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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Family and our last hurrah

For our last weeks of summer vacation we squeezed in as much family time as we could.  We had cousins over for a few days while Kelly was out of town.  They were able to join us for our annual outdoor play at the SCERA shell where we all enjoyed snuggling in blankets and eating snow cones.  Allison and her friend Hadley posed for a photo and then realized their teeth had turned green from their snow cones.

 Kids played as much as possible, going to the movies and the pool and just having a fun time together.  They left Tuesday night and Wednesday morning at 4 am!!! we left for sunny California to visit my family.

The first day there our family decided they wanted to just hang out.  We went to a local park that Peter and Kathryn told us about that was designed for kids with disabilities.  It was one of the coolest parks that I have ever seen and super popular with little kids.

Taylor liked the swing but wasn't sure about everything else. 

And we got to play with these cuties:

We went to a used bookstore and all the kids picked out a new book to read.  Spencer wanted to check out their library and each kid picked a movie to watch while there.  And of course we had to get some sour dough bread at La Boulangerie.

That night I was able to go out with my sister Christina, catch up and see how much down town Mountain View has changed over the years as they did their weekly festival.

And one night we were able to go cheer on Christina at her roller derby bout.  We thought it was awesome to see her play.

We got to visit the beach twice as we could not get enough.  One time we went to Sea Brighton with my parents, Peter and his two kids and Griselda and her boys.  Except for a strong wind that started to pick up in the afternoon, we would have stayed there forever.  I was grateful Griselda was willing to drive 4 hours each way just to spend a day with us.

Lydia had a pattern.  Play in the ocean and then run back to Grandma for warming up in a towel.

Robyn would have stayed in the water forever but periodically had to get out to regain feeling.  I think maybe we should invest in wet suits.  When we saw this picture Allison started singing, "No body likes me, everybody hates me, I think that I'll go eat worms..."

Robyn loved having a little girl to play with:

On our way home we stopped for ice cream at Marianne's my new favorite place.  I discovered a new flavor - Heaven (its actual name) made up of vanilla ice cream swirled with brownie, peanut butter and hot fudge.  Peter pointed out that my sweet tooth is a little over the top!

Our other beach day was just our family where we went to Half Moon Bay and froze and loved it.  Some were brave enough to go boogie boarding and we went to visit the tide pools.  To get to these beaches I should mention how we got Taylor around.  I wished we had a photo.  Spencer just carried Taylor down to the ocean in a fireman's carry every time.  It was awesome.  I could have taken walks on the beach with my girls forever.  But teeth started chattering and the fog was pretty dense so we had to leave.

One day we went to the San Jose Tech Museum.  One of Christina's old friends that we used to babysit now works there and got us in.  Kids loved hanging out together and trying out all the tech gadgets.

Allison loved the jelly fish DNA manipulation lab as she still wants to be a biochemical engineer and she was saying this is exactly what she wants to do with her life.

Jeremy proved that he can beat Spencer in a wheelchair race.  Its good to keep Spencer humble.

Afterwards we stopped at Shoreline where we had our wedding reception 21 years ago that week for lunch.  Jeremy taught the kids how to kiss a goose.

And on Sunday we got to enjoy visiting with family, church and hanging out.  Jeremy spent an hour doing a photo shoot with Peter's kids.  It was awesome to just talk and visit.

Tuesday we got up early and made the long drive home.  Kids slept, ate and read the whole way back.  Its always sad to leave.  On the way home we learned that my little finch had died during the week.  So our house is currently squeakerless.  Taylor threw up on the way home and after getting home, showered and changed we put him in his eating chair.  For the first time in a long time he got the giggles.  I think he was happy to be back to his routine.

Wednesday was our 21st anniversary.  We decided we get a do-over.  The day was spent catching up on laundry, groceries, mowing the lawn, work etc.

We got to cheer Allison on at her dance performance where she did an awesome job and take Robyn to buy her list of supplies for school.  Robyn inspired by my sister found a roller skating outfit at Target for her doll.

We had to pack it in because Thursday while Taylor went into respite and Robyn went to cousins, Spencer, Allison and I were off for youth conference.  We had a great time up in the mountain playing hard and sleeping little can came back Saturday morning.  Spencer pointed out that when he showered the water was black.  I can believe it!

Thursday morning we had a bit of a rough start to the day.  We were up early as Allison had a peer helper thing at the junior high to be at for the morning.  We let Jasper outside not knowing Jeremy had let the chickens out.  A few minutes later we found Jasper chewing off the back side of one of our chickens.  He was covered in blood, Allison is holding the chicken who is bleeding all over and it was not a pretty picture.  While we were gone Jeremy has been treating the chicken and it is still going strong (albeit looking very gross and we are learning that maggots do have a useful and disgusting purpose in life).  Jasper spent a day in solitude and is no longer allowed outside without a leash if chickens are around.

For a year now Jeremy has been searching for a used camping trailer to buy and this week he found one so he took the kids to pick it up Saturday afternoon. Its a pop up trailer so its much lighter than our old trailer but it was bigger beds so our kids can actually all sleep in it. While Jeremy was gone Saturday night shooting the Demolition Derby, the kids all assured me that he was planning to sleep it in with him.  So good guy that he is, he grabbed his blanket and pillow when he got home for a sleep over with the kids and Jasper in the trailer.

Today was Stake Conference and everyone is enjoying a day of relaxation after all the activities of the last two weeks.  A day spent reading and laying around sounds awesome to everyone.  I haven't heard anyone say they are bored or don't know what to do today.

For my family the rest of the pictures from our vacation are here.