Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Aquarium at Monterey Bay

If you think this posting looks familiar, that's because I posted it once already. I decided to try to get organized on here by labeling my posts, but when I tried to delete the wrong label I had given this entry it deleted the whole thing. And it apparently deleted another older post, and I have no idea what that was on. By 11pm last night I was about to chuck this whole computer at the wall. After several attempts today and a few ignored children later, I was able to post this one again. The other one is long gone, I just have to deal. So to recap...

We were supposed to go to the mountains in Tahoe last week for ski week, but there was a huge snowstorm that hit, and we are unskilled in the ways of driving in snow. So much so that it kept us from attempting to drive up. So plan B went into effect. We rented a room at the Clarion because it had an indoor heated pool. The next day we spent the whole afternoon at the Aquarium. It was so much fun that I wasn't as bummed about missing out on the snow.

Hannah showed no interest in the water. She wasn't scared, or excited. Tobie and Emma are my water babies, and Miriam has always been a little afraid of it. Hannah on the other hand kept this poker face the whole time she was in the water.

This was Hannah's favorite part of the trip!

At the touch pools.

They had a corridor with glass walls and a glass roof that they would dump a lot of water over and it would spill into the tide pools behind the kids so you could actually see what it looks like when the tide comes in. Theo got a good first reaction from the kids when the water came down.
Emma was NOT in the picture mood. She kept getting mad at Theo when he would try to take her picture. This is my favorite, and every time she sees it she gets mad at us.

The jellyfish were my favorite!
At the shark tanks.
Those guys in the background were cleaning the bottom of the tank. They were wearing these wetsuits made out of iron mesh and there were 3 of them. One was cleaning the bottom and the other two had poking sticks and protecting the guy cleaning.
That's a big tuna!
The penguins were last and it was actually the one thing that kept the kids moving. I don't know why the idea of seeing the penguins was so fascinating to them, but it kept them going so I wasn't complaining. When we got there I think they spent about the same amount of time there as with any other exhibit.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Family Home Evening

In my faith we have Family Home Evening every Monday night. FHE (as it is condensed to) is a night where the family gathers together and sings songs, play games, have a short spiritual lesson and then of course...dessert! I grew up in a family of 7 kids and my parents were really good with keeping up with it, pretty much every Monday night. Now that I have little ones of my own I have a new found respect for the weekly night ritual.

Regardless of how difficult it is to get my kids to sit still, stop jumping on the couch, stop fighting with one another, stop jumping on me while I'm trying to give the lesson, FHE is something that I have a strong testimony of. One Monday night when I was younger and living in Mobile, Alabama we started FHE with a thunderstorm looming above. In the middle of our lesson our power went out. We got the flashlights and turned on the radio to listen to the weather report. They were saying there was a tornado in the area where we lived. We watched outside as the lighting flashed so bright and long it was like someone turned a huge light on above us for a few seconds then turned it back off again. We opened the windows in case there was a tornado our windows wouldn't shatter against the pressure. We finished as much of our FHE as we could and said our prayers. Going to bed was not easy to do for me and I was still a bit shaken from the whole experience.

The next morning when we woke, we walked outside our front door which faces the fences of houses that sit on a street perpendicular to ours. There was a straight path of destruction which went to the other side of the neighborhood. Then when we looked into our backyard, the fence that seperated us from our neighbors was completely demolished. There was a tornado, and it was in my backyard. Apparently it jumped over our house and then continued straight destroying all the fences in it's path. There were some damages done on some of the other houses, but our house was untouched.

That was and always will be my testament that FHE is ordained of God and that because we were doing the right thing we were blessed for it. So even though I just want to pull my hair out after FHE with my little "tornadoes" (they have even brought me to tears on more than one occasion) I will never give up on holding FHE. Who knows, maybe I'll be blest with reverent perfect children who remain enthralled at every gospel principle I discuss......maybe not, but I can still hope!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

And we are being transferred to....

(Bienville Square)
We consider ourselves so blessed to be able to go back home for awhile. We've missed family and friends and just the charm of the South.
The hard part about military life is making friends and leaving them. Even though I don't think California is one of those places I would want to spend the rest of my life in, I have made some wonderful friends whom I will miss terribly.
On the up side I can hardly wait to be with my parents and siblings and for my kids to experience living near their cousins and Grandparents. In fact no one in my family has even met Hannah! As we prepare ourselves for this wonderful change all I can say is,
"Mama, I'm comin' home!"

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Funny Valentine

This year our Valentine plans didn't really take off. I had the perfect date night thought up of seeing 'Wicked' at the Orpheum Theater in San Fransisco and then eating at some fancy-schmancy restaurant. But we just couldn't get our plans to solidify. Also with a nursing baby it may have been too hard to pull off anyway. So we ended up just going out to eat and then doing some light shopping with baby in tow, with a 7pm curfew. I was a little underwhelmed, but as I try not to be too disappointed I began to reminisce about Theo and my very first Valentine's together.

We hadn't been married a year when we celebrated our first Valentine's together. Theo was working at a fancy restaurant, Aubergine's in downtown Fairhope, Alabama and I was working for a Disability lawyer in Mobile. I believe he had that day off, because he was home when I arrived there and had made me a romantic dinner of stuffed pork tenderloin. I had flowers and candlelight. It was very romantic! At least for a few hours. I woke up in the middle of the night and just started puking my guts out and I couldn't stop. Once it began to feel as if my innards were going to be extracted I decided that I needed to go to the hospital. They hooked me up to pain medicine and an IV to rehydrate me. I had been struck with food poisoning. Theo got sick to, but he threw up once and he was just fine.

As I lay there on the bed I dozed in and out of consciousness I thought I was back home, then I imagined my black cat laying on the bed and jumping off slinking off under the hospital curtain. It was a weird sensation with crazy incoherent thoughts mixed with deep sleeping. Theo stayed with me the whole time, and within hours I was feeling well enough to go home.

So even though this year was a little less than what I would have liked, it is such a sentimental memory that I wouldn't trade for all the 'Wicked' tickets in the world.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My Pink Lady

I have been so giddy as of Saturday. Call me weird, but I get so excited when I get new appliances. This is my new pink Dyson vacuum cleaner and can I just say this is the coolest thing ever! I used to have a Rainbow vacuum and it was really great also. You just have to fill it up with water every time you use it. So say your kid drops a bowl of goldfish on the carpet, you pick up all the fish but those crumbs are still there. Well instead of just pulling out the vacuum and sucking them up quickly you have to fill it up with quite a bit of water, then vacuum, then dump the water. You don't want that stuff to sit in there, gross, and it can ruin the vacuum. So...after almost 9 years of doing this I just wanted a cleaner that I could pull out of the closet vacuum what needs to be vacuumed and then neatly put it away. It's a pure dream being able to just bring it out when I need it and then put it away without having to empty it out after each use. (Notice the dirt and animal fur completely contained.)
My Mom even wonders where I'm really from with all the excitement I have for my appliances. She hated getting anything that had to do with working and/or cleaning for gifts. One year my Dad got her some pink ice earrings and then hid them in a blender, wrapped it up and gave it to her for her birthday. She was so mad when she saw the blender, but us kids were in on the secret and kept insisting that we open it up and make milkshakes for the occasion. We quickly took it out of the box so she would see there was a smaller package inside before she really lost it. Once she opened it and found the earrings all was well, and we laughed it off and drank milkshakes. I, on the other hand, could hardly wait to get home while visiting my family in Mobile because I knew my new washer and dryer were waiting on me. Then one Christmas I asked for a KitchenAid Mixer. I'm not a jewelry person I guess. Although some of these things cost just as much!
The next item on my wish list is a new dining table set, which I don't think I will be getting until we transfer this summer. I can hardly wait for that now!

Friday, February 6, 2009

The blanket from Hades!

A Bunco friend of mine is expecgting her first baby next month and had her baby shower last week. She asked for things that are absolutely necessary for a mom to have. The one thing that I absolutely can't be without is my baby blankets. I love these blankets, I have made one for almost all my kids. (Miriam got one from a friend as a gift so I didn't make one, although I should just for sentimental value.) They are just the right size and super easy to make...that is until I used a different fabric that I have never experimented with before.
The green on this blanket is that really fuzzy soft material. Her theme was Dr. Suess and I just loved the richness of it. The problem was the fabric is stretchy. I pinned this blanket at least 4 times trying to get it not to pucker when I started sewing. I was so frustrated with it that I didn't go to the party, that and my kids just started breaking out with pink eye. (fun, fun!) But I did manage to get it done before Bunco this past Wednesday and before pulling all my hair out in frustration trying to make it work.
I am so happy with the way it worked out. I love it so much I would love to make more blankets like this now that I know how to work with this material. But not anytime soon! =)