Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Marine Mammal Centre

Mum: "how long did it take to get to the mammal centre?"

Beth: "18 minutes?" (Took 80 minutes over the golden gate bridge)

Mum: "Is 18 mins long or short?"

Beth: "LONG!"

Mum: "What did we do at the centre?"

Beth: "See those seals...remember?"

Mum: "What do they do to help the sick baby seals eat their food?"

Beth: "They put the fish in a machine and put water into it and mash it and trick the babies to eat stuff that is good for them."

Mum: "Did you like the drive to get there?"

Beth: "No it was boring."

Mum: "What did you like most Savannah?"

Savannah: "Listening to the guide talk about everything".

Esther: "specifically...."

Savannah: "Listening to all her answers"

Esther: "and what was one of the answers????"

Savannah: "ummm, how all the fish are disappearing and that the food chain has been interrupted and sick one year old seals are coming to the centre, the weight of their birth weight".

Mum: "What were the animals you saw there"?

Savannah: "Seals, elephant seals and otters."

Esther: "Hyrum. What did you learn from going to the mammal centre?"

Hyrum: "Not telling you!"

Mum: ".....Hyrum!"

Hyrum: "that seals can be endangered".

Esther: "how can they be?"

Hyrum: "By bow and arrow, fishing rod, trash, nets, by to many fish gone...."

Esther: "What do you mean, gone?"

Hyrum: "the tour guide said there is not enough fish in the water at the moment and they aren't too sure why."

Esther: "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

Hyrum: "Scientist."

Esther: "What type of scientist?"

Hyurm: "Inventor.....ummmm, I might be a marine biologist...something that makes lots of money."

Mum: What did you learn about the food chain?"

Hyrum: "That Sharks and dolphins are on the top of the food chain."

Esther- "What is at the bottom of the food chain?"

Hyrum- "Those little fellas you can barely see and you need a microscope to see them."

Esther- "When you see the seals lying on the rocks are they being lazy?"

Hyrum- "No. They need to rest from getting all those fish. They shed their skin and get new ones."

Esther- "Like snakes?"

Hyrum- "Mummmm. Noooo! Not scales, fur."


The kitchen where they get the food ready.


Where the sick mammals stay.


A life-sized adult elephant seal. (Scary.)


Savannah and Hyrum did Isaac's hair that morning...mohawk style. Hyrum mentioned that we should do it like this every day.

I actually had a better photo but this photo says so much. We have so many photos of Isaac trying to squirm his way out of a photo..........I think he has already caught on that I am taking a lot of photos for my blog!

Getting his own way....with attitude!


This excursion out with the children was great. It has just recently opened and has had a $23 million renovation. These summer holidays are long and it is nice to know there are great things to do to stimulate them (and me!) It really left an impression on the children to be more careful about our marine life. The children got to see a vet give a seal an injection in front of them which they loved. They didn't like hearing that about half the animals brought in from across the Califronian waters end up dying.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

So nice...we went twice.

Whereever possible, our family loves going to the Temple nearest us on Sunday. The Oakland Temple is the closest from our Santa Clara apartment and it is about 50 minutes away. It is such a beautiful Temple. Beautiful weather, beautiful location , with my beautiful family......love it!

One of the great moments we enjoy at the temple is it's beautiful gardens. Such a peaceful feeling relaxing among the nature there.

We love those rare moments when Dave and I can just talk and the children are amused with talk of fairies or who knows what!

The view to San Francisco. The land the church owns here is HUGE!


Finally, one of the first photos' Isaac poses for. Very rare moment.

My mum loves these flowers and they just thrive here. Thought of you...so we took a photo just for you!


Hyrum is grwoing just a little toooo fast for my liking! His feet are nearly the same size as mine.

Isaac had a spack attack and ran from this shot...pity!


Hyrum and savannah obvioulsy didn't listen to my threats of "smile". They were grumpy that we were going home.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Monterey Bay Aquarium



Monterey Bay is about 80 minutes drive away from where we are in Santa Clara. The children and I went with the Kenny family who are in our ward. She has just come out from Utah recently and they have 4 cute daughters similar ages to our children. We have had some great times with them. (They are also the family who have been life savers and lent us a very nice queen size bed the first night we arrived here!!) Cami had free tickets to the aquarium for all of us which was fantastic! We had such a fun time looking at all the marine.....but it was just soooooooo busy!! Just trying to keep an eye on the two youngest was a very big challenge since they didn't want to stay in their prams. (Gone are those days!)

Monterey bay is such a great little town that Dave and I are trying to figure out if we have any more Saturdays left to go back and explore more. Cami and I, with 8 children, managed to look at the aquarium and find a place to eat and we thought that was clever....so we didn't get a chance to see anything else. We had left at 9:00am and got back at 3:00pm and I find these days more exhausting than a 10 mile run.

Hyrum's question here with a mouthful of food was...."Can we have a minature sized shark for a pet?" Thinking the miniature sized part, made it sound all the more reasonable!

Isaac is becoming such a curious little man and I just count myself blessed that he is doing so well.

(If only that clam could close shut, nice and tight for these 3 cheeky monkeys.)

Beth with her friend Abbey. If she has a friend around, I don't hear boo from her.

Megan and Hyrum... Hyrum looks a little too pleased?


This is midday and it is still so foggy and cold. Crazy weather!


When we got home....TV was on for the rest of the afternoon and I did say "no" to the pool. Apparently I went to being the best mum in the world for taking them to the aquarium ... to the worst mum for not taking them to the pool in just moments! But I wasn't waking a sleeping Isaac and I was just happy to be home, no more making sure 4 children (or 8) were not lost in a big crowd.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

One Glorious adventure


Last Saturday we decided to go explore a light house at Point Bonita. This is the lighthouse at the entrance to the San Francisco bay, just before you enter the Golden Gate. It was such a fun filled day and I thought....life doesn't get much better than this. Being with my family and exploring this beautiful city. We learnt a lot about the bay's history and nature. We felt like we were on a real outdoor adventure. As we were walking (it was a bit of a hike to get to the lighthouse) Beth got us singing...'going on a bear hunt!"


This is where they used to fire the cannons at enemy ships.

These are real smiles....I say this because sometimes I have to threaten them to smile for my photos. I didn't even say for them to put their arms around each other. This is why I love this picture.

We had so much fun seeing all the sea life here. Their are also seals on this rock and we saw plenty more that just kept us looking contently out into the sea water, entertained for long happy, unquarreling minutes.

Always has to be a Savannah, Isaac photo. Sometimes I have to fight her for Isaac's attention.

Looking at the birds and saying..."quack, quack."

Caught out!!!! Beth has gotten into this habbit of bringing a bag where ever she goes. (And you should see what is in her bag.) 'Apparently' Abbey gave Beth this lipstick she has been carrying EVERYWHERE!!!!! It is driving me crazy!! The whole day she kept 'applying' her makeup and Dave was calling her the JOKER all day because she applied sooooo much lipstick. I didn't have the heart to tell her to stop....we were out doors and it was harmless. She also managed to stay in the bathroom that morning to do her hair (notice the beautiful side part...) while eveyone else was doing chores. I hope you also appreciate her beatuiful pink outfit and 'skirt' for a hike. Complete opposite of her sister.

The other funny thing she kept saying on the hike to the light house was..."When will we see the white house?"


Finally we arrive to our destination. Point Bonita Lighthouse.


This bridge can only carry 2 people at a time. We were the first to go across, and there was a big group and everyone was waiting for their turn. Beth needed to go 'potty' (becoming a recurring theme of our trips) so being the first had it's advantages because I found out to my horror that there was no loo. So we had to be very creative and do it in very limited room where the lighthouse was and it was a the very opposite to discrete. Meanwhile, Savannah and Hyrum had to go over the bridge together and apparently they went very slowly while everyone watched them. I got to miss the show as I was with Beth, but Dave was wanting to yell out '"HURRY UP!"


I love seeing all the animals we wouldn't see in Australia, in the wild. The children and I get very excited. I took this in the car and they were just by the side of the road. (While Dave is possilbly getting a little frustrated!!)

On the way home we did some more exploring and stopped of at a marine museum and park.

San Francisco...baby. Isn't it beautiful. Tourists everywhere.

Chinatown....... and the children were blocking their noses to all the unusual smells. It was hilarious.

We weren't sure what this was????? But it stunk....

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