Wednesday, April 15, 2009

March Break

March break was all about family fun with the Grandparents. Minus Eric who had to stay behind. First, we flew to Arizona to visit my parents, Spencer and Pam Piller. As always it took a couple of days to shake off the jet lag. And, of course, Connor had a major project, on the subject "Absolute Zero"? I don't know where they come up with these topics. We decided not to procrastinate and get it done so we could kick back and.....

Visit the

A great place to learn about prehistoric Arizona. We discovered Paleozoic seas and a Triassic petrified forest and learned about what Arizona once looked like. We also learned about North America’s first inhabitants, hunters and gatherers, and Arizona’s first settlers, the Hohokam. This exhibit shows a replica village and authentic pottery. The Hohokam built ancient temples and networks of enormous irrigation canals that apparently still lie beneath Arizona's homes and streets. Then we traveled from the Spanish colonial times to today. All along the way there were interactive activities for the boys, like panning for gold......

We explored the Mars Exhibit, and experienced simulations of planetary processes. We tested full size Mars Rovers and Landers, and compared the geological histories of Earth and Mars. The boys even dug for fossil remains that could potentially be found on Mars. Digging is always a winning activity with my kids.

A canyon on Mars, Valles Marineris, that stretches the length of the United States and a volcano as large as Arizona, Olympus Mons. And below a Rover.

Unfortunately, I forgot my camera and in my quest to get pictures of the boys having fun with Grandmama, and proof that they did have fun at a museum, I opted for my cell phone camera, but as of now I have no way to transfer the pictures to our computer. Until then, I thought I would inject pictures from the last time we went. I'm not even sure if Pearce was an "idea" back then.

The next day, Connor and I spent time with my Dad, while Grandmama enjoyed Pearce all to herself.

Papa Piller gave us private golfing lessons.

Good form.

Connor in full swing.

Wendi and Connor trying to keep their heads down.

Beautiful day. Thanks Daddy.

After a full day in the Arizona sun a Gelato run was the perfect ending.

In preparation for march break, I asked Connor what he would like to do, and with no hesitation he suggested it would be fun to take Pearce to Legoland. What a great brother!!!! Legoland is mainly for tots and young children. But Connor, 11 now, convinced me that he would have fun too. So after 5 days and nights with Grandmama and Papa Piller we flew to California. Grandma Gayla picked us up at the airport and leisurely drove up the coast to the Carlsbad Sheraton Legoland Resort. We dropped our bags off, went out to eat and stopped at a large strawberry patch. I know that sounds random. But who can resist strawberries?

Big beautiful strawberries were calling our names.


We went back to the resort and and played around in the heated pool. And thankfully it was heated. It was quite cold outside. The next couple of days were full of non-stop fun at Legoland and the Sea Life Aquarium. Kelsey, my sister in law, who attends Whittier college in L.A for vocal performance, met up with us too.


Connor, Kelsey, Wendi and Pearce. Notice we all are holding hot chocolate. It was a chilly day.

Pearce tackling the Pirates Cove playground.

Pearce in the tunnel looking for Connor, who was running and climbing with a pack of big kids.

Pearce is admiring this character made out of Legos in Castle Hill.

Almost the entire park is made out of legos. It's amazing. While Connor and Grandma Gayla rode the Dragon coaster, Pearce and I found Knights of the Round Table foam swords. This was the greatest find of the day for PP. He probably finished off over a thousand imaginary "bad guys" by the end of the day. Next, was Miniland USA.

Pearce, Connor and Grandma Gayla looking on the mini replica of Washington D.C.

They even staged President Obama's inauguration.

Even Michelle Obama in her gold dress.

Las Vegas

The famous Chinese Theater in Hollywood

Hollywood, I mean Legowood.

San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge

NYC, even the Nascar speed way....but no mini Hawaii?

Pearce in the Imagination Zone.

Pearce and Kelsey building.

Connor building a race car.

Pearce ready to race.

And mysteriously, Pearce's car comes flying off the track.

Picking a fight with Darth Vader.

Kelsey and I join in.

Pearce was in love with Lego R2D2. He begged that we take it home.

Pearce and I on a Safari Ride in the Explorer Village.

Peace was excited to be driving again like in Vietnam. He still doesn't understand why he can't drive in the States. We explain that the police will send his Daddy and Mommy to jail, but I'm not sure he understands the consequences of incarceration just yet.

Connor and Kelsey.

Pearce shocked to see a Rhino.

Pearce, even more shocked to see a velociraptor in the bushes. He didn't breathe for straight five minutes.

While Connor and Grandma Gayla screamed around the prehistoric Coastersaurus. Pearce and I put our paleontology skills to work, and dug for skeletal remains of dinosaurs buried in over 30 cubic yards of sand in Dino Island.

A Boat ride through Fairytale Land.

The prince is talking on a cell phone.

Aladin's cave.

Pearce driving a lego Volvo.

Connor and Grandma Gayla on a water ride.

Sea Life Aquaruim

Connor dares to touch the anemmenies.

Building a Lego sand castle.

The jelly fish tank was my favorite.

Pearce watching the sting rays....

.....and the sharks.

Connor in the middle of the aquarium.

One of the nights we celebrated an early birthday for me! The chocolate cake was delicious.

Back in Arizona, Tutu and Papa Phillips picked us up at the airport and drove us straight out to the lake house. We woke ready to have some fun...

Riding the tub with the boys. The Phillips lake house behind us.

Connor, Wendi and Pearce.

Joci's turn.

Papa making a sharp turn, the babies look worried!

Joci and Pearce asked to get out! LOL.

Now in the boat...the babes are happier.

Papa David trying to dump us in the lake.

The babies at play. Callen, Joci, Pearce and Brinly.

Brin and Pearce.

My brother in-law, Todd, running the slalom course, while Camille, his 8 month prego wife drives! I love that.

Both Todd and Eric have been world-ranked waterskiiers since they were kids, competing in slalom, trick and jump. Eric was the youngest ever (11) to win the Western Regionals and at one time was ranked in the top five in the world. Both he and Todd won national championships on their collegiate water ski teams (Todd at Central Florida and Eric at ASU) and were All-Americans throughout their career. I think if waterskiing was an Olympic sport or at least offerred a more "sustainable" career, Eric would have kept going. I will stop there...Eric dislikes bragging.

Hot tub'n with the babies. Jesse holding Callen and Izzy, Joci, Todd holding Brin, and Pearce.

Callen, Jesse, Evelyn and Izzy.

Fishing off the dock with Uncle Todd.

Pearce caught one!

The boys building a fire for smores.

Pearce free bouncing on the trampoline at his cousins house. Pearce is 100% addicted to trampolines. If (when?) we get one, I think there is a very good chance he will stay outside bouncing until he falls asleep.

Visiting with more cousins. Lt to Rt: Kristin holding Corine, Calob, Gunner and Kari holding Bree, and Wendi holding Pearce.

Pearce and Gunner.

Kari and Bree. Beautiful Breezy is almost finished her Chemo and it's looking good!

Pearce and Bree.

Bathing with the cousins. Brin, Joci and Pearce.


At the Cubs Spring Training baseball game wearing Diamondback colors!

Pearce, Papa David, and Connor.

Our last night in Arizona was spent at GG Phillips house. She made a fabulous dinner for us. Connor helped mow her lawn.

Thank you GG, Grandmas, Papas, Uncles, Aunties, Cousins for playing and loving us over these last two weeks. We feel truly blessed and we love you and miss you already xoxo.