Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hiking with BG

A few years ago, we took the kids up Diamond Head on Oahu, and they whined and complained almost the entire hike.  It was bad.  Slightly embarrassing, seeing as we both come fromstellar hiking genes!!!  BG had a little talk with Kate and told her he was going on a really special hike later in the week, but it was only for tough kids who could keep up.  Could she hack it?  She needed to reclaim what was lost on that inactive volcano.  She went for it, and has been a changed girl ever since. 

So it was no surprise that while we were home, she asked BG if they could go on a hike together.  
Do you think he said "NO"?

Courtesy of Dad:
 Dad's always been an early riser.  I can remember when I was growing up and walking into the kitchen on occasional Saturday mornings to see the pink box sitting on the table with paper towels as plates at each table setting.  I always went right for the old fashioned glazed.  Love you, Dad.  Kate was totally fine with starting her day the same way :)


She loved it.  Thanks Dad.  I want to come along next time :)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Great America

America is great.  So what better way to finish up our trip than with a visit to one of the theme parks where I learned to love the thrill of a good roller coaster ride?  I hadn't been in over 10 years (yet another place we've never taken the kids) and Mom has been wanting to do this with all of her grand kids for at least the last few...So, the sweet thing treated all of us to a thrilling, fun-filled adventure packed day.  
 The first ride the big kids went on?  The Gold Striker.  Kate's 1st REAL roller coaster ride.  It was new, so I had zero advice.  We waited to see the looks on their faces when they came off.  The little guys hung out, just thrilled to be together.  Kate was speechless, a little shaky, but had the biggest grin on her face. 

 I was worried that every other kiddie ride we went on for the rest of the day would be boring after that-- but I couldn't have been more wrong.  It didn't matter what we were doing, we were with our cousins...

 I was with my mom and my sister...we were bound to have fun.

 Love this:  
 It's what makes being in Chile so hard sometimes.  We miss our best friends.  

Those little bods.  So cute.
 Luke could not get enough of this ride. He rode it, we are talking, like 18 times!!! 

I had to drag him away to finally try some other rides...

 Jake and Brik probably matched Luke when it came to how many times they rode the bumper cars
Kate and Gracie were just out for the next thrill they could find

 Loved this.  They didn't know I was trying to get a picture with my phone, and when I finally looked at this, I realized they were holding hands.  

 Love you, Mom.  Thanks for making our time at home truly a vacation. 
 As we neared the end of the day, I had to do it.  I had to try Gold Striker.  Mom stayed with the little guys and Jen, Brett, Gracie, Kate and I hopped in line.  It had been a while.  I've heard that after you've given birth, oftentimes, you don't enjoy the thrill of the rides as much.  I had to find out.  
  I guess you'll never know if I still love them, thanks to Brett's arm ;)  
Let's just say that I never caught my breath the entire time.  IT. WAS. INCREDIBLE.  

 What?!  Isn't it normal to have a little ice cream and funnel cake?  They go great together!!

 We came, we rode, we conquered. 
Thank you, Momo.  It was a blast. 

Having a Little Fun in Ptown

Our good friends the Payne's spoiled us with an evening at their home too!!!  So many highlights of our trip!  When we went to church in Pleasanton and saw all of the families we love, it literally filled our cups right up.  "So when are we getting together?"  Came the Bishop's inquiry... We thought we'd try to keep it low key and just meet them for dinner without the kids one night--but in a matter of hours, friends were invited, Cathie had a gourmet BBQ prepared and all of the amenities for a fabulous evening.  "And OF COURSE bring your kids!" They have been angels in our lives from the moment we moved to Pleasanton.  They are amazing.  Truly amazing.    
(So are my parents, because they happily took Luke for us in his I-haven't-had-a-nap-all-month- state so we could REALLY enjoy ourselves).
 We woke Jake up when we got to their home and still in his groggy state, he looked at the pool, the spa, the trampoline, the sport court, the fire pit, and all of the other kids, and said, "Mom, I don't know what to do."  As if there weren't enough options!! Larry said, "Well, let me get the jump house going!"  And up went the jump house.   Incredible.  
Needless to say, EVERYONE had fun :)

 Wish I brought my real camera, but here we all are enjoying Smores after plenty of eating, swimming, laughing and catching up.  

 It was a wonderful evening.  

And with everyone's busy schedules, you made us feel so loved by doing this!!

Thank you

What Should We Do?!

Clothes had been purchased.  Doctors had been visited. Shoes had been ordered. Teeth had been cleaned. Suits had been altered.  Favorite books and candies had been found.  Hair had been cut.  A handful of Costco and Target receipts were in my wallet as proof that I had left my mark.   All of the necessities were piling up in BG's office.  Joe and I looked at each other on Tuesday morning and said, "I think this is the only day that we don't have anything scheduled with anyone.  Let's take the kids to do something fun that we can't do in Chile."  We rarely get Joe all to ourselves, so this was a treat.  Miniature Golf and Frozen Yogurt after a trip to Chipotle--the kids request.  I couldn't believe I had never taken them before!!!!!!!
 Luke was protesting 36 holes. 
 I thought it was a bit much myself, but everyone made it to the end!
 We celebrated everyone's "Hole in One's" at a yummy Japanese restaurant with BG.
 Sometimes it's nice having a day together to play
 and be silly

Nothing Like the Ranch

 The kids (me too!) couldn't wait to get to the ranch to see Grandma and Grandpa Berryhill and all of their cousins and aunts and uncles.
   Immediately, Aunt Alisa had the kids outside, looking for insects, playing games and laughing hysterically.  She's amazing.
 We couldn't get enough of Kaylynn.  And honestly?  I don't think she minded all of the attention.  Check out the grin on that adorable face!!
 Everyone was thrilled to be together again!

So what was on the agenda besides just being with our wonderful family?

How about seeing Ethan's prized bunny at the county fair?  (Kate was in heaven)
and we couldn't miss cousin Gabby's pig either!!!

 It seemed appropriate after seeing all of the animals that on our way out we stop at the Dairy to have one of their famous milkshakes.  Well worth it.

Next?  Much needed QT at home:

 (the boys weren't too happy I made them stop playing and pose with Grandpa, can you tell?!)

We squeezed in a little time for art lessons:
 And of course, time to RUN and get WET on the football fields of lawn surrounding the house.

 And when it got a little cold?  Go inside and...
get snuggled, watch a movie...
 and let the adults have a little fun :)

Last but not least?  There's always time for a little party.
It really couldn't have been more perfect.  We were there to celebrate with Papa Berryhill on his 90th birthday.  

 It was so fun to see everyone and get caught up!  Some of the extended family we hadn't seen since our wedding!
Always a blast when the Berryhills get together.  Love you all so much!  Thanks for all of the time you carved out to play with us!