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Thursday, May 19, 2016

March 2016, Spring Break SoCal Trip, and Legoland

Caleb has finally started coming around to want to say prayers, at an audible volume (he used to only be willing if he said it so quietly that no one could hear him), and some of them are pretty cute. Tonight he started in with his usuals, like "Thank you for dying on the cross for us (wow, Caleb), thank you for houses, thank you for everything...", and tonight he had a new addition (3/25/16):  Thank you for the solar system, thank you for Pluto, Goofy (oops, he stopped himself and corrected that one), Earth, Saturn, and Mars..."  Boy that kid sure listens to things we say (when he wants to)!

I was sharing with my grandma how crazy busy I had been the days leading up to having lunch with them, and she told me to write it down, because some day I will look back at it and be shocked that I was able to keep the pace I sometimes keep, so here are my busy four days:
Saturday: Special team-taught Jazzercise class at 9:30, Jazz meeting at 10:45, work at the shoppe at noon, go home to shower and then pizza with friends at 5pm.  Sunday: First time teaching Sunday School, come home finish getting house and food ready to host family at 12:30 for Easter.  Sunday night final prep for Spanish classes starting next day.  Monday: First Spanish class of Spring session, Teach jazzercise at 4:30, meeting at Debi's that night (cancelled, thankfully).  Tuesday: Teach Spanish at noon, Jazz at 3:15, and Caleb's game at 5:00.  Boy am I glad its now Wednesday!!

More fun dress up times with the Amazing Mr. Drouin (Caleb's Kindergarten teacher).  This was crazy sock day, which fell during Dr. Seuss Week, so Mr. Drouin of course made himself a Lorax costume.

I've been enjoying the days I have Landon home since next year he starts Transitional Kindergarten (TK) and will be at school every day.  He is such a silly kid and has fun exploring and doing new things, like taking your umbrella for a walk in the wagon in between rainstorms, and picking worms up out of the puddles using the stem of a leaf...

Our annual SoCal trip fell in March this year, now needing to coincide with Lodi Unified's Spring Break since Caleb is in Kindergarden and we can't skip school for trips like we could in preschool! The timing also worked out perfectly with getting to meet our new nephew, Kenton (Joey and Lindsey's second boy).

The boys have begun to look forward to these drives, for three reasons:  1. They know they will be getting to have lots of play time with cousins at the end of the long drive.  2.  They get to watch like four movies back to back in the car.  3.  They get to get up sometimes before the sun rises to leave early, which they think is SO cool. :)

Day 1 stop in Newport for a night to break up the drive.  Immediately out of the car and the boys were already driving in Deacon and Lanie's vehicle. Afterwards on to Uncle Joey and Aunt Lindsey's house and they went straight for Jackson's motorized car too.  Ridin' in style in the Range Rover.  Lol

We were so excited to meet Baby Kenton, who was surprisingly alert and awake for this picture, at only three weeks old!  Such a sweet little thing with his little grunts and noises, but never heard a cry!

Day 2 we headed further south and met Uncle Ben, Aunt April, and cousin Eli at Ballast Point Brewery in Miramar.  Huge brewery, very cool inside, and SO MANY delicious beers (some very unusual flavors) to try!

Wandering around on the hillside amongst the cacti in Uncle B and Auntie A's backyard...

Day 3: I didn't realize I was quite this excited, but maybe the picture shows how I really felt... April and I went to a Jazzercise class in Alpine, not far from her house and practically next door to the school where April teaches.  It was my first time taking a class in another city, and I was excited about it.  Have to say dancing on carpet was interesting, but so glad she came with me and we got to check out somewhere new!

Later that day we took the ferry across to Coronado. Eli's first boat ride maybe?  Kids did great and loved seeing the three aircraft carriers parked in the bay and Coast Guard boats running drills around us.

I LOVE THIS PICTURE.  I told the boys to stand together for a picture and this was the pose they gave.  Love how it shows how much they love each other.  Brothers :)

Day 4: First day of Legoland!  The boys talked about this for months leading up to our visit.  We had taken them two years ago, but Landon was too young to remember or do much, and this time it was perfect because they are both tall enough to ride everything, so it was a ton of fun.  AND we no longer have to deal with diapers, strollers, potty training, and pretty much can skip naps, which made for much less stress for Jimmy and I.  I actually said to him at one point as we walked behind the kids to the next ride, "Wow, I feel so not-stressed-out right now, this is actually enjoyable!"

Another hi light of this Legoland trip was that it was the boys' first experience with rollercoasters. They LOVED them.  Granted, the ones at Legoland are age appropriate and nothing too crazy, but it was a great introduction to them and nice to know we can seek out more thrilling options to try out in the future as well.

It's no surprise that the Star Wars Miniland was a huge hit with the boys as well.

The boys both went to 'driving school' and received their Licenses at Legoland.  Lookout!  Caleb actually did a really good job on the older kids' car track - I explained to him that when you drive you have to stay on the right side of the road, we practiced which side is Left and Right, and then he controlled his car perfectly and staying on the right side the whole time.  Hoping this good and cautious driving continues once he gets behind the wheel of a real car someday!

This was one of Caleb's favorites - you get to be on a second level shooting balls down to those below.  As you can see it was aimed right at the cameraman (me!).  He is a pretty good shot.

Day 5:  Legoland part two!  Our tickets gave us a second day free in the park, so we went on all their favorite rides a few more times that morning, until noon when the water park opened and there we spent the remainder of our second day.  No pictures from the waterpark, but it was very fun - they also loved the waterslides (also a first), and of course the shallow wading pool, wave pool, and floating river as well.  Mommy loved the big huge open-air waterslide with the round floatation raft thing that we all got to ride in together. :)  Enclosed waterslides are not my thing!

Below are shots from the very beginning and very end of day 2 in the park...

Something special that I wanted to do during our time in SoCal was go to a class in Carlsbad or Oceanside, the two centers where all the Jazzercise Corporate instructors teach classes regularly. Its a bit silly maybe, but they have a bit of celeb status to instructors since we see them on all of our training DVDs, and they're great instructors, so getting to take a class from one of them is a cool deal. I planned it out to go one morning while we were staying in Carlsbad for the Legoland days, and although Young was sick that day, Ashley (another instructor from some of our DVDs) was teaching instead.  I love getting to take classes in different cities and see people's different teaching styles, and even though we instructors get excited to meet 'the big deal people', when you are in their class and they share stories about their everyday lives, it reminds you that they, too, are just regular people... moms who had to rush to get their kids ready for school before they came to teach that morning, or whatever.  Fun experience, but a good reminder of reality too. :)

After the class I was about to take a selfie alone in the studio, and two other women (visiting instructors from Iowa) pointed out the other Jazzercise 'celeb' and President of Jazzercise, Shanna Missett Nelson.  She is the daughter of Judi Sheppard Misset, the founder and CEO of Jazzercise. Anyway, for those of you who saw me post this picture and had no clue who I was with, now you know.  I felt like such a dork asking her to take a picture with me, but I'm glad I did!

The second half of the trip we spent back in Orange County with my brothers and their families.  The boys have so much fun getting to play with all their cousins and talk about it constantly.

Train ride on the campus of the boys' church, Mariners.  So fun!  They also spread probably a hundred different balls all over a giant lawn for people to hang around and play with, they have super cool pirate ship and whale play structures, and the children's ministry building looks like you stepped into Disneyland, its SO COOL.  Needless to say the boys had a blast, and Jimmy and I really enjoyed their worship and the pastor's teachings that day too.   Very cool church.

Friday night was our bonfire night!  Pizza and S'mores on the beach.  The boys could fully enjoy being boys on the beach, tackling each other, wrestling, and running around - even Jackson, who is just 2, would run up and throw himself on top of the pile of boys, and never got upset if he got toppled or knocked off. 

...And speaking of being all-boy, here I found Landon and asked what he was doing.  "I'm making the sand wet with my spit mom."  Lovely. Ugh.  Lol

The return drive through the Grapevine was the prettiest I've ever seen it - with all the rain we had this year the mountains were covered in green, and in the week since we had driven southbound through these mountain, millions of flowers came into bloom, painting the hillsides orange and purple, it was amazing!!  My pictures don't fully capture it, but to give you an idea...

Haircuts, BOTH boys at the hair salon this time.  YAY Landon!

T-ball has begun!  Caleb is playing for the first time, and we chose to put him in Morada Little League.  Jimmy played Morada LL as a boy, and he is so excited to have Caleb starting it now too.  Caleb was of course excited about all the new gear he got to play in.  

Standing just like Jimmy...

Eyes on the ball, right where they should be!  Nice job Caleb!!