Sunday, April 26, 2009

birds and bees

Yesterday while I was helping the boys clean their room Benjamin said, "Mom, where do babies come from?" I had sort of been expecting a question like this and thought these conversations would be a natural result of my pregnancy. So I gave a little explanation that would suit a four year old and felt pleased both that the boys were starting to be curious about these things and that I felt ready to discuss it with them. Then I turned to look at Benjamin and saw that he was holding a tiny yellow ball in his hand. Then he clarified, "No . . . . BBs."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


The day after we got back from camping was Easter Sunday. I don't know why I never think to take a picture of everyone all dressed up in their new ties on Easter. I could blame it on pregnancy brain but this has happened for several years. Oh well. The boys found their baskets in the morning and then in the afternoon we went out to Thousand Oaks where Ryan's Dad made everyone dinner and the kids had a little hunt in the backyard.

Like the Halloween bag?

Spring Break

Two weeks ago we had Spring Break. Every year a bunch of families from our ward go camping at San Mateo Campground, pretty close to San Diego. We had only been one other time, three years ago, when it rained most of the time and the motorhome we were borrowing kept breaking down. This year the forecast was calling for rain again, and we almost talked ourselves out of going, but we braved it. And the weather was great. I was so convinced that it would rain that I didn't even bring beach supplies, so our kids had to run around on the beach in their skivvies. I'm just sad I didn't take any pictures of the campsite or any of the other families. It was a fun trip and we camped longer than we ever have as a family- 3 nights in a tent!

Charlie was able to squeeze in some batting practice and a little golf while the other kids played in the waves.

I called these Benjamin's Castaway pants.

Ryan even decided to do a little surfing.

We got to try out our new kite.

Charlie's birthday (again)

Way back on April 5th we finally had a celebration of Charlie's birthday. We watched conference (thank goodness for Conference Bingo), had some family over, and I made what has become the traditional Winnie the Pooh cake for any two-year-old in our family. Charlie enjoyed it but also liked feeding some to Lily. He would open his mouth wide any time he wanted her to take a bite.

He liked playing with his new T-ball set, but it didn't last long because the ball got hit into the neighbor's yard where their brand new puppy was ready to destroy it.

He really did have clothes on for most of the day, I guess I just didn't take any pictures during that time.

Friday, April 17, 2009


A couple of weeks ago we made it out to the poppy reserve. I have to say, I was a little underwhelmed. I don't know if it was an off year or what, but it certainly wasn't the fields painted in orange that I had pictured. The few poppies we did see weren't even open because of the wind. But we were able to find a few flowers. And the boys enjoyed wandering the blustery trails.

Charlie spent most of the time with his hands covering his ears like this to protect himself from the wind.

A very rare shot of all three smiling, eyes open, looking at the camera.

Ryan had better luck a few weeks earlier when he took some pictures from his horse trail.
I like the shadow in this one.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Another Sibling Birthday

This time I'm almost a week late, but happy birthday to Heather last Thursday!

Sitting on the floor pre-mission.

Sitting on the floor 14 years later, pre-baby #2.

Um, I really need some more pictures of you. And one of your engagement shot where your face isn't stretched out.
Since you have a one-week-old I'm pretty sure I can say, "I beat you in bed!" And if I was closer I would even get you cold drink of water from the bathroom in a little Dixie cup.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Good ol' Daily Universe

The sky is brown and the water is brown. Or, "Why Angela Lansbury Hates Me".

Anyone remember that show "The Critic" that was on in the mid 90's? The only thing I remember from it is this version of "New York, New York". It goes a little something like this: "New York, New York, a terrible town. The sky is brown and the water is brown. The cabs don't stop they don't even slow down." Joel remembers. Anyway, Ryan and I got back a week ago from a whilrwind trip to New York. We had a free hotel stay and free plane tickets so why not? Ryan went a year or two ago for a business trip and had been wanting to go back with me so that we could see some of the sights. And it was not a terrible town.
The skies were mostly gray, not brown. It was supposed to rain most of the time we were there but we ended up having pretty good weather. It was raining the day we got there but we still headed down to Greenwich Village to visit the Blue Note Cafe.

Grand Central Station at night. Can't really see much, I know. But there's the clock. This was right before our first attempt at riding the subway. I managed to have the doors close on me twice before I could completely step inside. Tourists.

At the Blue Note.

James Moody (saxophone) and Jon Faddis (trumpet) performing at the Blue Note. James Moody used to perform regularly with Dizzy Gillespie.

Oh this? This is just Carmine driving us around in a Rolls Royce. No big deal. (The Rolls was a perk of the hotel we stayed at. Complimentary travel anywhere within a few blocks.)

Grand Central in the daytime.

Friday we tried to get as much sight-seeing in as possible since we thought it would be our one day without rain.

This is somewhere near Times Square.

The closest we got to the Statue of Liberty. We went to Battery Park, planning on doing the ferry tour thing, but there was a two hour wait just to get on the boat so we'll have to come back another time to do that.

Ground Zero.

This sculpture was near Ground Zero. There was no sign or explanation, but we still took a picture of the giant twisty balloon.

St. Paul's Chapel. The oldest public building in Manhattan (1766?). Now it's kind of a shrine to September 11th since it was a refuge for many people during that time. It was fun to try to read some of the headstones. Most of them have been worn down but we were able to make out an "1805" on one of them.

Inside St. Paul's Chapel.

George Washington's pew in St. Paul's.

Trinity Church, on the corner of Broadway and Wall Street.
Looking down Wall Street.

Federal Hall, the site where George Washington was inaugurated.

The Bible used when George Washington was sworn in as President.

From the steps of Federal Hall we had a nice view of the New York Stock Exchange.

We also unfortunately had a close up view of Michael Moore, who was filming something there.

Ryan and the Bull.

Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall nearby.

We went up to "The Top of the Rock" to view the city.
This one shows how huge Central Park is.

The Empire State Building.

That night we saw the play "The 39 Steps". It was a lot of fun and we recommend it to anyone if they are looking for something other than a big musical to see. While we were there we noticed that the theater across the street was playing "Blithe Spirit" with Angela Lansbury and Rupert Everett, so we decided to see that one the next night.

Saturday we had a quick walk through Central Park on our way to the Met. We met up with Ryan's friend Richard who he's known since elementary school and hasn't seen for 15 or 20 years. He took care of our admission and lunch, and showed us around the museum. They don't come any nicer than Richard.

Anyway, the Met was definitely a highlight. It was fun to look at the modern art and be reminded of how much of it we just don't get. Other favorites were the Rembrandts and all of the Impressionists.
A couple of Van Goghs, a Seurat, and a Vermeer.

After the Met our feet were done for the day, so after saying goodbye to Richard we picked up a couple of I heart NY T-shirts for the kids, had dinner and went to see "Blithe Spirit." Again, it was a fun little play. Angela Lansbury is 86, but she still danced around the stage. I have to say she does at least look older now, compared to that 30 or 40 years when she seemed to look the same. As the curtain was rising for the second act, I scooted the backpack under my seat a little with my feet. I have this new cell phone that I'm still getting used to, and it has an mp3 player on it. I had already turned off the ringer, but must have bumped the phone when I pushed the backpack. It started blaring some Usher song (it came with the phone) and of course it felt like forever for me to pull it out and turn it off. It took a long time after that for me to calm down enough to enjoy the play. So, if you ever hear Angela Lansbury complaining about a hip hop song blaring at the beginning of the second act of her latest play on Broadway, you'll know it was me.

Other than that little embarassing moment and the 8 hour flight delay on the way home it was a great trip. Does anyone know why it's called the Big Apple?