Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Okay, have GOT to get these August and September photos posted!!

One day, Russ set our microscope and webcam up so that Brook could take video and pictures of her rock collection, bug collection, feather collection, etc. under the microscope.

Missing these warm days already...

Grammie and Grampy sent light up toys!!  They were so cool they had to be brought to Albuquerque with us and are still regularly played with.

Before leaving CA we had to hit the tidepools, so we headed out to Moss Beach just north of Half Moon Bay.

Such a cool, creepy forest!

Ah, love my boys.

Even if they are zombies.

Look at all that kelp!!!

There were hermit crabs everywhere!

And lots of anemones!

And these things that would squirt water like crazy if you squished them.

After scouring the tidepools for awhile, the kids needed to do some climbing...and rolling.
They were absolutely covered in dirt after rolling down the side of this hill.

We hiked back the trail to go see the seals--you can see them there in the middle, sunning on the rock.
There were small herds of them scattered among the rocks.
Brook and I counted just shy of 50 of them out and about.

The gorgeous coastline.

Before heading to Albuquerque (actually, before we even KNEW we were headed to ABQ), the kids and I made a trip to Washington.
This was the first time braving the 15 hour drive alone with the kids.  We broke it up into two days and camped half way at a dispersed campground (aka - free campground) called Corral Springs.
It was pretty awesome--5 or 6 campsites, in the middle of the forest, no one else around.

Sam was happy to be out of the car and Minecrafting.

Brook wasted no time in covering herself in dirt.
Actually, she was going bullet shell collecting--she found well over 50 of them.  And as a bonus she found (and yes, collected) the cans they were shooting.


Our campsite.
It worked out great.  We were all tuckered and in bed around 8:30.  Kids played their Leapsters and I read my Kindle until we all dozed off around 9.
Then we were up and at 'em about 7:30 and on our way to WA.

Bubba had saved the boxes and styrofoam for the kids.
Sam liked being enclosed in the boxes.

 While Brooklyn enjoyed filling hers with water and having a pool party for her My Little Ponies and Barbies.

...which later turned into a human water party.

Love photos of my babes sleeping.  They are so peaceful.
Brooklyn was up late this night, working on her projects there on her desk to the left.

My handsome Tarzan.
With his Tom and Jerry shirt that he wanted to wear Every.Day.

Grammie and Grampy took us to Smallwood's Harvest up near Leavenworth.
Sam passed out on the way there and wasn't happy about getting out.
Until he saw toys.

Ah, love learning those real world skills.
"Me first.  No ME first."


Where's Grampy?

Sam was convinced that there were cows behind this door (it was a food stand, I believe).  He asked me to go open it because he was afraid the cows would get out if he did it.  I assured him they would not.
Alas, it was locked and we will never know if there were or were not cows behind that door. :)

This was a very fun place to check out and peruse.

They had all sorts of farm animals for you to feed and pet.
Way fun!

A couple more photos from our Washington trip.
Of COURSE there was a lot of trampoline-ing!
And doing it nearly-naked was apparently the best way to do it, I'm told.

It was so fun to be home and catch up with West a bit.  And it was even better when he didn't have to work (he worked nights) and came and gamed all night with the kids!
Sam and I lasted until about 11.
I was curious how late Brook would stay up.  I kept checking on her and finally at 4:45am I heard her snuggling into her bed.
She was so excited the next day to show me what they did and had the best time with West.
Good memories (which she still talks about today).

Our trip to Washington got cut very short when we made the decision to move from Livermore to Albuquerque.  We only had about 9 days to get home, pack, and move.  No pressure.
I didn't take hardly any photos, but was so glad I got this one of the kids destroying the pinata (which was filled with bird seed!).
Love this photo!

Alrighty, now on to this week's adventures.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Settling In

Holy crap, I am SO behind.
It doesn't help that we picked up another camera, either.
Do you know how much anxiety there is about downloading pictures form FOUR different cameras?!
Probably far more than there should be.
One day Brooklyn decided she wanted to experiment with piping frosting.
We baked our cake and went and got our supplies.
We made the frosting (with coconut oil--it was SO good!!), then whipped up each of the 4 flavors she picked out.
There was:
White chocolate raspberry
Mint chocolate
Black cherry
Bubble gum

 Sam popped into the photo for moral support.

Voila!  It was gone in a day or two, of course.

We moved here just in time to celebrate Albuquerque's International Balloon Fiesta!
It is a week-long celebration that includes everything from morning balloon launches (we were able to see a few from our house throughout the week), evening launches, glows (where the balloons are on the ground but they light them up in the dark, etc.  Oh, and there are 1000 balloons here!
What's so awesome about the glow is that you can walk amidst the balloons.
We decided to go to the Special Shapes Glow (click on link to see some of the awesome special shapes balloons!).

Waiting for Corinne at the Park n' Ride.

We got to ride on a bus!!...the novelty wore off in approximately 5 minutes.
It was a 30 minute ride there.  And back home again.

Brook and Corinne ready to be there.

Unfortunately, this is as much "glow" as we got that night.  The weather this week wasn't very good at all, so they cancelled the glow.  There were some neat fireworks though.
They do offer you tickets for another day if the balloons get cancelled, but none of us were to keen to go back out again this year.
Maybe we can give it another go next year.

We went to a chemistry experiments presentation at the children's museum (need to get photos of Brook volunteering as an assistant off of the cell phone...).  Knowing Brooklyn, I figured she'd be interested.  Right-O.
One of the favorite experiments involved testing pH with cabbage water.
So we picked up a cabbage and made our own indicator.
It's lasted us through 3 rounds of Brooklyn experiments!
Here's the Before anything was added (except the lemon juice, to make sure it worked):

And the After.
She then took them all and mixed them together.  Very interesting.
There was definitely more acid then base as the acids clotted the milk, which looked pretty neat.

 Our membership at Lawrence Hall of Science has more than paid for itself--it gets us into both the children's museum and Museum of Natural History (which are right next door to each other) for free.
This is Alberta the life-size Albertosaurus.

Russ giggled about this shot for quite some time.

First thing--a show in the Planetarium (during which at least 2 people fell asleep and were snoring...).
The kids and I liked it though!

Apparently Sam and I thought the T-Rex was funny.

Russ and Brook took off in one direction and Sam and I in the other.
Little did we realize the size of this place!  It is huge!!
After about an hour of wandering around (during which Russ got this neat photo), Sam and I were done and set out to find the other two.

Found him!  :)

Last weekend, Russ was craving some adventure (whereas the kids and I were not), so he set out to the Coronado State Monument to check out some old ruins.

Back home, the kids and I were getting crafty.

In more ways than one.  :)

I was trying to get a photo with his eyes open, little stinker.

Ta-da!!  That's my creeper!  He's worn this shirt every day for the past week, except for when it's in the wash.  Even then he refuses to put any other shirt on.
He has now requested an Enderman shirt.  Hmmm.

Corinne spent a week in New Orleans and sent us some awesome masks.  Russ tried to take a picture of Brook wearing one, but she ran away.
So he put one on and ran the other way.  Lo and behold, a game was born.
Here's one photo he got.

We went and checked out the Botanical Gardens last weekend.  They had some Hairy, Creepy, Scary thing going on where they had a bunch of crazy bugs and naked mole rats and baby alligators.
It was right up our alley.
After we got done petting tarantula legs, we found this awesome Alice in Wonderland place.
There was a castle, huge mushrooms, a cheshire cat, big bugs, tunnels...

A giant pumpkin to walk through.

A giant garden.

Giant eggs to play in (where Sam fell down into one and got a black eye).

An awesome metal slide through a log.

Gorgeous fall colors!!

A maze.

A pond.
(Yes, that is my child fishing money out of the penny pond.
Yes, he threw it back in.)

And a dragon.

Phew!  Made a dent in our photos--need to get the other half of our devices back so I can download this past week from them!  Russ went hiking this morning to the TWA crash site with some friends and he has 2 of the cameras.