Times and Sorensens

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Baptism Day

The main event of our trip was Joshua's baptism on Saturday July 31st, 2011. Joshua turned 8 back in March but I had just had Caden and wasn't up to putting on a baptism so soon after delivery (I know my limits). Jake and I had already been planning a trip down to California for the summer and we knew that if we held off for just a bit longer we would be able to share the baptism with our families. I'm so glad we did. It was a really special day and we ended up being able to do a double baptism with Joshua's cousin Esther.

The baptism took place at a special location for us, on the grounds of the Oakland Temple at the Interstake Center. This is where Jake went to church growing up but he didn't get to be baptized in the baptistry there since it was under renovations when he turned 8 years old. He felt it was meaningful for him to be able to baptize Joshua there.

We are so thankful for all the family members who were able to be there, I believe 34 of us in all. It meant so much to us to be able to share it with everyone and I had a really sweet feeling with me all that day. We had planned and prepared for this event for so long and it really was a dream come true that we pulled it off and made it all work and got our oldest son baptized!

About the pictures...I'll just let you figure out what was going on and we didn't get the large group shot because the person with all the cameras put ours in her pocket and forgot about it!

What's not to love about this one :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

John's Birthday BBQ at Coyote Hills

The whole family got together for a BBQ at Coyote Hills, the second of our East Bay Regional Parks destinations. It was a great place. To make things more fun we celebrated our brother John's birthday that was coming up. His being a summer birthday it feels like we've gotten to celebrate with him before. Our sister-in-law Cami's parents had driven out from Utah and were able to be there with us too which was really nice. All in all a great time for everyone.

These cousins ran around lots and lots together. There was so much open space for them to explore

This was when we were singing "Happy Birthday." John is flanked by two of his three sweet girls. Sorry the cake is hidden behind a tub of wet wipes. It was delicious and sported "Giant's Orange" in John's honor (that was Jake's idea):

Coyote Hills had a really pretty butterfly garden we loved exploring. It felt like a quiet, secluded sanctuary and I would love to go back sometime. Here's Lucas on this cute butterfly bench that was in front of it. He wanted it to look like he had wings!

Crown Beach in Alameda

Our kids were way excited to find out we were going to the beach. We went with lots of my family and made an afternoon of it. Crown Beach is a great beach that is really more of a bay. It had teeny little waves, which is a plus in my book. It was the first of several of the East Bay Regional Parks we ended up visiting on this trip. I never really appreciated this park system when I was growing up there, but we sure took advantage of what it has to offer on this trip.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Jelly Belly

Our first tourist destination in the Bay Area was the Jelly Belly Factory. Turns out it's not far at all from where I grew up but I don't think it opened up for tours until after I left for college. We had never been and we really wanted to take our kids there. I didn't get many pictures at all. These are pretty much the only ones. It was not a happy place for me but here is proof we were there and you get to see Daniel's cool moves.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mt. Shasta Memoirs

The drive down from Oregon through northern California is gorgeous. Everything is green and picturesque until about the time you hit Redding and then it just turns into the dry brown landscape that typifies much of the rest of the state. I guess I've really acclimated to the scenery in the Pacific Northwest because the sudden change was jarring and my once golden, rolling hills just felt hot and dusty. Kind of sad!
But before you get to that point you get to drive through Shasta country which is so so beautiful and carries some very meaningful childhood memories for me. When I was a kid I was invited by my friend Lorelei and her family to climb Mt. Shasta two times. I think I was around the ages of 9 and 11 and even though we were so young, we actually did some serious climbing. We didn't make the summit either time, but on the second trip two members of our group did. Granted, they were college boys (students of Lorelei's dad's), but we were all pretty jealous because they got to sign a book at the top and we had so wanted to do that.One of the most miserable nights of my life was spent at "Lake Helen," a frozen ice field (with no lake in sight, oddly enough) that marks the halfway point up the mountain. It features an open-air toilet and a view at such a height that you can actually see the curve of the earth on a totally clear day. It is nothing short of spectacular.

During the day on our way up to Lake Helen we had been hiking pretty hard and my legs got really sunburned up at that altitude. When we set up camp it turned out my sleeping bag wasn't nearly thick enough to insulate me from the snow pack underneath. I ended up totally freezing but my legs felt like they were on fire and I remember writhing all through the night. The hardships of a young adventurer!Even though it's been over 20 years since I've seen her, Shasta looks just the same as I remember. It was so good to get reacquainted. She is impressive and my pictures snapped from the highway as we drove past do her no justice.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Medford, OR Temple

After driving up north for the wedding in Seattle we turned around and headed in the opposite direction for the Bay Area. We were having some car trouble which forced a longer stopover than we had planned on at our house. Fortunately Jake found a great mechanic who was open early Monday morning and was able to see us first thing. It was such an answer to our prayers that it was a quick and easy (and inexpensive!) fix. It did mean that we weren't able to get on the road until later in the day than we had wanted, so we just drove as much as we could and stopped in Medford (right on the OR/CA border) for the night.

We figured as long as we were in Medford it would be nice to visit their temple before we took off the next morning. It was closed since it was a Monday (and I think because it's a mini-temple they have limited hours anyway) and we were the only ones there. We had a nice little visit and here are some pics:

Daniel is staring longingly after a balloon he had been playing with in the car that somehow escaped from him once we got out. I could feel his hopelessness and it struck me as cute/sad. Don't worry, we had plenty more in the car!

Lucas getting some of that 2-year-old energy out! He ran that whole length of grass (you can only see about a third of it in this picture):

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Alec and Meg's Wedding!

Our summer travels began with a trip up to Seattle for Jake's brother Alec's wedding. Congratulations to the happy couple!

These are about the only half-decent pictures I got. It seemed my arms were always too full to juggle the camera, but I'm not sure why because I had plenty of help with the kids. Puzzling. Anyway, Erin was able to get lots of great pics so I'll refer you to her blog for more in-depth coverage of the big day.

Here's a really sweet picture of Jayne with Caden at the BBQ the night before where we got to meet Meg's great family:

A couple of sleepyheads the morning of the wedding: