Friday, August 31, 2012

boo-boo on the aa (ah-ah)

We made a quick stop to Sunset Crater National Monument near Flagstaff, Arizona to check out the volcanic rock.  The boys have been learning lots about rocks... I think they could point out basalt.      

We did a short hike on the Lava Flow Trail, composed of aa (ah-ah) lava - very rough and sharp.    

Weston took a dive head first into the jagged rock right here.  

This picture doesn't show it very well, but the cut above his eye was pretty deep.  We thought he might need stitches, but we eventually decided to let it be.  It healed up pretty well.  
Weston can say he got a boo-boo on the aa!

Snowflake Arizona

Since the Snowflake Arizona Temple was essentially on the way home, we stopped by for a visit.  Snowflake was a cute little town.  I am amazed that such a little town in Arizona has a temple.  The weather wasn't bad (better than TX and OK).  The scenery was nice, and it seemed like just a clean and quiet town.  I'm going to add Snowflake to my list of favorite towns.  

Alex & I traded off going in the temple, so that's why he was already out of his nice clothes for the picture.  I figured it was better to show he was there than not at all?  The boys were a little scruffy looking too, but they can say, "We were there."  They loved the water fountain.  Aren't all kids drawn to water?  

The boys got some much needed outside play time at a local park.  It was small, but they enjoyed it.  

Owen has a personality much like Nathan's (and mine and Alex...) - very cautious.  We were impressed that he climbed up on the tire, but we were laughing that he was too scared to climb down.  Silly kid.

pretty sunset

Oklahoma friends

We definitely had to stop and see some good friends while we were in Oklahoma.  We didn't get to see everyone we had hoped to, but we had a good visit, although short & sweet.  We spent one afternoon & evening with a couple of families (Angela wasn't there unfortunately).  We had spent quite a bit of time with them, through playgroup, library storytime, soccer, and church.  It was fun to see the kids together again - they had all grown so much.  We had pizza & ice cream and just watched the kids play.  Just felt like a normal day with friends, only we had to say good-bye again and the "see you later" comes without knowing when the "later" will be.  Too bad that life's journey and distance gets in the way of friends sometimes.  Luckily, distance can't truly separate good friends.  Only temporarily.      

 (A picture from 2007)

It was hilarious to watch Nathan & Garett play foosball against Alex & Jared.  Every time they scored, they acted like they had just won the world championship or something!  

We had a pretty silly photo shoot.  We originally were attempting to get a good picture of everyone sitting nicely on the couch.  We figured out that was nearly impossible, so it turned into just plain silliness.  

Look at the line-up!  What I can't believe is that Emalee is only a couple of months older than Jared.  She is either really tall or Jared is short (maybe both).  Anyway, so fun to see them all together.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

another museum...

Another outing to a museum.  It was too hot to do anything else!  We had never been to the Science Museum in Oklahoma City either (used to be called the Omniplex).  We decided to stop in and see it.  There were several cool things to do and see.  I think they particularly had a lot of fun with the "Airways" exhibit.  

This was the other favorite of the museum... I had to make them do something else.  We didn't make a special outing just to play foosball!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


After visiting Alex's parents, we headed to the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History in Norman, OK.  Even after living so long in Oklahoma, we had never visited this museum before.  Pretty impressive!  The boys loved all the dinosaur bones.  My favorite was the pentaceratops.   

Liked this quote:  "Science has the power to illuminate, but not to solve, the deeper problems of mankind.  For always after knowledge come choice and action, both of them intensely personal."  
-Professor Paul B. Sears

Ft. Smith Museum & a wild ride

We took an outing to the Fort Smith Museum of History in Arkansas.  The boys were surprisingly interested in wandering around the museum.  You never know if they'll like it or just be bored.  (I guess I'm the same way about museums!)  It's the bored and restless state that gets us in trouble.  Luckily they were neither.  They walked around very nicely and were drawn to the weapons and old cars.  Gotta love boys!  

We also had ice cream in the old soda fountain shop, which was the perfect stop after riding in the trolley in the 100 degree heat.  

The trolley ride was a little more fun than it should have been...  we were the only passengers (except for the driver's friend) at the time, which was good.  At one point in our ride, Alex and I both got the chance to drive the trolley.  I didn't really want to, but felt pressured into it.  Alex went first and jolted us to a quick start, but followed by a smooth ride and uneventful stop.  My experience was a little different.  I was careful not to jolt start us like Alex - no problem with a smooth start.  We started coasting along.  I felt like we were going too fast and attempted to slow down.  The trolley driver, who was standing right by me, waved me off and told me to just keep going. Okay...

Well, he never instructed us on how to stop the trolley, so I was just waiting for further instructions.  He finally said, "Okay, I never told you how to stop."  And I waited for him to tell me what to do.  He didn't say anything.  I guess he meant slow it down.  We were going pretty quickly for a trolley and approaching a junction.  We took the turn too fast, and it knocked the driver down.  I tried to turn the lever, but it came completely OFF!  So I was standing there holding the lever, wondering what we were going to do now and not knowing how to apply the brake.  Luckily the driver got up quickly, and I think he hit the emergency brake or something.  I was so embarrassed!  We could all laugh about it after we stopped, but that didn't make me feel any better about our wild ride.  The driver and his friend were laughing too, saying that had been the best ride of the day!

I guess I was just trying to get a little breeze going for such a hot day...?  Watch out for those pregnant trolley drivers!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Papa John's shooting range & Fay's farm

After TX, we headed to OK to visit Alex's parents.  We spent about a week there, just hanging out.  The boys loved shooting the BB gun, looking through the telescope, and playing with all of Papa John's "toys".  The boys also fed the goats, although Owen was a little bit scared of that.  Weston got a kick out of feeding them.  The boys were scared of the "white dog", but enjoying seeing Sherman, their other dog (didn't get a picture of ).  The stay was perfect for me - I was happy to just relax and watch the Olympics, especially since it was hot outside.  The boys were more resilient to the heat.       

The boys also had fun on the slip-n-slide.  This one was particularly fun because of the 
basketball goal on the end.  

They also couldn't resist the water guns and trying to shoot the grasshoppers.

Aunt Jane and Fay made sure we got a birthday cake (b-days in Sept.), so we enjoyed cake one evening.  We also got to see Uncle Jim, although I didn't get any pictures of him or Jane.  (I hope they're not too disappointed not to appear in the post...)   :)  

There were some pretty sunsets - it wasn't too bad to sit outside in the evening.  Alex got a lot of time to just chat with his parents and I know he enjoyed that.  We like hanging out with family!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Back to school!

This was the 1st year that I was awake before Nathan on the first day of school!  Back to school must not be that exciting anymore...  but Jared was awake by at least 6:45.  He was up before me.  We walked the long 5 minutes to school, getting there with 5 minutes to spare!  (pretty good...)  
When we reached the gate, they both said, "Bye mama!" and headed off to their classrooms.  Although obviously not needed, I followed Jared in to make sure he got to the right place.  I think he was a little disoriented, but quickly got to the right place.  He almost seemed embarrassed I was still there.  
"Okay, have a good day!"  I said.  
No pictures, no standing around waiting, no tears shed.  We headed home.  Not a big deal.

It was a relatively quiet day at home, with only 2 kids who seemed to play peacefully and quietly today.  I can get used to this.  Yay for back to school!

They both had a good day, I think.  Couldn't get much out of them.  
"What did you do today?"  
"Umm...I don't really remember."

"Did you have fun?"  

"What was your favorite thing?"

"What did you do at recess?"
"I don't know."

"Did you make any friends today?"
Nathan named off a couple of people.  He is lucky to already have a friend from church in his class.  
Jared said he played with a boy named Jay.  

I guess everything was fine.

Friday, August 24, 2012


The end of July, we headed down to pick up Alex from Corpus Christi and spent a day there.  We took an outing to the Texas State Aquarium - not the best I've seen, but pretty decent.  Weston loved the sharks.  All the boys seemed mesmerized by the sea life.  There was also a water & sand play area, as well as some other animals like talking parrots and an anteater.    

Weston's favorite

my favorite


We had the chance to get together with more friends while we were in Houston, and a bounce place was the perfect place to meet.  We had fun catching up with Michelle & Bailey.  Owen and Bailey are just 1 month apart in age.  It was cute to see them together again.  Bailey is such a cutie!  
After getting all bounced out, we went to Culver's for lunch, which included ice cream (with sprinkles)!  

It was fun to catch up with Michelle.  We went to junior high, high school, and college together.  And then we "followed" them down to Houston.  We live way too far apart now and don't get to see each other often enough.  Thanks for the fun outing!    

Children's Museum of Houston

I decided at the last minute to take the boys to the Children's Museum in Houston.  I thought it would be best with another adult so O & W could do different things than N & J if they wanted to.  Baba & Papa were working, and I didn't want to meet a friend there only to have to split up and go different directions.  So I just headed out with them on my own.  Since we had free entrance anyway, I could just leave if it wasn't working out.  Weston couldn't go to the tot area, but they all did well together in the other parts of the museum.  They loved Flow Works, the water play area.  The museum has done a really nice job on that area (as well as the rest of the museum).  The boys also liked Invention Convention, where they could build things with legos and play on the "Widget Wall".  I'd like to construct one of those for our house.  Weston seemed to really enjoy sending the little balls through the PVC pipes.  They could move the magnetic plastic pipes wherever they wanted to, to change the path of the ball.  Neat idea.  The boys had a good time.  (It would have been a great cheap outing, if only I hadn't gotten a parking ticket!  So much for our free outing...)   

Water play area

Widget Wall

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Big D outings

When Sam got home, we all went to the Dallas Museum of Nature & Science.  Our local museum membership was good for free entrance into the museum.  (We also got in free to the Children's Museum in Houston and the Science Museum in Oklahoma City).  We weren't sure what to expect, but when you know it's a free outing it's hard to go wrong.  The boys were disappointed there were no dinosaur bones (part of the museum was a little lame), but they had a good time in the children's museum.  We watched a shark dissection, and Jared was brave enough to touch and hold it after the presentation.  Pretty cool.      

After the museum, we went to Babe's Chicken for dinner.  Good stuff.  Thanks Sam and Aud! 

One afternoon while Weston and Eli were sleeping, I took the 3 oldest to Nickelmania.  It was advertised as an arcade where all the games were a nickel to play.  I knew the boys would love that, and they did.  The only disappointing thing was that most of the games were 3 or 4 nickels or more to play.  Oh well.  After all their combined tickets (370?), they ended up with a tiny plastic cone, a mini pop up toy, a sticky little blue spider man, a mini lizard, a sticker, and 2 suckers...  good thing our money was well spent on silly plastic little toys!  You have to win A LOT of tickets to get anything cool.

It was a hoot to watch the boys playing the whack-an-alligator game.

On the way back to Houston, I took the boys to a big indoor playplace called "Going Bonkers".  It looked like a really fun place.  Nathan and Jared really enjoyed it, but it took Owen & Weston a while to get into playing.  They just wanted to sit and watch cartoons and eat popcorn.  Eventually they were brave enough to climb and play too.  It was a little overwhelming when we first got there - 3 bus loads of kids from different groups happened to be there that day.  Such luck.  It wasn't as crowded when they all headed to lunch.  

Hanging out with Auntie Aud & Eli

We spent about a week in Dallas with my sister and her 16-month old Eli.  Sam was out of town on a business trip most of the time.  I watched Eli in the mornings while Audrey was at work, and then we played in the afternoon and evening.  The boys think Auntie Aud is super cool - she lets them build forts in her living room and plays hide-n-seek with them!  (Audrey definitely had more energy than I did.)  They also had a slip-n-slide, which was great fun.  The boys also watched plenty of videos on their big screen and had ice cream more than 2 times a week (like we usually do).  Jared seemed to have a little special bond with Eli.  Weston was a bit of a bully, but I think we toughened Eli up a little bit.  He was pushing back by the time we left!  He may have picked up a few more words too.  I'm sure it was a bit overwhelming for a kid who is used to having a quiet house and toys all to himself.  But he was watching and learning.  We tried the pool one afternoon, but quickly decided it was too much work to watch 5 kids who don't know how to swim with just the two of us.  We survived, but resorted to the kiddie pool and slip-n-slide at home.  We had a fun week!