Friday, July 31, 2009


Here's what Benjamin and Ryan found on their morning trail ride yesterday:

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Oh, Vicki

Last weekend Ryan and I went to see 500 Days of Summer. It was the kind of cute independent film that is right up my alley. (It's also the kind of movie that never plays in our local movie theaters, so we went out to Pasadena to see it. I'm not complaining.) The part I can't stop thinking about is when they referenced "Small Wonder". I tried to find a clip of Vicki crying, but all I could find was the intro:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What does a pirate's dog say?


Last weekend we went to "Pirate Days" in Ventura with Ryan's parents. It was definitely piratey. I was just glad to be somewhere where it wasn't 100 degrees or more.
This little group did a skit with swordfighting and such. The one on the right has a parrot on his shoulder.

This one was very Captain Hook-esque.

One pirate was letting people hold his parrots. We were in line for this when the kid in front of us got a peck from one of the parrots, so I didn't think the boys would want to try it, but Alex was brave.
The long-awaited fire eater.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Long long ago, in a galaxy far far away . . . .

(Sorry for the poor quality- it's from my phone.)
This is how the boys have been spending most of their time this summer. A month or two ago they discovered that we had one of the Star Wars DVD's, and after watching it they immediately found some pretend light sabers (hockey sticks) to play with. They asked for some "real" light sabers so Ryan wrote up a chore chart so that they could earn some money. After working for a few weeks we picked these out at Target and they handed over their envelopes of hard-earned cash. Hopefully they learned something about work and earning and tithing, but mostly they just love these light sabers. They spend hours each day with them in hand, and they have all the sound effects down. Someone is usually humming the "Imperial March", too. I think Halloween costumes might be easy to figure out this year.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The 4th

We had a fun-filled 4th, fraught with friends, family, food, a farm, and finally fireworks.

Ryan got up really early to take Sox on a trail ride, and we met up with him later in Moorpark to crash Mandy and Charlie's ward breakfast.

Then we went out to a farm to pick blueberries.
The tractor ride out to the fields:
Charlie picked one blueberry and put it in the box and said he was all done. After that he would pick berries, squish them, and drop them. I don't think we were there long enough for him to do too much damage.
Kerplink, kerplank, kerplunk:
I need to remember to only let the kids take pictures of me if they are up on a ladder or something.
After lunch we headed home, took some naps, then went to a friend's house for a barbecue. We brought a patriotic jello poke cake with blueberries on top, of course. Later we played a game and were flabbergasted when some of the players had never heard of Mary Lou Retton.
When it got dark we drove to another friend's property up on a hillside to watch the different fireworks around town. Ryan fell asleep while we were waiting for them to start, and Alex kept asking questions about how fireworks work which I couldn't answer. He and Benjamin wanted to know if other things could be added to the fireworks to explode in the air.
"Like what?" I asked.
"Cheese." they replied.

The 3rd

On July 3rd Ryan didn't have to work so he decided to take the boys ice skating. Charlie had been throwing up all morning (we've been sick a lot lately, I guess) but was feeling better by the afternoon so off they went. It was Charlie's first time and he loved it. The other boys didn't like it so much when they were Charlie's age so Ryan thought he wouldn't last very long, but he cried for about half an hour after we finally left. (Charlie that is, not Ryan.)
Alex liked "making snow" with his skates when he stopped.

Ryan's back was pretty sore after a couple hours of this:

Charlie didn't even mind it when this happened:
And here are Alex running into someone and Benjamin showing off his new talent:

Waterski 2009

Last week we survived another year of the annual waterski trip. I say "survived" because it was kind of a comedy of errors. We started off with Benjamin running a fever Sunday night which continued through Monday. The next problem happened during the drive up to the lake Monday morning, when Mandy and Charlie's trailer tire blew. They put on a spare and made it the rest of the way. We all made it to the lake but noticed that the water level was lower than we'd ever seen it. This made finding a parking/camping place difficult, since we usually try to find one right on the shore, and most of the shore was 50 yards down a hill. We finally found a spot and while the guys were setting up camp, the kids and moms waded in the water. Wading was all we could do, since the water was so shallow. I had squeezed in a session of swimming lessons for Alex and Benjamin before we left, but they didn't get to use their skills too much in two feet of water. After standing out there for a while we noticed some little specks stuck on all our feet. The only word I know to describe them is "leech". They were teeny, brown, wormy things that lived in the mud and attached themselves to skin. They didn't actually suck blood, but we were grossed out enough to stay out of the water for a while. So we sat in what little shade we could find while the guys continued to set up. At some point ryan noticed that the boat trailer also had a flat tire. Usually in June the weather is still pretty mild at the lake, but it was unseasonably hot this year. Ryan's dad had rented a huge motor home with A/C so that the ones who were pregnant or had new babies could have a comfortable place to sleep, and get some relief from the heat. He turned on the air for a while but someone noticed that it wasn't actually cooling off. That got fixed later that day, but we still had to sit through the heat and didn't even have the lake water to cool us off because we were scared off by the "leeches".
Finally the boat was in the water and all the kids were excited to go for a ride, so they all piled in. Ryan was the designated driver, so he stepped in but his foot splashed when he stepped into the boat. He turned the pump on and baled out some water, and it was decided that the boat would stay in the water just long enough to let everyone ski who wanted to ski, then the boat would come out of the water before it sank too much. The next day we put it back in and let the kids do some skiing and tubing before taking it out again, possibly the last time for the old Nordic. (sniff)
Anyway, the first day was pretty miserable, but things got better and we stuck it out for three days. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of Alex and Ben's attempts at skiing (Benjamin skiied for the first time!). Ryan decided to bring up the horses this year, and that turned out to be fun, too. Since we weren't in the water as much as usual the horses provided another activity. The last mishap occurred on the drive home, when the spare tire on Mandy and Charlie's trailer blew.

Ryan on the trail. All of that green used to be part of the lake.

Ryan was able to ride close to this hawk because it was guarding a squirrel hole and didn't want to leave.

Cousins playing Memory.

Charlie on the Sea-Doo. He loved it and didn't want to get off.

Uncle Charlie and Jadyn on their pony Cheeto.

Benjamin on Sox.

You can see Benjamin trying to handle the reins, and you can also see Ryan's crazy swimsuit.

Riding the dusty trails into the sunset.

Alex and Ben riding bareback on Cheeto. Alex discovered the discomforts of riding bareback.

Charlie got a little ride, helped by Uncle Charlie.

Feeding the horses.

The boys fishing (or at least practicing casting) during sunset.

Flaming marshmallows.