Monday, April 20, 2009

Not Without My Brother

Since returning from NYC where we walked around and saw so many interesting things, I have oft contemplated how although NYC is the "coolest" city I have every been to, there are precious gems in our own backyard. Riverside has almost 300,000 residents and a rich history to offer and I feel like we should explore it more than we do and there's no better way than on foot.

We love living near UC Riverside and one of my running routes cuts through campus. There is a beautiful area with trees and grass next to the Student Health Center that we often jog by and that the kids call "the forest." They often ask if I will run through "the pretty place" when we leave the house.
Two weeks ago for FHE we finally took the chance to take a picnic in "the pretty place." We pushed the kids in the stroller and, once on campus, they got out and walked a bit themselves. I do not remember exactly why, but Carter was throwing a fit as we approached the picnic spot. We decided we would just leave him (not really, we were just trying to motivate him to get up and moving) but Claire would have no part in that. She went from being concerned to "pulling him up" herself. What a girl!

Once we arrived, we enjoyed a fine meal of PB & J for the kids and tuna for us;) We had a lesson courtesy The Friend Magazine and then played on the grass for a while.

They love their daddy and I can tell why!

Carter: "Me too, me too"

Playing with a ball

Then we walked to University Village to enjoy some yogurt together at Berrysweet.

Claire: "Mo waa waa peese"

The sun setting at University Village.

Once we started walking home, we realized just how far we had walked to get there and Blaine is no small hill pushing 75 lbs (both kids). Regardless of the fact that we might have bit off a bit more than we wanted to chew for an evening stroll, we had a great evening together! By the way, we used GMap Pedometer to find out how far we hiked and discovered we walked nearly 4.5 miles. I appreciate Danny always being a good sport on the adventures I plan--he didn't complain once. ;)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter

Claire and Her "Dollie"

On Wednesday this week, Claire became attached to a doll for the first time.  She has slept with stuffed animals before, but never carried anything around.  She was quite possibly the cutest thing I've ever seen as she cuddled her baby "Dollie" all day, wanted the doll wrapped in a "blankie", laughed it as we drove around in the car and was so gentle and nurturing to it in her own little way.  It is amazing to see the innate mothering come out in my 21 month old daughter.  She is so different than Carter and it is so fun to watch.  I snapped this photo when I had to wake her up to leave for work and meet Danny on Thursday.  It was so sweet I couldn't resist!

Carter's New Blog

It seems that one of the easiest way to entertain our children is to play videos of themselves or their friends on blogs.  After watching Ella sing "I am a Child of God" and Sam ride his bike, Carter decided he needed to have a video on his own blog.  So HERE IT IS!  Enjoy!  :) 

Mr. & Mrs. Eric Carter

My youngest brother, Eric, married Sydnee Hancock on March 21, 2009!  We love Sydnee and are so glad she is in our family!  Weddings are always fun because everyone gets together and it was great to see Robbie, Jake & Amy (we missed you, Laura!).  

Cutting the cake

The cute couple!

Monday, April 6, 2009

San Bernardino County Museum

Before we head to the La Brea Tar Pits tomorrow, I had to post about our last museum adventure. I love having a preschool aged child. Although most days I do get tired of answering his "why" questions, it does warm my heart to hear Carter say he is going to be a scientist when he grows up because he likes to ask why so much:) Combine having a preschooler with my inability to sit still, I have been planning some fun adventures for us and our friends. We met at the San Bernardino County Museum in February with some of our friends. I tried a Picassa collage for the first time to give you an overall idea of what we did:

We saw mammals, insects, birds (all dead, of course), and an interesting exhibit about the natural disasters that have occurred in the area. There is also an exhibit about the pioneers who settled the area.

The kids liked all the animals in the museum, and enjoyed the hands on area too where we saw spiders & all sorts of creeping things and got to touch snakes & rabbits. Carter, however, has his mother's overactive olfactory gland and thought it had an "icky smell":

We all brought our lunches and had a great time eating lunch outside. It was the perfect weather that day! Claire has inherited her mother's love of peanut butter:

(In fact, she lately has been eating the peanut butter out of/off anything I put it on and leaving the bread/celery/cracker uneaten).

We had a great day--thank you Amber, Sheri, Sarah, Carole, Shonda & Carly for joining us!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

2008 Backlog: Sister Oaks December

My mom rented Sister Oaks--our favorite cabin--for a few days right after Christmas. So, the day after Christmas we loaded up in the van along with April and Wes and headed up to to Green Valley Lake (on the way to Big Bear) to meet my mom and dad for a few relaxing days in the cabin. Although we ended up having a blast sledding and loungin' around the cabin, we were met with a treacherous drive both up and down the mountain. It took us FOUR HOURS to get there. To make matters worse, it had snowed a lot in the previous days and we had to put on chains; although we had them, they did not fit. A post-Christmas miracle happened when one of the many s"unsavory" looking (and sounding) seasonal chain fitters decided to help us jury rig our gear to fit the Odyssey's tires. I think they wanted something like $50 to help, so we were very grateful that the gentleman decided to help us for free. Despite the fact that he refused payment, he did accept the rubber ties I had which we didn't need.

We finally arrived only to find out that my mom's little Civic was having trouble making it up the steep road to the cabin. Wes and I descended in the van--its weight an advantage--to assist them. At one point I fell and hurt my knee, my dad dented the car while leaning on it and we nearly hit someone. Eventually we had to leave the little Honda at the bottom of a hill in someone's driveway (we got permission by the way).

I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking. Suffice to say the snow was deep and stunning. Carter ended up really enjoying our sledding expedition despite the fact that he wasn't too thrilled about the cold. Claire was clingy and didn't want much to do with any of the cold white stuff.

Finally, after putting together this post, I've decided what makes my blogging voice unique: really bad humor. Before every picture I come up with the lamest jokes. So, at least realize that I am cognizant that I am not that funny but the most important thing is that I crack myself up. (;

Big thanks to goes out to Wes for his heroics helping me get these things on and off. What a pain.

The definition of cozy!

I really like this sign that Chani and Marilyn put up because I am a huge believer in the importance
and power of imagination.

In the 21st Century, some people relax by using notebook
computers (there is wifi at Sis. Oaks)

The fear we strike in our opponents is half the battle:
From Sister Oaks December 2008

Carter, this is what real mountain men do whilst in mountain on eBay!
Ulterior title for this shot:
"Grandpa always used to say, an Intel based laptop is a man's
best friend in the back country!"
From Sister Oaks December 2008

Claire stumbled into the game after waking up late but
scored a touchdown immediately:
From Sister Oaks December 2008

I think when my mom envisioned the cabin this is probably
exactly what she saw herself doing...
staring blankly with a slight grin and absolutely no where
to go and no one to call:
From Sister Oaks December 2008

One of Carter's shots:
From Sister Oaks December 2008

Oh Auntie Apey!
From Sister Oaks December 2008

This was the closest my dad came to smiling on this
particular trip:
From Sister Oaks December 2008

As I was trying to tie Carter's shoes he fell backward into the van:
From Sister Oaks December 2008

This is the look most ski bunnies are going for these days:
From Sister Oaks December 2008

Apes and Wes pre-sledding shot (ahhhh).
From Sister Oaks December 2008

Then things got ugly...or hot...I can't remember.
From Sister Oaks December 2008

There was some snow on the ground:
From Sister Oaks December 2008

My mom pulling Carter:
From Sister Oaks December 2008

From Sister Oaks December 2008

From Sister Oaks December 2008

Sleddin' time!
From Sister Oaks December 2008

From Sister Oaks December 2008

April's not good at faking injury...I think it's the smile that
gives her away:
From Sister Oaks December 2008

Departing to sled:

"Uh, oh Daddy!" says Claire as I plummet down the bunny

Like father, like son:

I tried to get some action shots:

Sarah and Carter flying down the hill and my annoying,
raspy laugh: