Tuesday, May 31, 2011

California trip

When we visit the lower 48 we must visit Utah and California to see family. This trip we wanted to take the kids to Disneyland and my mom thought this would be a great opportunity to go with us and my sister Brooke and her family. It's hard to get the 12 of us together and with my sister's family possibly moving further away because her husband will be in med school in a year who knows when we'll all be able to do a fun vacation together. This past Tuesday we headed in two cars to California. My sister and I road in the same car w/ 5 kids. We heard "how long have we been in the car?" more times than I can count. It avereaged once every 20 minutes. With a bag of peanut butter M&Ms nearby, my sister and I talked the whole way while eating those addictive yummy morsels and threw a few to the kids too.

Wenesday we went to Disneyland all day long. It wasn't a busy day so we went on all the rides we wanted to. All the kids were 40 inches or taller so we did all the adult rides as well. I wasn't sure if Jordyn would like the fast rides, but she loved them so much she begged for more sometimes thru tears. The kids favorite rides were Finding Nemo and Space Mtn. Levi also enjoyed all the rides he could go on: It's a small world, pirates of the carribean, carosal, snow white, and others. Thankfully he did get some sleep in a stroller. We were at Disneyland for 12 hours and with 7 kids we only lost 2 kids throughout the whole day. Some highlights: Brooke talking spanish to a couple that spoke portugeuse, mom falling and hurting her knee becuase we were trying to take a picture while jumping, watching people's reactions to Matt's beard, Rowan getting lost, Star Wars ride that brooke talked her way into going on, minimal wait for rides, and running on as many rides 15 minutes before the park closed. It was so great to all be together and for the cousins to hang out with.
Sydney loved riding the roller coasters w/ her cousins.

Jordyn was just tall enough to ride the "roller casters." She rode all of them and would've loved ride them over and over again.

The whole crew in the morning.
Mom and dad with 7 of their grandkids.

Thursday--I thought the kids would sleep in but they didn't. We stayed at Luisa and Marc's house in La Habra. We woke up and headed to Fountain Valley to see my dad and brothers Ryan and Danny. We swam and hung out for awhile and headed to Huntington Beach to play in the sand and water. We also visited my brother's gravesite which I don't do often but still very special to me. While there the girls learned quite a bit about cemeteries, death, and much more. That evening we drove back to La Habra and went swimming with all Jeff's siblings minus Chris, parents, and grandparents and more of the girls cousins (Jake-3, Luke-3, Matt-1 1/2, and new baby Wes). We celebrated Tyler's 16th birthday and had fun splashing around in the pool.
Grandpa Levin aka Zeda and kids
Brooke, Danny, Me, and Ryan having some sibling fun
Huntington Beach

All the cousins together

Friday--My parents picked us up and we drove to San Diego to go to Seaworld. We saw lots of shows and exhibits and went on the Atlantis and River rapid ride. The kids loved getting drenched on those rides and the Shamu show. They sat in the "soak zone." Jordyn got lost again. She was found hiding behind a trash can. When a worker asked if her name was Jordyn, she said it wasn't. That's the difference between a 3 year old getting lost as opposed to a 6 year old (rowan) who told a worker she was lost and needed help. Highlights of today: all day dining pass that Brooke and I took advantage of, staying the night at a hotel, and visiting Kevin and Lisa at Campland. Another fun day of seeing the kids excitement and spending time together.
Levi pointing to a shark.

Watching the Shamu show sitting in the Soak Zone.
Saturday--We said our goodbyes and our family headed to a Greek Orthodox baptism for 2 second cousins while my parents and sister's family drove back to Utah. That evening we hung out at the Jun's house and all Jeff's family were able to hang out, talk, and I think a game was squeezed in their too.
Playing with Aunt Luisa
Baby Wes--just a few days old. Next time we see him, he'll be so much bigger.
Sydney giving lovies to baby Wes.
Sunday--went to church and drove back to Utah.

Although it was a jam packed 5 days, it was so much fun. It was fun for us to visit our family and see our kids get to know their cousins better. It was fun for our kids to go to the Happiest Place on Earth with their cousins and grandparents and for them to play with their cousins on both sides. It was 5 days with lots of laughter, little sleep, and countless memories. \

Friday, May 20, 2011


Did I just fly to Utah from Alaska by myself w/ 3 kids in tow for it to snow four inches the next morning???? Seriously! If you don't know what irony is, now you do. Even though it snowed (and it's been raining ever since) we're all so excited to be here with Gammie and Grandpa. The kids and I haven't seen them in about 9 months. That's just way too long for grandparents not to see their grandkids.
The flights and kids were good considering it was about a 12 hour day. We met my parents in Vegas w/ only 1 black eye, 3 smelly kids, and 4 happy people. Next week we're all driving down to So Cal to go to Disneyland and Seaworld with my sister and her family. The kids are so excited to do these fun things with their cousins. Jeff will meet us in California and come back to Utah w/ us. I'm also looking forward to meeting a new nephew who will only be a few days old and for Jeff's family and some of my family in So Cal to finally meet Levi. We've been here for 3 days already and Jordyn and Sydney are still following my parents around like paparazzi. Every 10 minutes Jordyn will say, "I miss you so much. Can I live with you forever?" We've been swimming everyday at the aquatic center. Sydney loves the big slide which is no surprise and Jordyn went down the big slide twice, thanks to me...I pushed her down. Levi loves the little slide and everyday has fallen asleep as soon as we get back in the car. We all wish Jeff was here to enjoy these things with and my dad wouldn't mind a guy to watch basketball games with either.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Last week Sydney graduated from preschool. She had such a wonderful year with wonderful teachers. I think her favorite teacher was Ms. Chris. She's retiring this year, but she loved to hug her and just hang out by her. She said many wonderful things about Sydney to Jeff. She said Sydney is very smart and helpful. Many times Syeney offered to help other kids with things. She also said that Sydney loves school and she is kind to everyone. Sydney's favorite thing to do at preschool was arts and crafts. The graduation started at 11am. Everyone brought food and we ate in the classroom and talked with other parents and students. After that, the teachers handed each student their certificate. They also gave all the moms a picture from the mother's day tea party, a candle, and a scrapbook that Sydney made as a thank you for helping out in the classroom. It was very nice. I think right now Sydney is a little sad that preschool is over and not sure about Kindergarten. When I put her to bed she tells me she's going to miss me when she starts Kindergarten, but really I think I'll miss her more. She's leaving me alone with Jordyn and Levi. ahhhhhhhh. hehe.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Teacher thank you gift

Here's what I made for Sydney's teachers as a thank you gift. It really doesn't compensate for what they've instilled in Sydney. I really loved her preschool and am thankful Jordyn will go there next year. The cost of this project $0. I already had all the supplies at home. I got my inspiration from a blog. Are you surprised? I didn't think so.

Yeah spring is here

Spring lasts about 4 months. We don't have summer. Lately it's been sunny and in the high 50s/low 60s which is a gorgeous day in Alaska. When and if it ever gets in the 70s people start complaining that it's too hot. I will NEVER complain about it being too hot in AK....maybe too cold but never too hot. Well the snow has melted, the sun rises about 4:30 and doesn't set until about 10:30pm so we are practically living outside. The girls love to ride their bikes and play with all the other kids outside. Levi loves rocks, dirt, and sidewalk chalk and most times they make it inside his mouth. Sydney just loves to rake leaves
Jordyn cruisin' around.
Levi showing me his latest treasure...probably a rock or stick

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Working boy

Even though Levi turns 14 months today there is no reason why I shouldn't put him to work and earn his keep around here. That's exactly what he did today. He actually did "go to work" today, I'm not lying. The work he did included playing with other boys and toys. It's not much work, but he did get paid for it. He is going to be in some baby movie. I think it's called Baby Genius 3. It's these super hero babies saving the world. Levi doesn't have a main role or anything, it's more of being in the background. They shot about 4 scenes with Levi and two other boys playing at home and at a day care. He did great; but then again is playing with toys really that difficult? I think I had more fun than he did. It was so interesting to be on set, helping out with Levi, and seeing how a movie is made. Some things that surprised me:
1. a nurse on set for the kids
2. a sign that read $5 fine for every curse word said when kids are on set
3. a play coach (aka clown)
4. the dozens of people needed for this low profile movie
5. Levi needing to go in the costume design room (his costume consisted of diaper and shirt)
I had to sign a work permit for Levi stating that a 1 year old can only work 2 hours at a time. He worked every minute of it and after he fell asleep within seconds of being in the car.
If you're wondering how he got this little part.....it was kinda random. I saw a sign at Sydney's preschool saying that they were auditioning for this movie and needed a 3 year old. I took Jordyn to audition and she got a call back. When she auditioned in front of the director, Sydney and Levi ended up auditioning in front of the director as well. Low and behold the one kid that couldn't talk, Levi, is the kid they end up picking. I find that hilarious. Yes, I'll have to sit thru 90 min. of a lame baby movie, but I can't wait to see how they edit it and see how much or little Levi is in the movie.Levi is in the blue shirt

After a hard day of work.