Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Birch Aquarium

I love these silhouettes!

February was Museum month again. Needless to say, we're already looking forward to it again next year... So many places, so little time! And, we had to revisit some of our favorites! This time we went to the Birch Museum with our friend Ariana from preschool and her mom, Ivy and sister, Aniya.

Here we are doing the "one finger touch" to feel a sea cucumber. Both of my kids were brave with touching the other things, but were a little more reluctant to feel this one. It was squishy!
Below Ian is checking out one of the many tanks of seahorses. Brooklyn remembered these from last year. How could we forget the one species that has the MALE carry the baby eggs to term? Yes, we just HAD to watch the short video again. Over and over again. It is so amazing to see several teeny tiny seahorses just burst out of the male with each convulsion. Sadly, seahorses are endangered. Very few survive to adulthood and their best self defense is a good camoflauge. Their small fins make them poor swimmers, so they just wrap their little tails around the stems of stable plants for protection.
This picture of Ian cracks me up. Thanks to the C5's (Calvin, Carol, Caden, Caleb, and Cameron) Ian has some "new-to-him" accessories that have become part of his daily uniform!
Above are some starfish without the camera flash. Below are some eels with the flash. Hopefully I didn't blind the fish... Oh well they're just eels. Yuck!
Creepy, Scary, Gross! EWE! (Not the girls, of course!)
I love this HUGE aquarium. It looks so authentically ocean! Below is a little display about the glass used to make this particular tank. CRAZY STUFF! I wonder how many mad scientists and engineers, it took to create this thing? I would think that it'd be a tough job getting it right the first time!
I like all the coral in this tank below.

This picture says it all with the heart sweater. We love life, our family, and all the beautiful creations that surround us!

The New Children's Museum (of San Diego)

Here's a peek at a wonderful tutorial on an artform using masking tape.
Brooklyn made two pictures. For the second attempt, she tried to mimic the sample.
This machine allowed kids to make their own "music." Each color was a different tone. The kids had to line the little statuettes up, then the conveyor belt processed them in a big blue box and the tones would come out in the order they were placed on the conveyor belt. The only thing is that there wasn't really a rhythm, but oh well. We're glad we got the passes to this place for Ian's B-day last year. The kids love to go back and visit. I love that they get to create art projects that don't destroy my carpet and furniture. :)


We have been very creative with our letter-themed share days. Every Friday at Preschool, the students may bring an object to share that either begins with the letter of the week or relates to the theme of the week. Would it be appropriate to show this picture for "M" as in muscles??? Hillarious picture anyway. You've gotta love Stephen's confidence. I could NEVER pull this look off, no matter how toned my arms were. It's the face. That is the face of confidence. At moments like these Stephen might say, "You know you love it." (My response: the eyeroll with a big funny smile.)

Valentines Dessert & Dinner

As if we didn't have enough dessert on the eve of the big day, we made still more sweets for Valentines on Monday. Besides that, I had to use up all those "good sale" strawberries! Stephen and I had fun dipping them after the kids hit the hay. Brooklyn knew something scrumptious was brewing though and didn't go to bed without escaping her bedroom a few times.
For dinner we had Monterey chicken, fried rice (made with left-over Mexican rice from the night before), and a salad and veggies. Smiles all around. Brooklyn even brought her stuffed gorilla that Dad brought her home that day. Thanks for the alstromeria, Stephen. They lasted forever and were probably lots easier on our pocket book than roses!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Happy Heart Day!

We had so much fun celebrating Valentines Day on a Sunday last year, that we had to repeat it once more! Sunday is such a great day for good ol' non-comercialized family bonding. So we started the day out with this yummy breakfast. Cover your eyes, Cindy! It's full of white flour and sugar and topped off with some homemade whipped cream! At least I threw some fresh fruit on it. That counts for something, right? Next time I'll try and throw in some whole wheat flour...maybe.

Thank goodness Brookie's v-day dress still fits and even better, she still chooses to wear it regularly to church...probably because I hound her about appreciating stuff I spend hours making for her. ;)
"No, you sit by me!" They both say to each other. These kids are stubborn!
Finally, they met somewhere in the middle. Thank goodness for compromises!
The family portrait... and Stephen must be crouching, because we all know he's taller, right?
Some candid shots of the men vying for dominance.

Finally, smiles prevail!
The gals.
The dessert I made was from the book next to the plate. The picture is on the front cover, but I changed my torte to have fresh fruits (and powdered sugar) everywhere instead of just filling the heart with cherry pie filling. Hence the heart is a little difficult to see.
My moment of baker's pride.

My New Kitchen

For those of you who didn't already know, we moved. Same complex, different apartment. Reasons: to get away from too many chain-smoking neighbors and equally as wonderful, an upgraded kitchen. I am in heaven.
Can you spot what left-over dinner is heating up in the oven?
My new spice "rack." Someday the labels will be clear and beautiful, instead of trimmed-down post-its. One slow step at a time, here!
The man who made this all possible. I tell you, he is definitely a mover and a shaker! He doesn't mess around when it comes to making decisions. I guess that's why he's my better half (50% of the time, that is! J/K). If it were up to me, we'd still be back at the old place.

Quick Zoo Visit

These are some poodles we met outside of the zoo. Apparently on my first draft I forgot to label this picture "LOOK-ALIKE!" The poodle owner taught me a thing or two about this breed while the kids cuddled and pet these well loved creatures. Lesson #1: these are STANDARD sized poodles. Standard is the only way they should breed, because it is the size they were intended to be in the first place. Next, poodles don't have fur, it's HAIR and it doesn't shed. Next, poodles have lots of different hair styles or cuts, but they take a lot of upkeep to keep them in those ways, so this particular "leg warmer" look (my label) is the preference of this particular owner. Also, poodles are great dogs to have because they are very gentle with humans. It was a crack up that they were dressed and treated like little kids.
Here's little Miss Sass-a-frass posing, quite appropriately (much to my chagrin) with plenty of Attitude!
Apparently Ian wasn't feeling that caterpiller-y.

Children's Museum of Escondido

Welcome, February! I love that it's Museum Month here in San Diego again! This year our first stop was to the Children's Museum of Escondido. It was quite the bargain price, but then when we stepped inside I realized that the small size of the place could precisely account for the "steal of a deal." However, the kids played for hours on end because there was tons to do! Even better, the moms didn't have to cart our cargo around to different places; we could just hang out and chat forEVER on some benches in the nice warm sunlight outside. So that is exactly what we did. The kids were getting into everything that their little hands could touch, feel, grab, and manipulate without getting "busted" and without messing up our own places. What a treat for everyone!
These pictures are out of order. The aprons are from the water table.
Water is definitely NOT a welcome plaything in our home. Even big splashing at bath time has made it to the "Thou Shall Not" list of house rules.
Bubbles GALORE! Also something that takes supervision at home since we don't have a yard!
Lunch time! I love how Calvin is smiling in this picture. He and Graden both have a girl on each side of them. On another note, why I let Brooklyn out of the house with the fountain and bow hairdo, I will never know.
Is not a fireman costume the most ultra-cool thing a little boy could wear for dress-ups? Ian seems to think so.
Ah, there she is - our little STINKER!
She dressed the dog up. Very much a mother this girl is. Always wanting to take care of the little creatures.
This last picture is for the "Elder Badger" (spoken in any number of languages) who sent us the stacking babushcas that look like the one on this apron. David? Eric? We treasure those dolls!

Last Half of January

You'd think we'd have taken a long sigh and recovered from the holiday festivities, but we sure did NOT! We had a warm spell in January and spent some time at the beach with friends...
If you look close, you'll see that Ian's hair is doing a serious comb-over. That's the result of me sticking his head under cold running water to rinse out what seemed to be a bucket full of sand.
We had a new friend over from preschool, Ariana. She and Brooklyn call each other "buddy." Even Ian has learned to spot Buddy's car from a mile away. "There's buddy's car!" he said as we drove the freeway home from L.A. a couple of weeks ago. It took me a minute to figure out what he was saying. Then I just had to laugh. What a car guy. Thanks, Dad and Ted!
Speaking of the little guy and his obsession with wheels. Have I ever mentioned that he loves to charm the ladies? It must be how he earned this sweet ride on a busy weekend when this wagon was being used to cart stuff over to our new apartment. (For those of you who have our address, everything is the same except we're now apt. #310 instead of #324...Details later.)
And lastly, we made sure to stop at In-N-Out once or twice. Now that's what a hamburger's all about!