Monday, April 30, 2012

We Took Our Animals to the Zoo

 Last Friday the folks from Diaries of the Happy Sanitarium met up with us at the zoo.  The kids rolled down hills, rode on the carousel, ate cotton candy, chased each other in circles, played in all the little caves and animal burrows, climbed on all the animal statues, and occasionally stopped to look at the other animals.
 Hey Natalie, that's the very same fox cave that you and I got our picture taken in 10 1/2 years, 2 husbands and 5 kids ago : )

 This would have been a very different experience had there been no fence between us.  See him napping there?  In the wild, I would have been in his belly.  At the zoo he can only dream about such things.

 A Golden Eagle.  I actually have seen one of those in the wild--and he didn't try to eat me.

 There were two things that were different about this trip to the zoo.  First off, it was busier than I've ever seen it.  The school bus parking lot was beyond full.  In fact, the entire second grade from Ezra's school turned out to be there. 
 The other different thing was the amount of time spent there.  Usually we get there around 10:00 AM, wander around, stop to play at the indoor playground, wander a bit more and then head home by 1:00 or 2:00 because everyone is tired out or nap time is causing issues.  THIS time, there was no stopping at the indoor playground and there was no going home at 1:00 or 2:00.  Nope, we walked (or ran, in the kids' case) around and around that zoo for 6 hours.  My legs were pretty tired out and achy by the end of the day.  I couldn't be a wimp when my pregnant friend wasn't complaining, though :) 
Taking my animals to the zoo and meeting up with friends is a pretty nice Friday, in my way of thinking.  We only have 8 weeks left in this school year, which means only 8 more Fridays off.  Next year Ezra starts first grade and our Friday outings will have come to and end : ( 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Family Pictures

The whole kit and caboodle.
 All of the photos in this post are taken with my Aunt Lynne's camera.  Thank you for sharing all of your photos with us, Aunt Lynne!  Getting a large group shot is always a challenge--I think we managed to get a few decent ones of mostly everyone.  And after all the pictures were done, we had fun eating, gabbing and letting the kids run off steam before we all piled into cars and began various treks home.
Grandpa and his three daughters.

Grandchildren (minus 2) and spouses (minus 1).

All five greats

Aunt Jenny's family

Jackie's Family

Lynne's Family

Pigging out after we were all done smiling.

Jaylin running--as usual.  He's so fun to chase!

Jake doing what he likes to do with kids.

This is one of my favorite shots of the day.

Caroline with "Red Haired Erin".

Yes, I look a little  bit like my Mom and Aunt Lynne : ) 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Introducing Tommy Sea Turtle

Back in February when Nora turned two, I allowed myself to be convinced her pleas for a turtle for her birthday should be given in to.  

 Tadd was a harder sell, but gave in against his better judgement.  He even went off to the pet store to purchase the turtle and an aquarium set up kit while I whisked Nora home for a nap.  What a kind Daddy.  He and Ezra worked long and hard to get the aquarium in working order.  Now, the main reason that Nora wanted a turtle was because she had been fascinated by the turtle at her cousins' house in California.  Their turtle is named Plymouth.  From the time we were there in December until her birthday Nora kept insisting "I get Pimuth my birfday!"  Plymouth seemed small and easy to care for.  He lived in the outdoor pool of said cousins' house for a week before he was discovered and brought in to an aquarium.  He was able to be left for long weekends with a few extra food pellets and no other care.  He regularly swims laps in their pool and stays healthy and happy.  What's not to like, huh? 
 We did a little Internet research on aquatic turtles (whatever did we do  before the Internet???  Find the yellow pages, call a pet store, wait on hold for twenty minutes and then pose our questions to a human being, that's what).  The main concern seemed to be that they carry salmonella and so young children should not handle them.  I figured that was good, that meant we wouldn't have to take the turtle out and play with it.  Win-win.  So, Nora got her birthday turtle.  And he is much, much  bigger than Plymouth was.  And not nearly as social.  We found out that turtles have personalities and our turtle, who is a male, is moody.  He must be about 13 because all he does is sleep, eat, poop and hide under his rock with a grumpy look on his face.  Nora really wanted to name him Plymouth, but was overridden in that decision and so Tommy Sea Turtle was christened into the family.  Nora likes to drop food in his tank--she tasted the food only once, once was enough, thankfully.  It tastes "icky" apparently.  If you open Tommy's tank for feeding or cleaning purposes she will say over and over again "Don't scare MY Tommy!"
Let me tell you, me scaring Tommy is not as big a problem as Tommy scaring me.  I do NOT like touching him.  It took me about 5 times of cleaning his tank before I would pick him up.  And in the picture above (taken by Caroline) I was about to scream like a girl at the top of my lungs and drop him back into the water.  Turtles bark when they are mad--it's very quiet--and he was barking and flailing his little turtle limbs at me.  Red eared sliders are known to bite.  I don't care to find out how bad it hurts.  If you ask Nora these days "How's Tommy?"  her only reply is "He poops."  And it's true, he does, a lot.  I get to use a turkey baster to suck it all out of the bottom of his tank and clean up the water once a week.  It's the highlight of my week.  Seriously.  I love it.  What?  You don't believe me?  A couple weeks ago when I finished with my tank cleaning chore, Nora said in a very stern and motherly voice to HER Tommy "Now don't poop Tommy."  She read my mind.
And there they are.  A girl and her turtle. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Grandpa's 80th

 Last weekend saw us headed off to Walla Walla for my Grandpa's 80th birthday weekend.  Tadd was able to take Friday off work so that we could leave Thursday afternoon.  I only got my camera out during the actual birthday party, so there are no photos to document our fun time spent at Uncle Stan and Aunt Marianne's house.  Nor are there photos of Grandma Froese's new place, or of all the family staying at the Froese place for the weekend.  But we did have fun there.
Friday evening we moved over to Uncle Ted and Aunt Lynne's.  All three of Grandpa's daughters were in town along with 6 out of 8 grand kids and all 5 greats. 
Nora and her cousin Jaylin got to know each other.  Jaylin is the happiest kid you'll ever meet.  And he doesn't have a "stop" or "pause"  button either.  He's alllll go!  I wanted to be kissing his cheeks the whole weekend.

 All the kids love Auntie Emmy.

 We had planned to go out to a restaurant for the birthday party--but the day was beautiful and no one wanted to go inside.  So we barbequed and relaxed around Uncle Ted and Aunt Lynne's property for the evening.
 Happy  Birthday Grandpa!  I spent a lot of time at my Grandpa and Grandma's house in Walla Walla when I was a little girl.  Someday I will post about all my special memories of tea parties and special reading times with my Grandma.  They mean a lot to me.
 Deep conversations were had.
 We were so glad that Jaylin and his Mom, Kelsey were visiting from Hawaii so that they could be with us.  Now it might have been even more fun if we all had been at their place in Hawaii--but them coming to us was a little more feasible and cost effective.

 My Mom and Aunt Lynne had to put candles on Grandpa's cake for a special reason.  You see, when Grandpa turned 5 his Mom threw him the only birthday party he remembers.  And he remembers it for a sad reason.  He was sitting in front of his cake and everyone was singing to him.  Just as they stopped and he was about to have his moment of blowing out those candles--whoosh, his little friend beat him to it.  And boy was he sad.  SO--he got to blow out his own candles at his 80th birthday party to make up for that other party so many years ago : )
 Thankfully these two didn't puff them out and ruin another birthday party!

The kids had so much fun that they didn't want to leave Aunt Lynne's place the next day.  They had a blast playing with the 4 dogs, 8 (or more) cats and the rescued squirrel (Kathy).  Caroline was convinced that she'd be allowed to bring her favorite dog home with her--that didn't happen.  She and cousin Makenna spent the whole day Saturday playing with dogs, making little rivers and pools in the gravel, sword fighting down by the creek and running around the pasture.  What little girl wouldn't have fun with such carefree activities?  Ezra joined them at the end of the afternoon--but for most of the day he was busy driving the golf cart for his Dad and three Uncles at the local golf course where they all saw just how far off of par they could come in.
Sunday we had family pictures taken and I will try to post some of those shots soon.  Family photos are always good for a laugh!