kids to see them, and it's always fun to watch all those huge animals sunning and fighting on their favorite local beach.

Look how bright pink the inside of his mouth is. It looks fake.

There are different age groups here during different times of the year, and when they're not here they're hunting in Alaska. The most exciting time is around Valentine's Day when they are mating and having babies. Right now the juveniles are here. They are like wrestling teenage boys, learning how to fight for a mate.

Kristen and her family came too. There was a bunch of us.

The fighting is always fun to watch. Otherwise it's a bit boring when they're all just sleeping.

Then we drove down a few miles to Hearst Beach, our favorite. Dave grilled hamburgers and hot dogs while we were looking at the elephant seals, so lunch was all ready when we got there. Then some people played in the waves while other people made sand castles and forts.

Dallin's best friend Ronan came along. This was about a week before he moved away.

Here's Emily youngest, Sabrina. I can't get enough of that curly red hair!

The big boys had fun building a fort and running around like wild people. Yay for cousins!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

End of the year stuff

I know we're halfway through summer already, but here are some highlights from the end of the school year.

Tyler had his first violin recital. We love his teacher, Don Charles. He's 85 and has been playing the violin for 80 years. He accompanied Tyler to make his songs sound really fancy.

Tyler played 2 songs: Mary Had a Little Lamb and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. He played both songs perfectly!

Spencer finished up his hockey season. He lost his final game, but he got 1 of the goals.

So we ate at Good Ol' Burger to cheer him up.

Dallin was so happy to have Mrs. Young return to school for the last few weeks. Her son Cooper was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, and she was out for a couple of months.
Dallin earned 2 reading awards. He can't get enough books and started sneakily reading Tyler's library books.

Tyler also earned a reading award,

as well as a creative writing award. He LOVES to write and wants to be a writer when he grows up.

Spencer got a science award for his invention. He was disappointed with how little science they did in school this year, since it's his favorite subject. They focus so much on reading, writing and math for testing that science gets ignored. He also got a reading award.

A word about awards: although I am always very happy for my kids when they earn them, I can't stand the awards assemblies! They only have them 3x/year now (they used to be monthly), and there are so many kids earning awards that they are super long and boring, especially for the little kids I have with me. They spend the whole time fighting for my lap then running away making too much noise. But we go and take pictures because it means so much to the one getting the award. It's what moms do.