Tuesday, November 17, 2009

9 Years

Today is our 9th anniversary. Time has flown by! It seems like just yesterday we were going through all the dramas of high school together. I was looking through an old scrapbook I made back in high school. and decided to scan in few pictures to show us back then. Here we are two kids in love. This picture is of us at our ward dinner dance, (the ward we are still currently in). I remember we went late on purpose so that we would get to be each others "date". They always randomly paired people up and we couldn't have that! We probably drove our youth leaders crazy!

And here we are on our wedding day 9 years ago today. I remember thinking I was so old and mature, hahaha. I was, after all, 18!

It's so fun to look back and see how far we have come, and what we have accomplished. We have been through a lot and a lot has changed, but one thing remains the same. We still love each other and are working towards forever. I love you sweetie!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Snow Day

We had another storm pass through here this past weekend. On Saturday night Brandon and I went over to a friends house to play games. It was snowing very lightly when we got there but by the time we left it had snowed at least 6 inches, maybe more. The next day we woke up to an email that church had been cancelled due to the snow. Was it bad that I was excited about this?? It was so nice to just have a relaxing day at home with the family. We slept in and lounged around for most of the morning. After lunch I made a Thankful tree with the kids. I have been wanting to for a while, so it was the perfect day to do it. The kids had a lot of fun helping me and coloring different leaves to show what they are thankful for. By this point in the day the snow had slowed down, and the kids wanted to go outside to play. I am not a big fan of playing in the snow. It is such an ordeal to get them all bundled up, and then an even bigger ordeal to clean up the wet mess they bring back in with them. But, I can't deprive them of the snow, so we bundled them up and out they went. Levi lasted for about 20 minutes, and then he was ready to come inside for hot chocolate. Alexis and Tori stayed out there for 2 1/2 hours! They had fun building a snow fort and pushing around the snow with our snow shovel. I was so surprised that they lasted that long! Here are a few pictures I snapped from inside:

Our dog Misty loved being out in the snow and playing with the kids. When she came inside her legs were caked with snow! Brandon ended up having to blowdry her off!

It was a great relaxing Sunday spent at home. The kids were hoping they would cancel school today, but there was no such luck! Oh well, I am sure there will be another snow storm one of these days!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Disneyland Day 4

Sunday was our last day, and we were determined to get everything in that we hadn't done yet. Since we stayed at one of the Disneyland hotels we were able to have one "Magical Morning" which means that we got to go into the park and to Tomorrow Land and Fantasy Land one hour before the park opened . We were all so excited and surprisingly had a lot of energy for that early in the morning. (It probably helped that it was day light savings and we gained an hour). Here are the kids all ready to go. We rode the monorail over to the parks. It seemed to be broken most of the times we wanted to ride it so we were excited to see it was up and running. Here are some of us as we are riding over to the Disneyland entrance.

We had a plan of action for the day, to make sure we could fit as many things as we could in that hour before the park opened. The first thing we headed over to was the Finding Nemo ride. This line was always so long during the day with no fast pass available so we knew if we wanted to go on it, we had to right away. Finding Nemo is a submarine ride. It was OK but definitely not something I would wait an hour and a half for! Good thing we only waited 5 minutes =) Here are Levi and Brandon down in the submarine ready for the ride.

After that Brandon, Summer, Alexis and Leslie headed over to Space Mountain. I was determined not to traumatize Levi that day, so the rest of us headed over to Fantasy Land. Jana and I refused to ride the tea cups, but Uncle Chris was nice enough to take all of the kids. Since there was no line they rode twice in a row. As they were finishing their second time around the others returned from Space Mountain and Brandon ran in to relieve Chris. They went another two times!

After that we went through all of the fantasy land rides. I think we counted about 10 that we went on. Those are all pretty much the same, but each one is based on a different Disney movie such as Pinocchio, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, etc. The kids all loved these. It was nice to be able to go on one after another with no wait. By this time the Park had opened. Jana and I took Tori, Madyson and Sage over to Princess land to meet the Princesses. Everyone else headed over to Mickey's Toon Town. We had to wait in line for around 45 minutes, but it was worth it because the girls were so excited! First, they saw Cinderella. I absolutely love Tori's face in this picture. She is looking up at Cinderella with such admiration! LOL

Next they saw Snow White

Last but not least, was Sleeping Beauty. We were kind of wishing they had more for us to see for such a long wait in line! Oh well though. They loved seeing the ones they saw.

Right outside of the Princess viewing area they have a huge princess store, with face painting. Brandon, Alexis and Levi came out of Toon Town right about the same time, and we decided to let the kids get their faces painted. There was a huge book to pick from. Alexis and Tori both chose a Mardi Gras face design, and Levi chose a dragon. Here are Brandon and the kids as we waited.

Here is Tori getting her face done. They have the place set up so cute! They really felt like they were princesses! Well, except for Levi =)
Here she is all finished. So Cute!!

They had a cute bench that we took several pictures on while we were waiting. Sage wasn't wanting her picture taken in this one. She had just found a beautiful white (sixty dollar) princess dress that she wanted. There are tons of dresses and other fun princess things "conveniently" all around where they get their faces pained. I was glad out kids had already picked out their souvenirs by this point, although they did try to sneak in a few more things =)

Here is Alexis when it was her turn.It turned out great!Finally it was Levi's turn. He looks a little uneasy in this picture, lol
Here he is with his dragon all finished! I think I snapped this picture right when he was about to yawn.
I had to snap a picture of him checking himself out in the mirror. He looks like he doesn't quite know what to think about it! haha

Here's everyone on the bench again with their faces painted. All except Levi's stayed on really well.

Here is a picture of some of us right outside of the castle. It was really sunny!

After that we decided to all go over to Tom Sawyers Island. You have to ride a boat to get over to the island. Once there, the kids had a blast exploring the island, and climbing up through all of the caves. Here are Tori and Levi working to pump some type of water pump I think.
It was quite hot by this time so we all decided to take a lunch break. After that everyone except Jana, me and Levi headed over to splash mountain again. Levi and I went on the Winnie the Pooh ride twice. Levi thought it was great! We were all pretty hot and exhausted so we decided to head back to the hotel for a quick nap, and then come back and finish off the day. We fell asleep around 3, and when we woke up it was 8!! We must have been so tired! We were bummed that we missed a show we were wanting to see, but decided to still head back to the park since it was open until midnight, and we were not one bit tired anymore! Once inside Disneyland we stopped at an Italian restaurant on main street to eat, and then headed off to the rides. We were able to do 13 rides, and left the park at 12:30. What a perfect ending to a perfect trip!
Our flight left the next day at 11:00 am. We were all sad to leave, but so grateful for the fun we had, and that we were able to take this trip. Here is Levi about 5 minutes after take off =)

We can't wait to go back again!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Disneyland Day 3

We decided to sleep in a little today, but not too much. We were up and ready to go by nine. At our hotel, they had this cute room for the kids. It was decorated like a beach and had cute little beach chairs along with a t.v. inside of a giant fake sand castle. There was always some kind of Disney cartoon playing. Every time we passed this room our kids wanted to stop and go in. We were waiting for Jana and Leslie to meet us downstairs so we let them go in and watch a cartoon while we waited. They have big seats for parents too. Brandon decided to get in a few last minutes of rest while he could. By this point both Brandon's and my feet were killing us. We will definitely be bringing more comfortable and supportive shoes the next time around.

We took our time walking through Downtown Disney on our way to the park. Along the way we stopped to take some cute pictures outside of the LEGO store. We got a really cute one of our family too, but we are saving that for our Christmas card =)

Even though we hadn't walked far, the kids were already tired of walking! We actually ended up renting a stroller that day, but before that we had to improvise.

Alexis didn't want to miss out so she talked Leslie into giving her a piggy back ride too.

We decided to head back to California Adventure, since we didn't get to do all that we wanted to do the night before. The first thing we did was go to the 3D show "It's Tough to be a Bug". It was so cool. It was one of my favorite things that we did. Here is a picture of Nana and Levi with their 3D glasses as we were waiting to be seated. For some reason my flash didn't go off, but it was to cute of a picture not to use.

Alexis and Tori had a fun time climbing around all the nooks in the walls while we waited.

After the show we headed over to the "mouse" roller coaster that Leslie had been wanting to go on. Levi didn't meet the height requirement, so him and Nana went on the "Jumping Jellyfish" ride while they waited for us. Levi loved this ride and was talking about it the rest of the day. It was just his pace! The mouse roller coaster was a little roller coaster that was quite jerky. Brandon made the comment afterwards that he felt like his little car was going to fly right off the tracks!

We went on several more rides after that. One of our favorites was the 3D Toy Story ride. It was like a big video game, and the kids loved it. That was the longest line that we stood in the whole time we were there. I think we waited for 35 minutes, which wasn't that bad! Brandon talked me into going on "California Screamin" It is a huge, fast, scary roller coaster. Brandon, Summer and I went on it together. I was so terrified throughout the whole line, but it was actually really fun! My throat hurt afterwards from screaming so much though!
After a morning full of rides, we were all really exhausted. Here is Brandon sitting in the stroller, hoping that someone will push him =)

We all sat around for a bit trying to decide what to do next. Here is a cute picture I got of Levi and Sage playing together. She is playing dead =)

We decided to call it a day early and go back to the hotel. When we got back to the hotel we ordered a pizza to be delivered to our room. It was yummy, and much cheaper then eating inside the park. After that we took a nap for a few hours. When we woke up we still weren't feeling up to walking all the way back to the park, so we decided to check out the hotel swimming pool. It was so much fun. We stayed there for a couple of hours. It was a pretty good sized pool. They also had a hot tub, baby pool, and really fun water slide. The kids probably went on that water slide at least a dozen times each. Unfortunately I didn't bring my camera down to the pool, so I didn't get any pictures =(.
After swimming we headed back to our room, and got the kids in their costumes again. At all of the Disneyland hotels they set up trick or treat stations and fun games for the kids. Even though we were pretty tired I decided to take the kids anyways. Brandon's feet were hurting him pretty bad so he decided to stay back in the room. We only made it through our hotel and half of another hotel, before the kids had enough. Levi was starting to get a sore throat and through the whole things was saying over and over, "I need some medicine!" So we decided to call it a night and head back to our hotel.

We were the most tired on day 3 of our trip, but we still had a blast!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Disneyland Day 2

As we started out on day 2, we were so excited to get going! We got up early so we could be there right when the park opened. Here is a cute picture I snapped of all the kiddos (minus Leslie) as we started out the day. The kids all had so much fun together throughout the trip. We were pleasantly surprised to find that the lines weren't long at all when we got inside the park. We started out with a few of the bigger rides like, Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, and The Haunted Mansion. We were so excited that our kids could ride all of them, except for Levi on Indiana Jones. Uncle Chris was nice enough to take Levi and Sage to the Jungle cruise while we went on that one, which they loved. After we went on these "scary rides" as Levi put it, we headed over to some more calmer ones. Here are some random pictures we snapped throughout the day as we waited in lines. I didn't notice on my camera that the date was set for March 27, 2007, so I added a few little shapes in some of the pictures, that say "Disneyland 2009" to cover the date up, just so we don't get confused when looking back at these pictures in the years to come.

As the day got warmer, we decided to head over to Splash Mountain. We didn't really explain to the kids what this ride was all about (aren't we mean??) They were a bit traumatized after we went down the huge hill at the end. We took a picture of the picture that they take when you are going down. Tori's face is so hilarious and sad at the same time. As soon as we got to the bottom, Levi burst into tears! I felt so bad! Brandon talked the girls into going again on another day, but we didn't want to put Levi through that again, so me and him went on the Winnie the Pooh ride instead =)

Speaking of Winnie the Pooh. We stood in line to meet him, Eeyore and Tigger. Alexis was a little embarrassed about this. She kept changing her mind about standing in line, but decided to at the end. They were excited to get each of their autographs and a picture with them.

We stayed until about 2:30, and then headed back to take a nap because we had a big night ahead of us. Disneyland goes all out during the Halloween season , by decorating everything Halloween style, and having several really fun events. We purchased tickets ahead of time for "Disney's Halloweentime" They closed down California Adventure and only those who had tickets were able to come in. They had 13 different stations for the kids to go trick-or-treating at, as well as a really fun parade. The rides were also open, so we got to go on those with practically no line at all. Here are the kids all dressed up in their Halloween costumes, standing with the Goofy statue in the lobby of the hotel. Alexis was "Dorthy" from The Wizard of Oz, Tori was a Kitty, and Levi was Spiderman.

We stopped to eat at a pretzel place along the way as we were walking to California Adventure. Tori posed for a cute picture on the rocks.

I tried to get a cute picture of Alexis, but she was more interested in drinking her water, and Levi was running wildly around, so I didn't get one of him.

As we walked into Halloweentime we were greeted by people dressed up as who knows what, and given trick-or-treat bags. We got a cute picture with one of them.

As we walked along we saw several characters. The kids didn't really want to wait in the long lines to get pictures with them, but we felt bad for Handy Manny who had no line at all, so we stopped for a picture with him.

We didn't really know where the trick-or-treat stations were, but as we were walking around we ended up right at the Tower of Terror. Brandon talked us all into going (we once again didn't really tell the kids what it was all about) and they, once again were terrified! After that we found a map that told us where all of the trick-or-treat stations were and the kids went trick-or-treating. 13 stations doesn't really seem like a lot, but they gave out huge handfuls and the kids got tons of candy!

Halfway through the night, Levi got tired of wearing his mask, so Brandon wore it instead. He was pretty scary looking, especially when he turned it inside out and wore the "Venom Spiderman" side.

After trick-or-treating, we went on a few more rides.

By the end of the night, we were all exhausted. The walk back to the hotel seemed endless! Day 2 was a huge success, and we got some good sleep that night in preparation for another fun filled day on Day 3 =)