Imagine what you could do if you knew you could not fail.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Athena's Creation

Yesterday Athena and Samantha got up and started playing with play dough. Athena was pretty proud of her creation and I think it's really cute.

In case you can't tell, it is supposed to be Mike Wazowski from the movie Monsters, Inc.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Aquarium of the Pacific

On Monday we drove to Long Beach to visit the Aquarium of the Pacific. It was fun for Jeremy and I to drive down there because the aquarium is right next to the shipyards, the Queen Mary, and the dock for all the cruises that leave from that port. This is where we came when we went on our cruise. It brought back a lot of good memories.

We were going to meet my family with all the cousins here at the aquarium and we ended up waiting outside for awhile. We just took some time to walk around the area and look at different things. Here is Nathan standing by the railing overlooking part of the bay.
When we finally went in the kids were pretty excited. The tanks at this aquarium are huge, from floor to ceiling! I don't think our kids had ever seen so many fish so close up before. They were all mesmerized.

Alexandra especially loved looking at the fish. She walked right up to the big tank and just pressed her face against the glass and didn't move. You could just see her head going back and forth as she would focus on different fish swimming past her.

Nathan is looking at a sea bass in this picture. I wanted to get a picture of this because this is the fish that I saw when we were snorkeling in Mexico. I didn't know what it was at the time, but it was so big to me! I hurried and swam the other way. When we came to the aquarium I recognized this as being the same fish.

I don't know what Athena is doing, probably waiting to get in a quick shove. Nathan and Alexandra are really enjoying this tank of fish.

The jellyfish at the aquarium were all really pretty. They look so peaceful and full of grace as they glide up and down in the water. There were so many different kinds of jellyfish to look at.

We also stopped and watched the sea otters for awhile. These are fun to watch because they are very playful. They were coming down and looking out at us from their side of the glass. When you would do circles around the glass with your hand, they would follow your hand and do flips. Very entertaining.
After watching the sea otters, we headed out to the shark lagoon where you can actually pet the sharks and sting rays. This is the sting ray we touched the most. Jeremy is feeling it in this picture. The sides of it felt slimy, but the middle of it felt like a net, or sandpaper.

At first the kids were apprehensive about touching the sharks and sting rays, but they soon caught on and touched just about all of them.

This sting ray was massive. I had no idea they could get so big! This one was in the pool with the big sharks. You can see a shark swimming above it in the water. The sign said that this sting ray measures 5 feet wide, 14 feet long, and weighs 300 pounds! I'd hate to encounter that in the ocean!

We also went to a window where you can see underwater in the big shark exhibit. We watched the big sharks for a long time. It's fascinating to see them all up close.

Samantha looks a little worried!

This shark was the meanest-looking one in the tank.

While we were there it was time to feed the sharks. We got to watch the workers feed the sharks. It wasn't quite the frenzy I expected. The workers just lowered pieces of fish one at a time and you could see the sharks come and eat the fish.

After watching the sharks, we headed over to see this little show that was put on by the aquarium. They asked for volunteers and Nathan and Samantha got picked to go up. The show was really pretty lame. The only fun part for me was watching our kids up there. It was about keeping our oceans clean. Nathan got to dress up as a crab.

Samantha was dressed up as a sea otter, I think. I kept thinking she was a lobster, but Jeremy corrected me. Nathan and Samantha both did really well with their little parts in the play. I am surprised at how well Nathan does with stuff like that. He does exactly as he is told when other people are working with him. What a good little kid!

The aquarium also has an exhibit of Lorkeets. They are a tropical bird and you can buy nectar to feed them.

There were tons of these birds and they would come right up to you if you had nectar. We didn't opt to buy nectar. This bird wasn't happy with Jeremy not giving him food, so it kept on pecking at him.

Then a kid came along with nectar and the bird immediately turned around and started eating.

Moving on . . . here are Samantha and Athena putting their hands into this touch pool that is filled with sea stars, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, and sea anemones. It was fun to feel all of those different things. I thought the sea cucumbers felt really gross, just kind of gooey. The sea anemones were fun to touch - they felt sticky and kind of grabbed onto my fingers.

The girls obeyed the instructions very well about only using 2 fingers to touch with. Here they are using that technique to feel the sea life.

We did stop and watch a fun show with seals and sea otters where they talk about them and the animals did tricks. Unfortunately we didn't take a single picture of that show, but for the record, we really liked it. :)
Samantha is posing in front of the shark pool again. We visited it several times because the kids loved to touch the sharks.

These remind me of the creatures in The Little Mermaid. They are little eels poking their heads out of this rock.

I thought this next one was the creepiest of all the sea life we looked at. It is a giant spider crab. It looks like a spider, but it's a crab, and it's HUGE! You can't really tell by the picture, but this crab was at least 2 1/2 feet wide. EEPS!

Finally, by the end of our time at the aquarium, we were so tired we wanted to just sit. We found this huge tank and just sat down to let the kids watch for awhile.

There were 4 divers in this tank. I think they were in there to do some cleaning. The divers were cute with the kids. They were coming up to the glass and giving high fives and waving at us. Nathan really got a kick out of the divers and he was following them from side to side.

Alexandra was ready to go by the end. She mostly just enjoyed climbing the stairs when we sat down for awhile.

Our last good sight - the kids finally got to see a sea turtle swimming in the water. Samantha and Nathan turned around just as it came swimming around the corner. Cool!

I'm glad we brought the kids here, but I don't think I would pay to go to this aquarium again. It was fun for the kids to see all that stuff, but for the price I don't think it was worth it. I felt like once you got in there they nickeled and dimed you to death. You had to pay extra to see the movies they offered, pay to feed the birds, the drinks in the park were $3.75 for a 20-ounce, etc etc. Other than those downsides, we had a pretty good time.

Sunday at Cynthia's

I still have a lot to write about our trip and lots of pictures to share.

The Sunday of our trip we went to Cynthia's church. My sisters and I sang "The Lord is My Shepherd" for her ward. I guess that's our signature song now because we sing it so often. My` family and all of my sister's families then attended the rest of Cynthia's church meetings. It was kind of nice to be there with family. A lady in Relief Society made a funny comment about us being there. She said that it looked like there were just a bunch of Cynthias in the ward that day because we all look and act so similar.

After church we all went over to Cynthia's house for the afternoon and just enjoyed each other's company. I think there were about 25 of us, so it was a pretty packed house, but the kids loved playing with their cousins and having some "downtime" for the day.

It also turned out that we celebrated Paige's birthday while we were all together. Cynthia is working on starting her own cake decorating business and has been practicing making all kinds of fancy and delicious cakes. She made a cake for Paige that was big enough for everyone to get a piece and it was really tasty! Here is Paige blowing out her candles while Athena and Nathan look on.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Family Home Evening Meeting Notes

Here are the meeting notes from our Family Home Evening tonight.

6:30 - Call for everyone to gather in living room for family home evening
6:31 - I hold Nathan while he whines about having to sit still
6:33 - Nathan disappears out of the living room
6:34 - Jeremy appears in living room, asks where Nathan is, I don't know where he went. Jeremy goes searching
6:35 - Jeremy yells out back door for Nathan to get back in here for FHE
6:36 - Jeremy threatens to lock Nathan out if he doesn't get in here for FHE
6:37 - Jeremy goes and gets Nathan and brings him in. Jeremy and I work on settling things down while Nathan and Alexandra fight to sit on my lap
6:40 - We begin with a family prayer
6:41 - Announce the opening song, "Wise Man and the Foolish Man". Start singing song.
6:42 - Samantha refuses to sing because we are singing it wrong - the other verse comes first. We insist we are singing it right. Athena offers to look it up in the book. Jeremy says that for tonight we are singing it this way no matter what.
6:43 - Sing song the way we are singing it
6:45 - Athena teaches lesson about Christ being the rock for our foundation. I try to keep Nathan and Alexandra calm for 3 minutes while they wrestle over who is going to be on my lap.
6:48 - Athena finishes lesson. Jeremy gives me a primary song about faith to play on piano while family sings nicely.
6:49 - I play prelude while Nathan runs out of room, Jeremy chases him down, and Samantha leaves room because she doesn't know this song.
6:50 - Jeremy comes back into room holding Nathan down (Nathan is screaming) and Jeremy moves Samantha in front of piano so she can read the words. Jeremy pulls Alexandra off piano bench.
6:51 - I play prelude again. Samantha gets mad that she still doesn't know this song. I finish prelude and everyone just sits there while Nathan fusses on the couch.
6:52 - I insist that I am not playing prelude again and when everyone is ready I will play
6:53 - Everyone SEEMS ready, so we take a big breath and Jeremy and Athena start singing when I play
6:54 - 1/3 of the way through the song, Jeremy chases Nathan out of the room
6:55 - 1/2 of the way through the song, Athena starts dancing in place and saying she MUST use the bathroom. 3/4 of the way through the song Samantha says, "I can't read the words, you are going too fast!"
6:56 - song is done. Jeremy has brought Nathan back in to play the FHE game. Athena announces we are going to play Rock, Paper, Scissors. I pull Alexandra off the piano bench.
6:57 - Athena and Samantha start off the competition by engaging in a friendly game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. Samantha wins 4 out of 7. Athena has a fit because she doesn't want to be out of the game.
6:58 - Nathan beats me in Rock, Paper, Scissors.
6:59 - We have a showdown and Samantha wins the whole competition. I pull Alexandra off the piano bench.
7:00 - I help Nathan say the closing prayer and we all split.

Does this sound familiar to anyone??? Or are we the only family that is conducting business like this on a Monday night. I'm not going to give up on having Family Home Evening, but sometimes it is such a circus that you just have to throw your arms in the air and say, "Is it worth it?" I told Jeremy, there is probably some comfort in knowing that in at least 1/2 of the homes in our neighborhood, this is going on at the exact same time in each of those homes.

I did make brownies for dessert and I'm sure that we will all have a happy moment together while we fill our bellies with fatty chocolate. Then I'll go work out. Hmph!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Beach Reunion

On Saturday we had our family reunion at Huntington Beach. Jeremy and I took so many pictures, so this post will be a little tribute to all the fun we had at the beach. I actually scaled down the photos from 39 to 22. What's left is what "made the cut".

When we arrived at the beach no one else was there yet, so we just walked around and kind of looked around a little for a spot. Cynthia was wanting a fire pit, but the beach was so busy that there were none available. Jeremy managed to save the day. He looked over and noticed a guy by a fire pit who looked like he was putting things away and gathering his stuff. Jeremy ran over there quickly and asked him if he was leaving and if we could have that spot. The guy didn't speak much English and it took a little bit of charades. Finally they came to the conclusion that yes, the guy was leaving, and yes Jeremy could have that spot. YAY! We started to set up immediately in case someone else tried to take our spot.

This is the beginning of the setup.
The kids wasted no time in pulling out the toys and putting them to good use in the sand.

As more people arrived, our little set up grew and expanded and grew and expanded.

Everyone worked to get supplies to the spot. Robert is making good use of his muscles here.

From the look on Samantha's face, she wasn't quite expecting the flavor she received from the veggie dip.

Here is what we liked to refer to as our "tent city". We ended up with tons of umbrellas, chairs, and stuff everywhere. It turned out really nice to have so many places for everyone to be and so much shade too.

Athena and Samantha really loved being by the water on this trip. Unfortunately our tent city was a looooong walk from the water's edge, so once you took the walk you were committed to be there for quite awhile. If you took the walk back to our little city, you were committed to stay in the shade witha chair for awhile. The girls took advantage of being at the water any chance they got when adults were travelling there.

Nathan enjoyed running from the water. He spent a couple hours running from the waves. Endless fun.

Alexandra didn't like it so much. The water was too cold for her liking. It was too cold for my liking too. I'm content to sit and watch the water and listen to the waves for hours.

Samantha liked to fill her bucket with water and come dump it on the sand. Illustrated below:

Although Alexandra didn't like the water, she did LOVE the sand. She was covered from head to toe in sand for most of the day. In this picture her leg almost blends in with the beach. You can't tell where one begins and the other ends because she is so dirty.

Check out her eyes too. I couldn't keep the sand out of her eyes. I'd clean them off and she would rub them again with her super sandy hands. It must be so difficult to be a baby.

Nathan is so cute marching in the water. He just had a blast all day long. Out in the water is Denise, Robert, Jeremy, and Jacob. A lot of the men, including Jeremy, spent a couple hours together boogie boarding.

More stuff to do. Dig, and dig, and dig, and dig, and dig. Go get water. Dig, and dig, and dig.

I love the beach. It's constant entertainment and very relaxing. I like this picture because almost everyone deserted the tent city and came to the water all at once. I captured many of my family in this photo.

This is Hailey. She is a real cheeser and loved to hang around me as I sat and took pictures. She was being really cute. :)

Pictures, everyone? Smile, now you smile.

We went back to the tent city for lunch - yummy grilled hamburgers and hotdogs - and the kids just kept right on digging.

One of Alexandra's favorite things to eat at the fire pit was charcoal. I couldn't keep it out of her mouth! There were little pieces of it all around buried in the sand and I think she managed to find at least 1/2 of what was there and try to eat it.

The 2 pregnant sisters here are braving the heat and the elements.

More action in the tent city.

We all had a very fun day here with our family. Thank you Cynthia for putting on such a great family reunion and making sure everything was taken care of. You did a wonderful job and we created many fun memories!
Related Posts with Thumbnails