Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Feb.- Rest of Week 3 and some 4- Babysit Winegars, 100th Day of School, Eli's Party, Preschool

While we were gone in Hawaii, we were so blessed to have wonderful family members taking care of our crew back home.  These are all the pictures they took of our kids and shared with us.  
Dan's sister Sarah Jane (and Jake)...
my brother and sister...
Sam and Lara...
And Adam and Pidi!  Thank you all so much! 
We got home Monday morning around 8:15am after stopping for a quick McD's breakfast.  The kids were already up and eating breakfast as well, and thankfully, since it was President's day, McKenna did not have to go to school.  That morning (and day) we had also previously volunteered to babysit the Winegar kids while Swa and Jake were on a cruise.  We spent most of the morning cleaning, organizing, doing laundry, unpacking etc. while the kids played great together, which was very helpful.  The babies were especially helpful when Dan was doing the dishes.  
Dan also took the big kids out for a little walk because they wanted to deliver some Valentines to neighbors.  Thankfully, Dan decided to stay home from work and we each had a brief moment to nap at some point during the day.  But, boy do I look pretty hashed giving Ellie her last bottle before bedtime.  And miracle of all miracles, all 6 children slept through the night!!  Phew!!  
Tuesday morning, McKenna was off to school like normal and then Brynn came and picked up the Winegar kids for her day of babysitting.  I had a doctor's appointment that day to check on baby #4 and all looked good.  

On Wednesday McKenna had a playdate after school with two neighbor girls.  We also played a little outside...hooray for the nice weather!  Ben drew his first distinguishable person.  This is a self-portrait (on the left).  :)  Later in the week, he also left some "tracks" for me to follow one night after dinner as he was headed to the potty before changing into jammies.  Such a silly boy! 
Thursday I volunteered in McKenna's classroom.  The weather was nice enough that we did homework on the front porch while Ben was at Preschool and Anna napped.  
Friday was McKenna's 100th day of school!  I volunteered to go help out in her classroom for their "party."  I was in charge of a station where they got to write about what they would do with $100.  Most of them were petty realistic and they just wrote down a few toys they wanted.  
This was a picture of herself she decorated to make herself look 100 years old.  

Dan went on a campout that night with the 14-15 year old boys from the ward. After the kids went to bed, I spent the evening writing thank you notes and watching TV.  
Saturday we did the usual grocery shopping then attended cousin Eli's 4th BD party at Grandma's house.  

Monday Ben and McKenna both got haircuts and I babysat cousins Eli and Lola in the afternoon.  That evening, my brother babysat Anna while we took Ben and McKenna to the Jazz (vs. Spurs) game.  We ate dinner at the Gateway food court before the game and made it on time for the kids to see all the fun pre-game and introduction stuff.  
While Dan was out getting some concessions with Ben, the 1/2 Bear came right over to our seats and sat down by Kenna.  He scared both of us at first.  Then I scrambled to take a few (blurry) pictures.  
Overall the kids loved it, but definitely started getting tired shortly after halftime and asking when we could leave.  The picture on the right is Ben snuggling me with his head in my hood.  

Tuesday was cousin Truman's birthday, so we met some cousins at McDonald's to play and eat lunch.  As soon as McKenna bit into her hamburger, she lost her first top front tooth.  It literally fell out to the ground and we had to search a little for it.  She was pretty embarrassed because she was so worried how the look of her smile would change, but I finally got this picture of her "new" smile while I hosted preschool later that afternoon.  We were doing the letter "Uu" and ate our snack UNDER the table.  :)  
We also made some Ukuleles out of boxes.  
The next few pictures are from the end of February but I don't exactly know when they were taken.  
Anna found a new love for headbands. 
She loves to copy her older siblings.  Also, whenever I sit down with the laptop, she climbs up on the couch next to me and sits by me and shares my blanket.  :) 
Ben was creatively helping us move stuff around the house to prepare for our visitors.  He also had to try out the headband.  
Two Instagram posts: Ben's awesome bed head! One of my favorite things about McKenna being able to read is that she can read books to and help entertain Anna. :) 
Wednesday, I ran a bunch of errands and finished getting ready for some visitors we had coming. 
Wednesday bath night, I let the kids try out some new bath crayons.  They loved having something new to do in the tub and they wash off just as easily as I had hoped!  
 Late that night, Dan went to the airport and picked up my brother-in-law, Justin (married to my sister Emily) and their three oldest kids.  Emily and their youngest, had flight troubles and didn't make it in town until the next day.  

Monday, March 16, 2015

Feb.- Week 2/3- Hawaii (Saturday and Sunday)

Saturday morning, we woke up, showered, and had the most delicious breakfast on the road.  This is an acai bowl!  Acai is a berry from a special palm tree.  The berries make a special kind of "yogurt/smoothie" and then they add fresh fruit and granola!  I have had two dreams about this since we've been home.  It's THAT amazing and delicious!  

We drove to the Laie, Hawaii Temple by way of the east side of the island.  The scenery was breathtaking, even in the pouring rain, and looked like the places where they filmed Jurassic Park.  We did a session and then tried to take a few pictures in the rain.  

Then we headed to this yummy burger place and Dan's burger was too tall not to document.  
Then, we headed to the Polynesian Cultural Center.  This was my favorite part of the whole Hawaii trip!  We arrived just in time for what they call the Canoe Pageant.  They float down the river doing dances from every Polynesian country.  Funny side note, in the bottom right picture you'll notice two ducks who happened to be doing some naughty things right there in front of everyone. Eventually, one of the guys steering the boat jumped off and broke them up.  Everyone got a good laugh out of it.
We had a lovely tour guide from Fiji who took us around to a few of the countries' villages.  One of the favorites was Tonga where we saw their drum show.  They were pretty funny calling people up from the audience to learn how to use the drums.  This Japanese guy in the bottom picture was particularly entertaining to watch because the cultures are so different.  The Tongan guy would try to get him to scream like a warrior and the response he got was pretty humorous! 

It sprinkled a little for about the first hour we were there, but thankfully it cleared up after that.  
We also took a small canoe ride ourselves and saw a few of the villages from their waterway.  No seasickness this time! ;) 

Of the 6 villages, we visited 4 and learned a little about each of their cultures: Tahiti, Fiji, Tonga, and New Zealand.  Once our tour was over, we headed over to dinner!  
We dined in the Prime dining room and the food was amazing!  

Then, we did a little souvenir shopping as well as watch a short IMAX video called "Journey to Hawaii."  
Last, we went to the "Ha! Breath of Life" show! It told the story of a young man growing up in Polynesia and once again showed dances from each of the countries.   

We also had the most amazing ice cream during intermission.  
After the PCC, we drove for about an hour to a different hotel on Waikiki beach.  We had a pretty sweet view of the city from our room.  But Dan's parent's room was a SUITE and it was amazing!  
Here's a shot of the sunrise and sunset on our last day! 
Sunday, we went to Dan's parent's room and ordered room service for breakfast.  We showered, packed up, and left the hotel in time to go to 11am church.  The building we went to is the stake center/tabernacle for Honolulu and it is such a cool building and chapel.  I also took this 18 week pregnancy picture. :) 

We changed clothes and headed over to Pearl Harbor.  We got right on the next available tour boat going out to the USS Arizona memorial.  Again, no seasickness! :) 



It's a beautiful and somber place.  Definitely a humble reminder of those who sacrificed so much to protect our freedoms.  
We ate a late lunch at a delicious Mexican restaurant, then headed over to the "Punch Bowl," a Pacific War memorial.  Dan's great-uncle, John J. Webster, is on the wall.  





Next, we headed up to the Pali lookout.  In the 1700s, two tribes were fighting over land.  The winning tribe drove their enemy to the top of this point and pushed them over the edge of the cliff.  It's a gorgeous view!  Usually very windy, but on this day it wasn't too bad.  

After the lookout, we drove and chased the sun to try to catch a sunset on the beach.  Unfortunately, traffic did not allow for it.  It set too quickly and we ended up getting to Waikiki beach just after dark.  We walked along the beach and main street for a while and enjoyed some ice cream treats.  Waikiki reminded me quite a bit of Miami.  It's very busy, touristy, and dirty.  We saw a few drunk homeless people here and there doing things they shouldn't have been doing.  We filled the rental van with gas and then headed to the airport for our red-eye flight home.  I think I slept for maybe 4 hours off and on.  Not terrible, but not great.  It was certainly an amazing trip!  We saw, ate, and did SO much!  I feel like I really saw almost all of Oahu!  We can't thank Dan's parents enough for spoiling us so, so much!  Can't wait for our turn again.  ;)  

While we were gone, Aunt Lara took this video of Benny singing while she played the piano.  He had a cold so his voice in pretty cute and raspy.  
video