Homeschool Conference!!!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Monday, October 11, 2010

We made it!!!

Well to start with you should all have an update...
We have ALL of our kiddos and our two grandbabies with us. The only one missing is our son-in-law. He couldn't get away, so we stole our daughter and her babies! Wish he could be with us, too! The way this happened was kinda funny...

I was talking with Shealyn on the phone Friday morning and she was talking about us leaving and wishing they could go. They couldn't afford to make the trip with us and she had told the little girls that was the reason they wouldn't be joining us. Well our little Natalie piped up with "Mom will pay for you to go!" So I told Chad what our conversation had been and he said well then let's just go pick them up, they can ride with us and we'll make it happen. So that's just exactly what we did. We are always so last minute and what a fabulous last minute treat to have all of our kids with us for this vacation! My dream come true!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This vacation wasn't even supposed to be happening right now and then to have it all come about in two days time and add Shealyn and her kiddos to the party is amazing!!!

So now, I'll share the rundown as I've typed it along the way to arriving here -- drum roll, let the adventure begin....

Just after leaving town, we find out that Uncle Sam's ashes may not be able to be spread this weekend as they now believe that a river is running through the homestead that he was to be spread over...hmmm, this causes a slight problem. Chad's Dad and Uncle Jim spent most of Thursday evening and Friday a.m. into the afternoon searching, ended up lost and came to the conclusion I just we had to decide what do we do ~ we've already told the kids we're going, we're packed, everyone is loaded in the van, we now have Shealyn and little ones...what to do??? Well, that was a pretty easy one -- start driving -- Disneyland has been waiting a lifetime for us!

Spent the night in the van somewhere in Nevada, not too far out of California…short night with very little rest…with the exception of kiddos ~ they didn’t seem to mind at all (maybe the fact that they are small enough that it’s easy to stretch out just about anywhere, but those of us who are little bit on the larger side find it a tad more difficult to stretch out in a car to get comfy enough to actually sleep. But it did feel good to at least close our eyes for a while. After having enough of trying to flip from one side to the other in a great effort to have feeling back in the lower half of my body, we decided it was time to move on. We made our way in just a short time to Reno, Nevada…still dark out so the lights of the city were fantastic to see! We stopped for a few to stretch our legs…everyone else was snoozin’ away, so we ran into the closest hotel, found the potty and took a few photos. I can’t even imagine wanting to gamble, it was way too much fun just walking around looking at all the d├ęcor ~ quite impressive!

After leaving Reno, we headed for San Francisco…I haven’t been here since I was just a little girl. Chad was so excited to show us some great places. We visited Fort Baker and Point Bonita at the Golden Gate National Recreational Area…spent a couple hours there exploring and learning about the Fort. It was a bonus day for us ~ there were people lining each side of the road as we were driving toward the fort, we thought it a bit odd that there would be that many people, but there were some big events happening in San Francisco that day…the Blue Angels were making an appearance over the Bay, we watched them for quite some time, fascinating stunts these crazy people pull, the boys were oohing and aahhing all the while!

Next we made our way down to spend some fun time on the ocean beaches, we were just going to put our feet would think by now, after being a mom forever that I might have “known” feet cannot be the only thing to get wet, by the time we left most of my kiddos were soaked all the way to their shoulders, but the laughter was worth every moment of inconvenience of trying to re-dress in the van without any towels. Another one you would think I would have thought about before going to the ocean. Water, beaches, sand, kids…TOWELS!!! Oh well, we managed, and I am quite sure that the next time I head for any beach, towels will be readily on hand!
After our time of playing on the beach, we were on our way over the Golden Gate Bridge and so excited to spend some time in San Francisco, so hopeful of riding on a trolley car, walking through Fisherman’s Wharf, checking out Alcatraz…all the touristy types of things, BUT what we actually did was wade through the other 2 million people who had the same idea we had. We were never even able to find a parking spot, and we went through the entire city, one end to the other. It was unbelievable…so for entertainment we just watched people and sat in complete astonishment at the audacity of people on motorcycles…pretty sure some of these people had death wishes, they were insane! Maybe the funniest, or possibly the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen was the skateboarder making his way between the cars going down a very steep hill! Oh my, I’m pretty sure I’ve now seen it all and it was all right in San Francisco. Cannot even imagine why anyone in their right mind would ever want to live in a place like that…way too busy for me…
So we finally made our way out of this insanely crazy place and back across another bridge and on our way to find a hotel to rest our weary heads and bodies in. I was so tired, I didn’t even eat dinner. Fed all the kids nachos made in the microwave in our room and then I was off to the shower and never so happy to lay down (well, except for the first night on our way to Nauvoo) Our stay was in San Jose, or somewhere relatively close to there…I’ve been feeling a little lost over here!
This morning we were up and on our way, just a little indecisive about just what and where we wanted to spend our day. So many things to see, so little time to see them all in. Choices, choices, choices. My sweet hubby has always wanted to take us to Monterey Bay, he’d been there years ago, long before we were married and said one of the best aquariums ever was there. We spent some time on the beach, walked along the pier, watched all the seagulls and off in the distance
we could hear this peculiar “barking” sound…what was that?
The kids were all trying to check it out, a dog in the ocean?
No, not a dog, but a whole bunch of sea lions.
They were big and as cute as could be!
They were up on all the buoy’s out in the water and just below us in a little cove type of thing. They were quite playful and so fun to watch.
Along the beach, the boys saw a jelly fish, one of them was just reaching down to touch it when one of their older sisters yelled out, “Hey, that could paralyze you!” There was some serious backing away at that point.
After our playing and walking by the bay, we loaded back up in the car to go over to the Monterey Aquarium.
Oh my word…where do they get off charging such outrageous prices??? I’m tellin’ ya, I was quite irritated and my poor hubby was soooo disappointed, but we just could not pay over $250 for our family to walk in that door for a couple of hours, no matter how wonderful it may have been. Bummer! Once again, can I tell you how much I hate money!

Back on the road again and then another detour….I love that my husband is so willing to go anywhere to show us exciting things. He saw the sign for the Hearst Castle and wanted to show it to me.
We drove off the main road about 35 miles or so, arrived,
went in and guess what,
the tour was closed!
That’s just the way it is for us sometimes.
But, we walked through the Visitors Center and looked from afar at the beautiful castle. There were large photos of all of the rooms inside and the pools, this was one amazing place. It sat on some crazy amount of acreage, don’t recall the size at this point, but it was a beautiful grazing area for many animals, one of the most interesting for us to see were the Zebras…yes, that is right, Zebra’s and lots of ‘em.
The man who built this castle for his “retreat” was W. R. Hearst.
Still not entirely sure who this man was, I just know he was loaded!

We are driving toward Anaheim…
next stop DISNEYLAND
…at least right after sleeping in our motel for the night
…sure hope my excited little ones sleep and don’t stay awake half of the night in anticipation!
I tried telling them to hurry and go to sleep as we are driving because when we wake up we’re going right over to Disneyland,
probably should have just kept that one to myself,
cause the excitement is something right now.
Natalie just cannot stop talking…here’s just a little snipet of what she is saying:

“Mommy, when you went to Disneyland with your friends who are mommies, did you see Ariel? Was her hair made like how it looks on the movie, I want my hair to look like her hair tomorrow. Does she know I am coming? I need to tell her that she is my most favorite princess ever. Oh I just can’t wait to see her, do you think her hair is doing that swish over to the side, what do you think she’ll be wearing? Do you think she’s asleep right now?”

OH MY WORD…all I can say at this point is that ARIEL had better be there and be very ready for my little redhead to see her and want to talk her ear off. I better go searching for her first thing to make this one happen. Wish me luck!

We have officially arrived, insanely late and I am dying to be there when the gate opens at 8 a.m. So, why am I doing this tonight??? Great question -- m!ybe I am the MOST EXCITED ONE HERE!!! Okay probably not, but I cannot wait to enter gates with all my kids and to see the joy on their little faces! It may be a few days before I get back to this wonderful blogging world - or who knows - maybe I can add some more soon, never can tell what life will throw your way ~ just smile and catch it and move on with a little joy and all will be well!

Must try to get some sleep now...DISNEYLAND AND ARIEL ARE WAITING FOR US...