Thursday, December 18, 2014

Rock climbing at Cabrillo

We went rock climbing back in October. I had to get some supplies at the shell shop in Morro Bay for a church craft day, so we figured we'd make a family outing of it. 

It wasn't too hot when we got there because there was a little bit of shade. But that shade quickly disappeared, and it got toasty! That was a surprise, since it's usually so cool by the bay.

Dave set up 2 ropes, and each rope could do a couple of different climbs. 

We had 4 belayers (me, Dave, Spencer and Nathan), so everyone got to do 2 climbs. 

This was Levi's 2nd time rock climbing. He was so excited! 

He went a lot higher this time, but he still needed Dallin's help getting down. That's the scary part!

Spencer zoomed up the crack so fast I almost didn't get a picture.  

This was Brennan's 3rd time rock climbing, and he made it all the way to the top!!! Woohoo!!

He did great repelling back down, too. 

We attached the GoPro to their arms for some fun shots.

Peter took his Walkie Talkies, and he and Dallin had fun chatting to each other from the rock.

This was Eric's first time rock climbing! I thought for sure he had gone with us one other time, but apparently not. He later told his mom is was pretty much the best day ever. I think he liked it!!

He got a little stuck, but Dallin talked him through it.

They had to do some cool maneuvers to get up this one.

Way to go Tyler!

Dallin's turn on the crack. 

He got up too!

Luke did awesome going up! He kept asking if he had climbed higher than Levi. Then he realized just how high he was and got very nervous. We could not convince him to lean away from the rock to repel back down, so Dave had to go retrieve him.

Then the older boys did the harder of the 2 climbs from this rope. I got some great pictures!

This is my favorite!

Jacob did great! He and Tyler both earned the rock climbing merit badge at scout camp last summer. 

Finally it was Dave and Nathan's turn. They both got to the top! This is such a great family activity. Of course it's taken us years to gradually collect all the gear (it isn't cheap), but whatever we don't have, we borrow from our friend. It's all about overcoming fears, seeing amazing views, and cheering each other on. Plus it's just a lot of fun. And the best part is, no one got poison oak this time!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Warning: this is a long blog. You know how much we love Halloween around here! It's my kids' 2nd favorite holiday, and there are ample picture-taking opportunities for me. Win/win!

We went to the pumpkin patch on Columbus day. The kids were off school, and Dave took the day off too (he has vacation days he need to use before the end of the year). It turned out to be a busy day, but at least we had plenty of time to be there.

There were mishaps with the hayride - they dropped us off and forgot about us. It was during a shift change or something. Anyway, this gave us lots of time to take pictures. It was mid-afternoon, which created nice back-lighting.

We ended up walking back to the barn (luckily we weren't too far), but we didn't get to have much of a hayride, so they let us go again for free. Cousins were there too!

 We've learned to go early in October, before they sell out of pumpkins. 

Obviously, this was right before a haircut. 

Some of the kids remembered to take money this time - they bought lots of honey sticks! 

Now on to costumes. I tried to keep them simple this year.

Luckily, Tyler knew for a full year that he wanted to be Spock. He requested Spock ears for Christmas (which he received in his stocking), and I found a cheap shirt on eBay. He wore black church pants, and I made his boots out of black duct tape. It's a good thing he can raise one eyebrow and do the live-long-and-prosper-thing with his hands, because half my family can't.

Levi was excited to be a skeleton, which is awesome because we already had the costume. It's been worn quite a few times. 

The bones were pretty dingy, so I touched them up with white paint.

Brennan wanted to be a vampire - another great choice, because we already had this one too! In fact we had several to choose from. We just had to get more fangs and some black hair spray. 

All of the costumes this year needed last minute help from me to get ready (make-up, french braids, mustache, etc). It was crazy here!

This was the hardest one to come up with. We don't have any costumes to pass down to Chloe. I thought about making something, but time was running out quick. As I scrolled through Amazon, she saw this and yelled, "Elsa!" My biggest concern was that every little girl out there would be Elsa this year. But oh well, she loved it. As soon as she put it on, she started walking around with grace and poise, and I knew we made the right choice. 

She especially loved to twirl in it. 

 She was the prettiest (and only) Elsa at the Halloween party!

I take it back. DALLIN's was the hardest one to come up with. He wanted something different and funny. Of course. I was so happy when he settled on Albert Einstein. All we needed was a white wig. It came with a white mustache, but it was super thin and cheap. I made this easily by cutting out some fake fur from Tyler's puppet kit and attaching it with spirit gum from the costume store. That stuff is awesome!

 Of course we already had a lab coat and bow tie, and he looked great!
Spencer literally got dressed in 2 minutes, between the time he came home from a cross country race and when we had to leave for the church Halloween party. Luckily he had already figured it all out ahead of time and was able to do his own face paint.  He's a British biologist from the Congo.

He planned it around his new pet: a ball python named Legs. It was a big hit! Yes, it's real.

It's a good thing the costume pictures, Halloween party and truck-or-treating were all on Thursday, because it rained on Halloween night. We carved our pumpkins as soon as everyone came home from school on Friday.

 I love white pumpkins, and it worked well with Dallin's idea for a sick pumpkin.

Everyone helped - they all love getting messy. It always takes awhile to clean them out, so I was happy they were okay with sharing.

They like to accessorize the pumpkins. Tyler made the one on the left with celery hair, and Dallin added a "thermometer" to his sick one on the right. 

It started raining just as we were heading out the door to go trick-or-treating. We didn't stay out as long as usual, but we did make it to my mom's house, and then she drove us home. We were completely soaked, so after we changed out of our wet clothes, we drank hot apple cider (that I put in the crock pot earlier) and roasted pumpkin seeds.