Monthly Archives: December 2014

Legoland day two and the aquarium

We definitely started off the day on the tired side this morning. French toast for breakfast hit the spot and although I slept most of the way to Legoland (26 miles) a ride or two into it and I was fully awake. We were all a bit grumpy for the first ride or two then we relaxed and just enjoyed the moment. It being Friday the lines were a little longer, but that wasn’t all bad because having full rides some how made them more fun. We saw the 1/4 of the park we didn’t make it to yesterday by lunch time, then we ate lunch and people watched. We played divide and conquer until 2:00pm where Chad took the big kids back to their favorite big rides and coasters and Eve and I did her favorite smaller rides, a show and Duplo village. I took maybe too many pictures and am going to have a hard time not sharing them all.












We reserved the rest of the day for the aquarium which was awesome but only ended up taking about an hour. The kids enjoyed the scratch it quiz cards. They had to find the answers to each of the quite questions to earn a price which ended up being a gigantic aquarium sticker.




























We left the aquarium with still two hours of time left until the park closed so we took a boat tour and walked all the way around the park one more time riding a few rides here and there.



Eve was brave and tried one of the big kids favorite ride “The Knight’s Tournament.”



She loved it and giggled the whole time. We picked up a snack to help get us to our late dinner time

We found these bracelets that you can trade out the flattened pennies in and we thought it was pretty cool since the kids love the flattened pennies and now they can change them out and do something with them beside just looking at them. We looked them up to price them on Amazon they were 5.00 + $2.50 shipping each and were surprised that they were only $5.99 at the park. All in all food and at least this souvenir was not at all the jacked up prices we expected. What a pleasant surprise. The bonus is the kids LOVE them. Yay win-win!


We came home to Salmon dinner, a beautiful salad and ice cream. Grandma and Grandpa have been blessing our socks off. There is no way to thank them enough. They stepped out to sign some papers on a house they are selling. We took the opportunity (encouraged by my mother) to short sheet their bed. I had to giggle when we got all settled down to sleep and I heard a holler from the other room, “I’ll get even.” Then from the hall. “I’ll get even, do you hear me Sarah!” I just made really load snoring sounds. Lol I’m going to have to watch over my shoulder for the next two months, because if I know my grandma she won’t be getting even. She’ll be getting ahead.

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Caleb has wanted to go to Legoland almost since he could read which was a long time ago. He had seen the adds and read all about it in the Lego magazines that kept making their way to our mailbox. Grandma and Grandpa wanted to get things for the kids but with our limited space in mind had picked Legoland tickets. The tickets expire 12/31 so we took advantage of the beautiful weather today and headed toward the beach in Carlsbad California.




Legoland has a narrow target audience 5-10 years of age but since that is right where our kids are it was perfect.



There where Lego creations, rides and boxes of Legos available for free play.


Eve was too short for a few of the rides but most of them she could go on with an adult.




/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/03e/32120513/files/2014/12/img_0508.jpg the most impressive thing at Legoland is the miniature towns, cities, national and world famous monuments made completely out of Legos.











Eve and I had to take a helicopter ride selfie before taking off.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/03e/32120513/files/2014/12/img_0543.jpg The kids all three went to driving school. I can say right now that it is a good thing we have a few years before Eve is behind the wheel.




They got their drivers licenses when they were done, watch out world.

We had lunch at a burger place that had GF buns and was reasonable prices for being in an amusement park then got back to the work of seeing the whole park and trying out all the rides.




The kids enjoyed sledding and playing in the snow in the snow days section of the park.







/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/03e/32120513/files/2014/12/img_0567.jpg to end the day we attended the 5:00pm tree lighting and played in the falling snow flakes.



We ordered a snack for the road and headed out. Samantha met us at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, Hannah and Eve gave her no personal space they latched right on to her claiming that she was their very best friend. I reminisced a little about when Samantha was that age. I was at the end of high school when she was Eve’s age and married Chad when she was Hannah’s age. She was so darn cute and energetic too. She would always want to be sitting in my lap. I remember when she was about two and I spent the night at her house and slept down stairs, her parents said she could sleep with me. It was my first experience sleeping next to a toddler and I can tell you after raising three that most toddlers sleep the same, sideways with there feet on you somewhere. If it isn’t your back it’s your head. Fun memories little Samantha Lou. Now you are getting ready to graduate from college. Time sure does fly even when it isn’t your kids who are growing up too fast.

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Uncle Richard

I would describe our family as pretty close, there is no one really that are socially estranged maybe a cousin here who is geographically distanced and one who has chosen to be estranged but out of the many Aunts Uncles, cousins and second cousins we are all really close. That being said I have an uncle that lives in SoCal (far away from a Oregon and Idaho) who although we have talked on the phone and the kids have met him on trips with Grandma Sherman I had not seen since Stephanie’s wedding 6+ years ago. He works the week and I work the weekends so even though he works only just down the hill from where we live it has taken two weeks to get together. Yesterday we just happen to be driving through San Bernardino where he works at lunch time. We gave him a call about half an hour out and planned to meet for lunch. He hasn’t changed too much in the 6 1/2 years. Although I was surprised to see that his eyes have softened and his age is telling in his gray hair and laugh lines. I guess I should have expected the age. I’m sure I’ve changed a bit too. I hope there will be more time to get together with him. His priorities are different than mine, but I have always appreciated his company and pray that his eyes continue to soften that there is some work being done there in his heart. Sometimes when you are a strong man you think that you get somewhere or are something in your own power. When you get older and enough life has happened to you you realize how much God’s hand of protection played in your many successes and survival. Uncle Richard May the Lord bless you and keep you and make his face to shine upon you may you recognize God’s hand in your life.

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Christmas Letter Factory

I don’t think I realized the task of personalizing most of the Christmas letters would turn the two hour or so task in to an all day today and some of yesterday affair. I wrote a note on the letter then out the name on the outside of the envelope. Chad addressed them, Caleb return addressed them and Hannah stamped, licked and sealed them. Of course her licker got tired and grossed out so mommy had to finish up that job but we had our own little assembly line factory going on. The 100 cards didn’t go as far as I thought they would next year we will have to print more and start earlier. Few, I’m glad to be done with that job. I have one more big job to do this week but tomorrow I think we are taking a break to get out and play. I thank everyone who got back to us so quickly with their addresses and white pages as the case may be.
Love you all,
Merry Christmas!

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Chad is such a good dad

Yesterday when I was sleeping Chad took the kids to buy the Christmas presents they had decided on for each other. I could hear him in the living room directing each child to a different area of the house to wrap the presents they had bought. It sounded pretty well orchestrated from my vantage point. I don’t think it was as seamless as it sounded, but the kids had fun and are so excited. When I woke up they were brining me the gifts they had bought and wrapped to make guesses. Of course I made far fetched guesses that pleased them to no end that they had truly stumped me and pulled off a Christmas surprise. Again when I walked in from work they showed and I had to be a bit more creative to make my guesses. Im pretty sure there won’t be too many surprises come Christmas. It was so fun to see them so excited. What a big feat for Chad to pull off alone. All of them shopping at once trying to keep it a surprise from the others and then organize the wrapping with very curious and creative Eve not able to control her curiosity. Also he picked up the Christmas cards, the Christmas letters, and stamps.

Chad you are doing an awesome job! I love you so much. Your flexibility and willingness to go out of your way to keep all of our “balls” in the air is what makes this adventure possible. We, the kids and I, are so blessed to have you as our captain.

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Santa Postman

Santa has come to our house! So unexpected! I got home at 0700 unlocked the door and out of the hall came three little crazies. Group hug! I opened the blinds to let in the daylight.
A few minutes later Hannah stopped and pointed at the front deck. “What’s that!?!” USPS packages were sitting on our front deck. How did I miss that when I was coming in? Could USPS have delivered them at 0700 or had they been sitting there since Saturday tucked in the corner out of sight.
Chad went out to investigate and brought in three boxes with the return addressee listed as Donna Owens.

On that news we had some kids doing a happy dance.

IMG_0445.JPG The first box contained Christmas Jammies.


IMG_0451.JPG The other two contained gifts from Chuck, Donna and Great Grandma Brown.

IMG_0452.JPG A few tears surfaced as I sent thank you texts and pictures to Donna. You have made us feel loved and missed. I can’t really believe Christmas is only 10 days away. The only presents we have gotten was the stocking stuffers for our niece and nephews that we purchased at Old Navy in Oshkosh, WI. So with no tree up yet the little stack of presents from Oregon has the kids sitting around them grinning and feeling them anticipating Christmas even more.

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Christmas Card

We are so excited to have received our first Christmas Card! Thank you Nathan and Holly. You made our day. It is now hanging up with our stockings.

We haven’t gotten ours out yet. Very soon hopefully. Merry Christmas!

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Just Like New

I got up a little late. 4:30pm. I thought I had heard a kid on the playground that sounded like Caleb yelling for Hannah, so I though Chad was back from Murietta. When I discovered the house still dark and deserted at 1630 I began getting a little nervous about the time. Chad was only a few minutes out and was home before I could get showered. They filled me in on the events of the day. Lots of fetch with a little white dog, rebel Star Wars and working with Great Grandpa Lawhead and Uncle Richard. Chad said it was the piece that he had suspected. They had replaced it and it was working great. He then informed me that they replaced the brakes and that the experts had even inspected under the hood. I’m a little jealous as I have not yet seen Uncle Richard and Sam and now they all have, but I am so thankful for their mechanic knowledge and skill, and that they were so willing to help us get our rig back in good working condition. I didn’t miss having to climb into the drivers seat one bit.

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Day one of four

Two triages and a lot of down time. At least it was super productive down time. Chad and the kids are headed down the mountains to hang with Uncle Richard and Grandpa today. We are hoping that the drivers side door will be an easy fix so that we can open it again. It is getting old climbing over the console from the passengers side every time we get in and out of the car. We are still so thankful it runs but running and having a door that opens sounds like a dream come true.

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It’s Beginning to Feel a Lot More Like Christmas!

After sleeping off my frap this morning and the kids school work for the day we had a little family meeting regarding Christmas.

We have in the past taken the kids to the dollar store where they could pick out items for each of our family members including extended family. That is good and all but this year I wanted to let them in on the true joy of gift giving. The planning, budgeting, dreaming, and shopping/creating something special with the specific intent of bring joy to someone else. The dollar store sprees never allowed for dreaming or planning, and the dollar store budget didn’t leave much room for getting a gift that the giver could feel invested in for the purpose of putting others before themselves. We gave the kids their per-person budget and a few things to think about (something the recipient would really like, you can pool your funds to go in together on a gift, consider the size for packing). Then after explaining that we were going to go shopping only to look we would not be buying anything today, but the kids could get ideas of the gifts they wanted to get and price them. They asked how much to anticipate for taxes and were also encouraged to leave room in their budget for wrapping paper and tape.
They were sooooo cute! We made it to the toy section of Walmart. Caleb suggested starting at one end so we could go through each row, so we did that. They brought their notebooks and were jotting down notes, make lists and adding up the numbers. Then we moved on to the movies, craft section, and even the shoes. Hannah had her eye on a pair of church shoes (she currently doesn’t have any so that may be a good idea for us parents.) for the most part the two older ones were very focussed and excited about the things they were finding to get each other. Eve was good too but she was picking out mostly things that she would like for her. She will need a little more help. We then made a stop at Hobby Lobby. I didn’t go in because Eve was sleeping in the car but Chad and the big kids went in for clay to make ornaments.

When we got home we ate dinner. Hannah cleared the table and Chad got some small nails from his tool box. We haven’t put up anything in any of our apartments and we will probably pay for putting the small holes in the wall, but having a little Christmas decoration seems worth it now at least. Chad and I hung the stockings while the kids worked on their ornaments.

IMG_0372.JPG Hannah decided to make a nativity instead. She did a good job.



Chad played Christmas songs for us on the tin whistle and the kids made up dances while we waited for the ornaments to bake.

The kids went to bed a little late. Watching their energy and enthusiasm as well as their holiday gift giving little spirits has helped me come to have more of a Christmas spirit. God called us to love others. Thinking of ways to love those around you with gifts takes us out of self focused, survival, it’s all about me that is so natural to human kind and reminds us that JOY is really not about us at all it’s about having your priorities strait. J-Jesus, O-others, then Y-you. Thank you Jesus for sending your son to earth to die for our sins. Thank you for calling us to love our neighbors knowing full well that the true joy we have in serving you would come from those two most important commandments to love the Lord and Love our neighbors.

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