Sunday, August 26, 2012

Jacob o Lantern

Jacob lost his 6th tooth.  His smile is AWESOME now - so cute!!!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Taylor and Hayley's Wedding!

 On August 18, 2012, Hayley officially joined the family!!!  The bride and groom looked so happy!

The cousins were all dressed for the occasion.

Claire LOVED getting to hold the flowers.  She was also in charge (whether someone asked her to or she took it as one of her responsibilities) of holding Hayley's train.  Wherever Hayley went, Claire was always dutifully close behind.

Jacob and Claire waiting for their next photo op. 

The night prior to the wedding, we were joined by Elder Jensen for the presentation of the "Top 10 things you need to know to survive the Jensens," by Matt.  Andrew also joined us at the wedding.

It was a warm day in Newport, and there weren't lots of places to find shade, so sometimes we had to be a little creative.

The beautiful mothers and their little matching babies!  Adele was less than 3 weeks old when she flew across the country to join the wedding festivities.

Nana and Papa and all of the grandkids right before the reception.

All the boys in their matching outfits!  The cousins had a great time - we hardly saw them during the reception.  In fact, near the end, I would see Jacob and Clayton wandering around now and then.  Eventually, I figured out they were looking for Claire and Lydia (they were playing sardines).  It took a little hint to finally locate the girls.

 We managed to fit in a little swim at Kip and Sam's house in between the wedding and the reception in Hemet.  The drive to Hemet provided a little rest time for everyone, including Amber, squished in between kiddos in the back seat.

Why do we keep putting pictures of our kids sleeping in their stroller?  Maybe it's proof to ourselves that it happened at some time because it certainly doesn't happen often. We really exhausted them on this trip.  Liam, who we couldn't keep out of the sun quite enough to avoid a little sunburn (redheads burn so quickly!), finally fell fast asleep.  He looked so cute in his little bow tie!

The wedding party.

Friday, August 17, 2012

SoCal Day 3

In between Disneyland and the wedding day, we took a few hours to go to the beach!

The kids had fun running away from the waves.  Matt eventually convinced me to join him in the ocean.  Even though we were a thousand miles away from the Oregon coast, the water was still pretty cold!  It was fun going through the waves - they were pretty big and definitely took a little effort to get back on shore.

I brought babies down by the water.  Liam liked it for a little while.  Also, his shirt doesn't stay down... his belly is too big.

Kate LOVED splashing in the water.  I would hold her as the waves would come, and when they would get to her feet, she would squeal with delight.  Then, as the waves receded, she would pull me down the beach to chase the water.  It was so much fun.

With as mobile as the babies have been, trying to keep them contained to a beach towel was a tough task.  I'm sure they were eating sand for their next couple meals!

Our nephew Wyatt is in a stage where he makes this awesome chipmunk face for his smile - he is hilarious!

We ate lunch on Balboa Pier as we were ducking a pelican that kept flying super close to us.  Once it landed on the rail right behind us... I was just glad I didn't have fish and chips!

The boys were having fun playing together all day!

The girls took collected sea shells.  They also took turns closing their eyes for this picture!

Balboa pier and the Jensen circus!

Later that night, we got dressed up for the wedding dinner.  Claire got to finally wear her pretty white dress she's been eyeballing.

Jacob was in heaven - shortly after we arrived, Hayley's sister Chelsea took Jacob over to a group of 6 of Hayley's college girl friends to ask him about Disneyland.  They were over there with Jacob telling Disneyland stories for at least 10-15 minutes!  Later, Jacob sat next to our long-time friend Wayland and the two of them hit it off.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Disneyland Day 2 - Disneyland!

Day 2 started with a planning session... Nana had purchased a program called RideMaxx, which helps organize and optimize your day at Disneyland.  The men had to coordinate the schedule before walking into the park for the day.

The first stop, as soon as the park opened was FantasyLand.  We did the Peter Pan ride, Mr. Toad's, Dumbo, and the Merry Go Round.  Thankfully Kate started liking these rides, though we didn't try her on the Merry Go Round again!

It was fun to have Nana, Papa, all the aunts and uncles and cousins to experience Disneyland with!

The kids enjoyed exploring around ToonTown a bit.  The rollercoaster there was the first of the day for Claire, who I think surprised herself that she enjoyed it.  In the end, she didn't ride Space Mountain or the Matterhorn, but rode all the rest of the rides, and declared Splash Mountain to be her favorite (despite saying, "I'm not ready for this!!!" all the way up the final hill).

Liam was really excited to ride It's a Small World!  Maybe it was just because he wanted to get out of the heat for a few minutes.  Okay, it's like 20 minutes.  Of the same song.  Jacob says about the ride, "It's a Small World is funny because it's actually a really big world!"

Kate and Liam were happy to be with the whole group, and were really well behaved.  As usual, we had a lot of comments about our twins, and Kate and Liam were more than willing to entertain interested people.

The whole crew!

Nana and Papa!

We were able to catch a Jedi training show.  Jacob, Clayton, and Wyatt were selected to be the 'younglings' training to become Jedi.  They first taught and practiced a couple moves, and then Darth Vader and Darth Maul came out to fight!  Wyatt was front and center and looked a bit shell shocked.  Clayton looked like he was ready to have a real light saber battle.  Jacob, who isn't familiar with the Star Wars story, wasn't sure what to make of Darth Maul!  It was fun to watch our boys, and they were so proud of themselves!

With the RideMaxx system, we spent the morning riding rides in FantasyLand, the Matterhorn, and Buzz Blasters while amassing fast passes for some of the popular rides with longer lines.  It was fun to know that we would be able to ride Star Tours, Space Mountain (three times!), Splash Mountain, Indiana Jones, and Big Thunder Mountain (twice in a row) without waiting.

It was very worthwhile to have a plan going in with a group of our size.  We ended up riding rides, with a break for the Jedi training and lunch, from the time the park opened at 8 until about 6, when we went to go see the parade.

Liam was really excited to watch the parade.  He watched pretty intently and loved the music and would dance to it.

It was fun being with with Taylor and Hayley before their wedding.

We ended up staying pretty late.  Even though we ended up walking a lot, everyone did well, though we were all ready to rest our feet by the end of the day.  Disneyland is pretty at night with all the lights.

It was a memorable day!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Disneyland Day 1 - California Adventure

After wrestling babies all the way down to LA (one of the flight attendants told me that Liam's scream, which he was using in occasional outbursts, was the loudest he had heard in his 15 year career.  Thanks.), we settled into our hotel, looking forward to a fun day at California Adventure.

The first ride we went on was the Merry-Go-Round.

While Liam, Claire, and Jacob loved it,

it wasn't so merry for one of our children!  Welcome to the Happiest Place on Earth, Kate!

One ride we love is the Toy Story 3 arcade.  That one has a long line, and we waited in it... with sweaty, wiggly babies!  It was fun anyway and was really the only line we waited in longer than 20 minutes.

After a few hours, Lydia, Clayton and Matt joined us.  One of the coolest parts of California Adventure was the recently opened Cars Land.

They set it up so that as you walk down the road, you feel like you're in Radiator Springs.  Pictured is the V8 Cafe, the Cozy Cone, and Monument Valley in the background.  Mater's Junkyard and Luigi's tire shop are among the other attractions.  The town lights up at night, and you can see Mater and Lightning McQueen occasionally driving down the road.

We stopped at the Cozy Cone to get a picture with Mater.

Monument Valley was really cool - it is like a large mountain-type structure that you can see from the majority of the park!  The Radiator Springs Racers ride had a 2.5 hour line for it... lucky for me that I had gotten some fast passes.  Between using 4 fast passes, 2 stroller passes (for Dani, who took Jacob for a second ride), and Matt and Lydia going through the single rider line, we were able to all ride it in 30 minutes!

Near the end of the day, we still had a few Fast Passes remaining for the Tower of Terror, which I had ridden with Matt and Lydia earlier.  Jacob debated whether or not he was going to ride.  While Dani and I sorted out the baby situation, Jacob made his way over to one of the ride attendants and was asking all about the ride.  He decided to ride, and once it was over, declared that it was "this much fun" (holding his fingers close together) "and this much scary" (holding his arms wide apart).

Some of the other highlights of the trip were Grizzly River Run, where Jacob got soaked, the new Little Mermaid ride (Claire and I ended up riding it 3 times, including once with me, both babies and Claire), the Disney Pixar parade, Clayton talking to Crush, the swings, and Goofy's Sky School.  Kate and Liam even took a nap in their stroller!  It was a busy, fun day!