Monday, June 28, 2010


Exactly two days after Jacob's last day of work, we packed our bags and flew to California (prounounced Cal-i-for-nigh-aye) for a 17-day vacation with Jacob's mom (AKA Little Grandma and her husband Angel (AKA Little Grandpa)! We haven't been in this great state for about five years. It's so good to be back.
The Flight(s)...
We stopped twice, once in Boise and once in Reno, but fortunately, we didn't have to change planes. It was nice to do the trip in three legs, but the boys were unhappy that once they finally got into a movie, it was time to put away their DVD player! It was fun to watch them sitting together from across the aisle. They were so mature as they "ordered" their sprite and peanuts. Kenai just crawled all over our laps and Ziya enjoyed pretending that the little button that reclines her seat was really a "power" button for the entire airplane. My little three-year-old was controlling that huge airplane all by herself!!!

My mother-in-law is amazing. She has been preparing for this trip for a long time and the kids are soooo super-excited to discover all the "preparations" she made for them.
Ammon and Abraham got a spy bag, complete with all sorts of spy gear (old remote controls with their pictures on them), clue games, spy tools and journals for recording their discoveries. This alone kept them busy for our first day here.

Ziya had fun gluing puppet scenes with Little Grandma... so much fun that later, Grandma's lap was as far as she got for her nap!

Kenai had a great time exploring his new surroundings.

The hot tub was a huge hit. We haven't been "swimming" in a long time, so this was quite a treat. Yes, that's a princess floatie that Kenai is in. We want him to be comfortable with his masculinity.

Litttle Grandma created themes for our daily parties. The first night was a birthday party to celebrate everybody's birthdays that she and Angel missed this past year - gifts and all! Jacob's gift was the restored version of these funny little shell guys that he bought while he was a missionary in Jamaica. They've been broken for years and she fixed them for him!

The next night was movie night: popcorn, 3-D glasses and two movies. My kids are having their dream vacation!

For animal day, there were cute hats and glasses for the kids to wear. We went to the park and tried to collect bugs, but the jungle gym provided more immediate entertainment!! The kids also got to go to Grandpa Angel's friends' farm to see and pet lots of little animals. I stayed home with my napping baby, but there were lots of fun stories to hear about when they all got home. Apparently, the little white goat took a real liking to Ziya!

We went to the beach in Ventura for a couple of hours. There's a really fun area right on the sand that has a jungle gym and swing sets. The kids had fun going back and forth from the water to the toys to the sand.

Little Grandpa is so smart! He packed a huge umbrella and pulled some MacGyver tricks to get it propped perfectly for our shade.

Kenai really enjoyed the water.

At first the cold water scared him, but then he didn't want to be picked up anymore!

He also loved the swing. I think we could have spent hours there and he would have been a happy swinger!

Ammon and Abe had fun jumping waves... and running from them, too! The water was quite cold.

Ziya had fun running from waves, too.

She did NOT have fun when one knocked her over!

But that was nothing Little Grandma's hugs and kisses couldn't fix!

Drying off after the cold water.

Of course we had to play the burying game. Kenai was easy to do since he is so small, but he wouldn't keep his toes under the sand!

Abraham was a bit more cooperative!

Here's Genius Grandpa enjoying the big umbrella.

And then taking a nap under it, too!

While Little Grandpa held down the fort, the rest of us walked down to the end of the pier.

We watched as some fishermen caught a small shark (thank goodness we don't surf!) and brought it up!

Once again, the fun and excitement was too much for little Ziya!

I'm obviously getting spoiled on this vacation! I haven't had time to write a long post like this one for quite a while (the kids are being entertained by Little Grandma, even as I type). I'm grateful to both Pam and Angel who are making this all possible for us. I'm loving it and so are my kids!!!

Side note: Jacob actually flew back home for a second interview with a high school in Spokane. They agreed to do a phone interview when we first got here, but since they selected him to be one of the final two candidates, they wanted to do a second interview in person. He flew back Sunday morning and will return tonight. Then on to Legoland, Disneyland and three resorts (all with awesome swimming pools!) crammed in between. Fun times!