Tuesday, February 21, 2012

"Baby Nemo's," Manta rays and "See through bubble things"

We have been wanting to go and check out the new aquarium over in Tempe. We finally took the kids a couple of weekends ago. It definitely was nothing compared to the aquariums that we have been to in San Diego with my mom but it was still a nice aquarium that was fun for the kids on a Saturday afternoon.
We got there just in time to watch them feed the sharks in the large tank. It was really dark and I was having a hard time getting my camera to focus so the pictures are sort of blurry. They fed the sharks with a pole and fish and talked about their feeding/hunting patterns. They let the kids go up and sit right by the glass which they loved. Every few minutes one of the sharks would glide right up against the glass past their faces and they would all jump back and start laughing. Even though the sharks were not large sharks it was still really neat to have them get that close up to you.
They had a small tide pool area where the kids could touch a star fish, crabs and a sea cucumber. I was surprised that Emma was really excited and actually touched the starfish when Deke lifted her up to see it. She kept wanting to "pet" it. It reminded me of the first time Hunter went to Sea World and touched his first starfish. He was almost exactly Emma's age and he held it in his hand and was touching it and talking about it and showing us. He was doing such a good job of being gentle with it. Then we told him it was time to go see something else and to put the starfish back down in the water. Before I even realized what he was doing he had wound his arm back and pitched the starfish towards the tidepool and well he's got a good arm. The poor thing hit one of the rocks, bounced off and splashed down into the water. "Hunter, no!!!" I said horrified at what had just happened and panicked that he had probably killed the poor little thing. The Sea World employee who had been watching and seen everything started laughing. "Its okay, it actually happens all the time. They are actually really durable so it'll be alright." It made me laugh as I watched Emma handling the starfish as the words, "they are actually really durable" ran through my head. Difference between boys and girls however Em did not want to put the starfish back and kept pointing at it and saying, "hug...hug" yeah no starfish may not survive that one.
A stop by to see some sea horses.....
A walk through the shark tunnel which is just like the one at Sea World except it doesn't have sharks as big as Sea World. Still really cool though and it had glass on the bottom so you could see the sharks, fish and manta rays swimming right below your feet. Hunter and Avery were glued to this and Avery practically threw herself on the ground shading her eyes watching the different creatures swimming around beneath us. Hunter couldn't stop talking about the model of the "prehistoric" fossil that was inside the tank and if it was ever really a real animal and if so what was it called and what did it eat etc. etc. etc.
Emma had been loving everything up to this point but she was totally frieked out by the floor. If we were holding her she was okay, a little unsure but okay and would still point at things and talk about them. However if we tried to put her down on the ground she flipped out and would pull up her legs crying. It scared her so much, we kept trying to show her that it was the ground and that it wasn't really water but she never warmed up to it. It really scared her. As we walked around the aquarium it was neat because they had these little bubbles that you could stick your head up into and view the tanks from a different angle. This was by far Ave's favorite thing. Once she would see once she would run over and put her head in it and start waving at us or pretending that she was swimming with her lips tight and cheeks puffed out. Goof ball :) :) When we asked her on the way home what her favorite part was she said "those see through bubble things."
Emma's favorite thing I think was probably the tiny clownfish. As soon as we saw them in the tank she started squealing "baby Nemo's! baby Nemo's!!" and waving at them. I took her up inside the tanks little viewing bubble and she kept pointing at them one by one. "Nemo, nemo, nemo" she would say as she pointed at each one swimming by. She also loved the viewing bubbles and kept wanted to go back in again and again and not only check out the fish but wave to Daddy on the other side. cute kid.
Hunter's favorite part was the manta rays. We spent a lot of time hanging around their tank and watching them. It reminded me of our last trip to Sea World when we got to feed some which was really cool. They were Hunter's favorite thing there as well.
Had to take a picture of this shark hanging out on the top of the tank. It was neat for the kids to be able to really look at the gills and watch it breathing. Deke lifted them up so they could "touch it"
Dad and Hunter....
After we had spent all afternoon there and checked out all the tanks once, twice or three times for their favorites. We stopped by the aquariums indoor playground and let the kids play for awhile. Emma decided to sit and color pictures with daddy.
Then we watched the kids play and sat and watched Emma move the little chairs one by one from one table to the next. Arranging and organizing them, spacing them evenly apart.
Definitely seeing some of her daddy coming out in her. Well it definitely is no Sea World but it was still pretty fun, glad we went and checked it out.

Blue and Gold Banquet

Once a year to celebrate Boy Scouts of America the scouting program holds their Blue and Gold banquet. Other than the pinewood derby this is one of the bigger events of the year. This past week we had our banquet and it was a hawaiian theme.
They had mini umbrellas and coloring pages for the little kids to stay occupied while they showed a slide show of pictures of the boys throughout the year doing the different scouting activities. It was fun to look back on all the things we have done with our little den this year. It is amazing how unsure I was about this calling when I was called to it and yet now how much I love it and have learned.
The boys getting ready to do the flag ceremony. Hunter was very excited because it was his turn to lead the group at the front of the room and call out the directions.
Then the boys all went up front and did the scout promise for the group.
They then had the boys come up by dens and introduce themselves and then receive each of their individual awards. Hunter earned three belt loops this month. A nutrition, collecting, and video game belt loop. He was particularly excited about that last one, I didn't even know they had a belt loop for this but it was one he could finish in a day and he was excited to get it. He is always so cute to watch when he goes up to get his awards, he gets all shy and quiet and yet it grinning ear to ear. He LOVES scouts and is having so much fun with the activities and I think it is nice for him to have that time with other boys.
The boys had fun making sandwiches on a stick and learning about food groups for the nutrition belt loop and had a chance to bring their favorite collections from home and share with the group one den meeting. You'd better believe it was LEGO's and more LEGO's. After all the awards we had a nice dinner and visited.
They ended the night with a hula hoop contest and the limbo and then of course some cake....
A cute shot of Miss E giving daddy a smooch....
I am really enjoying scouts and loving the time every week for that hour just Hunter and I. I am so grateful to have been called to be his leader and get to have fun doing scouting stuff with him. Before we left that night they handed out everyone's pinewood derby cars. It is not until March but Hunter is already scheming up ideas for an awesome car and trying to figure out design ideas and paint styles. It's gonna be fun.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Loving love.

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!!! I have to admit I sort of love Valentine's day. Not necessarily because to me it is the most romantic day of the year because I have to admit Deke is really good about doing romantic things for me on a consistent basis throughout the year. But how can you not love a day that is celebrating LOVE and the people you care about. This year we received some really great cards in the mail from our friends and family. I don't know why but I especially love handmade Valentine's cards. You know just construction paper, glue stick some really cute message..yep I love those. Of course on the top of my list are the ones my babies make for me, the cards this year were nothing short of precious. Had to put a picture of the front of this one. Not so much for the cute flower on front though it is nice, but for the words written below: From: Hunter T0: My parents. Ha ha ha. Not Mom and Dad but now we are "the parents" it just made me laugh because he never addresses us that way it was so formal.Then of course the inside, now that sounds more like him. Loving the date across the top though :) :) :) :)The card he made especially for Deke. I flippin LOVE the scrolling work he did on the right page. He spent a lot of time on it and it looked really cool and very festive. Of course on the back he had to draw a "video game" and an "awesome robot" then added "But Mom it is okay because it is a Valentine's robot." Duh of course he has heart shaped eyes. My favorite thing though was upon completing his card he asked if we could run over to Circle K and get Deke a stick of beef jerky to tape to his Valentine. Love him.Then from Avery the sweetest simple message that warmed my heart. So genuine and her picture is awesome. She is really getting to be quite the little artist these days. I was working at the desk when she came up and told me to close my eyes as she giggled and shuffled through the desk looking for a paper. A few minutes later she came in with something behind her back and pulled out this little notecard. "Mooom, I made you this Va-len-tine!!" she said "I've been working really hard on it" she added as I took it from her. This one is a keeper, it will go in her file of special papers. As always she made sure to give me awesome shoes, she knows I am not a fan of heels :) :) Enjoying some of the fun colorful cards on the counter.... Filled some balloons up and put them in our room for Deke....Attached some "coupons" for different things for him on the strings. We had fun putting a little decor on the kids door before they came home from school. They loved it. Avery had us laughing when she started yelling, "Hunter!! Look there is licorice taped on our doors!!!!" jumping up and down. With her I swear it doesn't take much she is seriously a really easy to please child. She told me that she was going to tell Ms. Magill tomorrow that when she came home there was a pack of licorice taped on her door!I may have found these at Fry's and well, princess sugar cookies that have high heels on them. I had to get them for my little shoe fanatic. Happy Valentine's Avery Klaire. Whilst the older two were enjoying their day poor Emma was sick again. She has only ever had two Valentine's days and poor baby she has been sick on both of them. She is pretty darn sick too, feverish and a really bad cough. Off to the pediatrician tomorrow. A heart shaped pizza from Papa Murphy's for dinner ate picnic style with the kids and then running around pie pops to neighbors and friends for dessert. Then enjoyed the rest of the night with my hubby. It was a great day, poor Em though. All right baby girl next year I am going to be ready the week before vitamin C in hand to ensure a sick free day. Loving all the love round here.

Pie on a stick.

Valentine's time again. Which to me means a reason to make some yummy new treat to give to friends and family and to keep around the house to enjoy and munch on. How about mini heart shaped pies on a stick? Yum. I found the recipe online and it was really easy and tasted great. Found my popsicle sticks and 2in. cookie cutter at Hobby Lobby. Used some wonderful Pillsbury pie crust dough.Decided to make two kinds of pies. Some with an apple filling and some raspberry pies. Here is Deke shredding up the apple to make the filling....The first batch of apple pies out of the oven getting ready for their glaze...The raspberry filled pies being made....Coming out of the oven sprinkled with rock sugar crystals... Hanging out of the cooling rack...Now getting all fancy to get ready to start making trips to the neighbors. These were so yummy and the kids and I had a really fun time making them. Grab up a couple and a bowl of vanilla ice cream. Oh yeah.