Sunday, June 28, 2009

Tahoe Trip - Part 2

I took this picture of T before our hike. He looks like an evil storm trooper from the DeathStar! I couldn't stop laughing!

T taking a turn with J's walking stick

On Wednesday morning, we hiked up to a vista point to get a great view of Lake Tahoe. Our original plan was to ride up the lift and hike around Northstar, but the lift was closed. So, we drove a few miles to the hiking trail. The boys did well. T hitched a ride here and there. The hike was 1 1/2 miles to the vista point.

J's almost there. There were lots of beautiful yellow wildflowers. J found an awesome walking stick.

Victory!!J taking a rest. His was dealing with a couple of blisters, and it was really painful for him.

It's hard to see in the picture, but we used gum wrappers and lichen to wrap around his blisters on his pinky toes. They worked for a while, then would fall off, and we'd wrap them again.

You can see J & B on top of the rocks. They enjoyed climbing all around.

G enjoying the beautiful view of Lake Tahoe

Here we all are on the top of the vista. Felt weird not having N with us -- he was away at Scout camp. We rested at the vista for a while and enjoyed some bagels, M&M's and water. It took us less than half of the time to get down the mountain as it did going up. G ended up carrying either T or J down the mountain. J's toes were hurting SO bad. G's legs were burning by the time we got all the way down. We headed back to the condo, enjoyed a yummy lunch, then spent the afternoon by the pool. Very refreshing. Sadly, we had to head back home late afternoon. Back to the real world ... It was so nice to get away for a day, and spend time together in such a beautiful place. (Thanks, K!)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tahoe Trip -- Part 1

We had the opportunity to stay at a beautiful condo in Northstar Tahoe on Tuesday night. Here, the boys enjoyed a quick ride on the luggage cart.

We settled into the condo, went on a short walk through the village, and then headed over to the pools. B didn't disappoint in posing for a photo. Such a character!

The pools were closed, but the "hot water" wasn't. We relaxed in one of the big spas for a while. We had it all to ourselves. Sure enjoyable. We went back to the condo, put on our PJ's, ate watermelon, and enjoyed a movie. The boys all slept in the same room, even though, at first, they all thought it would be cool to have their own room. But when it came down to it, they wanted to be together.

The next morning, we went down to see if the gondolas and/or lift was running. Nothing opened until 10am, so the G and the boys enjoyed a game of chess. J & G played checkers with the pieces for their game.

CHECKMATE! B squished G in a game of chess. He completely blindsided him not too far into the game. G was stunned! Way to go B! J also won checkers ... fair and square. It was a fun way to pass a bit of time. The weather was perfect. We missed having N with us. He is still away at Boy Scout Camp.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Belated Father's Day Post

So, I realized that I didn't post anything special for G on Father's Day. I do have a couple of great reasons, but I would be remiss if I didn't remind G how special he is to our family. He is an amazing father to our boys, who absolutely adore him. He spends quality time with each of them and takes a genuine interest in each boy. He is a wonderful example and I couldn't ask for a better husband.

Now, the reason why I didn't get onto the blog was because I was busy baking! I made G's favorite Oatmeal Buttermilk Muffins for breakfast. The boys gobble these up, too. They are a family favorite. (I've posted the recipe in a previous post)

Then, I found this recipe for Triple Chocolate Cake. It turned out so yummy!! We had this for our dessert (after enjoying steak, basil potatoes, and veggies for dinner)

Triple Chocolate Cake

1 pkg. (18 ¼ oz.) white cake mix
4 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
1 cup (8 oz.) sour cream
2 TB baking cocoa
½ cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chocolate frosting
2 TB milk

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, sugar, eggs, sour cream & oil. Beat on low for 1 minute; beat on medium for 2 minutes. Pour half of the batter into a large bowl. Stir in cocoa until blended. Fold chocolate chips into white cake batter. Spoon batters alternately into a greased & floured 10-inch fluted pan. Bake @ 350* for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. In a small bowl, combine frosting & milk. Spoon frosting over top of cooled cake. Yield: 12 servings.

So, during the day, the boys all wanted to spend time with G. G played Uno, Chess & Checkers. T insisted on sitting on G's lap during church and drawing pictures. They knew it was Dad's special day and wanted to be near him. G appreciated it even though he felt a bit mauled by the end of the day! What a great sport! Another reason why he's so loved in our home.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Cement Slides -- Family Visit Update

When my sister was here for her visit, we took the kids over to a little hidden gem: the cement slides. We ate a picnic lunch and then spent quite a while at the slides ... trying to burn off some of their energy!

T is ready to launch!

Here's S ready to launch. He loved it when I'd give him a BIG push. The faster, the better!

T ran the rest of the way down this time. His cardboard was starting to not slide too well. We had a wonderful afternoon hanging out. (June 9th)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Family Day -- ALL Day!

Last week, we had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with my side of the family. We spent 2 hours on Saturday morning (6/13) taking family pictures at a nearby park (Thanks, Betsey!!)
Then, we went over to a bigger park, had lunch, played and just hung out for most of the afternoon.

Here's N & M on the see-saw toys ... go figure!

J climbing the slide

My brother, T with "Hamma" (aka Grandma), watching family members play Bocce ball

G taking advantage of the shade

L playing Bocce against Boppi (aka Grandpa)

G and me in a game against each other. G won this time. I usually beat him, but it just wasn't my day. We played with my parents.

Hamma with me, N and 2 of my nieces playing Chicken Foot (Dominoes). So fun!

Some of the grand kids just having a blast playing together.

N with his cousin, M. I try to get a picture of these two each time we see them. It's been fun to look at their pictures together over the years. N is quite a bit taller than M. N is standing on a step that is below M's step. M liked feeling as tall as N ... even if it was just for a moment!
Later, Dave & Tami were on their way, and the rest of the family came over to my house for an impromptu pasta dinner. We all chipped in. It was yummy and it was great to spend more time together. The kids ran all over and most of the adults played a few rounds of dominoes. This time we played "Mexican Train". It was a whirl-wind day, but enjoyable. We all just dropped into bed that night! So happily tired ...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Six Flags & Twilight Camp

N & T waiting to go onto the Cobra. T loved this roller coaster. It was perfect for him.

J getting ready to ride the Cobra. I was able to go with him on this ride. It was fun to ride in the WAY back!

The boys with The Joker and The Riddler. We HAD to get a picture with them!

That is B on the top left. He LOVES this ride. I think he rode it at least 5 times.

So, we packed A LOT in on Friday. I took the boys down to Six Flags on Friday to make use of our season passes. We were able to stay a few hours and enjoy ourselves. We had to leave by 2pm in order for J to make it back in time for Cub Scout Twilight Camp. What I didn't count on is a major traffic jam getting home. Instead of it taking us 1 hour, it took us 2 1/2 hours to get home due to a grass fire along side the freeway WB and an accident going EB . So, I ended up having to take J down to Twilight Camp to meet up with his den. Luckily, we got there JUST as they were starting their stations. Phew!

J was so excited to try his hand at archery. During the week they also did bottle rockets, Lego cars, kick ball, water games, Indian Teepees, carnival games, small boat racing, marble games, and BB guns.

Here are some of J's den mates. One of the boys only attended 2 of the days due to a family vacation and was not there on Friday. J had so much fun @ Twilight camp and is looking forward to next year.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Jelly Belly Factory -- Family Visit

I'm playing a little bit of catch-up on my blog. We had family staying with us most of last week, and we had a blast! We had a house full, but loved all of the fun we had together. The boys enjoyed being up in the mornings with their cousins C & S. On one of the days they were here (June 10th), we headed down to the Jelly Belly Factory for the tour. We even got Boppi (aka Grandpa) to come with us and enjoy the morning. We really enjoyed being together. Boppi sat next to T in the van on the way down. He loved that!

I had a hard time getting any pictures of Allison's boys! To say they are a moving target would be an understatement! The bottom line was that they had fun seeing the factory and getting some treats. We didn't stay for lunch (too expensive). We located the nearest Wendy's via my GPS (love that!) and enjoyed lunch together. Everyone seemed to be happy with that.

Dad with Allison. I love this picture!

The boys loved the Jelly Belly cars! They wanted their picture with the love bug.

Me with my Dad, waiting for the tour. We didn't have to wait long at all. It was a perfect day to go. No buses dumping off a billion preschool kids this time!

My sister and I enjoyed spending time together. She headed down to our other sister's home for a visit there. Boppi, T & I headed back home. Can you tell who is in that jelly belly picture? There was amazing Jelly Belly artwork all over.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

My Girls' Weekend @ Tahoe

My blog has been so neglected lately! I've been extremely busy!! My first update is of my 2nd annual Girls' Weekend, which took place last weekend.

On Friday afternoon, my friend Jan picked me up along with a few others, and we headed up to beautiful Lake Tahoe. We were all very excited to get going, and thoroughly enjoyed the car ride. At Tahoe, we each enjoyed our own room with our own bathroom. So nice and relaxing!
Saturday was a rainy day, so we didn't get to do our planned hike. We enjoyed hanging out indoors by playing games, chatting, eating, napping, soaking in the hot tub, etc.
Later on Saturday, we headed down to King's Beach to see a movie, "Angels & Demons". I thought it was very good. Above, is a picture of Lisa & me before the movie.

Part of our group before the movie (Jan, Raimi, Lisa, Me & Holly)

This is a picture of me, Keila & Holly ... one of the many times we piled into Jan's Suburban!
On Sunday morning, we attended the North Tahoe ward. We snapped some pictures outside after church. Here I am with my dear friend, Raimi.

I love this photo! It just shows us laughing and just enjoying being together. We laughed so much that weekend.

Here is the group: Lisa, Jan, Lisa, me, Raimi, Kristin, Patti, Stephanie & Keila. We're missing Holly from this photo. Maybe we can photo-shop her in!

We finally got to see the lake after church on Sunday. Gorgeous! We went back to the condos, had a yummy chicken salad lunch, and then piled back into Jan's Suburban and headed home to our families. I had such a wonderful time. We laughed, ate, talked, played games, ate, talked, laughed and laughed until our stomachs hurt! We stayed up both nights until 2AM just talking. I am so grateful to my friend, Kristin, for setting this up for us to all enjoy. I am so thankful for my hubby's support. Love you, G! ... I think it's safe to say that each of us already have our bags packed for next year!!