Sunday, November 09, 2014

What lovely surprises in my inbox!

I was so sick this past week. I had the stomach flu and for days on end alternated between thinking I was dying and wishing I could (not REALLY, but, you know...).

I was literally too weak to read(!), so I lay on the couch moaning, taking endless trips to the bathroom and watching all four seasons of Jeeves and Wooster, while Stan, with help from the kids, kept the household going.

I checked my regular email enough to answer if something need addressed right away, but the blog comments go to my blog specific email, which I ignored all week.

Well, yesterday, feeling well enough to sit up at the computer for longer than two minutes, I checked it and got a wonderful surprise! Email after email from Naomi saying, "New comment on..."

Flashing back to the week before, Naomi had asked me how to make comments on the blog. I quickly showed her and forgot about it. Her observations made me smile, so I thought I'd share them all with you here in one place (with her permission) alongside links to the posts that inspired her.

Naomi said...

"wow that looks yummy :):)!!!!!" on Yogurt Contest        
"wow:):):):):):):):):):):)" on Growing a 'Stache
"wow looks fun:)" on Bubble Fight       
"i love it" on Heather's Photography
"beautiful!!!!! did you see it when you take me????????" on Just when I thought...
"lovely!!!!! most lovely!!!!!!!!" on Embroidered Adornment
"i like it so cute" on From the Last Few Weeks
"i like it :)" on Have I mentioned lately...

I love you, Naomi! Thanks for reading my blog!!! 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Door Signs

 Sorry about the sideways orientation of the first one and the bad focus on the last one, but I wanted to share the signs on bedroom doors around here.

The first door has an excellent reason for the signs and warnings.

The second door was just following the example of the first, but they (thankfully) have no rat to justify keeping people out. They do, apparently, have land mines and an easily frightened bear.

The third door is not very welcoming, but we love the occupant all to pieces anyway :)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Our Mothers

Stan and I have wonderful mothers. I thought for today (Mother's Day) I'd write a little about what we've learned from them. It would take forever to write all the wonderful things they are to us, so this isn't everything. Just a taste, a smidgen, a whiff, a dash, to remember, and to say, "Thanks!"


Here is my beautiful mother, Dorothy May Thompson Chadwick (that's me in the blue dress).  She was a ton of fun to have as a mom. My parents first baby, my sister Heather, died when she was eight months old and my parents made a conscious decision to be careful to not be too overprotective of me and my younger siblings. It must have worked because I remember a childhood filled with adventure. She let me run around naked as a toddler in the park, wander through the woods by our house in New Hampshire, ride the NYC subway to high school on my own, and visit Israel when I was a senior in high school.


My mom always believed in me. She pointed out good qualities that I didn't realize I had and made me feel talented, smart, interesting and beautiful, even in my awkwardest phases (some of which I haven't outgrown yet!). She made me the most beautiful clothes - prom dresses, swimsuits, wool skirts, PE clothes, school clothes, church clothes and an adorable mauve pantsuit (it was the 70's) that I loved. She patiently tried to teach me to sew, which I didn't appreciate until I had kids of my own to sew for. I still call and ask her for cooking, sewing and life advice.
 Something that I always appreciated as a kid, that I am grateful for even more in retrospect, was how quickly my mother was to forgive. One time I burned my favorite polyester (70's!) dress while I was ironing it to get ready for a piano recital. My mom responded with sympathy and reassurance even though I probably ruined the iron in addition to the dress. That pantsuit I mentioned above - the first day I wore it to school I felt so chic until I fell and ripped the knee out. She didn't get mad, just kissed it better. One time, I thought she was my brother, following me out to the garage and surprising me. I got so mad at "him" that I whirled around and clobbered her right on the chest. After she caught her breath, she laughed it off. I always felt safe, encouraged and loved at home, which made it easier to face the world.

She is my heroine, a wonderful friend and the person I want to share my thoughts with. When the bishop asked me to be Relief Society president, I called home to cry on her shoulder because I knew she would understand how overwhelmed I felt. I relish telling her about my kids because she gives her grandchildren the same acceptance, encouragement and love. She is the best!

Here is Stan's beautiful mother, Melva Cox Spencer. I'll turn it over to Stan to write some memories. 

When I think of my mother, two things come to mind: love of family, and dedication to the Lord.

She came from pioneer ancestors, and she could have walked across the plains herself, with faith in every footstep. She loves the Church and she loves her Savior. And she taught--and still teaches by example--her children to put the Lord first in life, to keep the Sabbath, to pray, to read the scriptures daily, to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in every important decision.

She seems to have always had a sensitivity to spiritual things. She would tell us stories of angels and devils, and of the immense love of God for us. She is a descendent of Joseph Millet and seems to have inherited some of his ability to see what most of us do not.

She has always dedicated her life to her family. When we were all piled into the station wagon--two parents and 8 kids--on vacation or just around town., people would see us all and comment on what a lot of kids we were. Mother would say, "Yes, and we sure love them." 

To her siblings, nieces, and nephews, she has always been the friend and counselor they could always call. Now she extends that love and concern to her grandchildren and great grandchildren as well.

Thanks, Mother. You're beautiful, and the best mother for me!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

Yesterday, we all ate way too much Easter candy and colored eggs. Here are our respective favorites.

Too many kids around here are getting too old and jaded to hunt for eggs, so we invited some of the neighbor kids over to add to the fun. 

Today, we all went to church. It was wonderful to sing Easter hymns. I sang in the choir, not because I am really that great of a singer, but because with lots of practice, I can make a contribution and because I really love to sing in church. My girls looked adorable, but I forgot to get a picture before everyone changed after church, so the guys have to provide all the beauty this week. I think they do a pretty good job looking good, my two handsome men!

Stan and Michael came home after sacrament meeting because Michael was sniffing and coming down with a cold. I dropped them off at home, took their picture quick and headed back to church.

I gave one of the talks this morning. I enjoyed learning more about the Savior. I thought it was pretty funny that my dad and I both spoke on the same topic this week, so I mentioned it and then the brother who spoke after me mentioned that his daughter was also speaking in her congregation in Mapleton, UT today. I thought that was even funnier. Maybe I'm easily amused :)

Anyway, here is my talk. Happy Easter!

My dad and I are both speaking in our respective wards this Easter on the same topic, the last week of the Savior’s life. I tried to get him to write my talk and he said, “I was going to try to get you to write MY talk.” 
The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles says, speaking of the Savior, “His life…is central to all human history…”
The last week of the Savior’s mortal life was THE most central. This was the time that prophets had been looking forward to since Adam, the time pointed to by the sacrifices of the law of Moses, foreshadowed by Jonah’s three days in the belly of the whale and described in Isaiah, “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.”
John says of all the things that Jesus Christ did, “…if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written…” and of all the Savior’s mortal life, this last week was also the MOST eventful. We can’t read every parable He taught that week, or cover all His steps, but we can consider the highlights of Jesus’ last week. It started in Bethany. He spent the Sabbath having dinner with his friends Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, who had recently been miraculously raised from the dead. During the meal, Mary anointed the Savior’ feet with costly ointment, and wiped them with her hair, which to me seems so tender and gentle, preparatory to His death and burial. 
The next morning, Jesus entered Jerusalem triumphantly, clothed in white, riding on a donkey, as prophesied. In ancient Israel, kings rode donkeys as a symbol of kingship and of peace. Horses were considered animals of war. The Savior is the Prince of Peace. 
A huge multitude met Him and recognized Him as the Messiah. They laid their clothes down to cover His path, as befitting a King. They waved palm fronds to welcome Him to the Holy City and cried out, “Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.” Son of David is a sacred title reserved for the Messiah. This was a joyful, exciting event, where the Savior was recognized by those gathered as the long awaited Savior. It was so impressive, the whole city wondered who Jesus was. The Pharisees looking on were upset by the glory given to Jesus and they told Him to rebuke His disciples. He answered, “I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.” This triumphal entry was a symbol of His Second Coming, when He will come as conqueror, King of King and Lord of Lords. He was willing to submit to all things, but the beginning of the week before His death is a reminder that He is the anointed One and that all will submit to Him.
As rightful King, Jesus proceeded to the temple and cleansed it. It is interesting to note that three years earlier, when He cleansed the temple, He accused the money changers of defiling His Father’s house. This time, as the openly declared Messiah, He said, “My house shall be called the house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves.” Always compassionate, He healed the blind and the lame assembled there. 
He spent evenings in Bethany, returning to Jerusalem during the next few days. On one of the mornings, as He traveled back into Jerusalem, he was hungry and saw a fig tree with leaves on it. The way figs grow in Palestine, fig trees have fruit when they have leaves. Even the unripe fruit is good to eat, so by having leaves, the fig tree was saying to the world, I am fulfilling my purpose, but it really wasn’t. It was hypocritical and unfruitful. The Savior cursed the tree, saying, “Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward forever.” The Savior usually used His power to heal rather than to destroy. What did the fig tree do to be the recipient of the Savior’s destructive power? It appeared to be fruitful when it wasn’t.
Jesus continued on to Jerusalem and taught in the temple. Various groups came and questioned Him during this time and He confounded them all and taught many wonderful lessons, including the parables of the two sons, the wicked husbandmen, the wedding of the king’s son, and the widow’s mite. At this time, He also taught, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.”
After the temple, the Savior went with His disciples to the Mount of Olives. There they asked Him to explain His prophesies about Jerusalem and the end of the world. He foretold both the destruction of Jerusalem and the calamities that will precede the Second Coming. While foretelling difficulties ahead, He reassured His disciples that He will indeed return with power and great glory. He also told them, and us, how to prepare for His coming with the parables of the ten virgins, the talents and the separation of the sheep and the goats.
During this last week, we have seen that many of the Savior roles were emphasized, that of King, Teacher, Judge, and Ruler, but as we near the end of the week, His role as the Lamb of God, who would suffer and die for our sins became first and foremost.
Thursday, the day before Jesus was crucified, Judas plotted with the chief priests and Pharisees to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, the price of a slave. That same day, Jesus gave His disciples instructions about where they would eat the Passover meal together.
During the Passover meal eaten with His disciples, Jesus revealed that it would be Judas who would betray Him and He instituted the sacrament, the ordinance we take part in each week to remember His great sacrifice for us. He said farewell to His disciples, teaching them to care for one another, giving them a new commandment to love one another as He had loved them. He also set a truly meaningful example of that love and service as He washed His disciples’ feet. He reminded them that He would not leave them comfortless, but would send the Holy Ghost to be with them. Jesus also taught His disciples what they needed to do to avoid being unfruitful, like the hypocritical fig tree He cursed earlier in the week. He said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
At the conclusion of Last Supper, the Savior prayed these beautiful words, “Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
The Savior then went to the Garden of Gethsemane, where He prayed and agonized for each of us. He offered Himself as our advocate, our Savior. He suffered so intensely that great drops of blood fell like sweat. 
Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught: “We do not know, we cannot tell, no mortal mind can conceive, the full import of what Christ did in Gethsemane. …“We know that in some way, incomprehensible to us, his suffering satisfied the demands of justice, ransomed penitent souls from the pains and penalties of sin, and made mercy available to those who believe in his holy name.”
He rose from His prayer and woke His disciples. As He spoke to them, Judas approached with armed men and officers. Jesus asked them, “Whom seek ye?” They answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.” He answered, “I am He,” and they fell backward. Jesus was not running or hiding. He was in control and He was allowing Himself to be taken. Trying to defend Jesus, Peter cut off the ear of one of the men. The Savior’s response was, “Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?” He went to His death willingly.
First He was taken before Caiaphus and charged with sedition, or promoting rebellion, but the charge was elevated to blasphemy, the most serious charge under Jewish law, when Jesus answered that He indeed was the Son of God. This charge carried a punishment of death, but since the power to punish someone with death was not granted to the Jewish leaders under Roman rule, they delivered Him to Pilate for trial. The charge was now high treason, the most serious crime under Roman law. He was falsely accused of forbidding people to give tribute to Caesar and of making Himself a king. Pilate, not finding Him guilty was about to release Him when he was told that Jesus was from Galilee. Pilate decided to send Jesus to Herod for trial, as Herod was the ruler of that province. Jesus, refusing to answer any of Herod’s questions was mocked by Herod and his men, arrayed in a purple robe and sent back to Pilate. Pilate tried to have Jesus scourged and released, but the multitude would not allow that and demanded that He be crucified.
The Roman soldiers then scourged him, dressed Him as a king with a crown of thorns, spit on him, smote and mocked Him. He truly did descend below all things and with His stripes we are healed.
After this abuse, He was led to Golgotha to be crucified. At about 9 am, Jesus was nailed to the cross under a sign that Pilate had had written on the title, “JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS”
Despite all He had suffered at their hands, the Savior pled for the Father’s forgiveness for the soldiers who crucified Him. Even in His pain, He was concerned with His mother’s care. There was a great earthquake and the veil of the temple was rent. Darkness covered the earth. And about three in the afternoon, after hanging on the cross for about six hours,  the Savior said, “I thirst,” and was given vinegar to drink. He also uttered the heartbreaking words, “My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?” He had been left by His disciples, denied by Pater and finally, even His Father’s comfort was gone. 
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught, “That the supreme sacrifice of His Son might be as complete as it was voluntary and solitary, the Father briefly withdrew from Jesus the comfort of His Spirit, the support of His personal presence. It was required, indeed it was central to the significance of the Atonement, that this perfect Son who had never spoken ill nor done wrong nor touched an unclean thing had to know how the rest of humankind—us, all of us—would feel when we did commit such sins. For His Atonement to be infinite and eternal, He had to feel what it was like to die not only physically but spiritually, to sense what it was like to have the divine Spirit withdraw, leaving one feeling totally, abjectly, hopelessly alone.”
Jesus, realizing He had completed the work He was offered Himself for, was able to say, “It is finished,” and “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.”
The soldiers, finding Him dead, pierced His side. Jesus was quickly buried as the Sabbath sundown was approaching in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathaea.
While His family and followers mourned on that next Sabbath Saturday, Jesus taught the spirits in prison. He did not appear to the Nephites until He was resurrected, but during the three days of darkness in the Americas, before He rose again, He did speak to them saying, “O all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous than they, will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you? Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me. Behold, I am Jesus Christ the Son of God. I created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are. I was with the Father from the beginning. I am in the Father, and the Father in me; and in me hath the Father glorified his name.”
And then, the beautiful Sunday morning, that we are celebrating today, came and Jesus rose again. 
Matthew records, “In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen…”
In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Tough Audience

I am sitting on my bed, reading my scriptures. Heather is out in her room. Gwen is making cream of wheat with fresh strawberries for breakfast. Kelly is reading The Penderwicks on Gardam Street. Michael is flipping and jumping around on the couch like an acrobat. Naomi is being a tough audience. I can hear her in there saying, "Not interesting. Not interesting. Not interesting."

Michael replies, "I'm not trying to be interesting," and does another flip.

Naomi responds with, "Not funny. Not funny."

Michael explains, "I'm not trying to be funny." More jumping sounds.

Naomi counters with, "Not brilliant."

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Maybe I'll try to blog once a week.

Maybe or maybe not. A new year's resolution this isn't, but I have so enjoyed doing it the last couple of weeks that I wanted to today, too...even though all I have is this picture of mine and Naomi's painted fingernails.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Vegas, Baby!

Last Thursday, Claire and her boys had a layover in LAX, so Michael, Naomi and I drove over to see them for a little while. It was so wonderful to get hugs from them all and to sit and chat. The kids all ignored each other until I said the magic L-word, Lego, which broke the ice. Theo and Luc showed Michael the Lego sets they got for the trip and the other stuff they brought for the plane.

After we got home from the airport, I took a nap because I had a six hour drive ahead of me Thursday evening. Heather turns 16 in just over two weeks and so she and I took off as soon as school was out. My sister Sara took Summer to NYC for her sixteenth birthday and Rachel to San Fransisco for hers, but now she has a husband and other vacation plans (one of which includes coming to see us this summer - yay, we can't wait!) so I told Heather I would take her on a road trip.

Heather is interested in aerial circus performances, so she chose going to a Cirque du Soliel show in Las Vegas. We headed up to Southern Utah first to see Grandma Spencer, the Craigs and the Bangs. Heather, Cynthia, Mother and I went shopping on Friday, I took nap and helped make dinner. Then, the surprise for Heather showed up! Summer, Rachel, and their boyfriendscame down from Provo. It was so great to see them, even for a little while. We had dinner, cake and ice cream for Heather and watched Frozen Friday night.

Saturday morning, Cynthia, Nikki and Jake made us a big, delicious breakfast and then we used some of the calories up hiking to look at some petroglyphs not far from their house. Here are Cynthia and I chatting away in the sunshine.

Will and Jake checking out the goat family.

Heather and Tristan with the Craig's adorable little dog Ryah (total guess on the spelling).

Saturday after lunch, Heather and I reluctantly left our loved ones behind and headed to Vegas, slowly getting excited as the time passed for our big night out. After agonizing way too long over the price, we finally decided to bite the bullet and eat at the buffet the hotel clerk recommended. Even though it was expensive, for a once in a lifetime trip, it was totally worth it. Almost all the food was delicious and it was so much fun being able to eat so many different things!

Here is my (first) plate - 

1. California roll
2. spring roll
3. cocktail sauce
4. fried calamari
5. crab legs (I went back for seconds!)
6. steamed clams (my favorite food as a kid - I ate at least a dozen)
7. heart of palm (I had never had this before - delicious!)
8. crayfish
9. Brussels sprout (trying to eat my vegetables)
10. mussels
11. fresh pineapple (with an antennae)
12. clarified butter
13. sweet potato casserole
14. white truffle cheesy potatoes (amazing)
15. lamb with mint jelly (Heather thought that was gross, but I told her that is how we always had it when I was a kid)
16. lemons (obviously)
17. oyster on the half shell (I kept the shell for a souvenir)

Whew! Do you know when the next Shellfish Anonymous meeting is?

Here is my beautiful, fascinating almost 16 year old date for dinner in her new birthday shirt :)

We stuffed ourselves and then went to the dessert bar. Big mistake. We should have saved more room. That didn't stop us from choosing, yes, fifteen desserts between the two of us. It is a good thing the portions were tiny. Smart buffet people! We tasted each others' stuff and reluctantly, didn't finish every last bite, but oh my, they were good. My favorites were the sorbets and souffle. Mmmmmmm!

Here's the lineup - 

1. hazelnut chocolate cup
2. cheesecake
3. canolis
4. coconut macaroon
5. meringues
6. cookie dough gelato
7. raspberry sorbet
8. mango sorbet
9. coconut sorbet
10. bread pudding
11. chocolate souffle
12. chocolate marshmallow bark
13. flan
14. raspberry pistachio cup
15. mint chocolate chip gelato

We wobbled out of there and booked it over to our show. We saw Mystere. It was supposed to be the most family friendly Cirque show, and it pretty much was, except for when the clown gave the ringmaster the bird. Oh well.

The performers were absolutely amazing! There were balancing acts, trapeze artists, a woman on aerial silks that took my breath away, these two incredibly strong men that contorted and balanced on each other, people climbing up poles (one guy did it with just his hands touching the pole and his body held out away from it) and sliding down headfirst, then stopping just in time, flipping, dancing, twisting, and flying everywhere! It was so fun!

We collapsed in our hotel room, slept a while, then woke up this morning, ate a quick breakfast, stopped by at a nearby sacrament meeting and headed home. 

It was a wonderful trip and I am so glad I could spend time with Heather. Happy early birthday, Darling!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Super Saturday

Yesterday was SO MUCH FUN. We spent the day doing stuff as a family (78% of a family - we missed you Summer & Rachel!). It doesn't get much better than that (unless we are 100% percent anyway).

We started off at the Orange County Marble Show.

There were chances to learn from marble experts.

 And lots of opportunities to ooh and ah over cool marbles... this one which was maybe 2 inches in diameter and had a city inside.

There were nifty wood things to display your marble collection on.

One nice guy told the kids that they could each pick out ten of these marbles for free - fun!

I took a while choosing some beautiful marbles made by the Santa-esque guy in the marble vest. He made all these at the Jabo plant. He told me you can rent the equipment and make your own marbles. When I bought ten of his marbles, he said, "Thank you for liking my art." I really liked that. I'll have to say that whenever someone buys a book from me (if I ever get around to selling them).

This was my favorite table. If I had money to burn, I would have had a bonfire right here! The guy takes credit cards because...

...he was selling all these gorgeous marbles from different artists. They were expensive. 

My favorite ones were the galaxy marbles like in the picture below. They were amazing! It was really like holding a little universe in your hand. Because you look through a convex surface, it looks so much bigger inside than you expect. I picked up my favorite and asked, "How much?" He nonchalantly said, "Oh, for that one, $5,000.00." Eek!

While the kids were waiting for me to make my final purchases, I let them mess around with my camera in the hall of the hotel. This was my favorite snapshot, by far.

We got back on the freeway and headed to the beach! Woohoo!

It was an unusual day at the beach. For one thing, we saw a sea lion swim up close where the people were swimming! By this photo, he (she?) was further away, but at one point, the sea lion was as close to the sand as where the water would come up to my torso. He (for the sake of simplicity) popped up and the woman swimming close to him yelled and ran for shore. The sea lion simultaneously yelped and dove in the opposite direction. I don't know who was more startled.

The other weird thing that happened was that Gwen was stung by a stingray! We have been going to that beach for decades and that has NEVER happened. She was in pain and bloody, so Stan and I went to ask the lifeguard what to do for her and he called another lifeguard who came and picked her up in a jeep. He took her back to the lifeguard station where they have buckets and hot water, just for stingray victims. Yeah, victims plural. There were four others when she got there and five new ones when she left. They just kept moving down the row as new victims arrived and chatted while they filled up with new hot water as the buckets cooled off. One of the lifeguards said there were more stings yesterday because the water was calmer than usual and stingrays like calm water. Chalk one up for rough surf, huh?

I didn't get a lot of pictures, but here is one of my boy at the beach. One of the best things about the beach was hanging out with the Pellegrinos :)

And, finally, some of the marbles I bought. The two dark ones are Stan's, the two small ones are vintage, the two marbles next to the biggest one were made by Santa Claus Man and the last one, the purple and green is a
Jabo Joker 3 Run.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

I really miss this blog.

So, while Kelly and her sisters made dinner, I emptied the camera and curated, just for you, an exhibit of our lives from the last few weeks. 

Naomi had a birthday.

Michael raced in the pinewood derby. He came in 2nd for his age group and 3rd overall.

After all these years of taking kids on their turn for the homeschooling whale watching trip, I took my last two kids. It is hard to believe how everyone is growing up. This past week was Michael and Naomi's turn. It was a great trip. 

We saw a great blue heron looking for lunch...

...and lots of cormorants with a few pelicans mixed in...

...California sea lions lounging around...

...and from my view on the upper deck, a couple of cute kids.

Of course, what we were all most excited about was the opportunity to see some cetaceans!

The captain was able to find a bottlenose dolphin willing to surf the waves in front of the boat and we got a close up view. I learned something new on this trip. Bottlenose dolphin mothers name their offspring with a unique whistle that the dolphins then introduce themselves to other dolphins with for the rest of their lives.

We also saw more whales (all gray whales) on this trip than any other - seven in all! It was amazing :)

Here are two swimming together...

...and the tail of one diving.

The kids had some ocean science instruction on the trip back.

On to other exciting news - Naomi let her Dad pull a tooth.

Finally, some pretty pictures. I took the plunge and, in spite of my black thumb, bought some new house plants. I plan on hanging them in the window when I get around to it, but until then, they have a home on the kitchen counter. They are tillandsias, or air plants and they don't need dirt. I just soak them in a bowl of water every few days. Fun, huh?

I think they are really nifty...

...and was especially thrilled when one bloomed!