Sunday, August 24, 2008

San Diego - Day 5

On Wednesday we headed north to Legoland. This was what Ethan was looking forward to the most - a whole theme park created out of and built around legos! It is created specifically for kids ages 2-12, and it was totally up the boys' alley. They were enthralled.

But before we left the condo, we discovered that a crayon had gotten into the dryer with the clothes somehow. An hour later, after lots of scrubbing, we had salvaged most of the clothes. But so much for getting on the road early!

We promised the boys that we'd stay until closing time, 8 pm. :)

Ethan says, in all seriousness, before we leave, "Mom, I'm going to go honk the bike horn so that God can hear me. Do you think He can hear me all the way back in Topeka?"

Dad and son, made out of Legos

When we got there, we noticed that Volvo parking was on the front row, right next to the gate. Too bad we didn't have our Volvo! Apparently the same people own Volvo and Lego, which is pretty fun.... and right inside the gate was this life-size Volvo SUV made out of legos!

The Skyride was rather scary!

This was our view!

Si looked confused....

Favorite rides:
Simon - the Royal Joust in Castle Hill - a horse ride along a track. He wanted to ride this one over and over, probably because he got to ride it by himself. Simon is lucky that he is tall...36" was the height requirement, and he just made it.

Ethan - the Dragon in Castle Hill

Towards the end of our day we visited Miniland, an area of the park where famous United States landmarks are created out of Legos. It was pretty awesome, especially the New York City skyline.

At the end of the day the boys spotted this place where you could build your own Lego race car and give it a test drive. They were all about this! It was like this place was designed with Ethan and Simon in mind!

Crazy stuff I've overheard Dave say today:
Don't grunt at me with that tone! (we laughed so hard over this one)

You can't have your apples until you eat all your fries, young man.

No more chanting, boys, and I mean it. (the repetitive chanting has got to stop! If I hear "Si-MON, Si-MON, Si-MON" chanted one more time, I am going to blow my lid...)

We loved Legoland!!!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

San Diego - Day 4

On Tuesday we took a little drive, crossed the Coronado Bridge and had lunch at a cute cafe on Coronado Island. We are trying to find local places to eat, even though there are plenty of fast food places around. The wait is a little longer (patience, boys, patience!), but the food is so worth it! And I don't know, but there is just something about having a leisurely lunch at an outdoor cafe that makes you feel like you're really vacationing!

The beach at Coronado Island ended up being our favorite of any that we've visited while we've been here. The sand was so soft and there wasn't any seaweed. It looked and felt like a tropical island.

And this time I did actually get in the water. For a few minutes, anyway.

My sandy boys....they were constantly rolling around in it. They can't help themselves - they love to wrestle!

Building sand castles together.

Crazy Ethan.

Si had plenty of room to run here!

Oh! There's my gorgeous hunk of a husband!

And his mini-me, fast asleep.

Simon has been the best sport about naps
. At home, he still takes one after lunch every day, but we have been out and about and nowhere near the condo at nap time. Whenever he is tired though, he comes over to snuggle and I have him lay down. And within seconds, he is asleep. Isn't he precious?

Pray for Baby Evelyn

Our dear friends Grace and Brandon's 9 day old little girl Evelyn was admitted to the hospital yesterday. Please pray for them! She was not eating well, and they were having a hard time arousing her. She is in the ICU on a ventilator now.

They don't know much at this point, but our Father in heaven surely does. I was reminded of this tonight, as I was cooling down from a run on the boardwalk next to the beach. I sat down to stretch, and this David Crowder song started playing on my iPod - I think it's called The Glory of it All.

Anyway, the first verse says,

At the start, He was there.
In the end, He'll be there.
And after all our hands have wrought, He forgives.

It brings such quiet assurance to my soul tonight to know for certain that my God has always existed and will continue to be God, despite whatever waves crash over us. Nothing gets past Him, and He is in the business of working in our lives for His glory. Each and every one of us. Even sweet, little Evelyn, who I haven't even gotten to meet yet.

As I sat there on the beach, I felt the sting of tears behind my eyes as David Crowder sang the chorus:

Oh the Glory of it all is
He came here
For the rescue of us all
that we may live
for the glory of it all

He cared enough about us to come and redeem us, enough to send His precious Son to die for us. And so I know He cares when we pray for His help in this situation too. For healing. For wisdom on the part of doctors. For strength and peace for Grace and Brandon and their families. For His glory.

The sea was gorgeous tonight, dark and powerful. I love sitting outside and just watching the waves crash against the sand, and I have to admit, I stayed out there for awhile. Just talking to the Lord about all of this. Dave told me that he almost came out looking for me. He knows how long my runs usually take. :)

The next verse of the song, while simple, really spoke to my heart.

All is lost, find Him there,
After night, dawn is there,
After all falls apart
He repairs He repairs

He redeems us. And He repairs us. No matter what our need, He is there. I am so thankful for the truth of that!

Please pray for Evelyn, and ask the Lord to meet her need. And lift the rest of the family up too. These are hard days.

Grace's sister Christina is posting updates here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

San Diego - Day 3

On Monday morning we headed to Sea World, which is just minutes from where we're staying. Our tentative plan at this point is to do the beach every other day, and see the sights on the other days. We definitely didn't want to miss Sea World, and I'm so glad we decided to go. It was a simply amazing place and so much fun for all of us!

We spent the first few minutes at the Sesame Street Bay of Play where all the kiddie rides were.

Then it was on to a Shamu show.

They had several areas where you could touch and pet sea life. The sting rays were our favorites, but I didn't get any pictures of that.

The Sea Lion show was our favorite. The boys were laughing out loud - it was hysterical!

Penguin Encounter!

Journey to Atlantis - a pretty decent roller coaster. Ethan decided he wanted to go, and Dave convinced me to go with him. He assured me that he didn't need to go to the bathroom when we got in line, but like 1o minutes later, he was having trouble. :) He had to hold it for almost an hour.

At this point, E had no idea what he was getting himself into.

He told me later that he was sure that the ride had broken and we were falling and going to die! Isn't that awful???

All wet! (But notice he's smiling. All is well. :)

Things to remember about Sea World, San Diego:
  • Ethan loved the Wild Artic ride - he was pretty convinced that he actually traveled to Antarctica and back, what with the real, live polar bears and all.
  • It was Dave's 30th birthday that day, and Ethan kept asking when we were going to make him a cake. :)
  • We rented a stroller when we got there, which turned out to be a good thing. Simon took an hour long nap in it mid-afternoon while Dave and Ethan rode the bigger rides.
  • Favorite drink - frosted lemonade - yum!
  • Favorite snack - the ones we brought in our backpack. Seriously, do they have to charge $4 for everything???
  • The lines for the rides are so much shorter by 4 pm. We got 2 day passes online for cheaper than at the entrance, so we may go back again later this week.

San Diego - Day 2

On Sunday we drove to Mission Beach which is just a few minutes away from where we're staying. It is just a gorgeous area, lots of palm trees, grassy areas, and playgrounds right by the beach. From the beach you can see Belmont Park, with all kinds of shops, places to eat, and a huge roller coaster right on the water. The sand here was littered with shells. And since it is in the bay, there weren't any waves, which was a nice change.

We came back to the condo for lunch and then headed out again to the very touristy Seaport Village, where we rode the carousel, ate some icecream and looked at all the boats on the water.

The weather here has been perfect - the sun feels very warm but with a nice cool breeze. I could seriously live here!

Things to remember about Sunday:
  • The boys looking for shells with their dad reminded me of our trip to California when I was nine or so. One of my best memories of growing up. My dad got out there in the water with us kids, and I remember being amazed (dad didn't do water much) and thrilled about it. All my best memories of my dad are from vacations we took, and I'm loving that we are able to take a family vacation with our boys too. Just for the memories and the time the kids get to spend with their dad.