Saturday, September 5, 2015

Visiting Cousins

A few weeks ago we went and visited my brother and his family. The kids always look forward to seeing their cousins, and this time...even more so. Yes, they got a pool and I decided to load up the kids and go for a 3 hour trip to try out their new pool. Mama and her kids...hittin' the road!

 Sammy was already a little frazzled thinking about how hectic this would be for her. Trips to visit her cousins usually involve a lot of no sleep. This trip would mean nearly no sleep at all. Bummer for her and Mommy.

 Micah isn't the fish that Callie and Sammy are. He's much for cautious. I was impressed, however, that this time he let go of me and explored a little more. 

 Callie and Jackson are pretty inseparable, except at this moment when I took the picture.

Callie had so much fun jumping off the diving board, over and over and over and over and over again

And who doesn't like a little water in your face and up your nose?

Oh cousin love. Micah was totally into Hayley and was all about holding her, bringing her books, trying to make her laugh, etc. It was awesome.

Rough weekend.

Even Sammy gave up and decided to doze off for about 45 minutes. It pained me to see her in this position but was grateful she got a small nap after such a fun weekend.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Gizdich 2015

We did it again. We took a small voyage and headed to Watsonville. Callie was out of school so Micah, Callie, and I loaded up and headed out. I love Gizdich Farms. It's far, but it's so fun. We always seem to miss berry season, but we were there this year right at the start of apple picking and we loved it.

So, what's our favorite parts about Gizdich?

The Anticipation

Finding the Perfect Apple

 Counting the Apples

Having the Orchard to Yourself
Running Down the Hill 1,000,000+ Times

Checking Out Bugs in Decaying Apples

Bowling Rotten Apples

Pulling the Wagon

Squeezing Together for a Picture

The Juiciest, Sweetest Apples Around

Wagon Rides

Jumping Off Hay

Flying Off Hay

And of course the pie...which we didn't get a picture of since my battery died. It was delicous though...and we walked away with some apple juice (that is my most favorite in the world), massive suckers, and smiles.

Until next time Gizdich, we love you.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Little Man Micah

Something has happened. Now this little rascal is almost 3, he's turned into a fiesty, firey little man. But man is he cute. And fun. And curious. And crazy. He's so full of energy, ready to explore and push his boundaries. Though still cautious, he has become more willing to try new things and test his limits. He is one of the most delightful little boys I know and I really do feel so lucky every single day. Now that school's back in session, Micah and I have more time to just be together. We do puzzles and jump on the trampoline, go to the park and go on walks. We explore the world and laugh. Of all the things he's learning right now, I hope he's understanding how solid is place in my heart will always be. I love this boy with my whole heart...and I feel pretty special when he tells me the same thing daily.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

When Lindsey Comes Over

When Lindsey comes over, there's a lot of laughter and silliness.

There's also a whole lot of love.

Monday, August 24, 2015

2nd Grade for Callie

Yep, it's true. Callie is gorgeous and I can't get enough of her smile. She has grown so much. Even just over the past few weeks, I have seen a maturity in her that makes me step back and smile. And yet, she's still just a little girl...still gets frustrated by her annoying little brother and still needs more sleep than she thinks. I love all these different parts of her and I love seeing her spirit shine from her eyes. So it's 2nd grade for Callie. Moving up and onward. First day of school...we let the hair down. She loved it! I love that she loves her hair. I love that she takes pride in it. I love that she loves picking out what she wants to wear to school...sometimes frilly and well thought out, sometimes mismatched and thrown together. 

I look forward to this year for Callie.
I have a feeling it will be a big one.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

I loved this book. I LOVED this book and it's now in my Top #10 list. This book was such a departure from the Ray Bradbury I know. This was sentimental and so beautifully written, capturing the essence of summer 1928. But the truth is, every chapter, all the details, reminded me of my own summers growing up in Michigan. Each chapter was almost its own short story. And it made me think about my own neighborhood, or my own circle of friends...what is going on, what chapter could be written about each of them? Reading the book I was heartbroken, encouraged, sad, filled with hope, was intense and, again, beautiful.

I read Danelion Wine for book club, and the word that kept going through my mind was magical and romantic. Filled with imagry and this theme of life and death, I was constantly reflecting on my own life and how I choose to live it. Am I experiencing life? Am I soaking in all it has to offer? Am I learning from others' experiences? Am I living?

I could read this book annually. It was so well-written.

Magic Kingdom (Friday)

We decided for our last day we'd go back to Magic Kingdom and run wild and hit all the rides we could. It was such a great day.

Don't let this smile fool you. Micah was terrified of the carousal. It took us everything we had just to get him to go on and then sit down. Ride a horse? No way! I was surprised when he gave me this smile before we began to go in circles because only moments before he was a mess.

We saw a few shows....

Then we met up with the rest of the family at the Polynesian for breakfast. It's a good family-style breakfast with characters, etc. We did this same breakfast when we went last time and it was fun, so why not do it again this trip? However, where we were sitting, it seemed we didn't get many good pictures...the lights messed things up. But it was still good.


After breakfast we went home for a little bit...during the heat of the day...and while Callie and Sammy swam with Marcus, and Micah eventually fell asleep, I worked on getting things figured out for our departure the next day. We had a little scare because apparently, Disney had me as having a flight to Miami, but no connecting flight back to California. So, after a bit of panic and some phone calls, we figured it out. I would be returning home with my family after all.

We went back to the Magic Kingdom and enjoyed the hot afternoon.

This is when we decided that Sammy should try her first rollercoaster. A new ride has appeared at Magic Kingdom since we were last here a few years ago. 

The Seven Dwarves Mine Ride.

Marcus kept talking about letting Sammy go on Space Mountain and crazy rides (I think he was only 1/2 kidding). Yes, she's tall enough. Yes, she loves thrills. But any kind of rollercoaster seemed scary for me to let her on. This ride, however, seemed a little more manageable. So, we tried it. 

And she loved it!

Later that afternoon, storms started rolling in. There was rain, and people started to clear out. It was our last day, so we weren't going anywhere. We ate lunch and by that time, things kind of cleared up...but then the lightning came. So, rides shut down for a bit. And even more people cleared out. We held out and when Splash Mountain opened up, we were among the first to ride with no lines!

With the 7 Dwarves ride a success, we thought we'd have Sammy ride Splash Mountain as well. And she LOVED it!!!

Ted and his family hung out until late with us. We saw the Electric Parade, which was awesome. There was still some thunder, and that kind of freaked out Callie and Micah, but it was fun. Callie's face is blurry, but she was impressed with the parade, to say the least.

 And Sammy was impressed as well. She kept smiling and giggling as the floats and characters and dancers came by.

We decided to stay for the fireworks. And this is when we had a huge, scary moment...

As we were leaving the parade and moving down toward Cinderella's castle, there were quite a few people moving along. Callie was walking with Aunt Peggy, and I told Callie to stick with her. There were a lot of people. We got to where we needed to be and stopped. A few moments later, I wanted to show Callie something and said, "Callie, come here, check this out." 

No response.

No response.


She was gone. We couldn't find her. I began to slightly panic. Peggy and Marcus left the group and started looking around. I went out in the middle of the road, which was actually kind of bare, just in case Callie looked and found us. A conversation that my parents and I had previously that day about Adam Walsh and his son went through my mind. I got sick to my stomach with fear and began to pray. We hadn't come up with a plan of what to do if someone got lost. I prayed and prayed.  A few minutes later, Callie was back with Marcus. Relief is such a mild word to explain how I felt.

I talked to Callie and she said she had been really scared. I guess when we stopped, she just kept walking not realizing the group had found a spot to stay. She kept walking and didn't know what to do. She found a worker...and as the worker told Marcus...

"She was so calm and came right up to me and said, 'I can't find my family.'"

That worker also happened to be an intern with BYU-Idaho. 

Our prayers were definitely answered, and we were so proud of Callie knowing what to do and taking control of the situation even though she said she was really scared. It was the first time I've "lost my child" and it was a horrible feeling. I can't imagine what parents go through when they can't find their children after 20 minutes, then 30, then hours. I can't imagine.

After the fireworks, we left, saying our final farewell to Disney World.


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