Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Jayden's First Big Game Hunt!

Jayden is a proud kid this Fall. Last year he turned twelve just a little too late to do any hunting, so he has looked forward to this all year. Carter took him up by Stanley. I can't give you much of a narrative, but I know they braved some seriously cold weather and did LOTS of hiking.

Carter said he was a great shot. In fact he shot both the deer and elk right through the heart. Here is the hole in the elk heart to prove it! Congratulations Jayden! I'm sure this is just the first of lots of neat memories with your dad.

Halloween 2010

We hope you all had a fun Halloween! We all love dressing up. We had mild weather for Halloween night, which is always lucky. And Carter and the kids trick-or-treated through the neighborhood with our cousins, the Breshears. So Fun!

Sunday, November 14, 2010


We were so blessed to be able to take a family trip this Fall - to Disneyland! We've been looking forward to this for a LONG time. And it was wonderful! The drive to California was just fine, which restored my faith in our family unity, since the DVD player didn't work. We were thankful to be able to stop and spend a night with my sister's family in Sparks, Nevada, and also get our first glimpse of her sweet new baby, Aiden. And our extremely shady Craigslist/blackmarket source for discount tickets didn't get us killed or kicked out of the park. (Whew! That's a good story, though)

It was pouring rain our first day at Disneyland. Luckily we'd seen the forecast and came prepared. It ended up being terrific because we started out riding a bunch of indoor rides, like Peter Pan and Toad's Wild Ride. Within a few hours the rain had stopped but the park was still relatively empty so we ran from ride to ride with hardly a wait.

We were so preoccupied with the rides we didn't put much effort into finding characters or standing in line for pictures. But a couple of them found their way to us. Jayden REALLY wanted to get a hug from Princess Jasmine, too, though he wouldn't admit it.

There is a new ride since we were there last, all about Buzz Lightyear, and we get to shoot lasers at targets as we move along. It keeps your score and it is unexpectedly fun. Although it would be hypothetically embarrassing to a dad to find out his son soundly beat his score. (Not mentioning any names...)

Jayden took Brennan under his wing at Disneyland and was kind enough to help haul him around when his little feet got tired. It was so nice not to worry about keeping a hand on my little guy every minute.

Captain Jayden Sparrow.

The Mad Bubba Hatter.

The Happy Hatters.

A nice guy in California Adventures offered to take a picture of our family for us, which would have been a great shot except that he cut poor Shaylie's face out of it. Maybe he thought we had too many kids.

I am in love with all things Disney. Disney movies, Disney music, Disney characters, especially Minny Mouse. I can't get enough. I was in Disney Heaven, but I wasn't the only one. The whole family had a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious time! I asked them to tell me their favorite rides and/or memories. Jayden and Makenna's favorite ride was Space Mountain. (Carter and I agree!) Since we were there in October they "Halloweenified" it with a cool and very scary fiery demon creature that chases you through space. Speaking of Halloween, one of my highlights was the way the whole place was decorated for the holiday, with giant pumpkins carved like Disney characters, and even costumes on a few of the characters as they walked around! Kyler, Shaylie, and even Brennan insisted their favorite ride was the Matterhorn. This surprised me since Brennan cried the first time he got off, and Shaylie would only agree to a second ride if I covered her eyes every time we came to the red-eyed abominable snow monster. But for some reason they couldn't get enough and rode that a dozen times more. Shaylie also loved Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. She called it "That Fast Choo Choo." The kids also mentioned the highlight of seeing the Darth Vader performance, driving their own cars with their own drivers licenses in Autotopia, and Soaring Over California. One of my favorite parts of the day was the Aladin stage performance. The family kindly humored me because I really wanted to see it, but afterward they all agreed it was phenomenal! And I've never laughed so hard as when I watched my wobbly-kneed and scared spitless family make their way out of the Tower of Terror! Holy Cow!! Carter mentioned the 4-D Bug's Life Show, which was also a hoot. But we left there feeling like we needed to check our britches for bugs! And how could I not mention the classics - Pirates of the Caribbean, It's a Small World, Indiana Jones, the Finding Nemo Submarine Ride...Oh! I love Disneyland. When can we go back??

I LOVE this picture! This is how you know you've had all the fun you can stand!

Next we spent a relaxing day playing at Huntington Beach. It was pretty windy, but not enough to discourage the kids from having some fun in the waves. There is a cool pier we walked along, and there was a cute little craft fair to check out.

Kenna found a real, live clam!

The last day of our California Adventure we spent at Sea World. There is nothing like Shamu!

And Sharks...

And incredible shows!

The first time we watched Shamu the kids were so excited to sit right smack in the "Splash Zone." They learned that they weren't bluffing, and that evening when we watched the night-time rock 'n roll Shamu Performance they chose to sit at the top of the stadium! There was also a water rapids ride which involved more water than we expected. I thought Carter was so sweet and generous to stay behind with Brennan, who was too short to ride. But two hours later when he smugly grinned as we were still dripping and shivering, I decided (and I'm quoting Carter here) "I'm not as dumb as I look." If you are heading there anytime soon, my suggestion is that unless it's August, skip Shipwreck Rapids!

One funny moment came early on in the day at Sea World while we sat admiring Shaylie's favorite - the flamingos. I have to preface this by explaining that poor Brennan was terrified of the sights and sounds surrounding Scary Space Mountain, and he spent a decent amount of time waiting out there while we all took turns riding it repeatedly. I explained to him that there was not a real monster in there, it is just "remote control," like the dancing children in Small World or the pretend pirates on the boat ride. That was a concept he could understand and it seemed to comfort him a little. After Brennan thoughtfully watched the flamingos a while he asked me, "Mom? Are these animals all remote control?" Hee, Hee!

I took almost two hundred pictures on this trip, and I've had a hard time not including them all in this blog post. Sorry if it is out of control long. But I couldn't end without the most hilarious ones of all. Remember Splash Mountain? Happy little log ride? Cute story- scenes of Briar Rabbit bunnies and animals? BIG drop? Apparently Carter had forgotten about the drop...

Let's see that a little closer, shall we??

Sorry to tease you, Carter, I couldn't resist. We think you are terrific! Thank you so much for taking us all on this wonderful trip!