Monday, December 21, 2009

Disneyland For Christmas

Once again the girls decided that what they wanted for Christmas was a day at Disneyland! So we ended up having another fun filled day at Disneyland.

The week before it threatened to rain, but luckily the day was a beautiful bright sunny day. And there was hardly any crowds, due to the fact that it was a Wednesday and it had been raining the days leading up to our trip. The longest we had to stand in line was at the Peter Pan ride and Pixie Hollow!

It was fun to take the girls and see what they were excited about this time that they never cared about before. We also had Austin with us and this was his very first time ever at Disneyland.

We also did a few things for the very first time on this trip. We rode the Matterhorn, a first for everyone but Erik, the lines are usually so long for that one that we just skip it but not this time. Emma screamed the whole time and said it was okay while Austin kept his eyes closed the whole time, but Mia and I enjoyed it!

We watched Fantasmic for the first time. I was impressed with the whole show. Disney really knows how to put on a show!

We also went and watched the Jedi Academy. Both girls got picked to be part of the academy! They had a blast!

We also watched the Christmas parade. Well Erik, Austin and the girls watched the parade while I made a run to the car to get the jackets.

One good thing is about going every year is that the girls don't feel the need to get their pictures taken with every character, which means we have more time for rides!

Mia's favorite part about Disneyland this year was "The Matterhorn, Fantasmic, and just everything pretty much!" Emma's favorite part about Disneyland this year was "The fireworks and Fantasmic!"

Austin and the girls!

Us in front of the castle, Thanks Austin for taking the picture!

The castle lit up with Christmas Lights!

Erik and the girls on the bridge on Tom Sawyers Island


Mia fighting Darth Maul!

Emma fighting Darth Maul!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween 2009

It's become a tradition to go to Mammy and Grandpa's ward Halloween Party Halloween night. They always have it at the same place, the Ellsworth Ranch, and it's always on Halloween. This year was no exception.

Austin even came with us.

Enjoy the pics!



Austin in his costume. He went as Master Chief from Halo

Mia and Emma in their costumes. Emma is a zebra and Mia is a GI Diva
Austin soaking wet after bobbing for apples.

Austin bobbing for apples.

Mia after eating the marshmallow, whipped cream, and chocolate syrup without using her hands or any utensils.

Mia eating the above mentioned marshmallow.

Emma after eating the marshmallow, whipped cream, and chocolate syrup without using her hands or any utensils.

Emma eating the above mentioned marshmallow.

Emma bobbing for apples.

Mia bobbing for apples.

Mia and Emma eating dinner.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Beach Trip With The Ubers

Okay, you can't have someone come visit you in sunny Cali without taking a trip to the beach. So, when my family came out we all went to the beach.

The whole time they were out here visiting the weather was so hot and sunny. So, we picked a day and went to the beach.

We got there and it was overcast and chilly! Can you believe it? Actually, I can believe it, it's the Uber curse.

And then to top it off, Wesley came out of the ocean covered in hives and itching like crazy. So, we left early, stopped at the drugstore to get some allergy medicine and headed home.

Another eventful fun filled Uber vacation memory!

Here are a few pictures I was able to snap.

Emma

Mia

Erik and Emma playing in the ocean.

Pappy (John), Jordan, Granny (Marta), and Wesley in the ocean.

Mia playing in the ocean

Emma flying a kite--one of Emma's favorite things to do at the beach.

LA County Fair 9/2009

Okay, I know that September is way past and October is almost over but I wanted to get these fun events documented. So, bear with me as I play catch up in the next few blog posts. I will start putting in recent stuff, I promise!!!

Anyway, every year the girls love to go to the LA County Fair. And because we are homeschoolers we get a chance to get in FREE! What can be better than that?

This year the day that we were going just happened to be the day after my parents and 3 youngest brothers got here to visit. So, they got to come too.

Erik made fun of me saying that he was sure that they flew all the way from small town PA just to visit a fair that's main attraction is farm animals. I told him that they flew all the way from small town PA to see us!

The girls love the farm animals and all the displays. We even got some pictures of the boys, though I had to be sneaky as some of the boys don't like to have their pictures taken. But hey I'm the oldest of 9 kids, I grew up being sneaky! ;)

As part of the Fair's promotions for school kids if they read 6 books they get 9 tickets for rides. So the girls go to ride some rides as well. And all they had to do was read some books and do a book report on it. Easy-peasy, as we are always reading for school!

Here are some pictures of everyone just having fun!



Mia riding the bumper boats!

Emma riding the bumper boats.



The girls doing an obstacle course


The spinning dragon ride--think teacups at Disneyland! I feel slightly sick to my stomach just thinking about it.



The girls got to pet an alligator.



Inside the animatronic dinosaur exhibit.


This is a live parrot they are looking at. It was just sitting there all day, no cage.
And it didn't fly away

Riding the dragon roller coaster. Emma saw this ride when we first got there and told us she wanted to ride it. Once the rides opened and she heard roller coaster she said she didn't want to anymore. But, I kind of talked her into it, and told her that it didn't go really fast and she could always scream when she was on it. So, she decided to go on to "face her fears." Once the ride started she started to scream, and she screamed the whole time. At first we thought she was having fun but she had a look of pure terror on her face. Then I started to worry that someday she would be talking to court appointed psychologist about this day. They got off and both of them had huge smiles on their faces. I asked them if they had fun and they both said yes, and the then Emma added "I gave myself a headache screaming so much!"


Petting the Big White Goat.


Petting the Little Black Calf.


The 3 Little Pigs--Jordan, Wesley, and Austin

One of my sneaky pics of everyone. Jordan is trying to get ahead of the camera, he saw me at the last second but I was faster! Mia walking along looking at things, Wesley and Austin talking to Erik about who knows what. And Emma reading the map getting us to where we need to go.

Granny, Erik, and Wesley sitting down while listening to Jordan and Austin relate some tall tale!

Friday, October 9, 2009

We Love Mia!!!

After I did the post about Emma I was waiting for Mia's birthday to do one on her. Their birthdays are only 3 weeks apart, so you would think that I could have gotten that done. But my family came out to visit for a week, and then I got sick, and now I've been playing catch up. And I realized I never posted my list of things that i love about Mia around her birthday.

So, here it goes. The things I love about Mia, to list a few are:

1. She is so kind to everyone. She worries more about others than herself.

2. She makes friends with everyone. Everywhere we go she ends up making new friends and is always telling me about the new friends she made.

3. She LOVES books! She is a great reader.

4. She is so smart. As her home school teacher I get to see everything that she knows and learns. She is always thirsting for more knowledge. She also keeps me on my toes with how much she knows, good thing for daddy and google--so I can look smart as well!

5. She is very loyal. She will always stick up for her friends and family.


Erik loves these things about Mia:

1. Kind hearted and sensitive. Never wants to see anyone suffer in any way, no matter who they are.

2. Generous. Shares whatever she can in the pursuit of trying to make others happy.

3. Fun, in a genuinely fun way. She doesn't think anything is fun if it can't be fun for everybody, but she will figure out a way to make it fun for everybody.

4. Loves stories. Likes to read books and watch shows and movies, she really gets into the stories. She thinks a lot about them, really getting into them.

5. Loves to learn. Looks for chances to learn things and gets excited when she finds them.


Emma loves this about Mia:

1. She's always there for me.

2. She's pretty

3. "I love her so much"

Monday, August 31, 2009

Emma's Losing Teeth!


I know I go weeks without posting and then I end up posting 3 different entries in one day!

Last Monday Emma her top front tooth at a friend's house. Luckily the tooth fairy knew where she was staying that night and ended up visiting her at Becca's house. Becca had lost a tooth that night as well, so they both got a visit from the tooth fairy the same night!

And then Tuesday Emma spent all day trying to get her 2nd top front loose enough so Mammy could pull it out at her house that night. Well, she didn't quite get it loose enough so when Mammy tried it ended up hurting Emma a little bit so she was a little scared that it would hurt again.

So, we came home and then she said when we got home I think I'm ready to let Mammy pull out my tooth I just needed some time to think about it. Crazy girl!
Well, we weren't going to turn around and drive another 15-20 minutes to get there and then another 15-20 minutes to get back home, at this point it was already after their bedtime. So, i told her that daddy could pull out her tooth for her. But daddy said he was afraid he would hurt her.

So I told her to come here and told her to close her eyes, we counted to three and it came right out. It was so loose from her playing with it all day and night that it practically fell out in my hand. So Emma now has another Emma-hole, not just the one in her imagination.

Happy Birthday, Emma--Just A Few Days Late!!!

Emma turned 7 on the 26th of August! Wow! It seems like just yesterday we were bringing this tiny little bundle of joy home.

There are so many things that I LOVE about Emma. But I will just list a few:

1. Emma is crazy! Just ask her, she'll tell you!

2. She is always making me laugh with something that she is doing. It seems as if her mission in life is to keep everyone entertained.

3. She has a great imagination, for example the Emma-hole that I talked about in an older post. I am going to assume that you all know the story about the Emma-hole so I will not bore you all again, if you want to hear all the details again let me know!

4. She is so smart. As her homeschool teacher I get to see all the new stuff she is learning everyday, and man does she impress me with the things she knows and the questions she asks. I find myself saying a lot that's a great question for your dad or I guess we better look that up online to find out the answer. Thank goodness for google, it helps mommy look smart!

5. The faces that she makes, are just so cute. And every time I think of Emma I picture her with a scrunched up nose, eyes closed, big smile posing for the camera. We have a lot of pictures with the "classic Emma" face.

6. She is so creative. She is always the first one line to do anything artsy/crafty. She loves to create many different projects and masterpieces.

The things that Erik loves about Emma, to list a few.

1. Her fun sense of humor.

2. Her love of animals.

3. Her love of art, coloring, and drawing.

4. Her love of going new places and trying new things.

The things that Mia loves about Emma are.

1. She's funny

2. She's pretty

3. She's always there when I need help

4. "I just love Emma so so much!"

We love you Emma! Thanks for being such a great girl!

Circus!

We had promised the girls for Christmas two years ago that we would take them to the circus. Well, that first year we couldn't find a circus near us. So when in the second year I found cheap circus tickets for a circus 15-20 minutes from us I jumped on them and bought four tickets six months early!

Then Erik's grandfather passed away and the funeral was being held that same weekend. And the girls and I had been sick and didn't want to get anyone else sick. So, Erik went to the funeral and the girls and I took Mia's best friend Charlotte to the circus.

We attended the Barnum and Bailey Ringling Brothers Circus Musical Spectacular Zing Zang Zoom! There was elephants, zebras, tigers, acrobats, trapeze, dancers, singing, magic, and so much more. We had a great time!

They opened up the floor of the circus an hour early so you could meet some of the people in the circus and see some of the acts pretty close. With so many people crowding a round some of the things we were able to see better from our seats, we were in the 6th row! Good cheap seats, that's a great deal!

The girls decided that they want to run away to the circus. Charlotte wants to be one of the dancers because "they are in the show alot but the don't have to do any dangerous stunts." Emma wants to work with the animals, especially the elephants, because she loves animals. And Mia is having a tough time deciding, she likes all the acrobatic stuff, like the cirque de soleil inspired stunts, but she also likes the dancing, and the ringmaster!

Here are a few pictures that turned out okay. I will be having Erik show me how to put together a video, because we shot a ton of video!

Waiting somewhat patiently in line in the blistering heat!

Sitting in their seats waiting for the show to start


Smiling pretty with the clown

Part of the opening act.




Thursday, August 20, 2009

An Update On Emma's Leg

When Emma was 8 months old the doctors discovered that there was something wrong with the bone in her lower left leg. At first they had no idea what is was and they ran a zillion tests on her. (okay, maybe I am exaggerating just a little bit--but it's not by much)


They had her admitted to the hospital that afternoon and she stayed in the hospital for 8 days. Keep in mind that we had Mia also who was only 19 months old, and she didn't understand why mommy, daddy, and Emma were never around. Thank goodness that she was able to stay at Mammy and Grandpa's while we were at the hospital. Erik would go to work while I was at the hospital with Emma, he would come to the hospital to see us, and then one of us would go pick up Mia take her home to sleep, and then drop her off in the morning, and the cycle would start all over again!

They wanted to keep her in the hospital longer but we were just waiting for test results and she was getting sick being around all the sick kids in the hospital and I had Mia to take care of, so I convinced the doctors to let us go home and that we would come back for whatever else they needed.

While she was in the hospital she had her first bone biopsy. Her biopsy was performed by the best orthopedic doctor at Loma Linda, Dr. Shook. The reason we got him to perform the biopsy was because he was the doctor on call the day she needed her biopsy done.

Anyway, they finally figured out that it was Melanoticneoectodermal tumor of infancy. (Don't mind my spelling of it, just sound it out phonetically! And I'm sure there's suppose to be spaces or hyphens in it as well. Erik knew how to spell it correctly, I don't think I ever knew how to spell it.)

They then did a second biopsy within two months to double check and make sure they were correct in the diagnosis. They were. But because of having the biopsies done so close together she had to have her leg in a cast, just when she was starting to stand and take her first few steps. Melanoticneoectodermal tumor of infancy is a very rare bone disease that has only been seen in a handful of cases, and she was the first to ever have it in the lower leg. It is usually a fast growing tumor that if not operated on immediately and the whole bone removed ends up killing the child by squishing major organs.

Their recommendation to us was amputate her leg. Stop it before it could spread. They sent us to UCLA and allover for 2nd and 3rd opinions. Contacted the Mayo clinic, everything. So, we said okay if this will save her life go ahead and amputate her leg.

Many prayers and much fasting was offered up on this sweet little baby girl's behalf. Her name was on so many temple prayer rolls. Through one of the many Priesthood blessings that she received during this time she was told that she would be able to have full use of both her legs. Talk about WOW!

We went to her doctor's appointment when we were suppose to set up the date for the amputation the doctor surprised us by saying that there was another option. Which was to wait and keep a very close eye on her and here leg. We had to go back weekly, then every other week, then once a month, then every two months, then every four months, then every six months. Until finally we are on yearly visits. The bone has started to self-correct itself, if I remember correctly the technical term is "reorganizing itself."

Well, we just had our yearly visit and all is looking well, it is looking better and better each time we go. Her first x-rays looked as if her bone had been wrapped in gauze and a dog had chewed on it. This last x-ray shows the bone almost completely smooth! Both legs are growing at pretty much the same pace, they both have the same basic bone mass and muscle mass, she doesn't limp or favor her leg, and there is no pain whatsoever!

The doctors are amazed and call her the girl with the miracle leg. They want to write up a paper or two documenting her case so hopefully in the future it will help other families with children with the same thing. UCLA wants to do tests on her original 2 biopsies and see if they can discover something that will help others.

But best of all, she still has both her legs!!!! Now I just have to keep in mind whenever she's running all over the place, climbing and getting into everything that I prayed for her to keep her leg.
We know that it is through the faith, prayers, and priesthood blessings that she is a healthy almost 7 year old girl running around on both legs today! Thank you to everyone who was there for us during that trying time!
Emma's leg today with her scars from the biopsies.
The following pages are from her baby book!


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Beach Trip In June

Okay, I fought with the computer enough! And now it is listening to me, somebody should have told the computer it was fighting a losing battle! ;)

Anyway, back at the beginning of June we were graced by a visit from one of my brothers, Kent!

While he was visiting we took a trip to Huntington Beach with Erik's family and had some fun just hanging out with each other, the sand, and the water!

I am going to have Erik put together one of his famous videos when he gets a free minute but for right now here are a few pictures to whet your appetite for the video!

Kent and Mia riding the waves!


Erik and Emma flying a kite

Some of the cousins hard at work

PS If you want a quick, cheap, and easy trick to get sand out of all crevices without hurting use baby powder! That's my tip of the day. And the bonus is that you end up smelling baby powder fresh and your skin feels really soft!


Friday, June 26, 2009

Stupid Computer!!!

Okay, this is just a rant! But I am seriously ready to throw the computer across the room. I'm not sure that will fix the problem but I KNOW I will feel better!

As some of you know, we have been having some problems with our computer lately. We had to reinstall Windows and the guy who "backed up" our files, lost our files and gave us someone else's! Can you say frustratingly annoying? Because I can!

Anyway, every time we get the computer back it runs slower and slower. Shouldn't it run faster since it has like nothing on it?

I have just spent the last hour trying to get pictures to upload to the blog so I can post about some of the fun we have had the last month. And guess what they still haven't uploaded!

I am going to see if Erik can figure this out for me. The computer always works better for him than me. Like the time I tried to print something, and I spent a good hour trying to get it to print. Unhooking and rehooking up the cables, checking to make sure the paper was right, the print cartridge, everything you can think of. I tell him to see if he can fix it and low and behold it prints for him! Aaaaahhhhh!

Hopefully you will get to hear and see some of our adventures soon!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Free Comic Book Day 2009

Well, it's that time of year again, where our girls dress up, get free stuff, and get their picture taken a lot.

Yes, this weekend was Free Comic Book day, and once again the fine folks at 4 Color Fantasies in Rancho Cucamonga showed us a good time. Not only was Wolverine there with a giant sentinel to take pictures, but tons of other superheroes and Star Wars characters were on hand.

This year, the girls met a few creators as well, including Amy Wolfram, who writes some of their favorite cartoons and who wrote the new Barbie movie, Barbie and the Three Musketeers, and the very talented Todd Nauck who draws, among other things, the very characters the girls were dressed as.

Of course, no Free Comic Book Day would be complete without a visit with Kirk Kushin, who saved Emma from the collapsing bounce house two years ago--he's a genuinely nice guy, and this year he gave Emma a signed copy of his new graphic novel, Super Teen*Topia. Emma couldn't have been more excited, and won't let anybody else read it until she finishes it.

Afterwards, we went down and met Andy and Nikki at Hogi Yogi and spent the rest of the day with them. It couldn't have been more fun.

But hey, all this reading probably feels like homework. Here's the video and the pics.

video