Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Weekend

We went to Idaho for Thanksgiving. We stayed with Aaron's parents, but on Thanksgiving day headed to my parents' house. My dad's brother's family came too, so it was lots of fun.
Before we ate, some of us played football. This tradition usually includes the next door neighbors and a homemade trophy, which the winner of each year keeps. But this year they were out of town, so we just played with our cousins. Still fun.

Then we had dinner. Yay!

Friday I got up early to go shopping at 6:00. First stop: Wal-Mart. I met three siblings, one sis-in-law, one cousin, and one Jonathan there. There weren't even any lines there! Next stop: Shopko. The line zigged and zagged through probably about ten aisles. All I know is that it took FOREVER. We also went to Kohls, huge line there, and Ross. Ross didn't appear to have special sales, but we still seemed to get the best prices there. After five hours we were finally done.

Without even a nap I went and played Volleyball with the family. Fun fun fun.
This is Morgan on the way home between two big boys. He loved it.
Saturday was spent with the Nelsons. I went to see New Moon with Chanel and Arielle. I must admit, I loved it.
Morgan helped Grandpa hang Christmas lights.

Yay for Holidays.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Vandalism update

The insurance company is officially going to take care of the bill for fixing our house. The damages will cost nearly $3000 to repair, maybe more, so thank goodness we don't have to cover it!

As far as I know, there has been no progress on the investigation of the vandal(s). The police take a long time to take care of things apparently.

Traffic Jam

Morgan has a car road rug in his bedroom. He's had it for about a year and a half, but only very recently has started noticing it. He finally realized that it's a great place to play with his many cars. And look, this is how he plays with it.

That's pretty much all the cars he owns. He has more, but they are good and lost. I've searched under couches, in couches, under the fridge, under beds, in the wrong toy boxes, in the car, and haven't found them. So, maybe some other kid has them now. Mater and Sally and Chick from Cars are among those lost, which Morgan misses. Sort of. He just pretends other cars are Sally and Mater.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ready for Church

Morgan just looked so sharp after I got him ready for church on Sunday that I just had to take pictures. I love this outfit. And this boy. :)

He likes to make a variety of expressions for pictures, so he made a very convincing pout, which I think is adorable.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A meeting with Santa

Dugway had a Christmas bizarre at the gym last Thursday. At around 5:15, Santa arrived on a firetruck. Morgan and I got in line to see him. I had no idea how Morgan would do. He didn't see Santa at all last year, and the year before it was a scary moment for him.
I told Morgan that he would sit on Santa's lap and Morgan could tell him what he wanted for Christmas.
Our turn came. Morgan climbed the two stairs to the little stage, then hesitated. I gave him a little nudge and Morgan made baby steps to where Santa Clause was sitting. He stopped just out of Santa's reach and declared. "I want cars!"
Santa got up a little and lifted Morgan on to his lap. Morgan didn't protest. He and SC had a big conversation that I couldn't hear because it was really loud in there.

It kinda looks like Morgan is about to be strangled here...
All the little kids got a package of some junk toys. (Tiny yo-yo that doesn't work, jump rope that is too light to work, little frisbee thing, a useless plastic bubble vaguely shaped like an animal, and a working kazoo.) I assume that Santa told Morgan that he was going to give him a present as he set him down, because while Santa rifled in the box next to him, Morgan took off to the other side of the stage to choose a present among the wrapped boxes acting as props. But he eventually understood.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Vacation: Days 6 and 7

Saturday. Magic Mountain day. Aaron and I left Morgan with the relations, where he had a blast, so that WE could have a blast. :)
We pre-purchased our tickets for about $55 each. I was getting so excited when we could see the tops of some of the coasters above the tree-line. We love roller-coasters, and this park is packed with some great ones.
Since it was November we were hoping for and expecting the park to be somewhat empty. Like SeaWorld. Boy were we wrong.
As we drove past the entry gate we saw HORDES of people crammed together. Thousands, waiting for admission into the theme park. Oh. Great.
It turns out that there is an organization called Key West club, or something. It consists of thousands of highschool kids from California, New Mexico and Hawaii. And they all went to Magic Mountain the same day that we did.
When we got into the park we hurried over to the closest roller coaster to get in line. We weren't going to even think about the other rides there until all the roller-coastering was done. We were almost to the front of the line when we heard on the speaker. "We're sorry, but we are experiencing some technical difficulties. You are welcome to wait, but we don't know when the ride will be running again." Splendid.
So we worked our way through the throngs of high-schoolers to the next roller coaster. This one happened to be X2, which happens to be very popular. Wow, that pic ended up tiny...
The picture is tiny, but the line wasn't. It was filled with these same-tee-shirt-wearing-teens, who go around in packs of 30. Not only were they ubiquitous, they were very loud and annoying.
One pack in blue shirts would pass a pack in black shirts and start, "We've got spirit, yes we do, we've got spirit, how 'bout you?!" And that wouldn't end. And during that little spirit contest a pack in red shirts would pass the pack in green shirts and someone would say, "Ask me how I feel!" And there would be a response, "How do you feel?" And all 30 would shout at the top of their lungs, "Ooooooh, we feel good, we feel good, we feel good, so good, so good, yeah, we feel fine, we feel fine, we feel fine all of the time, yeah, a booga, a booga, a booga booga booga!"
It got old very fast.

After an hour of standing in it we finally got to where the line is supposed to start. Another hour and we could see the building where you load up. When we were almost in the building, almost to our turn, we heard that loud speaker again. The ride was broken. And we were up. set.
By now it was 1:30, we'd been there since the park opened at 10:30, and we hadn't even got on a ride yet. So our next stop was guest relations, where we lodged a complaint and asked for a refund, cause we just weren't having it.
"No, but we can get you a pass to come back on a day when it won't be so crowded."
Well that wouldn't work, seeing as how the next day we were leaving for our home in Utah.
The best thing they could offer as compensation was two exit passes into different rides. Meaning, we go through the exit instead of waiting in line, and get on the ride without waiting. For only two rides though.
Whatever. We headed off for a different ride. It was about 2:00-2:30 before we got on our first ride. Even with our two walk ons, we still only made on to 6 rides before the park closed at 6:00. didn't really close. The rides kept operating. Apparently a private party rented out the whole park for the evening. There was a point were someone was checking for wrist bands before anyone could pass him into the main part of the park. But...we were already in that part of the park. We saw the roller coaster that we first were in line for, that we never went on, was operating with hardly any line at all. We jumped right in and rode our 7th ride. Then we heard something about green wristbands. We clued into what was going on by now, but we thought we'd try to get onto X2 anyway. Unfortunately there was a worker standing outside the walkway to get there checking for wristbands, which we didn't have. No longer able to play the ignorance card, we exited the park.
It ended up being close to $10 a ride. That's ridiculous. We would never intentionally spend that much on a single ride.
Before heading back to Redlands, we stopped in Longbeach to visit Aaron's other uncle, Kenny, and his family. That was fun too.

The next day we hit the road around 9:00. Vacation over.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Vacation: Day 5

Beach Day. Oh baby. The only other beaches I've been to were in Washington in the winter in a bay, and Oregon. Which is never warm, not even in July and August. So, even though it's November, we were looking forward to our southern Califonia beach day because even though it was supposed to be low 70's, it's still better than anything else I'd experienced.
We packed up our swimming suits and towels and boogie board and headed out to Huntington Beach.
And it was really windy.
The wind was cold, insistent and plan changing. We left the swim suits and towels in the car and donned our jackets. But it's still the beach, and it's still cool. Cold or not, we had to wade in the surf.

Rolled up pant legs on adults is one thing, but when you're only 3 feet tall to begin with, having your pants rolled to your knees really doesn't do much for you. Especially if your an excited little boy who doesn't care wether or not your pants get wet.
Soon Morgan's shirt and jacket were getting splashed too, so I removed the jacket so we'd have at least something dry. A very fortuitous decision.

It wasn't long before the shifting water and sand under his feet caused a couple of spills for the little boy. We tried to stay very close to him to prevent that, but his bum was soon just as wet as the rest of him.

I really like these pictures.

When we were just about done in the water, Morgan lost his balance and fell into the shallow surf, and not just on his bum this time, he rolled over onto his back as well. Ugh. And brrrr! Poor kid was freezing.
We walked back to where are sandals and Morgan's jacket were deposited and I took off his wet tee shirt and replaced it with just the jacket. Then we hiked through the sand up to the parking lot and at the car we stripped his soaked pants and undies and put his dry swim suit on him. Oh, the irony. Then we walked up and down the pier and through a little farmers market. It was called a farmers market, but from what I could tell, there wasn't any food! Only jewelry and clothes and such.

We were a little bummed that we couldn't swim, (though Morgan did anyway!) but it was still a fun time at the beach.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Vacation: Day 4

This was a great day. We went to SeaWorld, and it was so much fun! The park wasn't very full at all, so we didn't have many crowds to fight with.

First was the shark exhibit. Oh, scary.
Then we went to the Sesame Street 3D movie. The second one in a week! This was only 25 minutes or so, but lots of fun. The characters squirted us with water, blew bubbles at us, and our chairs vibrated when it thundered. Here we are prepared.

Then we just wandered around and looked at animals and aquariums and stuff.
Then there were the awesome shows. First was the dolphin/pilot whale show. So neat!

And the killer whale show. Go Shamu! Look! There is a man in the air with the Orca! I got lots of good pictures of them, but here are two.

We also checked out the arctic regions. Aaron's a bear in a cave! Morgan was afraid of this cave because it growled like a bear.
Had to get the helicopter picture with our vehicle loving son.
We did all the kid rides too, which Morgan loved. Oh, and we also got to feed and touch the dolphins! We got that on video. I plan on eventually posting that.
So, lots of walking, but lots of fun. We even splurged and got a couple of souvenirs. I NEVER to do that.
Yay for SeaWorld!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Vacation: Day 3

Day three of the vacation we kinda just hung around for the morning, playing Guitar Hero and chatting. After lunch though, some of us, namely, Teresa, Solomon, Grace, Morgan and me, went to a place in the hills called Oak Glen or something. They had shops and apples and a petting zoo. I don't think we'd ever taken Morgan to a petting zoo before, but he wasn't afraid of anything. We had a cup of dried corn that the animals liked to eat. Morgan would just stick his little hand filled with corn right up under their noses and let the animals lip or lick it off. I tried a couple of times, but couldn't help but jerk my hand away on first contact. Morgan is much braver than me.

Here he is feeding the llama. It didn't spit at him or anything. :)
Ready to feed the goat.
Petting the sheep. Unless that's a long haired goat...
Morgan put the corn on the gate for the cow and was delighted when it was licked off.

Apparently goats like playing on firetrucks.
A fun picture moment with Aaron's cute cousins. Morgan loved playing with them.
That night we went to In-n-Out for dinner, then a 3D movie, The Christmas Carol one. It was actually pretty fun. Morgan got a little scared though. That may have been my first 3D movie experience. I liked it. A great day overall.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Vacation: days 1 and 2

Warning: Starting today and continuing several days will be a series of very long posts with lots of pictures.

Last Monday we started our vacation. Aaron worked a half day, then around 1:00 we piled into the car. Our first destination was Las Vegas. We got a room there at Circus Circus for only $30. We didn't do much that night, but the next morning we sure did. They have several circus acts throughout the day. We saw three.
The first was clowns. Very funny and entertaining.

The second was...well...stuff like this:

The third was this lady in a net high in the air doing scary things. They were all entertaining.

We also did some arcade type things and got Morgan a couple toy cars with the tickets won. One he got for free, because everybody there thought he was just so cute. Seriously, he made lots of friends while in Vegas. Particularly in elevators. He'd just start up conversations with strangers and they loved him.

They also have a bit of an amusement park in Circus Circus, so we bought Morgan a wrist band and took him around to all the little kid rides.
His favorite was the airplane/helicopter ride, which he went on several times.

They let me ride the bus with him for free. He was tense.

The train was kind of fast and jerky, which scared him pretty good. He and the little boy in front of him spent a good majority of that ride screaming and crying.

That same little boy was next to him on this mini-Lagoon-style-rocket. They were happy at first...

But then it got scary...

Oh it was funny.

We also went and saw the lions at MGM Grand as well as the Bellagio Fountains.
By the time we finally left Vegas we were very tired of walking around. All day on your feet is so tiring!
From there we drove to Redlands California to Aaron's Aunt Teresa's house. We stayed with them for the whole week. We had fun with them. They are a fun family and made us comfortable. And Morgan LOVED playing there with Aaron's cousins. He got lots of attention, which he loves.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Last week, right before we went on vacation, we got some bad news from the property management company we hired for our home in Caldwell. They went to do an inspection to get it ready to rent out and they found that the inside had been vandalized. When I heard all the details I was so mad that I was shaking for a long time.

Check it out. Red candle wax on the counter and on the BRAND NEW carpet that we had put in. No one has lived in the house with this carpet yet, but it has candle wax in it.

And muddy footprints. They are going to have to clean the carpets. Ugh.Whoever did this seems to have had a hammer. With it they ruined the faucet...
which caused this water leak, which looks like it's made the whole counter bow with warping.
They knocked a hole in the ceiling and scraped it up,
They hammered the fridge, making it impossible to close. The same thing with the dishwasher and oven. The stove is ruined also.
But since that is apparently not enough damage, they ripped out many of the cupboards and drawers.

Upstairs they ripped a little hutch thing off the wall, from above the toilet, which fell onto the toilet seat, breaking it, and left gouges in the wall itself.
And blinds. Lots of the blinds will need replacing. Again.

We're already unhappy about the money we have had to put into this place. We bought it at the peak of house prices, then it pretty immediately depreciated. So we can't sell it without losing a lot more money, so we've basically been paying the full mortgage since we moved out of it, since our last tenants never paid rent. We have some yard issues that we need to get fixed, and we just put in new carpet. Pretty much, we've put a lot of money into this place, and now we have a TON more that we have to put into it to fix everything. Insurance might cover it though.

There was no evidence of forced entry, but hubble windows are crappy. And we aren't sure if the sliding glass door was locked after the carpet guy.
The police got some fingerprints from soda cans though, so we might be able to find out who did this. I really hope so! I want retribution!