Each year, the homeschool school we go to has a whale watching field trip. I took Summer and Rachel about a decade ago. We didn't see whales, but we saw two or three kinds of dolphins and had a wonderful time.
About five years ago, Stan took Heather and Gwen. They didn't see whales, but they had a blast anyway and came home with what seemed like hours of video of dolphins swimming by the boat.
It was Kelly's turn, so we headed to the coast last week and I expected a lovely trip, but didn't have my hopes too high that we would see whales, but of course I was still hoping, because doesn't that spring eternally in the human heart?
Kelly was a little nervous as the boat hit the choppy water outside the harbor, but I promised her that it was safe and she calmed down, while I wondered if I should have been more honest and told her that it was 98% safe instead of 100% safe!
If you look, you can see lots of coots, two pelicans and a sea lion on the rocks we went past.
A school of common dolphins came right up to the boat and swan around and under us for a while. It was fun to watch them bowriding. I almost wanted to jump in and swim :)
And then, we saw whales! How exciting! There were two, an adult male and a juvenile gray whale. At one point, one of their tails came up all the way out of the water, dripping and shining in the sun, but of course my timing was off and my picture is kind of lame. Oh well.
Instead of a fishing boat, we went with scientists from the Ocean Institute. It was great, because they did so much teaching along the way. They collected plankton with this net...
...put it in a jar...
...and we looked at it under a microscope!
They also scooped some mud up from the ocean floor...
...rinsed it out over screens...
...and gave the kids tweezers to pick up and catalog the creatures they found.
Kelly and I had so much fun. It was great to be together and an all around amazing day.
Heather and Gwen are in the Elementary Festival Orchestra and they had their pre-Festival concert this past week. It is kind of like a dress rehearsal. The high school orchestra also played, but Summer was hidden behind even more music stands than Heather and Gwen are, so I gave up trying to get a picture of her that night :)
We have had a cold running through the house and on the day I was sickest and also had way too much to do to even think about resting, Stan brought me some get well flowers and a muffin to cheer me up - it worked!
And here's the nonsense, some Moisms -
Naomi was in the habit of sitting on my lap during family prayer and I told her when she was three, she would be big enough to kneel like her siblings. I talked about it for months and she was well prepared. She was excited about it when the time came, but the novelty has worn off and she has been trying to convince me to let her sit on my lap again for prayer. Lately, almost every time we kneel for prayer, she looks me straight in the face and says,
"I am not three anymore; I am two."
Last night for dinner, Summer made pasta Alfredo mixed with olives, red peppers and asparagus. She also baked some sweet potatos, fried some kielbasa and steamed some corn. Two thirds of the way through dinner, Michael announced, "Do you know what my favorite vegetable is? Corn!" Naomi, not wanting to be left out, asked me if I knew what HER favorite vegetable was. I said, "No, what?" She said,
For Christmas, my parents gave Stan and me a gift card to Bed and Breakfast.com (Thanks Mom and Dad!). I found a place in Anaheim that gave us two rooms for the price of one. It was so much fun. The kids and I left after school and ate take out Chinese. Then, while we waited for Stan to get there from work, the kids played in the pool. Stan and I had one room and we put the kids in another with a stack of DVDs from the library. I like having responsible teenagers :)
The next morning, we stuffed ourselves with "Light Continental Breakfast" and headed to the beach. I love going to the beach in the winter. It is much less crowded for one thing and for another, I wouldn't want to wait all year and only go in July!
Naomi wore her new birthday sunglasses from Rachel.
They hadn't cleaned the sand that day, so there were piles of little, mostly broken shells. We had fun looking through them. Michael collected worm casings...
...and I was like a kid picking up shells.
Here are a couple of good looking birds...
...and here is a picture Summer took.
Doesn't it look cold? It wasn't too bad, but I didn't swim, anyway!