Sunday, November 8, 2015

Halloween California Trip

I wish, like I always wish, that I had taken pictures of all our family in California.  I always forget.  So this is mostly pictures of my guys.

Conversation at dinner table today:

Karisa: Evan, I'm going to be your new cub scout leader. (my new calling)
Evan: Yay!
Karisa: But I'm not doing boy scout stuff, 'cause I'm a girl, so we're going to do girl scout stuff.  We're going to sell girl scout cookies, and make pretty hats, and...(on and on like this).
Evan: Do you have any girl scout cookies?
Me: No!  I don't want to eat girl scouts!
Evan: I would.
Dallas: Yeah, 'cause they're hot.
Me: WHAT!! 
Evan: Yeah, the girl scouts wear lots of sweaters and coats and then they make them into cookies.
Me: I don't think that's the hot Dallas was talking about.  I think he was saying they look nice.
Dallas: Both
Me: Okay, Dallas.  Which girls look nice to you?  Which girls are hot?
Dallas: All of them.
Me: That's the right thing to say!
Dallas: Except one.
Me: Which one!?
Dallas: Leia.  She's an ugly old troll.
Leia: ( growling and beating up Dallas with a dishtowel) I am not a troll!  I am beautiful!!!
Dallas: See, you sound like a troll.
Leia: (screeching at the top of her lungs while laughing) I am BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!

We all had a good laugh.

 At 'In and Out'.  I feel like we stopped at a hundred bathrooms along the way.  This was one Pat didn't mind stopping at at all.  He loves In & Out.
There were some pretty fun moments on our drive too.  Like when I was explaining something very animatedly and loudly to Pat in Spanish, and as soon as I said the last word, Dallas added, "Mijo!"

When "Lights" from Journey came on and we all had a sing-a-long at the top of our lungs.

When we played Mother May I outside the In-and-Out.

When Charles was watching a show on the iPad and we asked, "Charles, are you watching My Little Pony?", "No", he replied, "I'm watching Leia's little pony." 

Evan on our trip to California:
When we stopped for a sandwich at Togo's, they asked Evan which veggies he wanted on his sandwich.  He remained silent.  I said, "What do you want?  Like tomatoes, lettuce, ..."
He replied, as the lady waited impatiently, "A tomato is a fruit."

Another time, as we were driving we asked if anyone else had any pieces of bagel left for Leia.  Everyone said no except for Evan who said, "I have one piece, but it's slobbery and a bit chewed up.  It's in my mouth.  You can have it if you want it."  He says all this funny stuff with a dead straight face and I don't know why, but it just cracks me up.

So, as you can see, we just got back from a trip to see family in California.  We thought it would be fun to go for Halloween this year just to be different.  Plus then we wouldn't have to do two Thanksgiving dinners and all the stress it brings everyone who has to cook them; especially for Kim who has to work black Friday.  But we missed her anyway as she was away on business.  When we were in the car after church today Leia said, "I really want to see Aunt Kim again."  And I hardly saw Stephanie at all, but I knew that since she had T's family in town, I wouldn't see her much and since she couldn't take off work.  They made us a great dinner though and I got to talk with T's mom who has come to help them with June.

Another reason we came at the end of October was we thought it would be memorable to go trick-or-treating with cousins, and for my kids, it was their first real trick-or-treating (going door to door) experience.  I hope they'll have good memories of it.  It's too cold here and the houses too far apart, so my kids have only ever known the trunk-or-treat.  The neighborhoods near Jeremy's house (in the 40's) were like a movie; block parties, decorations, haunted houses, homemade cotton candy, and kids everywhere.  It was great fun!

Even just as Pat and I drove around during the daytime on Halloween (in quest of good pizza) people were just walking the streets of downtown and midtown in costume, which I loved.  And everywhere we went I could say, "I used to work there!", "I used to work there!", "I used to work there!", and "I used to work there!"  (I visited clients in all the law offices downtown, worked at the capital, worked at two Baskin Robbins downtown, and one Carl's Jr., worked at Attorney's Diversified Services and Sutter Hospital, and tramped around Old Town, Mid Town and Downtown with Ruby and other friends all the time.)  I am always so happy to see my home.  I love visiting the land of a million trees, palm trees, plants, flowers, shrubs, and perfectly manicured everything.

T's family visiting (see little June?), and mine and Jeremy's kids but missing Emme and Eila :(  Daisy is Anna, Evan the skeleton, Charles Batman, Sam Mad scientist, Dallas Old man).  My kids quit way too early.  Some earlier than others.  I could have gone forever.  I loved it!
The kids got lots of candy, of course, and it was great to eat throughout our trip, and on the three day drive home.  The weather was better for traveling in October too, though we did see snow on the way home and it froze early at our house so we had to ask our neighbor Mike to go into our garage and set up the heater and turn it on so the pipes wouldn't freeze.  I felt so bad asking him to do this!  We're so glad to have great neighbors.

I was most proud that the kids worked to help pay for this trip.  A friend invited us up to her house on the mountain to pick piñon nuts.  We dug around on the ground for hours and then sold them $20 a bag in town.  We made $160 and she made about the same.  We also made lots of treats to hand out for free, but I should have known, most people were too scared to take food from strangers.  So we sent all the homemade cookies and cupcakes to the final soccer games to share with everyone there.

Selling piñons:

 Sam jumping with his sign.

I love stuff like this.  If I could think of enough ideas to make a living I would be out on the streets like Burt most of the time (from Mary Poppins). 
"I does what I likes, and I likes what I do."

We got to go to the Wood Park with Grandma Mullen where we all ran around and chased each other like crazy and got to play with Taylor.  We also went to Jeremy's favorite park by the big open market under the freewary, and McKinley park, and the train museum with Grandma Stanger.  We love parks!

We also explored Old Town Sacramento and met some really nice artists that showed the kids everything in their shop and talked about how each thing was made.  We tried to go to Fairy Tale Town, but like always, they were closed.  Then we ended up going on our last day before we left town because it was too cold to visit the sequoias like we had planned.  It made me happy.  I remember that place from when I was young so it's really nice to take my kids there.  It's a tradition.  At least while I have small ones. *smile*

Daisy and Elle were super friends. 

We had a big Sunday dinner and got to see all of Pat's family that were within a 3 hour radius of Sactown, and Beth and her boyfriend even flew in from Idaho. Brian and Steven were there, along with Char and kids, Priscilla and Elizabeth, Megan and family, etc.  The kids took pictures with Grandparents which we'll hopefully see soon. Grandpa made his famous caramel, caramel apples, turtles, ice-cream, lasagna, and so much more!  We stole a lot to bring home. Shhh!!!  Dallas really enjoyed playing games until late at night with everyone, and Sam and Evan played mostly by themselves together.  Like always.

Pat sporting the Star Wars figure from Steph and T.  "Aren't you a little short for a storm trooper?"

Uncle Jared was really funny with Charles and Leia, but the funniest thing was when Aunt Amanda (Pat's sister) caught Leia staring at her.  I stole this picture from her facebook as this is how Amanda looked minus the unicorn horn.  So when Amanda saw Leia staring at her she said, "I'm a mermaid, does that answer your question?", to which Leia replied, "Yes!", and ran off.  We all laughed and laughed. 

Anyway, so now we're home with huge piles of laundry, trying to fill the fridge with food again, and get back into our routine.  Five days of driving for 5 1/2 days of play.  We love it, but I don't think we'll do it again for a couple years.  If people want (and I hope they want) to get to know our kids, they are better in their own environment.  So come to New Mexico!  (I know, it's not easy for anyone!)  We appreciate the great amount of work it is to host us too.  Thanks to Pat & Brenda and Jeremy for making space for us, and to all who cooked for us, and cleaned up after us.  We are seven people, so that is no small undertaking.  The kids loved playing with their cousins so much and I wish they could see them all the time.  We even drove by Tracy and Livermore on the way home to think about moving there.
I can do my own hair, Mom. 

Arriving at hotel room.
Life. Is. Overwhelming.  And traveling is hard.  Charles was teething so bad (and still is) that I'm taking him in tomorrow in case he as a cavity or something else wrong.  And unfortunately some of us got sick during our visit, which happens EVERY TIME WITHOUT FAIL when the whole family travels to California.  I get really tired of explaining why kids aren't feeling well (or me!).  It is exhausting.  It is just difficult to fathom what it takes to make a visit like this, getting the house ready, the chickens, the clothing, the car, the time off work, the money, etc.  This first day of driving my former surgery was giving me terrible grief for sitting for 12 hours.  Yes, we drove 12 hours that first day.  And we had soccer, scouts, piano, school, and work right up to the day we left.  The week we left, we even had the radon guy drilling into our foundation, and the plumber out twice to fix broken pipes, and Leia to the doctor with an infected toe, right before we left, Evan got his cast off so his arm was hurting him on the trip.
Doctor stuck a needle under the nail and squeezed the puss out and Leia didn't even cry.  Doctor said she was the bravest girl she ever saw.  She does not get this from her mother.
All this made packing and cleaning the house no small feat, and during the whole trip I had to do my schoolwork each night and listen to lectures while we drove.  I would always forget at night when we'd finally get to a hotel and I just wanted to relax, Pat would say, "You've got to do your schoolwork".

One hotel gave Charles a bottle of baby shampoo and a cow when we asked for a crib.  We stayed at the same one on the way home and this time they gave him a pig!  He was so excited, and talked so much about them. He felt really special because he was the only one who got them.

I am so proud and amazed by Charles though, who only had one potty training accident on that whole drive.  Sometimes he had to pee into a bottle in the car, but he did it!  I know it seems like I'm complaining, but I really am just appreciating the good and bad.  I remember them all and want to remember them all.  Someday when I'm ninety, I'll probably go whoa!  I can't believe we did all that!

And as we drove through the desert, I heard an OLD country song called "I Love".  I'm thinking of making it Charles' official song.  I thought it was so cute and sweet.  Kinda fun to sing too.  Here are the lyrics:

I love little baby ducks
Old pick-up trucks
Slow-moving trains and rain
I love, little country streams
Sleep without dreams
Sunday school in may and hay
And I love you too
I love, leaves in the wind
Pictures of my friends
Birds of the world and squirrels
I love coffee in a cup
Little fuzzy pups
Old TV shows and snow
And I love you too
I love honest open smiles
Kisses from a child
Tomatoes on a vine and onions
I love winners when they cry
I love losers when they try
Music when it's good and life
And I, love you too

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