Disneyland and L.A.

Saturday, January 10-11, 2015

We woke up around 8 on Saturday morning and we started getting ready. We were going to Disneyland about 9. When I was ready, Ben said that he would take me down to breakfast so we wouldn’t have to wait for everyone else. While we were eating breakfast downstairs, it started raining and that was kind of concerning because we were going to Disneyland and we were going to be there all day. About ten minutes to 9, the rest of my family joined us downstairs.

We left for Disneyland a little after nine. It took us about five minutes to walk to the entrance. We like to stick together at Disneyland because it is one of the few parks where everyone in the family can go on everything. It was raining kind of hard by the time we were in the park and everyone was upset to hear that Matterhorn and some other good rides were closed.

We started in Fantasy Land, where we went on rides Peter Pan and my Dads favorite: Mr. Toads Wild Ride—he gets very excited when you drive the car to hell.

Then we went to Frontier Land, going on The Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain (which barely had any line), and the one of the family’s favorite: Pirates of the Caribbean.

Then we went to Adventure Land where we went on Indiana Jones which we have had issues with in the past. Last time my younger siblings came out crying but this time they had a great time. Noah was the one “driving” and he did a great job not even touching the wheel.

Then we went and got fast passes for Thunder Mountain. None of the kids in my family have been on it because it has been closed the last couple of times we have gone and my parents said they remember it not being that fun but when we went my whole family said it was one of the best rides.

Then we went to Space Mountain in Tomorrow Land where we waited one hour and two minutes but it was totally worth it.

After that we had dinner then we split up for the first time all day (except for the times Lucy kept getting lost). Noah, Lucy, and My mom went to go on some kid rides while me, Ben and my dad went on Indiana Jones again. When we got there, the line was huge! We were deciding if we really wanted to go on it when this random guy ran up to us and gave us two fast passes for it then went away.

My dad said that me and Ben should go but from my previous experiences from going with Ben on rides and roller coasters, I said I wouldn’t go without my dad. We went up to a “cast member” and told her what was going on. She took the passes and gave a one pass and said it would count for all three of us and that we can take up to six people on another ride and go in the fast pass line. So we went on Indiana Jones and then met back up with the others and told them what happened. We decided that we would use the pass for Space Mountain.

We went on Buzz Lightyear, Star Tours, and Space Mountain. Then we realized the park was closing in fifteen minutes, so we ran to Thunder Mountain and went on it again. After that we saw we only had five minutes and so we ran to Pirates of the Caribbean and got there one minute before the park closed. After that we went to get ice cream on the way out of the park on Main Street, but while my mom was about to pay, she realized that she had lost her debit card, so my dad paid while she shut down the card over the phone.

We left the park and went back to the hotel. We were all very tired. Then we realized we had been at Disneyland for a whole 15 hours.  Dad’s pedometer said he’d walked 13 miles!  Mom said that was a half-marathon.  Though we were there for a very long time and it was rainy on and off, we had a great time.

The next day we woke up at about ten. We packed the car and left for L.A. We ate lunch at a really good burger place (yes, burgers…AGAIN) called Fat Burger.  After that we walked passed some premier theaters and got really good ice cream sandwiches at a place called Diddy Riese. After that we drove by some of my parents apartments they used to live in before they had kids. We also drove by this cemetery with hundreds of graves for men in the war.

Then we drove up the mountain to an art museum called the Getty. You can only drive halfway up and you have to take a train the rest if the way because there are no roads up there. We were up there for a while but my favorite part, the gardens, were closed. My brother Noah started feeling sick so we decided to go to Santa Monica beach to watch the sun go down. I collected many beautiful and unique shells. After we ate at a restaurant on the beach called Gladstones. While they were eating, the Golden Globes awards were playing on TV so we got to watch some of that.

After that, we dropped off Ben and my dad at the Long Beach airport and drove to our friends house about and hour out of San Diego. Our friend is named Amy, she lives by herself in this gorgeous house on a hill where a bunch of rich people live. We drove there in the dark so we couldn’t see anything, but the house was gorgeous. Amy was babysitting her grandma so she wasn’t there for the first few nights.

The weekend was very fun and I had a great time.



Las Vegas and The Drive

January 7-10, 2015

We left Wednesday afternoon, later than we thought we would, because we are the Christensens. My dad picked me up from school at noon and we went out to lunch. My dad and my brother Ben aren’t coming until later. We are going to California for two months and stopping at Las Vegas for two days where we have cousins.

My mom picked me up at around 3 in the afternoon with the kids and a fully packed car. The pollution was really bad that day so my mom kept taking pictures of it.

My mom gets a little paranoid about our car, so when it was feeling a bit wobbly in Lehi, we stopped at a Big O Tires. We apparently had some car trouble. We killed some time at Lehi Roller Mills and we saw how they make the flour and bought some cookie and brownie mixes to give to our friends.

That got us held back for about two hours, then we were on our way, again. We listened to calm-ish music on the way to Vegas and then got there about 9:45 p.m. Las Vegas time.

My cousins had just gotten a puppy, named Max, which was kind of distracting when my mom kept telling us to go to bed. We started online home school the next day, which was kind of hard because no one really knew what we were doing, but we got the hang of it. After school, I hung out with my cousin which resulted in a violent pillow fight game where we nearly broke her ceiling fan and everything in her room.

That evening, I went across town with my family to visit my mom’s really good friend Doris. Doris used to work with my mom when I was little, then she lived with us when we lived in Bountiful. And just a heads up, when going across town in Vegas around dinner time, don’t take the roads, use the freeway. Traffic is worse on the main roads. We went to my favorite restaurant, Sweet Tomatoes, which is weird because I don’t like tomatoes.

The next day, we did school, which was easier because we actually knew what to expect. My mom got us all Chrome Books to do school on. I cleaned out our extremely messy car and reorganized it. My mom was really happy because I did that without her asking. About noon, we got lunch at In and Out Burger then started the drive to Long Beach Airport, Long Beach, California, and of course the drive started with traffic, but it didn’t last long. I spent the drive listening to music, sleeping, and texting my cousin Grace. The drive isn’t that long. Its only about four and a half hours.

We got to Long Beach just in time to pick up my brother Ben and my Dad from the airport. We ate at Habit Burger, yes that was the second time we ate burgers that day, then we drove to our hotel in Anaheim, California and if you know what is in Anaheim, you may have guessed what we did the next day. 🙂 Our hotel, Springhill by Marriott was probably the fanciest hotel I have ever stayed in, and I took a whole thirty minutes to admire it.

My mom had to take away my book, Insurgent, before I went to bed because I couldn’t stop reading, and I was still adjusting to California time which is one hour earlier than Utah.

I was very excited about what we were going to do the next day….

Baptisms in Brigham City

For her birthday, Sophie wanted to go do baptisms. We got a recommend a little early from the Bishop so that we could go today and skip school. This is a temple she went through for the open house so she feels attached to it. No one else was there, so she had the place to herself and about 10 temple workers wishing her happy birthday and helping her through. That won't happen again, usually Ben and I wait in long lines each week! It is a very beautiful town!

Sophie says: It was the best feeling of my life! It was awesome!

Cleaning: My Quotidian Liturgy

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t clean very much and would love to build a habit of liturgy–daily worship–through my cleaning, but this blog post is a comfort to anyone feeling ground down by the daily grind and repetition of caring for a home and family. I am reading the author’s book, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. It was recommended to me by my visiting teacher when I explained that Heavenly Father had started to gently show me that ingratitude was my greatest sin, the root of all my unhappiness, and conscious, deliberate and specific thankfulness was bringing my greatest healing. This book truly has taught me new ways to see that recent revelation. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Back to School 2013-14

Noah's in 3rd and Lucy is in 2nd. Ben (9th) and Sophie (7th) started earlier so I will need to get pictures after school. Everyone is very close to home this time so I'm hopeful for a more peaceful, simple way of life this school year with very little driving, yay!

Ben turns 14

Wow, my firstborn was ordained a Teacher on Sunday. Although he is getting a little bit too cool for everything, he actually is pretty cool. He is just about taller than his dad, give him a couple more months. He found a few of his dad's old suits in the closet and they fit! I'll add a picture of that.

Ben gets good grades and loves playing trumpet in the jazz band–he also got into the main symphonic band, the best one in the state! In his spare time you will often find him longboarding around town and he is starting to get into cycling, he got a jersey and some shorts and a helmet for his birthday, plus a bike tuneup from mommy's mom. Every winter he participates in the snowboarding club at school also. He also loves going up on the slopes with his dad a couple of times a year.

He got to move to the upstairs bedroom after hitting his head on the ceiling going downstairs, so he is now in the adult section of the house and happy to have a nice new bedroom. This year he has been getting into action movies, Ironman and Superman, the robots versus dinosaur movies, etc. and go ahead and judge us, we are letting him watch LOST. Most of all, Ben is an outdoors type of guy. He loves camping and fishing and hiking. Right now he wants to go into environmental sciences, and is taking his first AP class in this area this year as he goes into ninth grade. He's most interested in forestry but also considering geology. I'm looking for some kind of outdoor summer job for him next year that will allow him to be outside working in nature, possibly a boys camp or something like that, let me know if you have ideas.

Things I love about Ben: he is willing to work hard physically, he is very independent and generally stays on top of what needs to happen, which is a huge help to me. He is very intelligent and if you can get him to do it, gives a very nice hug.

He seems very low-key and unlike his early years, is not excitable at all, but can pop off with some pretty funny things sometimes, like his recurring joke that anytime you prefer a color of anything, even a snow cone, he will call you a racist.

He's trying to figure out the world and what is important and seems to have a pretty good head on his shoulders. He seems to innately understand that, and temptations for boys his age represents the restriction of freedom and the kind of shackles, and he seems to have an internal desire to avoid losing his independence in that way.

Socially he sticks to one on one situations generally and seems comfortable being on his own, like his dad–he likes peace and quiet. This is probably why he likes to go to grandma and grandpas as much as possible where there are fewer small and yelling children (and fewer larger, but sometimes also yelling, adults).

I love him, I'm excited for his future. We've been trying to make it to the temple together weekly, it's something I felt I need to do with him, and it has helped me have a sense of who he is. Teenagers are definitely a whole different world for me. Seminary is starting this year too, he's not super enthusiastic but I'm hoping it will be a place he can answer his questions and feel the Spirit. I don't know what the Lord has planned for him, but I know that Ben can do great things. I am very lucky to be his mom.

Davis County Fair

Although we live just one minute away, we have not come for the last two years. And although I was raised in Davis county, I don't remember ever being here. Our neighbor is heavily involved in 4H and the fair and encouraged us to enter our chickens. Lucy even participated in the showing competition where you hold and present your chicken. She got a blue ribbon. Sophie's hen won first place and got a champion hen trophy! Noah got first place for a warty Pat-A-Pan summer squash he entered in the living arts. Sophie also had some sewing projects in that I have not seen results for yet. This has been so much fun for so little effort. I'm so glad we did it.