California: The condo

As we were so close to the beach, this condo was an excellent location, it was fun to open up your window and hear the beach. We did not however love the raging bar across the street, I was just grateful my children were asleep before the screaming swearing drunks came out! That way their vocabulary was not expanded.

Before and after the beach, the kids got to watch some cartoons, and they loved being together,
We played quite a few hands of alphabet go fish,
And our sweet Elliot spent alot of time here…
He developed a rash from the sun and his ammoxocilin (for his ruptured ear drum), I think. So while the rest of us went on adventures near the end of the week, he was left behind with the watchful eyes of grandma, or aunt amy. Thank heavens for family!
Of course we had many wonderful meals around the table,
And Aunt Amy even shared her sushi
Truman was not so sure about it,
But Tucker loved it.
It’s always nice to try new things. I am grateful they tried them! I love sushi, but never buy it, why is that?
Nora was a sweetheart, and it was great to spend time with her, and to get to know her better!
And Elliot loved the extra cuddle time with the grandparents.
Look how well he just fits in there.
A great place to make memories.


Californina: Swap meet

As a child this was one of my favorite places to find treasures… the Swap Meet. Kind of like a giant flea market, full of goodies, needless to say, many things hadn’t changed. Lots of treasures for little kids, not so many for adults this year.

Luckily this was not to far from the condo…so we crammed everyone in the car.
Eric, Tuck, Tru in the far back,
Amy, Nora and Elliot in the middle (we had Nora, as the rest of the Greene’s hit Disneyland)
Momma driving and me navigating.

Once there the treasure finding began…. we found some animals, including these birds,
and Tuck really wanted to bring home this frog. Really, really wanted to. But I need another thing to take care of, like I need a hole in my head, so luckily I was able to convince him, that the car ride home would be miserable for the poor thing. And he settled on a couple packs of legos. Thank heavens.
Amy found a cute hat,
and Eric got a new shirt (not the one he’s wearing, it’s in his hand 🙂 ). Nice.
We finished the hunt off with some refreshments.
Thanks to some grandma monies I think the kids came home with a couple packs of legos, a minature skateboard, pretend cell phones, (Truman was very selective of his treasures, making sure he chose out only the best stuff) and of course good memories.

Oh, and I almost forgot, Tucker got this old man vinyl clear poker hat, that he proceeded to wear the rest of the vacation. He informed me later that it was awesome, cause you could wear it AND see through it. True statement.

Oh, I love the swap meet…


California: The Boardwalk

Another place we spent alot of time, was the board walk.
There are fun little shops we walked through, a delicious breakfast restaurant, many interesting people to watch, but mostly the kids loved to do this:
While Elliot (who was strapped in the bjorn) and I followed behind.
We spent a few mornings and a few afternoons, scooting’ around town, and on the final day, bought a lemonade from the stand outside the condo
where multiple times a day the boys were beckoned to the stand by girls shouting ‘free samples’.


California: Crystal Pier

The pier right next to our condo. Again, it’s amazing how something as silly as a pier can elicited such memories, and seem timeless….I remember running up and down this as a kid, and loving the sound of the wood beneath my feet.
And how can you not help loving the cute little cottages there?
(By this point, Eric was able to fly in for a couple of days, and had arrived to hang out with us all! We were glad that he was able to get away.)
And looking into the ocean, is such a crazy feeling, to see the waves crashing, or watching the surfers, or even the fishermen on the pier…
It was here that Truman declared his new life goal was to be a surfer, and Tucker decided the profession for him was a lifeguard. I told them, I would come and visit them often when they moved to the ocean.
And a shot of all the kids, vacations are alot of fun when they include cousins.


After twenty plus years,

It still feels the same. I can’t say that about many things….but I can about our vacation to San Diego, California.

My parents have been taking us on vacation to the same spot since I was a little girl. We don’t go every year, but every five years or so, but yet, it is a place of so many memories. The excitement of getting there, I can smell it now, as I sit by the computer. I can see the pier, and feel the sand between my toes. I can practically hear the waves are crashing and I want to go back!

Many big thanks to my parents for providing us with the opportunity to make many memories together as a family, so without further ado the next few posts will be about our wonderful vacation to California!

Toph had a work conference in San Fransisco during this same time. I decided I still wanted to go,
and my mom graciously offered to drive with me to help with the kids. And after a few last minutes changes, Amy came along too.
We carrivaned down with Ry, Tiff and the kids.
And let me tell you, we had alot of stuff, and our car was packed up good!
We started late in the afternoon, and the day we left, was a BUSY ONE, including getting our car back from the shop, a plumber fixing our kitchen sink, and Elliot’s ear drum rupturing.
Needless to say, with all these bad things happening, we were excited to get on the road. I was worried about Elliot feeling well enough to travel, and you never realize how much the pressure changes (in your ear) from here to Vegas until you have to drive with a sweet baby who cries everytime the altitude changes significantly. He was a trooper though, and was able to sleep alot of the way.
The other kids were awesome too, considering the length of the trip,
but of course they were thrilled when we arrived in Pacific Beach, by early afternoon the next day.


For our family, summer would not be summer,

without a trip to our towns celebration of Strawberry Days.
Christopher dreams of their strawberries and cream all year round.
Looks like it might be genetic.
Elliot is still to small to dine on this delicacy, and actually he spent most of the night like this,
Back to the berries, they are delicious, and the way we usually start our adventures every year.
And then we go on a couple of the carnival rides. This year the weather was iffy, it had been raining a majority of that day, and we weren’t sure if the rides were going to be open or not…but we were surprised to find out that not only were they open, the tickets were only .50 cents a piece AND the rides were 1/2 off too. So instead of being the usual 2 tickets, they were 1 ticket! Yahoo! I love a good deal at the carnival.
Here is Tru and Toph discussing rides. I must admit, I was surprised at our kids choice of rides…. We did the ‘crazy fun climbing house thing’ once,
and then the rest of our tickets were used on the big yellow slide.
Tucker saw our neighbor and friend there, and they went down together like this, cute eh?
Toph and I even got in on the action.
And this one might just be one of my new favorite pics. Look at everyones faces.

We finished up just as the pre-rodeo crowd were coming, and we felt a few raindrops begin to fall. Near the end, Elliot woke up and he enjoyed people watching at the carnival too, (I am making a funny face, as I was eating a doughnut)

In case you haven’t heard me mention it before, I love being able to do fun things with my children, and husband,
and I do love living in a place where it is easy to do!


Did you know…

Elliot is so smart, he can count?

No seriously, did you know that ALL infants can count?

Neither did I. I’m being totally serious.

Our local university called us and asked if Elliot would participate in a study about counting. At first, I thought they maybe mixed up my children. My older two children are excellent counters, just ask ’em next time you see them.

But I was wrong, it was Elliot who they were interested in, so we made an appointment and headed up a few days later. Luckily for me, Cat was here to watch the older children, (thanks again Cat!) making the experience oh so much easier!

When we arrived they placed this awesome hat thing on him,
which measured his brain waves, and then we watched a video to see how well he counted. They measured how high his brain waves were when he saw similar groups of items. Like 5 items vs. 10 items vs. 3 items, to see if they can recognize similar groups of items. (or least that is what I understood they were doing)

Of course, we were excited to participate (and he even received a certificate),
because honestly what mother doesn’t love hearing crazy things like her infant can count?


6 Months

or 1/2 a year of the Big L in our lives. And honestly? It’s weird to remember when he wasn’t part of our daily lives…crazy eh?


Fathers Day Recap.

For fathers day this year, for my dad, I think we gave him the best present he’s ever gotten from us. (Although that streak of Tabasco ties was a real hit back when I was like 10. 🙂 )

Here he is opening the present (at the pool party, the day before):
It was a paint brush with a gift certificate good for an evening of us painting his house. Which we did later that week.

I am not sure whose idea this was, but it was awesome. My dad has been dreading painting the house for awhile now, and even tried to pay Eric to do it, so I think it was a pleasant surprise.

We had a good time doing it too, the majority of us painted (and we laughed and brought back a lot of childhood memories), while Tiff held down the fort with all 6 children inside. She’s a good woman, Tiff is.

As for Toph, I am documenting this, because it is the one time of year, that he gets a deluxe-o breakfast. Here is sweetheart, if you ever doubt that I love you, come back and take a look at this:
And that will help you remember that I love you forever. Right? 🙂

The boys loved giving him his presents,
and we enjoyed a peaceful relaxing day, honoring the papa.
I’m not a father, and it wasn’t my day, but I think it was a pretty good one.

Emily Life Topher Truman Tucker

Never Published?

While going through my old Blog Archives, I found this post that I never posted. I am not sure why? (Maybe because there were no pictures?) It is over a year and a half old, and something that I didn’t write about just then, but can add now is that I was pregnant and in my first trimester with Elliot at the time this was written. Maybe that’s why I was so emotional???

The only constant in life is change…

One thing I never fully understand, but always learn to appreciate is the hand of the Lord in my life. I often start out questioning his hand, whenever there is a major change in my life. But I am also the type of person, who eventually understands pieces of why the Lord does the things he does (I am sure I’ll never understand everything, but it is good to gain a small piece of comprehension) and am always very grateful for them. The hand of the Lord has been with us constantly directing us in so many good ways, that I really have no doubt in my mind that he has led us to be where we are today.

Well, a big change this way cometh, and my latest questioning began when we received a call to come and meet with the Stake President. Later on that same evening, I got a call informing us that the Bishopric in our ward was changing….Hmm, coincidence? I don’t think so. Before I married Christopher, I knew the high quality caliber man he was, and still is. I know he is true to his testimony of the gospel, therefore knowing the true Love of Christ. Knowing this, I know he will serve diligently and willing when and where he can. I knew this call from the Stake Presidency meant, something big but what? I knew something big was coming…

But before I get to that, let me share something else. For me I like to get to have things scheduled, a routine, and then with that, I can move forward successfully in my life. For me, I can accomplish so much more in life through simple scheduling, I have a big list of things to do daily, and in order to accomplish them, plan ahead, and not end up at the store every single day of the week, I have to plan things, and organize things. But there must be something I am obviously not learning…because my life keeps getting thrown out of schedule. Once I get it in a groove again, it gets MAJORLY thrown out of wack again…

So is true of the change for our family that occurred today. Christopher got a new calling as Executive Secretary. Currently I am the Enrichment Counselor in the RS Presidency. And while Christopher was being set apart today, with the other members of the Bishopric, I began to have huge doubts about my ability to support our family through this busy time in our lives. How am I going to be able to schedule it all? If we were newly married, it would be a piece of cake. But being a mom can be hard enough on some days. My boys are old enough now, that we get through without too many crisis during the day, but they are incredibly active boys, who require constant supervision and stimulation. With a husband who will be gone often, do I have the inner strength and patience to be the parent they need and who they are going to be spend most of there time with? Christopher is my perfect help-meet, he is my perfect half in every way, he balances me, including being the perfect half to my parenting style, and being exactly what the boys need. I doubt myself, and my abilities to be this person I need to be right now.

But then I have to stop. And ask myself is this fear I am having?

And I answer myself, Yes it is.

Can faith and fear be in the same place at the same time?

Again, answering myself, No.

What am I am going to choose, faith or fear?

Definitely Faith.

So will our family make it?

Yes, we will, because where great things are required, great blessings are given in return. My life will get on schedule again, we will adjust, before the next big change comes. And I know and must remember that we will do more than just ‘make it’. We will be blessed beyond our understanding, so then why do I doubt?

Human nature? I don’t know. But I still doubt myself and my abilities, but again, must have faith that the Lord knows me and my abilities better than I do.

Thank Goodness I can have faith in him, his understanding, and his hand in my life.

And such gratitude feels my soul in knowing I am married to a wonderful, worthy priesthood holder who can go where the Lord wants him to go, and will do so willingly. I am so blessed.

Now over a year an a half later, with the arrival of a new member of our family, and MANY other changes, I can say with out a doubt that the Lord does indeed know me, and my family. We have now transitioned to this new phase of callings, and all have adjusted. It is our new normal. Again, as I read this I ask myself, why do I ever doubt the Lord? He knows me and my family, and wants to bless us.