Wednesday, October 29, 2014


We got back from Disneyland on Thursday night and I got sick on Friday.  I spent the day with a gross stomach bug and by Saturday I was feeling better and praying that Glenn wouldn't catch it too!  Saturday and Sunday we started packing up and making more distinct piles for our suitcases and eboxes.  We went to church on Sunday and Finny started threatening to throw up during Sacrament meeting so I had to take him home and miss our last two hours in our ward.  I was bummed as I had so many people I wanted to see and say goodbye to at church.  My good friend Heather came over after church and had dinner with us and helped us get more organized.  Finny had a fever by evening and Mom came over to sit by him while we ran all over the house gathering things for our ebox list to put in the dining room.  The movers were bringing our eboxes with them so all we could do was make piles until they arrived and we could start packing them the next morning.  
We had three categories of "shipments" we had to break all of our possessions into.  First, we were allowed two items of luggage per person on Luftansa and we had been told that taking dish barrel boxes (which are really just huge, sturdy, cardboard boxes) is the way to go for at least some of those since they can fit more than large luggage pieces.  So we decided to go with three large suitcases, one of which had everything we needed to get ready and dressed for the next few days, four big dish barrel boxes, and then have our computer packed really well in another box to bring on the plane as well.  Each piece of luggage or box had to be under 70 pounds so Glenn spent much of Sunday and Monday carefully packing and repacking and weighing each box to make sure we didn't have to do a last minute shuffle at the airport. 
Things we put in our suitcases or other airplane luggage included:
some toys and stuffed animals for the boys, our computer obviously, some snacks from home (fruit snacks, a few boxes of cereal, and some of their favorite candies which we may end up using for stocking stuffers and the like), the boys halloween costumes, some diapers, wipes, and swim diapers for Finn, our picture scriptures, some kids books for bed time stories, shoes and one week's worth of clothes for each of us, one jacket per boy, Tate's backpack and lunchbox, our camera and charger, 6 bottles of Trader Joe's Vanilla (which we were told we couldn't get over there because vanilla has alcohol and alcohol is prohibited in the Kingdom), Pregnancy meds, our vitamix blender, everything I need to get ready in the morning, our ipod stereo, razors, apple TV, all our DVDs (so none of them get confiscated because of the pictures on the cases, we removed them from their cases, put the DVDs in CD folders and shipped the cases separately), a few kids cups, plates, and bowls, a couple of our pots and pans, blu ray player, cookie sheet, magic jack and phone, VPN router (which disguises our location and makes it look like we're using the internet from the US so we can use US websites like netflix and also use our magic jack), swimming suits, pillows, sheets, and blankets so we could set up the boys beds and have them be comfortable and familiar.  We ended up throwing more things in last minute as we had extra room after everything on our list was packed.  Glenn did a fabulous job packing everything and hiding the contraband.
 Then we had 6 eboxes we could pack with up things that would arrive in an air shipment.  We're told that they would arrive in about 3 weeks.  Now that we're here, we're hearing that the shipping time varies greatly and could be more like 6 weeks.  Those boxes are pretty large and look like this when all packed up.
With these we again ended up having extra space and wished we had saved a few more things but our packers were such whirlwind packers that by the time we realized we had extra space, everything was already in boxes.  So instead of digging through every kitchen box to find our most desirable items (which, looking back would have been worth the effort), we just added a couple of kitchen boxes and a couple of toy boxes to our eboxes.  Our list of ebox necessities was: Christmas music, movies, books, and some decorations (hidden carefully in diaper boxes or under boxes of tampons in order to make them harder to find or at least make those inspecting our boxes uncomfortable), vacuum and microwave, all the boy's Christmas presents, all the clothes we need for the baby girls for the first three months, diapers for the babies for the first three months, bottles, baby sheets and blankets, and everything I need for the babies and myself post-partum, some of our favorite cereal (which it turns out we could have saved room for other food since the cereal selection here is just fine but other foods...not so much), our printer, family blog books so we'll have some family pictures and adventures to look at, hand mixer, rice cooker, wipes, waffle iron, pancake/panini griddle, pyrex pans, printer paper, extra clothes and shoes for everyone including "winter clothes" (long pants and long sleeved shirts and a couple of jackets), and some extra clothes and shoes for the boys to grow into.  We also ended up adding a lot more toys, Finn's bicycle, Tate's little scooter, and a few more boxes of misc. kitchen goods.  We were able to fit a LOT in those boxes and I'm SO excited for them to arrive.  I feel like with each shipment we get it will feel a little more like home around here.
The last category is the sea shipment which we were told would take about three months to arrive.  Once again, after we arrived and talked to people, it could be more like 4-5 months and varies a lot.  This is everything else we own.  All our furniture, toys, and everything else we own that didn't fit into an ebox.  
The movers arrived on Monday, gave us our eboxes and walked through the house with Glenn.  He gave them instructions about which things in which rooms to leave out so we could still sleep at home that night, and then they got to work really fast!  I dropped Finn off at Aunt Nancy's for my mom to take care of him since he was still threatening to throw up and I really didn't need that in the car on that day!  Tate and I took off to run a few errands.  We ran the cable box back to comcast and deposited all of my leftover cash and Tate's coin jar in our bank accounts since we'd have no more use for US cash!  Then we crashed at Aunt Nancy's for quiet time so we would be out of the way.  During quiet time I made a few phone calls to cancel a few more things that had to wait 'til the last minute and ran to three stores to try to find a magic jack since the one we had wasn't working when Glenn tried to set it up the night before.  Glenn handled everything at home and called me all the time with questions and updates.  It was a really busy day. Oh yeah, and we had roofers coming to work on the roof that day too.  It was crazy town.  The movers left in the early afternoon and by then our house looked like this: 
On Tuesday we stripped our beds as soon as we woke up and packed our bedding in vacuum bags to go in a dish barrel box.  I turned on a show for the boys while I helped Glenn get a few things done and then we took off to meet my mom at Kneaders for a yummy breakfast.  Then I took the boys to a park for a bit before we had to get back home so I could sign papers with our financial planner who was kind enough to come to our house!  Then we dropped the boys of with Kenzie at Aunt Nancy's house and Mom went with us to sell our cars at the Honda dealership.

 It was sad to clean everything out and say goodbye to our cars.  I love those cars.  They've been so good to us.  It did help a little bit to know that even if we hadn't been moving, we would have had to trade in at least one of them because neither of them can hold our new growing family.  It took three hours total for us to sign all the papers and get everything finalized and then Mom drove us back to Nancy's and mom and Glenn went back to our house to finish cleaning the house while I stayed with the boys.  It was so nice of mom to help Glenn finish up the house.  They made really quick work of it.    Here's some pictures of the chaos at the house.  Moving trucks, roofing trucks.
Stuff everywhere divided out into piles of different shipments.
Tuesday night we met Mom, Kenz, and the Garvins at Old Chicago in Southlands for Mom's birthday dinner.  It was late by the time poor mom and Glenn were done and got over there to eat with us but it was a delicious dinner and so nice to be able to be together to celebrate mom's birthday, even though it was a day early.  Mom's birthday was the following day.  The day we flew out.  Oopsies.  Poor timing on our part!
After dinner we went by a couple of dear friends' homes to say our last goodbyes.  It was hard and sad but I'm forever grateful for the dear friends we've made in the Southlands ward.  It is full to bursting with incredibly kind, loving, caring people who take care of each other and try so hard not to pass judgment or criticize.  I loved being a part of it for a few years.
We spent out last night in the states in the hotel at Southlands.  The kids were pretty tired and conked out fast.  Glenn and I didn't sleep great.
The next morning we woke up early, grabbed some food at the continental breakfast and drove to Aunt Nancy's house to drop the boys off.  Mom and Kenz watched them for a few hours while Glenn and I went downtown to sign closing papers on our house.  We were really lucky to have our house sell so quickly.  We had 2 great offers within a week of listing.  The one we accepted was from an LDS family with 5 kids.  They wrote us a letter telling us how much they loved the house and how much they wanted to take care of it for us, which was really sweet...and a teensy bit manipulative.
We signed papers on our wonderful home and got everything squared away for closing which won't take place until November 3rd, and then ran a couple more errands before heading back to Aunt Nancy's house to crash for a couple of hours.  The boys were so wired and happy.  Jumping from the couch and poof and chasing little Cinder around.  Glenn and I just vegged on the couch and too soon it was time to go.  We drove by our house and took a few last pictures and said goodbye.

It was sad to say goodbye to this place and this chapter of our lives.  We've loved living in CO so much.  I hope we can move back some day.  I'll miss so much about living here.  I'll miss the beautiful weather, the kind people, Tate's great school and sweet teacher, Mrs. Watkins.  I'll miss my friends and sweet young women in the ward.  I'll miss having so much to do so easily accessible to us.  All sorts of shopping just minutes away.  Great restaurants, movie theatres, museums and parks really close by.  It will be a huge adjustment to lose all of those conveniences. But it will also be an irreplaceable experience for our family.  So.  Off we go.  Adventure is out there!

Friday, October 24, 2014


Glenn and I decided that one more trip to Disneyland was in order once we decided that we were moving for sure.  Within a week of finding out our move date and getting our visas we got on the phone with my siblings to see if they wanted to come with us, and booked our trip to Disneyland.  It was one of the busier times we've gone but we were really out of options having so little time before we moved.  We flew out on Sunday, went to the park Monday through Wednesday, and flew home on Thursday.  Then we had less than a week before we were going to fly to Saudi the next Wednesday.  It was a whirlwind but I'm so glad that we made it happen one last time and that so many of my family members were able to join us.  It made for a fantastic farewell party.  
The night before our flights out to CA, Finny started throwing up.  He threw up all night and in the morning we tried to call to see if there was anything the airline could do to help us.  They informed us that we could change our flights but that it would cost more than 1,200 dollars once we'd paid all the fees.  So we decided to tough it out and we packed the kids up and hopped in the car.  Finn threw up once more on the way to the airport and then he slept through most of our trip and was feeling much better by that evening.  We traveled with a bowl and a big towel bib just in case but luckily he didn't throw up any more.  No fun at all, poor kid.  I'm so glad that he got feeling better quickly but I wish that we'd avoided the stomach bugs all together those last couple of weeks!
We all arrived Sunday night.  Everyone in my family was able to come except for poor Auntie Mallo who couldn't miss her field work and school.  We missed her and it felt like something we missing all week.  Hopefully it's not too long before we can make another trip and she can join us.
It was fun to be in the park at Halloween time.  The park was all decked out for Halloween and it looked incredible. 

They had Mickey's Halloween party a couple of nights that we were there but we decided not to fork out the extra $70 a ticket to play at the party so that meant that Disneyland closed on those nights at 6pm, which was fine with us. 
Our boys got spoiled by Auntie Aubry and Auntie Cami and we added two new Disney treats to our trip.  Aubry made all the cousins personalized autograph bags.  The boys are going to use theirs for trick-or-treating.  Finn's looks like R2D2 and Tate's looks like C3PO.  They are darling and so perfect for our boys.  They were so excited about collecting autographs this time around to decorate their bags.
And Auntie Cami gave each cousin a little container filled with pennies that they called their Disney Wishes.  They threw pennies in every fountain, stream, and pond that they found and made wishes.  The boys were in heaven and were entertained for good chunks of time throwing their pennies in the water.  It was really helpful for us too when we'd be eating near some sort of water and the kids would have something to do while we finished our meal.
The first thing we did on our first day was get Finny to Buzz Lightyear Astro Blaster, his very favorite ride.  He has truly been talking about it every day since our last trip and he loved it just as much this time.
I took Tate on Star Tours and then we got to ride Astro Orbiters with these cute teensy ones.
That Mister Hayze owns me.  His little smile is so sweet and his curly hair is beyond adorable.
And Miss Sadie's cute picture eyes get me every time.  All of my nieces and nephews are so tender and well-mannered.  My little ladies have quite a lot to live up to and will be a bit out of place if they are crazy wild monsters.
We split up for a bit after this and the big kids rode Space Mountain while the rest of us used my handicap pass to get on Nemo a little bit quicker.  The littles loved it.  I love this picture of our three littlest kiddos enchanted by the water scenes.

By afternoon we had to hit up Splash Mountain.  It was really warm in the late morning and early afternoon on this trip and getting a little wet sounded just right.  The kiddos took turns waiting in line to get some autographs while we rode the ride.
Tate and Mya rode Splash with us twice and while they were a little nervous to get in line, they both loved it by the end.  It was fun to take my big boy on big boy rides and have him enjoy himself. This picture is us on our second time with Tate and Mya.  They were much happier the second time around and the rest of us on the log had a great time riding together too.  I love my family.  We are just so fun.
We ended our night at California Adventure and had some yummy soup and sourdough bread bowls at our favorite spot on the pier.  Oh man, they are SO good!  Tons of food, way too much for me to finish.  Which is just fine with the kiddos because they get to throw my left over bread to the ducks waiting in the pond below.
The next morning we hit Disneyland again and met some of our favorites right inside the gate.  Finn was adorable with the characters. He was so happy to see them and he just lit up when they gave him five or hugs.  Tate was really excited about getting their autographs and watching how differently each one signed their names.

After getting some autographs we took off to ride small world.  I may have cried through most of the ride.  Thinking about how far away we're moving in just one week was a little overwhelming.

The ladies in front of Small World.
Aubry found this darling picture book on pinterest that had pictures at Disneyland for each letter of the alphabet.  That's just what we need.  A Disney alphabet book!  So we spent some time on our trip looking around for pictures that represent each letter of the alphabet so we can put our books together!  These are Wompa hats, for W.
Tate is obviously a huge Star Wars fan and has been talking about Jedi Training Academy since he saw the show last year.  This year he was ready to have a go at it.  He wore his Star Wars shirt, sat right in the front and jumped up and down so they would pick him...and they did!  It was a pretty small group of kids in this show too but he was lucky enough to get selected to participate and it was a trip highlight for sure.  The rest of the fam sat behind the railing and ended up being right behind Tate during his training.  It was awesome.
He got a little training robe and light saber.  They went through a bunch of move with the light saber all together.

And then Darth Vader and some storm troopers showed up and each kid got a turn to fight him.  Tate did great.  He was pretty stoic but afterward he told us he had so much fun.  What a cool memory for the little guy.
After the show we headed to adventureland to use our Indiana Jones fast passes.  Glenn was once again a master fast pass runner and even though we had a huge group we never waited in long lines.  We made good use of fast passes and stroller passes and I got a handicap pass for my stroller since I'm pregnant with twins (see, there are perks:) and that helped us get on a few rides that didn't have fast passes like Peter Pan.  It was pretty amazing that we could work it out to never wait in lines even though we had 15 people total in our group including all our littles.
While all the grown ups hit up Indiana Jones Glenn and I hit up Tarzan's Tree House with the little ones.  Tate got his souvenir after the Jedi Training Academy show.  He wanted a Mickey Mouse dressed up as a Jedi Pilot and he was SO thrilled with it.  He talked to it or about it for the rest of the day.  He kept telling us "This is just what I wished for yesterday with my Disney Wishes!"
Baby Abby was such a sweetie pie.  Whenever she got too tired she just crashed for a while in her stroller.  Disneyland makes for long days for our little ones, but they all handled the heat and long days so so well.  I love her curly dark hair and her amazing squishy cheeks.  What beautiful nieces I have.

Baby Hayze was just as sweet.  I love these little babies.  So happy and sweet.  Seriously, I never saw either of them throw a huge tantrum.  They got grumpy sometimes, but even those little tantrums seemed so mild and sweet that it kind of made me giggle.
After Adventureland we headed to meet the Frozen princesses.  Apparently this meet and greet is crazy popular.  You have to get a fast pass first thing in the morning and get a return time for much later in the day but those fast passes are gone after an hour or so and then no one else can get in all day long.  It's nuts.  Here's Ad, Cam, and Baby Abby waiting to see Elsa and Anna.  The little Olaf on the roof talked to us as we waited.  He was pretty silly and Finny just stared at him smiling this big goofy smile.
Elsa and Anna were so sweet to Finny and Tate.  Finn was a little shy and took a little bit to warm up but they were so darling with him.
And Tate just kept chatting away telling them about his Jedi Mickey and how he just fought Darth Vader.  It was so cute.
We had a yummy lunch at Village Haus.  It was the first time I've eaten there but I liked my food.  I'd go back.  Then we headed to Toon Town and waited in a long line to meet Mickey at his house.  I always get about 10 minutes into those character lines and think, "Is this worth it?  There are so many other things we could be doing with this time."  But the boys, especially Finn, loved meeting Mickey. Finn was so happy and it made the wait worth it.

After toon town we split up for a bit.  The Makechnie clan headed to California Adventure.  We shared some ice cream and put up our feet in the shade for a bit.  We (mostly Finn and I) needed a little down time to recoup.  The rest of the fam played for a bit more in Disneyland and then we met up in California Adventure a little later.  We took our boys to A Bugs Land for a bit and then we met up at Cars Land and took turns riding with the kiddos on Luigi's Flying Tires.

Here's Finny blowing me a kiss from across the ride.  So sweet.

And somewhere in there Finny had a spin on the junkyard jamboree with Glenn.  He had no fun at all, which you can clearly see.
Tate and Mya wanted a picture taken of them on top of a pile of tires, for the letter T, of course.
After a little while we headed over to Tower of Terror.
We watched the Pixar Parade which happened to be going by,
and then rode tower of terror.  I had to pass this year.  Aubry, our own personal Labor and Delivery expert advised against so I took some littles to Monsters Inc instead.  It was so fun to have so many family members there so we could swap taking care of each other's kids.  And it's a huge bonus that I have such darling nieces and nephew and I LOVE having a chance to spend some real time with them in one of my favorite places.
Here's all the littles except Hayzer getting ready for Toy Story Mania.
Poor Finny was conked out on the walk home to our hotel every night.  And he is such a sweaty hot kid that he had heat rash by the end of day one.  He had little speckles on his face and neck and must have been pretty miserable, but he handled it pretty well.
It was pretty great to have the kids so tired at night.  We'd throw them in the shower, get them in bed and read a little story and within a couple of minutes they were completely out.
Our last day we spent in California Adventure.  It was bliss.  Probably the least busy day of our trip and we played so hard.
We started the day at Soarin'.  One of our favorite rides.  Hayzer, Finn and Abby cakes stayed out with Cody and I.  I love these pictures of Hayze with his daddy.  He sure loves that big scratchy guy.  Mr. Hayze has such a sweet, gentle face.  What a doll.

Tate-o with his churro.  It's nearly impossible to say no to our kids in Disneyland.  They pretty much get whatever they want.
Tate rode on one of his new favorite rides, Goofy's sky school about 5 times with different adults. He was happy as a clam to just be able to walk right on with no line in the morning.  It was a great morning of being able to ride tons of things with no wait.
Finny got his souvenir of choice after a spin on Toy Story Mania.  His very own Buzz Lightyear blaster.  He spent the rest of the day shooting it and showing it to people.  It was the perfect souvenir for Finny and he was thrilled with it.
We decided to spend a bit of time in the afternoon chilling out in some shows and then playing at the Wilderness playground.  So we hit up Turtle Talk and Playhouse Disney and the Muppets show to catch some AC and sitting time.  Then Glenn took Finny over to Disneyland for a few more spins on Buzz Lightyear and the rest of us headed to the playground.  Some of the kiddos conked out.
Some got some wiggles out.

It was the perfect little break for them.  After Glenn got back the big kids went on the Grizzly River Rapids.  Tate loved it and wanted to go again right away but the line was super long so we had to pass.  We stopped for dinner one last time at our favorite soup and bread bowl place and let the kids throw pennies and bread at the ducks.  Then we split up again.  Mom and Dad had to take off to run some errands.  Cody took Hayzer home for sleepin.  And the rest of us went to ride Radiator Springs Racers which is so spectacular at night.  I took Finny to meet Mater and to ride Junkyard Jamboree while we waited for them.  
We met up again at our World of Color section to see the show together.  It was so beautiful.  Finn eventually fell asleep and we got pretty tired holding Tate so he could see, but man it was a great show.  I love the music, the stories, and the incredible feeling of seeing something so beautiful and made just for families to enjoy together.  I hope our little guys will have lasting memories of this trip we took with so many cousins and Aunts and Uncles and Gramma and Grampa who came to play with us before we move away.  I think it was the perfect little family reunion before we left and I'm so grateful we were able to make it happen.  Even though it was hot and busy and I'm an exhausted, pregnant mess, I still LOVED that we were able to go on this trip right now with my family.  What a great time we had.  Thanks everyone for coming to play with us!!!  We miss you so much already!