Saturday, April 26, 2014


We had a great Easter weekend. 
The original plan was to go to our ward Easter egg hunt and that was it for the hunts. Lucky for us, though, we got invited to a friends house on Good Friday and she hosted a big Hunt for us and a few other families, and Easter Sunday, we got invited to our friends house for dinner and another hunt. 
The girls were pretty excited to use their new baskets

 Our ward hosted a huge pancake breakfast followed by an Easter Egg hunt. The girls had a great time. 

 One of the older boys convinced Ada to trade with him her massive egg that she found. After, I told her that she does not need to trade her eggs with anyone. The egg she traded had some good chocolate in it. I think that she thought she was getting an awesome trade because it was a pink egg. 
 One of Ada's best friends. 
 Dad helping out Ivy

 I am kicking myself that I didn't record the girls reaction to their baskets.  Ada is so funny because she is genuinely excited over anything that is given to her and Ivy copies Ada's every move.

 These girls are the biggest crack ups. 
 Ada is hitting a growth spurt and her church clothes are getting pretty short. We were not going to do "Easter" dresses, but since Ada really needs some new one's, we decided to get them each a little dress. Most of Ivy's clothes are hand-me-downs, but she gets really sad when Ada gets something new and she doesn't so we got her one too. I am learning how to use my camera, but clearly, I chose the wrong spot for this picture. Shadows and lighting are not great.

 These girls love stuffed animals. I brought them to CVS about a month ago and they saw these little beanie babies and have not stopped talking about them. They even had a marble jar to work up to earning these. I broke down and got them. Ada's reaction was priceless. Her Unicorn goes with her everywhere. I think it's name is Uni right now. 
I planned on roasting a turkey on Easter (I know, TURKEY on Easter! We had a leftover one in the freezer and I didn't feel like spending the money on ham) so I pulled it out of the freezer and started thawing it. Saturday night some friends of ours invited us to their family Easter dinner/Easter Egg hunt. How could we refuse? Since Chad didn't feel comfortable going to someone else's house, we had a big Easter lunch. We all probably gained ten pounds that day!
Our friends parents live up in Loomis in a beautiful home surrounded by beautiful property. The girls loved it. They had an Easter egg hunt for the four little kids, and after dinner, the adults got one. Super fun. We had to have our legs tied to our partner, oven mittens and sunglasses on. Made things pretty tricky. We came out with some good findings. A total of $8 in cash, bug repellent,  candy, air fresheners. Scott and I made a pretty good team. Poor Ivy wanted me to hold her and was crying and being the good mom that I am, I ignored the poor girl. She found a happy place on the massive teeter todder, though. 
The kids found money, presents, and candy on their hunt!

 I accidentally knocked over Ada's box of nerds while we were taking a family picture and the only way I could get her to smile was by telling her we would get her another box. After looking everywhere with no luck, I finally found a box in Ivy's Easter Egg basket. She didn't even miss it. 

 Isn't that the coolest thing ever?

The girls were a filthy mess when they got home. It really was a good Easter. 
And of course, I am grateful for my Savior and for His willingness to Atone for our sins so that we could live with Him and our Heavenly Father again. He lives! 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Blarney Castle, Kells Priory and back to Dublin

Blarney Castle. The grounds were beautiful and huge! It was pretty frigid that day. We had to be back in Dublin that night, which was about a three hour drive. I told Scott that I really wanted to do some shopping and hang out in one place for awhile. 
We spent close to two hours touring the grounds of Blarney Castle and another hour in the giant gift shop afterwards.

 When we first got to the castle, I thought that we would have to climb these dark, wet, dungeon like steps to the top to kiss the Blarney Stone. I was having second thoughts at first, but then realized that we didn't go the scary way.
 Scary way.
 I would have had to crouch the entire way up.
 Blarney Castle

 Crazy narrow and steep staircase. If you climbed too fast, you could make yourself dizzy!

 I think that this was the maiden's room
 The dining hall

 View from the top of the castle. 
 Stories say that if you kiss the Blarney Stone, you are given the gift of gab. I missed the first time and had them lower me again. I think it is bad luck if you don't kiss it. Kind of gross if you think about it. Lot's of lips have made out with that stone.

 Someone, no need to name names, is a LITTLE afraid of heights. He was hesitant about going for the big smooch, but after some coaxing he went for it.

 I am actually somewhat surprised that Scott did kiss the stone because he is one of the biggest germaphobes that I know!

 Going down was a little scary.
 If we toured the entire grounds, it would have taken us up to four hours, but we didn't have the time.
 Rock Dolmen's. This particular one was also said to have powers. If you go through the opening supposedly you enter through another realm. Scott noticed it was tilting so he held the rock up with his muscly back. There was one that Scott really wanted to see, but GPS was no help and only got us more turned around. Looking back, I wish we would have kept looking  for it.
 This area was said to be enchanted and supposedly if you walk up and down the stairs with your eyes closed, and only think of one thing the entire way, your wish will be granted. It was a little scary. I only lasted about halfway up. Guess my wish isn't coming true.

 Scott gave it a try and almost made it. I think he said that he opened his eyes one time. Guess his wish isn't coming true either. 

 This dwelling used to be inhabited by a witch they say. I decided to make some witches brew. 

 I know, I know. Scott was shaking his head in this picture too
We drove to .a place called Kells Priory, but turned too early and found this awesome bridge.

 Kells Priory
This priory was built in the 1100's and was attacked and burned on three different occasions. It was kind of eerie. Maybe because we were the only people in sight and all you could hear was the sheep. Getting to the Priory was a little confusing and we couldn't figure out why the path wasn't more clear. When we left for Dublin, we noticed the main entrance to the priory off of the road. Whoops. At least we got to walk along the river and across a sketchy bridge going the way we went. 

 My last sheep pasture of our trip. This was a little more disgusting because there was sheep poop everywhere and I got bird poop on my hand when I climbed the rock wall.

 After our last excursion, we drove back to Dublin. Our hotel is not even worth posting about because it wasn't our favorite. It was off of a really busy street and there were some sketchy people roaming the streets all  night. I could hear the noisy drunk people coming in and out all night. Totally disrespectful and I was getting so angry. BUT, the night was fun for us. We spent about an hour walking around the more popular area, looking for a place to eat. By the time we decided on our pub, we were starving and probably had walked around 3 miles. I had a killer hamburger and ate the whole, massive thing (Scott thought that it tasted more like Salisbury steak because it came with a side of pepper gravy and the meat tasted like it had been pounded). Scott had some amazing chicken pasta that was delicious. After dinner, we walked around and did a little shopping. Back at our hotel, we stopped at the onsite restaurant for dessert. He had a really good piece of cheese cake and I had a lemon tart. Mmmmmm...I want some now. 
 According to the exit signs in Ireland, you are supposed to run to the nearest exit.
We woke up and had a huge breakfast in the restaurant. Super good. Sadly, we ended our trip on a really bad note by missing our flight. According to our airline, you have to be through customs/security 75 min before the flight leaves. What makes me sick about this whole situation is that we had plenty of time to get to our flight. It would have been tight, but even after being sent to another desk, walking across the airport, through customs and security, our flight still hadn't left. AAAHHH!!. So we had to drop a boat load of money to get bumped to a later flight. We were so downhearted. But, we didn't let it ruin our thoughts of Ireland. In fact, I miss it so much right now. It was a very needed vacation for me. I felt recharged when we got back...exhausted, but recharged. It has been so fun doing these day by day blog posts because I have been able to relive our trip and remember my thoughts about different experiences.