Friday, February 19, 2010


A few weeks ago my cute sister Elizabeth and her family came all the way from Iowa to pay us a visit. They got SO LUCKY because they were here right in between two long periods of rain when we had all the mudslides.
There are pretty much two big things you just have to do when you come to southern California from Iowa in the middle of winter:
Disneyland and the beach.

Here are pics from both.

Ride 'em Cowgirl!
Isn't everyone in agreement on the must eat treat at theme parks?
A conglomeration of all things good in a five year old girl's world: mouse ears, the color pink, a tiara, and a train running down the back. (Throw in a Tinkerbell tee for good measure.)
What did Andrew think of his first trip to Disneyland?
Let's compare the face of my sister's five year old . . .
. . . to my five year old. Nice.
At the end of our very full day both little girls wanted to ride in the stroller so I thought I'd give this a try. Rachael loved it!
Anybody who could was hitching a ride.
Going home.

Next stop, the beach.

Liz, Kate and Andrew.
Elizabeth was into some serious shell hunting that day.

Rachael was all about the puddles.
I think both boys appreciated having another man around.
The water really wasn't warm enough for swimming, but that didn't stop the kids from getting in anyway.
All the times we've been to Santa Monica beach and we've never actually gone underneath the pier until this day. Look how cool it is under there!

We found so many amazing things under there. Like this:
And this:
But the most amazing was this:

We also found four complete sand dollars which I didn't get a picture of. (I know they are here in the house somewhere, probably on little shelves next to gobs of other trinkets.) Kate found three and Will found one. Elizabeth was dying to find one too and we were all trying to help her but it was time to go. All on her own, Kate put one of hers down in the sand and then kind of led Elizabeth over to where it was so she could "find" it. Isn't that the sweetest? It's so nice to see your kids be nice to each other!

Two more favorites:

The pier as we usually see it:
Aren't cousins great?
I don't know who this little boy was, but I couldn't resist taking his picture.
She's getting taller every day it seems.
You just can't beat January in southern California.
The process of leaving the beach and cleaning the sand off of everyone is always a little tedious, especially when diapers are involved. It wasn't until a few months ago that I learned the baby powder trick from a friend. A handful of baby powder wipes away any and all sticky sand from every crevice imaginable. Brilliant!

Another downtown driving home shot. I love the moon. On the drive back to the airport my sister said she was feeling a little sad at the thought of going back to the cold and the snow, but then she saw a car with a bumper sticker that said, "Is this heaven? No, it's Iowa."
What are the chances??

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