August 29, 2008

I Love School!!!

I took this picture on the first day of school last year. Check out how thrilled Jordan is to be starting school again.

This was taken on their last day of school in July. Notice the huge difference in their faces. Jordan was so excited to be moving out of elementary school that he REALLY dressed up by wearing a black button-down shirt. He looked great!

Hailey had Ms. Roach for 1st Grade. I absolutely ADORED her. She was so much fun with her class and really had a great sense of humor with the parents. I could have spent all day in the classroom sometimes.

Taylor & I really contemplated whether or not to advance Noah to the next grade, but she made his adjustment to the new class so smooth for him. She made me feel so much better about our decision when she told me at the end of the year that it was the right thing to do. He "fit" in this grade much better than 3rd.

I couldn't get a shot of Jordan and his teacher Ms. Henderson. This is him at his 5th grade Promotion program. We are so proud at how much he accomplished this year.

Hailey & Noah are both excited to have the teachers they are assigned to this year. Noah is the big man on campus this year in 5th grade & Hailey is in 2nd grade.

Jordan is in his first year of Middle School. He is so excited to being starting such a different experience and he really adjusted well the first week. I'm thrilled that they have uniforms at this school. They look so much nicer in these polos, plus dressing him is a LOT cheaper this way.

Ben was so excited to have his brothers home at the end of the first day of school. There is always entertainment when they are around.

August 24, 2008

San Diego

This month, Taylor had a conference in San Diego for a few days. In order to take advantage of the free room and gas money, we decided to make it a family vacation. This trip was a little different though because I had to entertain the troops while Taylor was in meetings for two of those days. Since I'm not the greatest with directions and maps, I tend to rely a lot of Taylor when we travel, so this was a big learning experience for me.

The first place we went to was Sea World. My foot is still causing me trouble, so we rented a wheelchair. The kids thought this was great fun to hitch rides with me. One thing I learned is that if you have a wheelchair, waiting in long lines can be virtually eliminated. We got to ride the "special boat" (our raft was blue while the rest were yellow) and the kids got to ride twice since Taylor and I switched off. We also had lunch by the killer whales' tank while they practiced their tricks. This was pretty neat to see.

Benjamin was just 1 inch too short to ride most of the rides. Taylor tried to work it and have him stand a little up on his toes, but it's not like anyone has ever tried that before. They were pretty tight on this rule. I had to take a photo of Taylor trying to work the system.

For the Journey to Atlantis ride, we ended up being able to get Ben on the ride. I love the picture they took of us on the big drop. At this point there is a stream of water pouring down on us, so all of our eyes are closed......except Ben. He had a look of terror on his face that partly made me feel bad, but partly made me laugh (I know we're horrible parents).

This was one of the days the kids and I spent alone. Coronado Island has some pretty good beach areas. The area we went to had a dog area right next to us. It was fun to see all the dogs playing in the water. Benjamin was VERY nervous to even touch the ocean water. I was even really good by staying under an umbrella most of the time (and we were only there for 2 hours!).

The next day, we went to Birch Aquarium. This aquarium is right next to the ocean and has some really neat looking animals. I was mostly fascinated by the dragon seahorses (center picture) and the potbellied seahorse (center right). Afterwards, I had the kids pose for a picture by this amazing fountain with whales diving in and out of it. Noah thought it would be a great idea to walk along the outside of the fountain. While he was reaching up to touch the tail of one of the whales, he lost his balance and fell completely in the fountain. He's going to be mad I posted this picture, but as the saying goes, he'll look back at this someday and laugh. You can't live a good life without at some point completely embarrassing yourself.
Finally, we headed back to the hotel, but not before stopping off to see the San Diego Temple. It's an amazing site as you pass right by it on the freeway.

We took a tour of the U.S.S. Midway. We couldn't believe how small the areas were for them to sleep. I already have a great respect for the men and women in the military, but I never quite knew how miserable the living conditions were for them while they were on these ships.

There is a ride simulator on the Midway that is called "StrikeFighter 360" where you fly a fighter jet trying to shoot at the enemy planes. I knew this would be bad news for my motion issues, but of course the boys were all over it. Boys will be boys and thought it would be fun to crash into the ground. Listen closely and you can hear them yelling when they start facing up.

I have seen a photo of this statue before. The actual picture of this scene on the cover of Life magazine is a classic. It's always been a favorite of mine. So, naturally, we needed to imitate art.

Ben was completely wiped out one day coming back to our hotel, so Noah & I had some fun messing with him. I am a mean mom aren't I?
When all was said and done, it was a great vacation to squeeze in before school starts again. The kids and I may get to know San Diego pretty well over the next few years since his new job has their conference there each year. Next year I'll be a little more prepared, so maybe we can venture out a few more places.

August 10, 2008

I've Fallen

Okay, so I admit, I've fallen off the blogging wagon. I have so many things I want to post, so bear with me, I'm working on it.