Archive for the 'Vacation' Category


Hanging Lake, CO

On Tuesday, the 15 of  us started out with a 2 1/2 mile round trip hike to Hanging Lake.  Hanging Lake is a jewel nestled in the Rocky Mountains!  The hike was difficult and rocky, (1000 feet elevation gain), but the kids were ALL champs!  We even had a 2 year old with us!  I totally recommend this hike, the accomplishment of completing it WITH my family was one of my favorite parts of the whole trip!

all 15 of us! Friends since 1998!

We made it!

If you hike up about 5 minutes higher, you will find Spouting Rock where you can walk behind the waterfall!

I’m standing behind the waterfall. Can you see some of the kids?

At the bottom, the hike is done!


Colorado day 3

Me and the girls went on a 2 hour horseback ride up and down a mountain in Avon, CO!  It was challenging, but the views were gorgeous!  Rilyn said, “They make this look a lot easier in the movies!”  At one point, Rilyn was crying because her horse kept eating grass and she had to keep pulling on the reins and the leather from the reins was blistering her hands.  😦  The ride was age 7 and up, but Ella needed a guide to lead her horse because she wasn’t strong enough to lead her horse.  The ride was definitely good for the girls to go out of their comfort zone and experience something so unique!

About to ride!

I’m ready!

Going downhill!


Colorado day 2

We just relaxed on Sunday!

Checking out Vail

I told the kids we will get to ride in one of these in a couple days!

There is a hot tub at the cabin we are staying at!

The kids are serenading Jen for her birthday!



We set off on our first long road trip (18 hours!) to Edwards, Colorado for some fun and relaxation with some of our best friends!  We are staying in a large cabin together and enjoying the cooler weather and the beautiful views of nature!

Road trip!

Relaxing in the Westin hotel hot tub in Beaver Creek!

Jen, me, and Angela! (Jen was my college roommate and Angela I’ve also known since college!)

Scooter time down a trail

How to get nine kids to sit still for a picture? Give them ice cream! (9 kids=3 families)

We found a river, and the kids played there for 2 hours!

Family vacations are so much fun!


Disneyland 2012

The night before Disneyland…

On Monday we went to Disneyland to see it at Christmas time.  We made a couple mistakes.  1.)  We had only 1 day to go to two parks.  2.)  We went at Christmas time.  We will never again go at Christmas!  It was the most crowded I have ever seen, and I grew up going to Disneyland a couple times a year!  We went on a Monday, when school was still in session, but it didn’t help!  I felt like we didn’t get to go on hardly any rides, especially at Disneyland.  And the kids didn’t get any character’s autographs this time.

This is our kids third time to Disneyland, and this time we really wanted to ride the new Cars ride.
Disneyland opens before California Adventure (where the Cars ride was), so we went on one ride there first-Astroblasters!

Then in the drizzly weather, we walked to California Adventure!

Main Street

We walked straight to Cars land and the new ride.

2 HOURS LATER we finally get on! The kids were NOT HAPPY about the wait, and I could not blame them! (The ride was not working for 30 minutes of our wait.)

We thought the ride was fun!! We were not expecting the fast race at the end though, and Ella, who does NOT like fast rides, was NOT happy afterward!

the ride is beautifully done

Then we headed to the Ariel ride, which is Ella’s favorite!


We bribed Rilyn (with more money added to her souvenir allowance!) if she went on the Tower of Terror! We were pleased to see that Asher just made the height requirement too!

Here is the picture that they take during the ride! I love Rilyn and Asher’s face! Rilyn is not holding a stranger’s hand. That is my cousin’s wife. 🙂  Asher said after the ride that he almost threw up, but he loved it!

we are in the back row

Then we went to Dancin’ with Disney (characters). Basically, it’s a live DJ spinning tunes with about 7 characters dancing around. Pretty good idea! My girls danced with Cruella de Vil.

Then we headed to Rilyn’s favorite ride-Soaring over California. This was Asher’s first time, and he loved it too!

cotton candy!

After the ride, we headed back to Disneyland to watch the Christmas parade!

Sleeping Beauty and the rest of the princesses
Pinnochio float

Tarzan’s Treehouse had no line, so we let the kids run up and down the tree a couple times!

can you see James and the kids way up there?

It started getting dark at 5 as we went on Pirates of the Caribbean. The kids turned on their light-up Disney shirts. Their Oma found them at Walgreens!

Asher picking his nose…
Pirates of the Caribbean

Next, we went on Thunder Mountain which is Rilyn’s favorite ride at Disneyland. Ella did not go on because she told me “speed is her enemy.” Last year she went on Thunder Mountain, and it is definitely worth a look back if you haven’t seen the hilarious pictures!

Sadly, we did not get to go on Small World this trip. The line was over an hour long and then when we went back to go on it, the ride closed early because of fireworks! 😦

Small World is beautiful at night at Christmas time!

We went to Toon Town while Asher rode Thunder again with James.


The girls love Minnie’s house!

Minnie’s kitchen

Finally, at 9 p.m. our kids were D.O.N.E and we had to leave the park. The castle looked beautiful at night!


Big Bear!

We started off on Saturday morning at Seal Beach.

Then we went to my 2nd cousin’s 2nd birthday party. This picture is me with my grandpa, his wife, and my uncle (my dad’s brother and father.)

That afternoon, we drove to Big Bear, which is about 2 1/2 hours away from where we were. Unfortunately, we hit traffic the whole way there, so we arrived at night. It was a little scary to drive on potential black ice, but we arrived safe at about 7 p.m. We stayed at the cabin where I grew up going to. It used to be my grandpa’s cabin, and then my cousin bought it from him, so it’s still in the family! My grandpa bought the cabin in 1972 for $12,000! 🙂
Once the fire gets started, it was so warm and cozy!

James being silly while playing Uno.

The cabin used to have a real deer head, but thankfully it’s been replaced…by an Ella head?!? 😉

Sunday morning was full of fun playing in the fresh snow!

Asher about to peg me with a snowball…

After I saw this snowman Ella made, I had to remind her that we are in the mountains, not Texas!, and she can make a MUCH bigger snowman than that!

a Texan’s snowman
Now THAT’S a snowman!

Legoland California!

We just got back from a fast and furious vacation to southern California!  The first day we drove down to Carlsbad and went to Legoland!  I totally recommend this park, and I would say the park is best suited for ages 10 and younger.

You will notice we are plus one…my 2nd cousin, little Makayla, came with us and joined inour family picture!
safari!  Notice the alligators and giraffes all made of Legos!
I like how Asher is looking at the witch!
all made of Legos…amazing!
we were there for Holiday Snow Days!  They brought in snow for the kids to play in!
can you find Ella?  (in the red car)
you had to pedal to go faster!
James trying to beat the girls up!
all the kids loved this area!
miniature buildings to resemble a city…Dr. Rilyn is checking out Makayla
Asher got busted for having too much fun…
you stay in the jail cell!
I asked Ella to pose in the lion’s mouth, and this is what she did.  Realistic?  Yes.  Cute?  No.
this is Miniland, where there are Lego miniatures of all the major cities in the world!

My photography business!

June 2020