Wednesday, April 29, 2009

He's A Star!

Brandon earned his Star tonight in Scouts. I am so proud of him. Way to go B!

I Hesitate to Post This

Ok, I feel a little bit silly about posting this...but I can't help it. I was so excited when I logged into one of my favorite photo websites and found one of my photos featured on it. So I took a picture - of my picture - on the website. Mine is the third one over of the goose in the pond.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Happy Spring!

I have been enjoying getting out now that we have had some warmer weather. These are some of the photos I have taken while being out in the spring sun.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bird Watching

I spent the day with my sister, Melissa and her two daughters, London, and Lizzie. We went to the Shoreline Preserve in West Layton hoping to see some interesting birds.

Unfortunately, all we really saw at the Bird Refuge was this snake!
Later that evening, I went to Jenson Nature Park and found what I had been looking for all along.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Escape to Alcatraz

After our huge breakfast on the pier we took a boat out to The Rock.

A lot of the buildings are in ruins, some are in the process of being restored. This was not one of them.

Instead, native birds and not so native plants have taken over parts of the island. The picture of the purple flower below was taken inside the ruins shown behind the boys above. The Seagulls were very large compared to the ones that I am used to here in Utah. They build their nests along the cliffs around the island.

The main prison house is still very much intact. As you go in, you are handed an earset with a recorded guide. It moves you through the prison at your own pace. Along with the guide are sound effects of prison life. You hear slamming of prison doors and men hollering. Most of it is just background noise; but at times there were a few scary sounds. When in the kitchen there was a stabbing sound and in a few places there scuffling and shouting.

It was really eerie when the sound tour ended because all of a sudden the sound effects were gone and you realized you were shuffling through the prison with hundreds of other people in complete silence. While we were in this hallway one of the park rangers came up and started opening and closing cell doors. It was quite a system. We were told that the sound of the cell doors closing was used by Hollywood in several different movies including Star Wars. Who knew?

The cells were only 5 by 9 feet. Seemed quite small. If they hadn't earned work priveleges they spent 23 hours a day only leaving their cell for 3 twenty minute meal breaks each day. Gave a man plenty of time to think.
I imagine it was torture for the prisoners of Alcatraz to have views like this one just outside their windows.

We had a wonderful day on The Rock and recommend it to anyone taking a trip to San Francisco. Just note- get on-line and buy your tickets in advance. They sell out very quickly, in fact, when we went last summer the entire week was sold out. Also, dress in layers. The day started out nice and warm, but by early afternoon a cold wind blew in and we were glad we had brought our jackets.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Wandering Pier 39

We started off the day eating breakfast at Wipeout. We love their breakfasts there...look how big the platters are!

We almost didn't see the jellyfish swimming around the pier. This looked like a plastic bag someone had thown into the bay. We ended up watching this one come up to the surface and go back down. He had several more around him that were very small. They looked like bubbles because they were so small.
We always love to watch the sealions. They are so entertaining. They are territorial of their docks and fight and push each other around. We thought this little family of sea lions was cute.
Brandon and I on the end of the pier.

Lost!!!! Without Our GPS!!!

So in our hurry to get out of town and onto our trip to San Francisco....we forgot to pack the GPS. We have never been to California without it and have always depended heavily upon it. However, that morning we found that we were able to find our way over to the Bay Bridge and into San Francisco without it. Once we were into the city though we got all turned around.
And that was a good thing. We ended up way over on the west coast when we were trying to get tot he Golden Gate Bridge. We were driving along Golden Gate Park and then came upon the beach. We kicked our shoes off, rolled up our jeans and walked out into the cold surf.
The water was freezing cold, but the waves were beautiful. We wandered up and down the the beach collecting shells, taking pictures and wading in the water until our feet turned numb. I don't think we would have gone over to the west coast on purpose.
Once we checked into our hotel, we were given a map of the city which helped us find our way around town for the rest of the trip.
Sometimes being "off route" is a good thing.

Taking Off For Spring Break!!!

We had been playing with the idea of going somewhere for Spring Break but none of us seemed to be able to agree where we should go.
Walter thought it might be fun to go into southern Utah with the 4-wheeler and motorcycle, but the kids didn't really want to camp.
The kids wanted to go somewhere "really fun" but Tyler didn't want to have to be in the car for a long road trip. Brandon did, he loves riding in the car.
I just wanted to go back to San Francisco.
We debated over breakfast where we should go. Still, no one could decide. Lucky for me, when no one knows what we should do they all look to me to make the decision. Most times I find it to be a burden to make the decision....because i hated making decisions....but this time I was happy to. I decided....that we would go to San Francisco. He he.
Everyone scurried around and packed and two hours later we were on the road headed to San Francisco. I couldn't wait. We had already been there once, just last August, but we only spent one day and there was so much more that we wanted to see.
Walter and I drove through the night and arrived just outside of San Francisco around 2 am and pulled over in a nice rest stop and slept for about 4 hours before we headed into town.

Driver's License

Tyler got his driver's license. Yes, I am stressed, but I have been in the car with him enough to feel good about his driving skills.
The feeling I got when he first drove the truck away reminded me of when I used to watch him jump on the trampoline. I found that I just couldn't watch. Let me know if something happens, I can deal with it then, but I just can't watch it happen.

Ok, so it was only a block and a half away to his friends house....still....not looking.

Sweet Sixteen - And Don't Forget the !

So Tyler turned 16. I am not sure why I am having such a hard time with this birthday. It could be that he will now be able to drive or that he is now able to date. I think the real reason is that it just brings him one year closer to being independent. I only cried a couple of times....and he was prewarned not to worry about it if I suddenly broke into he didn't panic when I did.
In fact we kinda laughed. I didn't want to embarrass him on his Facebook page so I just wrote a quick "Happy Birthday Tyler." I got a response from him that said, "So enthusiastic mom, thanks anyway. Ha ha" So as he showered...I went back up to the computer and wrote a mushy gushy letter to him on his wall and told him everything that I wanted to say- right on his wall where all his friends could read it too. When he came back up, of course I was crying. He patted me on the back and went back to the computer and laughed when he read what I wrote.
He came back in to talk to me after he had read his wall. He laughed and told me that was more like it. He told me that when I told him Happy Birthday I had only put a period... not and exclamation point.
Happy Birthday Tyler! I love you!!!

If All Else Fails

Tyler's band had the opportunity to play at the Mr. Lancer Assembly at Layton High School a couple weeks ago. It was so fun to watch them play in front of all their friends.