Saturday, January 25, 2014


After slacking all year long, I'm almost up to date.  :)  I'm not too worried if anyone reads our blog, but it is a good place to write down our memories.

thanksgiving in california

We took off on Friday night and stopped in St George.  While it was quite cold the kids still decided it was time for a jump in the hotub.  
Arriving in San Pedro we went straight to my friends Allison and Greg home for dinner.  It was a perfect welcome back home.  I don't keep in contact with a lot of high school friends but it was great to know that some people make me feel like twenty years isn't a very long time.

We stated at Aimee's lovely home and had street tacos at Andrew's house.

We spent a day at the LA zoo, with Dani and Wally, where I hadn't been since I was a teenager.  The kids especially loved the komodo dragon and the koala bears.
 San Pedro parks, what a beautiful place to grow up....
 We took the kids to the La Brea Tar Pits.  I don't think the museum has been updated since I was a kid, but the kids didn't seem to mind.  Their favorite part was trying to pull these polls out of the tar.
While Lonnie waited at home with Trent to pick up Dani at the airport Andrew and Tom took Max, Maya, Stella and Sam to the Petersen Auto Museum while Aimee, Laura and I went to the LA County Art Museum, which was a wonderful treat.  We took the kids back later after the Tarpits just to take photos in this awesome installation.  Maya also wanted to see a Degas pastel drawing of ballet dancers and after seeing the painting made me promise I would buy her oil pastels.  
 Trent practiced his dance moves on the Tar Pit grounds.
 We drove out to Bakerfield on Tuesday, spent a lovely evening with Bob, Leslie, Gina and her family.  Gina's son Grant agreed to come with us the next day on a long drive out to Sequoia National Park.
 We got to hug trees, which was the main mission for the trip.
 We had Allred Thanksgiving.  I can't remember the last time I had been with my grandma, aunts, uncles and cousins for Thanksgiving.  It was great to be with all our family.
 Piles of cousins watching the kids put on a show in Bob and Leslie's bathroom.
 The performers....I loved having my kids get to know my side of the family.
 We left Bakersfield on Friday afternoon, stopping at Manzanar for a sober glimpse at what fear and prejudice can do.  We then spent the night in Bishop before heading to Mammoth Lakes.   The weather was perfect.  These small lakes were frozen over and people where sliding all over the lakes. The kids had a great time.
 We managed to get s squinting family photo.
 Two of my handsome boys.
 Another attempt at a family photo.
 Lonnie rarely lets out his inter geology geek, but thankfully he let us in on the secret of the Obsidian Dome near Mammoth.
 I'm proud to say we all collected rocks.
 Not far away we stopped at Mono Lake and saw the Tufas.  There is no one better to travel with than a geologist.
We then drove through the night to get home at 2am.  It was a wonderful trip.  Have I mentioned how cool it is to travel with my geologist hubby?

antelope island with leah

Our friend Leah, from New Zealand, came to visit and we took a drive out to Antelope Island.  We can see the island from the windows in our living room and sometimes we like to pretend we are looking out at the ocean with Rangitoto in the distance. 

It was a beautiful day.  We saw bison and the kids discovered their own rock playground.  It made me again remember how much I love the desert and especially The Great Salt Lake.


The kids were thrilled with Halloween.  We had dressed up for Halloween before in New Zealand, but it doesn't get anywhere near the hype that it does in the US.  The kids had a ward Halloween party, a school Halloween party and then actual Halloween.

Max dressed up as a snake, using a costume his cousins Kelly and Stella have both worn many times.

Trent dressed up as a dog.

Maya was a sheep.

They insisted that we decorate the front porch and the kids helped carve pumpkins for the first time.

Three months later we are still eating the Halloween candy.

pumpkins and fall leaves

Maya collecting sunflowers for our Vincent Van Gogh art lesson.
Exploring the corn maze and collecting pumpkins.
Jumping into the fall leaves....
It is not often that all three kids sit still for photos so I had a hard time choosing just one...