Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
Let me share a little story about how Streak came to be. As I have mentioned in previous posts, "A" is very into frogs right now. In fact, she has counted all of her frogs (toys, stuffed animals, earrings, etc) and I think she has almot 150. Yikes! So I thought she would be thrilled if we got her a real frog for her birthday. So before breaking the news to "A" I went down to the pet store and did some research. This nice young lady that worked there informed me that the very best pet frog is the Pacman frog - bright colors, low maintenance and lazy - will just sit in your hand. Great! Sounded perfect. So I told "A" the plan and she couldn't have been more excited. Well, the day finally came and we took the whole family down to the pet store to pick out the Pacman frog. Well, there was a nice young man working that day and when we told him we wanted a Pacman - he quickly told us why that was a very bad idea. First, the Pacman frog can grow to be huge and it bites! He showed us it's tooth! He said he had a Pacman bigger than the size of his hand and he feeds it a baby rat once a week. Whoa! Then he hold us about his friend that had a Pacman take a bite out of his arm! Ok - no Pacman frog afterall. So we asked this "nice (and knowledgeable) young man" (who owns about every reptile or amphibian you could find in the pet store) - what would be the best pet frog for this sweet 10 year old girl. He proceeded to tell us about the Australian Blue Dumpy frog. The frog itself costs $50.00 but with everything we would need to take care of it - we were looking at dropping $100.00 on a pet frog! I should have nipped it in the bud but I let this guy go on and on about how wonderful the Australian Blues are. "A's" eyes were getting bigger and bigger while Wes was giving me the "what are you getting us into!" look. After all was said and done, I had to explain to "A" that we had better take some time to think about such an expensive and involved pet and she agreed even as her eyes filled up with tears. I am proud of her because she tried hard to be understanding while dealing with the major disappointment of a broken promise. Believe me- I did not feel like a very good mom on this day!
Drawing done by I-man
Friday, April 25, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Although Bermuda is located only 600 miles East of North Carolina, it is actually a British territory - the oldest British overseas territory, in fact. It is an archipelago of 138 islands that are connected by bridges. It is about 20 miles long and 1 mile wide at its widest point. It is further north than most realize, however it still has a tropical climate with pink sand beaches with the most beautiful crystal blue waters! The population is around 60,000 but they usually get close to 500,000 tourists a year. Because they depend so highly on tourism for business - they have a reputation for being very friendly and accomodating. We definitely witnessed this! Several Bermudians said "hello" or "have a nice day" as we passed them in the street. Bermuda is also a renowned center for international business and has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. It is also very clean and safe.
Because of limited space, it is not possible to rent a car (Bermudians are only allowed to own one car). However, the best way to see the island is on one of these: And don't forget - Bermuda belongs to Great Britian. Keep left!
We zipped around the islands on our scooters and had a lovely time. I was unaware of the characteristic pastel colored houses that Bermuda is known for. The streets are lined with pastel pink, blue, purple, orange, white, yellow and green buildings - all with white roofs. The roofs have two functions - they are very sturdy and can withstand the winds during hurricane season and also the roofs are designed to collect rainwater and drain it into cisterns under the ground. They depend on this water collection because they have no fresh water source. Being surrounded by this Easter-egg colored architecture with the bright white-washed roofs felt kind of surreal in a way! Like out of a story-book.
This is the view of the island as we were arriving early Monday morning (photos compliments of Brad)
Here is a view of the many pastel colored houses with white roofs
A close-up of the terraced roof
For some reason - the idea of taking our helmets off for pictures didn't cross our minds!
The city of St. George - very European, huh?
Church's Bay - the one and only day we spent at the beach. We were completely prepared with wetsuits, snorkles and fins - and the hubby had a wonderful time. Unfortunately the water was too rough for me and after a near-drowning experience (ok, I am exaggerating just a little bit) - I spent my day reading a book on the beach.
He discovered this - did it belong to a marlin or swordfish??? Who knows? The city of Hamilton - the capitol
It was a delightful place!
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Brooke is a pastry chef and wonderful cook and so she always does amazing things with food. Look at the fabulous birthday cake she made for "A" (who celebrated her birthday while we were gone). Remember how much she loves frogs?
These are two of the meals Brooke made on April Fools Day. The "fried eggs and toast" is actually melted marshmallows with yellow frosting and a toasted piece of pound cake! And aren't those mini burgers and fries the cutest? (click on the pictures to make them larger)
Check this out! Brooke came up with this idea. The "baked potato" is actually a ball of ice cream rolled in Nestle Quick with toffee bits for the "eyes" of the potato. The sour cream is whipped cream topped with a yellow starburst for a pat of butter and green and black sprinkles for pepper and chives. So cute! She really is amazing and does stuff with my kids I would never do. We all loooooove Brooke!
Unfortunately we don't have any pictures of the fun the kids had with April but there was plenty of it. There was picnics at the park, movies, treats, and fun. She definitely won the hearts of my kids. And me too! I returned home to a sparkling clean house with homemade cinnamon rolls rolls waiting for breakfast in the morning. How can you beat that? Oh and with her medical expertise, she treated 3 of my kids who got sick at the end of the week. She even had "A" tested for strep and had one of the docs prescribe her an antibiotic! Talk about excellent care!
I can't thank you enough ladies!
Monday, April 14, 2008
Mopsy (the one with the little white spot on her nose)
Flopsy (identical to Mopsy except for the white spot) - catching some rays
Who knew bunnies had personalities? Well, kind of. Mopsy is very mellow, easy to catch and likes to be held. Flopsy on the other hand is a little more skitterish, very quick, and harder to hold. It makes me smile because they kind of remind me of two kids I know...
I will try to post some pictures of the hutch after he adds a few finishing touches.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
#1 - The Big Year. Check out Kip's review here. I really enjoyed this book because I also love birdwatching. But whether or not you feel the excitement behind the binocs - it still is a very interesting story and a fun read.
#2 - Interpreter of Maladies. You can read Jennette's review here. This is a Pulitzer prize winning collection of short stories. I enjoyed the characters and especially the descriptions of the Indian culture.
#3 - Autobiography of a Face. I just barely posted a review here. This is a memoir about the author's diagnosis of cancer at age nine and how it impacted her life. Good story!
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
We boarded the SS Noordam Saturday afternoon and sailed down the Hudsen river past NYC, Ellis Island and the State of Liberty. Amazing views! We were scheduled to be at sea until Monday morning so we settled in for plenty of eating, sleeping, reading, watching movies, and exploring the gigantic ship. It was very fun and relaxing. There was also a very nice church service held on Sunday. It was hymn/testimony meeting where anyone that wanted to could share why they loved a certain hymn and then we would all sing that hymn. Two that I remember were "America the Beautiful" (see below) and "Master the Tempest is Raging" (we were getting some pretty strong wind and waves at that time!).
Let me give a little bit of background about this cruise and how we got on it. The company Stampin'Up had reserved the entire ship for their top sellers and their families but ended up with a few hundred extra rooms. They donated 185 rooms to members of the Utah National Guard that had served time in Iraq and they also donated some rooms to charity groups so they could sell them off and keep the profit. The rest of the rooms were sold for an amazing $600 a couple! We were able to take advantage of this great deal because Weston's friend Brad knows the owners (they actually live in our town). There ended up being about 1900 people on the ship - most of which were Stampin'Up associates. They really were a lovely group of people and made the trip all the more fun. Also, we cruised with Brad and Kristen which was an absolute blast!
Life aboard the Noordam
Wes ran into one of his best friends from high school that he hasn't seen for about 10 years!
Wes and I on one of the two formal nights.
The ship was over 900 ft long!
This is our cabin. Every night our cabin steward would turn down our bed and leave a chocolate along with a room service breakfast menu and a schedule for the next day's programs.
Also, our cabin steward would leave a towel sculpture on our bed every night. Cute!
As anyone who has been on a cruise knows, it's all about the food...(most of these pictures were taken the night of the chocolate extravaganza)
There was plenty of fun on the ship - a spa, nightly entertainment, an ongoing karaoke contest, games, lectures, cooking classes, etc. But let's not forget the delightful island of Bermuda! I will save that for my next post.