Cali Trip March 2015

by Chrissie Wainright on March 30th, 2015
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Our California Visit! March 2015

 

Our California visit was wonderful! It was full of all our favorite people, traditions and activities. =) The kids were amazing on the plane, even Maia. This was her first flight without nursing so I’m very grateful it went as well as it did. She sat by Eric and he used his natural airplane sleepiness to lull her to sleep on several occasions =) Sitting by Serenity and Donovan was so easy it was nearly like I was on vacation already! Everyone was overjoyed when we landed though and Ann and John arrived to take us home. We followed Maia around the house for the first few hours, but she really didn’t get into anything dangerous. Well, outside she tasted the gravel several times, but that finally got old after the first two days.

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Puzzles with Vanaema!

Puzzles with Vanaema!

Playing in the gravel =)

Playing in the gravel =)

Tri-Dominoes

Tri-Dominoes

Saturday was our 11th Epic Duels Tournament! I’m so grateful that so many friends still gather to play this with us, and this was an especially exciting year as Henry joined! And he did an amazing job with the Emperor, making it to 5th place his first year! I played one round with him, which was a little worrisome as I didn’t want to let him down =) I was impressed with how very well he plays the game. Eric won the tournament this year, which was a good thing as our children had their hearts set on the big prize this year, a set of Star Wars Angry Birds slingshots. DZ came by many times during the day to see if Eric and I were winning. They have had a blast with them!

 

Henry's First Epic Duels!!!

Henry’s First Epic Duels!!!

"Daddy, did you win me the slingshot yet?"

“Daddy, did you win me the slingshot yet?”

Aidan is such a good big brother!

Aidan is such a good big brother!

Evan and DZ are best buddies =)

Evan and DZ are best buddies =)

Pick up hugs!!!

Pick up hugs!!!

Evie is SUCH a cutie!!! =)  I love her little pose!

Evie is SUCH a cutie!!! =) I love her little pose!

Keep Away from Uncle Jack!!!

Keep Away from Uncle Jack!!!

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Is this how I play too?

Is this how I play too?

The winners!!!

The winners!!!

Good thing Daddy won these =)

Good thing Daddy won these =)

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Monday Ann and Eric took Serenity and DZ to the beach. That was the one activity Serenity asked to do while we were in California. They did love the beach, except for the moment when Serenity got knocked over by a wave. That terrified her, of course, and she has no desire to get near waves again for the time being. She may have told this story to the entire airplane as we were boarding our last flight home…

 

We got to take all the kids to Kona Kai to swim this visit. Even Maia! She was kind of confused by such a big bath I think, but she didn’t fuss a bit about it, and even smiled when she was swirled around in the water. Serenity and Donovan had lost a little of their swimming skills in the three months since they last swam, but they got the hang of things again by our second trip.

 

The kids adore playing in the yard in California. Not only is the weather beautiful, but Ann’s yard is so much fun. There is a big gravel area, lots of little nooks that are tucked away, paths to follow, oranges and lemon trees, and pretty flowers. Serenity made fairy houses and Donovan made tiger mountains. At one point during Epic Duels, she had Aidan keeping watch to make sure no uninvited people joined her around the side of the house where she’d built the fairy houses, and only a select few were allowed. They got to do a creek walk with Eric and Tina.

 

Serenity and DZ really enjoyed playing with their friends, and they even got to have some sleepovers! DZ spent the night at Evan’s house, and Eric stayed with him. He loved it! He and Evan are just adorable together. They hid themselves in Eric’s old room during Epic Duels for an hour at least, just playing. At the sleepover, they got to play Mario Kart and a bunch of wii carnival games. Evan loves driving off the road in Mario Kart and DZ agreed it was hilarious. The only thing DZ loved better than falling off was getting the bullet. Which was good, because he got behind a lot so he got to use the bullet a lot. “I’m a rocket!!!” I got to play with Marilyn for a bit too in her nursery. Her baby girl was due in just a week, so I got to help sort and fold tiny baby clothes =) Organizing and babies, two of my favorites! =)

 

Serenity stayed at Henry’s twice. She loves Henry and still plans to marry him (which causes Donovan a bit of consternation as he wants to marry her.) They are two peas in the pod! They played board games and told stories to each other a lot.   Serenity told me one of the stories they made up, which was titled “The Adventures of Poop and Fart” Evidently poop and fart begin in the toilet, but then they get flushed and they are stuck in a jail toilet! They escape the jail toilet and get into many more shenanigans. So we have definitely reached the potty humor age!

 

We played lots of fun games in Cali besides Epic Duels. The first day we played a new one for me, Time’s Up. It was an awesome charades game! There are three rounds. First, you play it like Taboo, where you can say anything that’s on the card to get them to answer. Then, you take the same pile of cards, and in the second round you can say only one word and act it out. Then in the third round, no talking. It was HILARIOUS. And it evidently it makes my husband’s clothes come up. Ask Eric for his Lady Godiva impression sometime. Love it!   Ann and John kept the kids one day so that we could enjoy time with Tina and Colen. We played more Time’s Up, and another new game called Quarriors. It’s a bit like Dominion except you build up a set of dice instead of a deck of cards. It’s an awesome game! Donovan played it too and loved it! Serenity played Thurn and Taxis for the first time, and stuck to it well in the first games we played. Not so much when we let her out of bed after bedtime, but she did like the game! Oh, Donovan also got to play his first game of Settlers with John. He adores board games so being with Far Far is especially fun =) Ann even tried Quarriors with him, and she played tridominoes with him too. Eric and I got amazing bridge hands this visit, which almost made up for the fact that we haven’t been practicing card games nearly enough. I could barely keep track of what was played. Maybe I’ll blame that on Maia forgetting how to sleep through the night… Yes, I think I will 😉

 

Quarriors

Quarriors

Legos

Legos

Puss N Boots

Puss N Boots

Reading in Swedish

Reading in Swedish

Serenity's getting pretty good with the camera =)

Serenity’s getting pretty good with the camera =)

15 months old!

15 months old!

Ann and Eric took the kids to Vasona Park one morning. It’s a beautiful walk and throwing stones in the lake is always fun.

 

Tina made us pancakes at her house before we left. Ann made them for us also with our favorite pea soup. Ooh, and her lemon curd is amazing.   I just love Swedish Pancakes! Donovan and Serenity love them too, they like to call them pancake burritos. On the way over they kept saying “Tina’s going to give us SUGAR!!!” And giggling maniacally. Delicious!

 

Evan's Birthday Party =)  Angry Birds and Pizza, perfect!

Evan’s Birthday Party =) Angry Birds and Pizza, perfect!

Swinging with Aunt Tina

Swinging with Aunt Tina

My new hat =)

My new hat =)

Maia can say "Mmmm!"

Maia can say “Mmmm!”

Las Palomas Park!  So much fun!!!

Las Palomas Park! So much fun!!!

Painting the grass

Painting the grass

Teal! =)

Teal! =)

So good on the plane =)

So good on the plane =)

 

 


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