Sunday, August 22, 2010

Birthday & Baptism {part 2}

I really can't believe that we have an 8 year old daughter! It just doesn't seem that long ago that Kassie was born in Japan, and I was holding her cute little pink bundle---scared out of my mind when there was a huge earthquake while we were still in the hospital!
(Don't mind me, my eyes do not open after I have babies...I have no idea why!)

And now, 8 years later, Kass has grown into a beautiful and wonderful daughter! We were able to celebrate her birthday while we were visiting our family in California. But even better, she was baptized there as well. We are so proud of her for choosing to follow our Savior's example to be baptized! For those of you who aren't familiar with baptism in our HERE.
It worked out perfectly that our niece (Sadee) was getting baptized at the same time...just 2 days earlier and before Kass turned 8! Kevin's parents, grandma, and brother were already planning on being in L.A. for the baptism. So we left my family in San Diego and met up with Kev's fam in L.A. for Sadee's baptism and then headed back down to my parents church in San Clemente for Kassie's baptism on her birthday! It was such a fun few days with Kevin's family. The girls were so excited to see their cousins!!!
I am such a stickler for car seat rules and I make sure that everyone is properly buckled in and why on earth is it ok to drive like this when you're around family...even if it is just around the block?!?!
We are SO SO grateful and happy that so many members of our family could be there! Kevin's mom made Kassie's dress, my brother conducted the meeting, Grandma Louder (yoo-hoo) and Grandma Bregg gave the talks, the cousins sang a special musical number, and Kevin baptized and confirmed Kassie. Everyone made it such a special day for Kassie!
Kassie and Sadee
After the baptism, we went to a park overlooking the ocean in San Clemente and had a picnic and birthday cake.
And then, Kassie and her cute cousins Abby and Sadee (who all have birthday's within a few weeks of each other) were so very excited when we took to them to the American Girl Doll store to pick out birthday presents!
Kassie and Abby
Kass and her new doll Lanie (she picked her because she is a nature girl! love it!)

When it's all over and done with, Kassie had a wonderful, memorable, and very special 8th birthday!!!

The 8 Best Things About Kassie...because 8 is Great!:
1. Nothing is boring when she's around!
2. She has such a creative mind!
3. She LOVES to perform for a crowd!
4. Her contagious laughter
5. Her love of animals
6. She's green! (Her love of nature...and protecting nature)
7. Her thoughtful love and concern for ALL generations of her family!
8. Her self-proclaimed (and supported) greatness!!!
We Love you Miss Kassandra Ann!!!
Up Next: Life's a Beach!{part 3}

Sunday, August 1, 2010

So. Cal {part 1-Family Reunion}

4 years! It had been that long since my (steph's) family (consisting of my parents, sister (with her husband and son), and my brother (with his wife and 3 boys)) had been together. So this year, my parents were kind enough to treat us all to a wonderful family reunion!!! We started our week of fun with the cousins getting to know each really didn't take too long! The girls LOVED their big cousins!

And then all the real fun began! #1--Sea World! Kassie has declared this is what she would like to do when she grows up! She loves animals and a Sea World animal trainer and performer would be perfect! We had so much fun feeding the dolphins, watching the shows, and of course, a few of us got drenched by Shamu!!!

The Starfish was the only animal that Laicee wasn't leary of...everything else, she loved from a far...very far!

Kassie, Amberlee, their cousin Eric, and Kevin were brave enough to sit in the soak zone at the Shamu show!!! The rest of us were happy and dry!The 16 of us! (just so you know who we all are. From Left to Right: Dad, Mom, Shae, Eric(top), Amberlee (top), Jerry, Kristin, Jackson (held), Steph, Emma (below), Kevin, Kassie (below), Jody, Jerry, Michael (top), Laicee (held)!)

#2--Disneyland! Usually, going to Disneyland in July is crazy. The lines are long, people are cranky, and the weather is hot! We got completely lucky. We went on a Wednesday, the weather was perfect, and the lines were perfect!!! We had so much fun! We took this picture at the entrance (yay...F for...Family Fun) and then tackled Disneyland in our own ways!

Is it just me...or is Sleeping Beauty's castle not as big as it use to be???

The 3 older boys got to ride all the rides they wanted...many times (it was fun running into them as they dashed from one side of the park to the next). Kristin and her family went where Jackson went. We ran with the girls and my parents to do all the girly things the boys would rather die than go to :)! Pixie Hollow was a huge favorite!!!

Kassie and Fawn had a great conversation about being animal talent fairies...and they even practiced animal sounds together (seriously...adorable)!

and Tinkerbell taught the girls how to pose as fairies!

Laicee, who could care less anyway, couldn't go on the roller-coasters...she and grandma had a great time together waiting for the rest of us! Her favorite thing at Disneyland was Small World...of course! She could have ridden that ALL day!

Emma was even tall enough to go on almost all the rides. Her favorite...Space Mountain!!! I LOVE that my girls are not afraid to go on these things!!!

The *littles* crashed! My mom and dad did, too! So, they took the girls back to the hotel and then Kev and I got to take the *biggles* on the only ride Emma couldn't go on (Indiana Jones) and then we ran around the park trying to get as many rides in as we could before it midnight!!! It was SO so SO much fun being able to do that with our older girls!

P.S. the tea cups make me sick...and we went really really fast!

#3--San Diego Zoo and Dinner at the Corvette Diner! Our last family adventure was to the San Diego Zoo! The girls were ecstatic and beyond thrilled to go there! They love seeing and learning everything they can about animals and this put them right in their element! The favorites were the panda bears, kookaburra birds, elephants, giraffes and hippos!
We worked really hard for this picture! Sorry to the man that I had to elbow out of my way so that Kass could have a picture with a hippo!

This gorgeous peacock kept trying to follow us...that made you know who very happy!

Can you see the giraffe...that's's Emma!

And then my brother found a great restaurant for our final dinner together, the Corvette Diner! It came with dancing waitresses with huge wigs and a fabulous balloon artist! Emma loved her mermaid hat...and I couldn't resist it either!We truly had a wonderful 5 days together (we also had down time between all these things filled with other activities), and great family pictures, too (thank you Amber Katrina!)! It was so fun seeing everyone again and I especially loved watching the girls hang on their cousins!!! We already miss you all!!!

Up next: Part 2 {L.A. with Kev's family, Kassie's birthday and baptism}!!!