Last week we took a trip out to La Jolla, California. JJ attended two science conferences out there and decided to drive out this time instead of fly so that we could all accompany him. Our hotel, gas and food was all paid for so it was really wonderful to have that opportunity.
We left two days before the conference began so we could have one full day to spend as a family. We decided to go to Old Town, San Diego at the recommendation of my sister, who had recently went to a work conference out there. We all enjoyed it a lot. It was really neat to see all of the cultures that settled in California during the 1800’s and learn some of the history. The kids favourite exhibit was the Mormon Battalion Memorial. The tour was really well done and after the tour they had an area for kids to pan for gold and they were able to keep one of the the “gold” nuggets they found.
After Old Town we checked into Hotel La Jolla. It is a beautiful, up scale hotel. It is very clean and the beds are so comfortable, however it’s not an ideal hotel to stay at for a week. They charge $35 a day for parking and they only offer valet laundry services were you pay $3-$6 per item! The good part though is that is close to the beach 🙂 We were planning to go find a walmart in San Diego to get groceries after checking in but we were all so exhausted we ended up ordering in pizza.
The next day while JJ was at the conference I took the kids to the Birch Aquarium. We all had a blast! We watched a scuba diving show where the scuba divers cleaned the tank and fed the animals. They also talked a lot about Ocean Scientists do. Later on while we were at an exhibit where the kids can touch sea creatures, an Ocean Scientist asked Miriam if she had any questions. That then gave Miriam permission to ask question after question. The Ocean Scientist turned to me and laughing asked “what did I get myself into?” We love our inquisitive Miriam 🙂
One thing I was pretty proud of getting ready for our trip was that I packed clothes for all 8 of us into one suit case. That was 5 outfits each with about 10 outfits for the two youngest. I knew I would have to do laundry once while I was there. On the 4th day Benjamin was on his last outfit so I had to find a laundromat that day. No one at the hotel knew where a laundromat and just told me to google it. So that is what I did and I was excited to learn that google maps showed a laundromat next to a Kroger grocery store I was planning to go to. After getting lost driving in awful California traffic I eventually found it. However the laundromat was actually a dry cleaners – so frustrating! So I just went grocery shopping for some breakfast and lunch foods. The kids were so excited that I bought them Pop Tarts for breakfast.
Every day that we were in California we got soooo many comments on how many kids we had. The vast majority was very positive. It really does take a lot for me to feel offended. I find comments like “you must have your hands full” to be innocent, well meaning comments. However at the grocery store we did encounter a woman who was quite rude. I had to love Miriam’s response though. She looked at her and said “guess what?! Mommy’s having her 7th baby!” The lady looked completely dumbfounded and walked away. Yes, it is true! Baby #7 is on the way and expected to arrive at the end of November or beginning of December!
That evening when JJ was done with meetings we were able to work together and find a laundromat. After that we went and looked at seals. They smelled awful but they were so fun to watch going in and out of the ocean and snuggling up to eachother. The last few days of trip coniststed mainly of playing at the beach, parks and eating a lot of ice cream!
2015 was huge for our family.
JJ put in many long hours of research at his lab as well as writing up his dissertation. On May 1st he defended his dissertation. It was a proud moment for me as his wife to watch him present. I didn’t understand a whole lot of what he was talking about but it was evident that all of the professors there were very impressed with how well he presented.
In June his dissertation was approved for publication and he officially became Dr. Lee, the following month he began a postdoc. He still works a lot but not as much as he did as a doctoral candiadate. It is so nice to have more time with him and a postdoc stipend is also much better than a graduate stipend.
As if the week of the graduation wasn’t busy enough for JJ. He baptized Rebekah into the Chruch of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and gave Benjamin his name and blessing that weekend.
During 2015, JJ served as a Cub Scout leader and Assistant Mission Leader in our ward. Looking into 2016 he hopes to find a new job for the fall.
For the first half of the year Melissa was busy making a baptism quilt for Bekah and incubating “baby Emma” – the baby of course became Benjamin when he was born a boy and was not a girl as the ultrasound “indicated”. Along with the graduation photo above this is also one of my favourite photos of 2015 as it captures such a magical moment soon after Benjamin’s birth in the tub.
One of the best things for Melissa having Benjamin born past his due date is that we were all able to go to the Payson Temple Open House!
2015 became a year where homeschooling became more fun. Sariah and Bekah do Language Arts and Math mostly independently and then we do one other subject as a time. For a few weeks we did a unit on Anatomy and then we went on to Ancient Egypt, Biomes and our current unit is reading short Biographies of American Historical Figures.
In 2015 Melissa served as the first counselor in Young Womens and is now currently serving in the Relief Society’s Compassionate Service Committee.
Sariah turned 9 years old. I am so amazed at how seriously she takes her role as a big sister. She is loving and attentive.
Sariah always makes sure her clothes and hair are cute. Oma took her to get her ears pierced a few months ago! Math was a little frustrating for her at the beginning of the year and then we borrowed a few Life of Fred series books from the Library and now math is fun for her! I am so happy that we found a way for her to enjoy math. We now own the Elementary and intermediate series! She loves to help in the kitchen and she is good at it! Right now her plan for the future is to go on a mission and then open a restaurant with mom (mom kind of feels like she already owns a restaurant 🙂 )
Rebekah turned 8 in July and began the year preparing for baptism! We attended our Stake’s “It’s Great to Be 8” night in January. Also in January she won a small 2nd grade spelling g bee that was held at our local library! In addition to being a good speller, Bekah writes hilariously creative stories. She has also taught her self to do the splits and other gymnastics moves. In August she was baptized and she really seems to appreciate the Holy Ghost in her life. Bekah also plans to serve a mission and her career plans change depending on what unit we are working on 🙂
Miriam turned 5 just 5 days after Benjamin was born. She told everyone that she got a baby brother for her birthday. Miriam is learning how to read and she is doing very well with Kindergarten math. Miriam is such a sweet loving child. She will go up to anyone to give them a message about Jesus. I guess there is a reason her middle name is Elisabeth after my grandma because that is exactly what my grandma would do!
Joshua turned 3 on New Years Day so that means he will be 4 tomorrow! He has been referring to himself as the “birthday boy” all week. He strives to be a gentleman, always wanting to open the door for the ladies. He wants to be either a policeman or an army man when he grows up. He needs to decide which is more dangerous (he wants to be the more dangerous one). Mom loves that he is brave and wants to protect people but isn’t so sure about the dangerous part.
Lydia turned 2 in November. She is completely obsessed with owls. We don’t know how it began and why she has such a strong obsession at such a young age but she loves them and still brings up her owl brithday all the time. I made her owl cup cakes and her sisters drew her owls and tapped them to the wall. Lydia reminds mom a lot of when Sariah and Rebekah were both toddlers – I am so glad that I now have those two to help me keep Lydia out of trouble. Lydia’s vocabulary is growing all the time and she is well on her way to being fully potty trained!
Benjamin made his grand entrance into the world in May, coming 9 days after his “due date” weighing 7 lbs 6 oz. It has been such a joy to see his personality form, he loves to play with his siblings already. He is our only baby to be a thumb sucker – mom loves it! At seven months old he has 2 teeth, he can sit up and crawl. He will eat solids only if he can feed it to himself.
We look forward to pursuing goals and watching our children grow in 2016. One thing we are looking forward to in the new year is going through the new Provo City Center Temple. Melissa and JJ have signed up to be volunteer as ushers!
Growing up I remember how much my brother loved memorizing random facts so there were several birthdays and Christmases (his birthday is just before Christmas) where he was given Guinness World Record books. I also loved looking through those books and thinking that maybe one day I could be part of breaking a record! In the 2016 edition of the Guinness World Records it gives you tips on how to be a record breaker as well as three ways to submit your evidence!
I was given a copy of both “Guinness World Records 2016” and “Guinness World Records 2016 Gamer’s Edition”to review. Since I am not a gamer that book did not not appeal to me much but I did find it interesting that within the book they give tips on improving your gaming skills and careers in gaming.
I did find the “Guinness World Records 2016” fascinating though. It isn’t just random facts but the book is also rich with historical and scientific information. At around $15 this book would make a great last minute Christmas gift for someone on your gift list.
With Christmas just around the corner here is a fun little tidbit from the book: Largest wild reindeer herd: The George River population of reindeer in northern Canada contained some 50,000 deer in 2011.
That information was extra fun for me and my kids since I am Canadian. I love how my kids enjoy telling other kids that Santa lives in Canada 🙂
I have seen these books sold at Costco, Walmart as well as online retailers like Amazon.
I have been wanting to write this article for a long time but I kept holding back out of fear of offending someone and also knowing that works for me will not necessarily work for everyone. However today, the feeling that I need to write this has been very strong. I hope that this article reaches the people that could benefit from these tips. If you currently spend $700 a month on your family of 5 it will be very difficult to get down to a $250 monthly grocery budget but hopefully these tips will still help you save a significant amount.
First of all I wanted to tell my story of how I have been able to spend $50 per family member each month for the past 7 years. Seven years ago we moved to Utah and my husband began grad school at BYU in Biochemistry. Even with the low $21,000 salary we were happy to be making more that the previous 4 years. Money of course was still very tight and I started to feel like we should be entitled to go on food stamps. After all my husband was working on a doctorates and one day we will be paying a lot of taxes. I knew that my husband would be very much against that idea so I decided that I would pray to know the right way to convince him that we should use food stamps. That Sunday while I was in the mother’s room at church nursing my Little Bekah one woman was talking about how her husband who had just graduated from BYU got a job. She went on to say that even though the starting pay was good that she did not know how she was going to be able to make her budget work because they no longer qualified for food stamps and they could not afford to spend what food stamps gave them on groceries. This was an answer to my prayer! If I could not figure out how to make my budget work on $20,000 a year it is going to be very difficult to make it work on more if I am relying on government aid.
(This is not to say that no one should be government aid. For some circumstances it is the right choice. For example when our daughter, Rebekah was 20 months old her appendix ruptured and the doctors visits, hospital stay and surgery was very expensive. For that situation my husband and I both felt that using medicaid was the right decision.)
We set a grocery budget for $150 and we ate better than we ever had but we didn’t have a whole lot of variety. I then jumped into the Couponing craze and we were able stretch that $150 so much further. Then 4 years ago I began homeschooling which took up a lot of my time and couponing also takes up a lot of time not to mention the insane amount of hours my husband was working on his PhD; Something had to give and so I gave up on couponing. By this time we had 4 kids and still spending $150. In order to jump to $250 a month I used our tax return to pay for our entire years grocery budget. When the youngest child was about 2 we then went up another $50 a month.
We are now done with grad school and in a Post-doc now and with earning double a graduate salary we now just barely no longer qualify for food stamps. Boy am I glad that I learned to save money on groceries! Now with six children our grocery budget is $350 a month. At only 5 months old and exclusively nursing the new baby isn’t included in our budget yet. The grocery budget money comes out of our pay check now and not the tax return which I feel a lot better about.
Now lets get on with the 5 secrets I have learned over the years 🙂
- Track Your Spending: This will be time consuming at first but as time goes one this will help you set a good price point and have a good idea of the best place to shop for that item. What you do is find the cost per pound so divide the cost of the price by ounces then multiply by 16 and track how much that item is per pound. For example make a table in a spread sheet like this:
Item Store Brand Price Price per pound
Turkey Bacon WinCo Jennie-O $2.87/12 oz $3.83
Costco Oscar Myer $9.99/56 oz $2.85
4% Milk WinCo WinCo $1.90/1 Gal $0.23
Costco Kirkland $3.80/2 Gal $0.24
Tracking your spending will also allow you to find a trend of when the items you usually buy go on sale and then you can stock up for a few months!
2. Go Grocery Shopping Less Often: With 6 kids I love this idea! So I typically go grocery shopping twice a month. Once to Costco and once to Winco. Those stores may not necessarily be the cheapest for each item I am wanting to buy that day but over all they seem to be the two stores where I feel that I get the most for my dollar. You may have different favourite stores. If I go grocery shopping for everything I need for that week I am going to typically spend about $125 where as I will spend about $175 for everything I need for 2 weeks. Of course with this method it is a good idea to buy frozen fruits and veggies for the 2nd week or make freezer meals. Sometimes I will participate in a produce co-op in between that time for around $15.
3. Menu Plan: Menu planning is not only great for knowing exactly what you need for meals so there are no surprise trips to the grocery store but also to use up what you buy. Nothing wastes money at the grocery store more than buying food that is going to end up being thrown away.
4. Eat Real Food: I am not talking about organic Paleo meals. Just real non convenience foods. Sometimes I hear complaints at home about there being nothing quick to make but the money saved is well worth putting in the time to prepare made from scratch meals. While glancing around the grocery store it may seem that the unhealthy stuff is cheaper but when you take into account that you are going to be using your ingredients for more than one meal it is less expensive. Real food also fills you up more, a home made pizza is more filling than a boxed pizza. This also goes for full fat and no artificial sugar items as well. We switched to 4% milk for everyone a year and a half ago and we go through less milk now than we used to. Studies have shown that higher fat milk also decreases sugar cravings so that can cut down on snacking as well!
5. Drink Water: It is rare that we buy soft drinks or even juice. These are reserved for special occasions. I contemplated not including this as a tip but it really does save a significant about of money.
These are the 5 best ways that I could come up with to save on groceries but there are so many tips out there. If there is grocery saving tip that has helped you please share in the comments!
In addition to adding our baby boy Benjamin to our family we have had two more big changes recently in our family.
About 3 weeks before Benjamin was born, JJ successfully defended is dissertation for his PhD program in Bio Chemistry. He officially became Dr. Lee in the beginning of June. We are all so happy for him and our family that 6.5 years of grad school is behind us and he has more time to spend with us. JJ currently has a post doc contract with BYU until the middle of January. Because of this our other big change occurred – we sold our house!
Shortly after JJ’s defense we suddenly had an influx of people interested in buying our house and we weren’t even trying to sell it. The first potential buyers were an engaged couple but they ended up not qualifying for a loan and then another couple who came to look at the house with their realtor made an offer that we accepted however just the day before the due diligence date they accepted a job offer out of state and so pulled out of buying our house. Their realtor then wanted to be our realtor and put our house on the market. I really didn’t feel good about this. I didn’t think we would be able to make much on the house with all of the realtor and closing fees. Not to mention the stress of having to keep a 2 bedroom 1 bathroom 850 SQF house spotless with 6 kids and the realtor was wanting us to do a lot of yard work as well. In addition to this the heater and roof both needed to be replaced which were expensive projects.
One other thing that was causing stress was that we knew that we would either have to sell our house very quickly because there would be no chance of finding a place to rent for less than 6 months or sell in January and risk not selling and having both a mortgage and rent to pay if we end up moving out of state then.
I remembered my friend Martha mentioning her new real estate investment business and decided to look into it a little more. She came over to my place to chat about what her business Nandi. I felt like she was very knowledgeable and trustworthy. She was very upfront about what we could expect from selling our house. She also said that she could sell our house quickly whether we decided to move immediately or in January. I told JJ about mine and Martha’s conversation and he felt like these cash buy companies take advantage of people and only for people who are about to foreclose. He was thinking we would loose money or only gain a couple thousand.
Well Martha came back over and talked with both of us. She gained JJ’s trust quickly and we decided to go for it. Long story short, Martha and her business partner only had 2 days to sell the house and they sold it that second day. I felt like it was a win-win-win offer. The buyer got a good deal, Nandi, a brand new company was able to get a sale and we were able to gain a good amount to save for a future down payment on a house. This was without having to put any money or time into improving the state of our house.
Just to show what a great company Nandi is, the title company mistakenly charged us the closing costs instead of the buyer which is what we agreed on. Martha caught the mistake and had the title company fix it before we went to pick up our check the next day.
Sure it was sad having to sell the first house we owned. The house that we moved into with two babies and then added 4 more. Those 4 babies were born inside that house which made it even more special. 850 sqf is of course very tight with 8 people and 6 people sharing a bathroom was frustrating so it was time to move on. We are grateful for the memories we have of that house and we are also grateful that we could find a really nice 3 bedroom 2 bathroom place in our budget that the landlord is ok with us renting for only 6 months. We are now free to move immediately when the right job comes around.
Lee Family House 2008 – 2015
At 18 weeks of pregnancy I went for an ultrasound at the BYU Student Health Center. During the ultrasound the tech said it looked like a girl and after looking a little longer she said the baby was for sure a girl. Watching the ultrasound myself, it looked like a girl to me as well. I am not quite sure how we missed that the baby was actually a boy but I did recently learn that 5-6% of the time people are told the wrong gender. Our little Benjamin fell into that margin of error.
Our baby’s estimated date of arrival was May 19th. Of course that day came and went and I was still pregnant. I was not surprised at all because none of my babies came before the “due date”. I was also hoping that the baby would come during the 40th week because JJ was out of town that week before at a Science Conference in California.
However, I was hoping not to get to 41 weeks like I did with Lydia. Which of course I did!
On May 27th at 2 am I awoke to contractions that were stronger than I had felt earlier that week and they were happening every 5 minutes. So I thought this was for sure it and decided to wait for them to become more intense before letting JJ know and sending the kids to my friend’s house. However they stopped at 6 am. Feeling frustrated and exhausted, I went back to bed and then woke up around 10. Shortly afterwards the contractions started up again. During one contraction I was leaning over the washing machine and JJ asked if I was having a contraction and I explained to him how my night was and how they were going to just stop again. He said that he was going to take the kids to work with him so that I could “focus on going into labour” ha ha… I tried convincing him that he could just leave the kids at home but looking back now it was good that he took them because I would have been irritable with them if they were at home and that wouldn’t have been fair for them. He did leave Lydia with me though.
The contractions were still consistently about every 5 minutes (I didn’t really time them) I decided to text my midwife, Roxanna Maurer, and let her know what was going on. She came by at 3 pm to check on me and I learned that I was at a 6. It was nice to know that those contraction were actually doing something.
My midwife did some prepping for the delivery and told me to call her back when I felt like I needed more support.
I decided to take a walk with Lydia to try to speed things up. I walked 1 mile and it took me a whole hour. It was the most painful walk I had ever taken. I was glad that I had the stroller handles to grip on and I was also glad that no one driving by stopped to ask if I was ok.
The contractions were still not getting closer together and were not increasing in intensity. Around 9pm I decided to try to go to bed but I decided to check my phone before going to bed and noticed that my midwife texted to ask how I was doing. I texted her back and told her that everything seemed to be the same. She said that she would be coming back over. She came over around 9:45. I thought we would send the kids to our friends house when I reached transition but Roxanna convinced me that calling my friend at 9:45 was better than calling her at midnight. Very true 🙂
JJ took them over nextdoor, Joshua was so funny he asked if I could carry his blanket and pillow for him.
Around 5 am the contractions still felt the same. Not growing in intensity and still about 5 minutes apart but I was at a 9. JJ and Roxanna then got the birthing tub ready and shortly after her apprentice came by to assist.
Even while pushing the contractions still did not become closer together but the baby moving on down was very intense. I know the labour was so long because I chose to keep my waters intact, which cushioned a lot of the pain. I am so grateful that Roxanna was so patient and encouraging during this loooong labour. With my last 2 births my waters were still intact when the babies crowned which meant no “ring of fire” sensation which was great because with all the others I would start panicking at that point. Without that intense pain, it is much easier to stay calm and push the baby out.
Around 7:49 our baby finally made HIS debut into the world! The midwife apprentice pulled him up out of the water and up to me. I thought I saw that the baby was a boy but ater more than 19 hours of labouring I wasn’t sure if I was seeing clearly 🙂 While holding onto him I quitely said “I don’t think this is a girl”. JJ was taking pictures with his phone and then yelled out “that’s a boy!, I have another boy!” We all laughed and Roxanna said “happy father’s day” to JJ ha ha… It was definitely a crazy moment and a fun surprise. Lydia was a surprise on purpose even though we were both convinced she was boy. If she was a boy, we had Benjamin Couper picked out so we already had a name ready for him.
I still feel like I was pregnant with a girl but I keep reminding my self that he was a boy the whole time. Such a precious little boy he is! He is such a relaxed little guy and already so great at sleeping during the night. Mommy, daddy and the 5 older siblings just can’t get enough of holding him!
Benjamin Couper Lee
Born on May 28th, 2015 at 7:49 am
7 lbs 6 oz and 20 inches long
I began blogging shortly before I became pregnant with #2 and with that pregnancy and #3 there was a pregnancy update almost every week. Little Lee baby 6 get’s her first pregnancy update at 35 weeks! Yes, it’s a girl!!!! That will bring us to 5 daughters and 1 son.
I actually did have several people ask me if I was disappointed to find out we were having another girl. The answer is absolutely not! As soon as I saw that little baby on the ultrasound screen turn to face the screen and put her hands up on the side of her face it was instant love. Sure it would be nice to have another boy and maybe someday we will but we know that God gives us our children for a reason and each one of them are part of our family for a special reason.
The pregnancy is going great and I am feeling great which is such a blessing because this year has been so overwhelming with JJ preparing to graduate with his doctorates this year and being at work for 12-14 hours a day it is of course no easy task for him. Also it is not easy for me having to juggle everything at home on my own. At this time I am so grateful for such great friends who have shown how much they care – you know who you are 🙂
By the way that picture was taken at 28 weeks – I am bigger than that now 🙂
Almost a month ago my first born, Sariah Ruth turned 9 years old! She is the perfect first child. She loves to help out with her younger siblings and does a great job at encouraging them to help out as well.
Right now Sariah is really focused on wanting to prepare to be a homeschooling mom. She says that she wants to get married at 28 and have 8 children.
It seems a little crazy having her so focused on this but it is really great at the same time. She talks about wanting to work hard to finish elementary and high school courses so she can go to college (which she says she will pay for herself). She says that her college courses will help her to be able to teach her children. She also wants to serve an LDS mission.
Sariah also loves to help me with meals and loves to learn new cooking and baking techniques. Recently she told me that she has noticed that I change all of the diapers and she is not getting any experience with that. I told her that she can change Lydia if she’s wet and she asked about the dirty diapers so I told her that she can change some of the new baby’s dirty diapers but that Lydia’s diapers were really gross so I’ll just deal with those 🙂
Whereas just last year Sariah seemed so insecure that her little sister Rebekah was taller than her she now seems proud of this fact. She loves to tell people, Rebekah’s taller but I am older. Being the wonderful big sister Sariah is, she is helping Bekah to prepare for baptism this year!
So quite a bit of time has passed since Joshua’s and Lydia’s birthdays but I figured I better blog about them before it is Sariah’s birthday in just a few weeks.
On November 30th Lydia turned a whole year old! We had a party at home for her with friends and family. She saw the presents and knew they were for her. She became quite possessive of them. I made cupcakes for Lydia and the party guests. Lydia was so fascinated by the candle so we had to keep it out of reach and quickly blow it out after the Happy Birthday song was sung.
Lydia is now a week away from turning 15 months. She won’t actually have a specific date to turn 15 month’s as there is no February 30th. It has been almost one week since she last nursed so it looks like she has weaned! We learned about 2 months ago that Lydia is lactose intolerant. Sariah and Rebekah were both lactose intolerant as well but began to outgrow it around 5 years old. As long as they just have small amounts of dairy at a time they are totally fine. Now that we have her on lactose free milk and no other dairy all of those lactose intolerance symptoms have disappeared and as a result she has noticeably gained some chub which is good because she is so tiny for her age.
I love to see how much Lydia adores her siblings. She gives them toys and hugs when they are sad and loves to take turns sitting in their laps. The kids still fight over her, especially Rebekah and Joshua.
On January 1st we celebrated Joshua’s 3rd birthday! Since we had just recently returned from our Disneyland trip and with it being New Years day we just had JJ’s two younger brother’s over with their families. Almost 2 months later, Joshua still talks about how yummy his chocolate cake was – he is so cute!
Seriously, I don’t think I could ask for a sweeter, more affectionate little boy. He is always trying to make people happy. He is a pretty sensitive little guy when it comes to his own feelings as well but he makes up for it in the way he take’s care of his sisters and friends even the one’s older than him. When he blesses a meal or says the family prayer he names each family member individually and says he loves them. He has recently begun to make a really big deal about how him and daddy are the only boys in the family. He seems quite content having all sisters, though … for now.
Christmas this year was certainly memorable!
During the month of December we received two anonymous gifts. The first was a box of adorable clothes from the Children’s Place for the kids and the second was some cash that an anonymous person had given to our Bishop to give to us. I feel so much gratitude to those who thought of us, it really does make me want to do more for others.
I admit I did feel unworthy of those gifts since we were going to Disneyland for Christmas. My parents paid for accommodation and food which helped a lot! I am glad we went because it was so much fun and really great to be able to give our kids some good memories. I thought we were going to have to wait until our tax return to pay Disneyland off but we were actually able to pay for it with what we had saved in our “vacation budget”! Which is really good because our tax return will be paying for the years worth of groceries a long with the birth or our 6th child with a little going towards savings.
The drive to Anaheim went really smoothly – until we crossed from Nevada into California. There was an accident that took 2 hours to clear, there was bumper to bumper traffic and we got lost. But we made it safe and sane so for that we are grateful.
The day after arriving in Anaheim it was 84 degrees ferinheight! We decided to go to the beach. Bekah stayed with my dad and younger sisters while my mom and twin sister came along with us. The drive wasn’t fun but the beach was worth it. It was so beautiful and my sister bought us ice cream. Getting Ice cream at the beach reminded me of home and getting ice cream along White Rock beach 🙂
We spent two days at Disneyland. Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas. It was so nice to have a break in between the two days to rest our feet and of course having Christmas day to reflect on how much our Saviour Jesus Christ has done for us as a whole and individually was wonderful as well as just spending time with family.
The three older girls could go on almost every ride, Miriam was just barely tall enough. If she wasn’t wearing shoes she probably wouldn’t have made the height requirement! JJ loved taking them on the roller coasters but they did not share that same enthusiasm. Sariah says her favourite ride was It’s a Small World (I loved it too, It was all done up for Christmas), Rebekah’s was Space Tours (She loves Star Wars), Miriam’s was the Haunted Mansions which was done up as The Nightmare Before Christmas and Joshua’s was Astro Blasters (He LOVES Buzz Lightyear). Lydia pretty much hated the rides. I wore her in the the Moby wrap during just about every ride I went on and once each ride began she would cling onto me and burry her head into me – poor baby girl! We did find something she loved, though – the Winnie the Pooh characters. She was so excited, she was squelling and practically jumping out of my arms wanting Rabbit and Tigger to hold her.
We had so many people commenting on how well behaved the kids were and it is true they were. Of course there were some short lived scuffles between them and some melt downs from Joshua but with 5 kids, 8 and under they were pretty amazing. During one of Joshua’s meltdowns JJ requested to wear the Moby wrap. Joshua immediately fell a sleep and we could all keep going on a rides. So cute, right?