Friday, January 7, 2011

Oh, to be Three!

When the girls were little they loved to wear princess dresses. Emma wore them 24 hours a day (her pj's had princess themes). But, most of all, Abbie and Emma loved to dress up, wait for Mark to get home from work and dance around the family room with him. I think Mark really liked it too. He would turn on all types of music and twirl them around the room until they were dizzy--which took a very, very long time.
Now things are different. There is still someone dressed up waiting to play with Mark when he gets home from work. But, there are no more princess costumes or dancing. Today it is Matthew waiting on Mark's arrival. Many days this picture represents what (or who is waiting at the door). Let me interpret: Army pants, Superman cape, light saber in the background, sword in hand, ninja hood coving his head and a Batman mask at his feet. That pretty much sums it up. Ten minutes into play he trades all of this in for his fireman costume. No matter what he is wearing, he and Mark run around the house chasing each other with swords or practicing their ninja moves-which are quite frightening. It's a fun time. And with all of this make-believe play, my heart is warmed to know that though Matthew loves to pretend he's a good guy or a bad guy, he still has his priorities in line. The other day he ran up to tell me that he doesn't want to follow bad guys, he wants to follow the prophet because he knows the way. That little guy makes me laugh! There is something so delightlful about a three year old child. They absorb everything, want to know how to get to China, are concerned about getting bigger but still love to snuggle, and have no end of imagination. I love the terrific three's!!
Here's to all three year olds out there, you make life alot of fun!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Hooray for Hollywood

The Santa Monica Pier was a big highlight for the kids. Who wouldn't like riding a roller coaster over the Pacific Ocean??

A couple days after Christmas our family, along with our friends the Glauser's headed up north to check out some of the touristy spots of LA. In all of my years of living in Orange County, I had never spent much time north of the Orange Curtain and was looking forward to spending some time with my family up there. We packed two days full of fun and even saw a movie star at lunch (Don Johnson, and yes, he was wearing sunglasses).

Lunch and Shopping at the Grove (place of our important Star sighting).

La Brea Tar Pits
This mammoth found here at the La Brea Tar Pits looked pretty big compared to Emma. Excavation at the tar pits still continues today. In fact, almost all of the ice age fossils on display in the world are from here.
I was pleasantly surprised by the La Brea Tar Pits. It was much more interesting than I had expected and not gimicky at all.

Mann Chinese Theater. Gimicky (is that a word), yes. Crazy people? Yes. Crowded? Yes. Do I need to get out of the car next time I am in the area? No.
I was surprised by the beauitful view that awaited us after we drove the windy roads up to the Hollywood sign. Who knew??
Looking the opposite direction from the same spot, this was the view (it looked closer in real life).
Stay out of this amigas way!
Matthew is making sure that Abbie is having a good time watching the indian dancers near Olvera Street.
Angels Landing train (pictured behind me) served the wealthy locals in the early 1900's who would take their butlers shopping at the Grand Central Farmer's Market. Today people use it to get to their high rise. The ride is just $.25 .
Mark and I were married at the Los Angeles LDS Temple (moment of silence, please) and this was the first time we were able to go back. It was beautiful all ablaze in Christmas lights.

Christmas Highlights

A picture speaks a thousand words, or so they say. I wanted to share a little bit about the great Christmas we enjoyed around here and decided to do it in pictures. I hope you enjoy the over abundance of pictures G&G Rowen. To the rest of you, I hope you don't mind too much. Santa's little elf enjoying an outstanding Christmas party!

The family with Santa--where does this fellow find the time??
Christmas morning was a blur of excitement.
Emma was thrilled to add more Webkinz to her collection.
Matthew's new bike is just his size and NOT purple.
Oats and celery for the reindeer, of course.
Cute in their new PJ's.
Abbie and Emma were enjoying watching the action of the cousin's gift exchange hosted by Debbie and Greg.
We always have such a great time being together. Christmas Eve was, of course, no exception. We had a full mexican spread to feast upon including tamales, enchiladas, beans, rice, El Torito's cilantro salad, flan and fried ice cream. Egg nog smoothies (a must) and appetizers started us off.
Seriously. What a handsome guy.
Hum, what shall I eat next?? Actually that really wasn't what I was thinking.
The cousins are in this picture just waiting to get started with the gift exchange. I don't know why Matthew is pulling at his face.
Of course no family Christmas Eve celebration would be complete without a reading of the account of Christ' birth. We took turns telling the story with scripture, carols and pictures. It was lovey. Merry Christmas to all!