We just got back from Disneyland. The past five years we have been treated to a first rate Disneyland trip by Ross and Anita. There are now 130 members included in the Farnsworth family. Over 100 of them made it on this trip.
On Sunday afternoon, most of us climbed aboard one of the two chartered buses. This makes for a fun and always interesting trip. The atmosphere took a somber turn when we found out that our beloved prophet Gordon B. Hinckley had passed away. When Isaac felt the change in the air, he grabbed my face and looked in my eyes and said," Mom, he is with Heavenly Father and Jesus now." I put a cheery face back on.
Isaac and James enjoying the freedom of no seat belts. After snapping this photo, I decided this may be a little too much freedom and turned into "no fun Mom" and made them take a seat. I am sure Dennis, our bus driver, was glad to have these two little birds stop chirping at him.
That first night it was hard to fall asleep with all the excitement bouncing off the walls. I peeked in on them around 9:30 and they were laying there playing Q & A. This is where they ask one person all sorts of questions and he/she gives their answers. "What do you think your wife/husband's name will be? How many kids will you have? Where would you live? What job will you or your husband have?" I lay down next to them and enjoyed listening to them each take a turn. You always learn something new from these exchanges. Who knew Meg wants to run a horse ranch with her cowboy/rancher husband in upstate New York. I asked her why New York and she said so she can go into the big city when she needs stuff. Of course!
Breakfast with Chip and Dale. Isaac was ok with the chipmunks but that Racoon from Pocahontas better not try and say hello again.
Fun to be with cousins Parker and Molly! They were good sports to hang with us as much as they did. The first part of every trip it seems that we (our little family) have to get through a few "rough patches" consisting of tears that fall too easily, whines that shouldn't be heard, complaints about wearing tennis shoes and rain gear (Meg), and parents that can be a bit too impatient with anything less than happy grateful kids. We got into our groove soon and everyone was grateful to be with eachother at the happiest place on earth.
Oh and the beloved churro is Cole's favorite treat. He was wishing he brought his own money, so he could buy more. He is very particular about food. When Cole likes something, he really likes it.
Every year we have to make our trek to the spirit cave to receive our "totems." This is a highlight every year. You place your hand on the cave and it sparks and rumbles like thunder and then a picture of your totem appears on the wall. They take it quite serious.
Isaac was a little "bugged" after the first day. He was a good sport as we convinced him that he would love all the faster rides. He didn't. By the end of the day he announced that too many rides were "Not my age," and "I'm not riding anything with a mountain in it anymore!" So, the next day, we broke off from the faster group and took Isaac at a slower pace. This didn't soothe his rattled nerves. He kept asking "Is this really for my age?" He started to trust us again and warmed up after he realized he wasn't getting soaked, dropped, or spun too fast. He loved the new Nemo ride. Thanks to Uncle Terry for saving us a spot in the longest line of the day.
The last thing we did before we left the park was watch people get soaked by the geyser on the Grizzly Bear Run. It was hard to pull away, you just kept wanting to see "just one more" raft get soaked! We did this chant as they came up...GO GO GO, the poor people didn't know how to take us. When they wouldn't get soaked we would boo and they really didn't know how to take that. I loved hearing Tom's infectious laugh, he really has the best laugh!
Thanks to Mama and Papa for the great trip and the memories we made. We try to not take anything for granted and to always be grateful for such a great trip with a lot of great people.
These are some of my favorite boys. I enjoy having them around. Cole likes to get the group together for air soft wars (that explains the firearm on my dinner table). Air soft guns are the modern version of the BB gun, just with hallow plastic pellets. They can probably shoot your eye out, but still a better alternative to the BB. I use to have BB gun wars with my brother Clint, Jason and Richard Bagley vs. the MCain boys. There was no mercy shown, but it sure was exhilirating.
I am so thankful for Cole and the good choices he makes in his life and the friends he has. My heart kind of aches when I drive by the junior high, that he will be entering in a few months, and think "why would any parent send their child here?" I just have to remember that Cole has a great sense of who he is and where he is going. I hope he always stays golden.
All of my children had their little routines, but not quite as set as Isaac. The following are usually included in a typical day. He usually starts out the day by informing us what day it is and then asking for his "brefkist" breakfast. I am a little forlorn when the kids correct the words that they had messed up so cute.
Anticipation. Isaac loves to look forward to something. We couldn't talk enough about Christmas and squeeze any more enjoyment out of that holiday. However, when it was over, that chapter was closed and it was onto the next holiday or event. He didn't want to see any Christmas lingering around. It bugs him that we still don't have our outside Christmas lights down. Our current focus and conversations involve our upcoming Disneyland trip. He really could discuss what ride we will take first, how many more sleeps until we leave, and which characters we may see all day, if I indulged him. Just ask him and he'll tell you what holiday, birthday, vacation comes next and in what order they follow.
Drawing.This easle was a Christmas gift for Meg, immediately confiscated by Isaac. He draws on it throughout the day. He is constantly asking "What do you want me to draw?" He also loves to get into his stash of paper, sharpen his pencil and sit down to write his handful of 3-4 letter words. Tom and I get a lot of love letters placed by our bedside. He loves to draw hearts.
Tigers Milk. There is always one or two consumed in a day. Nobody likes them, so he has his own little stash in the cupboard. I am sure I will miss the sound of the cupboard shutting and the crinkle of the wrapper, one day.
Ice Water. He drinks like a fish, but it must have ice in it or he'll think "its old" and not drink it.
In Character. He is in character for most of the day. He prefers the black spiderman to the red one because it's bad. Should I be concerned? It all started with wanting to be his cousin Bret and then onto several others: Jack Sparrow, a Wizard, Santa Clause, Handyman. He begged me to find him a miniature Santa costume at Christmas. He just wanted to go ho hoing and ask everyone what they wanted for Christmas.
Loves to work. I hope this one lasts and he doesn't burn out too early in life. He loves to have jobs. When he was 3 he would take the laundry out of the washer and put it in the dryer and start it all on his own. I tried not to be too grumpy when he would dry the dirty clothes. He loves to get our little floor sweeper out and take it all over the house. And yes, I know where he gets it. I was a pretty obsessive clean freak child. There is one chore that Ike will try to get out of and that is picking up rotting grapefruit. He is supposed to help pick up pine cones and grapefruit, but he negotiates out of the grapefruit everytime.
Time with Cole Isaac needs his "Cole-fix." He absolutely adores and wants to be just like his brother. He wants ice in his milk, to go shirtless to bed, join in the daily push-ups and sit-ups. All to be just like Cole. You can get him to do anything if you preface it with "Cole does this or likes this or would do this." You can't blame him, Cole is incredibly good to him.
Bedtime Stories. If we don't get a story told, then we will "talk about" something. He always holds out both hands with all ten fingers and says "lets talk about 10 things." I negotiate it down to about 1-2 things. The subject is usually the upcoming holiday or event. Right now it is Disneyland. I really am about to pull my hair out with all this Disney talk, but I usually consent to just a minute more of it before I can push the off button on this energetic guy. After the talk or story, then we say prayers and then do "waves" with his blanket. He always thanks me for a "good tuck in and I hope you sleep good Mom." That is why I keep it up. I'll do about anything if appreciation is thrown my way.
I really love Sundays right now. I say right now, because it hasn't been that way for a long time. It was anything but a day of rest. It just hit me last week that I haven't been dreading Sundays and that I actually look forward to them. There are a few reasons for the change.
1. We are in the perfect block time 9:00- 12:00.
2. My kids all can get themselves ready to go. This is huge! It frees up more time for me to gaze at my pathetic Sunday dress options.
3. I am the primary pianist with nothing to do but enjoy sharing time, see all of my kids and play easy music. If I make a few mistakes, its o.k.--its primary!
4. We have my Mom and Jack in the ward. This provides two more laps, during Sacrament meeting, for the kids to go snuggle up to. Grandpa Jack can make any situation enjoyable. The kids also can ride their bikes around the corner for an afternoon visit, sample Jake's famous shakes, and to get the itch for a dog scratched by playing with Gucci the dog.
5. After church and lunch, if all the dishes get done happily, Tom will make his no-bake cookies. They don't look great but they are a favorite. Tom always encourages the kids to help him out and they love it.
6. Every Sunday evening we head over to what we call "cousins". We gather, eat good food, and have fun visiting. The above pictures are some of the activities that Janet gets going: "Hail to Pooh" and "Weeble Wobble."
All these have made my Sundays a little sweeter.
Here is the gang that accepted our new year's challenge to take a refreshing 40 degree dip in the pool. Our kids wanted the Shills and Larsens to join in the madness. Ike gave a great jump start. They all went in youngest to oldest, one at a time. Not one tear was shed or complaint heard. I think we have a new tradition.