November 30, 2009

Fun with the Andrus family

My brother and his family are still living in California, at least for the next little while. So for now, we get to go spend time with Tom, Anne and the kids. During our Disneyland part of the trip, Tom, Anne and the little ones joined us for our day at California Adventure Land.
Jade and Ivy always have more fun when there are cousins involved.

Anne was a really good sport and took the kids on the Rattle Snake Rapids. The kids absolutely loved it and Anne put up with being wet and cold the rest of the night.

Tom couldn't ride many of the rides because he gets motion sickness. But he could do the Carousel- and he did A LOT with Ivy. The floated through the sea and they raced to the finish line. The fearsome twosome had an excellent time together.
To finish the night off we all (except Grandpa) rode the Toy Story Arcade game. Scott took first, Tom took second, Kieran took third and well, the rest of us didn't do so hot. Ivy refused to wear her glasses in anything 3D so I doubt she enjoyed it as much as she could have.

After the park we headed out for some excellent Thai food. Tom went to Yelp and found this little restaurant had a 5 star rating for food and only a 1 dollar rating for cost. Since my girls both love curry and the Andrus kids love sticky rice and noodle dishes, we were good to go.
They had wonderful dessert crepes and some of the best sticky white rice with Mango dessert. My Tom Yum soup was a hit and Tom's going to give making it a try. I found this recipe that I might have to try as well.

What a great day we had. There was a major "hiccup" but it will receive it's very own post.

November 29, 2009

Character Time

Disneyland wasn't very crowded the week before the week of Thanksgiving, but there were still waits for the characters and not very many of them around. We got pictures with the characters at Pooh corner. I got to have a picture with Eeyore.

The girls got pictures with Minnie each day- thus the three different outfits.

Ivy stopped to see Pluto every chance she got. She LOVES Pluto. She kissed Pluto every time she posed with him.

Santa isn't a Disney character, but I felt this was the right place for this picture.

We really LOVE Walt Disney and his imagination that has made many memories for our little family.

Family Time

Apparently 2009 is the year of family pictures for our little family. My mom made sure we got some of the traditional Disneyland pictures. I love all of them...

November 28, 2009

Christmas Time in Disneyland

During our trip to California, we enjoyed the Holiday season at Disneyland. It was amazing weather (in the 70's all three days) and the park was not busy (by Disney standards). The whole park was dressed for the season. I want to decorate my home like Disneyland- with big bright colors and fun crazy decorations.

There are 100,000 lights on the small world and the landscaping around it. It was gorgeous.
Inside the Small World, they have redone it for the season and the music was "It's a Small World", "Deck the Halls" and "Jingle Bells". They had redone the whole thing with traditional Christmas decorations from different countries.

Disneyland is wonderful at Christmas. It is wonderful at Halloween too, but Christmas is the best.

November 27, 2009

Wild Animal Park- the ANIMALS

I love the San Diego Wild Animal Park. I love the work that they are doing to help preserve the wild life. I love getting to see the animals roaming in what is close to their natural environment. I love seeing animals in a setting that allows them to be re-introduced into the wild- if necessary. I really do just love the Wild Animal Park.

Another thing I loved about it was that it was empty. We weren't bumping into people and we weren't waiting in any lines.

For the Birds...

When traveling with kids, I think it is wise to always have a pocket full of quarters. Not for buying candy for the kids, but for buying food to feed the animals. At both Sea World and Wild Animal Park, the girls had the most fun getting to feed the animals.

As with everything in her life, Ivy took a much more timid approach to feeding the birds and tossed all of her food at once.
Jade enjoyed getting down on the birds level and feeding them right out of her hand. It tickled a little and took a bit of warming up to, but she loved it.

Once Ivy saw what Jade was doing, she regretted tossing hers so quickly. Jade graciously (truly) shared what she had left with Ivy so that Ivy could attempt feeding them out of her hand. I'm sure you aren't surprised that she freaked out and dropped the food before the birds got close.

The 25 cents was the best 25 cents spent.

The Lion, the Lioness and the LandRover

Lions are the coolest animals alive. They are strong, family oriented, confident, beautiful and scary. My favorite memory pertaining to a lion was at the Cincinnati Zoo. Their lion exhibit is actually more impressive than the one at the Wild Animal Park. I remember walking over their habitat at sunset as they roared loudly and majestically at each other. It was absolutely breath-taking. The vibrations their voices caused will stay with me forever. Since then, I can't help but be disappointed in a lion exhibit if they don't roar.
The lion habitat at Wild Animal Park was the next best one I've seen. They were comfortable and proud. There are two lionesses and one lion, although I never got a good picture of the second lioness.

Yes, that is a land rover the lion has made into a bed.

The other ANIMALS

Here are a bunch of pictures to show the girls enjoying the park. They went on the carousel twice and enjoyed the fisher price playground. Really, we don't need to travel to make Jade happy- we could just find a great park near by and let her climb around for hours.

The big log? Well, it is Jade showing us the different views from the hole in the top of the log.
Puzzles? Really, we could have just stayed home and done puzzles.

The girls were both so wiped out after their second day of playing amongst animals, that Jade zonked out watching TV in the hotel.

November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving 2009

This year we are thankful for...

1. our family
2. our extended family
3. the Gospel of Jesus Christ
4. our jobs
5. our health
6. our time together
7. laughter
8. love
9. freedom
10. challenges

Each year, our family grows closer together, through our trials, our joys and our triumphs. I am grateful that we have two beautiful little girls that remind us every day to simplify and enjoy the moments that we have together. The knowledge that we can be together for eternity gives me the strength every day to enjoy the moment, endure our trials and build for forever. The love we share as a family will be what stays with us beyond today.

Have a wonderful holiday!
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November 25, 2009

Seaworld part 1

It's been a lot of years since I went to Sea World. I didn't remember much about it but I do remember liking it. I was really excited about going and sharing more of my childhood memories with my girls and Scott.
I loved Sea World - it was very empty.

Jade loved Sea World way more than Ivy did. Jade wanted to pose over and over for the camera but when I tried to get Ivy to pose, she wouldn't. In fact, she cried.
As we walked and walked through the park, we decided that we would rather go to the Newport Aquarium to see all of the same fish as we saw at Sea World.

Seaworld Part 2

There were some things that we did really enjoy about Sea World. The first was getting to feed the sting rays and the girls had fun petting them. Even Ivy enjoyed it. They also enjoyed touching the starfish in the tide pool display. Both girls were really good about not taking them out of the water.

We also loved the Shamu show- but it is worthy of a post of its own.

Jade's favorite thing about Sea World was the Sesame Street Bay of Play Playground. She could have played in there all day long.

Ivy was pretty somber most of the day but she started smiling a lot in the Sesame Street playground. She loved the big musical instruments and she loved playing with her sister. She also loved doing her fancy walk down the street of Sea World.
Will we be going back to Sea World very soon? No, I think once is enough for the next 5- 10 years or so.