Monday, October 27, 2014

What A Weekend!

We started off with a great Halloween party at the church.  I finished Alyssa's costume on Friday morning after staying up way late working on it on Thursday.  We had friends over Friday morning as well, and Rebecca (the mom, not my baby) helped me make a stuffed felt cake to complete the look for Marie Antoinette.

There was quite a bit of rushing around on Friday to get everyone ready for the party and Brian and me ready for our trip to Seattle, but we had a lot of fun amidst the chaos.  While we were rushing around trying to get everyone packed to stay with Grandma and trying to get the house clean, Brian and I realized that we were supposed to be having fun getting ready for Halloween, not running around all stressed and crazy and bossing the kids around.  So we switched gears, made sure everyone was packed, and told everyone to get ready for the party.

Alyssa was Marie Antoinette, like I mentioned, Ethan was Toothless, Marcus was an air Force guy, and Rebecca (the three year old this time) was Little Ariel.  We all got dressed, then we stopped by Brian's office so he could soak some contacts in flouresein (spelling is not correct, forgive me), and finally we headed to the church to decorate a classroom door for the trick-or-treating and have fun at the party.

Little Ariel with her princess friends.

Marcus is showing off his cool Air Force gun.

I missed getting a picture of Alyssa, because she had to leave soon after the party started to go to a Nutcracker rehearsal.

The next morning Brian and I left for Seattle for our open water dives for scuba class.  It was awesome!  We had on two layers of 7 mm wetsuits to keep us warm, and we saw a bunch of purple star fish, some feisty crabs, lots of fish, and the fastest shrimp we've ever seen. 

We did two dives on Saturday and two on Sunday.  There was a lot of certification tests mixed in with the dives, but we were able to have a lot of time just exploring under water as well.  Oh, and we saw Oscar the Octopus, who was apparently released to the wild about a week ago, and the people we talked to afterward were quite happy that he had found a home in one of the old boats placed for the diving area.

I learned that Brian is a great diving buddy.  When we first got in the water, and I was struggling to put my fins on, my mask got all foggy and I started to freak out that I wouldn't be able to see under water.  I kept trying to clean it out, then put it on without exhaling, but every time it was foggy.  I was very concerned, and even thought, "Let's not do this.  I can try another time."  But Brian came over to help, and just having him there calmed me down.  He took off my hood and put it back on again so that all my hair was out of the way, then he called our teacher over, who told me to spit in the mask and then just barely rinse it out.  Apparently, the spray defogger that Brian and I used was different from what Dave was putting on everyone else's masks, so when he told us to rinse the defogger, I really shouldn't have, because the spray wasn't meant to be rinsed off.  Anyway, spitting worked like a charm, and once I was able to get my mask on successfully, I was emotionally ready to go.

Still, it took about twenty or thirty minutes under the water for me to really become comfortable and look around enough to enjoy myself.  It was so neat to watch all the little fish and collect shells from the floor.  I collected some shells and crab claws for the kids at sixty feet down.

During the testing, I handed Brian my secondary regulator upside down; forgot to release air from my BC as we ascended for the first time, which made me float right to the surface once we hit twenty feet; and it took me two tries to take off and put my mask back on under water.  Those gloves are hard to get used to!  I learned a lot, though.  Once you make those mistakes, you make sure you don't make them again.

Oh, and I can't forget to say that we accidentally mixed up Brian's and my gear while we were packing in the dark on Friday night.  I put on his wetsuit, and I thought it was loose because I had tried it on over my clothes at the dive shop.  Still, I was surprised it was so roomy.  Then Brian came over, and we were in a hurry, because we were the last to arrive and everyone was already getting ready, and Brian started to unknowingly put on my wetsuit.  He tried and tried, got it up on his legs, asked, "Am I really that fat?"  Tried some more, got one arm halfway in and hollered, "Okay, my pride is completely done for already.  Can you help pull this up?"

After pulling and tugging for a couple minutes, we figured out the problem, and it took a few more minutes to peel my wetsuit off of him.  Like I said, we learned our lesson and made sure to keep our wetsuits separate when we hung them up at the hotel that night.

I love scuba diving!  I loved being under the water, exploring some place new, and I can't wait until we can go again.  (We're going to Hawaii in January for some CE classes, which is why we got scuba certified in the first place.)  It was fun to learn how to use our compasses underwater.  Honestly, I was quite impressed with myself for doing something that I never thought I would do and was originally way out of my comfort zone.

my hot diving buddy

my cool purple fins - Purple is the last color to lose it's vibrancy under water.

Aren't I glorious?!?
with all our gear

We had both sets of grandparents helping out over the weekend.  Brian's mom braved the cold soccer games with the boys.  Ethan threw up soon after getting to my parents house, and Becca threw up soon after my dad moved all the kids back to our (very messy) house.  We're so thankful that our parents were willing to help out so Brian and I could do this amazing, fun thing together, and I'm glad our kids were taken care of so well. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

He Might Keep Getting Older, But He Will Never Grow Up

 Brian's mom wanted a picture of the original Jacks clan.  Brian was just as cooperative as he always is.
hat off
tongue out

wonky face

hat back on


Brace Face Goes to the Farm

Alyssa got braces on Thursday.  She went in for a consultation last year, and they advised her to wait a year for her mouth to grow a bit more and for all of her adult teeth to come in.  So we went back in on Wednesday, and I was expecting them to ask us to come back for braces in a week or two, but they said, "How about tomorrow?" 

Alyssa was more excited than I have ever seen anyone be excited for getting braces.  She's not quite as excited about them now that her mouth is sore and she's getting used to talking and eating and smiling with big bumpy metal things on her teeth, but she is enjoying the attention for having something new.  Plus, she's really cute.

This is her being cute.  Ignore the soot on her face.  She and Amy were being Priestesses of the Fire.
And this is her imitating Jason Gray at the end of Studio C's "Kid's School Photo Banned" video.
Kid's School Photo Banned

Brian calls her Brace Face, or BF for short, and he's having a good time teasing her that BFF means Brace Face Forever.

We were able to go out to the Empey Farm yesterday for a barbecue and trip to their pumpkin patch.  The Empey's grow the apples for their family's cider, so we were surrounded by fields and fields of apple trees.  Claire took the kids on a tractor ride through the orchards, Alyssa and Amy kept the fire going, we enjoyed Brian's dad's yummy yummy brisket, we went to the pumpkin patch, and we finished the day eating the apples we had picked, dipped in homemade caramel sauce.  It was such a beautiful fall day, and it was so much fun to be outside enjoying it together as a family.  I give Claire's parents the Award of Awesomeness for making us feel so welcome and making our day so fun.

Marcus is our cautious child.  He didn't want to ride the tractor, but he ended up loving it.

The rule was: If you can carry it, you can keep it.

He keeps striking this serious ninja prayer pose every time I try to take pictures of him.  I have no idea where it came from or what he is trying to be.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Two-Handed Artist

When we took Marcus to the doctor to investigate his ADHD, we were told that he is ambidextrous.  It took him a while to settle on which hand to use to write with (his right) but sometimes he busts out both hands to draw with, and it is really cool to watch.  They move at the same time, but do different things.  Crazy!

I Knew I took More Pictures Than That

 Camp Zarahemla, Part 2

She asked for everything in her omelet and found an Oreo inside.

She was giggling the whole time!

Camp Zarahemla, Jacks Style

Brian's sister is in town with her family, so we all headed over to Camp Zarahemla for the weekend.  It's the first time we've been in the fall, and it was nice to not have to worry about wet, snowy clothes, and to be able to walk on the roads without slipping on ice.  We explored more than we ever have before!

Ethan and I did the grocery shopping before leaving on Saturday, and I caught him doing this on the way home.

She fell asleep during prayer.

Marcus split his chin open when he went over the back of a couch.  We glued it back together and it's healing well.

Becca collected her pistachios in one cup and the shells in another.