Thursday, May 31, 2012

San Miguel Mission

We are just about done our end-of-the-school-year craziness - projects, tests and open houses. 

Along with all fourth graders in California, Tyler learned about the missions this year. We went to the San Miguel mission over spring break, and he made a scrapbook about it for his mission project.

It rained a ton over spring break, but we managed to find a nice day to go. Kristen met us there with her four youngest kids.

Tyler did an awesome job on his scrapbook. He had the idea of painting the paper light brown to make it look old.

Dave's mom enjoyed attending mass here when she was visiting.

Tyler lost his camera about 6 months ago, and then Noah found it in the couch cushions while he was here. Tyler has been taking pictures & video constantly ever since.

I love looking at really old stuff and imagining what life was like back then. I think that's one reason I like to go there so much.

This is one of Tyler's favorite pictures - the homemade candles with the cracked wall. Looks like Halloween.

 The oven almost swallowed Tyler on our way through.

 Cousins rock! Levi was being a pill and wouldn't get in the picture.

There are so many cool picture places there. This is way more interesting to me than building a model of a mission, which is what most of the kids in his class did. Good choice, Tyler!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Making the most of Furlough days

Our school district is BROKE! Like, over a million dollars in the hole. So the school board decided to have 6 furlough days this year and 12 next year. They're like snow days, but with gorgeous spring weather.

On our first furlough day we went to Avila Beach. It's a great beach, but we don't go there often because it's usually crowded and we have to park SO far away. But on a random Monday afternoon in May, we were able to park right up front and practically had the place to ourselves. 

Dave met us there after work and grilled ribs for dinner. This means that I had to pack the car for the beach PLUS everything we'd need to cook dinner ALL by myself, stopping several times to feed Chloe. You wouldn't believe how long it took me. Like, 2 1/2 hours! Then on the way we stopped at the hospital to give them a thank-you card and a 2 lb box of See's candy. I stayed in the car with sleeping kids while the 3 oldest boys ran in and gave our gift to the pediatric nurses. They called Dave to thank us and say how amazing our boys are. It's true!

One great thing about this beach is that it has 2 parks - an old one right on the beach and a pirate park right next to it.

They love these old swings because they're so tall. New parks have pitiful short ones, if any.

I had fun taking pictures of the kids on the swings. I accidently cut off the top of Spencer's head in this one, so I cut and pasted one from another picture and thought it looked cool just sticking out of the picture. 

You know how much I love back lit pictures!


We had one rib leftover, but a seagull swooped down and snatched it right out from under us. Man, they're quick!
Chloe just chilled the whole time. She's such a good beach baby!

Of course we had to roast marshmallows with the hot coals.

See - I was there too.

I love this picture of Brennan. He's so dang cute! It was an amazingly beautiful evening at the beach, and we had to pull ourselves away around 7:30. After all, we had school the next day.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Turning 12 is a big deal

Spencer turned 12 on Sunday - Mother's Day! I loved sharing my special day with him. It reminded me of when he was born (8 days late!), the day before Mothers Day; Dave brought me flowers, and I got my first ever Mothers Day card from the hospital food service with my breakfast. This year we had 3 days of celebrating. To kick things off, he got to play paintball with Dave and a bunch of guys from church Saturday morning. Super fun for them! Then he requested Dungeness crabs for his birthday dinner, and we had those Saturday night.

My family LOVES crabs. It must be that Maryland blood in them. 

They tell me Dungeness crabs aren't quite the same as Maryland blue crabs (I'm allergic, so I wouldn't know), but they smother them with Old Bay and have a bit of a feeding frenzy. They're really big - about 2 lbs each. Just 2 crabs filled everyone up, and we even had some left over.  I also made BBQ chicken. 

The claws are always lots of fun to play with.
That's one big shell! They wanted to keep it, but I told them it would stink up their room.

I enjoyed a lovely Mothers Day brunch with all the ladies at church. Then Sunday night Dave grilled steaks and made the most perfect apple crisp ever. We gave Spencer a Nook (it costs twice as much as we were willing to spend, so he owes us 6 weeks of free babysitting), and the boys are all really enjoying it. And I love my new camera bag and See's chocolate! Monday morning I bought donuts for Spencer's birthday breakfast (see what I mean about spreading the celebration out over 3 days?), and then we got together with family that night and had a combined party for Spencer and Christopher, who turned 18 - another big year. I made Spencer a funfetti cake with raspberry filling and marshmallow frosting - his favorite. Have I ever mentioned how much I love pictures of smoke?

Spencer has been looking forward to this particular birthday for a long time. He received the Aaronic priesthood on Sunday, and he will pass the sacrament this week. I couldn't ask for a better Mothers Day gift than that! We have been blessed in so many ways by having a priesthood holder in our home, and now we get to have two. He will start attending church youth activities, scout camp, and temple trips. He is also excited to go SCUBA diving. I don't know if/when that will happen, but apparently he's now old enough. Twelve is a really big birthday!

From What is the priesthood?

The priesthood is the authority to act in God’s name. The same priesthood authority that existed in the original Church established by Jesus Christ exists in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today. The Church is directed and led through this authority.

All male members of the Church who are prepared receive the priesthood in order to help lead the Church and serve Heavenly Father’s children. A man with the priesthood might serve in some of the following ways:
  • Leading congregations of the Church
  • Performing the ordinances of the Church, such as baptism
  • Blessing those who are sick
God expects those who hold this sacred priesthood authority to follow the example of Jesus Christ and serve with love, gentleness, and kindness.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Chloe's Blessing

We blessed Chloe last week. I didn't even think about getting a dress until I happened to see one in a fancy children's clothing store downtown a few weeks before she was born. I absolutely loved it, but it cost $75! That seemed pricey for any dress, let alone one that would be worn only a couple of hours. So I looked online for another one I liked, and I found this vintage one on Etsy for just $10. That seemed way more reasonable.

My friend made her this adorable gold flower hair band, and I thought it looked perfect with the dress. We wore matching pearl bracelets.

Dave gave a beautiful blessing, with my dad and Nathan standing in the circle. If we had waited another month Christopher could have helped too, but we didn't think of that until later. Dallin just came outside to see what we were doing after sacrament meeting, so he popped into the picture too.

She looked like a little angel, and she didn't make a peep.

What I love about this dress is that it's so simple (my style), but has sweet little details: cute sleeves, pleats and embroidery around the collar. And the material is so shear and soft.

I can't get enough of those big bright eyes and sweet smiles!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sunset Drive-In Theater

After the kids worked so hard at the service project, we decided to treat them to a movie at the drive-in theater.

So we popped a few bags of popcorn, packed some sodas, put jammies on, and loaded the back of the Suburban with pillows, blankets and sleeping bags.

We got there early enough to park in the front row. We saw The Lorax, so there were lots of kids there, running around and riding bikes before it started. Spencer even thought to take his Ripstik

 It was a cold night, so we bundled up.

The movie started at 8:00, just as the sun was going down. It's always a late night for the kids, so it's a special treat for them.

It was such a cute movie, as I mentioned in a previous blog. I love the bright colors and happy  music.

Levi fell asleep on the way down and just wanted to stay in his car seat when he woke up. Chloe did great too. It's easier to take little kids to the drive-in than the regular movie theater. The prices have gone up, so it's not that much cheaper; but it's a fun experience, and we love it.