Sunday, July 29, 2007

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Summer Vacation Part III (Days 10-14)

Day 10 (July 9th)

Lake Day. Stephanie had told me about Lake Yosemite many times in our previous visits and I'm sure we talked about going once or twice but never made it there. We finally decided to check it out. I am so glad we did. This is the perfect hang out spot! They have boating, fishing, a scout camp, playgrounds, camp grounds, a beach, and many places for picnics and barbecues. This quickly became a favorite spot of mine for future visits. The beach is small with lifeguards and a swim area roped off with water that is only about 4-5 feet deep. Perfect! The boys waded in up to their necks but there was no surf to knock them over. Charley was in the water the entire time. Ben was happy to play in the shallows next to Nana and I while we sat in the sun. After a few hours of this he was ready for a nap in the shade. This was a great day! We decided to bring Ron and Papa back at the end of the week and allow Joseph and Sam to try fishing. On the way home we picked up some KFC for dinner. The kids ate every bite of their dinner and went happily to bed and slept the entire night.

Day 11 (July 10th)

Movie Day! Nana and I took the kids to see Disney's Ratatouille. I was surprised at how long this movie was. I didn't see all of the movie as I was taking kids to the bathroom for many parts of it. Ben was done about halfway through so I ended up having to ask Stephanie how it ended. The kids seemed to like it for the most part so that was good. In the afternoon the kids played outside on the slip-n-slide. Water had to be involved somewhere.

Day 12 (July 11th)

Stephanie and I braved Boomers and miniature golf with the kids. Stephanie started out with a hole in one of the first hole. Joseph got his on the Windmill hole. He was so excited. Sam was a little dangerous with the golf club. I was sure he was going to break one of the lights or wallop one of us with his club. He did not want any pointers on how to stand or how to hold the club! After this we gave the kids a few tokens to play some games and pick out prizes with their tickets. Once we finally pried them out of the place we headed over to Aunt Karen's for another dip in the pool. The kids love going there and Porter and Stephanie ventured in to give me a hand with the kids.

Day 13 (July 12th)

Beach Day! We all hopped in the car and drove over to Aunt Deborah's house on this day. On the way in we picked up some sandwiches at TOGO's. After changing the kids into their bathing suits we packed them back into the car and headed for Santa Cruz. We found a nice spot next to the life guard tower and set down our blankets and towels. The boys still need to learn the rules about beach etiquette. I am sad the kids don't get more beach days, this is something I grew up doing every summer. Charley never came up to the blanket once, she was again in the water the entire time. Ben and Sam mostly played next to me in the sand, however Joseph and Sam both enjoyed chasing the waves. After having our fill of the beach we drove over to the boardwalk for dinner and carnival rides. The kids loved the ferris wheel and Charley liked playing babysitter to cousin Jacob and taking him on the rides. She did a great job holding on to him on a ride that neither Deborah nor I realized was a little too fast for such a young guy. Ben really enjoyed the horses on the ferris wheel. On the way home that night we put on a movie in the car thinking they would be fast asleep. We were wrong again. They didn't fall asleep until we were about 1/2 hour from home. It was on the drive home that I realized I had forgotten to put sunscreen on my legs. I would pay the price the next day. Ronny flew back in that night and we were happy he was back.

Day 14 (July 13th)

That morning I woke up in quite a bit of pain. I have had bad sunburns in the past but never have I had so much pain in my legs than I did this morning. For some reason the sunburn caused my legs to swell and it was difficult for me to stand in one place without having significant pain. Nana was kind enough to watch all the kids while Ronny and I went to see the latest Harry Potter movie. After the movie we headed over to Walmart to look for a fishing pole. We found "Cars" fishing poles for the boys, not to mention weights and hooks, and fishing licenses for the big boys. Then we headed to In N Out for some lunch, YUM! After we showed the boys their poles they headed outside to see what kind of trouble they could get into while we prepared to go back to the lake. We loaded up the van and headed out along with Papa. Nana made a run to the store on the way there. We arrived expecting for the lake to be crowded but much to our surprise it wasn't at all. We found the spot we had that Monday and a table nearby. Stephanie arrived with all the fixins for sandwiches. The boys headed off to do some fishing. They soon discovered it was not safe for Sam to have a hook on the end of his. No fish were caught but they had a great time! That night we visited the book store and grocery store for our trip home the next day.

Day 15 (July 14th)
Driving home. We slept in a little late this morning but the sleep was needed after so much fun that week. The kids went on one last hunt for fruit with Papa before loading up in the car for our trip home. The kids did well on the drive and we arrived around 8 p.m. that evening. We felt a little bad as it was technically bedtime when we arrived so we let them play outside while we unloaded the car. We had so much fun on our trip. Sam continues to ask if we can go back to Nana's today. If only it were that easy. My next step is to make a slide show of all the pictures that didn't make in on the blog. Hopefully I will get that done sometime this week.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Summer Vacation Part II (Days 5-9)

DAY 5 (July 4th)

This was a day worthy of a large photo! Everyone pictured here stayed at the house during the holiday plus one, Ben was asleep in the house. We all woke in the morning and helped prepare a feast for breakfast as Ron and Stephanie hosted the first annual 4th of July breakfast for all friends and family nearby. At the end of the day we figured about 100 people came through. The kids had a great time exploring the farm, chasing chickens, throwing water balloons, and jumping in the giant bounce house Stephanie rented. The day ended with the great fireworks display at Cal State Stanislaus, after which all the kids headed for bed as they were exhausted! Oh by the way, did I mention it was 107 that day, toasty!!! Picture: top row from left (Uncle Eric, Nana, Papa, Anjanette, Ronny, Joseph, Leia, Jon) second row: (Deborah, Jacob, Hannah, Ruby Buttercup, Phontaine, Superstar 5 Jemimah, Jacob, Ben, Kirsten, Kate) third row: (Denise, Sam, Teah, Trixie Petunia Pineapple, Caleb, Charley, Ian) Not pictured Baby Ben and no I did not exaggerate the names.

DAY 6 (July 5th)

July 5th was clean-up and leave day after all the festivities. Ronny and Jon left early in the morning to fly back to school. Ronny is teaching a class this summer that he needed to get back for. Ben and Kirsten stuck around long enough for Ben to take the kids outside and have a quick game of baseball before the temperature topped 100. The kids were sad to see them go, they kept asking when Ian and Jacob were coming back. Uncle James would arrive that not so they considered it a fair trade! The kids of course played in the water all afternoon and took naps to recover from the previous day.

DAY 7 (July 6th)

The kids were happy to wake up Uncle James and start the day. The kids played outside while James cleaned out the cabin. That afternoon we went for another dip in the pool at Aunt Karen's. The older kids had great fun jumping to James and swimming. Ben thought the floaty was overrated and wanted out. After I took him out he wanted to jump in like the older kids. He has not yet acquired his fear of the water. After the swim the kids enjoyed a treat from the orchard. What could be better than a swim and fresh fruit from the tree?

DAY 8 (July 7th)

This day started off with shopping trips. Sam and Charley went to Home Depot, Borders, and McDonald's with Papa. They had a great time and Papa even said they behaved which is saying something for Sam. Joseph and Ben went to the mall with Nana, Anjanette, and I. We had fun picking out new t-shirts for Joseph and pajamas for everyone. That morning Papa taught Joseph that boys "take a leak" and girls go potty, thank you Papa. Later that afternoon James, Anjanette, and Nana took the three older kids to a Stockton Ports baseball game. The kids had a great time, Joseph especially. James had an interesting time taking the boys to the bathroom. They all came home happy and tired!
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Day 9 (July 9th)

Today was Sunday. Sam had a tough time in Primary so we came home after Sunday School. It turned out so did everyone else so we were in good company. Charley spent to afternoon reading Calvin and Hobbs while the boys played. Jared and Ashley came over for dinner. We sang Happy Birthday to Uncle James and then Stephanie took Ashley, James and Anjanette to the airport. After leaving Joseph called Ronny and said, "Dad something very sad just happened, James and Anjanette just left!" The kids were very sad to have to say goodbye.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Summer Vacation 2007 Part 1 (Days 1 - 4)

Our summer vacation started with the drive down to very sunny California on June 30th. The kids were so excited to go they couldn't sleep that night so instead of waiting to leave at 6:00 a.m. we left at 4:00 a.m. The kids traveled great. Ben was ready to get out of his seat around noon so we stopped for lunch. Then back in the car we went and arrived just before 3:00 pm. The kids were happy to get out of the car and play, play, play. Joseph quickly found Papa and the two of them headed into the orchard for the first pick of fruit of the trip. Thankfully a few of our favorite pluots were left to be shared amongst all of us. That night we went to the Ward barbecue at the park. The kids had great fun playing on the equipment and running in Nana's obstacle course. Unfortunately I ate a piece of chicken that must not have been cooked all the way and spent the rest of that night in the bathroom.

This was Sunday July 1st. Ronny took the three oldest kids to church with Nana and Papa. Ben and I hung out at home while I was still getting over the food poisoning. Ronny came home to report that Sam slept through most of church and never made it to Primary. That night we went to the Barbara and Jared's for dinner. Sis. Payne and one of her sons were there as well. The kids had fun playing with Allie and learning all about video games.

This is the only day I don't remember well. I know Stephanie and Denise went to Costco to load up on supplies for the breakfast on the 4th. I think the kids pretty much enjoyed playing with all the toys, having water fights, and watching movies. I think I don't remember much because the kids were content all day as seen in the picture. All 4 on the couch not fighting, Amazing! That night we had a wonderful steak and salmon dinner. I remember this part because Ronny spent the rest of this night in the bathroom as he had come down with the flu, something I had been blessed with the week before we headed down.

Today was Tuesday July 3rd, the day of the big party at Karen's and the day of arrivals for our f
riends. Ronny spent most of the day in bed. The kids of course were in the water outside most of the day. In the afternoon we left for the swim party at Karen's. My hands were full with all the kids so I had to borrow photos of the day from others. The kids had a great time swimming and playing with Porter. We left a little early as Mom was tired and we had some friends waiting for us back at Nana's . This year we invited two of Ronny's old college roommates, (Ben Morgan and Phontaine) and their families up from Southern California. Between the three of our families there were 12 kids with Charley being the oldest. That night the only way we could get the kids to calm down was putting on a movie in the Living Room and letting them fall asleep. The adults had stayed up way too late catching up. Jon also arrived this night much to the surprise of Nana! Great Times!!!
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