Friday, December 14, 2012

Disneyland vacation in major picture overload

Well, we had a fabulous vacation to California in October.  Emma was thrilled that we were actually in Disneyland on her birthday!  We drove and barely made it there.  We had to have our spark plugs replaced (which made the ride home much less stressful) and traveled home in one day!  Everyone actually did remarkably well.  We went with our wonderful friends, the Huff's, and rented a vacation home within walking distance to the park.  We spent 4 days in Disneyland, 1 1/2 days at the beach and also took in a dinner show at Medieval Times. It was record breaking heat the week we were there.  102 in Disneyland....and I didn't even pack shorts for myself!  Most of the pictures are of Kate, because she was the one that wanted to meet all the characters.  Everyone else was too busy riding rides!  I also threw in some pics of the house we stayed in.  It was nice to be able to cook our own food and be so close to the park.  Well....I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves!

Love that blue kitchen.  There were ants every freaking where.
 Oh yeah, we had our own private pool too.  Fun but freezing!  
 Emma got to wear a special Happy Birthday button so everyone could tell her Happy Birthday!
 The teacups, which I refuse to go on.  I just can't handle them.  How pathetic am I?
 Grant and Landon on Small World.  I have a picture of them in this exact spot when they were 5 years old.  Aw, so cute!

The awesome Lego store in Downtown Disney.  Yes, those are all legos!
 Love these kids! They all had so much fun at the beach.  And it felt so good because it was soooo hot!

Landon and Daniel especially loved body surfing
 Emma and Kate loved finding shells and Emma loved playing with Richard in the waves.
 Kate and Willa having an absolute blast!
 Love this picture at Medieval Times.  Just look at everyones faces!
 Emma was SO delighted to have received a flower from the Knight.
 This is a picture of our shower.  There is no door- just a big step down.  The shower curtain covers a window, but we thought it was extra cool because it was all rubber duckies!   And that is Kate in the picture with her princess hair she bought as a souvenir.
 Alice and the Mad Hatter
 I love taking a picture here with my girls, because I took a picture here with my Mom 5 years ago.
 Handsome boys!
 Jesse, Kate and Emma are BFF's
 Kate and Willa with Sleeping Beauty
 On the last day in Disneyland the Dad's and the 6 oldest kids wanted to go back to the beach.  They did and had so much fun!  The Moms and the little girls stayed at Disneyland and had the BEST lunch.  The monte cristo sandwich at the New Orleans Cafe.  It was worth every penny and calorie.  It was a big highlight for both us.  The girls really liked their macaroni and cheese too!
 Of course we had to meet Rapunzel and Flynn Rider
 ......and Tiana
 .......and Pluto
 .......and Mulan.  Kate never complained about waiting in line to meet the princesses.  I figured I'd better let her, since princesses are literally her whole world right now.
 This is the entrance to our cute and very colorful spanish villa.
 The entryway.  We only rented the lower level.  I wonder what it looks like upstairs.
 The front room.
We had a wonderful time!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Peace and Joy

I know, it's hard to believe that I have actually done a blog today.  And I'm even going to do more this week....with  pictures.  I just wanted to do a quick blog to say that I spoke in Stake Conference yesterday.  It seems better to say it here than on Facebook.  When I was called in to visit with the Stake Presidency, I panicked for a day, but then I knew they were going to ask me to speak, so I was prepared when I went in. They did not, however, give me a topic.  I was allowed to choose my own and had only 10 minutes to get all deep and meaningful and spiritual and thought provoking.  I spoke on the two gifts Christ has given us, the Atonement and the gift of Eternal Life.  I also focused on two words, Peace and Joy.  I was very pleased with how it went and was happy to have my heart stop beating out of my chest when it was over.  The presiding authority happened to be Richard G. Scott, so it was kind of a big deal.  When I finished my talk, he made it a point to say loud enough that I could hear him, "well done!"  I wanted to shake his hand afterwards, but he was quickly escorted out of the chapel right after the meeting.  The "well done" was sufficient for me!  I'm glad that it's over and I really was grateful for the opportunity, especially to focus more on the true meaning of Christmas instead of all the other crazy that is happening from day to day for the rest of the month.  Stay tuned...I think I'll even finally post about our fabulous Disneyland vacation!