Thursday, September 25, 2008


Michael walked up to me this afternoon and said, "Everything we are doing around here today is boring. Can you, like, get out the Tinker Toys or something?"

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

FHE last night

We went for a walk and bike/scooter/parent ride for our FHE activity last night. Naomi put on a hat and thought she was ready to go.

I caught her and traded the hat for a dress.

Here some of us are watching the guy across the street reading on his front lawn while Stan either puts on or takes off roller blades for Michael. He changed his mind and ended up using the scooter. Stan and I were impressed with his persistence. He went really fast for a three year old and would fall on a regular basis, get up, say, "I'm ok," if he caught me looking worriedly at him, and head off again.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


...we met up with a group that encourages kids to spend more time outside and visited a local botanic garden. It was so much fun to see the kids enjoying themselves and it really is a pretty place to visit.

Kelly and Naomi were impressed with the size of these leaves they found.

Everyone enjoyed seeing the turtles and fish in the pond.

We saw some baby bananas...

...and lots of bugs.

Mo was especially impressed with this big green beetle.

There were some apples on the ground in fairly decent shape, so we had a snack. They were pretty good.

Rachel also found a pear which she let me try and then ended up relinquishing to the screaming toddler in the back seat during the ride home, so Naomi ended up eating the lion's share of the fruit.

I spent most of the time saying things like, "Look at the rabbits!" or "Did you see that lizard?", but Michael always seemed to be just a little too slow focusing in on the lightening fast wildlife, so he kept saying, "Where, where?" until finally this lizard held still long enough for him to get a good look.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Naomi's New Hobby

Naomi likes popping bubble wrap online. She'll come up and ask, "Bubble?" She doesn't know how to move the mouse yet herself, so she needs an older person to help, but she pushes the left button and pops the bubbles herself. Try it, you'll like it - it's kind of addictive in a not too threatening way (we hope!).

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Return of Petsy (Sort Of)

We have a new pet. A family in our ward ended up "babysitting" a guinea pig for longer than they planned and were relieved to learn that we would be happy to add him to our menagerie. Isn't he cute? His name is Toby, which bothers some of the girls a bit. They don't think a pet should have the same name as an uncle, but the four owners have yet to agree on a new name.

He is so calm and good natured. I really like guinea pigs. We had one about a decade ago that Summer named Petsy. Petsy had almost the same coloring as Toby, so having him around is like a blast from the past.


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Gwen's Essay

Gwen had to write the classic, "What I Did Last Summer" essay and I asked her if I could post it for your enjoyment, so here it is.

My Summer Vacation

This summer I read a lot. I love reading. I went outside a lot, too. This past summer I planted a pear tomato. It is getting very big now. I taught my baby sister, Naomi, some animal sounds. I took piano lessons and am almost in the third level of my piano books. I played a lot of different sports with my family. I took level four swimming lessons. Some of the time, I played with my chicken, Daisy. She is a Jersey Black Giant. I wrote in my journal and I slept in late. I practiced standing on my head and told stories to my brother or sisters. Once in a while, I went to my friend’s house or she came to mine. Sometimes, my friend’s sister would come for a piano lesson and she would come too. It was a great summer.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

A Snippet of the Last Three Weeks

A lot more has been going on around here than I will ever have time to catch up with the blogging about, but oh well, here is some of our crazy lives (whatever I happened to get pictures of).

We went on one last before-school-starts day trip, a couple of weeks ago (before school started - smile). Now that we have both a teenager and a toddler, with five cute kids in between, it is harder to find one activity that makes everyone happy, so we compromised. First, we went to Vons and used a gift card I won to buy bagels, cream cheese, water, grapes and candy (doesn't that sound like a balanced meal?). Then we headed to the coast. First, we went shopping in some of the boutiquish shops near the beach (to please the older kids). Summer and Rachel each went halfsy with me on some clothes. Summer picked a dress...

...and Rachel found a skirt.

After we were done shopping (well, some of us were done...) we headed a few miles north to a small municipal aquarium. It is just the right size to see in an afternoon. We started with lunch on the beach and then headed over to see the fish and tons of other ocean life. I was surprised at the variety of creatures they had!

Naomi was fascinated with everything in the tanks.

This part of the trip was especially for the younger kids (but when pressed I think everyone would admit that they enjoyed it) and they really liked the tide pool that you could touch things in.

Rachel and I both took our cameras and both had fun using them. Summer borrowed mine quite a bit, too and used it to take pictures of both the wet and dry wild life around her.

I'm not sure if Summer or I took this, but isn't it nifty?

And here is a slide show of more creature pictures. These are my favorites of the ones I took.

Here are a series of three pictures Summer took.

Michael tends to end up at the back of the line of women he has to follow around wherever he goes.

Sometimes he gets more interested in other things besides being the last in line. I have to keep an eye on him, or he'd get lost.

Heather, Gwen, Kelly Michael and Naomi had fun being eaten.

Gwen and Mo liked this big whale head statue.

I thought the Whale Graveyard was a good place to get a picture of everyone.

Then, the Monday after our last big shebang, Summer, Rachel, Heather, Gwen and Kelly all started school. Summer is in a public high school, Heather and Gwen (this is Gwen's first year) are both in the same public elementary school and I am home schooling Rachel and Kelly.

Here are Heather and Gwen on the first day of school with their shiny new clothes, shoes and semi-matching backpacks.

Finally, to end our catch-up, a funny story. The other evening, I made spaghetti and meatballs for dinner, with whole wheat sesame bread sticks on the side. I went ahead and gave everyone a couple of bread sticks before they sat down and when Michael saw his sitting on his plate, he asked, "Why do my meatballs have seeds on them?"