take time to spoil your kids every now and then.

I admit, it wasn't exactly the most opportune time to dash off to Disneyland when we did, what with this huge house project weighing on our shoulders, threatening to squish the living breath out of us.  but alas, it was one of those things that had already been in the plans long before the notion of buying this house had entered the picture.  tickets had been purchased, arrangements for grandma Johnson to fly down (to babysit) had been made.  and most importantly, we had already promised Chloe and Myra we'd take them some place special as a reward for doing exceptionally well in school this year.  and well, how could we suddenly renege on a promise like that?  I mean, they'd probably start failing their classes.  or worse yet, unfriend me on Facebook.  just kidding.

and so, we packed our bags, forgot about the house, and left for what might just be one of the funnest trips we've ever been on.  plus, did you know that screaming your guts out on roller coasters is a great way to relieve stress?  seriously, you should try it sometime.       

we stopped at Newport Beach that same evening we arrived, simply because you can't go ALL THE WAY to the California coast and not go to the ocean.  that just wouldn't be right.  even if it was cloudy, cold and windy.        

we decided to purchase the two-day park hopper pass, which allowed us to go back and forth between Disneyland and California Adventure as we pleased.  also, the hotel we stayed at was only about a mile and a half from the park.  slick, because we were able to hop a shuttle bus, thus avoiding the whole mad parking thing altogether.  we even went back to the hotel to eat lunch and stuff.  cheap Finns frugal, we are.

I think that black and white picture of the swings (below, middle) might just be my all-time favorite.

after screaming my head off on, wait for it... the ferris wheel of all things, I soon became the laughing stock of the bunch.  but wait.  before you start calling me a sissy, let me explain.  so, picture yourself sitting in this car thingy which is suspended from an oval shaped track.   got it?  good.  so anyway, as the ferris wheel spins around, this car thingy that you're sitting in slides down along that track and swings you out over the water, giving you the sensation that you're about to go sailing clear into never never land.  see what I mean?  this was definitely not your typical ferris wheel.  I had every right to be freaked out.  

needless to say, just because I "screamed a little" on the ferris wheel, it ended up turning into the standing joke for the duration of our time at Disney: "what was mom's scariest ride?  the ferris wheel, can you believe it?  BWAHAHAhaahhahaaha!"  kids.  and hubby.  they have no mercy, I tell you.

I didn't think it was possible for kids to get roller coaster-ed out, but by the end of the second day, they were pretty. tired. out.  and let's not mention how worn out Gary and I were.  whew, standing in line is hard work, I tell you.

before heading home, we took a detour to check out the Santa Monica Pier.  I never realized that Route 66 ended there, did you guys?  I mean I drive on Route 66 all the time here in Flagstaff.  who knew?

looking back, I'm so glad we went.  in the every day hustle and bustle of raising a large family, it's easy to lose sight of each kid's individual needs, especially if they're the non-demanding type, like Chloe and Myra.  by singling these two girls out, it allowed us the opportunity to reconnect, as well as spend some quality one on one time with them without eight other kids in the background vying for our attention.  did we have to take them somewhere as extravagant as Disneyland?  of course not.  but I guess we just thought it'd be nice to do something out of the ordinary, as a way of showing our appreciation for a job well done.       

keep up the good work, girls!  we are so proud of you!


PS. I'll let you come be my kid if you want ;-)        


1crown3tiaras said...

Awesome!! They will never forget that trip!

Sara said...

How do I get an application to be your kid? Is 18 too old? What would be my daily chores..?
I love the way you capture life. Your kids will really appreciate those pictures when they're older!

Buffy said...

Lucky girls! What a fun trip for them, and to have all that time spent with you and Gary!

Sue said...

Your pictures are fabulous... and what a fantastic trip with the 2 girls! Lucky!!

able mabel said...

Loved all the pictures!

Anonymous said...

Your girls will never forget their special reward, ort hat precious time with Mum & Dad, especially at such a busy time in your families life. Your pictures rock, you must be one of the coolest mums around. Andrea (NZ)

Debbie said...

A trip to remember for sure! I have very fun memories of a trip to Disneyland when I was in 6th grade also. Same type of deal, I went with my Mom, Dad, Caroline & Mike! Special times!!

pakosta said...

yes, please, I will come be your kid! great job girls!

Anonymous said...

what an awesome trip! memories were made for sure!