Monday, January 26, 2009

Just for Fun

I'm too lazy today to write more about out trip. I don't know why - it's not a hard thing to do, I just pull up the pics from that day and then write a little. Oh, maybe I'll do some of that later.... now that I've convinced myself that it's not that hard:)

In the meantime, I thought this would be fun. I've seen it on a couple of blogs lately, so when my sister posted her version, I thought I would join in.

What Have You Done? To participate, just copy and paste in your own blog, and bold (I made mine colored) all of the things you have done.
1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii - ummmmm, I live there:)
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland - it seems like we were just there.
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France - no but I saw it in Washington DC once, does that count?
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors - I guess that all depends on just how far back my "ancestors" are....
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight - it was actually early in the morning...and it was for my jogging class. Somehow I don't think that quite counts.
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt - no, but I REALLY want to...someday
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible - I never have cover to cover, so I'm sure there's something in there I've not read yet
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous - I helped Marie Osmond once when I worked at ZCMI, and Charles Berkley asked me (well, signaled to me) to play in the high rollers room with him when Cameron and I were in the Las, I didn't go.
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Pacific Ocean - ahhhh, duh.
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone - there are people out there that still don't?!?
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Seen Mount Rushmore in person
101. Learned to play an instrument
102. Graduated from college - not yet, but I'm almost there! WooHoo!

Wow! I've done a lot more stuff than I thought. I'm feeling kind of cool right now.

Well, it's already taken me 2 days to get this posted, so I'm not thinking I will post more of the trip tonight! AND there are so many other things that I keep meaning to post about, but I don't seem to get to it. So here are some upcoming topics to tickle you tastebuds and hopefully remind me to tell you about them!

Too cute not to share
The barber's at it again
Caterpillar hotel
New Years goals and aspirations
Before and After (I'm still working on this one)

And just as a reminder - Cameron's bday is this Friday, so don't forget to send along your HUGE birthday checks. You can just go ahead and write them out directly to me. OK, totally joking - about the money part, it really is his birthday on Friday.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Day 3 & 4: Church and Mice

Well, I'd like to say that the reason I haven't been posting more of our Christmas adventure is that I've been busy doing things around the house. Not that that's totally untrue, but I definitely haven't been getting as much done as I'd like to. I only have about 5 things on my To-do list, but I've only been able to cross off 2 and those took longer than they should have. But I will tell you that a large piece of things not getting done around here is this game:

We've played other online games, but we just started this one and it's really fun. Unfortunately it's not terribly popular (yet) and there's no computer 'bots' to play against, so you have to have 3 real, live people to play and no one can quit or the game's over. Sooooooooo check it out - come play with us! Go to this website {Days of Wonder} and sign up to be a new player. It's free to be a guest, that basically means that you can't start your own games, you have to join someone else's game. And you can change you're username to something more interesting than 'guest######' after you sign up. I'm serious. We could all play together, it would be fun. We're always looking for more players. There's other games on the website you can play, too.

OK, now onto the next installment of Christmas Vacation 2008 (only because I really should be doing dishes and I don't want to).

So we left off with Universal Studios on Saturday. Sunday we went to church with Cameron's brother's family and then drove down to Escondido to check into our condo for the week. We met Cameron's parents there - he talked them into coming down from Utah to spend the week with us and watching Juliana a couple of days for us. This was so nice - because while Juliana was a great sport on the days that she was with us, it was much easier to do the parent/child shuffle without her in the mix.

So Monday we headed off to day one of Disneyland/California Adventure and Juliana stayed behind with a grandma that was SO happy to finally meet her. We ended up spending the entire day at California Adventure until we went over for the Christmas Main Street Parade in the evening. We really enjoy the rides at CA and there was a new Toy Story ride that was quickly a favorite among us all - it was a 3D shoot-em-up carnival games things. Tons of fun.

The day was still a little chilly, but there was just enough rain to keep the crowds away, but not enough to worry about really getting wet. It was just perfect. There were even a few rides that we could just stay on as many times as we wanted. I think the longest we waited all day was about 5 mins. Seriously. It was pretty much walk right on for everything.

Here's the kids in their Toy Story 3D glasses. Cameron and I decided that you can easily measure a person intelligence level by when they put their glasses on (you still have quite a bit of line to go between the glasses and the ride start). I would say more than 1/2 of the adults there would put them on as soon as they pick them up and then walk around with them on through the rest of the line. Come on people - the real world is already in 3D. You don't need the glasses until you're actually on the ride. Well - If they were a little more fashionable I guess I could see it.

The kids being silly on the parking tram - I think we were headed to the car for lunch. I never did quite catch Danielle's original face, I made her do it over and over for the camera - it's never the same.

This time we not only saw Mickey and Minnie, but we got to get a picture and a hug from both of them. Aren't they so cute in their winter/holiday garb?

It was a really fun day, but exhausting. We decided on the way back to the condo that we were going to take a break the next day, sleep in and do some grocery shopping. Of course, because Tuesday was the MOST beautiful day of the whole week.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Are You Special?

A few of you may be wondering why you haven't received our Christmas card this year. Well, to be honest, we could only send out a few this year, so only the really special people got them.

Oh, you didn't get one? Hmmmm, guess you know where you stand now!

OK, so of course I'm totally joking. I didn't exactly get around to sending out our cards this year - I say that like I even got around to ordering them, which of course I didn't. And then Christmas came and went and I thought "well, we'll just send out New Year's cards this year". Like that was going to happen! Anyhoo - I figure if you're reading this most of you are probably pretty up to speed on what's going on in our lives anyway, so that's lets me off the hook of having to write that boring old family letter. OK, so maybe they are fun to read, but I really hate writing them. But I will indulge you and give you a quick run down of the last year.

Abigail - Had a fabulous beach party when she turned 7, started the second grade, lost her 2 front teeth and then a few more, loves to read and play with Polly Pockets. She's a fabulous help when Juliana needs a little entertaining - oh, and her hair is finally down to her waist, it's taken her about 4 years to get it there. She's very excited to be getting baptized this year, hopefully in the ocean - we need to work on her actually getting into the ocean.

Isaac - Turned 6 on Christmas Eve, he is a budding artist, as well as an inventor of many things Lego, doing a rerun of Kindergarden this year at his parents' request - we would much rather he have a head start now than feel like he's always trying to keep up some time down the road - he loves being the older kid that knows all the rules. He's just getting into reading now and really enjoys it.

Danielle - Forever the diva of this family, she knows what she wants and won't take it any other way. She's in the same preschool class again this year, I think she'll be sad to leave her teachers when she moves up to kindergarden next year. She turned 4 in October, but she's going on 13 believe me. She loves to sing and dance around the house, and enjoys playing outside on her new bike.

Juliana - This angel of course made her debut into the Peterson family this year. I cannot even wrap my brain around the fact that she'll be one in a month. She's is really just the best little baby. She only gets upset when she's hungry, tired, or sick. Oh, and when Danielle is spending a little too much time in her personal space. We really couldn't have asked for a better baby, she's already got that easy going Hawaiian attitude.

Cameron - Lately he's been playing Mr. Mom with the kids. He's been looking around for a job on the island, but hasn't had much luck. He's still teaching the 14 yr old Sunday School class at church and seems to enjoy it. And he has a birthday coming up next week, but I won't tell you how old he going to be.
Me, well, I'm plugging along as usual. School started up again and this semester should be fun, but challenging. It's nice to be taking more major classes, though the scheduling is a nightmare (it's a huge blessing that's Cameron's home, finding babysitters would be crazy). I look forward to starting my student teaching in the fall, and graduating next June. I'm still the nursery leader in our ward and still enjoying it.

So, there you have it. Nothing too terribly exciting. But life is good. And since I don't have our second annual picture with "Santa" yet, I'll leave you with this one of the kids in their Christmas outfits.

We love you all, and hope that this new year brings many blessings, joys and peace to you and your loved ones.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Day Two: The Ball Room

So as I previously said, we spent day one of our time in Cali relaxing with family - that was Friday. Day two (Saturday) we spent at Universal Studios. I'm glad we started there, because while Cameron and I did have a great time there back in the day before kids, it's still not really a favorite park of mine. But we were still able to have a great time even thought it was chilly still, and we had on the warmest clothes that we own. I even borrowed a blanket for Juliana in the stroller. As long as we stayed in the sun we were good.

Here are some photo highlights of the day:
Posing with the Hulk before we even got into the park. I love Abby in this picture - cracks me up!
Juliana lovin' being eaten by Jaws.
Posing with a "Who" - which wasn't quite as cool then, but now that we've watched 'Horton Hears a Who' it's been upgraded (my kids don't care for 'The Grinch Who Stole Christmas').
Hanging out with the gang from Apollo 13 - check out Juliana between Kevin Bacon and Tom Hanks. Too bad Tom had a little glare going on there (and yes, we're on a first name basis).
Abby was the only one who would stand with George. Seriously - he is so cute.
I have to tell you - the best part of the day for the kids was this big room in Whoville where there were TONS of foam balls and lots of gizmos and gadgets to use to suck them up, shoot them out, pop them up, etc, etc, etc... That's all they could talk about all day.
All in all this was probably the lowest rated day in my opinion. Universal's just not really little kid friendly. There's not a whole lot of rides that were fun for them. Older kids and adults could have a blast there, so maybe we'll go back WAY down the road. But until they put in a Barbie movie ride, I think we'll stick to the many other attractions in Southern California.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Great Flood and Cold Toesies

**The pics are finally in - enjoy!**

I know, I know, I've been a total slacker in the blogging department lately. I'm mean seriously, I just realized today that I still have my Christmas wallpaper up. But to be fair, I really wasn't on the computer at all during our little vacation, so it's taken me a while to get my reader back under control. I literally had hundreds of new posts (from wonderful people like yourself) that I hadn't read. And of course I couldn't just skip over them - I wanted to read them all, so it took a while. Now I'm finally back to my regular daily reading and I have a few minutes so I thought I would share part one of our holiday adventures (it's going to take a few installments, it was a LONG trip).

The real adventure actually started the night before our planned departure - it rained. Now that doesn't sound so terribly thrilling, or adventure-some, but believe me it was. It poured buckets for about 36 hours straight. Needless to say there are just a little flooding, when we woke up (in case you don't hear my blog in my voice, I'm being sarcastic here - there was a lot of flooding). And it just got worse and worse. I'm SO glad that we live in an apartment on the second floor. Our downstairs neighbors had about 4 inches of water in their place - just everywhere. It was crazy. The elementary school closed, I think BYU would have, too, except it was the last day of finals, so what are you going to do. Here's a few pics I took of the area right around our building.

(You can't really tell if you've never seen it dry, but that lake at the middle-top of the pic is normally a parking lot. There was water up to the top of the tires on some cars before they could get them out.)

(There's one more step down to a sidewalk that runs the length of this "puddle". This is also the edge of the water that is in our building downstairs.)

Here some other blogs and websites with much better pictures, so you can see the magnitude of it all. There was just water EVERYWHERE. The community really pulled together and neighbors that were flooded out were taken care of, houses were sandbagged, hoards of vollunteers were fed and warmed. There's still some damage that it being worked on - I know there are at least a couple of families that haven't been able to return home yet because the damage was so extensive.

Lois's website - she also has great pics from other community events if you feel the desire to browse you might catch my kids in a few here and there.
Ashley's blog - now living in Cali, but she was here for the fun.
Fellow TVA resident - I've never met her, but her family's real cute and she took some AMAZING pictures.

In spite of the flood, we did manage to actually leave as scheduled, but we ended up being rushed, we left earlier than planned to make sure that we could get into Honolulu to the airport - there's only 2 ways around the island from here (North or South - duh) and when one is shut down the other gets really clogged. We were very lucky that there weren't any closures when we went.

After drying off at the airport we boarded a red-eye flight to LAX - when traveling with 4 small children, this is really the way to go. All 4 of them pretty much slept for the whole flight. I didn't even have to break out snacks or anything. Plus we were on one of the newer planes where each seat has its own little TV screen - and while the movie and TV selections weren't working for a small section of the plane (which of course, including our seats) there were games still working that were fun to play, so the 6 1/2 hour flight went by pretty fast.

Once into LA we were totally caught off guard by the cold weather - it was very chilly and us in our Hawaiian shorts and T-shirts. I mean it was Southern California, we didn't think we would need to break out the ski parkas until we got to Utah. But we made it to Cameron's brother's house and spent a really fun day relaxing and playing with cousins.

And then the madness ensues! Seriously, what were we thinking? For Christmas Santa brought the family Southern California City Passes. That's 6 days of themepark fun. Sounds great - and it was, for the most part, but it was a lot to cram into the 10 days that we spent in California. To top it all off, it was cold the entire time. Well, OK, there were 2 completely gorgeous days - the 2 days that we decided NOT to go anywhere so we could recoup. So it goes.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Home Sweet Home

As the saying goes - absence makes the heart grow fonder. I have missed my 75 degree weather, more than I thought I would, and I am terribly happy to be back home again.

Well, I of course don't have time to write about our 24 day mainland adventure right now, but I just wanted to let you all know that we made it back safe and I have LOTS to share over the next week or so. For now I'd better get back to putting things back in order.