Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Where Does the Time Go???

Honestly I don't know how the months get away from me.  I feel like it has been a few weeks maybe since I've posted and then suddenly I see it has been months.  Time seems to be moving faster and faster these days, and my kids keep growing faster and faster too!  I wish I could slow things down a little.  We've had some excitement over the last little while.  First of all Joey got more stitches.  This boy is always getting banged or bonked, scratched and dented!  We were helping Eric's parents move out of their house.  Joey was a VERY enthusiastic helper and turned to run inside at full blast to get another tidbit to put in the truck.  Well wouldn't you know it, he ran right into the truck tailgate and busted his eyebrow open.  Luckily we were able to get it stitched up right away at a friend's house (it's good to have friends with skills--thanks Jim!).  Joey was a trooper and thought his new battle wound was pretty awesome.

Winter brought us some snow as well--the kids had fun playing in it.  I still would rather not live in a place where it snows--growing up we VISITED the snow, we didn't LIVE in it.  I prefer it that way!  But now that we've got a plow on the Ranger it makes for a relatively quick clean up of the driveway.  Now we've just got to teach Tyler how to do it!
I just had to put this picture in.  Jacob loves to come snuggle with me at night when we are all taking it easy after dinner.  He's such a sweetie.  Me and Jake are a lot alike.  It makes it easy to raise him because I know pretty much what he's thinking!  My other kids....not so much.  I love that he comes and sits right up next to me on my bed.
Joey can be fun too...when he wants to be.  Ha ha.  Joey is fun to take around when it is just him.  All he needs is a treat from the gas station and he is good to go for a while.  We went to IKEA a couple weeks ago and found some hilarious hats.  I think it's a good look for him, don't you?
Jacob keeps plugging away at piano even though he asks every week if he can quit.  I keep telling him once he can sight read the songs I can play he can quit, so the more he practices the sooner he can quit!  But I have to say for someone who says he doesn't like piano he is certainly getting good at it!  He had a recital and a competition--and scored the highest score!  Superior!  He was very excited and so were we!  It is so fun to hear him play.  I've got Tyler on Guitar, Jake on piano...Maggie and Joey will have to round out the Swenson Family Band!
Even though I didn't grow up here in Utah, and there are things I find....quirky about it, I have to say living up next to the mountains is great.  I get this view driving home.  My house is just up at the end of this road.  It really is beautiful!
Our highlight of the last few months was spring break.  We took a Swenson Family trip to San Diego--one last hurrah before Eric's parents leave for Europe on their mission.  We had such a great time--rented an AMAZING beach house (the kind that is even better in person than in the pictures)--it was huge, had a private pool and hot tub, and was only a couple minute walk to the beach on a little dirt path from the backyard.
A quick walk from the house were tons of cute shops and places to eat.  We had an amazing surf and turf burrito at Taco Surf--a total hole in wall but it has been there for 30 years and with the delicious food I can see why!  But our favorite place we found was the Baked Bear.  Get ready for this...Custom...Ice cream....sandwiches.  Oh yes.  Heaven.  You can get any kind of cookie or brownie (or a mix of 2 kinds) with your choice of ice cream in the middle.  I got oatmeal cookies with mint chip ice cream in between.  I know it sounds weird but growing up there was an It's It Ice cream sandwich factory in San Francisco and I'd always get the mint chip (they only used oatmeal cookies). It was SO DELICIOUS.  I wanted to go back every day!  Jake got Snickerdoodle cookies with cookie dough ice cream.  My mouth is watering....
Not far from the Baked Bear was a pier we walked out on.  Decided to get a family shot...
Another family shot down at Seaport Village.  We all met up there for dinner, but with 16 people deciding on one restaurant was a little challenging.  My kids had been begging for WEEKS, yes weeks, even before the trip, for us to take them to Joe's Crab Shack on the pier in San Diego.  So we split off from the group and decided to head to Joe's.
As you can see the kids LOVED it.....
I thought Jacob was going to explode he was so excited for crab, and we even let Tyler get his own adult sized bucket of crab.  He was in 7th heaven.  (We did make him share with Jake!)
Outside Joe's...happy and full!
Another highlight of the trip for us was going to the Padres v Dodgers baseball game!  Eric and I have gone to many MLB games, starting all the way back when we were dating in San Francisco, then out to see the Orioles in Baltimore.  It had been a long time so we decided to take the whole family along.  It was so much fun.  One perk was that because our food order took so long, the lady brought us a TON of free food--2 large commemorative sodas, cracker jacks, 2 frozen lemonades, and cotton candy!  It was annoying the food took so long but worth it with all the free stuff!

Joey looked around the stadium and said: "Mom!  There are 99 people here!"  I told him, "More like 9,999!"  He looked at me and said, with a hint of authority, "No, mom...that would be the whole entire world."  Ha ha.  So I guess there was 99 people there.
More than anything else the kids loved the beach.  Jacob got his warpaint on (ok, it's just sunscreen).
It was so fun with the cousins there...the kids played and played and played and played......
More beach pics to come, but we took a break from the beach and spent a day at the San Diego Zoo.  It was really neat, but it is a LOT of walking!  Some of the kids were getting tired (Maggie).
We saw tons of cool animals and couldn't have asked for better weather.  Maggie is the penguin whisperer now.  She had the penguin following her hand around.
Now back to the beach!
One afternoon the boys all rented wet suits (the water was pretty frigid) to try out surfing and body boarding.  This is Tyler and Sam heading out to catch some waves!
Go Tyler!  He's had lots of practice from all the beach days visiting Grandma Calder.

Okay, random break from San Diego--my pics came in out of order and it is too much effort to straighten them out! The kids got chalk from the Easter Bunny and boy was it a hit!  Tyler and Joey spent an afternoon decorating the driveway!

Plus I love to sit out there with them because this is my view from my front porch.  Not too shabby.
Ok, back to spring break.  Gather seashells and searching for sand dollars was a favorite pastime.  Although I am pretty sure Joey is just holding a rock....

More gathering!  We had BUCKETS of shells!
The house also had a private pool as I mentioned.  I am surprised Maggie and Joey didn't start growing gills with how much time they spent in the water!
Ooops, sand in the eye....
Brotherly love....for now.  Actually the kids got along super well this trip.  Aside from a few minor scuffles it was really pleasant.  So I guess all I need to do to get my kids to get along is take them on major vacations and let then do whatever they want.  Easy!

Tyler checking out the waves.
Maggie, of course, in a perfect beach pose.  With her tan skin and blond hair she certainly looks like she belongs on a beach!
Checking out each other's shell treasures!
Eric in the waves...we had a discussion about whether we would want a beach house like this or a cabin in Island Park Idaho.  I went beach house, all the way.  Eric would rather have a cabin.  Hmmmm, well unless we come across an extra million laying around somewhere it a fight we won't have to worry about!

I couldn't hardly get Joey out of the pool!
Or Maggie!  I'm telling you these two are part fish.  It is a good thing Jessica is building a pool...we will be there every day!
Just a few beach pics...

I look at those pics, and I don't want to brag, but I can't help thinking, "Dang, I've got some good looking' kiddos!" I should have more and make the world a more beautiful place!  Not.

After Tyler put on his wetsuit he said, "I feel like a spy!  Like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible."  Lol.
Even Eric got in on the surfboard action!  Although he ended up mostly just helping the kids to get up on the boards.  It's like fishing...he wants to go and fish, but he spends 99% of his time just helping me and the kids (the fishing illiterate) with our poles.  We love you daddy!

We had a few extra hours one afternoon so decided to head out to Cabrillo National Monument tide pools.  It was hard to get any good pics since it was slippery and wet, and Maggie forgot her shoes (of course) but I did get this cute one of Jake and Sam.  We saw lots of snails, hermit crabs, and sea anemones.  We saw a couple of hot pink spiky sea slugs too.  If we had more time we could have ventured out more but we had to get back for the baseball game that night!
All in all the trip was a huge success.  The weather was amazing (for April)--sunny every day.  In fact it started raining the morning we left!  Everyone got along so well and I think we made some great memories for Grandma and Grandpa Swenson to take with them to Germany!

On a side note, I saw this and just loved it and wanted to share...

A couple weeks before San Diego, Katie and her boys and I and the kids met up at the Provo Pool.  The boys had fun jumping off the high platform and trying to catch the ball the others were throwing.  

Ben and Tyler--between the 2 of them they have 12-pack abs!  Buff little dudes.
Other than all that fun stuff, we've got the basics--school, sports, music, scouts, church, etc.  The Swensons leave for Europe soon and we will certainly miss them.  On Sunday we had a get together here for their friends and family, then after that we went to the stake presidents office to be there when they got set apart (they go in to the MTC the next morning).  It was a really special thing, to be there for that.  I'm glad my kids were able to see that and I hope they remember that experience.  I really feel blessed to be a part of their family and to be a part of this experience.  I know that they will be amazing in their calling and I can't wait to hear about all their exciting experiences!  Good luck Elder and Sister Swenson!