Friday, February 27, 2009

Think Spring Or Even Summer!

Do you see it?! A sure sign of Spring. I love it when the little robins start appearing.

Kate is ready to go!

Is there anything cuter than a little girl in a swim suit? Come on warm weather!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Grand Finale

Our last day at Disney started out with Jarom feeling even worse, Carter and Kate both in full blown sick mode, and Alyssa with a fever. Oh and don't forget I was blowing rusty colored snot. Is anyone tired of hearing about us being sick? Yah, me too, but it's not over yet.

We were supposed to hit California Adventures this day, but we just couldn't get moving. We didn't make it to the park until noon. No one felt like doing much and the lines were outrageously long this day. I guess that's what happens on a beautiful Friday.

Is this not the saddest little bunch of kiddos on a ride you've ever seen? They actually did like this ride, but just didn't feel much like showing it on the outside. After a few CA Adventure rides, we decided to skip the lines for the popular rides and headed back to Disney to do a few favorites over again.

We did try to see Bugs Life 3D but when a bug spit acid (aka water) on the audience Kate and Carter were out of there. Apparently my kids DON'T do 3D.

My poor kids would just sit on the ground in between rides. It was pathetic.

The line for Pirates was only 5 minutes so while Carter was sleeping on Dad's shoulder we got on a boat. Not before posing for a picture with pirate Sir Henry Mainwaring, a distant relative on Jarom's side (I'm not joking.). When Carter woke up IN a boat on the ride he FREAKED out and all but jumped out of the boat to get off the ride. We tried to remind him that he did the ride the day before and it wasn't scary. To which he replied, "Yah, but I didn't want to do it TWICE!" We got him calmed down and this time he actually rode with his hood off his eyes.

You know your kids don't feel well when you have to ask them to eat their ice cream. This was about the only thing that sounded good to anyone to eat. But it sure made for a cute picture.

We also went back to Toon Town and got to meet Pluto and play around in the houses. My kids absolutely loved Toon Town.

We rode Peter Pan again (one of Carter's favorites) and Big Thunder Mountain for the girls. Then it was time to grab our souvenirs and head to Santa Barbara for the night.

We boarded the Double Dolphin the next morning, in hopes to see some whales. We tried this a couple of years ago and didn't see any and I ended up being seasick off the back of the boat. Not fun.

My brother Quin and his wife Natalie, met up with us at the Double Dolphin.

I took two Dramamine and smeared peppermint oil on my wrists and behind my ears. It must have worked cause NO seasickness for me this time. HOORAY!

The kids loved watching the water under the nets on the boat.

Success!! A whale surfaced right next to the boat. So neat to see and the weather was absolutely perfect this day.

After whale watching we made the 2 hour drive to Bakersfield to Quin and Natalie's home. Weren't they lucky to be housing all us sickies? Jarom barricaded himself in the bedroom with the humidifier running on high. (By the way, Vick's brand Ultrasonic Humidifier is the best one I've seen in a long time.)

My kids were fascinated with all the big snails California had to offer. They gathered a pile of at least 100 in my brother's front yard.

Saturday morning Jarom felt so awful and had severe pain in his head/ear so off to the doctor we went. They told him he had an ear canal infection and that it could have been possibly caused by strep. They didn't do a strep test, just gave us ear drops and antibiotics and sent us on our way.

While poor Jarom stayed in the car, the rest of us enjoyed the "best of Bakersfield" at DeWar's icecream. And then it was time to start the trek home.

We made it to St. George, UT at 2 am. We got settled in the hotel room and then Jarom started throwing up. Poor guy, he was so sick. As soon as morning hit we loaded back up to finish the last 10 hour leg to get home. I kid you not, Jarom threw up every hour those entire 10 hours. He was writhing in pain from his head and I think if the opportunity would have arose, he would have chosen death. It was a VERY rough ride.

After getting some anti-nausea pills, a blessing, and a Vick's humidifier, Jarom was finally able to keep his antibiotics down and is on the slow path to recovery. No one in this house is 100% yet, but we're working on it.

We can definitely say that this trip made memories, and I think we need to go again just so we can experience it feeling well. We'll see, the thought of another road trip anytime here soon does not sound thrilling. We are glad we did the trip and the kids are still talking about things they loved. So minus the illness, it was a success. And if you're still reading my blog YOU are a true friend and I love you!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Vacation Recap Part II

The next morning started out with me feeling better, Jarom feeling worse, and Carter starting a fever. So, you guessed it, more drugs to the rescue and we were off. The weather was beautiful, but the crowds doubled in size. It made for a little more waiting, but still we were able to get through most rides in a decent time. Finding Nemo was our big wait this day, but it was an adorable ride and the kids loved it.

First up, Goofy, right at the entrance. And he was goofy all right, he kept taking the kids hats off and wouldn't give them back their autograph book. They thought he was hilarious.

Somehow we managed to get Carter on Pirates of the Caribbean, but he rode the entire ride with his hood covering his eyes. I tried to get a picture of it, but the little poser caught me and smiled for the camera instead. The girls all loved this ride.

I forgot to post a picture of the back of the kids' hats yesterday. We had their names sewn onto the backs and it was so cute.

While waiting in line for Nemo, Kate started getting the chills/fever. So we ended up renting a stroller to switch off between her and Carter.

While Jarom and the girls rode Indiana Jones, Carter and Kate played in Tarzan's Treehouse. The Tylenol had just kicked in and I couldn't help but snap this cute picture of them running from behind. This is how I had imagined the kids would act and it was nice to finally see it.

Here's just a fun shot of Alyssa and Halle. They were troopers and enjoyed themselves immensely. Their favorite ride was Big Thunder Mountain.

When we first arrived in CA, we checked into our hotel room, unloaded our bags, stocked our fridge, and then realized the sign on our floor. "Welcome to the QUIET ZONE," it read. "Our promise to you is that we will not allow children, marching bands, or circus animals on this floor so that you can rest peacefully." Oh dear! I think the Manwaring kids are the marching band and circus animals put together. How on earth did we manage to get stuck on this floor? We called and told them, but they said we could stay put unless there was a complaint. I thought for sure we would be asked to move, but having sick kids is good for something.
Our poor kids were exhausted when we got back to the hotel in the evenings. They slept for a solid 12 hours every night. Poor things.

Tune in tomorrow for the grand finale of our trip.

Our Vacation Recap part I

Let me just start this whole post out by giving a big THANK YOU to the makers of Tylenol and Motrin because without them, this trip would have been a bust. We went through 2 bottles of Motrin and finished off a bottle of Tylenol. Needless to say we were all sick, very sick, for our trip. We drugged up and made the best of what we could, but it was a rough week. Let's just start at the very beginning shall we?

First stop, Jarom's sister's home in Utah. We spent the night having fun with cousins and Payson taught Alyssa how to shoot his bow. I was actually pretty impressed with her aim. We loved seeing the Murdochs and are grateful to them for letting us break up the trip. At this point only Halle and Kate were slightly sick with coughs and runny noses, but during the night I came down with a fever.

We continued on to Vegas where we enjoyed the Mirage's Secret Garden with white tigers and dolphins.

The kids loved watching the dolphins swim and play.

We also took the kids to the Popovich Pet Theatre and Comedy Show. Oh my goodness, was that lame! The kids enjoyed it, but Jarom and I kept thinking that a junior high could have put together a better show. After this we strolled down the strip and enjoyed the Bellagio's fountains. That never gets old to us. We could watch it for hours.

Eating lunch at Taco Bell in Vegas. Can't beat 39 cent tacos!

I was still feeling really lousy, so after doping up with more meds, we were on our way to LA. Sixty miles outside of Los Angeles we hit snow. We couldn't believe that we had brought snow with us to Southern California. Again, we were determined to make the best of it. And thankfully we only had one chilly/rainy day.

We visited with Jarom's Aunt Janice and family, where Chase and Kayla wore the kids out and Janice served us homemade soup. A BIG thank you to them for that! It was so fun to get to see them. And even more fun to see them at their own home.

Left to right: Chase, Grandma Freidenberger, Kayla, Janice, Alyssa, Kate, Halle, Me, Jarom, Carter

That night my fever broke, but I woke up feeling like the left side of my face had been slugged. I've never had a sinus infection before, but I'm pretty sure that's what I was dealing with. Jarom also woke up that morning with a cough and a fever. So we all doped up again and headed in to Disneyland for our first day of real fun.

It was a rainy day and there were practically no lines, which was wonderful. The very first thing we hit was this rocket spinner ride. BAD idea for me. I get sick on spinney rides anyway, but with the sinus thing I had going on, it set me off for a day of nausea. I even got sick on It's a Small World. Unfortunately I had to skip out on most of the rides that day. Thank goodness Jarom was feeling okay enough to take the kids.

Carter was ultra whiny this day, which could only mean he was starting to feel yucky, and cried about almost every ride. We tried to take him on Snow White but he wigged out as soon as we started to enter the dark castle so he and I had to sit it out. We also went to the Honey I Shrunk the Audience 3D show where Jarom had to take Carter out early because he was literally screaming he was so scared. Kate did fine in that one until a giant snake popped out of the screen and then we all had to leave.

The highlight of the trip for Kate was meeting some of the princesses. This was the longest line we had to wait in. It was a full hour, but Kate loved it so it made it worth it.

Carter wasn't going to have ANYTHING to do with talking to the princesses, but they were all so cute to try to talk to him and even convinced him to come get his picture with them.

The kids LOVED wearing their Disney Ears and wore them faithfully every day. I love that they were all young enough still to enjoy this. It was so cute to see my four little mice walking around.

We're all in there; it was a tight fit, but Dumbo held us all.

Trying to get a family shot on It's a Small World. Carter was just a tad too short to get in the picture.

We all loved Toon Town and it was practically empty when we went. The kids loved the Roger Rabbit ride, and wanted to do it several times. We couldn't convince Carter to do it twice (he refused to do any ride twice except Peter Pan) so while everyone else enjoyed the ride, Carter and I explored Toon Town.

Mickey's house was empty and we had such fun playing around and taking our time looking at everything.

We were SO surprised when we got to the back of the house and found Mickey there. No lines or anything. A bonus for us!

This concludes our first day there. I'll think I'll stop here and finish the rest tomorrow. Sorry if this sounds like the most depressing Disney post you've ever read. Disney really is a great place and we tried out best to enjoy it, but it's difficult to do when you don't feel well.

We're still recovering at our house, but more on that later.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

We're Alive, Barely, but We're Alive

No pictures yet, b/c you see I don't know how to run this laptop and do the pictures. And poor Jarom is in bed asleep, sicker than a dog. Yep, we're all sick. The kids picked up a cold/flu bug last week and it has officially passed through us all. Poor Jarom is right in the thick of it at the moment. It didn't affect the kids the way it did Jarom and I. We've both had high fevers along with the coughs and runny noses. To put it pretty much is awful.

Just know, that we made it, we've seen Mickey, and we're keeping the drug stores busy. We're bound and determined to make this fun for the kids, sick or not. Can you believe it? We get the sickest we've been all year, the week we decide to take the kids on vacation?

On a good note, the weather is going to be absolutely beautiful today and I'm going to wear my capris!!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

We're half way there.

Here I sit blogging from the laptop while driving through the mountains on the Nevada/California state line. The joys of modern technology. What would I do without my blogging fix?

We had a good time in Vegas and I've decided my kids are now TOO old to take to the strip. They can read everything and no topless lady card went unnoticed. We had the "your body is a temple and you should respect it" talk as well as the "what are lesbians" talk. If you still haven't had these talks with your kids, the Vegas strip is the place to bring 'em. LOL!

When we got in the truck to go this morning, my phone had two messages warning us of Southern California's worst snow storm this season. Leave it to us to bring the snow with us. So far the roads have been dry and we see blue skies up a head.

We don't care though. We're going anyway and we're going to have fun. Rain, snow, sleet, or sun, Disneyland here we come.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Please don't be an omen.

I'm beginning to wonder if leaving on Friday the 13th to begin our fun vacation is not such a good idea.

Are these signs?

I ran over Carter's finger with the shopping cart and caused it to bleed. (Good thing we were near the bandaid isle. I needed a new box of bandaids anyway.)

Had to return 2 pairs of shoes because they were the wrong size.

Alyssa threw-up during the night. She doesn't feel sick so I don't know what that was all about.

I slept in and missed Muffins with Moms at the school this morning causing two little girls tears.

Oh, and do you think I can find Star Wars Legos for the DS anywhere in this town? Nope, so Bolt will have to do. (Don't judge me, I'm buying myself some sanity for a 16 hour drive.)

Update*** The library just called to let me know I have 2 overdue items. What? I thought I had returned everything. Great, searching the house for lost books is EXACTLY what I need to be doing today.

Please don't be omens, I just want to get on this trip and start having a good time.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Good News Bad News

Good News? We got an adorable Valentine in the mail today from our Aunt Becky. Is this not the cutest little iLuv you've ever seen? (Sweetarts box w/ Reeses ear buds.) Such a fun package to get. Thank you Becky!

Bad News? All the candy is gone.

Good News? My truck is clean. Jarom got me a "detailing" for Valentines Day. It's the BEST money we've ever spent. I'm not kidding. I almost wanted to sleep in the truck tonight; it's so pretty and new again. And even better, it no longer smells like an animal died in it. (That's what happens when a kid throws up and then same kid wets her pants on a seat. And also wet snowy feet have soured the carpets. was bad.)

Bad News? We're going to be living in the truck for the next 10 days just to dirty it all over again. You might be wondering why we didn't wait until after the trip to clean the truck, but no one could stand the thought of driving that far and long breathing in the smell of....well my bro.-in-law said it best, "smells like a dead guinea pig in here".

Good News? Those 10 days include a trip to DISNEYLAND!!!

Yes, that's right folks, the Manwarings are going to Disneyland. We've never taken our kids and we just decided that they are only getting older not younger. We might as well go before the magic is gone for them. (Jarom and I have only been once before and we were engaged at the time. We went with his family and saw Sea World, Universal Studios, Disneyland, and Jarom's mission all in the space of a week. Our camera was stolen so we have very few pictures of ourselves there, and even fewer memories of it. It was a LOT for our brains to take in.) We are all so excited and can't wait for some warmer weather too!

Bad News? Well...there just isn't any bad news associated with that. We're going to go see Mickey and Minnie!!! Hooray!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


My mom used to make a chocolate rice crispy type treat when I was in high school. She made them A LOT. She always used a white plastic bowl to make them in. In fact, when my friends came over and saw the infamous "white bowl" on the counter they knew they were in for a treat. Hence, the name "White Bowl" was affectionately dubbed for these treats.

Chocolate Crispies AKA White Bowl
1 bag milk choc. chips
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. karo
Melt together until smooth, be sure to use a white bowl. ;) (I just do this in the microwave.)

2 t. vanilla
1 c. powdered sugar
4 c. rice crispies

And since it's almost Valentines day, I put mine in a lightly greased heart shaped pan to set up. You can put them in a regular 9X13 if you want. (Or eat them directly out of the bowl while they're still warm.) But who doesn't love a great big chocolate heart for a Valentine treat?