Monday, July 14, 2008

From the top, it is Shaunie (6), Sam (5), Leah (3) and Troy (11mo). My mom wanted some pictures of the kids for her 'grandkid wall". Here is what I sent her. I like them.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

4th of July 2008

I didn't take any pictures, but we had a great Independence Day celebration yesterday. We had a swim party for the kids at Michelle and Clint's house. We also had a BBQ and watermelon and lots of fireworks. We went to Boulder City for the fireworks and I don't think they could've been better! They were beautiful and the weather was actually not too hot. Maybe it was the sprinklers going off in the park on the people in front of us that helped us to cool down a bit, but it was awesome. Thanks to Michelle and Clint for letting us bombard their house on the day they get home from California. God Bless America!
Thank you to those men and women brave enough to stand up for their rights and freedoms. Thank you for the bravery, vision, honor, love, humility, and lives of those before me. Thank you to a loving Father in Heaven who blessed this great nation with all it has. I pray it can continue to be worthy of those blessings.

Family Reunion

Kids on the beach, Troy on the Beach, Kids at the Zoo

After we spent a few days in San Diego, we headed to Tustin, CA for a Mangum family reunion. It was a ton of fun to spend time with cousins, aunts and uncles and everybody else. We met up with most of Aunt Karen's family and most of Jeremy's sisters and parents for our reunion. Jeremy's dad has one sister so the reunion was made up of the two sibling's kids and their families. We were sad that Jessica and her family couldn't come, but everyone else from the Daryl Mangum family was there. We started the reunion on Friday and met at the LA Zoo. We saw lots of animals and the kids loved playing on the playground. Thanks to the LA Zoo for having a playground! It worked out to be perfect for us. The animals were cool, but seeing our family was much better. After the zoo, we headed over to some church Institute building for dinner and talents. We loved visiting, laughing, eating and playing with everyone. It was a perfect place for fun. The next day was spent at Balboa beach where the sand annoyed Shaunie after about 2 hours, the waves crashed down while Sam chased them up and down and up and down and up and down, and Leah dug in the sand. The waves were really fun to play with because they were strong. We lost Leah once because she couldn't find her way back from the fire pit. She wandered over to the lifeguard stand and they held her until Jeremy's cousin, Paul's son took off running down the crowded beach. Stacy, Jeremy's cousin, went after him and came back with Leah too! Troy enjoyed the shade and we all enjoyed each other's company. It was a fun day! The next day was Sunday so we headed over to church with Aunt Karen. The place was full! We sang a song in Sacrament meeting and then took pictures afterwards. We got some cute family pictures, (but you'll have to see Jen's blog for those). For dinner we went out to Staci's. We ate dinner and played games. We had a great time and are very grateful to Karen and her daughters for putting this all together. It was worth the time and we all had fun getting to know each other better. We hope we can do this more often.

Sea World

The kids loved the shark exhibit and starfish pond. Here is Sam checking out the strange Commerson's Dolphins as he waits to ride the Atlantis roller coaster.

Sea World!

Here are the Sea World pictures. Because our kids are still fairly young, we decided that a 2-day pass would be the best without all the pressure of a one-shot- only deal. Our hotel was only 1 mile from Sea World so that made it easy to go back and forth. We would head back to our room around lunchtime and so we could feed the kids and put Troy down for a nap. It kept him happy and us much more relaxed. We were able to see everything I would recommend it to anyone.

Sam really got into the job of carrying the map. He made sure he knew our location and destination at all times. He was a very good navigator.

Sam also went on his first roller coaster ever! He went on Atlantis with Dad. After the first hill he wasn't sure if he wanted more. Jeremy said he asked if they were going to go down again and when Jeremy answered that
they would he just huddled into him. He was very brave. If you ask him if he liked he will probably answer that he didn't. But, we'll see.

We saw lots of shows and got splashed by the dolphins (which really wasn't too fun for them). We got to feed the rays and pet the starfish and look at blue poisonous frogs. Troy talked to all the animals, but especially loved the big fish when he could see them eye to eye. They loved the dolphins, sea lions, seals, starfish, polar bears and even the pig.

We also got to see the polar bear dive into the water to find
his breakfast. We were right in front of the glass when he surprised us. He was huge!

We had a great time in San Diego and I know the kids will be talking about it for a long time. We can't wait to have another family vacation. As a mom, I think the best thing about it was that we were able to spend time as a family and strengthen our connections to each other. Just spending time with US without any other interruptions really gave us a chance to become closer and love each other more. That is really what makes it worth all the money, planning and time.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Mission Bay

On June 23rd we loaded everyone up and went to San Diego. Ok, so it wasn't THAT easy. It took a little bit more planning and a lot of packing. But, we headed out to Mission Bay where we stayed at the Bahia Resort Hotel. I think Jeremy just liked the name (the Bahia in Brazil is where he served his mission). It was beautiful! We had a bay view suite. We had so much fun. The weather was perfect! We rented a boat for a hour and explored the bay, spent two days at Sea World and had a lot of fun family time. I'll post pictures. It was worth every penny and every minute of preparation.

Here is the private beach on the bay at our Hotel. The sand was silky soft and the kids loved looking for shells. The water was a bit too cold for the kids, though. Or maybe it was just too cold outside for us Las Vegans. Low to mid 70's is almost winter weather here.
Here are all the kids playing on our patio outside our room. Below is our view of the bay from our room. Perfect. Absolutely perfect!
This picture below is of the boat we rented to take a cruise around the bay. It is off to the left of the dock. We loved it! Leah and Troy ended up being rocked to sleep by the boat, though.
The kids were amazed that you could find shells in the sand. They spent a lot of time digging and searching for the 'not broken' ones. Here is Leah showing off her find.
--Also, this is a picture of the Bahia Bell. A little boat you can take a cruise on at the hotel. The kids loved the wind in their faces.