Wednesday, 31 August 2011

First, the bad news

Your children are going to leave you.

Jaclyn's autograph quilt from Grandma O

I don't know if I just wasn't paying attention when people tried to warn me of this or what, but it's come as quite a shock. Jaclyn has gone to college and Steven and Carmen and Chloe will follow.

No-one else around here seems to feel the way I do. Ken sold her car, cancelled her on our car insurance, and took her chair away from the kitchen table and relocated it to the telephone desk. What?!? Like she's gone????

(To be fair, I cancelled her Canadian cell phone yesterday.)

Carmen and Chloe have taken over the 'guest' room with Barbies and Groovy Girls and Polly Pockets so that they don't mess up their own rooms.

There is some comfort in the fact that Jaclyn went out into the world (if BYU can be called that) totally prepared for independent life. So I'm not saying don't teach your children to tie their shoes or drive or cook because I suspect they'll leave whether they're ready or not. But still.

If we hadn't driven directly from Provo to the happiest place on earth it might have been ugly. The weeping, that is. (I now believe my dad's story that my mom cried all the way home from the MTC when they dropped Keith off - I always had that story figured for serious exaggeration.)

The good news: Disneyland is really all that.

Just to scratch the surface of our days in California with Carmen and Chloe:

It was perfect, down to every last detail.

Chloe sitting in the princess chair before Cinderella story time - later Chloe got to try on the glass slipper!

Carmen spotted these spritzing battery-operated fans in Bed, Bath and Beyond in St. George and they saved the girls in lines - something to play with and something to relieve our poor Canadian-selves of the 110 F heatwave we faced.

One of these characters are Goofy, the other is Pluto.

The girls were such good window shoppers, only on our second last night when I said 'time to choose something' did they even tell me what they would like to have. Chloe bought herself a smaller Winnie, both girls bought toe socks, Carmen also bought flip-flop socks, and I bought Halloween costumes (Mickey accessories and an Alice dress).

I staked out the perfect fireworks spot while Ken and the girls searched for a snack.

I probably should have chosen the heart shaped fireworks for this post - I'd never seen that before!

Okay, we were mean parents after the fireworks and dragged the girls to Space Mountain which we hadn't done yet. I thought it was a huge mistake until Chloe laughed through the whole ride and caught a total second wind. The night ended on a high - I couldn't have been more surprised!

We went to Ariel's Grotto for breakfast (a grotto is a cave or cavern, I just had to look that up to clarify for my own sake) where we met all the princesses, got all their pictures, and all their autographs. It was a bargain.

The food was amazing, way too much for us to eat, but delicious. And how fun to sit in a shell with a jellyfish lantern!

Ariel's Grotto is in California Adventure Park, where we met a few more celebrities, played some games, and Carmen and Chloe chose very different rides. Chloe took the rocking ferris wheel, Carmen did the Twilight Zone drop of doom and the giant roller coaster.

Our third day we hit Huntington Beach. Carmen boogie-boarded.

Chloe sand-castled.

Buried up to your neck is a classic.

She was quickly back in the surf.

We thought we'd missed out on seeing the parade, but we wandered back to Disneyland later in the day just in time!

Mary Poppins was charming.

Ken took a trip down memory lane with Chloe - this was the ride Ken remembers best from when he came as a five-year-old. (We also did Space Mountain again while we were in Tomorrowland.)

We had a very late dinner in Downtown Disney.

The balloon artist in the restaurant worked for tips - I hoped we payed him well enough, I'm never sure about these things.

The food at Disney was superb with healthy options everywhere and plenty of accommodations for dairy-free.

Actually the whole thing was superb. It seemed that we lucked-out everywhere we turned with the timing of rides, events, food and shade. All of it. The magic of Disney.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Just to help you miss us

Carmen and Chloe have attacked Jaclyn with their paper covered straws in every single restaurant we've eaten at for the past two days.

Jaclyn now attempts to retaliate - but there is only one of her,

And two of them.

She's such a good sport.

Sunday, 21 August 2011


With less than 48 hours left before leaving for Provo to take Jaclyn to BYU we made a quick girl's trip in the opposite direction to Edmonton - was that crazy??? (Chloe actually went up the day before with Milly)

I have to say that when I bought the Taylor Swift concert tickets I had no idea that Jaclyn would be heading to college so early - somehow I thought more like the September long weekend.

Anyhow. We had a great time!

A little photo-op for Carmen while standing in line to buy the t-shirt that proves she was there. A very good way to kill time during the opening band.

That girl puts on one amazing show, I must day. She had fantastic energy and really loves her fans, which is part of her charm.

Carmen and Jaclyn between sets. 

Jaclyn would have had more fun if she wasn't so tired - do you think she's going to catch up on her rest during freshman orientation week?

Carmen is the real Taylor Swift girl in the family. She sang her way through the whole concert. As for me, I entered a parent, I left a fan. 

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Happy Birthday Steven!

He's fishing off the Coast of British Columbia today, but clearly he's being well taken care of.
(Note the sea plane out the window - I'm not sure he'll ever have a better birthday!)

Friday, 5 August 2011

Sock Bun Curls (that doesn't sound like a real thing, does it?)

While Kelly came to stay she shared a couple of things with me. Pinterest, for one, which clearly has addictive potential, and Sock Bun Curls - which I believe she found through Pinterest. 

The YouTube tutorial we used left a little bit of figuring out to do, like what size of sock? 

Erica and Carmen used a women's mountain bike ankle sock, and Chloe used a children's sized sock that was getting a little small for her.

Chloe's curls turned out the best, but was this due to the sock size or that she has thinner, more naturally curly hair than the other girls?

Erica's turned out pretty and wavy, but still damp and didn't hold for long. We may have put the sock buns in too late at night - we were running on sleepover hours you know.

Carmen's hair gained a lot of volume, and though her curls fell out, even her straight hair pony tail in the evening was more puffy than usual.

Chloe did the curls again today, she loves the no hair-do work in the morning. I have yet to try sock bun curls myself, but I will. And maybe I'll try Chloe's little sock!

Tutorial below:

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Fringe Benefits

It's tough to get a summer job at only 14 years old. Many typical 'teen' employers don't even take applications till age 15 (movie theatres, grocery stores). But Steven had an impressive 14-year-old's resume and he really wanted a summer job. To be more specific, he really wanted a summer job at a golf club - he was looking for fringe benefits. So it was funny that when he was lucky enough to get a job interview at the golf course around the corner from our house that he didn't ask any questions about free golf. Even when he was hired on the spot he didn't ask. Very quickly having a job became about having a job: getting up at 5am to do manual labour 4 days/week with naps after work.
Steven adjusted quickly, though, and has been enjoying his free golf and free golf cart. He and Ken (with the special friends and family rate) are squeezing in all the golf they can. It's the summer of golf.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

One last look

It is Chloe's job this week to break her habit of playing the piano with her feet crossed. Camera phones are so great.