Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Happiest Place On Earth

Our fabulous family vacation started out with a stop at my Aunt and Uncle's house down in Richfield. They are like a second mom and dad to me, and the boys just love them. We ate yummy food and played games with them. We slept there Sunday night, and set out for Disneyland, 2 1/2 hours closer the following morning. The road trip was great, and we got into town with plenty of time to swim and eat a good dinner.

We spent two fun filled days in Disneyland and California Adventure. We LOVE both of them and have been lucky to visit them several times in the last few years. This year was a lot of fun as there was no throwing up (refer to humorous stories of our last visit to the happiest place on earth! If you haven't heard the story, feel free to ask anytime!) In fact, every time we passed the lovely restaurant where we all got food poisoning last time, at least one of the boys would say, "This is where we got sick last time! DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING!" It was pretty funny, especially when Eric yelled it out loud while passing several diners at said restaurant! I'm sure they really appreciated us. Other reasons why this year's trip was so fun: We took Grandma Barfuss with us; the weather was fantastic; everyone got along; there were practically NO lines and we rode all the big rides at least 5 or 6 times; and we finally convinced Jordan to try rollercoasters again--he rode all of them, including California Screamin' for our very last ride of the trip! Way to go Jordan!!! After traumatizing him when he was quite young by forcing him to ride the Matterhorn with his dad, he has refused to ride any of them. Like I said, he rode them all this year, and even said that Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain were his favorite rides. Eric was also very brave, riding all of them but California Screamin'. I love that my kids are all old enough and big enough to ride everything together. It is really a fun way to experience Disneyland. It's fun when they are little too, but oh so much more exhausting and very limited to what they can and want to ride when they are little. Here are a few photos of the trip.

One of the super fun bonuses of the trip this year was running into one of my best friends, Jocelyn. We went to high school together, and we still keep in touch now. It was so fun to see her so unexpectedly, and it was really fun to meet her kids. She has met mine when she has come to town for our high school girlfriend reunion weekends, but I had yet to meet hers.

I love this picture because it just says it all. It's the end of the first day in the parks, and we are all exhausted and starving, waiting for our food. I think Eric is actually asleep in this shot. We had to wake him up to eat.

Another fun thing about the time we went this year was that it was right when they were switching over the Halloween decorations to the Christmas decorations. The first day we were there, everything was still Halloween. The next day, there were several Christmas things up as the transformation had begun.

The trip continued the next day at Legoland. We have tried several times to take the boys there when they were younger, but everytime we had a free day when we were in town, it was one of the days Legoland was closed during the week. The boys still had a good time, but it is definitely geared to younger kids, and it was a little bit of a let down after Disneyland, in my opinion. However, it was a fun day, and I'm glad we got the kids there finally. Eric was in heaven with all of the Thomas and Handy Manny models in the park. Everyone loved Miniland with all of the amazing models there. The model of the capitol below is from that part of the park.

This is, unfortunately, all we saw of the ocean this trip. We made a quick stop there after Legoland, but it was already just past sunset. The boys were a little sad, but that just gives us a good reason to go back!

We finished up our visit at Paul's brother's house. We had such a great time with them. The kids love to see their cousins and play with them. Justin got to go to a high school football game and tail gate party with his cousin, and the little ones just played and played. We had Alisha do a few quick family and kid photos for a yearly update. Some of them turned out hilarious. You've got to love kids when you are trying to take family photos! Anyway...a few of them turned out great, and I'll post them later. We are so grateful to have been able to take this trip! We had a great time, and everyone is looking forward to the next one!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fun Fall Days in October...

I love Fall. I love the colors, the cool weather, and the fun activites. October brought with it the end of another season of soccer for Justin and his friend Brett. It was an awesome winning season! Justin always seems to be on a team that is a little challenged, and it has been discouraging for several years. This year, most of his team were 9th graders, and they played really well, winning all of their games up until the very last one. Bummer way to end a season, but they did great!

Here are a few of the other things the Hammonds have been up to this month...

Tyler's first Pinewood Derby with the cub scouts. He worked really hard on his BYU car, and he ended up taking 4th place. He had a little melt down thinking that was last place. Guess we need to work on that sportsmanship a little! But he had a good time, and he felt a little better about all his hard work after we explained the places and no matter who took last, everyone was a winner for trying!

A favorite fall tradition of ours is going to a pumpkin patch and picking out pumpkins. This year were went to the patch next to a corn maze and did both activities in one night. The kids picked out some great pumpkins, and we all had fun in the maze!

We always love going to the ward chili cookoff, eating some great food and visiting with good friends. This is Eric and his buddy Tyson having some fun after chowing down.

One of Paul's least favorite things to do in the fall after picking out the pumpkins is carving them. But he is always a good sport to help the boys do it. They had a great time for family night drawing their faces and watching Dad get dirty carving them!

And lastly, in anticipation of the many hours we will spend in the car this week on our trip to California, Eric got a little early birthday gift so there wouldn't be any fighting over whose turn it was to share their DS with him! He was very excited!! We will be too, if we find enough ear buds hanging around so that the children will be seen and not heard!!

We are now all patiently waiting for Dad to get home from meetings so we can hop in the car and head off to the happiest place on earth! we come!