Friday, February 25, 2011

Yay, Spring!

All the trees are blossoming around town, and they look so pretty and springy. Here's the plum tree in our front yard.

It's rainy and cold today, and I'm staying inside enjoying it with the fireplace on. It might even snow tonight! I hope it does.

Here are some things I love about spring: my birthday, Easter, slightly warmer (but not too hot) weather, Cadburry Eggs, shopping for clothes that are my color, longer days, tax returns, father's and son's campout, and Mother's Day. What a great season.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

President's Day at Morro Bay

We went to a fun little museum on Monday that we'd never been to called the Museum of Natural History in Morro Bay. It was all hands-on science stuff, and my boys just loved it. They're already asking when we can go back. And Spencer said he especially liked that it wasn't annoyingly environmental, like these things tend to be. Kids under 16 are free, and adults are $3.

It's right next to the bird estuary at the end of the bay.

There were birds flying all around us, and the boys all got binoculars to use. There were also a bunch of stuffed birds and animals inside.

Spencer took this one. It's some kind of whale. I think he has an eye for composition, don't you? His pictures are so artistic and creative. Plus it has shallow depth-of-field and bokeh. Pioneer Woman would be proud.

I don't remember what he was pointing at, but I really like this picture. It's such a natural expression, and I like his reflection in the window.

They each got a worksheet when we arrived, and they had to find the answers throughout the museum. If they made any effort to fill it out, they got a free prize at the end.

Their prize: bird whistles! They were very excited, and the sound was so soft and pretty that it didn't annoy me to have 4 of them chirping.

This is down the hill from the museum. I love boat docks.

Afterwards we drove around the bay to hike at the Elfin Forest. The last time we went there was probably 2 kids ago and Spencer was the only one who remembered it. This is a perfect hike for little kids. It's short and easy and has pretty views and lots of different kinds of vegetation to see. Plus the name is super cute.

The boys would run on ahead while I kept stopping to taking pictures of flowers.
When they got to a bench or crossroads they'd stop and wait for me to catch up.
These are the perfect flowers for shallow depth-of-field.

There were lots of short trees (thus the name Elfin) covered with moss. Too bad we couldn't climb on them - we were supposed to stay on the path.

California poppy, our state flower. I love looking through the viewfinder, seeing nothing but blurriness, then turning the manual focus until a little flower pops into focus. It's so fun.

The hike winds around a hill and ends at a beautiful spot overlooking the estuary.

As you can see, Levi was pretty beat by this point. He even fell asleep on the way home, which is almost unheard of for him. He's getting a cold. Again.

Brennan started getting tired and lagging behind by the end, and I had to hold his hand to help him keep up. I love this picture of him walking slow and making truck noises.

It was a chilly, cloudy day, but at least it didn't rain. Afterwards we went to In-N-Out for dinner. It was a fun outing, and the boys (who started the day cranky that they had to do chores), thanked me profusely for my fun ideas. Sometimes we just need to get out of the house.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Rainy day

I took Brennan and Levi to the children's museum last week for something fun to do on a rainy day.
It was the first time Levi was old enough to actually play there, and he loved it. He especially liked all the balls (although he did NOT like the ball pit - he kept falling over and getting scared when he couldn't get back up).

He ran around like a man on a mission, picking up balls, putting them in those vacuum things, watching them go never got old, and he didn't want to leave.

Of course Brennan loves the part when the balls fall on them.

Once we were able to drag him away from the balls, he had fun doing other things too, like throwing play food on the floor and climbing on the firetruck.

Cute Valentine's craft Brennan made there.

Levi loves dogs these days, and he wasn't quite sure if this one was real or not.

Brennan loves this place too, although his favorite thing may have been using his Spiderman umbrella in the rain.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Capitals Vs. Sharks

Last night was the big game. Dave got off work early, and as soon as Spencer got home from school they packed their sandwiches and headed up to San Jose. Sorry the pictures are so grainy - they took my old camera, and I guess there wasn't enough light.

They were both SO excited about going. Spencer said he tried not to think about it at school because it would make him too anxious. It rained the whole way there, but they got there in plenty of time.

They got some boo's for their jerseys, and it got worse as the game went on. But they weren't the only Caps fans there. They saw a few other jerseys in the crowd. The Sharks won 3-2. The game ended at 10:00 and they were home by 12:30.

Someone gave Spencer this fun shark balloon hat during the game. He was so excited this morning, telling us all about the game. He said it was even better than he imagined, and they had a blast. Dave slept in.

I love the teeth.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Valentine's Day

We had a low-key Valentine's Day this year, since I was recovering from a stomach bug. But luckily we did most of our celebrating the week before. The boys had school parties on Friday, I made a couple batches of truffles (raspberry and almond), and we tried out a fancy new restaurant on date night (it's called Robert's, and I highly recommend it).

My boys LOVE this holiday. They started making their valentines on Monday, and they insisted on making their own (I guess they get that from me). Dallin found heart-shaped slinkies at the store, which was just perfect for him. He taped them onto paper hearts and doilies.

Tyler found a goofy heart-shaped face online to print, cut out and tape onto lollipops.

Spencer made paper airplanes with "You're just plane awesome!" printed on the wing. They were a huge hit.
For lunch I cut out heart-shaped sandwiches for the boys, who were off school for teacher in service. For dinner I made BBQ chicken and roasted potatoes. It's one of my family's favorite foods in the world. We exchanged cards and gave the boys little boxes of chocolates.

I framed this picture (which Brennan took) to give Dave. After dinner we drove around delivering truffles to home teaching families. I'm all back to normal now and enjoying Lindt chocolate from Dave.

Monday, February 14, 2011


My grandpa turned 90 last week! He had 30 friends over Friday night (Kristen's kids thought it was funny that he wanted a friend party), and we all went down Saturday for the family party. Both events were wonderful. He was happy and alert, and he especially enjoyed seeing everyone.

It took 3 people to get all 90 candles lit before they melted away.

Sing quick -they're melting!

Those 90-year old lungs are sure strong!

He did it!

I don't think there's a happier 90 year old in the world than my grandpa.

Happy birthday grandpa. We love you!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Better-than-average day at the beach

We went to the beach on Saturday because we hadn't gone in ages and because it was supposed to be a nice day there. It was warm (75-ish) and sunny and beautiful. And not very windy, which is unusual for this particular beach. In fact it's rarely this nice there in the summer.
The boys had fun skim-boarding, boogie boarding and body surfing. The waves were nice and calm.

I guess we should have brought a swimming suit for Levi, but we didn't think about it because he's never wanted to go near the water before. He was very interested in checking it out this time, so we took off his cordoroy pants and let him get his onesie all wet and sandy.

There's that scrunched up nose.

After awhile they turned their attention to the sand dunes. They ran up and down a bunch of times.

Tyler tried to sled down the dunes. It didn't work out too well.

Dave flew his trick kite.

Levi just watched us and played happily in the sand the whole time. He probably still has sand in his ears.

Dave and Spencer played frisbee.

They went back in the water one last time before we left. As you can see, Dallin's big teeth are coming it.

I love this place.

Playing with the manual focus to capture a lady bug.
This may be one of my favorite places. Afterwards we bought salt water taffy, and the 3 oldest boys spent recently earned money on ice cream and candy. Then we parked our car facing the bay while we ate our yummy treats. Like I said, better-than-average day at the beach.