Tuesday, September 11, 2012

California Vacation, volume 1

So, now in my blogging I've come to THE reason I had given up writing blogs back in March.  My hard drive has 1700 photos from this trip.  So, are you ready for some pictures?! Just kidding.  I weeded down and literally have to take it one day at a time. So if you make it all the way through, then you're an amazing friend (or you're my mom).

Ok, so Chuck had a geek work convention in good ol' Silicon Valley, California.  The boys and I tagged along. We enjoyed seeing him at the hotel at night, while each day we set out for adventures of our own for the first few days.

This trip was a milestone.  I was able to drive up to San Francisco (about 45 min+), park the car and use the public transportation without losing any children (or my sanity) along the way.  I was able to pack light, without the need of a diaper bag or stroller.  It felt so good to be in this stage, where my 3 boys could stay close, and we could have a great time just exploring together!

On to pictures....
Chandler very carefully studied the emergency instructions, since this was his first plane ride.

Thanks to the lion statue at the San Antonio Zoo, my kids love climbing on statues...


I was amazed at how this area has such beautiful succulents, despite that it's not a drought-like area (like the Texas Hill Country).


My toothless wonder.


Acting like a shark.


We started out in the Aquarium of the Bay, near Pier 39.


Not that I want to swim with them, but I find jellyfish to be beautiful.


Chan discovered starfish.


So did I.



Pi-raahnn-aaahh!


Sardine swirl.


My lil fishes.


More wildlife, the boys favorite...


Then we got to "pet" sharks. A first for all of us.


Chance was intent at this time that he wants to be a scientist when he grows up. He often found microscopes everywhere we went.


Touching the starfish - still creeped me out a little, but the boys loved it.


One of my personal favorites - the sting rays!


Since California has a later Spring Break, we had all the touristy places to ourselves.  The boys learned about this skink for over an hour, one-on-one with the trainer. So fun!


Chance got up close and personal.


Oh, San Fran, you are so beautiful.


Fresh seafood, anyone? I love (if you look closely) you can see the chef smiling at us here.


A real-life submarine! The USS Pampanito.


This one is self-explanatory.


Musee Mecanique.  A warehouse filled with old arcade machines. Yes, the movie "Big" came to mind.



Of course, Charlie found a baseball game.


We stuck together and cheered each other on. (family time win!)


Oh, Chance... 


And of course, we rode in a cable car!



In addition to the Aquarium of the Bay and checking out Pier 39, we spent our afternoon at the Academy of Sciences. If I would've realized just how much there was to do, I would've dedicated a whole day to this place, not just a few hours before closing.

Can you spot all 3 boys under this dino?


This is the roof of the place.  The windows open to let the fresh air into the museum, and into the 4-story-tall rainforest inside.


A view of the outside enclosure of the rainforest.


Within the rainforest - this frog enjoyed sitting on the snake. The boys found that interesting.



Yet another under-water-walkway that we sat enjoyed the view from.


Then it was off to a 50's diner for dinner. The meals came in Cadillac containers.  The boys were thrilled!


And to top off our amazing day, we watched this clown juggle, then make the boys balloon swords.  Seriously, how much more can we do in one day?!


Oh, but there's more. We visited the sea lions that "live" on some boat docks in Pier 39 before heading back to San Jose.




Thursday, September 6, 2012

A day at the park

Back in March, we had many days of great kite weather. The boys had a kite day at school, but unfortunately Chance’s time had zero wind. So that weekend we decided to go to the park and try again, to much success!

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Even Chan managed to work it!

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This is how we kept Chance’s from flying off.

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I LOVE these 2 front teeth missing look. The dentist pulled them, so his look gets to last extra long.

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I remember when this slide was too big for Charlie.

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I love this picture.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Chandler’s 4th birthday

March brought about some good wind and warmer weather. So we sojourned up to Austin to celebrate Chandler’s birthday complete with kites, giving the family a break from having to drive down to San Antonio.  We met at a park, and had a blast. 

The only picture I have of Chandler is this out-of-focus one. I then switched to video and accidentally hit “stop” when I meant to hit “record,” thus missing his birthday song. Oops, sorry, Buddy!  But here’s proof that you were there, and you were celebrated!

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Grandma was there, playing with Leland.

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Hendrix, whom the boys lovingly call “Shookie.”

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Another of Chandler’s cousins, Kaylie.

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Nana helped document the action. Maybe I need to check with her…hmm…

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The boys rallied together and decided that Charlie’s socks made great containers for pebbles. So they filled them up…P3037091

Dumped them into the top of the twisty slide…

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Charlie and his buddy Caleb helped prepare them at the bottom…P3037101

And WHOOSH! Their buddy Ben slid through them at the end.  I love it when the boys get creative in their play.

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As if on cue, the ice cream truck showed up.

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And I got to hold a baby. The end. Winking smile

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No actually, it’s not.  You can’t have a birthday post without a slideshow.

Happy Birthday, Chandler!  You are such a ray of sunshine in our lives. You’re always happy, laughing and smiling. When you got money for your birthday, we took you to a book store. You asked about a bin you saw, and we told you how that was for kids who needed books. Then you went and picked your 2 nicest books, and put them in the bin.  Daddy and I were blown away at how no one taught you to be such a giver – it’s just your personality.  When we have ice cream at ChickFila, you always ask for 2 cherries on top. You bring those home to your brothers, since they weren’t with you to get ice cream.  There’s rarely a day that goes by when you don’t find flowers in the yard to pick and bring to me.  I could go on and on.  I’m so thankful that God gave us you!  We love you!