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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pregnant Belly Art

Yesterday morning, Chloe had her notebook and pen out and was drawing pictures of people.  She made a very cute little sketch of Mitchell, and upon seeing it, I requested that she draw a picture of me, pregnant (just curious to see how I look to her with my belly).  Well, apparently, that is all she sees when she looks at me- my belly.  Below is "Mom" by Chloe- just one big baby belly.

(I wonder if this is how everyone sees me??)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Boys & Frogs

What is it with boys and frogs?  For the past few years, Ben has been obsessed with catching frogs and letting the kids play with them.  This past weekend, he took Chloe down to our neighborhood pond to catch fish, but when they had no luck, they tried their hand at catching frogs and caught a huge bullfrog!  They met Mitch and I at the nearby park for dinner and after eating, Mitch played with the frog.  He had no fear and was obsessed with poking its eyes.  It was pretty funny.  As the video clip shows, he also desperately wanted to kiss the frog (his mean mom wouldn't let him).



Frogs and snails and puppy dog tails- that's what little boys are made of!
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Preschool Graduation

Chloe graduated from preschool 2 weeks ago, although since she is only 4, she will be going back to this same preschool next year for round 2.  But we are still proud of her for all of the hard work she has done this year and the maturity that she has gained.  She has really grown up this past year and preschool was one of the big reasons for that.

They had an end of the year celebration/graduation ceremony at our local Super Jump.  Chloe loved the inflatable toys and huge slide.

Here she is going down the slide with her teacher and a few friends.




Mitch found a ball game and played there most of the time.

After playing hard, the kids got together and sang the parents a few of the songs they have learned the past year.  It was so cute.


Here is Chloe with her fabulous teacher Miss Cindy.  Chloe adores her and I'm so glad she will get to go back next year to her class.  Her teacher made each of the kids a Graduation Certificate and then wrote each child a personalized message on the back.  I will share what she wrote about Chloe because she captured her perfectly!

"Chloe is a joy to have around!  She is always in the middle of a crowd, easily engaging with every personality, both boys and girls.  I enjoy seeing her mothering instincts and its fun to see her take charge-personality that the other kids are happy to follow.  Chloe has become more confident in getting in front of a group.  Its been a long time since I've seen her adorable "hands-covering-her-face" when the spotlight is on her.  She loves to take part in all of our varied activities and works hard at everything, from tracing letters to painting and crafts.  It will be great having Chloe in preschool again next year!  I love you Chloe!!"

We love Chloe too and are so proud of her!

The ended the party with pizza and cake.  Chloe can't wait until September when she gets to go back to preschool again!


Summer Time!

With some warm summer weather finally here, we have been enjoying every minute that we can!  Here are some of our favorite summer activities so far.

We bought this little double camping chair at a garage sale this year and the kids love it.  It has been put to good use eating ice cream cones on hot afternoons on the porch.

Last year's purchase of the $10 wading pool is still a hit this year and the kids can entertain themselves in it for quite some time.
Here they are in it almost exactly one year ago, last June.

A pool is a perfect place to enjoy a sticky popcicle.






We have been eating watermelons like crazy the past few months.   Chloe picks out the melon, and Mitch verifies that it is a good one.


Yep Dad, it passes!

The kids love the local sprinkler park.  Thank goodness Mitchell is walking or this would not have been as fun of an activity.


We have also enjoyed going on bike rides as a family.  Chloe can finally ride her own bike this year and that has been so fun.  Mitch is now the lone man in the bike trailer and loves it.  Just don't tell him his sister's hand-me-down bike helmet has pink flowers all over it.... I suspect from the look on his face he already knows!


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Act like a Puppy!

In honor of selling that last of our puppies in May, here is a post of my remaining "puppy."  Mitchell decided one afternoon to imitate the pups and get a drink on all fours, straight from the puppy water dish.  As gross as it was, it was pretty funny and before we stopped him, we had to get a picture and a quick video. 







video

Monday, June 8, 2009

Aloha!

With two more babies coming in October, Ben and I decided it was time for one last hurrah before, as so many people have kindly pointed out, we will become "totally overwhelmed."  We have not been on a trip alone, without kids, or on a trip that wasn't to see family since our honeymoon almost 6 years ago.  After our planned trip to Mexico got cancelled (ever heard of swine flu?), we rebooked and decided to go to Hawaii!  We were very excited. 

We left the kids with my parents and off to the island of Oahu we went for 6 days.  The weather was beautiful- around 85 degrees everyday and with plenty of humidity.  My naturally frizzy hair didn't stand a chance and after the first day, I quit trying to fight it and just wore my hair up for the rest of the trip.  If I ever moved to Hawaii, I would never have a decent hairstyle, unfortunately.

Here was the view from our hotel balcony.  It looked out onto downtown Honolulu.  No, all those tall buildings are not businesses and such- they are all hotels!

We arrived on a Saturday and on Sunday, we found a nearby church and attended Sacrament Meeting.  The "foyer" of the church was outside and all of the other classrooms were connected to this outside foyer.  So after Sacrament meeting, you walk out the doors and they lead you right outside.  You walk across the outside foyer to your next class.  I could get used to that, although taking your kids out in Sacrament for being noisy would be hard- they would get "punished" by being able to run around outside!

After church, a Hawaiian member of the ward came up to us and introduced himself and asked where we were from.  Upon hearing we were from out of town, his very sweet, elderly mother asked me if she could give me her fresh flower, hand made lei that she had worn to church that day (I'm wearing it in the picture above).  It was beautiful!  Her son put it over my head and gave me the traditional kiss of giving a lei after putting it on me.

We couldn't get enough of the beautiful turquoise colored ocean views!

Ben is my water man- he could have spent all day and night in the ocean just swimming and snorkeling.  Next time we come to Hawaii, I need to be sure not to be pregnant.  This pregnancy, especially being twins, has made me very woozy and if I stayed in the ocean too long, I got very dizzy, light headed and nauseous.


On Monday, we headed up to North Shore and saw BYU-Hawaii campus.

We also went to the temple, which is unfortunately closed for the next year for remodeling.  The visitors center was open, though, and the grounds were beautiful of course.

Next we went to the Polynesian Cultural Center, which was my absolute favorite place we went in all of Oahu.
They have each of the Polynesian Islands represented and you go around to each "island" and learn about the culture and people.  The people who work at each island are authentic people of that island (ex: Tongan, Samoan, Hawaiian, etc).  At the Samoan island, 2 men showed us how to properly use a coconut to its full use.  They used the leaves to hand make this headband I am wearing.

They also made this hat/visor as well from the coconut leaves.  Ben and I were lucky enough to be one of the few in the audience who got to have one!

I got a Polynesian tattoo as well- when it started to rain, it started to come off.  Isn't it hideous?  I can't imagine having it as a real tattoo every day of my life.  My eyes were drawn to it every time I looked down for the rest of the day.

At the Hawaiian island, I learned to hula dance.  (Notice my huge tattoo??)

Half way through the tour they had a canoe show where all of the islands put on a dance on a canoe.

It started pouring rain in the middle of the show and lucky for us, our tour guide had rain ponchos for all of us.  And Hawaiian rain was wonderful- I am used to rain here in Seattle, but at least in Hawaii, it is still hot outside when it rains and the rain is refreshing and stops after a few minutes or an hour, instead of lasting all day.


That evening, we got to enjoy a real Hawaiian Luau!  We even got to see the pig being pulled out of the under ground oven (and boy was it delicious!)

As part of the luau, they had these dinner rolls made with Poi, a purplish substance derived from plants.  It is pretty tasteless and the rolls tasted just like any other roll, but it was weird for me to eat a purple roll.

Our Polynesian friends we met after the luau.



Right before the evening show, we got our picture taken with the "Samoan Warrior," one of the guys that ran the Samoan island.  He was the funniest man I have ever met in my life.  I recorded bits and pieces of his presentation/show (he is the one who made our fancy coconut leaves head wear) and if I had enough room on my camera, I would have recorded his entire presentation.  He was a riot.

On Tuesday, we went back to North Shore and stopped at random places and random beaches all day.  We went to the Dole Pineapple Plantation and got some yummy pineapple ice cream.  Fabulous!

I didn't know that pineapples grew in the ground.....

Later we stopped at the Aloha General Store for what claims to be "Hawaii's Best Shaved Ice."  I love shaved ice and we had to try it.  And yes, it really was the best.

Here is a random shot of my 18 week pregnant belly in Hawaii, for those of you wondering how ginormous my twin belly is.  And it's only going to get bigger, folks.

On Wednesday we went to Aloha Stadium where they have this HUGE swamp meet.  Vendors are set up along the entire outside perimeter of the stadium selling inexpensive souvenirs.  We got lots of fun things for the kids and Ben got himself a Hawaiian coconut.  First you make a hole in the coconut and drink the juice.

Then you split it open and eat the meat.  Ben loved it (reminded him of his mission days in El Salvador) but it was pretty tasteless and blah to me.

After we'd had our fill bargaining for souvenirs, we went to Pearl Harbor.  Here is the memorial they built over the top of the USS Arizona ship.  The ship sank in the harbor with all of the men on board and the boat and the men who went down with it are still there, in the same place they fell.  The ship and the water are the final resting places for 1,177 men. 


Once on the memorial, you can look over board and directly below you and see the entire remains of the ship.  It was pretty incredible.  It was a really neat place to visit.

We had a wonderful trip and enjoyed almost a week of beautiful, hot, sunny weather, which was much needed after such a LONG winter.  Aloha and mahalo to Hawaii for a fantastic, much needed vacation.

Although it was a wonderful trip, we were anxious to see the kids again!  A HUGE thanks to my wonderful parents for keeping our kids and taking such great care of them for a week and a half.

The kids enjoyed their souvenirs! :)


In their Hawaiian outfits.