Thursday, January 27, 2011

2010 Recap Part 2 - San Diego

When we go on a trip I take a T-O-N of pictures. And I have a hard time consolidating these down for my chronological highlights folders so I keep my trip/vacation pictures in their own seperate folders and upload and print those seprately. In March we went to San Diego for spring break. Jim had to be there that week for work so the kids and I hopped a plane and met him out there. He had to work the first daybut after that he was on vacation. I had never been and I loved it! It was unbelievably sunny and beautiful every single day we were there. The only time we encountered clouds even was one late afternoon we went out to Coronado Island and it was overcast and windy. Other than that, sun and blue skies.

We did every touristy thing we could think of while we were there. Here's the photographic recap.

First stop Hard Rock Cafe for lunch while Jim worked.

The next day Jim was done with his work stuff so the vacationing started in earnest. We decided to tour the aircraft carrier USS Midway. I really thought we'd be there an hour tops...that the 3Js would get bored and we'd go do something else. Well, it turns out they loved it and didn't want to leave. We were there at least 3 or 4 hours...long past the time I was ready to go!

When we had seen all we could see we decided to go on a harbor cruise. We got this shot of the Midway from the harbor.

And this shot of the 3Js.

The next day we headed out to the world famous San Diego Zoo.

We loved the whole zoo but one of the coolest things was being able to see the Giant Pandas. We waited in line for a while because they limit the number of people going through the exhibit at any one time. They asked that you be quiet as you walk through so as not to disturb them too much. There was a baby panda asleep in a hammock. The mom walked out of her interior space straight toward us then proceeded to sit down with her back to us and munch on some bamboo. She sat that way the rest of the time we were in the exhibit.

The zoo was huge and we explored every inch of it. There are lots of elevated walkways so you can see down into exhibits. I haven't been to another zoo quite like this one. We loved it and had a great day!

After the zoo, we decided to take a drive over to Coronado Island. As you can tell from the above photo it was nice and sunny when we left the zoo, but by the time we got over to the island it had clouded over and was cool and windy. The kids played around on the beach for a little bit and I snapped a few photos but got too cold and went to wait in the car for them. This was the only bit of inclement weather we had on our entire trip.

I'll recap the rest of our trip in another post...not sure how many photos I can include in one post. I feel I might be stretching the boundaries with this one.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

First 2 Weeks of 2011

One of the reasons I want to try to keep up with my blog this year is to help make it easier to complete a "Project Life" album...similar to Project 365 (which is an album with a picture a day) but without the stress of having to take a picture a day. So, with that said, I thought I'd post about the events of the first two weeks of this year.

We started out 2011 celebrating the new year with a great group of friends at the Hyler's new house.

I finally got my christmas cards sent out on January 5th!

A new thing I did this year was to put all the photos we had gotten in Christmas cards on the back door leading out to the garage. I love being able to see all these smiling faces of friends and family every time we leave the house. I still have them all it so much I don't want to take it down!

Here's Bella enjoying one of the blankets Tom and Cindi sent the kids for
Christmas. Don't worry...the kids have enjoyed them too!

On January 8th the kids and I drove to Austin so we could watch Jordan's Blue Tide team mates swim at a swim meet at the University of Texas. Jordan was supposed to be swimming as well, but due to her injured back/kidney she wasn't able to swim. She was so dissapointed about not being able to swim that we decided to go anyway so she could watch. Jim didn't come with us because he had been out of town and didn't get home until about 1:00 a.m. Saturday morning and had to be on a flight back out on Sunday afternoon.

Jordan took those pictures of us on the car ride. Jensen is comfy in the back with her new American Girl doll she got for Christmas and enjoying the new iPad. That thing is awesome! Judging by Jackson's hair he looks like he just woke up from a little nap. We were on the road pretty early and the kids all immediately fell asleep when we got in the car!

The natatorium at UT was pretty impressive. They have three 25 meter pools. They were running events in two of them simultaneously and using the third for warm up and warm down laps.

These are some of Jordan's swim buddies...Haley Harper and Chloe Hoover. We went to the team lunch at Spaghetti Warehouse on Saturday after the girls got done swimming.

No road trip would be complete without a stop at Bucees. We picked up a pound of beef jerky and some Beaver Nuggets and were back on the road to home as happy as could be!

Jim was on his way back to Toronto before we got home Sunday. Later in the week he emailed us this picture of what he was enduring way up north.

The week ended on a sad note. Jackson had a boy scout campout this past weekend and Jim went as well as a volunteer.

The campsite was not too far, only about an hour drive away. They left early Saturday morning, around 5:30 because the younger scouts had to go on a 5 mile hike as a requirement for their next rank advancement and the hike was to start at 7:00 a.m. I don't know if you can tell from the picture but it was rainy that morning and continued to rain and be miserable all weekend. One of the older scouts was to lead the boys on the hike. He was a junior in high school and driving himself to the campout when he lost control of his car and hit a fence. A board from the fence went through his windshield and killed him.

I haven't been able to stop thinking about that boys' parents. They probably never dreamed as they were sending him off on a wholesome activity like a boy scout campout, that that would be the last time they would see him. I keep thinking if it had been me, I'd have been grateful that my child could drive himself up there while I stayed snuggled in my bed on an early, rainy saturday morning. Life as we know it could change at any instant.

Jim, Jordan, Jackson, Jensen I love each of you. I keep this blog for myself, but also for all of you so that if life as we know it ever changed you would know how much you mean to me.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

2010 Recap - part 1

Over the course of 2010 I uploaded 3500 photos to my computer. Wow. That's a lot of photos. Every quarter I go through the last three months' worth of photos, pare down, and save some into "chronological highlights" folders. These are the photos I upload to an online photo processing place and eventually print. For 2010 I had almost 800 "highlights" photos. That's still a lot. So since I didn't really post anything here in 2010 I thought I'd try to pare down even further and share a few photos from each quarter of the year that were my favorites or represented something we did.

Here we go with Part 1
January - March

We started out the year with a belated anniversary celebration - 19 years - with dinner at a steak house downtown. I think one of the kids must have taken this photo...notice the tree all un-decorated. I think this was Saturday, Jan. 2nd.

Over the course of the year, there were several visits from the tooth fairy for this little girl.

Jackson participated in his last Pinewood Derby. That looks like an award winning paint job to me!

Jordan auditioned for, and made, the Region Orchestra. She was selected for the top Symphonic orchestra as a 7th grader...there weren't very many 7th graders in this orchestra and the music was very hard. There were two long days of rehearsals and a concert. Jordan dubbed it the "worst experience of her life." It was so bad that she refused to try out again this year in 8th grade. If you click on the picture to enlarge it you can just make Jordan out. She's slightly left of center in front of two girls in green jackets.

Jensen turned 7 and all she wanted was to have a sleepover party so that's what we did...7 little girls sleeping over! Jordan and her friend Haley (in the front) helped supervise the little girls while they decorated pillow cases.

Jim and Jensen attended the Adventure Princesses Father/Daughter Dance...the highlight of the A.P. social season!

Jensen FINALLY learned to ride her bike!

Jackson's cub scout Arrow of Light ceremony where they were officially turned over to the Boy Scouts. It was a very cool ceremony with a huge bonfire and fireworks.