Wednesday, April 23, 2014

West Coast Fun?!

Looking back on our trip to Arizona and California, I just shake my head and laugh.  It was an interesting trip to say the least, and any dull moments were few and far between.  I am beyond thankful that Megan was willing, ready, and able to make the trip with us and am even more excited to have her join us this summer.  The kids absolutely adore her and it's rather nice having a friend around when the hubs is gone so much.  Imagine that, adult conversation?! Pretty nice.  Megan and I joked that we could write a book about our trip and as entertaining as I'm sure know it would be, I just don't have the time to do that - so, I'm gonna cheat and do the quickest rundown. ever. And without any punctuation rules - I'm a rebel, I know. :)

Florida to Arizona.  Successful flights I'd say.  And when I say successful, I thank God since the lady in front of me tried to smoke a cigarette ON the airplane!  I mean, really?!  Despite death stares, rolling of eyes, and comments made by older women who obviously forgot what it was like to have young children, the kids did an amazing job.  Sure there were a few meltdowns, leg kicks to the seats in front, and a bit of whining.  But ... they. did. great.

Arizona.  Beautiful weather. Beautiful sunrises.  Awesome train park that the kids (and adults) loved! What's better than a working train, playground, and a carousel all in one place?  It was great.  Phoenix Zoo.  It's a rather large zoo with tons of animals.  We had a beautiful day for it and the kids loved it, especially the petting farm area.  Go figure - we're at the zoo with exotic animals and my kids love the goats and cows.  Typical.  Spring Training games.  ER visits.  Not one, not two, but three.  Poor Abby had a horrible ear infection and a high fever.  Not fun being sick, especially out of town away from your doctors.  Celebrated Levi's birthday a bit early with the grandparents.  Indulged in Sprinkles cupcakes - YUMMO.  Enjoyed a nice family dinner with Nana and PopPop ... behaving children, yummy food, and great company - doesn't get much better than that.

California.  Welcome to cold, rainy, damp weather.  Right off the airplane and kids are already stomping in giant mud puddles, which left us no choice but to strip them down and that folks is how we entered the hotel.  Welcome Johnsons!  Got news that our Baltimore furniture delivery wasn't on time as scheduled and we'd be in hotel longer than expected.  Make the best of it - right!?  Levi decided to get his arm stuck in the elevator - horrific, terrifying experience that took us to the ER.  Again.  Soft tissue damage and a soft cast.  Tough little guy.  Moved into Cali house, got unpacked and "settled" all in a day.  Opening Day ... weird to see hubs wearing green and yellow, but so exciting for a new season to begin and a new opportunity.  Celebrated Levi's second birthday!!  Baseball games, unexpected dinner date with the hubs, Chuck E Cheese, mall trip, Easter bunny, playgrounds, exploring a new area.  Getting lost in a new area.  Several times.  One which led to sirens and blue lights.  Thank goodness for those two sleeping kids in the back - the cop realized we weren't causing trouble. :)

Flight home to Florida.  First leg ... kids couldn't have been better.  Second leg ... delay IN airplane for almost two hours.  Need I say more?

Hallelujah - we DID it!  West Coast travel can happen.  May not be easy, but it's totally doable.   Hope you enjoy the video of our adventures! :)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter from our two little cuties! 

Before church this morning, we had a quick photo session outside our house.  I had to take full advantage of happy, willing children and of course their adorable outfits!

Abby was super excited this morning to find more hidden eggs and all the goodies in her basket.  It was almost like Christmas morning ... Easter style.  Being egg hunt number three, Levi knew exactly what to do and was hoarding all the eggs he could find.  :)

It was such a beautiful day ... the weather couldn't have been more perfect.  Church was inspiring as always - the message, the music, the love for Jesus.  I say it all the time, but can't seem to say it enough ... our church is such a good fit for our family and I am thankful for the friends we have made and my faith that has been strengthened!

After church the Branca gang joined us for an afternoon of "family" time.  The kids were spoiled with goodies, as usual ... and I was spoiled with yummy, prepared food.  With a few of my additions, everything came together for a great meal!  

Missing family (and the hubs!!!) on this special day but we'll be seeing you all real soon!  It was so nice of those that face timed us and made us feel like we were there with you!  

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter... "He has risen!" :)

"There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.  --- The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He is not here; He has risen, just as He said." -Matthew 28:2-6


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Huntin' for eggs :)

Who doesn't love an old fashioned Easter Egg Hunt?  I think we all do... 

This morning we had the Rock-N-Roll Easter Egg Event at our church.  The kids were super excited to hunt for eggs, make crafts, and eat treats.

The countdown began ... Levi had some practice earlier in the week with Abby's class, so he was a pro!  Instead of a mad rush to collect as many eggs as one could ... you needed to find 10 specific eggs.  10 specific letters.  10 eggs to spell out the real meaning of Easter.  Abby took her time hunting for the letters and was happy to spell out ...

"Jesus Lives" ... the real meaning of Easter.

The kids made guitars, rocked out to karaoke, had their faces painted, and played several games to learn the story of Easter.  

It was such a fun morning ... lots to do, with lots of friends.  Of course it's always fun collecting eggs, playing with the Easter Bunny, and eating candy - but it's even more special to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ for "He is RISEN!"


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Let the partyin' continue ...

Today was round three (yes, three!) for celebrating Levi's 2nd birthday.  We first celebrated in Arizona with Nana and PopPop, then in California with Daddy, and now home with more family and friends.  The timing of the party was extra special too, since my sister and niece are in town for the week visiting.  It was an absolutely perfect day for our special boy, besides the fact that he's growing up way too fast!  

Take a look at some of the fun we had - "can you tell me how to get, how to get to Levi's Street?!"

The Sesame characters must have left their footprints behind!  We couldn't seem to find any of them at the party, but I'm sure they were there somewhere. ;-)

Thanks to Em and her friend, Jodee ... we did most of the decorating the night before!

The kids had a fun time jumping in the bounce house (especially Popcorn time with Mr. Jay), playing on the swing set, and putt-putt.  Everyone played really well together and it was refreshing to see them all having so much fun with each other.

Along with decorating the night before, Aunt Heather was in the kitchen with the kids baking cupcakes.  60 of them.  And putting icing on all of them too.  Like I said earlier, the timing of their visit was just perfect. Wink, wink!

 Anyone for a game of Oscar's Garbage Can Knockdown?

What about Pin the Nose on Elmo?

Thanks to Pinterest (or maybe not since it took over my life for about two weeks straight), our house turned into a mini Sesame Street.  I had fun crafting and making this party a special day for our little guy and all of our friends!

Thank you to family and friends that came to celebrate Levi!  It was a great time with some of our favorite people.

Happy Birthday, Levi!