Sunday, April 13, 2014

A haircut

For school, Hannah had a test to see if she can get started cutting actual hair! Seth agreed to let her cut his hair. It was just a 90 degree cut, which meant she only had to trim it straight across, nothing fancy.. So, after school Seth and I headed over to Brigham to Bridgerland. I had to snap a picture of Hannah hard at work!

She passed her test! YAY! One more step towards actually cutting REAL hair!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spring Break 2014 (A VERY long post)

We have some great friends named the Braziers. David and Jared went to school together, and I've known Jared since high school.  When he and Amy got married, she just fit right in. They have a daughter named Jasmine who is Hannah's age and a son named Micheal who is Seth's age.  They lived close by until about 5 years ago when they moved to Utah County for a job. We've missed having them close, but love to spend time with them. They invited us to go on a trip with them for Spring Break this year, and of course we said yes!

Amy wanted to keep it a surprise until right before we left. She's been planning it since September, so we had lots of time to mess with our kids! They all knew we were going on vacation somewhere warm over Spring Break, and that we were going to fly, but that was it. Hannah was convinced that we were going to Africa on a service mission, Lyra and Pyper were convinced it was Hawaii, and Seth thought we were touring lighthouses on the Oregon coast.

We flew out on Thursday morning, so we spent the night in Orem on Wednesday and told the kids where we were going.  Amy had made some bags with things for them to do on the plane. She gave them to the kids and told them to figure out where we were going. I was a little worried that they might be disappointed if it wasn't somewhere really exotic, but I think their reactions were pretty great! Amy and I had went and got pedicures earlier that day and she had told me where we were going then, and showed me the bags she had made.
My cute toes on the left, Amy's on the right. We got matching flowers!

Here is the video of the kids opening their bags. 

DISNEYLAND! We are going to Disneyland! I have wanted to go to Disneyland for a long, long time, and it will be super fun to go with such great friends.
We went to the hotel that night for a couple hours of sleep. Honestly, I think we were all too excited to sleep! We all giggled like kids all night! Our flight left at 8, so our morning came really early! We met back at Jared and Amy's house at 5 (after a McDonald's drive-thru breakfast stop that took forever!) and the shuttle picked us up and took us to the airport. It was a long wait until our flight left. I guess that's what happens when you get there at dark thirty am! Kari had warned us that it might be busy at that time of day, but it was fairly quiet and security was a breeze! 
To pass the time we spazzed out a little...

...did some GQ poses...

...Chatted with our besties...(this is Amy and I)

...played games on phones...(he was actually trying to deal with the fact that we were about to fly, he hates it!)

 ...took some selfies....

...and listened to tunes. (This is Jasmine.  Funny side note, we've known each other since before she was born and she always thought we were related. We do all the important life events together, I can see why she'd think that!  She realized very recently that were aren't ACTUALLY related and was quite offended by it! It made me laugh! I guess it's true what they say about friends being the family you get to pick!)

Pyper was pretty excited to fly. That's our plane in the background just after it pulled up to the gate.

More photos on the plane! We were such the tourists, you'd think we'd never been anywhere before! I think we were all just super excited!
Jared And Amy

Hannah & Jasmine's airplane selfie

The kids thought it was pretty cool that we were above the clouds.

David's a nervous flier, and Lyra was really scared. so we made them ride together so they could annoy each other!

Seth and Michael were excited to fly.

So was Pyper. She just couldn't believe that were were "really on a real live airplane!"

These two were old pros. They were the only ones of the kids who had ever flown before. 

 We got to California, got the rental cars, and headed off to Sea World.  We got to do the Animal Interaction tour. It was so fun! We got to go back to the dolphin area and see the dolphins. We went right up next to them and got to pet them, feed them fish and Jell-O (did you know dolphins like Jell-O? Me either!), make them do tricks, and take pictures with them. It was amazing. We also got to see some sea lions that they are rehabilitating while back there.

Next we got to see the Eels. They actually aren't on display anymore, so it was really neat. They said they have over 500 different animal species at Sea World. We got to feed the eels, they eat squid!  There was a Plexiglas cover with little tubes in it over the top of the eels. You hold the squid in the tube and the eels smell it and come eat it out of the tube.

 Some of us thought about sampling the squid ourselves...

The last animals we got to see were the sea turtles. We fed them lettuce, and they loved it! We also learned some fun facts about them...the temperature of the nest determines the sex of the babies--hot =girls and cool =boys;  they don't have to be wet, they can sun on the beach;  they can also hold their breath for FIVE HOURS!

Some of us rode Journey to Atlantis, others of us chickened out! It was one of the best rides of the week!  We all decided that this picture was pretty classic! And it was one of the few of the week that you could actually see Pyper! She usually got photo-bombed by some tall person in front of her! She is quite the adrenaline junky and rode every single ride that the big kids did.
After we spent most of the day at Sea World, we headed off to our dinner reservations at Medieval Times. It's a dinner and jousting tournament. We sat around an arena, ate our dinner and cheered on the yellow knight. All of the girls were in agreement that he was the dreamiest of all the knights!  He even threw Lyra and Pyper a carnation! David wouldn't get his picture taken with our dreamy knight, go figure!

 Seth was in heaven! He wants to be a knight so badly! He was definitely born in the wrong time period! 

After dinner, we headed back to the hotel and crashed hard! It was a long day!  When we got there, this cute little elephant was waiting to welcome us.

Day 2: We headed out to Disneyland. On the walk there we met this fellow who had a parrot riding on his bicycle with him. It was pretty funny. She sat on my shoulder and tried to eat my glasses.  Then she let me hold her while she played dead.

  We got to the park and right off the bat, we met Cinderella!  She signed our autograph books and took a picture with each of us.  (A little funny side note, Pyper HAD to have her hair in Minnie Mouse buns. After she saw them, Bugga decided she needed them as well. They had so many people tell them how cute their hair was!)

We rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and took this AMAZING picture of my Bug and Jasmine while waiting in line.
 We took a sail on the Sailing Ship Columbia.All the kids took turns at the "helm".

We ate lunch at the Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue. We all decided that of the places we ate in Disneyland, it was our favorite. The food was delicious, all you can eat, and reasonably priced. 

Next we headed over to Tomorrowland and rode Space Mountain. This was my favorite ride of the trip. It may be because I love roller coasters and riding in the dark just took a roller coaster to a whole new level! Pyper is sitting by Hannah on the second row, but like I said earlier, she kept getting photo-bombed by tall people in front of her! In this case it was Michael!

We rode a few more rides (Star Tours was a general favorite) and wandered around and saw all the things we could.

That night we had dinner at Joe's Crab Shack.  It was late, very late. And we were all very tired. But Pyper was REALLY tired! We ordered our food and were waiting for it to come. I looked down the table to see how she was doing. She was fast asleep! It was then that we deemed our first day at Disneyland a success! I also discovered that it was my birthday again. I got tho play the inflatable guitar with a chicken hat on my head while the restaurant sang Happy Birthday to me!

We went back to the hotel and crashed HARD!

Day 3: On Saturday, we decided to go to Universal Studios.  We drove out to LA and saw the HOLLYWOOD sign on the mountain.  We were pretty excited about it, but dumb David wouldn't pull over on the freeway for us to get a picture! Don't worry, we all told him he was a party pooper! I think he may have been having a little bit of anxiety about driving in the LA traffic!  

We met a celebrity on the red carpet on the way in.

We also took silly photos!

The Water World show was going to start just soon after we got there, so we went there first. It was amazing! The set was awesome and it was interesting to see all the pyrotechnics. I can't believe how hot they were! The show was also very entertaining!

We stopped at Mel's Diner (from the TV show Alice!)  It was fun to be in the diner that looked just like the one on the TV show! Just as we were finishing our lunch, David came running around the corner. He had gone to find water, and while he was there, saw the new Despicable Me ride. It wasn't open to the public until April 11. They had it open to season pass holders that day. Since they didn't have enough people to fill the ride, they opened it to the public.  We hurried and dumped our garbage and ran over to see if we could ride. We were lucky and got to ride! It was so fun! It was a 4D simulator, which meant that not only was it in 3D, but there was also smell and water spray and such. At the end of the ride, we got to meet a couple of minions and take pictures with them.

 Seth loves minions!




We let the bigger kids go off on their own for a couple of hours (I about had a heart attack about it, too), and us adults and Pyper walked around for a bit.  

We met one of the Queen's guards who wasn't super serious about his job!
 He was pretty excited that our shirts matched...

 ...and that Pyper was just the right height for an armrest!

 He also gave Amy some bunny ears!

We tried out the directors chair...


...and found the Mystery Machine!

We rode The Mummy.  While we were waiting in line, we saw Anubis and Nefertiti.
Pyper makes a good Egyptian goddess, Nefertiti told her so!

Amy loves Anubis! (He was pretty dreamy, as far as us girls were concerned!)

After we rode The Mummy, we decided to ride Jurassic Park.  

The dinosaurs were so cool!

After that, we met up with the rest of the kiddos and decided to take the Studio Tour before we headed back to the hotel. I think that was my favorite part of Universal Studios.  We saw the Bates Motel from Psycho... 

The plane crash from War of the Worlds...

...Wisteria Lane from Desperate Housewives, Jaws (he's much less scary in real life! He lives in a pond!), King Kong 360 (which was a huge impressive simulator), and we even got to go inside a studio and see how they do the special effects. 

After that, we headed back to the hotel, swam, and had pizza! And crashed...again!

Day 4:  Sunday we went back to Disneyland. We met Chip & Dale just inside the gate to California Adventure.  It totally made Jared's day, they are his favorite!
Tonya, Pyper, Hannah, Chip, Jared, Amy, Dale, Lyra, Jasmine

The bigger kids talked us in to letting them venture out on their own again for a few hours. Since they had done alright the day before, we let them.  Hannah even promised not to lose Pyper.  The only thing that made me mad was that they PROMISED to go on Tower Of Terror with me. They totally lied and went without me!   

Just before they left, we met Mickey!  He signed our autograph books.

Us old fogey's headed over to Cars Land.

Holy cow! We're in Radiator Springs!

We met Mater! Jared, Amy, Mater, David, Tonya

We met back up with the kiddos and rode the Cars ride. It was so much fun! We had gotten a tip from a local earlier in the day to use the single rider line.  It worked well. At least two of us got to ride in each car, and we only had to wait for about a half an hour instead of 3 hours!

That night we ate dinner at the Rainforest Cafe.  We loved the Lego sculptures outside the Lego store in Downtown Disney!  The entire sculptures were made of Legos, and they were HUGE!
Pyper next to Belle and the Beast

Seth loved this dragon on the top of the building.

It was RC from Toy Story!  Lyra, Pyper, Michael

We got frog hats...
..and took silly pictures in front of the aquarium.

and enjoyed our dessert!

Our dinner was delicious, as was the volcano we ordered for dessert to share.  After dinner, we watched the fireworks and rode the teacups. (Well, my girls rode the teacups, spinning things make me barf, so I just took their pictures!)

Day 5:  Monday we spent at Disneyland again. David, Lyra, Pyper, and I left early so we could meet Elsa and Anna. We stood in line for 2 and a half hours. My kids better realize how much I love them after that! Jasmine and Hannah met up with us at the front of the line. Boy do they have good timing or what!  
Olaf kept us entertained while we waited!

 Elsa, Jasmine, Anna

Elsa, Hannah, Anna

Elsa, Pyper, Anna

Pyper was pretty smitten with them, and they were so cute to chat with her while they signed our autograph books!

Elsa, Lyra, Anna

 Elsa, Tonya, Anna

After we finished with Elsa and Anna, Amy, Jasmine, and I went shopping to find everyone t-shirts.  Jared, David, and all the rest of the kids headed out to ride some rides.  

Amy, Jasmine, and I took some pictures while we were out and about. This was my favorite!
Tonya, Jasmine, Amy

Seth even got to meet Buzz Lightyear! 

We met up for lunch at Ariel's Grotto. We got to meet Ariel before dinner.  She told us that she hoped we flew, because she was sure we couldn't swim from Utah to Disneyland!

We were all super impressed with how beautiful our food was. I told myself that I'd never take pictures of food because it seemed silly. But seriously, it was so cool looking!
 Sautéed Shrimp and Angel Hair Pasta

Citrus-Glazed Chicken Breast

Grilled Lobster Tail Salad

 Red Oak-Smoked Honey-Whiskey Barbecue Tri-Tip

Ursula's Octo-Dog (This was my favorite, it was so fun!)

For dessert we got a little sampler.  It had a chocolate strawberry, a s'more. and a creme brulee.

Except Pyper, she got this. A cookie, Jell-O with whipped cream, and a chocolate Strawberry.

We met the princesses as they came around to the tables.
 Hannah's favorite princess is Belle. She was happy to meet her!

Seth asked her to marry him!

Aurora was there. She warned Pyper about spinning wheels.

And Mulan happens to be Lyra's favorite princess!

Cinderella was also there!

Honestly, meeting the princesses was fun, sitting on the pier and eating was delightful, the food was amazing to look at, and dessert was delicious...but sadly it just wasn't great!  If it hadn't been included in our package, I wouldn't pay for it. The food just wasn't very good!  It was a fun experience, but I won't do it when we go again.

We went over to Toon Town, rode the Roger Rabbit ride, and took some silly pictures.
 Lyra lifting the dumbells.

 Breaking out of jail.

 David listening to the police phone. It told puns, Hannah and I laughed and listened to the whole loop of recordings!

 Hannah was very amused!

Lyra blew something up!

We turned the kids loose again, all but Pyper. She came with David and I. We rode a few more rides.  Pyper thought she was pretty funny and told me that they had gotten soaked on Pirates of the Caribbean, and that I had to go. She then told me that it was really scary, and giggled when I asked her if that was all.  She thought she was pretty smart!

We ate dinner at the Village Haus Restaurant.  It was my favorite after the Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue.  We had the Black Forest Cupcakes for dessert, and they were delightful. Although, we probably could have shared them, they were huge!  We rode a couple more rides and then took our time getting back over to California Adventure.

We wrapped up our Disney trip with World of Color. It was spectacular!

We were all worn out by the end of the night. I think this picture about sums if up...
She fell asleep while we were waiting for the rest of the gang to join us.  She also fell asleep on the five minute bus ride back to the hotel.  Even though our hotel was only a little more than a block away, most of us were so tired by the end of the night that we rode the ART bus back!

Day 6:  We went to Huntington Beach before we flew out that afternoon. I wish we had more time to spend there, I love the beach! I could have sat in the sand and read my book for hours.  
The kids had fun collecting shells and playing in the waves.

See that wave behind us? It about took me out! Any thoughts I had of just wading and not getting soaked were dashed about 30 seconds after this picture!

It was the perfect ending to our trip!

After the beach, we headed back to the airport (John Wayne if you're curious. SO much better that LAX! It was quiet, and we were through security in about 15 minutes!).  We took back the rental cars, ate lunch at McDonald's, and then tried to stay awake until our flight.

Then we headed home!

It was such a fun vacation that we took the next day off to recuperate! Thanks Braziers for including us, we sure had a grand time!