Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Big Bear III

This year there wasn't much snow, but still enough to play in and run around without a jacket on. The snow was mostly gone by the time we left, and a blizzard brought in a new batch of snow one day later.
We found a snowy/muddy hill for sledding, played games, sang karaoke, rode the alpine slide, did crafts with Nana, ate a lot, and had a right good time. Nancy had requested that each family this year perform a skit of a story from our family history, so our family reenacted the incident when Ryan's great aunt surprised her family by painting the boring brown toilet a lovely shade of lavender, and the paint wouldn't dry.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Pismo and butterflies

One weekend in February Ryan had to go on a business trip near Pismo Beach, so we made an outing out of it. There is a monarch butterfly breeding ground near there so we checked it out. It was hard to get any good pictures, but they were all over the trees and in the air. We learned a lot about their mating habits that day. Then we wandered around some sand dunes for a while. Fun day.

There are a lot of butterflies up in the trees that you can't see.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


For their class valentines this year we did the photos where it looks like the boys are handing the recipient a lollipop. They were easy and quick, and turned out okay even though I took the pictures in bad lighting and didn't make the boys even comb their hair or put on a red shirt or anything. They must have done the trick because Benjamin later told me he asked three different girls to be his Valentine and they all said yes. I don't know what he thinks it means to ask someone to be his Valentine, but we might have a little romantic on our hands.

Ryan and the boys spoiled me pretty rotten this year. We had our traditional lasagna dinner a few days early so I wasn't really expecting anything on Valentine's Day. They sent me out of the house for a while and when I came back they told me to wait in my room and put on something fancy. When they were ready I came downstairs to a decorated room with streamers and a disco ball, and gifts of flowers, chocolates, green earrings (because green is my favorite color), and a giant heart-shaped cookie. Then we had a dance in our living room. Ryan said the boys did all the planning and he just helped execute it.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Alex's first decade

Alex's birthday coincided with some recent improvements Ryan made to the backyard, so we decided to have an Indiana Jones inspired party with a big obstacle course. It actually ended up not being a birthday party, just a fun party that gave all the boys opportunities to invite a few friends. I was too busy to get many pictures, which is a shame.
Some of the obstacles included:
snake pit
rope swing
zipline over ferocious crocodiles (the kids made crocodile hand puppets and stood under the zipline)
spider web

We also had a table where the kids could feel monkey brains and eyeball soup. I realized as I was putting it together that probably none of the kids had seen any of the Indiana Jones movies. But someone pointed out that many of them had been on the Disneyland ride, so they got it.
We made it through without any major injuries, so I considered it a success.

Making their crocodile puppets. There's Indiana Jones, himself.

For Alex's actual birthday we had more of a hockey theme. He got a hockey game for the wii and a cake with a Los Angeles Kings logo that didn't quite turn out.
A week or two later I took Alex to a place called Whimsic Alley in Los Angeles, which is a store with a lot of Harry Potter stuff in it. It was fun and he already wants to go back.
It's still weird for me to realize that he is ten years old.

new family pics

On December 31st we had some new family pictures taken. We didn't have any professional ones with Wesley in them, so we thought we better get them done. Of course we'll have to do some again next year when baby #5 joins us sometime in early August.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

hockey class

The three older boys recently finished a free four-week hockey class. The first week was a little rough, especially for Charlie who spent more time lying on the ice than up on his skates, but by the second week they all loved it and Charlie had made a lot of progress.

Here they are making their "mean hockey faces". I guess.


With our anniversary date being December 18th, things get a little hectic around Christmas so we decided to celebrate our 12th anniversary during the first week of January this year. We went to Catalina for a few days. We had never been before and it was lovely. We stayed at the Snug Harbor Inn, went on a zipline tour, went to the museum in the Casino, saw Tin Tin in the old art-deco theater there (it was the only movie playing), rented bikes, walked around the botanical gardens and hiked up to where we could see a view of both sides of the island, ate stale ice cream, and sat out on the "beach". A lot of the restaurants and other attractions were closed, but we found a lot to do anyway.

The other side of the island.

Ryan won't be happy that I posted this, but it's proof he was there too.

We rode as far around the island as they would let us go on bikes (which wasn't very far). The casino is behind me in the distance.