Sunday, July 31, 2011

Our trip to Georgia

It's never fun hearing that someone you love won't be around long .... unfortunately our family knows this far too well. A couple of weeks ago my Dad called and told me that it wouldn't be long for my Grandpa (my last living grandparent), Dean made the decision that I probably would not have made, that we needed to go. I am the type that would rather remember someone as I knew them forever, not sick laying in a hospital bed (which my Grandpa is - as Hospice has been called in). None the less, I am VERY happy that my husband felt it was the right thing to do, we started checking online for tickets, Atlanta is never cheap to fly into - but we found some tickets and we booked our tickets. We were very thankful that Grandpa was still here to see us, and meet Sakura - his only Great Grandchild he hadn't met.

Sakura belted in and ready to take off - we left later in the day, so I was QUITE surprised that she lasted without a nap, and QUITE pleased that she was a PERFECT angel on the flight. We left Phoenix about 5:00 pm - and arrived in Atlanta about midnight after a nightmare on the jetway which delayed us over an hour. We could not have begged Sakura to be as good as she was for the entire flight. She slept about 2 hours, woke up and watched Lilo and Stitch. Since we got in so late and my Grandpa (and Dad) live about 2 hours from Atlanta, we opted for a hotel near the airport and just have Dad pick us up Sunday morning - which worked out perfect.

Sakura meeting her only Great Grandparent - we call him Great Papa, Sakura calls him "Big Papa" - not sure why, but that's what it is. He just lit up when we came into the room. Thankfully Sakura wasn't afraid of him, she even held his hand right away as you can see below.

Whenever I would ask Sakura about Big Papa, she would say "Big Papa night night" - he is tired.

We are lucky enough that both of my uncles live in Georgia, Uncle Joey actually lives with Big Papa, my Dad lives just down the walkway, and my Uncle Jeffy lives in Atlanta - I only have 2 cousins on my Dad's side, and luckily Crystal lives in Atlanta too - so we got to spend the day with would have only been better if Sky (my other cousin) was there at the same time, unfortunately she is coming next week, so we barely missed them :o(

When we got to the cabin, Crystal, Breanna and Austin (her kids) were outside and had found a turtle - my FAVORITE thing when I was growing up and went to visit my own Great Grandma was hunting for turtles in the woods with my Uncle's - so when we got there and they showed me the turtle, I almost started to cry, Sakura was experiencing all of the things I experienced growing up. It was almost surreal. Sakura thought the turtle was pretty neat, and every trip back to Big Papa's she looked (or talked) about the big turtle and where did he go? She didn't quite get that he was a wild turtle and didn't live there.

Checking out the woods with Uncles, Aunts and Cousins - along with Papa and Gramma Janie, Mommy and Daddy too.

Uncle Joey and Austin

Uncle Joey, Austin, Auntie Linda and Sakura - not sure if Sakura thought she'd put that turtle in her pocket or what she was doing - probably like her Mommy, she wanted to keep it and take him home on the airplane with her!?

Not sure what everyone was looking at, maybe Austin putting the turtle out of harms way.

Hands in your pockets

I have to say that I'm pretty lucky - I cannot even describe how good everyone was with Sakura, they were all VERY excited to finally meet her - I have the BEST Uncles and Aunt alive, they all played with Sakura and she took right to them, which was really a BIG surprise to me, as I had warned Gramma Janie to let everyone know how Sakura's personality is and that she takes FOREVER to warm up to new people, but she was SOOOOO incredibly good, I was probably more proud of her this week than ever before.

Having lunch with cousin Austin

Taking a ride in Papa's Kabota with Papa and Daddy

After lunch, Sakura was SO tired, she wouldn't lay down though - but finally fell asleep on me and I got her down on the bed for a pretty short, but much needed nap. While Sakura napped, Breanna, Austin and Gramma Janie went down to the creek for awhile - Breanna and Austin made Sakura her own "crossing" with rocks. Thankfully even though Crystal and Greg were ready to head home, they let the kids take us down and show us "Peyton Crossing". Breanna and Austin are SO sweet with Sakura - she loves them!!!

Peyton Crossing by Breanna and Austin

Breanna and Sakura at the crossing

Adding more rocks
This one

"Wook Mommy ... rock"

Bubbles with Gramma Janie

It was late and time to go and check into our room - which I have to say I LOVED! Serenity in the Mountains was the perfect home away from home, it was big and gorgeous!

Daddy and Sakura settled right in ... couch, recliner and TV - these two don't need much more to be comfortable.

Nice kitchen ... bedroom and HUGE bathroom - complete with washer and dryer, it was SO nice coming home with all clean clothes :)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Painted Piggies

Today I decided to paint piggies - Sakura's that Sakura also got her first band-aid for something other than shots at Dr.Amon's. She cut the top of her tie somehow.
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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Celebration of life for Wyatt and meeting cousin Laura

A few weeks ago we got a phone call early in the morning and it was Linda (Dean's sister) telling us that there had been an accident and their second cousin Wyatt was gone. We were shocked to say the least. Wyatt was a special young man and at only 24 years old he was gone far too soon .... I am confident that Wyatt was needed by God to take care of things that only he could manage. Wyatt was a thoughtful, caring, sweet guy - he was always there for his family, often caring for his Grandma - not a typical 24 year old guy, so I KNOW that God needed Wyatt.

Wyatt was a quiet, reserved young man and his parents knew that he wouldn't want the fuss of a funeral, so there were no services, but today in Yuba City they had a Celebration of Life for Wyatt. Since we couldn't go and be with our family, I asked my Mother Inlaw to make Wyatt's favorite wonton rolls and we celebrated here in his honor. This morning Dean, Sakura and I headed over to Bachan's to help make wonton rolls for Wyatt, today marked the day that Sakura took her 1st bike ride down to Bachan's house - (I have to figure out how to get the video off my phone and onto my computer to share). He so loved "Auntie Sachie's" wonton rolls and could tell whether she made them or someone else did, hers were always better according to Wyatt.

Busy making rolls.

After we finished, Sakura took an early nap, because we were very excited that my cousin Laura was coming to town to attend a bridal shower for her other cousin, and e-mailed asking if we would like to get together --- What a sweet nice surprise. To me, Family means a whole lot. We hadn't seen Laura since my Grandma passed away 5 years ago, so I was especially excited that she was coming and getting to meet Sakura. Laura was always around as I grew up, I remember the summer after she was born (in April) making the trip to Salinas to spend awhile taking care of her. I will never forget my trip there with my Grandparents who had a 5th wheel trailer, stopping at the RV parks along the way - some great memories. Then as Laura grew up, we were lucky enough to get to spend many summers in San Diego on the beach...far too many memories to name - so I was very excited that she asked if we had time to get together. That was the highlight of my otherwise dreary somber kind of day.

Here is Laura and Sakura --- Sakura being shy (of course!).

After lunch we headed back over to Bachan and Jiichans for our dinner with them Celebrating Wyatt.

Oishi!! Wonton rolls ready to eat!

Sakura's 1st wonton roll - Wyatt would be proud, she loved them!!!

Dancing "shake shake, waddle waddle"

Finishing off our day with ice cream!

We had another bit of sad news today, my Dad called to tell us that my Grandpa isn't doing so well - so we have purchased plane tickets and will fly out to Georgia (he lives in Ellijay) soon to visit - hoping that we make it to see him.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sakura ♥s Fresh Beat Band

Sakura really loves the Fresh Beat Band ... here she is showing us some of her moves. LOL!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fun at the Splash pad and park

It has been SO hot already - I just hate going out but I made a vow to try and take Sakura to do something fun every Friday, so this morning bright and early we headed to Friendship Park to check out the water splash pad - which was donated by the Japanese baseball team the Yakult Swallows - so it has an even more special meaning to us.

Here it is --- each of the figures does something different - the elephant sprays water out his trunk pretty hard so it makes a nice mist - the whale's back is a water slide, the sea lions spray water, and the dinosaur has a spout on his back that drizzles water.
Not bad, and it does keep one cool!

Sakura liked it and had fun as you can tell, I was pleasantly surprised that her swim suit from last year still fit - it's my favorite by far!!!

She did spot the park across the parking lot though - so we headed over for a bit, then went back to the water before heading home. We were there about an hour, and Sakura even with SPF 70 had nice tan lines when I changed her clothes!

I said "Sakura I can't see you", so she popped in and said "Here I am, I right here".

HI Mommy!

Big girl swing - they had the baby ones, but Sakura went straight to this one

It was a fun morning with my girl, after this we headed to lunch together.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Mema's Birthday and visiting with cousins

We headed to Mema's (Grandma) and Papa's house for the weekend to celebrate Mema's birthday. We were really lucky that David had been there for a couple of weeks and Matt let him stay so that we could see him, even though he was due to go home while we were there. Zakk also had a couple of days off work, so he came to visit - we were doubly blessed to get to see the boys for the weekend, along with Mema and Papa.

Sakura loves her cousins - She loves playing with David and this trip surprisingly enough Sakura took right to Zakk - he's usually the one she is "stand-offish" with. The boys are SO good with her. Zakk adores her, he waited a very long time for a cousin, and she's finally at an age where she plays - although he loved her even when she didn't. Zakk kept tickling Sakura and every time he would stop, Sakura would say "More Tickle". She loved it, and especially loved all of the attention she got from everyone. We are lucky that we have awesome nephews and nieces. We didn't do a whole lot, but spent some time shopping (alone .... ahhhhhh! While Mema got her "alone" time with Sakura which she likes), some Wii, and some swimming too, best of all was just spending time together watching the kids play - I think we all enjoyed that most.

Sakura's favorite Wii game - Wii Fit - the running, she would run all day and night to this game! Here she is with David running.

Swimming with Mema

There goes David ......

Sakura thought the boys and their cannon balls, jumps and swimming underwater were hysterical!

They're "Funny" she kept saying.

Swimming with the boys

Pretty girl

Swimming with Zakk

Taking a turn with Mommy ....

As you can see - she did better with the boys and Mema! Geez - what happened to "Head Lifeguard" and "Swim Instructor"? Guess that was a few years really I had bought a new "helper" (you can't even see it since it's underwater) - which didn't work out so well obviously - it is like a life vest except it has removable inserts that you can take out gradually as they learn to swim - apparently it doesn't work quite as I had anticipated. We took it off immediately. Sakura didn't cry and was only under for a split second, just long enough for Daddy to snap this apparently.

More running before we left with Zakk.