Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Hailey Grace turns 5!

It's hard for me to believe that this sweet little girl is already 5 years old - that means starting school and the end of preschool!   Amazing!

Hailey is the cutest, funnest, sweetest girl and we just adore her.   She is obedient and shy with moments of spunk and attitude.   Since she was turning an odd number, she got to have a friend party this year.  She really, really wanted to go to a trampoline place and then to McDonald's.  Easy for me!

We invited her cute friends from preschool and church as well as cousin Sophia.   Kate & Hannah convinced me to check them out of school for a couple hours, which was good, because it was just me and the kids.  

They had a great time!

 Kate & Sophia

 This is Hailey's best friend, Charlotte

 Blurry, but this is her preschool friend McKinley

 Sam came too!

The whole group - McKinley, Hunter, Max, Sophia, Charlotte, Hannah & Hailey

Hailey girl, we love you so much and can't imagine our lives without you!  You make us smile and laugh out loud every single day!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Disneyland/California Adventure - March 29-31

We were sad to say goodbye to the Johnston's and Rasmussen's, but thankfully, we still had more of our spring break to enjoy together as a family.  Family trips are a priority to us.  We certainly could remodel our kitchen & bathrooms or put endless money into our home, but some of our fondest memories together are on our trips.   We only have a couple more years of having all our kids living in our home and as we have busy teenagers and busy lives, it's such a blessing to take them away from friends, school, social needs, etc. and have them to ourselves for a few days.

We hadn't been to Disneyland for about 4 years, so we decided to add that to our spring break trip.  We drove to Anaheim on Tuesday morning and actually started at California Adventure.  Wednesday we did Disneyland.  Thursday we started at Disneyland and then ended at CA.  The kids were great!    Often, Jon would take the oldest 5 and I would keep Hailey and Sam with me and we'd ride rides together.  Hailey and Hannah were so willing to go on whatever ride and even though it was crowded, Disney does such a great job moving people through lines.

We stayed at a the Best Western Raffles Inn, which was perfect and then we'd walk down first thing in the morning, come back after lunch for a nap and then go back for the evening.  We stayed up late, ate pizza at 11:00 at night, wore ourselves completely out and had a blast!

(I wish I had taken more pictures, but I sure love the ones I took).

Until next time Disneyland!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Spring Break - Mormon Battalion site & saying goodbye

Monday was our last day all together!  I was really looking forward to seeing the Mormon Battalion historic site near Old Town San Diego and it did not disappoint!  (We were going to go there in the late afternoon/evening and go to Coronado Island in the morning, but it was rainy in the morning, so we switched and headed to Old Town first).

As usual, the Church does such a great job with their historic sites and the missionaries that took us on the tour were really fun.  The kids had a blast and really could have stayed as long as we would have let them.

 Brynlee dressed as a Battalion member

 The kids panned for gold

 We had to drag Hailey away from this - she really would have stayed there all day!

 Cute Tyler

 Sweet Hailey - she's seriously one of our favorite kids ever!



 Paisley - this girl finds pure delight in everything :)




 Kyle - he has grown up the most :)

 McKinley has grown up so fast!  Cutie!

 Karli - truly a heart of gold!

 Jared again

After the Historic Site, we walked around the cute shops of Old Town San Diego.  It wasn't super crowded, so it was fun to go into the stores we wanted.  We had decided to go to a Mexican restaurant and got right in by getting a reservation there.   It was delish!

Afterwards, we headed to Coronado Island - it's so beautiful!  You have to go over the tallest (kind of scary) bridge to get to the island.  We parked near the resort and headed to the beach.  It was so pretty, but it was cold!!   The Rasmussen & Johnston kids are more of beach-lovers than the Bowen's, so they got right in the water.  I think Hannah was our only one that got it.    We didn't stay very long because of the cold weather and trying to keep Sam warm.  

Tyler is Beth's 2nd little boy and has a mind of his own.  He played in the water but then came and rolled around in the sand.  I didn't get a picture of it, but he was literally covered in sand, including his entire face.  The poor kid had to get back in the water to get all washed off.

We went back to the house and warmed up leftovers for everyone (which was perfect so we didn't have to throw away much food) and got everything packed to leave the next morning.

We got up on Tuesday morning and had to say goodbye!  Our trips always go by so fast!    I loved that Kirsten was willing to get another stairstep picture of all these cute kids!

Emily (Sam), Lindsey (Savanna), Ethan, Jack, Brynlee, Hailey, Kate, Kyle, Karli, Hannah, Tyler, Hailey, Jared, Paisley & McKinley  - I'm putting several here - watch Tyler and his funny antics.

Thank you again to the Johnstons and Rasmussens!!!  All families were willing to miss some school and drive long distances to spend time together.  We love them all so much and hope our adventures can continue!!!!