Sunday, November 22, 2009

Howling at the Moon

Yep, I was one of those crazies who went to the theater to see "New Moon", the latest installment in the uber-hot "Twilight" series, at 12:01am Friday morning. I'm not a fanatic by any means--I enjoyed the books but I didn't even see the first film in the theater. All my friends were going, though, including several who have grandchildren, so it was all about peer pressure and a general desire to be a part of the action. I literally had to wake myself up to leave for the theater at 10:30pm, and when I got there the scent of popcorn in the middle of the night was a violent assault on my senses. I expected a rowdy crowd of tween vampire enthusiasts, but our particular theater was pretty sedate--no screams of, "Marry me, Edward!" or howling when Jacob came on the scene. There was a collective intake of breath every time one of the male leads took off his shirt, which was about every 5 minutes. So, you know, the general male chestiness kept me awake and alert for the duration. Overall a good time was had by all.

Here I am in the middle of the gang, looking fetching in my fleece warmup pants and tennies. I am a HOTTIE after midnight! (Pat, Leslie, Katie, Laurie, and Dinah)

The young women from our ward made t-shirts that had Jacob's face on them and said "I'd imprint on that!" Which is really funny, if you've read the books. Their YW president is with them--can you pick her out of the crowd? (Emmie, Jen, Sabrina, Hilary, and Erika)

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I get rolling waves of the chills when I watch this video by Matt Hart about Ultra-distance trail running. Ultra-running is running distances longer than a marathon: 50k, 50m, 100k, 100m. The trails in this video are amazing.

Last year when we were in Utah we visited Bryce Canyon. After dinner the girls played in the pool and went to bed while I went back into the park and ran trails for a few hours. It was fantastic! I love covering all that distance and seeing so much beautiful scenery so quickly.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Jungle Jack

So, have you ever heard of Jack Hanna? He's done all sorts of animal shows on TV. I think his current show is called "Into the Wild". We have a bunch of VHS tapes of an old show of his called "Zoo Life" that Ella has watched several hundred times. He comes to Seaworld every year and we love to catch his show when he comes through town. He brings out lots of exotic animals and tells all about them. Yesterday we saw a couple different types of owls, a 20+-foot python, a lemur, flamingos, penguins, a warthog, a macaw, and a spider monkey, among others. We learned that if you are ever bitten by a python you should sit still and wait calmly for the snake's jaws to unlock, which only takes about half an hour. Hey--this blog is nothing if not educational!
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Paletas son buenas

So, we gave Natalie her own popsicle to eat. Not just any popsicle: a Paleta from El Paraiso Original, a Mexican popsicle joint that we recently discovered here in town. Mmm... they are so tasty. Natalie enjoyed a Strawberry Fruit paleta. I lean towards Pineapple Fruit, Ella prefers Strawberry Ice Cream, and Greg likes the Pecan Ice Cream, the Banana Ice Cream, the Cookies & Cream Ice Cream... (Greg likes ice cream.) We have yet to try the Pickle flavor. If you come to visit we'll get you one and you can let us know how it is.

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Good Times With Grandma

On Halloween morning, we went with my mom to the Guenther House for a yummy, yummy breakfast. Good food eaten in a mansion, AND there's a gift shop! What's not to love?

After breakfast we went to the farmers' market at the old Pearl Brewery and then explored the new stretch of the Riverwalk that opened just a few months ago. We ran into a friend from church who drives the water taxis on the weekends and he gave us a free ride, which was very fun. Natalie protested at first, but once we got underway she thought the boat was pretty cool. In this picture she is freaking out ("Oooooohhhhh!") over the art installation hanging under the freeway...

...which is a whole school of these huge sunfish strung under the overpass near the Museum of Art. Natalie, lover of all finned things, lurves them.

The new section of the Riverwalk features the only fully recreational locks in the USA--the barges (and the occasional police boat) are the only vessels that use the locks. We descended 9 feet and then, of course, rose back up on the return trip. It's no Panama Canal, but it felt delightfully exotic.
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Down on the Ranch

While my parents were here in October we went to one of my favorite places, LBJ State Park in the thriving metropolis of Stonewall, Texas. What makes it a favorite is the Sauer-Beckmann Farm, which is run circa 1915. Ella likes to go in to the farmhouse and see all the old gadgets and furniture. Natalie pet the calf and cracked up at the roosting hen, and we all got a kick out of the two huge pink pigs running around their pen. We then drove through the LBJ ranch, which was pretty interesting. If you ever find yourself in Stonewall, I highly recommend stopping by.

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Deep-Sea Natalie

Actually, I suppose she was Coral Reef Natalie. We called her Nema. She learned to walk just in time for her debut as a clownfish, and she thought she looked pretty funny in her costume. (So did everyone else.) Check out the tail fin on her!

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Ella the Good

Grandma Kathie outdid herself yet again with Ella's Halloween costume this year. Ella wanted to be Galinda from Wicked. Not that she's seen the play, but she knows all the music and has seen clips on YouTube. She does a mean "Toss, toss!", let me tell you, and her rendition of "Loathing" is not to be missed.

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