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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

NorCal Family Fun

Last weekend the four of us traveled up to Paradise, CA to visit with all of Jake's family.  It's crazy to think that the last time we were all together Skylar was Madden's age.  Half the family hadn't even met Madden yet and Skylar had no memory of meeting and hanging out some of her cousins, so it was definitely a trip that was long overdue.

We got picked up at the airport by Suzie. The kids did great on the plane, but were exhausted by the time we hit the long car ride into Paradise.  From the moment we arrived Skylar and Madden were in heaven.  Suzie had the house set up as mini kindergarten classroom; toys everywhere.  I was a bit worried that once the cousins arrived the kids would be a little shy and stand-offish, but I was wrong.  Skylar and Madden clicked with them instantly and the five of them were off playing as if they have played together a hundred times before.



Dom and Skylar building towers.  They wouldn't let anyone else in the room with them as they kept telling us their towers were going to be a surprise.


Madden and Uncle Brian building ramps for hot wheels.


All the cousins having their first dinner together.  It was very sweet.


Jake being tackled by all three boys. 


The next day we made it over to Paul and Suzie's house bright and early.  Skylar was begging to go back because she wanted to continue her tower building.  The boys had school so we hung out at Grandma and Grandpa's until they all came over in the afternoon.  Lucky for us there was a small break in the rain and we were able to go out and explore Grandma and Grandpa's huge yard.




Skylar's favorite part was the tree house.  She kept asking to go back in it.  Hard to believe Jake actually lived in that tree house for about three months during high school.


After I got back from putting Madden down for a nap the rest of the family had arrived.  Aunt Sherry drove up with Great Grandma Mary and Jake's cousins Luke and Clint arrived just in time for dinner.  We were also able to visit with Jake's best friend from high school and his family.  I believe at one time there was 18 of us in Jake's parents house.  It was a bit crazy, but the kids were having a blast and it was nice just all being together.

Dom reading the book he made at school to Skylar and Madden.


Group photo (minus Jake and Brian).


The next morning we headed over to Arielle, Brian, Geddis and Dom's new house for brunch.  Arielle put together a yummy spread of food.   Everyone was so sweet and put together a little birthday celebration for me.  Sherry and Suzie made cupcakes and we played the ABCs of Nicole.  By the end of the brunch everyone was exhausted and needed a little downtime/naps before our "last supper".


Geddis and Skylar


Madden on the drums.  I think we got him to sit down for five minutes and eat some strawberries, but then he was right back at them.  I felt so bad because Uncle Brian was pretty hungover (the parents went out the night before and had a long night) and he had to listen to Madden pounding on the drums all morning.




Singing "Happy Birthday".



Skylar passed out cupcakes to the entire family.




Tackling Grandpa.


For our last night we wanted to go out and enjoy a nice family dinner where no one had to cook.  With a group as big as our (16) we asked for a private room at one of Paul and Suzie's favorite restaurants; The Rice Bowl.  Before we headed over to dinner we made a quick stop at Uncle Jessee and Nico's house as we wanted to make sure Skylar and Madden got to visit every one's homes.

Playing basketball off Nico's top bunk.  After visiting each of her cousin's houses she is now asking for bunk beds.


Riding a scooter and playing an organ at the same time...only at Uncle Jessee's place.


After most of the weekend being very loud and chaotic I was envisioning dinner being the same (hint, hint: reason why we got the private room).  But to most of the adults surprise dinner was pretty mellow and we all got to talk and enjoy our last dinner together as a family.  The kids got a little antsy at the end of the meal and were running around a bit, but at least we got through most of our food before they took over.



 After each visit we always say "It always goes by so fast," but that is a sign that everyone had a great time.  We couldn't be more grateful of Paul and Suzie and everything they did for us the whole weekend.  Having so many people around and keeping them entertained isn't easy.   It was so wonderful being able to spend time with the whole family and I know us SoCal Ernest's are looking forward to our next family visit.  


I post this ecard with love, but it reminders me of when we all get together.  It's utter craziness for 72 hours, but the best kind of craziness.







1 comment:

  1. These pictures were wonderful! Each one showed the happiness the cousins had together. 'Just loved the pictures of Madden playing Uncle Jessee's keyboard, Dom reading Skylar and Madden his book, the view from the tree house, Grand-pa and Jake walking Skylar and Madden down to the meadow, Nicole's birthday pictures and all group pictures. I am so glad we were a part of this weekend, because it looks like this family really knows how to have a great time! You and Jake did a fabulous job of showing all of the good times we enjoyed together. Thank you for putting our weekend into pictures to enjoy over and over when we are missing you. We are looking forward to the next time we are all together! Thank you, thank you!
    Love,
    Suzie and Paul

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