Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Crazy Days of Summer (part 4)...

First, I feel the need to promise you that I'm almost done with the summer post!  Geez...I need to learn how to make a long story short!!   But, this blog will become the new kids "life book" of sorts, so I definitely don't want to leave anything out.  I found out about this place that takes your blog posts and makes them into a book -- how cool is that?!  Gonna do that, for sure.  Ok, back to the post...

We ended up sleeping in on Sunday and skipping church since Cooper had Strep.  All of us were tired from the beach and the dinner party the night before, so we just enjoyed sleeping in and taking it easy before heading to Orange County on Sunday afternoon.  Thankfully, when Cooper woke up, he was starting to feel much better.

We headed to Santa Ana, which is where I grew up.  I had told the new kiddos that I'd lived there when I was little and they really wanted to see my house.  So, just like we had done with Cooper and Gatlin a few years ago, we went to my old house, took pictures out front, and then walked the path to my old elementary school.  I always cry on this nostalgic outing.  It gets me every time.  I guess because it was a time of such innocence and the memories come flooding back.  My parents were together - that's a biggy that turns on the faucet.  Anyway, we walked across the bridge and down the street to the school and I told them all about Brad Fartenessy, the boy who liked to chase me home from school and scare me.  His last name was actually, Fautenessy, but we always called him Fartenessy.  They laughed.

After that little side trip, we headed over to my Aunt Sharon's house for dinner with some of my family.  I love my Aunt Sharon so much.  She and my Uncle Steve live in a sweet, simple home in Placentia, and there is just something about being with them that is so safe and comforting for me.  Interestingly, Gatlin said the same thing this trip.  I don't mean this to sound weird (if you're reading this Aunt Sharon, this is meant as a compliment), but they don't have as much "stuff" as we do and I think that the simplification is comforting.  Does that make sense?  It's nice to go there and sit outside and sip tea and talk.  Brian, Cooper, Bennet, Kaleb and Kali played soccer in the backyard and Gatlin played in the kid's room the whole time.  No TV was on.  No Wii or XBox were set up.  Maybe they have all those things and they just don't get them out when we're there -- and for that, I'm thankful.  (If you do, keep hiding them when we're there, Aunt Sharon!  ha!!).  Aunt Sharon always makes us feel so welcome and loved.  We enjoyed dinner with the family and then had to scoot out early to see my friend, Sheri.

Sheri Rose Shepherd is one of my very favorite people.  Some of you may know her from her books or speaking engagements.  She's one of the most wonderful people I know and I was so thankful that we got to spend a little time with her and her family that night.  We hung out in their lovely home and she served us beautiful, healthy desserts.  The kids loved her little puppy and we had a really nice visit before we headed out to the hotel for the night.  Across the street from Disneyland!

A huge blessing given to us this trip was tickets to Disneyland.  A friend of ours (who we met through my Aunt Sharon), Matt Davis, hooked us up with them through a friend of his who works there.  We would not have been able to go had we had to pay for tickets - it's just more than we can spend right now on something that's not a necessity.  But, what a treat it was to get to take the kids there because of the kindness of others!  It was crazy hot and the lines were long, but we had a wonderful time and were so grateful we got to be there.  I can't remember everyone's favorite rides, but I do know that the California Screaming roller coaster was definitely a "go out with a bang" ending!   They all LOVED that!  It was a great day and we walked out of the park as the fireworks were lighting up the sky over our heads.

Growing up, I could see the Disneyland fireworks from my bathroom window.  I loved watching them each and every time I was allowed to stay up that late.  To this day, watching fireworks is one of my very favorite things!

On Tuesday, we had planned to spend a little time with the Cyrus family.  I'll start a new post with this part of the story, cause it's a bit of a story in itself.

To be continued...

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