Monday, February 16, 2009

Another San Francisco Trip--Valentine's Day get-away

It is not a coincidence that Rich and I chose to sneak away for Valentine's Day and go to San Francisco. He wasn't able to come along last week for the cousins' trip (pesky job). We had a great time, just the two of us, all alone in San Francisco from Friday to Saturday afternoon. Here are some pictures:

This is the view from our hotel room. It was pouring rain when we arrived, but it cleared up and only sprinkled a bit here and there until after we left. Our favorite thing about this hotel, which we booked randomly on Hotwire, were the his and hers booklights above each side of the bed. Nice!On Saturday, we took a tour of Alcatraz. Here is our boat. The stormy weather made for a beautiful view as well as a turbulent bay (meaning we were ready to give up the view to get off the ferry and get our landlegs back.)

A view of Alcatraz from the boat
A view of the city from Alcatraz. If you haven't done this tour, we highly recommend it if you are ever in SF. We did the audio tour, and we also did a ranger "sitting tour" in which the ranger gave us all the details behind one of the famous escape attempts when the Marines came in a dropped bombs down the pipes. We came right home and put Escape From Alcatraz on our Netflix queue. We spent over two hours touring, and we could have spent another two, but we ran out of time. Really, even the ferry ride over and back is worth the trip because of the fantastic views!

We came back that evening and had heart-shaped pizzas with chocolate fondue for dessert as a family. Here are Daniel, Katie and Beth enjoying the chocolate. (Katie kept up our tradition of making pink pancakes and waffles for breakfast while we were away.)

Beth, Jeffrey and Adam

Dad gets in on the dessert.

A chocolate dipped marshmallow. Yum!

Anna got her share of the yummies too.

Notice anyone missing? Jacob had come down with a fever of 103 and was not interested in eating any of the Valentine's treats. I was so glad to be home early to take care of him (and the four others that have since come down with it.)

I am going to leave this with a little tribute to my sweetie. Rich is the best husband ever. Let me give a few examples. While we were away, it did sprinkle a bit. We only had one umbrella, so he held it up for me the whole time, giving me his arm to hold on. I am sure his arm got tired, but he never complains. Even better, when our Friday night plans to get lottery Wicked tickets didn't work out, we had dinner and then headed back to the hotel. We got into our pjs and snuggled up to watch a movie in our comfy hotel room (which was even more comfy compared to the freezing weather outside.) At Rich's suggestion, we watched Twilight despite the fact that there were many exciting action selections available. Isn't that a sweet guy? He is always the first one up and the last one to eat. He always goes out to run the errands in the rain, and he always carries the baby in from the car. I could go on and on. Thanks for being so wonderful, sweetheart!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

San Francisco Trip

The first Wednesday of the month is free day at the Exploratorium, a hands-on science museum in San Francisco. We took everyone out of school and took a day trip to San Francisco with Jeanette's family. Curt had the day off, so he came, too. We completely filled up the 15 passenger van, and off we went. Here are some pictures of all the fun we had:
Here is the van full up with Ipod toting kids. Those not listening to Ipods watched the in-trip movie!
Before going into the museum, we had our picnic lunch on the lawn behind the building. The kids had a great time feeding the ducks leftover sandwiches and cookies.

Here are Jeanette's Melissa, Adam, Beth, Josh and Jeanette's Ryan feeding the ducks.

Anna, Beth and Daniel in one of the sound-proof music rooms at the Exploratorium.

Adam uses a double mirror to make himself look like he has lots of arms and legs. The museum is full of hands-on science activities. The 11 and under crowd ran from one thing to another for as long as the teenagers would tolerate (and actually even longer than that!)

Adam, Anna, Melissa and Beth at another exhibit.

Julia and Katie watch as Beth uses the huge bubble maker. This was by far Beth's favorite thing to do! You can see by their expressions how excited the teenagers were.
After we left the Exploratorium, we went across the street to the beach where you could see huge ships passing under the Golden Gate Bridge, as well as Alcatraz Island. This picture is of all the kids (except Daniel) with the Golden Gate in the background. Jeanette's Janae and Julia, Katie and Jacob, Josh, Ryan, Melissa, Beth, Jeffrey, Adam, and me holding Anna. It was chilly!

After we walked along the beach, we drove up to the base of the Golden Gate so that we could walk up to an observation point part-way across. This picture is of the flower garden just before you reach the base of the bridge.

Here is Jacob on the way up waving to passing commuters.

The view back to the city from the Golden Gate Bridge on the way up.

Katie and Jacob at the observation point.

Katie, Jacob, Julia, Jeanette, Janae, Daniel, Josh, Ryan, Melissa, and Adam from the bridge

Ryan, Josh and Adam looking over the edge of the bridge. Curt and Daniel are in the background. Those are Jacob's feet sticking out. Josh told me that, although he is scared of heights, he was glad he decided to go up the bridge because it wasn't scary at all.

Jeffrey was sufficiently intimidated by how high up we were, so he didn't try to climb up to look over the bridge. He felt safest sitting right on the ground looking through the bridge to the water below. At one point, we thought we saw a shark, so he got a closer look, but still from the safety of the ground.

Anna slept in the stroller through the whole Golden Gate experience, which made me much more relaxed. Beth was scared to even get close to the edge at first.

But she warmed up after a while.

After we came back down, we took this picture of one piece of the cables that support the bridge. If you look back at my pictures, this is one of the big cables that hold it all up. Here are Beth and Jeffrey standing next to it to help you compare the size.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Home Wrecker

Anna has crossed over from fussy, teething toddler to happy home wrecker. For one thing, she has learned to pull a chair or tub up to the counter and reach whatever she is interested in. Here you see an example of her destruction. She pulled this tub up, pulled out a variety utensils from the drawer, dumped out the cinnamon sugar, and began opening a new cube of butter when I found her.
In the past 24 hour period, she dumped out almost a full pitcher of orange juice all over the counter and floor, and into the drawer and cupboard below, dumped a cup of water all over the counter, painted bowls with the already opened butter, threw graham crackers off the counter one by one, and got into Katie's school supplies while she was sleeping and drew on the couch with a permanent marker.

Here she is trying to make amends by doing the dishes! : )

Monday, February 2, 2009

Kit Hawes January 13, 1947-February 2, 2004

Today marks five years since our mom passed away from lung cancer. I have been thinking about her a lot the past two days. Here is a picture of her in front of her flower garden. Mom was an amazing gardener. She had a green thumb and had a home full of plants and a porch and yard full of flowers. She was also a golfer. She got a hole in one once (and her name in the paper lots of times)! She and my step-dad, Rich, celebrated their 27th wedding anniversary the year she passed away. She worked for 30 years at CSU Chico in the accounting department and retired a few months before her diagnosis. She was also a fantastic grandma. Two of my children haven't gotten to meet her, yet.
The second picture is from her birthday in January, 2004. She had never ridden in a limousine, so Rich rented one to celebrate her 57th birthday. This picture shows Mom, Rich, Darlin and Papa (Mom's parents) and me. My sister, Jeanette, and her husband, Curt, also came, along with some of Mom's brothers and their wives. The limo took us on a ride around Canyon Oaks, where Mom lived at the time, and then to Mom's favorite Chinese food restaurant. While we were inside eating, the driver took the limo back to pick up my sister's eight children and took them for a ride. Then he came back and took us over to Shubert's Ice Cream to get some of Mom's favorite treat, Lemon Custard ice cream. It was a great night.
We sure miss you, Mom!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Individual Accomplishments

We've had an exciting few days. First, we had the Pinewood Derby. Here is Josh with this year's entry. He came in 3rd place in his den, which was good enough to win him a candy bar. We only had one Scout competing this year. Rich figured out that this was his 9th year helping to create a Pinewood Derby car. Only 6 more to go--3 with Adam who will be a Cub Scout in July, and 3 more for Jeffrey after that. Whew!

Also, Josh was awarded his Webelos badge. Only three more months and he will join the 11 year old Scouts with our Boy Scout troop.

Here's Josh showing off his muscles!

Saturday, Josh and Adam competed in their first taekwondo tournament. They are low green belts, so they sparred with other boys their same level. They are both having a lot of fun with it. Here is Adam with his sparring group. He got a bye for the first round, lost the second round, and got to compete for 3rd place, which he won.

Here is Josh putting on his sparring gear, next to one of his good friends, Amrit. His sparring group only had four boys, but one of them was about a foot taller than Josh. After winning his first round, Josh and that boy competed in the 1st/2nd place round, and Josh beat him! Rich told me that Josh found the tall boy's weak spot and exploited it. Josh said he focused on using his technique. I just think it's fun for boys to get to fight in a controlled setting--testosterone and all, you know!
Here they are with their ribbons--3rd place for Adam and 1st place for Josh. Everyone who competes gets a ribbon of some kind, and they also got a hot dog, chips and a soda. Not bad!

Finally, also on Saturday, Katie went to the Winter Formal dance at Folsom High with a group of girl friends. This was her first high school dance. They started getting ready in the afternoon, had dinner as a group, and then went to the dance at 7 pm. She had a great time. Doesn't she look lovely?
Jacob stayed home and did homework. I noticed that I didn't hear about a group of freshman boys who got ready all afternoon and then went to the dance together. They were all home playing Guitar Hero, I guess.