Friday, May 24, 2013

Spring Birthdays

I think spring is the perfect time to have a birthday, and we've had a few birthdays around here. I turned 37 in April and had everyone over for cupcakes. This is a mini cake I made with leftover batter. That's 10 candles - 3 decades and 7 years, and I still couldn't blow them all out in one puff.

I made Oreo cupcakes for Tyler's class. I didn't have any cake mixes, so I made them from scratch. They were pretty tasty, but the kids in his class just went nuts over them. One kid said it was the first time he'd ever had homemade cupcakes, and several said they were the best cupcakes they'd ever eaten.  Tyler told me it was the first time all year that his class had homemade treats. I suspect that baking is becoming a lost art - how sad!

Dave and I took Tyler to Magic Mountain to celebrate our birthdays. It was Tyler's first time there, and he was just barely tall enough to go on all the big roller coasters.  We didn't know how he'd like them, since the biggest roller coaster he had been on before this was Space Mountain, but he absolutely loved them! We had so much fun! It was the middle of the week, and the place was practically empty. NO lines. Let me tell you, that is the way to go!

For Spencer's birthday (he turned 13 on May 13, 2013!), he wanted a crazy, lopsided, crooked cake with fondant.
I didn't exactly know what I was doing, but I made four layers and cut each one in half at an angle. Then I rotated each half so that the fat sides were together and the thin sides were together. It was a little stressful and took me a ridiculous amount of time (cakes always do), but he was really excited about how it turned out.

After dinner (Dave picked up seafood - Spencer got the combo platter and the rest of us had fish and chips), my family came over for cake.

We got him a couple of token gifts to open, since his main present was a new bike, but he was still pretty excited about the duct tape!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Beach Hike

We were itching to go on a hike a couple Saturdays ago. We didn't know where to go, so we looked up the weather. It was currently 70 degrees and sunny at the beach, so we chose to do the hike at Hearst Beach.

 It's a nice short hike (perfect for kids), and it's really pretty. I kept falling behind to take pictures.

    Chloe grew out of her old carrier - this one's huge!             They really do like each other! 

The end of the hike has a great view of the ocean all around.

 I was a bit of a nervous wreck, warning everyone to stay away from the edge.

There was a little path leading to the tide pools down below, and Spencer found an octopus in one. That was a first for him, so it was pretty dang exciting.
Levi didn't want to go down to the tide pools. Then he changed his mind and did want to go down. Then he got scared of the waves and had to come back up. He and I were happy being nervous together.

On the way back we left the path to climb some really fun trees.

Chloe was content the whole time. We debated even going because she had been sick and miserable with a bad cold all week, but she did great. It was so good to have her back to her normal self.

After the hike we hung out on the beach for awhile. The boys went swimming in the little pond next to the ocean (where the water is much warmer) while we relaxed and ate snacks. It got up to 80 degrees!

 Chloe's new swimsuit - so cute! She was way too interested in the sand to look up at me.

Yummy sand!

 The boys packed shovels and dug this big pool, diverting water from a stream.

The weather was lovely, and everyone had a blast - we ended up staying for hours. It zapped all our energy, though. Nothing is as exhausting as a day at the beach!

Friday, May 3, 2013


I'm not caught up with blogs yet, but I just took these pictures of Chloe this morning, and I have to post them. They are just too cute.

I bought this little flower hair wrap yesterday while shopping for a baby shower gift. I don't usually put this kind of thing in her hair anymore because she takes them off as soon as I put them on. But she actually kept it on the whole time I was taking pictures. 
She has several dresses that I loved so much I couldn't bring myself to put them away when she grew out of them. So I pair them with leggings and turn them into shirts. She has such little shoulders that they still fit fine. Just a cool little trick my friend Maly taught me.

I was talking to my photographer friend about how hard it is to take pictures of Chloe right now, and she suggested putting her on a chair. This worked great! She stayed in one place the whole time. She didn't try to get down until I had already taken plenty.

This one is my favorite. Close-ups are just the best. We had to run around getting Brennan ready for school after this, but it was worth it. I love impromptu photo shoots!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Spring Break

Our usual two weeks of spring break was reduced to one this year. It felt short, but we managed to do a lot. Plus it will be nice to get out of school a week earlier.
Our busiest day was Wednesday. First we went with Kristen and five of her boys to Madonna Inn for their famous cake and just-as-famous bathrooms. The men's rooms are much more interesting than the women's, with a big stone wall for peeing on. My boys always enjoy that. Before we left home, I reminded the boys (as usual) to go to the bathroom. But then they reminded me that they wanted to wait until they got there. Ten boys all peeing on the wall at once - that must have been quite a sight!

Then we drove over to Cal Poly to hike up Poly Canyon. The cousins had all been there a few times, and they always wanted us to go too. We finally made it. It was beautiful there, and they had a lot of fun exploring and climbing on all the old student projects.

Levi was particularly tired and cranky that day, and Braden carried him the entire way. I could not have done it without him! Yay for big kids!!

This is where they found a rattlesnake. Good thing they could climb up high to stay away from it!

After a couple of hours we went back to the cars and moved car seats around. Then Kristen took younger kids home while I took everyone else out for pizza and the drive-in theater.

Dave met up with us after work, bringing down sweatshirts, blankets, chairs and snacks.

Tyler bought a huge pickle at the snack shop - his favorite.

They always think it will be fun to watch from the roof of the car until the movie starts and they realize they can't hear the speakers. Dave and Brennan went home after the first movie (The Croods) and the rest of us stayed and watch Oz The Great and Powerful. They were both really cute, and luckily I fell asleep during the 2nd movie so that I was fine driving home after midnight.

On Thursday we went bowling, since the games are only $1 on that day. Unfortunately everyone else had the same idea. It took almost an hour to get lanes, and we barely had time for a quick game before they closed at 5:00.

The next exciting thing that happened over spring break was Brennan learning to ride a bike! This was a major accomplishment. He had tried a couple of other times but hadn't been able to get it. This time it clicked.
He LOVES it and rides every chance he gets.

We could not have asked for better weather that week. Plus our yard erupted in flowers. I kept trying to take pictures of Chloe, but she was way too interested in the flowers.
April is the best month to celebrate a birthday. Tyler's my birthday buddy. He was due on my birthday, but he kindly arrived 11 days early. I still thank him for that.
We had everyone over for dinner and cake after General Conference (our church's semiannual broadcast).

He requested Hawaiian Haystacks and strawberry cake with marshmallow frosting. 

Since he turned 11, he has now graduated from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts. We spent much of spring break finishing up his Webelos and Arrow of Light requirements. That is a lot of work! But we got it done, shwew!