Two weekends ago we piled the kids in the camry and drove 2 hours to Half Moon Bay. I love the way that sounds, so pretty, Half Moon Bay! My sisters friend Jennifer is from San Francisco and suggested we check the pumpkin festival out and I'm glad we did! I am a total sucker for stuff like that! I guess Half Moon Bay is known for growing giant pumpkins and they have a huge festival every year. And it was huge! I felt like I was at Disneyland, the streets were so crowded! The Comfort Suites in Half Moon Bay was sold out, so we got a hotel south of the airport which was super busy!
As a sidenote on the airport hotel, there were tons of tourists and loads of Asians. And they loved Addison! They stared at her and talked to her. One even got a picture of her and Matt, and then when the kids and I got back to the table after getting our breakfast, they got another with all five of us. Addie was wearing a Halloween shirt and Matt pointed it out and said something about Halloween. The man in his broken English said "Oh, her name is Halloween?" It was kinda strange, but cute.
So the drive from the hotel to the festival was ridiculous! I'm talking traffic for MILES! We drove the 10 mile drive down there in about an hour. Matt was so flustered, he kept asking if we could just go next year instead!
Here we are just getting there. I'm glad we got this picture because it's one of the only ones we took at the actual festival.
The winning pumpkin. Not the prettiest thing I've ever seen, but huge!
Here we are just outside of town. They had tons of little pumpkin patches and corn mazes set up. We stopped here and had fun while we waited for the traffic to die down.
Addison found a gigantic pumpkin and decided she wanted to sit and chill for awhile. I have no clue what she's looking at, must be pretty interesting though because Matt couldn't get her to look at him for anything!
In between all the pumpkin festivities we made our way down to the beach. It was so pretty! They've got a huge state park there so we definitely plan on camping sometime soon!
Here's the path we took down to the beach. Matt carried Addie and made me nervous the whole time! He was careful and everybody made it down safely.
Shot of the whole fam'.
Matt had to put poor Addie's feet in. She didn't cry, even though the water was freezing! She just picked her feet up quickly.
The kids thought we were leaving right after the hotel so Christian got completely soaked! It was warm outside, but not warm enough to be completely sopping wet! Matt gave him the option of taking his pants off and walking around in his boxers... so he did! Boys...
And here is our boy! We didn't really know where we parked in relation to the beach so we ended up taking the long way back to the car. SO classy!
Whew, it's been awhile! We've been busy as ever. The kids and I got back last night from a quick 5 day jaunt to San Diego to visit some friends and family, I'll post more about that later, but in some exciting news... we finally have a house! After lots of prayer and lots of looking, we decided to rent. This will allow us to save money and get to know the area here a little better. We'll still keep an eye on houses and see if we find anything we just can't refuse. We signed a one year lease and are hopeful that by then we'll have a little better idea of what we're doing and where we'll be for a little bit longer. We'll be at our house tomorrow (Monday) but don't have movers coming with our things till Tuesday.
We got a house in a gated community called Lake Wildwood in Penn Valley. Lake Wildwood (according to our realtor) was meant to be a community of vacation homes but people liked it so much that they started living there year round. It's totally woodsy and hilly and all the homes are built around a huge lake. We went out to see our house this morning and there were tons of deer, wild turkeys, and squirrels running around everywhere! It will be very different!
It's a huge house, 3,200 square feet! It's got 4 bedrooms and a basement family room which I love!!! It's kind of an old fashioned house, but still nice. And one of the coolest things... we have a bidet!!! ****Matt and I have been sitting here for the last 10 minutes trying to figure out how to spell bidet!!! We googled bade, badee, bede, bedee, toilets (then I clicked on images, ohhh, yucky!), before I finally googled squirting toilets and found a wikipedia page with it spelled properly! Geez, sometimes I feel so slow!***** So if you come visit us you can try our bidet! I feel very satisfied that given this generous offering we will have loads of visitors! I know I'm excited to use it!
We are sooooo absolutely ready to have a home again! We left Clovis 22 days ago and have been moving around ever since. My goal is to have us all moved in by next Tuesday. I know it's a lofty goal. Especially considering we will need to buy a refrigerator and go on a major food shopping excursion to stock our shelves and all the stores are at least 30 minutes from our house! Oh yeah, that's one drawback. We're away from everything! There are a couple small communities around, and the Air Force Base is about 30 minutes away. Then after that is Auburn which is 30 minutes away too. I guess we're kind of used to that because in Clovis we had to travel an hour and a half to get to Target, Old Navy, and stores like that, but at least we had a Wal-Mart 5 minutes away! It will definitely be interesting.
Okay, that's all I have time for. I've gotten some complaints that I haven't posted many pictures lately. That's because I've been using our MacBook and I don't know how to reduce the megapixels and I don't want to waste all my picture memory on my blog! But here are some pictures of the kiddos to tide everybody over. I've got lots of fun things to post about that I'll try to get to soon!
I can't believe how grown up she is! She really is a young woman!
Christian is such a goof ball! I love this picture of him, it really shows his goofy personality!
Addie in her cute pumpkin hat that doesn't fit her gigantic noggin! I had this same problem with Christian, why do my kids have such huge heads?!
My sweet friend Carlen tagged me on a fun tag and I am just now getting around to it. I have a good reason though, I missed her original post! The way that I even found it was that on my sleepless night two nights ago I was blog stalking Sara and noticed on her blog tracker Carlen had a blog entitled Seven Things. When I checked the said blog I found all sorts of fun. I also found, and subsequently stalked a SUPER funny friend of Carlens from Nevadanistas fame - or for anyone that wants to check out and then stalk her super funny blog - Rachel. That cost me all sorts of sleep because I couldn't quit reading Rach's blog. I can call her Rach because now we go waaay back, good old friends.
Anyways, enough of that tangent. Without further ado, my seven things.
SEVEN things I want to do before I die:
ps - Ever since I (with a little, okay a lot, of help from my brother Tom) made my blog a three column blog this summer, I can't figure out how to center things. :( stupid computer illiteracy! Anyways...
1. Travel Europe 2. Take a cruise 3. Road trip the 50 states with my hubby - and yes, I know I can't exactly road trip out to Hawaii, but we can rent a car when we're there. 4. See each of my children happily married in the temple 5. Become a Grandma, but not toooo young 6. Serve a mission with my wonderful husband 7. Own our dream home
SEVEN Things I do now:
1. Clean - choices are: house, hotel, car, kids.... 2. Make lists and plan 3. Spend wonderful time with my very sweet family 4. Blogs and more blogs 5. Relax and talk on the phone (this is from a family squabble where I was accused, I will not say by whom, of ALWAYS relaxing and talking on the phone :) Okay, I am on the phone a lot, but anyone that talks to me regularly knows that I rarely relax while I do it! I do dishes (which everyone loves to hear, especially Jackie!), laundry, sweep, mop, etc. Most people have heard me apologize for breathing hard (I'm just a little out of shape, nothing major!) into the phone as I do these very, um, relaxing activities. Oh and now I breastfeed and talk on the phone too. Although lately Addie doesn't let me get away with that. Lately when I'm feeding her and I talk to anyone she unlatches and looks at me with those big, beautiful eyes as if to say "You are disturbing my feeding. Please zip it." 6. Look at ENDLESS houses. Online, in person, up close, houses, houses, houses... 7. Ummm... eat :)
SEVEN thing I can't do: (that I wish I could)
1. Sew 2. Play piano very well 3. Get the hair on the back of my head straight, there's always a wave! 4. Lindy-hop very well 5. Pass up a good bargain - see explanation for why I'm moving my family of five all around Sacramento every night 6. Understand why politicians never do what they say they will. Is there some kind of secret oath they take??? 7. Understand the words to most Maroon 5 songs. Imagine me singing "Six foot four, came without a door, so I had to shoot him dead..."
SEVEN things that attracted me to my husband:
1. His beautiful smile! Just like his mama, his smile can light up a room 2. His sense of humor, he always makes me laugh! 3. His service. Actually this was the first thing I noticed about him at that fateful dance! He went around helping - with the refreshments, stacking chairs, giving rides home, he was very willing to serve others (and he still is. :) 4. His hot dance moves!!! 5. How he honors his priesthood 6. How good he was (and is) to my (now our) children. He's had to learn really quickly how to be a dad and he's done a wonderful job!!! 7. His hot car! How I miss that 1987 Volkswagon Jetta!
SEVEN things I say most often:
1. "No way!" 2. "If you put one more toe out of line..." 3. "I love you!" 4. "What are you doing?" - that's one of my talking on the phone and relaxing lines :) 5. "I am so blessed!" 6. "Oh for the love...!" 7. "I'm hungry..."
SEVEN celebrities I admire:
I'm gonna take a page out of Carlen's book (or should I say blog) and go with my sweet familia!
1. My Matty 2. My Lexi-lu 3. My baby boy 4. My sweet baby Addie-bear 5. Teachers all around the world - givin' em' a little shout-out! 6. Mothers all around the world - another shout-out! 7. Cameron Diaz. Hey, I admire her hot bod', she's totally muscular!
SEVEN favorite foods:
Ugh, impossible to choose! It would probably be easier to choose my seven least favorite foods. But then I wonder if I could come up with seven, really I'll eat anything, I love to eat and sometimes plan my day around it, I mean, have you seen me lately? LOVE food! Okay, I'll try to pick only seven, so hard... stressing... hmmm, all this talk about food, maybe I'm hungry...
1. Symphony bar with nougets and toffee (king size of course. And sadly, I can eat the whole thing. Kinda makes my teeth hurt but I'm no quitter, I push through the pain!) 2. Mom's cheesecake 3. Texas sheet cake with vanilla bean ice cream 4. Most any ice cream but faves include rocky road, cookie dough, cake batter, and pistachio almond. And then any ice cream topped with marshmallow topping from Baskin Robbins! 5. Shave ice. Yum, I absolutely love shave ice and that's actually not all that fattening! Yea! Right before we moved, a brand new shave ice place opened in Clovis called Bahama Bucks and it's probably a good thing we left because that was some goooood stuff! Expensive but good! And they make a special one called a Bahama-rama-mama with ice cream at the bottom and cream swirled throughout. Yum.... bahama-rama-mama... 6. Red vines 7. And since I only have sweets on here, hmmmm, let's see... How about a Mexican plate with rice, beans, taco, avocado, cheese, sour cream... ahhh, I love food...
My ever so eloquent but straight to the point brother-in-law Mike was expounding on his theory of blogs to me one day shortly after I started my blog. He said that while he likes them, they can sometimes go one of two ways. They usually get either too show-offey or too compainey. He didn't say it in those exact words, but that's what I took from the conversation.
So I've always kept that in the back of my head. Yes, Mike, your words have touched me deeply. I always try to think, am I trying to brag? I don't feel like I ever do that, I'm okay on that I think to myself. Am I complaining too much? Ahhh, there it is. My nemesis. Complaining.
Lately I have felt an awful lot like complaining. So I haven't blogged. But as I was lying awake last night from 2:30 on (you might have noticed me checking your blogs, sending emails, and facebooking in the wee hours of the morning) I was thinking, yes this time is stressful, but there are also a lot of good things going on.
So here I am attempting to accentuate the positive. I have gotten to spend sooo much time with my children! What other time in the last few years, and in the years to come, will I have them totally, undivided attention and all? The past week and a half it has been just the five of us. All day long, except for Matt when he's at work. And while that has it's moments, it has also been really fun. We've talked so much more than we usually do, just because we've spent so much more time together than we usually do. Every night when the five of us go to bed in the same room, I think "Someday when they are all grown up and out of the house, I'm gonna look back at this time fondly."
I'm gonna think about how crazy we were, packing up and switching hotels every night in a (successful) attempt to gain free nights at Comfort Suites. You see my friends, Matt and I should have been born in the depression. We are penny pinchers. Turns out Comfort Suites are having a special where every third night you stay at a different hotel, you get a free night. So my super frugal hubby and I are milking it and switching back and forth between hotels here. Hey man, thats five free nights!
I'm gonna think about all the homes we looked at and how the kids ran from room to room, "calling" which room they wanted, telling me how we should or should not get each house. I'll fondly remember how I taught them not to say "We should buy that house!" but to say "That looks like it would be a nice house to live in." And how Addison cried and cried as we drove all around Sacramento with our very distinguished older gentleman realtor. How I apologized to him and asked him in a hopefully sympathetic way if he had any children. And then I'll look bask in the memory of how he told me no, he didn't have any children. Awkward is an understatement on those drives. But someday I'll look back and laugh.
So, the point of this blog is that I'm off of my blogging hiatus. I feel that I can blog again without being a totally complaining nelly. I think... but keep me in check, -k-? A girls gotta have some checks and balances ya know!
Good thing I have calmed down over the past few hours because if I would have had a computer nearby oh so help me!!! Picture smoke coming out of my ears. I was livid! Fit to be tied! Madder than a wet hen! My blood was boiling! You get the point, I was pretty t.o.'d!
I have been discriminated against. No, not because of my feminine wiles either, even though I could understand that since I'm pretty feminine with tons of wiles. No, no, I was discriminated against because of my children. My three beautiful, calm, ever so sweet children (picture me trying to type that with a totally straight face).
Yesterday we went to look at a house that was for rent by owner. We'll call it Property A.
Sidenote: Oh yeah, we decided to rent, again. First we were gonna buy, then rent, then buy, and so on a couple more times. This week, at least yesterday and today, we decided to rent.
ANYWAYS, the house was interesting, nothing we would ever buy, but we thought it would be fun to rent for a year. I liked it but still wasn't one hundred percent on it so I was trying to set up a showing of some other homes in the same neighborhood. After a long day of not being able to get ahold of the other property manager I decided to call the landlord of property A with a question about the very steep driveway.
Here's how it went down.
"Hi, I saw your house yesterday, is it still available?" - I asked this because she said that someone was very interested and might put in an application but they hadn't decided yet.
"Well yes, sort of. We've talked about things and we just don't think we want to rent to you because of the three children. You understand right?" said Property A owner. I must call her that because if I called her something else I wouldn't want small children to read it.
WHAT THE?! You won't rent to me because I have three children? She advertised on a Military website and she mentioned in her ad that they have very good schools in the area, doesn't that imply that children are okay? When we looked into renting our home, I took the time to read about discrimination and what we could base our decision to rent our home on. She, apparently did not. Here's what I found out during my 5 minute search of California law:
Under California law, it is unlawful for a landlord, managing agent, real estate broker, or salesperson to discriminate against a person or harass a person because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth or medical conditions related to them, as well as gender and perception of gender), sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, familial status, source of income, or disability 32.
If I was a different type of person I would file a lawsuit. Just the principle of the thing! But, I'm not. I believe in forgiveness. So I guess I forgive Landlord A for judging me and my children. Just hope I don't ever run into her on the street...
Okay, enough of that. How about my latest dumb blond moment. The other day the kids and I were getting ready to eat our VERY healthy McDonalds lunch and they wanted to play in the Play area, which I was all for (even though they're probably a wee bit too big) because we were on our way to look at houses. Anyways, I had my head down, no doubt multi-tasking with my purse, phone, diaper bag, big mac, insert item of choice here. Anyways, I was distracted and picked my head up to go through the door to the play area when, BAM! Hit my nose on the frame of the door! So hard! I'm talking stumble back wondering what the crap happened hard. Eyes watering and wishing I wasn't a grown woman at a crowded McDonalds so I could cry hard.
Luckily neither of the children saw my move. I wasn't brave enough to look around and see if any of the patrons were staring at me, although I'm sure they were because I kept saying to the kids "Oh my gosh, did you see what I just did?!", "Guys, did you see what happened?," "I think I broke my nose!" How red is my nose?!" Guys, did you see?" Now I have a lovely HUGE and very pink bump on my nose which probably resembles a huge pimple. I don't know whats worse, ginormous zit or lump on my nose from being an idiot. This morning after I ended my blog hiatus I decided to let Christian take a picture to post. Then I noticed that the redness has gone down a ton, but here you go. In all my glory.
Yesterday the kids and I hung out at the hotel until about 11:00 searching for something to do that would be nearby. We finally decided to bag that idea and head to the capital building. We were so glad we did!
Downtown Sacramento is beautiful! Very clean, lots of trees, and the weather yesterday was perfect! We walked around for awhile and got signed up for a tour. Then we walked past the governors office, where we had to stop and get a picture!
That's when we noticed that there was a cameraman positioned outside the governors office. So we asked if Governor Schwarzenegger was in. The guards said yes, but that he probably wouldn't be coming out those doors. We walked around for another little while and noticed more news people hanging out. That's where Addison came in handy. One woman, obviously a reporter was oohing and aahing at Addie and asked if we would like to see the governor. We said yes, we would love a glimpse. Then she told us that he was having a press conference on the front lawn at 3:30. So then we had a decision to make, do we trust her and take our hour long tour, or do we wait outside his office with all the newscasters and a large crowd of anxious people? We decided to trust her and went on our tour.
We learned tons about our new state and it was really educational for all of us! Here are pictures of where the house of representatives and senators meet and vote on laws. Very elaborate and beautiful!
After the tour we headed outside to the Veterans Memorial where they told us the governor would be. We found out that he was going to be signing a bill for a new law allowing families of veterans that passed away in Iraq to have a Gold Star license plate. There were tons of veterans and Gold Star families with posters and t-shirts of loved ones that had fought and died, very moving stuff! After about an hour of waiting, a black escalade pulled up on the corner and out comes Governor Schwarzennegar! There were a couple of speeches and then he signed the legislation. Then we had time to pose and try to get him in the background. So fun!
First here's a shot of Arnold.
Now us with Arnold in the back. He, he!
Needless to say we (at least I, the kids weren't too totally impressed) felt very lucky that we showed up on a day when the governor was not only there, but hosting a press conference! The whole capitol was very fun! Here's the picture Christian's sending to his class, so cute!
Monday afternoon we finally made it to Sacramento!!! All I have to say about traveling with a 4 month old is... it's way easier than traveling with a 2 month old!!! What a difference that small amount of time made to our sweet little baby! She's able to play with toys and hold things now and she's on more of a schedule so I was able to time things better. So much better than last time!!!
We were all soooo excited to see Matt! It's only been a month since he visited Clovis, but that's too long to miss eachother! Yesterday we woke up early to meet with a realtor who showed us homes in Grass Valley, Rough and Ready (weird name, huh?!), and... one other place I don't remember. It's really overwhelming, there's just so much to look at! And we're still not 100% on buying versus renting, but we have faith that the Lord will lead us to where we need to be.
Sooo, here are a few pictures from our super busy week. First, some of the house during the packing stage. Moving is hard enough with people packing and loading for you, I can't imagine ever going back and having to do it myself! Yuck! Add to that difficulty a four month old and.... headache! Thank goodness that we had some of the most wonderful neighbors ever! They watched Addie, fed us, and provided us with lodging so we didn't have to sleep in an empty house on air mattresses! Thanks Holly and Stacy!!!
And then the loading stage... Our other awesome neighbors, the Rays (yup, right next door, same last name) let us block their driveway ALL day Friday with this huge truck.
We were able to visit with our best friends before we left. Stacey and Remy on Tuesday night for a spirited debate party, then Stacey again on Wednesday. Kirsten and Jaron came over and hung out in our empty chaotic house on Friday. And we got to hang out with the neighbors Holly and Stacy and their families on Friday and Saturday. The kiddos got to spend Friday night with their friends and were really feeling good about leaving. They are doing so much better than I remember doing as we moved around when I was younger and moving around. Anyways, we didn't really get any pictures with our friends that last week because I was in serious cleaning and organizing mode, and when your that serious, there's just no time to do your hair or fix yourself up. So I was looking pretty scary. No need to document that, just trust me.
And then the leaving phase. Our loaders didn't finish till after 8:30 Friday night so after I put Addie to sleep at Holly's, I came back and cleaned till after midnight. Just those things I didn't dare do until after the moving team was done traipsing through the house with their dirty feet. So Saturday morning I still had to load the truck, get rid of the garage un-packables (thanks Stacy!) and vacuum our room and the garage. Then there were the goodbyes, and we didn't leave Clovis till 10:45. Good thing my wonderful husband convinced me to not overdo the driving (he knows me so well!) and break up the 20 hour drive into three days. So that first day we only had 7 hours to go. We still didn't get there until after 9:00, and we were all exhausted, so that worked out.
Anyways, some pictures. First the girls in the empty living room. Empty houses can be so sad!
Then some pics of the trip.
The first night we stayed in Winslow, Az. Matt and I have driven through there many times and we have always talked about stopping to get a picture of us standing on a corner there, but we never have! You know the song "Standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona, such a fine sight to see." Anyways, I was really excited that we were gonna be staying there so I could finally get my picture standing on the corner. So of course I forgot and didn't remember until we were about an hour away. When I lamented to the kids they had no sympathy for me. I thought about stopping when I remembered and just pretending it was Winslow, but it just wouldn't be the same. Sigh.
I couldn't get the heater worked out at that first hotel, so we had kind of a cold restless night. Good, but restless. The next day we got to Bakersfield. Very nice hotel, good stay. And then that left us 5 hours till Sacramento. Actually to Marysville, where we're staying. And there you have it. Our trip in a nutshell.
Now I'm trying to balance finding a place to live with making sure the children aren't rotting in the hotel room. We've got some fun field trips planned, I'm trying to keep some semblance of school for this crazy time while we're in limbo! So far we've planning visits to the Jelly Belly factory, state capital building, gold mines, San Francisco, and the beach. Doesn't matter what beach, just the nearest one. And then we'll do little units of study around each of those visits. I think it should be fun. Busy, but fun.