Monday, October 29, 2007

October's Bookclub Extravaganza!



Last week we had an awesome book club! We had so much fun discussing the Twilight series. And the vampires were a perfect subject for Haloween!






There was a great turn out this month, because really, once you've read these books you just can't turn down a good discussion. There is so much to talk about! We covered a lot of material, and ran over time, but we still could have gone on for much longer! This is such a fun group of ladies, I loved hearing what all of them had to say. And I was impressed with the way Sarah lead the discussion. She had a lot of good things to point out that I hadn't thought of before. I love that about book club!
I had some left over fabric, so I thought I would make a patch to sew on my shirt to show who I supported between the 2 leading male characters. Eric was kind enough to take the picture. I think he was visualizing that the E in Edward really stood for Eric! :)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sunset Hike in Briones Park

A couple weekends ago, we found ourselves in Briones Park, and it was nearing sunset. So, we decided to take a little hike up a hill to watch. It was beautiful, all we could see were the rolling hills covered in grass and trees.
Chance was a happy boy- here are a couple shots of him and his awesome fly away hair!


And then, here are our attempts at holding the camara ourselves and trying to get a family shot. This is one time when a big lens isn't the best. But we still got some fun ones. :)



Back at the parking lot was this beautiful tree. It was the only one around there, that we saw, with it's leaves changing.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

San Francisco Air Show

We had a great time a couple weekends ago, down at the Airshow during "Fleet Week." It was the best airshow I have ever seen and the coolest venue with their stage being right over the water. We went down there with one family and met up with another family that used to live here. They moved away over a year a half ago, so it was really fun to see them again! Chance got a little overly excited while eating and starting diving for his food. Maybe he was taking lessons from the diving airplanes...?
If you make this one big and look closely, you can see one guy making a peace sign. Man, I love my camera lens! :)

I loved watching the Patriots, especially since they would leave a trail of red, white and blue. I thought that was pretty cool. :)

Here are all of the kids, minus Tyson. They all seemed to enjoy it alright, except Tyson, who was scared by the loud planes, and Caleb (the baby in front) didn't like being forced to stay in one place so we could get this picture.
Katie was so thoughtful and decided she would share her water bottle with Chance.
And of course, the Blue Angles were awesome!! They always are.
We loved that they would zoom out over the bridge and then come back in the same way. Very picturesque!
Here's the whole group, except Sarah, who is kindly taking the picture. Thanks Sarah!
It was fun to see the Lovell's again! To see how big their kids have gotten, and to meet Caleb, who wasn't born before they moved away. They are a fun family and we had a great time hanging out with everyone.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Our latest visitors-

During the first week of October, our friends, Jen and Jared, came into town. We had actually not met Jared yet, since he married Jen 1 and a half years ago. But we had a great time getting to know him and had a ton of fun with them. We took them down to Baker Beach to get the necessary bridge picture!
Chance of course loved it! He always loves being outside and playing in the cold water with dad!
Jared was a little more hesitant to get his feet wet, but finally consented that as long as he was here, he had to at least touch the water. :)
I met Jen because we were in the Days of '47 Royalty together during the summer of 2004. We had a ton of fun together during that busy time. This is at the pageant in May 2004 when we were crowned. At that point, I had no idea what I was getting myself into...
We were in tons of parades, at the Days of '47 Rodeo every night for a week, we had lots of speaking assignments in sacrament meetings, young women meetings, rotary clubs, daughters and sons of pioneers, civic meetings, etc. We also participated in a family fun day by choosing a mini royalty of children to ride in the salt lake parade, we attended a pioneer kids service project, the culture fest program, a pops concert, a sunrise service, and many more fun activities. It was a very busy summer, especially since at the same time I was planning my wedding, but it was also a very fun summer!!
The last time we saw Jen was at the pageant the following year in May 2005, when we crowned the next years royalty. So, it has been awhile! We were so happy they chose to come to San Francisco on vacation. It was fun to see them and to reminisce about the summer of 2004! :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Home Again

While we were in Hawaii, we were so grateful for Eric's mom, Reva, for coming out here to watch Chance. They had a great time together going to the park and for walks every day. Reva loved the bonding time with Chance, and Chance didn't even seem to notice that we were gone. Normally we aren't excited to come home from vacation, but this time we were! We couldn't wait to see Chance because we missed him so much. I had heard stories of children being upset with their parents when they get home, so, I was a little worried that Chance might be mad that we ditched him for a week. But, as soon as I opened the car door and saw him sitting in his car seat, he was all smiles. I almost started crying, silly, I know. But I was just so happy to see him and relieved that he was happy, and exhausted from the red eye flight, AND I couldn't believe how big he was. It seemed to me that he grew a ton in just one week! Aloha!
All dressed up in our new Hawaiian T-shirts. :)
We were happy that Reva was able to stay a couple more days so that we could spend some time with her. So, that night we went to the carnival and walked around a little bit.
We didn't stay very long because Chance was extremely frightened by the loud noises.
The next night we went to a "Gladys Knight and the Unified Voices" concert. We were happy to have one of Eric's co-workers come with us. And we all loved the concert. They put on a great show and really brought in the spirit. I especially enjoyed their arrangements of "I am a Child of God" and "As I Have Loved You," they were beautiful!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Hawaii!!

Oh Hawaii!! What a wonderful place! When Chance turned 1 year old, we followed the example of some friends of ours, and decided to take a trip without him- to celebrate getting through one year of parenthood. I think we might have to make this a tradition with every child! It was absolutely wonderful, and thankfully Chance was happy to be with Grandma. So, we weren't feeling any guilt over a sad baby. So, I have finally gotten the Hawaii pictures uploaded and here they are... but, before you start, I must warn you that there are a lot of them!! Come on, I'm a photographer, did you expect anything less? Anyway, hope you enjoy.



Waimea Beach... We loved the beaches. They were beautiful and the water wasn't too bad. It was warm enough for me to get in at least, which is saying a lot. :) We also tried the famous shave ice with red beans and ice cream. So, I have a confused face in the picture, because I'm not sure how I feel about beans in my flavored ice and ice cream. The beans look just like kidney beans, but they are sweet. It is very interesting- not bad, but maybe next time we will skip the beans.

So, we stayed on the North Shore of O'ahu, which is very rural and very beautiful!! We had rain and fog sometimes in the morning, but it always burned off and we enjoyed wonderful weather.
When it would rain, ribbon waterfalls would start up all over in the mountains. Did I mention this place is beautiful?
We visited a Japanese temple that is patterned exactly after one that is in Japan.
And if you ring this bell then you receive good luck. Needless to say, we rang the bell.

Something we found very interesting there was the "autograph tree." As you can see, people would carve their names into the leaves, leaving their autograph. Even though the leaves will eventually fall off and re-grow, we couldn't bring ourselves to carve our names in them. I guess it's because Eric has engrained in his mind, from his scouting and backpacking days-leave no trace behind.
Of course we made a stop at the temple, and on Sunday we even went to church in a chapel right next door. It is so neat that no matter where we go, we will always find our church with the same teachings and doctrines. It is such a comfort. As soon as we step into these buildings, we feel at home.

One night we walked down to the beach to watch a beautiful sunset over the ocean. Talk about romantic! :)
Here is the view from one of the highways as we were on our way over to Honolulu. Once we went through the tunnel to the other side of the island, the landscape was so different. The mountains aren't nearly as stunning as they are on the North Shore.

Even though we didn't really want to stay in Waikiki on our trip, we didn't feel like it would be complete without going to the beach there. It was much busier than our North Shore beaches, but we had a fabulous time boogie boarding, and we were able to catch several waves!
Then we went over to the crater, Diamond Head, and hiked to the top. It was a great view of Honolulu and Waikiki down below!


One day we went to the Polynesian Cultural Center which was absolutley fabulous! They have little villages through out the park which each represent a different island. In New Zealand, Eric was asked to be part of the honor guard, can you find him in this picture?
After the honor guard did their thing, we went inside and watched their presentation. I have always been amazed with how fast they can twirl those poi balls around.

In the middle of the day they do something called the Canoe Pageant, where each canoe represents a different island. It's kind of like a parade, but on canoe's, so as each one goes by, they do a specific type of dance representing their island.

These girls represented Hawaii.These girls represent Tahiti, and man, can they shake their hips!!


This is New Zealand. They are always a favorite because they make such funny faces! :)
After the canoe pageant we went over to the Samoan village and watched a guy scamper up a palm tree in a matter of seconds! It was unbelievable.


In New Zealand, we tried to figure out how to swing around those poi balls without them getting tangled... obviously it was harder for some to figure it out. ;) We got tattoo's from New Zealand and Fiji- (commonly referred to as stamp's) :) Look how tough we are! And in Tonga we shot spears at a target. I was more concerned about getting a picture, so when my turn came, I quickly put my camara down and without aiming at all, I hastily threw my spear.

It was harder than it looks, so, I was amazed when I actually got it in the little hoop! I guess the trick is to not aim! ;)
So, for my prize, they gave me this cool head band with a little fish hooked on it. :)After playing around for a little bit, it was time for the Luau and dinner. We were at the front of the line, so we got awesome seats, front and center!!

They had delicious food- including our little roasted pig here. It was cooked island style, in a fire pit, on hot rocks and covered in leaves and burlap sacks.

Dinner was so yummy, we loved our pina colada served in a pineapple! And see that purple dinner roll, well that was a sweet potato roll, and it was so good! We had heard mixed reviews about the luau food, so we were very impressed with how good everything was!
While we ate, we were entertained with a show, that was also excellent. Our favorite was this little boy. He was so cute and he was always so serious- concentrating on getting the dance moves right I guess. :)
Then came the night show which was awesome!! They again had dancing representative of each Polynesian island. One of our favorite parts was the fire dancing. First there were 3 guys who would dance through the fire, sit on it, and just do crazy stuff!

Then came the Samoan Warrior who twirled this fire stick around. It was incredible how fast he could do it- he also did lots of crazy stuff...

like putting the fire on his feet! I don't know how these guys do it without getting burned!?

It was a beautiful stage and an incredible show! We really enjoyed our day at the Polynesian Cultural Center!!

The next day we tried some surfing. It was really fun, but really tiring. The hardest part was trying to paddle to the right spot to catch the wave. EJ did better than I did and got up a few times. I only got up once, for probably a second.

We also went and checked out the Dole pineapple plantation. It smelled so yummy there! :)


And one of our favorite activites through out the week was snorkeling. EJ's brother and our sister in law loaned us their very nice gear, so we went several times. It was so cool. It is so beautiful and peaceful under the water.





On our last day we headed back over to Honolulu and I snapped a couple more scenic shots on our way over.

Once we made it to the other side, we went over to Pearl Harbor and did an audio tour. Then went on a little ferry over to the USS Arizona Memorial which is placed right on top of the sunken ship.
There are still droplets of oil leaking from the ship underwater, and they have been called the tears of those that are entombed there.
The ship is now a reef that feeds many fish . If you look closely you can see 4 fish eating off of the boat. Here is the USS Missouri which is a battleship, on which you can take tours. Unfortunately we didn't have enough time.

And that night we saw a show called Cirque Hawaii. It was a very interesting show with people doing acrobatic types of things. This guy impressed us with his amazing balance. But this girl was beyond crazy. She is a contortionist and could move her body in the craziest ways. I had never seen anything like it!
So, it was a fun show, and a fun way to end our vacation. Right after the show we headed off to the airport, where we were unfortunately delayed a couple of hours, but eventually got on the plane and made it safely home! :)

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