And she's off to attend EFY...

This past Monday we all woke up at 3:30 a.m., and drove six hours to Virginia to check in Sierra for the EFY program. It was a drive that was all too familiar because we have done many six hour drives in our lifetime, (or more!) We dragged all of our little ones out of bed and hoisted them into the car. I think Sierra was the only one that was wide awake (besides Jon because he was driving) throughout the whole drive. I was tired too, but to my surprise I had a lot of energy! Check in time was at 11:00 a.m. and we arrived five minutes after (and so did a lot of other kids.) We stood in line for about  30 minutes until Sierra was registered. We love meeting people, and this was definitely the place to meet other moms with teens the same age as Sierra. We both made new friends that day, and I'm sure that when Sierra returns home she'll have a ton of photos with many friend requests on her facebook!

She is also excited to see a few friends from her old ward in North Carolina. Particularly one of her loveliest friends, Myranda. They haven't seen each other in three years and I know it'll be a happy reunion for them both.

I had the opportunity to meet one of her roommates. Brittany from Myrtle Beach. They instantaneously became best friends! I had tears in my eyes as I was leaving because I could tell that this is one girl that had fellowship written all over her. I know Sierra will be in good hands. 

This is Rebecca from the D.C. area, and her and her mother were so nice. They stood in line behind us and we struck conversation throughout the wait. Her dorm is a few doors down and these two were like two peas in a pod. Even though they are not rooming together...they'll be in the same company and hope they will have a ton of fun!

For those of you who are not familiar with EFY, it stands for Especially for Youth, and it is another great program of our church that I didn't grow up with. Anyone between the ages of 14 to 18 can go, and it's not just for LDS members. This is Sierra's first time going, and her dad and I are both excited about her participating. This program is exactly what it stands for. Especially for Youth. Even though I personally never experienced going to EFY, I know that it is a place for a youth to grow spiritually and to enjoy growing with others. My husband attended EFY as a teen, but I'm sure things have changed in the past 25 years! is a program that will give any youth a spiritual boost, and hope that it'll last for a lifetime, (and not for a month!)

She has wanted to attend since she was 14, but having my son 19 months ago set us back financially (it can cost up to $500.00 or more). She hopes to attend every summer now until she graduates. Tax return time is a blessing in many ways! I know that this five day program will be priceless and worth every cent! I encourage all youth to attend, and they have financial aid for those who qualify. Those who live in Utah are lucky. All they would have to pay is a $75 registration fee. Too bad we don't still live there. I am glad that Sierra is going somewhere else other than Utah. I know that she will appreciate it as she doesn't take anything for granted. Okay...she's not a perfect kid, but she really does appreciate a lot in her young life. I can't wait for her to return home to tell me stories about what she learned, the new friends she met, the service project that they did, how testimony meeting went, how she did in the talent show (she's playing the piano while singing a song), and how fun the dance was. I'm also curious as to what cute boys she will meet. I don't encourage her, but she is at that age where she is noticing boys...good boys, and I have to wake up to reality to see that. I see her get all giddy when a cute boy will notice her and say hello. She makes me laugh sometimes. See, I'm strict, but I can be a fun mom! I know that is not the reason why she is going. She loves her Savior and I know that her testimony will grow even stronger from this experience. I'm sure it'll top all the trips that we've taken to the beach since school has been out!

We miss you Sierra, and see you in a few days!

*To learn more about here.

Ocean City and Rehoboth Beach

Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think.
 ~ Robert Henri
We've officially become the beach bums of 2011. We absolutely love the beach. Call us crazy but yesterday we decided to drive three hours to Ocean City, Maryland to check out the beach.  One thing about Jersey beaches is that you have to purchase beach tags in order to get on the beach. That is one thing I thought was crazy when we first moved up here. They certaintly don't charge to get on the beaches in Texas, Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Virginia, Oregon, California, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Cape Cod, Maryland and Delaware (we've obviously been to too many beaches!) New Jersey is the only state that I know of where you have to purchase beach tags in order to have fun! Oh is what it is.

The three hour drive seemed like one. Ocean City is a beautiful beach. I was too relaxed this time. In other words...too tired. I've been entertaining my kids way too much this past week because my eldest is leaving for a week to attend EFY in Virginia. I decided to sit this one out, and just watch my family have fun while I enjoyed the sounds of the ocean, and take pictures.

 Noah was having fun yet again playing with the sand, and this time throwing it on his dad. I also had fun taking all these pictures, and was smiling the whole time.
You can just hear them laughing through these photos...they were having a GRAND time!
I LOVE, LOVE that this man...
After spending two hours at the beach it began to pour, and I mean literally pour. We quickly grabbed all of our belongings and ran to the hotel to take shelter. The girls were a little disappointed and waited out the rain.
We made it up to them by driving to Rehoboth beach on our way home where we had dinner and did a little bit of shopping, and listened to a local band play some really great music.
It was a pretty good band. Noah sure seemed to enjoy himself. He was getting down to the music on his Dad's shoulders shaking and waving his hands up in the air. He was so cute!! Apparently they have a band playing every weekend with all kinds of entertainment. We really enjoyed it here. They have the cutest shops, and loved how friendly everyone was. We walked down Penny Lane Mall which reminded the girls of Diagon Alley from Harry Potter, and stopped here to take a quick picture.
This was indeed the most charming village I've ever been too. I love quaint beach towns like this where everyone is friendly, life is not rushed, and all you see are happy families joined together having a great time.  It was another great day spent with my loved ones!

Coney Island & Cotton Candy


What do you do when summer is officially here?

Go to Coney Island in Brooklyn...and let out all the stresses
of the world with ride after ride, and eat lots of cotton candy!!
...and that's exactly what the girls did!
Mandatory picture of me and my better half showing off our blue tongues after devouring some cotton candy.

This was our second time venturing out to Coney Island.  It is a quaint little park in Brooklyn near the beach and boardwalk. There are countless game booths with many rides whirling all summer long. The girls tested the mettle on the Cyclone two summers ago when we first moved here.
July 2009...
 They didn't this time around.

I remember how excited I was to ride the Wonder Wheel in person. It brought back memories of the cult classic movie, "The Warriors". I watched it years and years ago, and the only thing I remembered from the movie was that this gang was trying to make it back to their home which was Coney Island. 

The view from the top of the Wonder Wheel.

We topped off the day with a visit to Nathan's Famous  for delicious franks, corndogs, and greasy fries.

P.S. Hope y'all enjoy the faces of Chelsea and Noah eating corndogs & hot dogs.

Before the sunset, we decided to take a walk on the boardwalk. The days of summer have begun with hot and humid temperatures with a little bit of rain. 

This was a nice little getaway to have before Sierra takes off for EFY next week. 

*Ever been to Coney Island?
*Have you seen "The Warriors"?

Silly kiddos

This is what happens when you leave all your kids in the car... alone... while you run inside Target thinking that it's only going to take you five minutes to buy a popcorn combo.

This is what happens when you leave all your kids in the car... alone... while you run inside Target thinking that it's only going to take you five minutes to buy a popcorn combo.


Here is Noah before his sisters decided to get him out of his comfort zone so they can all be naughty...

They all had fun taking turns with Sierra's iphone taking pictures. I must be getting soft because I wasn't upset when I saw these photos of Noah eating a dum dum lollipop, and eating pizza in the car! They obviously couldn't wait until we arrived home to eat...SNEAKY!



It sure was a HOT day today.