Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Wow...It seems as though I have taken a vacation from my blog. Sorry about that. I guess I kinda set a standard of daily posts and then....gone! Well, I'm back. This is going to be a random post. A catcher-upper if you will.
The VanDalen Clan continues to be as busy as ever. We have had a nice break in the sports department...we are just out of basketball and heading into baseball. This season finds Jake and Taiji trying out for an 11-12 year old team. Which seems so crazy since it feels like we were just on that same team with Truman not to long ago.
Speaking of Truman, he will be trying out for the 8th grade baseball team, his last sport in Jr. High, which again seems crazy since it feels like he just started Jr. High....HELP my kids lives are moving to fast!! I will ask that you pray for me and the patience department...this whole Teen thing is catching me off guard and I know that at times I'm not handling it patience it what I seek!!
The new business, Sun-Kissed Studio, is up and running and everything is going really well. It is exciting to be a part of something so fun and good for you! Check out the link for more information.
Kali Belle is still coming down from vacation mode...she still lives in princessland...wait a minute she's always lived in princessland!! She is smart as a whip and the boys are getting annoyed by how well she remembers and can articulate all that she sees!! Too funny!!
Well that is all for the VanDalen Clan...seriously, just a whole lot of randomness!!

Monday, March 09, 2009

California Day 6- The Finale' part II

Well you thought you had finished the journey...well we did too! However, we had a system failure (alarm didn't go off) we arrived late to the airport and for some reason they didn't think we could get 4 kids through security and to our gate in 25 minutes. Sooo, long story short we missed our flight. We were supposed to leave at 9am and instead they got us on a flight leaving at 8:30pm. Soooo, what did we do....we took some lemons and made some very tasty lemonade!! We re-rented our mini-van and headed to Universal Studios!! Of course I thought we were heading home so I didn't charge my camera every picture you see here was taken with the red battery light flashing and me praying for one more shot!!
Oh look it's Kali and Dora...her favorite cartoon character. What? You don't see Kali...that's cuz she's in the stroller next to me covering her head and crying!! Good times!!
Here are all the kids with Jaws...don't see Kali...she's actually on Taiji's shoulders up in Jaw's belly...Just Kidding, she's in the stroller next to me covering her head with her blanket and crying!
Finally a picture of Kali!! Actually, she really did enjoy this show. It was Acting animals and they did some cute little stunts and tricks!
This was amazing!! I wasn't the biggest fan of the Movie WaterWorld, but this show was awesome!
The boys on the Universal Studios Tram ride. They had fun and they're so dang cute!!
Here you can see coming up from the lower left is Jaws...we were on the other side so not quite as dramatic!
Probably not the best thing to see when you are heading to the airport to fly out in a couple of hours....but here is the set of where they shot a plane crash for the War of the of the most expensive sets because they used an actual plane and deconstructed it!
A lovely meal in the airport to top it all off!! Thanks kind, but sorta weird stranger that offered to take our picture so I could be in it!

Boy did we do it!! I think will take a week to get our barrings straight and get back to normal!! I will say this my own bed and pillows were a welcome sight at 2am...and I think they are calling me now!! I promise that this is the final final final post from VanDalen California Trip 09!!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

California Day 5- The finale'!!

Our journey to Southern California has come to an end...but please, no one tell Kali! She is convinced that we are on an forever vacation...the question today was, "which hotel are we going tomorrow dad?" We have had FUN!!! The kids are great...although just a wee bit tired! We have done it and I for one will not forget this journey!! Thanks for taking it with us!! Here is our last day! Here is our gang at the Clyde and Seamore show...if ya haven't's great!! The seals are so great and the trainers aren't bad either!!!
Kali was literally on the edge of her seat!!
After the show we hit the Sesame Street cute! It was a dream come true for Kali!! Elmo, Zoe, Abby, name it they had a ride or an adventure for it!! Here we are waiting in line for Elmo's flying fish!! On a cute side note...she told me she wanted to ride the white angel fish cuz Abbey's an angel!! I had to hold back the tears as I fought off all the other kids to get the white angel fish!!
We got it!!
Me and the gang waiting for the pets rule show to start! Not what I would expect at SeaWorld...but it was really cute and the animal's were amazing!
The Gang...again funny side note, We came across this cute section with all these animal character's sitting in the bleachers...we thought it would be a cute picture, of course the kids had to climb over chains to get there....and then much to our surprise (not really) we got kicked out!! The kids were far more embarrassed then us!! To funny!!
I think this picture tells it all.......we have worn these kids out!! Here they are on the ride back to LA.
Everyone was wide awake though when it came to In-n-0ut!! YUMM-O!!!
The last night of the last day of a great vacation!!!! Kali and her best dude in the hot tub!!
Last but not least....Jake and his possessed goggles!!
We had a great time...thanks for humoring me!! Back to our regularly scheduled programing tomorrow!!

Friday, March 06, 2009

California Day 4

I've never met a person that doesn't LOVE SeaWorld. Today we soaked in Shamu...wait a mintute, I meant to say Shamu soaked US!!! It actually was pretty funny. Shane and Kali and I found a spot that we thought would be safe from Shamu....the boys on the other hand went down to the very front hoping to get soaked...well the boys walked out dry and I was drenched!!! That silly Shamu...I know what you're thinking MOM!!! Jake and Taiji each bought a camera today. It was so cute watching them try to figure out the best shot! I thought this one was a classic!!
One of the rides at like everything else at SeaWorld gets you very wet!
If you look closely in the background you can see 3 turtles laying in the sand...they reminded me of my hares....get it, the tortoise and the hare! I know it's a stretch!
And of course no post is complete without a super cute Kali picture! She was a bit of a pill today...I think that going 75miles and hour for the last four days is catching up with her! She was in bed early tonight! Better luck tomorrow!
I think the kids are starting to lose it!! We couldn't stop laughing!!!!
Well I thought I would post a few of the pictures I got of the sea life!
This one above is of a stingray...see how the stingray is waving to me...actually he was angry cuz he thought I was going to feed him and when I didn't....he splashed me...again drenched!!
I love the Shamu's called Believe! I swear, I always get choked up...weird huh?
Our God is an awesome God...what an amazing imagination!!
What an amazing job that would be!!
A cool shot from the the Dolphin show.
It's an interesting time of year to visit SeaWorld. They are only open from 10-5 and not all of the shows are playing and if they are, they don't have that many shows...but it doesn't take away from how truly amazing it is!! We will have another day there tomorrow to catch what we missed today! Hope you are enjoying our journey, more tomorrow!!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

California Day 3

Not my strongest picture taking day!! Oh well we were running all day and it's not surprising!!Here is little miss Kali and I after a great breakfast!
Kali and Daddy after meeting more princesses!!
The boys found a basketball game...they drained them and we walked away with 3 frogs! Of course mom carried them most of the day!
Young JP!
Taiji Lee!
Some highlights of the the day for the boys....California screamin' (awesome roller coaster...Jake went 4 times), Tower of terror, 1000 ft drop, swimming, winning frogs, hitting space mountain one more time!! Highlights for Kali....amazing Aladdin show at California adventure. It was 40 minutes long and they acted out the whole movie on stage with come great special effects! And we went back to meet some more princesses! She was wearing a little mermaid shirt and we got to meet Ariel. She was super sweet and just talked and talked with her. I got it on video and I will see if I can get it posted!! We are now in San Diego and looking forward to our next two days in Seaworld. Until tomorrow....night!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

California Day 2

Day two...and I'm tired, so don't expect to much in the commentary department. We had a great but interesting day. The weather was questionable...lots of rain, seriously huh?? But we made the best of it. The fast and fun rides had no lines...but anything to do with Kali...well we were in lines forever! Here is a picture of the family waiting in line at the Jungle tours.
Kali out front of Minnie Mouses house...note how excited and relaxed she looks....not for long....
Enter, Minnie Mouse and we have ourselves a little cling on! She couldn't get close enough to me! Needless to say it was a quick picture!
She did like Minnie's house however, and we got some cute pics checking it out!
And no trip to Minnie's house is complete without a tea party! Kali was joined by Aunt Sandra! She joined us also for the was nice to see her and experience Disney with her again!
Again with the cling on...sorry Mickey...apparently you are scary!
Now the Princesses....that's a different story!! We had to wait in line forever!!! But, it was so worth it the minute I saw her with Snow White!! I don't know how much they pay her...but she is worth every penny!! She was so great with her, asking her questions and checking out all the stuff Kali wanted to show her!! It was seriously tooo cute!!
Snow White and Kali
Now I love Mulan...but unfortunately Kali hasn't seen the movie and didn't know who she she was a little disappointed that she didn't get to meet Cinderella or Sleeping beauty.
We ended the adventure with a little face painting...every lil' princess needs her face painted!!
Now on a weird and interesting side note....I was walking to fantasyland with the boys and we passed the two guys that play hobbits in the Lord of the Rings. Dominic Monaghan was one of them...not sure what the other one's name is. But it was pretty cool...they were just as Disneyland trying to be normal people. day! More tomorrow!! Good Night!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

California Here we come!! Day 1

Welcome to our vacation!! We are having a great time down here in (not so sunny) Southern California. We left Sea-tac in the am and arrived in LA in the early pm. We headed directly to our hotel to drop off the luggage and then walked right over to Disneyland. The following pictures (all 15 of them) is our day in a nutshell!! Enjoy....we sure did!! Kali and Truman on the shuttle to the airport...gearing up for the plane ride!
Jake and Taiji my twin 10's!! They didn't need to gear up..they are excited!
All set and ready to go!
Kali had all she needed...Blankies, her thumb, kitty (brawna), headphones and a barbie movie!
A bunch of ham balls waiting to get in our van!!
The 3 block walk to Disneyland! Not the greatest weather...but I'm sure that it is better then the great northwest!!
Tell me...who couldn't love these faces!! I appreciate how willing the boys have been to let me get in my photo ops!! They are too cute!!
Yet another photo op!
Kali loved the horsey's! Checkout jake in the back ground hamming it up!
It is a small world after all....this was the first little character to greet us....I'm just wondering how they got a picture of Kali to design it!!
Kali Faith....just loving the experience!! She was singing the song before we were half way through and then continued to sing the song the rest of the night!
The boys just humored us...this was NOT their favorite ride!
We stumbled across a Bubba Gumps restaurant on our way back home. The service was great, the kids were awesome and the food....well let's just say they had to roll me out!!
Now don't tell me you didn't just go....Ahhhhhh!! Aren't they tooo cute!!
Here they are crashing after a great first day...what this picture doesn't show is that seconds later on a trip to find ice she tripped and fell and now has a very bloody knee...or that the boys went down to the pool for an evening swim!! But what I can tell you is, we are having an amazing time! The kids are doing soooo great and so are mom and dad!! Hope ya enjoyed our first day....I hope to keep ya in the loop for the whole trip!! Good Night!