Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Happy 5th birthday Chloe!

Chloe turned 5 back in February, when we were in the middle of our kitchen remodel. As you can see, our fridge is in the hallway and our t.v. cabinet is blocking the pony wall. She wanted a penguin-themed birthday party with friends, and she talked about it for a good 6 months. I totally thought we'd do it as soon as we had our kitchen functioning again, but it ended up taking forever and we never got around to having the party. I felt kind of bad about that, but we did have our own little family party with presents and cake!  

Here's another view of our gutted kitchen. It was at this stage for awhile! Chloe was so easy to shop for. She loves everything crafty and girly.

We were glad to get a few more rainy days in the season for her new rain boots.

Strawberry cake is her favorite. We'll be sure to have a bigger to-do next year, Chloe!

Chloe's favorite color is still pink, but now she also really likes blue and purple. Thank goodness!

 Chloe loves her bunny, Gus Gus, and he is very patient with all the attention. 

Chloe is such a joy for me! We just hang out together every day while the boys are in school. She is happy, inquisitive, helpful, and fun. She is very social and loves to go to preschool 3 mornings/week. Her teachers tell me she is one of the easiest students because she's so easy-going. I never thought I would hear that about her when she was going through her terrible 2's-3's! I love this age!

She is usually great about letting me take pictures of her, but if she's not in the mood, then forget it. She's not THAT easy-going. I think she's so pretty!

She is a tough cookie! She likes hiking, camping and climbing rocks. In fact she's constantly climbing, and recently she's been telling me wants to be a rock climber when she grows up. Last month it was a tree climber and before that a farmer. Not your typical "princess" answers! She likes Disney princesses okay, but she's not obsessed.

Chloe loves soft, cuddly things, like her fuzzy blanket and of course her bunny. Her favorite activities are playing at the park, reading books, swinging, climbing trees and going to the beach.  Currently her favorite show is Ask the StoryBots. It changes weekly.

Her favorite restaurant is Wendy's. She likes to walk there and buy chicken nuggets whenever our car is at the tire shop. Overall she's great about running errands with me, but I know she'd much rather play at home, so I try to get all the boring stuff done while she's at school.

She loves to help me cook and bake! She's especially good at stirring. She always tells me, "When I'm a mom,..." and then tells me what she will make, do, wear, etc. Of course most my boys liked helping me in the kitchen too, but she relates everything to when she's a mom. "When I'm a mom, I will make cookies for my kids. When I'm a mom, I will wear make-up and earrings. When I'm a mom, I will put on pretty clothes and go on dates. When I'm a mom, I will read books to my kids before bed." It's so cute. She really is a little mom-in-training.

She loves it when we visit the boys for lunch! They are her best friends. Lest you think she is a perfect little angel, she completely changes when the boys come home! She tends to get a tad bossy, cranky, and screechy when she doesn't get her way. I will miss all our sweet one-on-one time together next year when she starts all-day kindergarten!!!

She is just a happy, content little girl. Although she was bummed she couldn't go camping with the boys for their annual fathers and sons camp out, she cheered right up when I told her she could choose a restaurant for dinner. Of course she chose Wendy's. Then we went home and watched her favorite movie at the time, Sahara. The next day we went clothes shopping and played at the pirate park at the beach. We love our girl time!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Ice blocking

The boys have gone ice blocking with the youth at church a bunch of times, and they thought the little kids would like it too. So one day in February, we picked up a few 10 lb blocks of ice at the grocery store and headed over to the park. All you need is a block of ice ($1.99), a towel to sit on, and a grassy hill. It's like California sledding you can do in shorts!

You go fast! I even went down once, but I can't find the pics. I don't like to go too fast, so I kept one foot on the ground the whole time to slow myself down. My boys think I'm crazy.

Great balance, Levi!

 Brennan looks so much like little kid Dave in this picture!

If the towel gets in the way, the ice stops but you keep going. 

They took turns giving each other boosts.

This was during the rainy season, so the ground was soggy. Warning: clothes and towels may get muddy.

This next bunch of pictures are from a day we went during spring break. The kids also went once while Dave and I were in Hawaii. I guess they really like ice blocking! 

 We invited cousins to join us, and then we headed over to the pool across the street.

This is my favorite ice blocking picture!

 So fun!

They're always looks for things to climb. This was before the park ranger came and told them to get down. Good times.

This was a hot day, and it felt really nice in the shade of a tree. I taught the kids to blow grass and made clover necklaces. It was so relaxing I didn't feel like leaving to go to the pool. The kids had to drag me away.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Ventura Beach

We had a crazy, fun, last-minute weekend trip to Ventura in January. Some friends from church rented a huge beach house and needed lots of people to help fill it up. So on Thursday we made some quick arrangements and told them we could go! It's amazing how hard it is to get away sometimes. Spencer needed a sub to play the organ at church, I needed a sub for nursery, and Dave needed to cancel church meetings. But it was all worth it!!

We were literally right on the beach. In fact at high tide, the waves crashed against the sea wall behind the house. The fact that the kids got to hang out with their cousins made it extra fun!

How often do you get to eat breakfast at the beach?! We could not have asked for better weather! In fact it was rainy and cold the entire week before we went, but it cleared up and was sunny and warm the whole time we were there! 

There were 2 hot tubs - one upstairs and one downstairs. These kids practically lived in here!

 There was a playhouse and lots of sand, which kept these two entertained for hours.

The boys were happy they packed their hammocks! Several of the kids slept in them. There were also tons of couches throughout the house. 

Amazingly, they gave us one of the two master bedrooms, since we had the most kids. It was beautiful! And big!

 Our room opened onto a big balcony. Such fabulous views!

Our friends have been coming here for years, and they said the owners have added on and remodeled a bunch of times. It really is made for huge groups. I think it has like 10 rooms plus 2 kitchens and 2 big living areas. 

When the tide went out, we were able to hang out on the beach.

 The tunnel went through the sea wall to the other side of the house.

 I love sand pipers.

Chloe and Kate worked hard trying to plug up the hole in the sea wall. Then they'd laugh each time the water came out of the hole. 

 We enjoyed walking along the beach during low tide - this is the view looking back at the house.

Check out this crazy sea slug-looking thing.

 Then it got even weirder when it opened up its flaps! There were a bunch of these all over.

 A lovely place to watch the sunset!

Chloe loved playing with the girls! One is Kate, of course, and the other is our friend's nephew's daughter from Arizona. Super nice people! I was a little worried about staying with a bunch of people I didn't know, but it worked out just fine. 

You may have noticed that there haven't been any pictures of the 3 oldest boys up to this point. That's because they all had things going on Saturday morning they couldn't get out of. Spencer and Tyler played in a band thing for a Martin Luther King Jr. presentation, and Dallin had a Boy Scout Pow Wow. They came down late Saturday afternoon.  

Here's Kristen's family plus Kevin. 

Here's another one of those sea slug things. 

 These rocks were covered in moss, since they're usually underwater. 

 Our friend Brian taught our boys how to surf on Monday. They loved it!

Brennan got up on his first try!

We left Monday evening and got home late at night. It was a really fun weekend! My kids keep asking when we can go there again, but I don't know if we ever will. The only reason we were able to go was because they had a last minute cancellation. They're usually booked 2 years in advance! We were sure grateful we got to go!