Matt, Maddy and I were finishing up Maddy's most recent book project, designing a cereal box, last night while the boys were in watching tv. When we got done, we went into the living room to say family prayer and this is what I saw. Can't they always be like this?
We live right across from the elementary school. I love being so close because I don't have to worry about my kids getting from here to the school with any problems. They walk out the door to the waiting crossguard and there they are.
Living so close does have some disadvantages. One problem that we are reminded of again and again is parking during sport seasons. People park on the main street just off ours to take kids to practice. They park so close to the intersection that when we try to pull out of our street, we can't see cars coming down the hill.
I got frustrated enough with it yesterday that I called the city to see if there was something that could be done. The city told me I would have to call either the police station or the fire department. I called the police and they told me to call the city. When she found out they referred me to them, she offered to talk to them herself. She calls back a little later and tells me who exactly I needed to talk to at Public Works Department of the city. I finally got ahold of the guy who then tells me I needed to call the police. Umm, I don't think so. He finally said he would pass it along. Right. The more I thought about it, the more I felt like he totally blew me off. I called back and got his name.
I then thought I would use my best resource...my sisters group. It's a group of women in our town who ask questions, offer advice, etc. Let me tell you, I should have gone there first. One gal lives next door to one of the Public Works supervisors and one emailed a gal on the city council. I get a call this morning from the supervisor who says he is on it. I just got a call from him again. They have our no parking sign up already. Take about knowing the right people! Thanks, sisters, I couldn't not have done this (this fast) without you!
Apparently on the spring and fall equinoxes (maybe on all 4), you can balance an egg on its end. I don't know if it is really true that it is just on an equinox or if you can do it anytime. I just remember to try this the first day of Spring. Check it out! No tape, no glue, just skill.
This past week Cade's kindergarten class has been learning about 100. They have reached 100 days in school so have done different projects about the number. This week I was able to help out in his classroom twice. On one of the days, Ms C had the kids draw pictures of what they thought they would look like when they are 100. The pictures were so cute (in a 100 year old sort of way). I overheard one of the girls in the class tell Ms C that when she (the girl) was 100, she wanted to still be in Ms C's class. Ms C told the girl that she would be too old to teach when she was 100. The next day Cade came home and said that Ms C was gone today and that they had gotten a new teacher because Ms C was now too old to teach. Apparently Ms C had an art program meeting to go to that day. Cade, also hearing his teacher tell the girl she would be too old to teach, assumed she was leaving due to old age.
This is the first year Ryan has played basketball and Matt is one of his coaches. They have both really enjoyed doing this together. The boys have been fun to watch and have improved so much. (First game = painful to watch) They missed a lot of practice time due to snow storms shutting down the school. They have their last game this Saturday which unfortunately I think I will miss due to the fact that it is at 8:30 am in Bothell.
Last Monday morning was almost like Christmas here. We needed to get the kids up at 5:30am so we could catch a flight to Orange County. It is funny how easy or difficult it can be to get a child out of bed depending on the reason. We had no problems getting our three kiddos dressed and out the door.
We arrived in California at about noon and were able to check in at the Paradise Pier a bit early. When we were checking in, they asked us if we were celebrating anything. I told the man it was Ryan's birthday. It was really in January but instead of going to the Great Wolf Lodge (waterpark), we did this trip instead. They gave Ryan a balloon bouquet, a badge to wear that said "happy birthday" and a card to put any pictures on that they take at Disneyland. You still have to pay for the pictures.
We went to the park and quickly learned how much Maddy, Ryan and Cade are just like their mom. I am not a rollercoaster person. We had no problems getting them to go on 'It's a Small World' or 'Mr Toad's Wild Ride' or 'Autopia'. They loved those. We have about 20 drivers licenses from 'Autopia' to prove it.
We went back to the hotel after goofing off at the park and in our room was a plate of Mickey Mouse shaped rice crispy treats for us to share on Ryan's 'birthday.' Talk about the best birthday ever.
The trip was a success for sure. We did have a few things we would have hoped had gone differently. The weather was beautiful the whole time except for one day when it poured most of the time. Enough that we had to buy ponchos to stay mostly dry. It also would have been nice if after we bought those ponchos, we all would have worn them when we went on the 'Grizzly Rapids' raft ride. I was the only one either thinking or the only one quick enough to put mine on. Maddy and Ryan got soaked. They liked the ride but were very wet and cold afterwards. One person (I won't name names because she will probably get mad at me for doing so) informed us that until we bought them new shirts or took us back to the hotel to change, she wasn't going on anymore rides. We bought a towel and basically said "deal with it." After awhile both the kids and someone's attitude warmed up.
Matt would have loved some company on some of the more wild rides like Space Mountain or California Screamin but no matter how much he pushed or what he promised, he had no takers. Cade saw the loop on the rollercoaster and didn't want Matt to go on it.
In the end, Cade ended up being the bravest (he at least rode 1 rollercoaster), Ryan said he would ride Space Mountain and got into line with Matt before changing his mind ("at least I made it that far so I was the bravest") and Maddy didn't really care about being brave.
We also went to a couple Character Breakfasts and saw some Disney characters...Chip and Dale, Lilo, Stitch, Goofy, Pluto, Daisy, Minnie. I was kind of surprised that we didn't see more characters roaming the park.
We decided to take one day off from Disneyland and go to either Universal Studios or Legoland. We had friends give us some passes into both. Both Ryan and Cade like Legos and since all three weren't big riders, we opted for Legoland or as Matt and I now refer to it as Lame-o-land. The kids loved it but now we wished we had gone to Universal. I was also playing a game with Cade, dropped the camera and broke it.
After Legoland we took the kids by Oceanside to see the ocean. As we were walking down the big pier, we saw 3 big pelicans. Matt stood by one and the bird took a step away. Matt took another step closer. Pelicans are faster than you would think. The bird swung its beak around and bit Matt on the leg! I would say the boy deserved it.
The last day we hurried over to the park so we could fit a few last minute things in. We had tried to go to the Jedi Training Academy earlier but the show was canceled due to rain. This time the weather was great and Ryan and Cade were both selected to participate in the training program. About 30 kids were chosen to 'train'. Each was given a training light saber and a robe to use during the program. The boys loved it. Ryan ended up fighting Darth Mal and Cade fought Darth Vader.
Overall, the trip was a blast. The kids played all day and swam every night. They got up early each morning and crashed every night. This was Cade's first time on a plane and to Disneyland. One of my favorite pictures from the trip is of Cade as we are going into 'It's a Small World.' Pure joy and amazement on his face.
As we landed back in Seattle, Cade leans over and says, "In Disneyland they say all your dreams will come true. Well, I wished for no airports and no cats and they are still here!" A truely Cade statement for sure!