Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hair Troubles

My hair has a hard time behaving. It all started when I was about 12 years old and in one day went from having stick straight hair to coarse, frizzy hair. A lot of people gave me advice on how to better manage my hair; "try hot rollers" (not so good in the 8th grade, a little better now), "if you would just put gel in your hair it would look like mine and then maybe you could have a boyfriend, too" (I'm not kidding--someone really said this).
I finally learned some tricks to manage my unruly locks and make the natural curl look somewhat presentable, when wouldn't you know it, I have a baby and went from unruly curly hair to straight-in-some-sections-and-curly-in-others. I have to say that this has been a little easier to manage, but more hair troubles ensued.
We moved to Nevada, and as I have mentioned in previous posts, I did not love it. I blame Nevada almost completely for the grey hairs that popped out when I was merely 25. To cover up these grey hairs, my sister-in-laws and I decided to try a box of hair color with "just a little red" (requested by Ben). That little bit of red turned my hair completely BURGUNDY. It took 7 treatments within a month to get it back to semi-normal. Needless to say, my hair was fried. In our new ward I met a lady who told me that she would love to do my hair. I looked at her own frizzy mullet, and since I am a firm believer that your hair will in some way resemble your hairdresser's, Bambii did not get the job.
I have kind of trucked along over the years and have discovered some real tricks that help. I can't live without: a) good shampoo and conditioner, b) my S-Factor smoothing lusterizer, and c) my round brush and blowdryer. I have also learned that it is good to give my hair off days, but my exercise schedule and the sweat that comes with it, make this part of my regimine a little tricky.
One of the only pleasures that comes with my hair is that it LOVES to be played with. I am putty in the hands of whoever runs their fingers through my hair. I will let my kids stay up as late as they want as long as they are playing with my hair. So, on Christmas night, we were watching Wall-E and I was in my hair-being-played-with catatonic state, when all of a sudden something was terribly wrong. My usually tough scalp was being pulled at in a very strange and uncomfortable way. There were strange clicking sounds..."What are you doing to me, Maya?!?" I reach up and grab the cuticle scissors that came in my manicure set from Santa out of her little hand.

Will there ever be peace in my hair's life?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Quick Updates and Birthday Adventures

I AM A BLOG SLACKER. I don't know if you noticed, but it has been about a month since my last late post. I don't know what to say, other than things are busy here...nothing earth shattering, just life in general.
Here's the skinny--

*Thanksgiving was fabulous, Utah was beautiful. I LOVE my inlaws. They are all so much fun to be around.

* I ran my 6K, I use ran loosely. I finished and did pretty well for my age group, which was 98 for some reason.

Um, that about does it for updates worth writing about. So, onto more current things.

Jessica Turned 12!

Time has really flown by. It seems like just yesterday we brought this beautiful little lady home from the hospital. I thought that growing up in a large family would prepare me for life as a mother, but I learned REALLY fast that I had no idea what I was doing. Here was this beautiful baby, with a perfect little round head and big gorgeous eyes, depending on me for everything she needed. She has been such a joy in our lives since she was born. She is beautiful and talented. She is sensitive and kind. She is my right hand gal. I LOVE HER TO PIECES!!! She wanted to go to San Fransisco for her birthday so off we went! We had a great time together as a family and then enjoyed some present opening over breakfast and delicious Penne Rigate for dinner. She got some great gifts, including the first Twilight book which she finished within 2 days. But....the most exciting news is that she got her ears pierced!!!!! She has been looking forward to this day her whole life (believe me). She had to call a few people and interview them about their ear piercing experience so that she could make an educated decision and use her agency wisely. She is so big, and I am so old. Happy Birthday, Jessica!

Ben turns 35 (that's halfway to 70, you know)!
It's true. He is even getting the grey hairs to prove it. He is such a good daddy, he wanted to spend the day with his family so we went to Jamestown and rode the steam engine. It was lots of fun for everyone. Santa, a very talented fiddler, and a band of raucous casino patrons were also on the train. We have missed cold weather and snow so we drove a little farther and were able to play in the snow...for a few minutes before we got too cold and decided that being warm is also very nice. Then it was off to the Bass Pro Shop for a little manly shopping. Happy Birthday, Ben!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Better Late than Never

With everything else going on in our home, back to school, elections, Ben gone, etc., I have been a neglectful blogger and have failed to post our halloween pictures. Exciting as they are, I am sure you have all been eagerly anticipating them, so here they are!

Halloween Morning, we began with our pumpkin carving. Ideally, this would have been done by now, but this isn't an ideal world, plus, they get rotten very quickly around here, and who wants rotten pumpkins sitting on their porch? Not me! (We have a couple extra helper friends.)

The finished products.
So, after a few more election reminder calls, we are off to the trunk-or-treat.

Oh, here is a fun game...Bobbing for Apples...

...Until you fall into the tank. Don't worry. Being the good mother that I am , I got a picture before I offered comfort. Poor Minnie/Bella. She was soaked from head to toe.
I forgot to get a good picture of all the kids in their costumes before we left, so I'm afraid this is as good as it gets. Here we have Minnie (Bella), Spider (Jeff), Cinderella (Maya), Geisha (Anna), Kangaroo (Reese). I was feeling a little lazy as far as costumes go this year, so we just raided the dress up box. I think we did pretty good, everyone seemed to be pleased, except Reese. His Kangaroo wasn't quite as ferocious as last years Great White Shark, but when he added vampire fangs and became a blood sucking Kangaroo, it was a little more do-able for him. I don't know why nobody likes the Kangaroo. When I bought it for Jessica years ago, she hated it too. I would love to be the Kangaroo. I think it is stinking cute. It even has a little Joey for the pouch. Oh well, you can't win them all.
Jessica is a big girl now and wanted to go off with her friends. Doesn't she make a lovely Vampire?
There you go! Happy Belated Halloween!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

November 5, 2008

Proposition 8 Passed!!! It was a close one, but we did it. We worked really hard, literally until the polls closed, and got the job done. Thank you everyone for your help, prayers etc.

That is the good news... the other good news is:

For at least four more years, I will not have to worry about:

* Gas for my evil suburban--BOs all over it.
* My mortgage payment--oh wait, we rent---somewhere out there, there must be some sort of program in the works to get me into my very own home, I do have a right, you know. I have my eye on one for sale. It is only about $600,000. I think now is the time, and if I can't afford it later, BOs got my back on that one too. YESSSSS!
* We've got two sets of braces looking us in the face next year, I was going to use our flex account, but I think I heard something about a universal healthcare program...the senators kids get braces, why shouldn't mine?
* All that talk radio, I am really sick of the biased hosts of talk radio. If only they were more open minded and fair, like network TV, everyone would REALLY see how stinking good things are going to be now that BO is in charge, good thing for the fairness doctrine. That is going to RULE. No more of this dang brain washing that has been going on.
* Bush's shrill, "unedumacated" talk. Yup, for at least 4 more years, its only the tobacco induced, dulcet tones of the great orator for all of us, lulling us all into a much deserved hypnotic break from all of the problems going on in the world. Who really wants to know anyway? We'll just let the smarter, more educated people do the thinking for us. We have much more important things to worry about, like our guns and our religion.
* Phew! I was afraid that I was going to have to teach my children that you have to work hard and get good grades to get into college, and that once you get there, it is still not a free ride! What have I been thinking? Not only do my children have a BO given right to go to college, he is also going to see to it that it is paid for, I don't know by who, but what do I care? Count them friends, that is 1,2,3,4,5,6 educations PAID FOR (somehow)! HOT DOG!

You know, I really must have been smoking something to think that McCain would have been a better choice. These next few years are going to be SOOOOOO AWESOME!!!

Maybe, you are sensing a little sarcasm. In all fairness, this is a historic year, and I am really hoping that it is not going to be as crappy as I think it is. If it isn't, I will take away the paragraph about my sarcasm.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

How I Spent the Afternoon

To show our support for and to help raise awareness for Prop 8, several people from our ward and stake stood out on the street today. Once again, this was WAY out of my comfort zone so I was very nervous, but all in all, it was rewarding AND educational.
Quick list of things:

* I was given "the finger" more today than I think I have ever been in my life.
* I heard the F-bomb directed at me more times than I ever have in my life.
* I was called a racist (I am not sure where that came from, or where that "lady" went to draw that conclusion).
* The 2 girls making out on the same corner helping to illustrate a point, (I am not sure who's they were hoping to make, but I am pretty sure they made it either way).
These things were all pretty negative, but balanced with the many, many supporters with their honks, waves, thumbs-ups and "thank you's", and also with the knowledge that we were serving a righteous cause made it all worth it. I believe that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God, and that it must be kept sacred. I am not trying to take away the rights of anyone, but I also do not wish to have someone else's morals or lack thereof shoved down my or my children's throats.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

It Was A Good, Long Run.....

I went to the dentist today, by I, I mean all six kids and I. That was a real really! They took a few kids at a time, then took me back for my turn and the receptionist held the baby! I just sat and relaxed as my teeth were x-rayed, probed and cleaned. It was great--mostly. I have been a lucky gal for 32 years now, and have escaped the dreaded dentist's drill, until today, well, actually until November 18 when I have all SIX of my cavities filled. YIKES! I have never had a cavity in my life and now SIX! I will give myself a break because the dentist said that they are just the beginnings of little tiny ones on the ridges of my teeth and that it was good to catch them this early, but still! I am a little bummed. Also, my "classic european bite" (my teeth are somewhat inverted and are becoming more so every year) is causing wear on my lower teeth and so it was recommended that I get Invisiline to correct it. I am okay with that.
Jessica is also about to get braces. I gave her a little teasy scare when I told her we couldn't afford a certain appliance she needs and that she would just have to get headgear. We even looked up some headgear pictures online. I really had her going. It is going to be a fun year for our wallets and our mouths.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

6 years old!

My big boy is six!

On September 26, Reese turned six years old. We had a weekend full of birthday including shark cupcakes with his class, Johns Incredible Pizza, and Reese's favorite-Seafood Linguine- for dinner! It was fun for all of us! Reese has grown to be such a sweet little guy. He is always very thoughtful, especially of me. He loves to give away hugs and kisses and loves to learn! I am so proud of him!
Here's a shot of his birthday loot. We got him a fun halloween shirt at Target with a skull on the front. When I picked him up from school on Monday I asked him how his day went.

Mom: How was your day?

Reese: Good, except the kids thought I was a bully.

Mom: Why?

Reese: Because I have a (th)skull on my shirt! HELLO!

Mom: Shall we not have you wear it anymore?

Reese: No, I will still wear it, I'll just tell the kids that I am a nice boy.

...And he is! Happy Birthday Reese, We love you!!!

In addition to being another year older, Reese has grown taller and has eight permanent teeth. But that is not all. Reese is also growing into quite the creative little boy. He loves scissors and tape, and can work miracles with them. He is also getting to be quite a good little artist. This is his latest masterpiece. It is called "Me, Tooting Underwater." What a funny little boy.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Magic of a Good Playlist

Today, being Saturday, was a good day to give running outside a try. I am still a newbie at this, so I decided in order to push myself, I would run outside of my neighborhood so I would not be tempted to just run back home when I got tired. I ran (I say run, but it is still pretty much a slow jog, bear with me, it makes me feel good) out of my neighborhood and around the CSUS campus. I started out really good, I ran for THREE WHOLE songs, took a one song walk break, and then ran some more. I was well into my second running stretch when I started second guessing my lofty goal and wished that I was on a treadmill so I could just stop and go home, when the angelic strains of Gloria Gaynor's inspiring anthem of victory started on my ipod, inspiring and uplifting me, and reassuring me that I will, infact, survive. Let me just tell you though, that that is one LONG song, 8 minutes and 2 seconds to be exact, but I made it through and even survived a little Maroon 5. After that, it was time for another small walk break to one of my favorites, Rob Thomas and his Matchbox buddies, about falling and dusting off, and "if I am too tired to make it, be my breath so I can walk" (SWOON!!!). I did finish strong, and am feeling really great and looking forward to my next class and run. Laters!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I am writing this post in hopes that you all will help me stay motivated. I think that if I go ahead and write my goals down, I may feel a little more of a sense of accountability as I try to reach them if I know other people are watching me. I joined a gym a month or two ago with a few goals in mind:
1. fit into my pants again
2. look better in my pants when I do get them on again
3. lose as much fat as I can so that when I get a tummy tuck (ha ha), it will be cheaper with less lipo.

That pretty much sums up my list of starting goals. Pretty vague though, so I thought I should set some milestone type goals. I have read so many blogs about 1/2 marathons and have always thought that they were definitely not for me. My attitude is changing, however, and I have realized that in order to reach my goals I am going to have to get out of my "status quo" comfort zone, and try new things. So, I am signing up with Sara, Emily and Josie (my SILs) to run a 1/2 marathon in St. George in January. Just verbally committing has worked wonders for me. Now, instead of a sleeping-in-as-long-as-I-can Emily, you will find me at the gym most days at 5:30 am either in a class or on the treadmill and for the most part LOVING IT! Several times, I have even woken up before my 5 am alarm!
I know, I know!!! I didn't ever think I would say that, but I love the feeling of sore tired muscles that I had forgotten about and the quiet in the morning when all the kids are still sleeping. I am still a beginner so I am still building up my stamina. I start with a brisk walk for a quarter of a mile then I run for as long as I can. It started out as a 1/2 mile run before I wanted to die, but now I am getting up there to 1 1/2-2 miles inbetween walk breaks. I certainly do not expect anything grand timewise, I just want to be able to finish the race and look somewhat good doing it.
Also, there is another race in Sacramento in Nov or Dec that I might try. I will have to see how I am doing, but I think for that one my goal will be to do the 10k. is where you come in....
1. Periodically ask me how I am doing. (by the way, I haven't weighed or measured myself and I am not going to, I think I will measure my success by how I look and feel).
2. If you have any tips for beginning runners, let me know.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

It Was Quite a Day!

I love politics, especially in an exciting presidential year. I love listening to speeches and debates. I find myself on pins and needles waiting for the daily poll numbers and trying my hand at political analysis. I have very definite opinions about the way things should be and am usually not afraid to tell people how I feel, but I realized recently that my social world is full of like minded people, and that I have never really had to get out of my comfort zone, politically speaking. A few years ago, 61% of the voters in California passed an initiative stating that only marriage between a man and a woman is recognized in California. A few months ago, that decision was overturned by a the State Supreme Court, so now we have a new proposition, Proposition 8, that will hopefully be passed, adding an amendment to the state constitution, preserving traditional families. We have been instructed by the First Presidency to do all that we can do to help, including donating our time and resources to the campaign. We were given a folder a few weeks ago with the names of people in our voting precincts and the streets that they live on. We have been asked to walk door to door polling these people. That folder sat on my entry way table for two weeks. I would walk by it a just get sick at the thought of the task at hand. I prayed for strength and was always comforted that all would be well, that this was something that is VERY important to the Lord and to the Prophet, and that I should just buck up and do it. So I did. Yesterday was our walk. I am happy to report that I was a brave girl and even did the talking a few times! We were able to contact a lot of the people on our list and only had 2 definite NOs and 1 Undecided, and MANY people who were definitely in favor of the amendment. There were a lot of people who were willing to put up a yard sign for us, and a few who wouldn't "because it is just to controversial, but thank you for doing this for us." It really pointed out to me that there really is (I hope) a silent majority, and that we all really need to get involved to spread the word. It was a real test for me, but I did it and know that I will be blessed for it. So...Please pray for our state, and pay close attention to your own state politics.

On a lighter note, we had a great ward activity last night. We all had so much fun. My ward is my favorite thing about California. We had a Chili cookoff and guess what??? WE WON!!! Ben and I had a lot of fun doctoring up our recipe, adding this and that and it turned out delicious! What was our secret ingredient? LOVE! (and chocolate! shhhh!)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Yet Another Trip

I have been such a slacker lately! I go about my days and think, " I should go blog about this" but it never happens. Sorry that you all have to endure the boring recap blogs as I am trying to catch up.
It is a good thing that gas is so cheap these days! We took another trip to Washington for my Family Reunion. I was a terrible picture taker so I will just send you here to see all of my sister's fun pictures and a quick summary of our fun reunion. It was great to see my cousins and Aunt and Uncle along with most of my family. Just one of the reasons we were happy to leave town. OK, we were sitting still in a parking lot, so this picture is a bit of an exaggeration of the real situation. In actuallity, it was only 109.
I am a genius. When we were in Yellowstone last month we saw a family using drawers for each kid instead of suitcases. I decided to try it out but with my own little fabulous twist. I bought two sets of 3 big drawers and put an outfit and pajamas for each child in each drawer. I also put diapers in so that all I had to do each day was take in that days drawer. After the kids got ready for bed, I put the dirty clothes back in the drawer, put the dirty drawer back in the car and got the next day's drawer out. When the first set of three were all used, I moved the next set into place and washed the dirty clothes, resorted them, and put it all back in the car. I don't think it took up any less space in the car, but it sure was easier to manage everything! The car usually wouldn't be so full, we did have to also bring 7 sleeping bags and pillows. Not bad, I must say. I would TOTALLY do this again!

After WAY TOO MUCH fighting in the back seat on the way home, we stopped in this desolate wheat field for some "encouraging" words. After a few (idle) threats of leaving them there, we climbed back into the car and continued on our very long journey with a lot less bickering.
Jeff got his first two teeth on the 14th of August. He loves to rub his tongue along them. He is also getting up on his hands and knees and doing some form of crawling resembling an inchworm.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

4 years old times 2

It seems like just yesterday I was toting these two little princesses around, growing some amazing biceps. Now they are 4 years old! They have been such a joy! I have loved watching them grow up together, always having their best friend close by. They are wonderful playmates and definitely a comfort to eachother. When I found out I was having twins, the ultrasound tech told me that I was the first person she had told twin news to who hadn't cried on the spot. I was so excited, and although there have been trials, I wouldn't trade this wonderful twin experience for the world! I love these girls with all my heart and am so glad they are a part of our family! Happy Birthday Maya and Bella!
These are their new Princess Dresses for the Princess Party. We made tiaras and purses, played Pin the Kiss on the Frog Prince, and Don't Eat the Princess. We had a lovely pink princess lunch and some delicious cake and ice cream. Now, I am really good at a lot of things--I can play any hymn in the hymnbook, I can remove almost any stain (including sharpie) you throw at me, I mow the lawn like a pro, just to name a few. But baking, especially cakes, has never been a strength of mine. Some of Ben's fondest memories of when he was young are the fabulous cakes his mom made, so I thought I would try a little harder to create the same memories for my kids. The girls really wanted a castle cake-that, or the Spongebob cake at Raleys. I thought, how hard can it be? Well, take a look......
Pathetic castle, huh! In my mind it was A LOT more castle like. It looks more like an enchanted forest, but the girls were absolutely thrilled. They really do love me for who I am!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Oh yeah, one more thing...

Funny Reese Quote, coming right up!

Today while getting ready for church, Reese walks down to Ben in the family room and says," Little Miss-Behavior whacked me with her saltwater (sandal) right in the face, and she is sitting right there! (Pointing to Bella)" What a funny little guy.

OK, two more things. Reese and his friend Gretchen got the star student awards for their class for "Excellent Academic Achievement and Good Citizenship." What a stud.

Swim Lessons, Sun Tans, etc.

Apparently it has been a while since I have had anything to say. I apologize, but I think you will see from this post, that nothing very exciting has been happening here at the Kern house. Here is the past 3 weeks in review. Jeff is officially eating food now. He is a big fan of applesauce and bananas, but not so much the squash. He is also getting to be a pro at picking up the arrowroot cookie and getting it into his mouth. He will be 6 months tomorrow...I can't believe it.
We have had the kids enrolled in 2 sessions of Swim lessons, one with the city and one with Josh, one of the young men in our ward. I have been very pleased with their progress and new found ability, although I did grossly underestimate Jessica's abilities, and she was stuck in a class with kids 3 ft shorter than her. She did well, and is ready to advance about 3 levels next time. Sorry, Jess!!! All of the hanging out at the pool has been really good for me and my tan...
I would like to call your attention to the contrasting tones of skin. Those of you who know me, know that I am not one to ever get any color to me. Some people tan in the sun, some people burn...I get a rash. So this new color is very exciting to me. I have gone from cadaverish to a slightly darker shade of pasty. Woo Hoo!!!
We have some friends in the neighborhood that are very good about calling us and getting us to the park nearly everynight. It is a good way for us to get our homework and chores done, so we can all go out and have some fun at the park.
We have three kinds of Grapes in our yard. They have been a special project of Ben's this summer. Our Thompson seedless varieties are ripe now and DELISH! Our cabernets are nearly ripe and I am sure will make a lovely juice. ;)
I canned some spaghetti sauce and pears this week, my 12 hours of work netted me a total of 25 jars. I am wondering if they were worth it, but soon we will eat them and I will be reminded of why I kill myself to do things like this.
The best event that took place during my blogging hiatus, is that one of my visiting teaching ladies and her husband were sealed in the Oakland Temple. I am so happy for them. It was wonderful to see them sealed and to remember all of the blessings we can receive because of the beautiful sealing ordinance! Congratulations, Scott and Cori!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

First Day of School

Yesterday was the first day of school! Reese started Kindergarten. He was so cute and VERY ready to go. Anna is in second grade now and also very excited.
Jessica is in sixth grade this year. Isn't she beautiful?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Family Filled Vacation and Fourth

We have spent the past week and a half in the beautiful state of Idaho with members of both sides of our family. We are really grateful for this beautiful part of the world, and glad that we were able to visit so many people in that amount of time.

Days 1 and 2:
-Leave Turlock approximately 5 hours past projected time, thats okay--I needed to sleep as I had stayed up until 3:30 am packing and cleaning. I did come home to a clean house and sparkling toilets, compliments of my new favorite cleaning tool, drywall sanding screen.
-Drive through the smoke in the Sierras and through some of our old "haunts" in Nevada, including the big BM that so eloquently summed up my experience living in the "burbs" of trashy Battle Mountain. I am so glad that part of my life is over.

-Spend the day with Josie and her family in Twin Falls. Thanks Josie!
-When the Husbands finish with work, off we go to Island Park. Things were going a little too smoothly so we spiced things up with a blown-out tire on Josie and Blakes trailer. Good Times.
Days 3 thru 8:

-Island Park, Idaho. We had so much fun with all of Ben's sisters and their families, then throw in Aunts, Uncles and Cousins! Ralph and Connie have been planning this Plant Reunion for a long time, we had such a wonderful time. Thanks, Chad and Emily for letting us stay with you in your cabin, you guys rule.
-Game nights-Curses was fun, but playing cards was even better (HA HA HA--LOSERS!!!) We'll have to do that again sometime!
-4 wheeler/ranger rides make for some of the dirtiest kids you have ever seen. We thought we were so clever to bathe the kids outside in the kiddie pools to keep the mess outside. #1 on the list of things not to do again.
-Yellowstone-We loved this! The kids were so amazed at the animals we saw, we were even in close proximity to a Grizzly Bear, but never got to see it. Don't worry, we stayed REALLY close to the Ranger and his gun, but gave up and moved on. It was very exciting though!
-BYU-I Showtime Theater Performance/Sacrament Meeting in West Yellowstone. (Steven Covey was there). Very interesting. I say this with raised eyebrows and pursed lips. It was a nice little sample of the next night's activity--"See How They Run" at the Playmill theater, complete with a lovely little Contemporary Dance to "Starry, Starry Night". It was a cute play, I am sure EVERYONE including the cast wished that we had not brought 10 noisy kids to the performance, #2 on the list of things not to do again.
Days 9, 10 and 11:
-Off the the Boise Area to visit my sister Gretchen and her family. My mom came through on her way back from Utah, so we got to see her, and my sister Libbie and her family, and my Brother Tyson and his wife Tsveti. Love these guys!

-Movies on the lawn and FABULOUS ribs and fish (YUM!), a waterslide bounce house and dunk tank, our kids were sufficiently worn out.

-Fourth of July spent with Ben's aunts and cousins on Willowbrook. We haven't been for several years, we remember why we love it so much! Fun people, great food, spectacular fireworks, and only one smallish fire.

-Floating down the Boise River. I have never done this before! It was so much fun once Jeffrey fell asleep. #3 on the list-no small babies on the river.
Day 12-Pack up the car and head home. This time I brought along a dear friend of mine, Strep Throat. Nothing like coming home to 12 loads of laundry and feeling like crap.
We had such a fun vacation and were really glad to have the time to spend together with Ben and the rest of our families!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy!!!

Well, we finally left the house. My niece Lauren came to visit. It is a quick visit, simply because she didn't get out of school until 6/16 and our kids start on 7/8. Next year when Jessica starts Jr High and is on a traditional schedule, we hope she can come and stay a little longer! Anyway, we haven't had a lot of time to pack in all the activities we want to do, hence...our lightning fast summer o' fun.
After we picked Lauren up in Sacramento, we thought, Heck, why just go home when we can drive an extra 3 hours (round trip) and load up on the best jelly beans known to man? So off we went to Fairfield, CA for a quick tour of the factory that dumps you right into the gift shop. Many jellybeans/giant gummy rats/flavored lip gloss later, we headed back to good ol' Turlock.

The rule of the tour is "If you have a head, you must wear a hat." Doesn't he wear it well?

Thursday we went to Monterey, our favorite place in CA so far, to see the new Splash Zone at the aquarium. We were lucky enough to see the cute penguins being fed. Lots of fun things to see and do, we are glad to be members of the Aquarium so we can buzz in and out without feeling like we have to see EVERYTHING to get our money's worth.

After the Aquarium we were off to the beach. It was a little tricky changing everyone in the car into their swimsuits, I'm sure someone in the parking lot may have seen a little more skin than they bargained for, but hey, what are you going to do? We had a GREAT time. The weather was absolutely BEAUTIFUL, we were priviledged to see dolphins jumping a little way out...Amazing(!!!)... AND as Ben pointed out, I took 7 children to the Aquarium AND the Beach,all by myself, and came home with all 7 of them, without even a sunburn, I might add!

We heard about an exhibit at the Fresno Zoo where you can pet docile sharks and rays. As you can imagine, that was appealing to us, so our activity for Saturday when Ben was home was to go pet some sharks. We looked up the zoo online to make sure everything was a go/get directions etc., filled the gas tank in the Suburban and the truck (we are maxed out seatbelt wise with our own family, when we have guests, we have to take two cars) loaded up on water bottles and ice, and drove an hour and a half down to Fresno. We pulled into the Zoo parking lot at 12:59 pm and as we were about to pay for parking, the attendant informed us that the zoo was closing from 1-7pm for a "special event". DANG IT!!! I am going to go ahead and go out on a limb and assume that Saturday is probably their busiest day of the week, why the heck are you going to close the zoo, and if you are, WHY NOT POST IT ON THE WEBSITE SO THAT PEOPLE WHO MIGHT WANT TO DRIVE ALL THE WAY DON'T WASTE THIER TIME AND GAS!!! That being said, we thought we would get some lunch and decide on a Plan B. We punch Restaurants into the GPS and decide that a little Carls Jr might do the trick and followed the directions given. We were led into what we thought was the Ghetto, but it turns out from all of our driving, that pretty much ALL of Fresno is the Ghetto. My goodness, I was A LOT out of my element. The Carls JR was WAYYYYY too scary, so we decided on Denny's instead. We found out that there was a Metropolitan Museum downtown, so we checked it out, by checking out, I mean driving by and LEAVING. Basically, our big shark petting plans were a bust, but to keep things positive, we did get to see a sweet, pimped out caravan...

and were able to bring home a souvenier from our trip to exotic Fresno...a rocket sippy cup, filled with a beverage of our choice.

Other newsworthy items...
1. After approximately 6 reschedulings, I was finally able to enjoy my Mother's Day afternoon at the spa. It was fabulous.
2. We were having spider issues, common around here, so we called pest control. They came out and did their thing, and later that night, our house was crawling with earwigs and...I saw a mouse!!! YUCK!!! So I called pest control again to come get the little critters and bought some traps. A few nights of watching that stupid mouse come a sample the peanut butter with no positive results for me, I adjusted the traps and I caught it. I was a brave girl, and through the shrieks of my girls and to the delight of my boy, I even picked up the trap/dead mouse and disposed of it. Sometimes I really hate having to be independent.