Sunday, August 31, 2014

a little shark tooth hunting before graduation

 We tried to get all of the cleaning and packing done on Wednesday and Thursday so that we could enjoy the rest of our time together doing fun things. This was us at the Cracker Barrel when we were mostly done packing the cubes and we're hot, sweaty, tired, and ready for bed.
 But the next day we took my sister's kids to find shark and sting ray teeth in the river before Chris's graduation ceremony.
 I almost got one of these giant orb weavers on my face as I walked through the woods. I stopped a fraction away from its web, then looked up to see the creepy spider looking at me.
We had a picnic in the park near the stream, but I was paranoid about the kids playing in the park and getting hurt (Ethan broke his elbow at a playground several years ago). We'd waited so long and invested so much into staying for Chris's graduation that it would stink to have to spend the entire ceremony in the E.R. while someone got a broken arm fixed. So we didn't stay very long after our picnic.
After we cleaned up, we headed to Chris's ceremony. It was a great day, and I'll post the pictures later :)

so much to catch up on...

We moved across the country a few weeks ago, but before (and after) we moved, there were lots of family things we want to remember, and I've been slow to post because our computer is still in a box.
My parents, and my sister and her family came to visit for Chris's graduation. They helped us clean and pack, and we also got to do some fun things in between all the cleaning and packing. One of the days we headed to the museum by our house.
 The kids got to see how butterflies see.
 Swimming like a fish and acting like a shark...
 Ashley and Rebecca helped to build an woolly mammoth skeleton with a few other girls who were at the museum. It took a while, but they got it done.
 Sweet grandma and cousins walking back to our apartment together after having a fun day.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

anniversary at sea world

Chris asked what I wanted to do for our wedding anniversary the other day, and we had the "I don't know, what do you want to do," conversation. Finally he said, "How about Sea World?" This is a nice thing for him to offer because he doesn't really care for Sea World, and he knows I love it.
 The kids were excited. Since moving to The Swamp three years ago, we've pretty much always celebrated our anniversary with our kids. Josh said, "Yay, we're going to Sea World for our anniversary!" (I loved that he said our)
Sea World has changed in the decade since I last saw it in California. The dolphin show used to have more dolphin tricks, but now it has more trainer/acrobat tricks/dancing. And lots of "save the world" propaganda everywhere. But it was still fun to watch the dolphin tricks they still performed.
 This guy kept catching birds as part of the dolphin show. He was standing right next to me.
 Chris and I took turns going on the rides with the kids. He went on the loopy roller coasters, I went on the less-crazy rides. Josh says the boat ride IS a crazy ride, but I think he secretly liked it.
 This cool aquarium had sharks and fish in the ceiling and floor, not just the walls.
 Our fancy (and expensive) anniversary lunch. Dinner was even fancier, we ate at Wendy's on the way home.
Unfortunately, we sat in the splash zone at the Shamu show, and the announcer kept saying how wet we were going to get. I put my camera in a plastic bag to be safe, so I didn't get any good pictures of Shamu, they were all blurry and foggy from inside a sandwich bag. And...we didn't even get wet at all.
The shark tunnel is one of my favorite things at Sea World. Too bad my camera takes bad indoor pictures.
We didn't actually see live penguins -- for some reason the penguin place always had a huge hour or more wait, and we came back several times to see if the line had died down, but it never did. Must have been an amazing place for that many people to stand in line all day long.
 My camera's battery died right after I took the picture of the giant matinee, so I didn't get a better shot of the matinees and giant turtles swimming underwater, or a picture of Ashley and I petting a dolphin (who looked like it was going to bite my hand), or all of us petting a sting ray. We didn't get a picture of the acrobat show we had to run watch due to a quick tropical lighting storm that passed through.
Before we left, Ashley's newly discovered passion for roller coasters made her want to ride the Manta ray coaster again. Chris said he already went on it and it was my turn (we both used to love roller coasters, but realized in the last few years that we're old -- they aren't fun anymore, and 2 coasters is about our limit). I reluctantly agreed. You can't tell in this picture, but the seats tip down so your body is horizontal, and pretty much fly face down the entire way. It wasn't as bad as I imagined, but it was still too loopy for my enjoyment.
So we left the park and ate our fancy anniversary dinner at Wendy's, and then headed home. It was a fun way to spend our anniversary with our family, and have one last big adventure before moving. Now...on to packing.

Friday, August 1, 2014

some free skating amid the packing

My kids got some free skating coupons from school at the end of the year, and have been begging for months to use them. I kept putting it off until I realized we're moving in a few weeks and time has run out. So before our packing became too serious, we decided to use those coupons.
Josh has never been skating before this, and I was surprised at how quickly he caught on. 
 Our school coupons were better than the coupons we got from the library summer reading incentives. We got to skate two hours before other people showed up. We had the place practically to ourselves.
 Before long, Josh didn't need any help, and was trying to do things the other good skaters were doing. I had to remind him he had to practice and learn how to be a better skater before he could do those tricks.
 It was pretty hot, and the drinking fountain water was warm and metallic, so we decided to cool off with a slushee. We passed it around the table in an orderly fashion until it was gone.
 We all liked skating so much I might have to think about getting some kind of membership to a skating rink after we move. It's the kind of exercise that doesn't feel like exercise, just fun.