Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Ball cousins

We have been so busy since Tuesday that I haven’t had a chance to blog about our time with Ed’s brother and his family! Right now I’m sitting in the Long Beach airport, so I thought I’d see how far I get…

We arrived at Eric & Jacq’s about 2:00 on Tuesday. We spent the afternoon and evening just hanging out, playing, and getting ready for our big day at Disneyland. It’s amazing that no matter how long it is between visits, the Ball cousins have no trouble jumping right in and playing together. They get along great and we are so thankful! This year was the first time that Connor really noticed he’s the only boy among 7 girls, so I felt kind of bad about that.

On Wednesday, we got up REALLY early and arrived at Disneyland at 8:05. It opens at 8:00! Some of the kids were so excited the night before that they didn’t sleep real well, so we had some tired kids, but they were troopers! I absolutely love Disneyland and was so excited to be there with the whole family. We had a beautiful day – cool and overcast until after noon, and never hot. It was crowded, but there were only two rides that we waited in line for over an hour…Space Mountain and Indiana Jones. All the other rides were 40 minutes or less, even those without Fast Passes! The new Star Tours ride was AMAZING, and all the girls loved every ride! I even saw a bit of a light show on the “It’s A Small World” ride and then got to ride it at night, which was a dream come true for me. Elise didn’t get to see any live princesses, which was a bummer, but we weren’t in Fantasyland at the times when the princesses are there (it’s too crowded in there during those times), but when we watched the night show “Fantasmic”, she got to see them there. That show was really incredible and we had a great vantage point. The show started at 10:30, and believe it or not, we still went and did Buzz Light Year Astro Blasters after that AND shopped on Main St. We actually heard the announcement, “Attention guests! Disneyland is now closed” at midnight! We were literally there from open until close with 7 children (we left the 18 mo. old with her grandma) ages 3-13 with no meltdowns and only minimal complaining about being tired. Wow! I’m sure I will write more about Disneyland once I start editing pictures.

On Thursday we let the kids (& us!) sleep in and then headed to their community beach. It’s not really a beach…it’s a lake-shaped pool with sandbox sand brought in to create a beach. It was a beautiful day and we had a lot of fun. We got back around 3:00 and quick showered and bathed the kids because Ed’s Dad and Grandpa were coming over for a barbeque! They arrived around 3:45 and everyone had a great evening at Eric & Jacq’s new house, hanging out on their new patio furniture (which they got for FREE at a garage sale and it’s beautiful! I  need to garage sale down in RSM, I guess…) It was great to see Dad & Grandpa. That evening we let the kids have movie night and they all slept in the garage, which they use as a rec room – they painted it and brought in carpet, built storage, and they have a TV, Wii, foosball, air hockey, etc. in there. The adults watched “Iron Man 2”, except for me since I fell asleep on the couch.

Friday morning we slept in, again, and then went to the Discovery Science Center in Irvine, which was really cool. Jacq & I ran some errands in the afternoon to stock up on lots of treats for the community family movie night in the park. Around 5:30 we reserved our “spot” at the park, the kids played, we ate Chinese, the kids got their faces painted and got balloons, and then when the sun went down the movie began. Lots of families on blankets and lawn chairs outside watching “Despicable Me”. It was a pretty cute movie and the girls all loved it. We got home around 10:00 and everyone went to bed. This morning I packed while the kids played and then this afternoon we went to the Irvine Spectrum (a HUGE shopping center) and the kids got into their bathing suits and ran in the fountains there. Pretzels and some frozen lemonade for a snack and then we were off to the airport. We hit a little traffic on the way here, and this airport is pretty crummy. Now that we are over the sadness of leaving cousins (twice in one week! That’s so not fair!) and are on our way, we CANNOT wait to sleep in our own beds and get back to normal…although with me starting a new job at the end of August, I am not yet sure what normal is going to be…

We are all fighting colds, coughs, & sore throats, and I’m sure that our minimal sleep and eating out at least once a day for the past 15 days is NOT helping us fight those colds. We do intend to be at church Sunday morning, but I won’t be surprised if some of us are too sick when morning comes around…

It’s been a great trip and I hope that eventually I’ll be able to narrow down the photos and share some on the blog.

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