Sunday, November 22, 2009

Harvard Museum of Natural History

We went to the Harvard Museum of Natural History. There were a lot of dead things there. Basically if you've ever wanted to see it dead...they have it.

The creepy part was that some of the animal exhibits were starting to decompose and the skins were breaking. Instead of investing in new dead bodies and skins someone at Harvard decided that it would be best to tape them up with what appeared to be scotch tape. I'm sure it was archival quality.

"H" is obviously a rock star b/c only rock stars hang out with saber tooth tigers right? "P" on the other hand seemed a little nervous that it was going to jump out of the glass and gobble her up.

So fierce!!

My Sweet Firefly

Each of my girls has a nickname. "H" is my Princess...if you know her then you understand.
Baby "E" is currently Grumpy McStinky Pants. "P" is my Sweet P. Mainly because when she was born she was so small... like a pea.
Despite her slight stature "P" has a very large spirit. She has become one of my best friends with her warm humor, unconditional friendship and quickness to forgive me when I'm not the best Dad in the world. She is almost always smiling and loves....I mean loves the camera. I took the first photo with my phone (which explains the weird lighting). She and I were on a walk down by the river and she wanted me to take a picture of her.

We were walking through the store on a quest to find a double boiler for my chocolate making obsession. I was in a bit of a hurry and of course "P" wanted to look at everything on every shelf. About halfway into the store we hit the Halloween isle. In true "P" style she picked up the scariest mask she could find and put it on exclaiming, "Daddy take my picture, I'm a scary monster." Too cute.

Here she is modeling her Old Navy Halloween shirt. She's so punk rock. The other night she woke up with serious growing pains in her legs. She could not fall asleep so we watched some Youtube. Lately I've been listening to Owl City and I thought she might enjoy the "Fireflies" music video. She loved it!! I think we watched it about 10 times before I finally said enough.

She loved the toys from the 70's and 80's. Each time she picked out something new that excited her. I'm always amazed at how she can pick out the smallest details (she can always complete those "I Spy" puzzles before "H"). She has so much imagination and I love being there as she discovers the world. In a lot of ways she is one of my fireflies, keeping me young and full of hope.

Fall....Only 2 months long but beautiful

Fall is here and gone. Now we just have naked sticks... No leaves.... its kinda sad.

But I snapped a couple of shots of Fall as it progressed.

For my Southern California friends, Fall may be a foreign concept. They really only know Hot and Wet. So let me explain this concept of Fall. This is how it starts.

You wake up one morning and you notice the air is a little chilly. You think to yourself

"Odd, didn't we just celebrate Labor Day yesterday?" Indeed, you did. But here in MA Labor Day marks the steep decline in temp. As you walk outside you notice that the trees are starting to turn shades of yellow, and orange as though it happened overnight.

Within weeks the trees become a unique collage of colors. The most impressive to me are the early reds that come out. Its almost like the trees are on fire. Don't worry, this is natural. I know in California this would only be the product of severe drought conditions and a sign that everything is slowly dying. But here it is the natural cycle of things.

This is the picture i used for my cutout art at the top of the blog. This was taken about a week before the leaves all fell off. Every morning for about a week or so I would walk past this view. Its breath taking... I know.

Goodbye Fall...I don't think I'll be here next year but I'll always remember you.

Swan Boats

***Swan Boats***

Once settled into our apartment we decided to do the touristy things Boston has to offer. Our first day out to the city we hit the swan boats. Not the most exciting thing but definitely a Boston must do.

The kids loved the boats (of course). We saw one swan on the pond and took a picture. Unfortunately, the swan was in the process of cleaning his tail feathers and so I omitted the photo. I have, however, included this picture of a fake swan. I'm sure many of you thought:
1) Oh how sad... they took a real swan, gutted, stuffed and mounted it to the boat in order to keep the driver dry, or
2) Oh no!! There is a giant swan on the boat poised to attack that old woman with gray hair.

Thankfully, the swan is made of plastic. No people (or swans) were injured in the production of our tour. That guy on the bench in the background, however, is in some serious danger of getting cooties from that girl. watch out buddy!!
The swan boats are nostalgic of days past, before the modern convenience of comfortable furniture or safety devices to keep your children from falling in the water. Here, I have captured what I think is the essence of the Swan Boat chair.

I wonder what those numbers mean?

This is a Farm just outside Nauvoo. It was like out of a book, with the red barns, windmill and rolls of hay.

This was where we stayed in Nauvoo. It doesn't look like much but it was awesome. This is the original Sonora town hall. The owners purchased it and had it moved 1 mile to their property. It was perfect for our family size. At night we would sit outside with the kids and watch fire flies. There were always frogs right around the door. Don't know why but they were always there.
There I am taking life by the horns while baby "E" is taking "H" by the hair. We totally rode in a wagon pulled by this ox.

Welcome to Missouri

Well the picture kinda sums up our initial feelings about Missouri. It was beautiful landscape but so many things were run down, unkept, or abandoned.

My favorite conversation with "W" as we were driving in the car through Missouri:
"W": The power lines are so loud I can't hear myself think
Me: hahaha those aren't power lines... those are bugs...

The girls had a chance to get in a wagon and pretend they were pioneer people.

This is the inside of the Liberty jail. On our way in we were stopped by some interesting characters who had just finished the tour. They were shocked that it was a "prison inside a church." Really, the Prison is in a visitor center that was built to protect it from the harsh Missouri weather. But there are missionaries there giving tours and talking about Joseph's time there.

This was one of my favorite places in Missouri. The Far West Temple site is little more than a grass yard right now. But as i stood there i could not help but feel as though I was standing on hallowed ground. As I thought about all the things that took place there I was overwhelmed by the Spirit. This is a picture of the girls sitting "on" the Southeast Corner stone.

Day 3: Eyes....

We totally got stuck in traffic on day three as we passed through Colorado. "W" was bored an took a picture of us. You can always tell when she's holding the camera because she is never totally in the picture. haha. At least this one is in focus (love ya babe).

I thought our eyes looked really cool in this one.