Friday, December 12, 2008

10 Perfect Days in Paradise!

Highlights of our Belize trip:

All day snorkel trip with a bbq on a private beach of the fish we'd caught while snorkeling. The guide caught most of them with a spear gun (super cool to go on the hunting trip with him), and the other guides caught a few from the boat. We had 3 snorkel stops throughout the day.

Multiple trips to Hol Chan Marine Reserve where we snorkeled with sharks, sting rays, spotted eagle rays (my personal favorite), sea turtles, lots of fish, and a few scary marine animals like the 6 foot very active Moray Eel, and multiple barracudas. One day 2 of the guides stayed on the boat with all the kids, and just the adults went out. When we came back we heard screaming (the good kind) and giggling from the kids on the boat. Carlo had let them feed fish to the sharks, and then decided with the last fish to tease the sharks so they would jump towards the boat with their mouths wide open. The kids loved it. Zachary was mildly nervous (claimed he was just really cold and allergic to salt water) of the sharks, but all the rest of the kids loved it.

Many nights of fun, food and games with our friends from law school. All 10 kids got along perfectly, without a fight that any adults heard about! We all rented villas right on the beach. We did eat out 3 nights, but the rest of the nights we rotated cooking meals for the clan of 16 and ate in one of our villas. The kids pretty much took care of themselves and the adults got in multiple games of Settlers (only the women won!), and a few card games.

Sea kayaking out to the reef a few times, and then kayaking around near our pier with the little kids.

Playing in the swimming pool at the hotel was a definite highlight for the kids. . . and a tad too cold for the adults.

Reading in the hammocks on the beach for the adults, swinging in the hammocks for the kids.

Jumping off the pier and snorkeling under the pier where an artificial reef had been created.

Riding the golf cart around the island on the dirt roads. I got names the "Off-Roading Queen" by the older boys after I plowed through 3 giant puddles in a row, covering us all with mud. Lucy giggled and said, "You are a crazy driver mom!", and then cried when she saw mud on her dress. The boys, on the other hand, thought that was the coolest thing I'd ever done as a mother.

Lamanai Mayan Ruins and boat ride through the jungle to get us to the ruins.

Fanta: Orange, Pineapple, Ginger Ale, and of course everyone's favorite: RED FANTA!

Private concert on the beach by Kelly McGuire. If you haven't heard of him, don't worry, neither had we, but we did buy a CD because it was all about Ambergris Caye, and even had a song about Pelican Reef Villas, where we stayed. He did a fantastic job, and he was so nice to everyone, especially the kids.

Only minor mishaps: colds, stomach flu, 30 mosquito bites each as a free souvenir, and Lucy's "turtle bite". Turns out it was quite a large crab, and it did slice her hand, but she will still claim it was a turtle that got to her.

Favorite phrase of all the children: "I can't BELIZE we are in Belize!" Funny for the first 5 times, slightly annoying for the following 500 times. But, they had a blast!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

After School Snack

The boys always look forward to their after school snacks, which I must say that with the exception of the first week of school, are pretty LAME. This week, I got a special treat. After serving up a plate of raspberries to each child, I was sent to my room by Zachary. The boys set up motion detectors, banana peels, and various other means to alert them to me leaving my room. After about 20 minutes, I was led into the kitchen. Zachary had prepared a special after school snack just for me:

Belgian Waffle
Strawberries with Chocolate Sauce and Cream
Strawberries with Just Cream and
Raspberries with Cream

He added that he "even washed" the fruit for me. Does he know his mama (as he so affectionately calls me) or what!

Princess Party

Lucy was invited to her first birthday party. She went dressed as Snow White, her favorite of all the princesses. She was so excited to go to the party that she would not hold still for a picture. Every bit of the party was so pink and perfect (my friend Kelly is the BEST hostess!) and Lucy loved it. Thanks, Kelly, for inviting Lucy to Sylvie's party!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Partners in Crime. . .

Last week it was syrup. Thirty-two plus ounces were used to decorate our carpet, chair, sofa, and ottoman. The tile was covered as well, as if they had rolled around in it, and then danced around the house. I heard them giggling, and soon the giggles turned to the kind every mother knows. You know the one where it sounds like they are conspiring to put the dog in the dryer? Instead of getting out of bed, I pulled the pillow over my head. It was only when I heard Brandon saying, "TROUBLE! You two are in BIG trouble!" that I decided I should get up and assess the situation. Well, they are getting smarter because this week, it was markers. They silently traced all the tile grout in our kitchen with a yellow highlighter, colored on one entire wall with markers, and then traced the chair rail around the kitchen and foyer. They covered the refrigerator with crayon as well. Not a peep out of either of them so we woke up to a lovely decorating job.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

First 5 K

Our family completed a 5K on Saturday morning. It was a first for our boys. Todd finished with Brandon with a time of 33 minutes and 32 seconds! He is so excited and is now training to run the Wasatch Back Relay. He's already analyzing the legs of the race to determine which one would best suit him. Zachary and I "ran" while pushing Chad and Lucy in the double stroller. We would have run more, but Zachary, our athlete in training, started out at a dead sprint and was so tired that I nearly had to piggy-back him. I kept telling him, "Slow and steady wins the race!" We will be reading the story of the Tortoise and the Hare very soon!

Case of the Missing Pajamas

The other night I found Zachary on his bed sound asleep wearing the following: Skull Candy headphones, a tank top, and short shorts. I woke him up to use the bathroom, and questioned his attire, asking where his pajamas were that he had been wearing when he went to bed. He went crazy on me, screaming, questioning why I would remove his pajamas. After 15 minutes of hysteria, I called for reinforcements. The entire time Brandon and I were trying to get him dressed in his pajamas he kept yelling that he was going to have sweaty arms. The next morning he had no recollection of us waking him and this was the unsolicited story he had for Brandon. "Dad, last night, you know when you thought I went to bed? Well, I didn't. I went down, put on my workout clothes, and I did push-ups for 3 whole songs. I did like 100 push-ups. Then, I ran laps around the basement. I was SO sweaty! I'm going to be an athlete, and athletes start training when they are six. And look (he points to his bicep ), I growed!" Later he said, "Mom, I am now just 10 inches away from being an athlete!"

Todd's a Keeper!

Todd has become his team's exclusive goal keeper. After watching him for an entire season, the role definitely suits him. He's aggressive and not afraid to dive for the ball. . . so much so that I've thought of pricing a helmet. His HEIGHT makes him a huge asset to his team. Go figure, seeing that neither of us are giants by any standards other than our waist lines. When he jumps, only the very best played balls make it in.