Sunday, June 14, 2009

Beautiful Newport

It's family trip time again--crazy that we hadn't been on an airplane together for two years. We really need to get out more. It's always so funny watching fellow travelers responses when they see our family of seven boarding the plane. We were excited to say the least. C A L I F O R N I A here we come!!

Our first destination was Disneyland, but a detour to IHOP for breakfast was a must. The kids thought the food there was the best. IHOP is now one of their favorite restaurants. Funny how we have to leave home to experience it. I guess that's a good thing. Right?!

Disneyland wasn't seeming as unpopulated as we had hoped. We cringed a little as we watched the people pouring in. I was lucky to get this pic without some other friendly tourists in it with them.

Emma and I headed for Fantasyland and ToonTown. She loved the Dumbo ride and wanted to get right back in line after having waited an hour for it. What spirit! Mickey and Minnie were amongst her favorites as well. She kept wanting to go back to them. Can't blame her, their houses are so cool.

Minnie's house we timed just right and only had to wait a few minutes for our grand appointment. Love the shoes, Minnie!

After being split up all day, the fam reunited and went on Soaring over California together. We had to stretch Emma's neck a little to get her in, but we're glad we did. She loved it. It's the best ride.

Swimming at the pool back at the condo was another highlight. The girls just couldn't get enough of it.

Dad and the boys having a little v-ball fun.

Thank heavens for hot tubs. They just never go out of style, do they?!

Enjoying the life.

The Marriott Coastal Villas Resort was beautiful. Marriott knows how to do it right.
Is it Charlie's Angels?

An unforgettable face. Nothing like happy kids on vacation.

We picked up some skim boards at Costco and the boys had a blast with them. They even got pretty good on them, unlike Anna and myself. Anna got some pretty good bruises for giving it her best. Way to go Anna.

Emma and her yellow life jacket. They are both keepers.

There is just nothing like the beach at sunset. Isn't it beautiful?

Troy would take Emma for long walks on the beach. Any where but in the water is where she wanted to be. I can't blame her though, the water temp was a little chilly.
Dad and Kaela rented beach cruisers and took a ride down Newport beach. Anna and I took a turn after them. Cutest houses you've ever seen. Love it!

Chasing the birds is Emma's favorite beach pastime.

It's just not a real beach trip if you don't get buried.

Taking the car on the ferry over to Balboa Island.

Dad the Driver.

Kaela and Emma found a good way to dispose of all the left over chips from Picante Martin's Mexican Restaurant. The birds seemed to like the idea too.

Bubble Gum ice cream on Balboa Island. What a combo. We had fun strolling Maine Street and buying a few trinkets from the stores. Favorite store was Even Sisters--their kids craft table allowed us to stay as long as we needed.
The third day we were off to Sea World with the Sandlins and Hathaways. Our first show was the Shamu show. Way to start with a bang! This is a picture of the boys dry.

And this is a picture of the boys wet, after Shamu got them good!

We all liked the new Atlantis water flume ride.

It was another neck stretcher to get Emma on. She like it so well she wanted to go on the "roller poster" again.

Emma and her buddy Julie Sandlin.

Katie's a favorite amongst the little girls. She had a few fans!

Oh the seal show. That's when I start checking out, but the kids and Troy loved it.

Here's Kinnon "the Navigator" making our game plan.
Shannon was nice to go with Halley and Emma on the spinning cup ride. I had had enough motion fun on the Antarctic Cat ride just before that. Thanks Shannon.

After Sea World we headed to Old Town San Diego for a Mexican feast. These boys were pretty hungry!

After dinner the boys headed back to Newport with Hank and the rest of us went to Sea Coast Village for a little shopping. We happened upon this pretty Cinderella carriage that Troy took the girls on.

Speaking of Cinderella...Rather than wait in the two hour line at Disneyland, Emma and I stood off to the side where the princess come in and out from their shifts. We just happened to catch Cinderella as she was leaving. She said to Emma, "I love your dress. I will tell my friend Aurora that I saw you."

Kaela, the bikini sand babe!

Kaela made Anna a birthday wish in the sand. Cute Kaela is always thinking of others. We walked by a beggar on the street the day before and she said, "Mom, are we going to give him some money?" She was also insistent that we take her shopping so she could get Anna a Bday present. She is always like that.

Jordan giving Anna his present (the star necklace). Sweet brother!

Anna's Bday Bash at the Cheesecake Factory. She loved her orange chicken and Oreo cheesecake.

Back at the pool. Halley and Emma found a way to get their Shirley Temples. They went right up to the bar, sat down, and asked the bar tender for them. Luckily, Shannon noticed and helped them pay for them.

It wouldn't be right to end this entry with out mentioning Crystal Cove. It was one of our favorite places. Great skim boarding, great treasure hunting, great food at the Beach Comber, great everything. We can't wait to go back.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Jordan's Eagle Project--Awesome!

Jordan's Eagle Project was gethering and servicing bikes for a refugee community in Sugar House. With ward donations, Jordan and the Deacon and Teachers Quorums went down to help these refugees. As these pictures protray, it was an amazing experience.

Bob Ward (from the CC 7th ward) is a service missionary down there and he's the one that helped Jordan organize this.

The people were very anxious to claim a bike for their own. It was difficult to watch as there weren't enough bikes for everyone.

Little children in the neighborhood

Jordan explaining what they'd be doing

Some of the boys that came

The grateful recipients

This picture helps portray the excitement the children felt about the prospects of getting a new bike. This little boy in the red shirt was a special kid!

Some more of the boys that came to help

An Eastern European girl and her new bike

McKay Gleason was a great help!

Two best friends waiting for their bike to be fixed.

This darling little thing was very curious.

Jordan and Benson together fixed 3 or 4 bikes.

Troy was in the thick of it.

and loving every minute of it.

Tyson helping a kid with his bike.

Fred and the other leaders made it all possible.
Jordan helping a dad fix his little girls' new bike.

Matt and Benson

Brother Edmun and his wife Kay were the first couple missionary from our ward (the 7th ward) called to serve in this area. The gentleman in the coral colored shirt was very grateful for a bike.

Matt and Jake

You could tell this little girl was very happy about her new bike.

Fred showing Sheff Jr the ropes.

Matt greasing a chain.

Dan Northrup was working hard.

Here's some of the grateful kids.

Tag teaming

It was a little crazy with all the bikes that needed to be fixed.

This lady is the manager of the complex. She commented on how pleased she was to see the service today.

Kay Edmun and Gayla Ward--two of the people that made this all possible.

It started to rain and hail (quite hard) but the people stayed.

They wanted their bikes fixed so badly that they covered the boys so they could continue to work.

We all got pretty wet, but it was worth it!

Brother Northrup was able to work under the shelter of Brother Edmun's umbrella.

Dillon was trying to keep Troy dry.

We took down popsicles to the kids. I think they might have been a bigger hit if the sun had continued to shine.

Troy was working hard.

Perry and Tyson were a good team.

Matt made a friend, Bien Venue, from the Congo in Africa.
Some more of the grateful kids.

This was such an incredible experience. I know that Matt and Perry, who were in my car, chatted about it the whole way home. They were glad to have been able to serve. I think they were probably even a little enlightened as to how good they have it at home.

A special thanks goes out to Bob Ward from the 7th ward. He has been Jordan's friend and mentor for a few years now. He is the one that made this all possible. Thanks Bob!!

A man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it.

- George Moore