Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Just Beachy

When you've been looking forward to going to Disneyland for an entire year, this is the face you make when you realize it is finally the day you are leaving.
Back when we were planning our trip to California, my brother realized we all had plenty of time to work on finishing the Book of Mormon before we left. We made a family competition to see which family could get it done before our trip. I loved the motivation and deadline! I'm happy to report we finished our last two chapters on the way to California.

We read more consistently than we ever had as a family. I learned that there is time in every day to read the Book of Mormon together as a family if you just FIND the time instead of wait for the perfect time to present itself. As our trip approached, we were pros at reading chapters in the car, listening to the scriptures as we played Legos or frequently included them in our bedtime routine. We had a spirit of peace and love fill our home as we developed the habit of daily scripture study, which I am certain is a blessing of making an effort to study our scriptures.
As soon as Eli was home from school, I threw the boys into their matching Mickey shirts.
I wanted the shirts to be a surprise. It worked. They surprised me by being waaaaaay too big for my munchkins. Darn.
The only thing these boys packed themselves -- their blankets!
Super excited and killing time until Jeff got home from work so we could leave! The ANTICIPATION!!!
We caravanned to Cali with my mom. Which proved useful when my kids were WILD for our In-N-Out lunch break. They did awesome in the car. It was when they got out of the car that was the problem. As soon as they escaped the car, they were wild animals.
In a flash our dreams had come true and we were once again at the gates of Belle's Castle.
My mom got right to work organizing the kitchen, preparing for the rest of the group to arrive.
My dad arrived via shuttle. For unknown-to-me-now reasons, I found this hilarious. Maybe it was because he was too cheap to hail himself a cab so he was crammed into this van with a million other people and it took him twice as long to get to us with all the stops along the way. Whatevs. He got there.
You wouldn't believe the reaction my family gave me when I announced my plan to drag my kids away from their cousins, don them in nice clothes, ship them to the beach -- not to play, but rather to stand perfectly still and contently for family pictures.

It worked great until we got to the sand. Then the boys could not resist the urge to hunt seagulls, roll around in the sand and pitter patter through the ocean. Still keeping my fingers crossed we managed to get one decent picture after all the screaming we did at the boys to just look at the camera and look happy at the same time.
California was mid heat wave while we were there. Not the best conditions to be changing a family into swimsuits in the back of a car after already working up a sweat from wrestling four boys for family pictures. Whose idea was that anyway? *Huff*
The boys were so happy to be frolicking on the beach with their cousins.
And uncles.
It was about this time I realized, "Hey! Lincoln has never been to the ocean before! Let's dip Lincoln in the ocean for the first time!"
"Great idea!" Said everyone...
Except for Lincoln.
He did just fine until the water actually touched him. Don't think he's a fan of bursts of cold water.

Someone who is a fan of bursts of cold water is Eli. He was a maniac in the water. He took it upon himself to "fight the waves" for the group. He was in a full-blown battle with the ocean for the better part of the afternoon.

We survived the ocean without a single shark bite or a colossal tsunami catastrophe like my mom had grown paranoid of. We were off to a good start.
True to Carson, this little boy freely wandered from stranger to stranger until he found someone doing something he found interesting. HE spent the better part of the afternoon building sandcastles with complete strangers 50-100 yards from our group. And when he wasn't doing that he was booking it to the pier without ever giving concern as to whether or not we knew where he was.
Lincoln stayed put. We are ever so grateful he chose to remain immobile for this trip. Bless you, third son.
Hoping my bangs turned out this well-placed for the family pictures we attempted.
And then Lincoln fell asleep with his hand just so and I was hoping he'd give me a baby hand tan line, but no luck.
Eli and Logan quickly rekindled their cousinship boppin' through the waves together.

We had to hurry home so the football fans of the group could go to the BYU game while the rest of us stayed home with the kids to get everyone settled in for the night.
We woke up on Sunday ready to try out a California ward. My favorite thing that was said was, "This guy needed help building a fence that had been knocked down by a drunk driver. And I said to him, 'We will have that fence up and rebuilt by the time the Disney fireworks go off tonight.'"

I loved the idea of using the Disney fireworks as a deadline. And it made me realize how commonplace it is for the people of Anaheim who must endure the show every stinkin' night of their lives.
Natalie's a beauty isn't she...but then what would that make Lincoln?

To go along with our goal to finish the Book of Mormon by this trip, we also scheduled a Family Home Evening on Sunday afternoon where we each picked a Book of Mormon story to reenact and present to the group.
Here are the grandkids helping my parents act out the story of Alma the Younger.
My sister and I went to change out of our Sunday clothes and emerged as twinners with our hair in buns, the same Disney shirt from our last trip, and gray comfy pants. The big joke was our husbands were going to go up to the wrong wife and have an embarrassing moment. Later in the day, Jeff came up to me, gave me a hug and said, "Oh sorry. I thought you were Becky." Ha.

We did legitimately confuse our kids a few times!
We ended the night with a few rounds of Outburst.

I'll end with the big reveal of the Book of Mormon story we put together for the FHE. We chose The Stripling Warriors.


The Stevens Family said...

Oh Sarah, that is the coolest video by far that I have ever seen! You are so awesome! It looks like you guys had so much fun and I love the Book of Mormon challenge. :-) You guys are such a cute family!

Kim said...

Thanks for sharing your feelings about reading the Book of Mormon as a family. Love your testimony of what reading regularly did for your family.

Those matching Mickey shirts and romper look so adorable on your boys.

The thing I so unexpectedly hilarious is your commentary on your father arriving--complete with photo. I didn't see him arrive, so now I have the visual of it. Too funny!!

Looking very forward to seeing your new family photos. I will be happy to have Lincoln in the new picture. And not only will I love seeing your family, but it will bring back happy memories when I look at the beach scene you chose for your background.

Great shark/tsunami reference. Loved it!! Also loved the line about Lincoln, "...ever so grateful he chose to remain immobile for this trip. Bless you, third son."

Let me just go on and on. I laughed so loud over Jeff's comment after he gave you a hug. Hahahaha!!

There are not enough words to express all the time and effort you put into your video. I love the reason why you chose that story to depict and I love the way you put the video together. What a sweet family. Love you all so much!!!!

Rebecca said...

I love hearing our vacation from another perspective. Eli looks HUGE in your arms at the beach. I didn't realize he was fighting the waves that whole time. Cute boy.

Jeff's comment after hugging you was hilarious.

Also, I know you love to get creative with your post titles, but...I have no words.

LC said...

I just need to comment on the amazing bang day you had at the BEACH of all places! My hair turns into a frizzy uncontrollable mess at the beach. You look magazine perfect. Your bangs are seriously perrrrrfect.

Also, I laughed out loud at Jeff's comment about meaning to hug Becky. Ha ha!