Wednesday, April 8, 2015

my phone again - just jumping right back in!

Brynnie joined a choir in Gilbert this semester which I will write more about later.  But one week I took her out on a date to Kneaders for a yummy dessert.  She picked the caramel apple that was about the same size as her head.

We are slowly but surely weaning Gabe off of his thumb.  As a mom, I have gained confidence in the hard tasks and I am not afraid of them (not that we are always successful), but this one has just been so SAD!

You can't see it very well, but Gabe decided to shave just like Daddy and wound up with a few really funny looking marks on his upper lip.

Texting a friend to let her know I was making the brownie recipe she wrote down for me...I think before I even had any kids yet??  (Note to self - she said they were really yummy with real butter).

I have a goal of making better lunches every day.  I do great sending my big kids to school with a healthy snack (fruit, sometimes veggies, something homemade-whole-grain).  And then I give the same snack to the little ones in the morning.  But by the time lunch rolls around I just slap out some PB&Js, like, every single day.  Often I just have all that stuff out on the counter and tell the big kids they can make it themselves while I go take a little quiet time!  Anyway, we are all sick of sandwiches.  So to pat myself on the back a little and to prove it has actually happened before, I snapped a pic of one of our better lunches (and by ONE of them, I mean...the ONLY one).  But I haven't given up!!

I sent pics of our decorations to by bro and sis-in-law since they are the ones who sent them.  Seriously incredible hand-cut snowflakes (because we have no snow!).  The kids were SO excited about this one that looks like the "official" Frozen snowflake - I'm sure Justin did that on purpose....


Because there always has to be a picture of Bryce in such an uncomfortable position that it makes you squirm in your seat.

A salad from our garden that lasted about a month until we went on a long vacation and didn't set up to have anyone come over and water it.

Marty fixing his phone - the tiny screws and big Marty fingers make me smile a bit.



Brynn's dinosaur diorama.  She had so much fun making it, that type of assignment is right up her creative little alley.
I texted my dad to see if his head was up too high to call it a diplodocus.  In the end we fixed up the poor guy with a strong pair of pliers.

A birthday date!

On the first cold (not cool) day of winter, you will find us snuggled up in the playhouse outside.

Certainly the most unusual nap I've ever taken.


Meet Jack-O-Lantern Sparrow!

Brynn made BANK at her lemonade stand over Fall Break (lots of bored kids at the park with change burning holes in their pockets).  Well...and I knew I'd have friends there that I didn't want to feel pressured so I may or may not have slipped them a little change here and there....


Loooove my Aprils.  They are just so much alike.

Just one of the reasons I love reading a book after Marty has had it.  This one was "The Infinite Atonement."

Marty took the older two with him to clean the church when our family had the assignment and I stayed home with the littles.

Trying to sort out my brain at a particularly crazy time.


Thumb-suckers.  Sigh.


Yep, rain is THAT exciting here in the desert.


Camille's little bff.  We have seen quite a bit of this girl while her mom's been in nursing school and they are so funny together!  They are just two or three months apart.

Texting a picture of the kids' library to my mom (a librarian - just thought she'd be interested).

Gabe with his weekly playgroup friends!  Here they are with a couple of sensory boxes - I think we were on a fish theme that week.  These four have been swapping houses together since they were just babies.  It's been so fun to watch them grow together, fight, bond, potty-train, play, learn.  And now it's time to go our separate ways a little more as a couple of them will be going to preschool.  But we are still hoping to get them together often for playdates and outings.

My first ever painted master bedroom.  I will never again leave my room to be the last priority, I can't believe how refreshing it is to have my own space be beautiful.

Ummm....I think this was in the covered wagon at the Mormon Battalion Museum in San Diego??


Bryce got to accompany me to the dollar store one day.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

After Dizzyland

Just like last time, the next day we went BACK to the Downtown Disney district (yes, I know, we have a problem).  The Downtown Disney District is where you can go and spend money for free!  No ticket required, haha!  We had been telling the kids that they could each have $20 to spend on anything at Disneyland; a toy, a treat, whatever they wanted.  So of course at the first ride that spit us out into a gift shop they were each ready to spend.  We told them we wanted them to wait until the last day so they had more of a chance to look around and decide what they wanted. Brynn got a Sophia book and doll, Bryce got a Buzz Lightyear dart gun, Gabe got a set of planes and Camille got the world's softest Tigger pillow pet which she sleeps with every night.    I got a set of cute Halloween mugs and Marty got...??  That's typical, I bet he didn't get anything.  And then my sweet parents got our family a big light-up Mickey Mouse pumpkin Halloween decoration (it's worthy of that 8 word description).

We decided to make Rainforest Cafe a tradition also, since we had so much fun with it last time.



Yep, this is a pretty cute picture of her at the restaurant - but she was a total PILL most of the time!


I wish you could tell just how massive that dragon is on top of the Lego Store.


The kids got to build lego cars and race them.

Sometimes I think Bryce looks like me, but all of these expressions of concentration are totally Marty.


After all of BandB's hard work, Gabe came up and slapped a couple legos onto a couple of tires and won the race. :)






That night we had one last trip to the beach.

If I don't let the pictures tell the story here, I swear I will never finish these posts....



















And the next morning it was time to pack up and head to our hotel in San Diego.







Black-shirt day was for SeaWorld!  We were actually not planning to go to San Diego this trip.  But then I found out my Alaskan brother was going to be there just a few days after we were leaving Anaheim.  So he came a couple days early and we stayed a day later - we really just had to!

Plus...who gets to go to SeaWorld with a marine biologist as their own personal guide??  The Johnson family, that's who!

I am crushed I didn't take many pictures with Corey.  At this point in the trip I was slipping into survival mode.  And remember, as the mom it is not just about your own survival but that of a bunch of littles depending on you.  So I let a few things go so that I could more fully enjoy the experience of being with Corey, my parents, and my family at SeaWorld.  It was SUCH a good day.

Here you get to experience what it would be like to take a crazy, adventurous, almost-unheard-of expedition to Antarctica.  I bet Corey thought it was interesting...oh wait!  He's actually DONE THAT.

I knew she'd warm up quickly.  I totally called that one.  (Like the "harness" Camille is wearing?  I never said I'd put one of those on my kids, but my friend gave me hers for this trip and it was a LIFE SAVER.)


We got to see a few shows, eat some fun food, hold starfish, see penguins (BandB love penguins), and go on some fun rides!  The rides were probably my favorite part, mainly because it was fun to hand the babies off for a few minutes and ride with Corey who hasn't been to an amusement park in years.  And partly because I wasn't sure what to expect and they were really cool rides!  We got totally soaked on Atlantis and had to go back later that night because we all, especially Bryce, thought that one was so cool.  Another ride was just like the grizzly river rapids at Disneyland and the kids were so excited to go on it.  But...it just couldn't live up to the Disneyland version so as we were getting off I was both surprised and amused to hear Bryce say, "That was SO.  Totally.  Lame."  

Another favorite memory was the dolphin show.  We sat right up front in the "soak zone."  There was a "warm-up" performance before the show started where some guy was singing about how soaked we were going to get.  I think we were all a little apprehensive about that, especially thinking about how MAD Camille would get whenever she got splashed on a ride at Disneyland (another favorite memory was her cute, angry yell she had both times she got wet on the Pirates of the Carribean ride).  But we were here at SeaWorld, I wanted to see dolphins, and I wanted to see them on the front row.  In order to miss the soak zone we would have had to go halfway up the bleachers,  and I just couldn't make myself do that!  So we got soaked by the dolphins again, and again, and again, and again...you get the idea.  The babies were fussing and I felt like everyone was looking at me to decide if we should high-tail it out of there...but I didn't want to!  It's just a little water.  But yeah...we spent the rest of the day pretty wet and a little cold.  Meh.  

We all went to our hotel and had some yummy pizza.  We split up and the Johnsons went to our room and the kids slept like logs.  I was so worried about Camille knowing we were right there and wanting to spend the whole night in our bed, but everybody did great.

The next day we saw the Coronado Bay Bridge and we went to the Mormon Batallion Museum.  Marty and I had gone to that museum on our honeymoon the Sunday we were there, and it was pretty cool.  But since then they have redone it, and it was incredible!  SO kid friendly and held up even after all of the epic things the kids had been experiencing all week.  Marty had seen it on a young men's trip a year or two ago, and now I can see why he was trying so hard to get the kids there.  After we toured the museum, we went and ate a picnic lunch with all the leftovers we had awkwardly brought from the Dizzy House.  I was worried about our mushed bread and semi-cold everything else, but it was seriously such a delightful lunch!  The kids ran around on the grass and I got to have an actual conversation with Corey.  I know he pulled some strings to get out to CA early and I am so glad he could.

After the picnic we dropped him off at his hotel for his conference and headed back to Arizona.  The car ride home was pretty rough, but that's typical for our road trips.  Camille screamed and cried and screamed, but we made it.  I'm so grateful to have been able to make those kinds of memories together as a family.  When I think back on it, I know we worked and planned to make it there...but I also we are just so lucky and blessed.  The end!