Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spring Break in Utah and 32

We spent Spring Break in Utah and it was fabulous!
We flew out on Thursday night and the kids did fairly well for the flight. Arabella hated her seatbelt which made for a long taxing and take off. Gratefully all 3 kids fell asleep during the final approach and landing.
We did not know what weather to expect but it was beautiful and sunny the first few days we were there. My sisters Carla and Jana came over with their kids on Friday and the playing began. I think most of the sand ended up outside of the sandbox before the day was done.
My parents got a hot tub; something my dad has wanted for years. My sister Malisa and her husband were out of town and so her kids were at my parents for the weekend. It was so much fun to talk and visit with them. They are getting too big!
I love the picture below. First it is really cute of Peter and Arabella but Josh is looking good in the background.
We spent Saturday with Peter's family.
Arabella walking the baby dolls with grandma.
We went to the Bean Museum at BYU and the kids loved it. They have made some great improvements. The Butterfly above is made of butterflies and moths.
Jon and Arabella beign predators.
Joey was quite nervous about this picture but he did it so it would look like the shark was eating his head.
Grandma, Arabella, the doll Arabella insisted on bringing and the Elephant.
After the Bean Museum, we headed to the creamery for ice cream and mint brownies, double yummmmm!!!

Saturday night we headed to the bowling alley. So much fun!
Look at that form!
Don't let this face deceive you- he beat us all quite nicely!
Joey did pretty well- thank heavens for bumpers.
A few of Jon's balls went a little bit slow down the lane.
Arabella and I shared and she thought she was the best!
Arabella had some of the best bead head I have ever seen while we were there. Nice?!

We spent Sunday with my family and then Monday we went to Nickelcade (Nickel City now). This is Jon with his noisy bug buzzer/whistle thing. We had a great time playing games and winning tickets. Joey used some of his tickets to get me a plastic dolphin- he is alway

(L to R: Me and Arabella, Heather, Ray holding Hana, Lora Jean holding Elizabeth, and Wendy)
Tuesday afternoon we went to Salt Lake to have lunch with 4 of my room mates from BYU. It was so much fun to see how big everyone's kids have gotten and meet some new ones. These girls are so amazing. They will always be my dearest friends (we missed you Paula!).
We played at the park on Thursday and it was great fun!

We played hide and go seek and I managed to get pine sap in my hair- yuck!
Grandma Rabner gave Arabella this beautiful skirt and a fairy wand that she called her wings. She had a petty skirt once before and screamed anytime it came near her so we exchanged it for a lovely dress. She is now all about the ruffles and pink.
Friday night we spent in Salt Lake. We went to the Church History Museum which had some great displays that are new. The kids area was so much fun. See the video below.
We also went to Temple Square and visited the Cristus statue. I love the spirit there.
Saturday was my birthday. We ate breakfast at Magleby's Fresh and then spent the day with my family. We saw the movie Tangled for th first time and it was so good. We had family pictures - because we were all there. The girls above are sporting the colors we wore. I am excited to see how they turned out.
We ended the evening with a family meal at my parents house and cake for all of the March Birthdays- me, Randy, and Parker.
Our visit was so much fun. I wish we did not live so far away but I am grateful that we have been able to make a few visits so far. We know our next visit will not be until at least next year with the baby coming and all. But, we have family coming here in October for Joey's Baptism so we will look forward to that.
And yes, Peter made me his divine German Chocolate Cake again- sooooo goooood!

video

Friday, March 25, 2011

What is in a name?

So there has been quite a bit of discussion about names at our house what with a baby coming and all. But we had a new reason to discuss names and she is below.
Yes, we are dog owners now.
She is a 4 month old chocolate lab that we got from a friend's mom who is a breeder. She is mostly crate trained and we are grateful for that.
As for the name part: When we told the kids Monday that we were getting a dog on Tuesday, we asked what should we call it. Arabella immediately said "Pink"- naturally a great dog name- right?! I don't remember Joey's first response but he will join the story soon. Jon simply said, "I want a turtle." Yes, that is from the boy that for 2 years has been asking if he could have a dog for his birthday. Peter wanted Annie and I said no but he liked the name Sasha too.
By Tuesday afternoon the boys were thinking Diamond was a good name and Arabella was still set on Pink. This is where Joey comes in- he suggested Pink Diamond and both Jon and Arabella were on board. Peter came home from work and I told him and he just shook his head saying, "I just don't think I can have a dog named Pink Diamond." I took the boys to Karate and the dog came while we were gone and Peter got Arabella set on Sasha and so Sasha it is.
She is a good puppy but she is a puppy so she has her moments. I am sure you will hear many more stories of Sasha and see her cute face often. (Oh and just so Arabella felt even better about the name change, Sasha has a pink collar, leash and toys.)

Friday, March 4, 2011

New Orleans- The Big Easy!

Peter said he wanted to do this post but he is busy, we are leaving tomorrow for Utah and I need something to keep me awake at work.
We headed out for New Orleans Thursday the 24th and stayed the night in Alexandria, LA. We had an early breakfast and hit the road- I do love that my kids are early risers.
We made it to New Orleans about 10:30 and met Peter's parents, sister Lindsay and nephew Ryker at the Audubon Zoo. Wonderful zoo!
It was super sunny and warm enough to feel hot at times so the first thing we did was get the kids hats. Great souvenir and it kept them from getting burned. Did you know that a turtle can feel you touch it's shell? I learned that.
She loved riding on Dad's and Grandpa's shoulders.
Is Ryker not so adorable?!
Jon took his notebook in so he could draw pictures of all of the animals. He did about 5 and they are really good. He was funny about it.
The petting zoo area. This picture does not show it but Arabella is about to pull her upper and lower lips apart and making a goat sound.
They had these combs that you could use on the goats- the kids loved it.
Yes we are one good lookign couple!
The Carousel was a huge hit!
I love that Joey!
Jon is always ready for some action.

The picture above is of the male gorilla. He exuded control- you could just tell he was the one in charge.
It was feeding time for the gorillas. We had a great time watching the zookeepers (standing just in front of Peter, Joey, and Grandpa) throw all sorts of veggies and fruit to the gorillas.
There is a huge old (like planted around 1800) tree at the zoo. You can climb it really well. The kids all loved it. We only let Arabella goe as far as I could easily reach her.
I have never seen Joey climb a tree so high without getting freaked out.
That night we had an early dinner/late lunch and it was delicious. I wanted seafood and I got it! Crabs, crawfish, and shrimp bought and eaten by the pound. DELICIOUS!
Jon is huge into shrimp and so he was in heaven. Joey and Arabella had some fried fish.
The whole crew!
Van is the man that started Peter and his family in the shaved ice business. His shack was still there and Saturday morning we ran into him at the parade. We had shaved ice on both Friday night and Saturday morning and it was so good!
Really bad picture of a pretty cool float in the Cleopatra parade.
Awesome Indians!
So the people who ride on the floats have to apply and even pay money to be on them. They also pay for all of the stuff they throw out to people. It was one of the most fun things I have ever done.
And to dispell any myths: the parades we went to were not in downtown and I did not see any flashing for beads. They were quite family friendly although there was still plenty of alcohol consumed along the parade route. Drunk people can be funny! The guy sitting next to us would catch beads and then come and give them to us- as if we did not have enought ourselves. Jon was really good at saying "Hey good lookin' throw me something!" And he got it.

Between the beads and other goods being thrown and the great music from the bands, I think Jon thought he had died and gone to heaven!

Joey did quite nicely too!Rockin' my beads!
Ryker got a great hat!
We rode the ferry on Saturday morning. It was pretty cool!
Jon got this sword the night before and it is still being played with a ton at our house!
Joey and Grandma on the ferry.
Oh what lovely masks. This is at the parade on Saturday morning. (Choctaw)
Joey wanted to get more beads than Jon Saturday and he did a pretty good job!
Check out the beads that Peter got for me. I saw this size the night before and I really wanted some and Peter did it! He begged some off of a float person!
We could not get her to smile for the camera but she really was having fun.
Does this given you any idea of how much stuff we got! We had a black garbage bag full of stuffed animals and other various toys. We have a copier paper box full of beads! It was like going to a fair or carnival and getting the prizes without paying money to play rigged games- really does it get better than that. Even better is that I will be donating all of the stuffed animals. And the beads will be put in plastice easter eggs for any easter egg hunts we go to and may be given away instead of Halloween candy.
This shows all of hte beads stuck in the tree and I wish I had turned the camera just a little so you could see them hanging from the phone lines.
The weight of the beads.
We rode the trolley down to the French market and then walked to Cafe du Mond for bignets-YUM!. There was a man making balloon art and the kids were begging. I said no but guess what he was closing up shop and gave them his last three creations and his hat.
Bignets for breakfast! YUM again!
Jackson square- so beautiful. There are street artists and vendors all around the square. I even bought a painting to hang in my entry. It was titled Golden Spring and it reminds of the light coming into the sacred grove so I plan to hange part of the first vision scripture story next to it.
And we had to go to Bourbon street at least for the photo!
My husband is great!

If you should ever decide to go to Mardi Gras, go the weekend before the weekend of; definitely go to a parade but not downtown unless you want to see some flesh; if you can go with someone who has been there before and knows there way around a bit; eat bignets, seafood, and the breakfast at Cafe Fleur de Lis was excellent! I would definitely go again!

These two movies are to show one a small portion of the great bands that were in the parades. They awere huge bands and really got into it! The other is Jon who could not resist getting into the beat and grooving.
video video