Saturday, September 26, 2009


I've been wanting to take the kids to this Children's Imagination Museum called Pennypickles in Temecula. My friend Autumn and I took our kids on Friday to explore their imaginations with a hands-on museum that kept them wide-eyed and captivated for the 2 hour session. They had a toddler room with blocks and things fit for smaller children but the kids only lasted about 10 minutes in there. They were more interested in exploring all the different themed rooms. One of their favorites was the maze that was in the dark and had glow-in-the-dark shapes, symbols and pictures in it (after the initial concern of going in a dark room, my kids are not real thrill seekers). I managed to capture a few pics while following our little explorers.

All the kids in a hot air balloon basket...they thought this thing was pretty cool and were pretending they were flying, while I was remembering my engagement and how small the baskets really are!! There was even a rope you could pull that lit a "fire" above the basket and made the appropriate noise. Thomas, Kaden, Jordyn (well her eyes and nose) and Maddy.
There was a music room that had an old record player and piano and even little instruments they could play. This was an old mic that you could sing in and then hear yourself through the phone. There were 2 on either side of this table so Kaden and Thomas each picked them up, we told them to sing a song and they both started singing "I am a Child of God" Great song choice!! :) "My turn" was muttered by Maddy when Kaden was done and following her bro, as she does all day long, started in with "I am a Child of God"
Autumn and Thomas singing away!!
Maddy on the space travel chair. I think she traveled into next year!
This chair looked like the "Alice in Wonderland" chair

Kaden, Thomas and Maddy relaxing on a bench outside in crazy hot weather!! We all had a fun day and my kids were asleep before we even got home, a great perk of a day full of fun!!

Croatian Kids

Justin brought a cute little outfit home for all the kids and I realized I never posted the pictures. I was looking through my pic files and thought these were blog worthy :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Beach Day!

We are into September and still having beach days, I do love So Cal!! We went last Friday before all the Labor Day crowds, and this time Uncle J and Grammy joined us. Justin said he was excited to finally be a part of a beach day that he always got pictures of on his mish. The water was really warm!! I usually get my feet wet with the kids but on that day it was like a swimming pool so I actually went in all the way!! It was beautiful!! Keep this weather coming!!
The Crew...we're not small, and we're not quiet!!Uncle J built a hole for the kids to play, and they helped him build a sand castleCould Gracey be any cuter!?!
Grammy and the dirty lil Maddy, she's a big fan of getting sand EVERYWHERE!!Skye the lil beach babe!!! She has gotten quite the little tan and her hair gets blonder by the second!! Can you believe she was born with almost black hair!?!This has to be the cutest picture EVER!!! I think it's frame worthy! He spent lots of time playing in the water with his Uncle J.They both loved the ride!! Maddy got dumped a few times but still seemed to mutter "that was fun" under her chattering, scared breath!! She's a trooper!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Summer Blazing On!!!

Since it is still crazy hot here, I took advantage of a "End of Summer" sale and got the kids a new pool to play in, since our whale pool from last summer got eaten by mice in the shed. (Sorry LONG sentence, I've always done that huh mom) It was much bigger than I anticipated, but ended up being really fun for the kids. I made it our own little water park by putting their slide into it. It looks really fun... well it is pretty fun. Fortunately, for the kids they have a 5' 2'' mom that could join in the fun down the slid!!! :)That's what brothers are for right? What would an outside play day be without a popsicle?Come join us!!!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Returned With Honor

That's right, we have him back!! Justin spent an honorable 2 years serving the Lord and the people in Croatia and is now home! It was such an awesome experience of course for him but also for me to have a brother on a mission and to witness, through him, the miracles of Heavenly Father as well as the growth in my baby brother! I'm so glad that he served, but I am equally glad he is home!! It was a much anticipated day full of emotions!

My mom doesn't have a blog so for some family and friends I'm going to start off with a few pictures from their trip. My parents were fortunate enough to spend a week in Croatia and the surrounding areas before they picked him up and then almost a week with Justin traveling around his areas and others he didn't get to see. My parents said it was so touching to meet the people the Justin had such an impact on and to see their utter heartbreak to have to let him go home. Justin kept them busy going every day all day long, so I'll show you a few of the 600 pics they took!! Sorry but I don't know where they are in a lot of the pictures, but they are really beautiful!

This is a family Justin baptized towards the beginning of his mission. My parents were gracious enough to fly them to Germany (the closet Temple) and go through the Temple with them and also see them sealed as a family. This family meant so much to Justin, so to be able to see them sealed for all time and eternity was an awesome experience for him and my parents too!

Finally...the Homecoming!!
The girls and kiddos anxiously awaiting the arrival.
His view off the plane...

and our view The excitement and joy was indescribable!
Finally together again, Abby and J.
I don't know if you can tell, but all the kids had "Welcome Home Uncle JJ" shirts on. It was SO cute. Enlarge the picture you might be able to tell better.
J with his newest nephew Beckham. He left with 1 niece and 1 nephew and came home to 5!!
Kaden loved him right away!! Who couldn't?!?

Justin definitely had his priorities straight, the next morning he woke up and the first thing he did was go surfing with Rob and Felicity!! He was in heaven!

We were all fortunate enough to be able to spend some time in Santa Maria. For the first time in...I don't know when, we were all together (unfortunately w/o my dad who had to go back to work in Africa) for 5 days!! We had many late nights of laughing and joking, followed by many early morning of 5 kids under 3 at my parents house! It was chaotic but so much fun!!

We drove to Pismo one day, had the greatest clam chowder on earth at Splash, and took the kids on a walk on the pier. It was so much fun to take the kids back to our old stomping grounds and brought back many memories.On another day, we took all the kids to Avila Valley Barn for some yummy fruits and veggies and of course the little petting zoo. You could buy scrap food to feed them but somehow Skye, the littliest of them all, was the only one brave enough to feed them. Go figure! Kaden was SO in his element as you can imagine. He actually forced me to take a picture of him in front of every animal. Immediately after he had to approve of the picure to make sure he could see the animal in the background. :) He's a funny kid. I'll spare you and only show one!Cousins make the best of friends!!

We had a blast visiting, taking turns babysitting while the others ran the great trails around my parents house, eating yummy food cuz we were all on vaca, and spending awesome quality time with each other. I even got to meet up with an old friend from high school one day which was awesome!

Sunday came and Justin gave an amazing talk at church and then unfortunately we all had to head our seperate ways! But not before more pictures of course!!! :)

Again, do you think Kaden could love him any more? Although he was a little jealous that Justin got to ride on an airplane and he didn't!!

All the family that came to listen to J. We filled up half the room I think! What great family support we have!
Wow how our family has grown, and were still missing Dad in this picture!!The proud momma and her baby. Sorry mom even with heels he towers over you!! :) Great things come in little packages!Justin and Abby

I love you J!!! I'm so proud of all your hard work and selflessness. You are an amazing brother and a great example to me!! On our way home we made a stop in Santa Barbara to see Sally. We couldn't pass through without allowing her to see her little boyfriend!!! :)

Thanks for sticking it out through that. That whole week was so amazing! There were too many pictures to choose from and I still left out a ton!