Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Adventures in Legoland

We were blessed by four free tickets to Legoland from David's sister Nicole. Since we were going to be in Southern California for a wedding, we figured we might as well make the drive to Carlsbad so we could take the kids to Legoland.

Originally I had wanted to do two days at Disneyland, and then head to Legoland on our way home. However, Carlsbad (near San Diego) isn't "on the way home" to Sacramento from LA! So we went there first. Because it was our first day of activities, the kids were full of energy! Looking back, I wish we hadn't told the kids about the tickets to Legoland, and had stuck to my agenda. The kids were so exhausted by day three that they didn't really enjoy Disneyland. But that's another post...

Back to Legoland.

The pros: the kids had a GREAT time!

They got to go on a train ride (a few times).

And squirt water at the Lego.

They got to drive the cars in a race.

(Well, Brandon & Olivia go to drive, Abbie was too young.)

There were lots of fun Lego things to put your head in.

And a very cool area of mini Lego cities. I got to snap a few pics on the way thru as we were on a mad dash to the bathroom. And honestly, as cool as I think it was, I don't think the kids would've last too long.

The cons: We only lasted about four hours because really, there wasn't much more to do. The lines were long, and didn't have "fast passes" like at Disney and people were cutting in & out of them. And they were just "rides". I'm so thankful we didn't have to pay $67 admission (per person)! The play areas were nice, but we have free parks here that are nicer, and TONS of Lego at home (that hasn't been touched by lots of dirty hands...just my kids!).

My HUGE complaint: The first ride we went on had a 45 minute line. When it was our turn, the worker let Brandon & David get on their car. Abbie screamed because Daddy had left her. Fine, I can handle that. The next car came, so the girls & I stepped up to get on. The 17 year old worker told me I could only take one child on with me, but I could leave one of them behind & their nice little play area (where I would not be able to see her while on the ride).

EXCUSE ME?! Of course we waited for David to come back & took a few turns to get everyone on. I was irritated at the stupidity of the worker's comments, until I noticed that all of the rides had these Lego play areas with signs that said "kids play while parents wait." Cool concept, except, really? Who's going to do that? And these were on the little kid rides too.

(Fast forward to the next evening at California Adventure at Disneyland. David took Brandon & Olivia on the bumper cars. I waited outside with Abbie. Again, the ride was designed for one parent, one child. So one of the employees went on the ride with Brandon! What a different experience! Kudos Disney!)

All in all, the kids had fun at Legoland. They were bummed that we didn't let them buy any Legos, but I honestly didn't see anything there (Lego-wise) that you couldn't get in the Lego store or online (which, by the way, if want something that is available online but not in the store, you can have them order it for you at the store for FREE shipping).

My recommendation: not worth it. Especially if you're going to Disneyland (where they have a Lego store in Downtown Disney) or if you live 30 minutes from a Lego store.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Off to Disney!

I haven't been to Disneyland since right before David & I got 2000! California Adventure was still under contruction at that time. We're leaving bright & early (oh, wait, DARK & early!)...we like to leave when the kids are still sleeping. That way we can get some drive time in before they wake up & start with the "how much longer?". So I'll be on a bloggy break until sometime next week. I'm still trying to wind down from a fabulous week at Breakaway & dance recitals.

So...I'll leave you with a recent layout. Now, to be fair, I didn't not design this one. I got a month in review kit from the Green Tangerines Kit Club. My friend Brenda designed this kit & I think it came out great!

For the cute border on the top, I thought I was supposed to use my circle punch & then line up the circles (which is a pain!). Nope! I cut along the edges of the circle. It's a "wedding ring" quilt patterned paper from October Afternoon. I'm not sure who the brads are from, but they are cute!

Friday, June 25, 2010

flashback in the sun

I love taking the kids up to the water park in the summer! Unfortunately, my kids are outgrowing the "simple" play area at Rocklin Memorial Park, which is only 10 minutes away. So we usually head over to Whitney or Lone Tree parks that are more like 20 minutes away, oh well, it keeps them happy & me sane!

These pictures are from 2007. We were supposed to go to the cattle drive in Folsom that day, but Olivia came down with a nasty double ear infection, so we stopped by the park on our way home from the doctor's office (once she'd been adequately doped up!).

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

All Aboard!

Last December we got to go on the Polar Express at the California Railroad Museum in Sacramento. My mom treated us (minus Abbie who was too young) to a fun evening. Brandon & Olivia were thrilled beyond words to get to take the train to the North Pole!

Now that it's summer I'm finally using my December kit from Green Tangerines! I was inspired by a layout I saw on the American Crafts blog back in December. I liked how she layered all the papers, and did the strip of photos. Perfect for this! Especially because I had about five more I could've easily used, but I didn't want a two-page layout.

I cut a 1/2" strip of the striped paper, and a 7/8" strip of the red floral/snowflake (I didn't want it to be fully 2x the height of the striped). The postage label is a sticker strip from Collage Press. All were in my kit.

I cut the snowflake for a glitter die-cut sheet of paper from K I Memories (which is why the ends of the snowflake are kind of wonky!). The center is a "period" from some red glitter Thickers I had from a previous kit. It adds just a little something to the center of each snowflake.

The red letter stickers are from Cosmo Cricket. I like how they're just a bit bigger than many of the other mini alpha stickers I have. I painted the white fabric thickers that came in my kit. It was so easy! I used some brown acrylic paint I had sitting around & did one quick coat. One of the "a" stickers is a bit darker because I tried to use a stamp pad to do it first...I don't recommend that. But I do recommend painting them! I knew it could be done on the foam letters so I though I'd give it a whirl.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Project LIFE, 6/13-6/19

Sunday 6/13: Mid-June & we FINALLY have weather warm enough to break out the pool :)

Monday June 14: Olivia & Brandon have been really into playing games on their Leapsters, our I-phones, and David's Nintendo DS.

Tuesday June 15: Overnight Blueberry Coffee Cake. Yum. I had so many fresh blueberries I had to make this for breakfast on Monday. And Tuesday. And Wednesday. Then I had to go buy more blueberries because the kids love this so much (well, and I do too!).


1 egg
½ c plus 2T sugar, divided
1 ¼ c flour
2 t baking powder
¾ t salt
1/3 c milk
3 T butter or margarine, melted
1 c fresh blueberries

In a mixing bowl, beat egg and ½ c sugar. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add alternately with milk to sugar mixture, beating well after each addition. Stir in butter. Fold in berries. Pour into a greased 8” square pan; sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Cover and chill overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes.

Wednesday June 16: Abbie picked her clothes out today, can you tell? She wanted "yummies" (strawberry shirt) and "apples" (the cherry shorts--Olivia called them apples at this age too!). Fortunately we had no where to go, though Daddy was quite amused by the choice of clothing when he got home from work!

Thursday June 17: Packing up for a sleepover at Mama & Papa's house.

Friday June 18: We thought it'd be fun to treat the kids to an evening at the park after dinner. Not five minutes after we got there, Brandon fell & majorly skinned both knees. And did I have any band-aids? Of course not. So David drove him home (around the corner) to fix him up. The girls & I stayed & played until Olivia fell & skinned her knees! At least we had a few minutes of fun...maybe I should've taken a pic of the bloody knees ;-)

Saturday June 19: After a few busy weeks, Jack & Samantha were finally able to come over & play. They were here from noon until after 6 when we all went to another neighbor's for a yummy bbq dinner. June :)

I finally got around to scrapping my Christmas pictures last week. I used my December Green Tangerine's kit and a sketch from Allison Davis' sketch book volume 5.

I apologize for the not-so-great photo. For some reason I just can't get my white layouts to photograph nicely. They always seem to wash out (if I'm in the sun) or turn blue (in the shade, which is where I took this). I did some adjustments in Adobe Camera Raw that did warm it up a bit, but...oh well.

There are a few spots on her sketch that call for "circles" so I used some buttons from my stash. These are Making Memories buttons that I bought in just about every color I 2002 :)  I tied them with some fun silver string from my kit.

Journaling strips, of course. I've found the trick (for me) is to pre-journal on a sheet of lined notepad. I draw a line down the edge to mark the width. Then I don't have to deal with erasing & having my original words show thru when I don't trace perfectly.

And lastly, all the different papers together. This seems to be my new "thing": using lots of patterned paper like this.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

flashback friday (a day early)...Cattle Drive

I just got a bunch more photos printed at Costco yesterday, so hopefully I'll have some time to scrap in the next few days. My blog is feeling a little left out of the scrapbook world right now :)

Here is a layout from 2006, from the Folsom Cattle Drive. When we lived in Folsom we went every year and stood at the starting line. From there we could see everything & get out quickly once it was over. Now that we live in Roseville we've only made it there once...two years ago! Last year we had a scheduling conflict, and this year we might be out of town.

Anyhow, what I love about this layout is how many pictures I could squeeze in. Count them...I think there's over 40! It's a layout based on one of Becky Higgins. I believe the original sketch only had about 15 photos, but she showed how each photo could really be 4 or more. It's a perfect layout for a parade when you want to include lots of photos that aren't really "meaningful."

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Project LIFE 5/30-6/10

A self portrait by Olivia, wearing my mom's flip-flops.

We had so much fun at Bayside's Memorial Day picnic at Jessup college! The kids played with the Thompson kids while we got to relax & hang out with a bunch of our friends from MOPS.

Recognize these? Just like on Cougar Town ;-)

I had been admiring the cool word spelled out on Courtney Cox's kitchen on that show, and then picked up some paper mache letters at Joann's to cover with some fun scrapbook paper. And then my mom was reading some magazine at the doctor's office that said the ones on the show were from Anthropologie. And my sister was only more than happy to get them for me for my birthday. Thank you Kathy!

(Yes, we know the "T" is crooked. It just hasn't been fixed yet. Looks like the spacing is off too. Hmmm...or it could be the angle of the photo.)

Cloth easy, I don't know why I didn't use them from the beginning. I don't even want to think about how many disposables I've gone thru. We made the switch a few weeks ago due to a never-ending/only getting worse diaper rash of Abbie's (who unfortunately is nowhere near being potty trained). She loves the colors, I love that her bum is no longer bright red :)

We found this tonight after the kids had put their toys away. :)

Yes, the box actually did make it into the microwave. Yay, my 22 month old can use the microwave, every parent's dream. Thank God she doesn't know how to turn it on...yet. It's so nice that the make toys that work just like the real thing.

Brooke, Brandon, & Jordan running in the sprinklers while were visiting them in San Martin.

Holly Cook's baby shower. She & her husband Brien are welcoming their first baby this July (a little girl). We used to work together in Natomas, and now she has her own practice so I work for her.

Brandon was resting his head on my shoulder & all of a sudden he was out. At 4:30pm. He woke up the next morning after 8.

I voted in today's California Primary election. I still vote in person because I think it's important for the kids to come with me & see what I'm doing. I remember going with my parents when I was little (to the house on New Compton with the white dogs). They were even allowed to slide my scantron form into the machine. And I was allowed to snap a picture :)

Brandon was so proud of himself for doing his "homework" (the handwriting practice I make him do). We have been working so hard on trying to get his grip correct & his letter size small enough that he can fit his name on a sheet of paper.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Project LIFE 5/23-5/29

Sunday: Roseville Pony Baseball day at the Rivercats game.

Monday: Making some mac n' cheese for lunch at Mama & Papa's house.

Tuesday: Olivia's last day of school.

Wednesday: Brandon's preschool "graduation". I can't believe my little boy is on his way to kindergarten in just a couple of months. Time goes by TOO quickly.

Thursday: A major hailstorm dumped (obviously) on my parents' house, just four miles away from us!

Friday: I found this awesome notepad at Anthropologie. I love planning my meals out like this, so it's perfect!
(I couldn't find these on the website, but I got mine at the store in Roseville. They also had some fun wine tasting ones.)

Saturday: We all went over to the fountains for some Big Spoon Yogurt after dinner. Of course the kids had to try to splash in the fountains too! And then Abbie danced for us while the water danced too :)

Friday, June 11, 2010

flashback friday...summer (2006)

I've been a little MIA lately, thanks to my hairdresser. She loaned me the first two Twilight books when I mentioned that I hadn't read them yet. I've also been really bad about not getting any of my photos edited (I take them in RAW mode, so I have to do a little bit in Photoshop Elements because I can upload them to anything).

But at least I've got some older layouts to share :)

This layout makes me laugh, because I know the "back story".  Brandon was about 16 months old, & Olivia was 2 months. It was a super HOT day, so my mom & I took the kids over to Sunrise Mall. She needed to get some new clothes at Macys. Once we got there, Olivia needed to eat, so I ducked into an empty changing room to nurse. My mom brought Brandon into a changing room with her so she could try on clothes. As soon as she got her top off, he started SCREAMING! Nothing we could do would calm him down. Did I mention we were in Macys? Yeah, fun.

I don't remember why, but my mom drove him home in her car. I think it was maybe because her air conditioner was better than mine? It was pre-minivan & I know that was the main reason we got it. Anyhow...she got to listen to him scream the entire way from Sunrise Mall to her house in Rocklin. Where he continued to scream & thrash & be loads of fun. Until we stripped him down & sent him outside where we hosed him down :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Project LIFE, 5/16-5/22

Okay, it's been a while to say the least, so let's get caught up!

The kids were asked to strip their beds before we took Brandon to school. I heard WAY too much laughter...and this is what I found :)

Abbie had so much fun matching the Go Diego Go memory cards today! She did this all on her own, with just a little bit of help from my mom.

There's nothing better than lots of hugs for your 21st birthday (according to Olivia, and who am I to challenge her?).

Rose, Olivia, Ella, & Emma all got to try on their dance recital costumes today.

Brandon moved David's Guitar Hero drumset so he could play the drums along with the Fresh Beat Band on Nickelodeon. Abbie was even "singing" along.

Our last game of the season at Hillsborough Park.