Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I left my heart.

I think I managed to surprise Mike with his Christmas gift this year, folks. It gave me MAJOR anxiety, but I planned a little trip to SanFrancisco. He grew up in Antioch {about 30 miles away} and hadn't been back since they moved like 15 years ago! I hadn't been since about that age too when we went as a family {Jared was a baby}. And it really was a wonderful couple getaway trip. We realized that we hadn't really been on a trip without friends or kids for like 9 years! what? yes...it was due time. We had a great time.
Here's our trip in pictures...

{Friday-New Years Day} We arrived into Oakland, rented a car and drove to SanFran. Checked in to our hotel at Fisherman's Wharf. Then we walked and walked. We had crab & more crab! We went on a bread tour at Boudin's {just for you pop}. We walked to Pier 39. Later we drove down Lombard street, went to see Coit tower and then back to the hotel for a little rest. Then out to dinner in China town...it was a little rainy and just beautiful down town. We ate at a small chinese place we were recommended to go to and it was off the chain delicious! Definitely suggest House of NanKing, people! Then we hustled to Market Street past Union Square and saw Wicked at the Orpheum theatre {thanks G & J}. I had seen it a few years back, but I liked it even better the second time around. I only had to wake Mike up once ;) He said he liked it too. It was a wonderful way to start the new year!

{Saturday} we woke and had breakfast at a yummo little place "hollywood cafe" {thanks, yelp.com} then we just drove around. We went to Golden Gate Park, saw the "painted ladies", drove throuagh gay central {oh my goodness}, had lunch with a friend, dessert at ghiradhelli square {AMAZING}! Then we went on a night tour of Alcatraz. It was sooo interesting and a little creepy. We made a little stop back at Boudin's for a late night bread bowl & chowder. yum!

ok, let's be honest...he still did quite a bit of this :)

{Sunday} left our hearts in SanFran. Drove out of town and literally minutes out of the city, to beautiful hillsides and foggy valleys. We went to Walnut Creek and with Mike's elephant like memory and the little known device called the I-phone, we tracked down Granny & Pop's old house in Walnut Creek. We also went to Mike's house in Pittsburg and then on to Antioch. We saw the old house on Chelsea Ct. and then made a little stop at Belshaw Elementary. It was a walk down memory lane for Miguel and it was really fun for me to see his old stomping grounds. Then to Oakland...a few minutes at the temple {fyi. you have to drive through the ghetto to get there} and then to the Oakland Coliseum to watch the Ravens smash the Raiders. I could do without the Raiders fans...they are ruthless. It was fun to watch the Ravens play :) We got to visit with some of the players & their families after the game. Then off to the hotel and out to dinner {more crab}. We flew home Monday morning....picked up the kids and drove to St. George. Then bombed home Tuesday.
Thanks to A & J for keeping Payt and my mom for keeping our girls

Monday, January 11, 2010


The whole gang in Jackson Hole
Our family.

Sammy & Avery.

On the 26th of December, we headed to Driggs to stay with A & J and crew. It is so beautiful up there. We did fondu and opened presents. It was really fun. Payton & Sydney sang "feliz navidad" again and then the boys gave us a sweet rendition of "Rudolph". Willy was always just a few words behind :) The kids snow mobiled and shot hoops in the play room. Mike & Jared took Mack & Payton skiing at Targhee one afternoon and they did great. I got to go out to Rexburg with my Aunt Chris to the Rammell Family Christmas party at Grandma Rammell's. It was a lot of fun to catch up with some cousins. I also had breakfast with Jessica and Ashlee the next day. Such wonderful people. Mike got to go flying with Roy and shot a fox and missed a coyote :) He said it was he about froze to death but it was one of the funnest things he's ever done. We went to Jackson one day and it was soooo cold! But we got our "old tyme" pictures taken for the WANTED wall downstairs and that was fun. I also went to visit Grandma Moulton one afternoon. She is doing well. We headed back down to Utah on New Years Eve but we left Payton in Driggs to play with his cousins a few more days. We did fondu and the chocolate fountain at Kate's and rang in the new year! It was a wonderful 2009...looking forward to 2010!
Happy New Year.

Island Park

We bombed from Mesa to Menan on the 23rd of December. Wow, that might be a record for us! The kids did surprisingly awesome. We stopped in Utah and met up with Andrew, Jenna & Quinn and then went to Menan to Mike's parents'. Can I just say that I really have a soft spot in my heart for their home in Menan. It is just like home to me, can't really explain. It's just lovely and warm and fun. We sat around the fireplace, Mike and Andrew shot at things off the back deck. Dama Dama made us yummo breakfast in the morning and we wrapped presents. Then we hit the {icy} road to Island Park where we met the rest of our family and Art & Nae & their kids. We had a wonderful time eating, playing games {ticket to ride}, Mike accompanied on the guitar as we sang {Payt & sis sang "Feliz Navidad" at the top of their lungs, girls sang "Star Bright" for old times sake}, Dad, Stuart & Andrew read stories {Merry Christmas Jimmy, my favorite} sat in the hot tub {kids had competition who could run and lay in the snow the longest before returning to the tub}, kids sprinkled reindeer food outside and left cookies for santa, sledding {grandpa pulled the girls...the loved it}, cross-country skiing {I ate it twice, mike face-planted once...sooo funny}, played with our new toys {baby girls fought over Avery's new car constantly, I got a "flip", payt & his I-touch and wii madden, Sydney & her tag reader and fiesta dora doll}. The weather was beautiful and clear. We got to talk to Jared on Christmas and it was great to hear his voice. He sounds like he is doing great and loving West Virginia. I failed and broke my month long hiatus from diet coke. oh sadness. And it wouldn't be a Rammell family gathering without throwing up {Sydney} and a dislocated shoulder {dad falling down stairs getting water for the pukey girl @ 5 am}...all in all it was an AWESOME time.
Thanks all.
Sydney & Avery...
Arleigh & Aves...

Grandpa reading Christmas stories.
cross-country skiing.
Games & puzzles...Rose, Payton & Max
Pod & Miguel...aka "Conner"
Payton loves his I-touch. Thanks Dad!
Santa brought Avery a "brrrrooooom, brrroooom" and she loves it.
Santa had to search high and low to find "Fiesta Dora"...it was number one on Sydney's list!

Avery & Quinn in the tub.
Andrew & Mike shooting things. {it looks like Andrew is dangerously pointing the gun at my husband's face, but I swear, he's behind him. just an optical illusion} Gotta love Menan!
Chef Sydney helping Dama Dama make pancakes Christmas eve morning!


I was determined to do something "festive" each night the week before we left to Idaho. We had a lot of fun together. We got our tree, we went to Cherry street with friends and had hot chocolate. We went to see Santa land his helicopter! And we went to the annual boat parade at Granny & Pops house. We read Christmas stories each night around the Christmas tree.
It was a wonderful time together as a family. Merry Christmas! Girls in their Christmas dresses from Dama-Dama...
Payton and Santa--don't you dare ask for a puppy!
Sydney sitting on Santa's lap. His elves gave her a tea set!
Santa came by helicopter! The kids loved watching him circle closer and closer...it was very exciting. Avery didn't like the "windy" blowing everywhere, so she layed right on her dad's shoulder. When Santa got out of his helicopter and lifted his bag of gifts, it was so heavy, he fell over on the ground! What a funny Santa. The kids thought it was so great.
We got ourselves a "little tree" this year and the kids were big helpers picking it out and hanging all the decorations.
Sydney got to hang the star this year.

Soccer "champions"

Soccer season finally ended and of course, our last game of the year {or the "championship" as Payton calls it} we played Mike's cousin Kristine's team {Spencer is also on their team}. Needless to say, the anticipation and strategic practicing was weeks long and exhausting :) Mike couldn't lose to a girl! Let alone his cousin! It was all too serious for me :) It was a good game...lots of fun. Hoping Kristine has no hard feelings toward her meany pants cousin, Coach Mike. Blue Thunder played hard and pulled it out in the end :) Our team had a pizza party after and got their trophies. Good times. Sydney had her last game & party too and she even scored 2 goals! She really was starting to get it and actually enjoy it by the end of the season. Way to go Blue Magic!

Coaches of the year :)
Parker, Spencer and Payton. Soccer buddies!

Go Blue Thunder!

Sydney Kate...our little soccer player! She scored 2 goals in her last game!

Sydney and her soccer friends having pizza.

Sydney Kate and coach Mindee! And Sydney's first trophy. woo woo!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Payton's Place

Payt and Pop
Blowing the candles...Happy 7th Birthday Payton!

Mom and her boy

Singing with his weird face :) He kept moving his mouth so funny during the performance. ?!?
Oh, my baby boy! He turned 7 and I cried. It was actually a really fun day...he had a christmas concert at school and then we went to dinner at a restaurant called "Payton's Place". He thought it was pretty cool. Love you buddy!

Payton and his best buddy Spencer are just six days apart...so they had their "friend party" with a bunch of friends at "Aqua Tots" swim school. It was super fun! The kids swam, had pizza and cake. Then the boys opened presents. Happy Birthday boys!