Thursday, January 30, 2014

Remembering December - The Palm Beach Zoo

We spent the day after Christmas relaxing and doing errands, but we were ready for another adventure by the next day. Going to the zoo turned out to be a wonderful choice, and we all had a great time.
We saw lots of birds.
And lots of reptiles.
And lots of mammals.
We saw other animals, too, that I wasn't able to capture on film very well, like this koala. Brooke was fascinated with the otters, but those pictures didn't turn out at all! (The combination of animals that don't stop moving, glass aquarium walls, and the glare of the sun doesn't bode well for amateur photographers.)
I'm not sure why, but I found the anteater to be the most fascinating. It also didn't stop moving! But at least it didn't make me cringe like looking at the giraffes in Hogle Zoo did years ago. 

Brooke had fun riding on her daddy's shoulders. That provided a great view!
Oops, can't forget more birds and butterflies!
In addition to animal exhibits, there were a couple of other things - not quite sure how to describe them. Brooke did a great job of following the leader and tossing a leaf into the giant pot just like the little girl who was in there before us did.
I guess it was supposed to be some sort of Mayan/Aztec village replica. At least it provided a nice place to practice taking pictures.
We had a great morning, and saw everything we wanted to see before nap time. That's a successful outing!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Remembering December - Loggerhead Beach

Michelle was ready to leave the cold and snow of a Utah winter and enjoy her Christmas break in Florida. Even though she had to take the red-eye flight, she was up to going straight to the beach from the airport. So were the rest of us!
It's a LOT of work cleaning up little bodies after they play in the sand, so we debated just going to a park or pool and avoiding the sand, but Wyatt was still calling the ocean a monster and we didn't want to leave that impression with him until the next time he could visit the beach. Fortunately, that strategy worked, and he left this time thinking the ocean was a fun friend.

 Making it a true Florida experience by having subs from Publix for lunch.

What a fun time we all had at Loggerhead Beach!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Remembering December - Fun at the Pool

After having fun at Okeeheelee Park, we went home for lunch and naps, but then the kids were ready to have some more fun, so we went over to the club house pool. Even though it was getting late and chilly, we had a great time.

First we explored the water structure.
This water was COLD, but it didn't stop them from getting all wet.
Uncle Brad made sure Wyatt understood the physics behind the falling water.
Then we tried the big pool, and discovered that heated water is much more enjoyable!
Brooke had fun jumping to her daddy.
It was so much fun, we went back again a couple more times during their visit.
Grandpa even came once, although he decided not to get wet.
Three adults to one toddler - that's a pretty good ratio.
We're looking forward to going back for more fun on their next visit!

Remembering December - Panama Hattie's

After spending the day painting the house, we decided we deserved the treat of going out to dinner, so we did.
We chose Panama Hattie's, mainly because dinner there includes a little boat ride on the Intracoastal.
 Since it was December, there were a lot of pretty lights to see.
Mr. Wyatt was too busy looking at all the wonderful sights to pose for the picture!
While we weren't enamored with the service we received (miscommunication at a shift change), the food was good and the company was excellent! It's a fun place to go to experience "typical" Florida.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Remembering December - Carlin Park

Carlin Park

First up was the exercise circuit. We'll be remembering that for a long time, because Wayne tore his ulnar collateral ligament while trying one of the exercises. Just when it was beginning to feel better, he helped me carry the Christmas tree box up the stairs and it popped again. Ouch! But it was still a great day at the park!
There were lots of things to explore. Isn't it neat how a twig or a rock can keep a little person occupied for such a long time?
It was a beautiful day at the beach, too.
And when they were tired out from swimming and playing in the sand, Grandpa had hamburgers all ready to eat for lunch.
There's a lot to do at this park, and we finished our day there at the tennis courts. It was a bit of a walk from the picnic area, and the babies fell asleep in their strollers, which actually turned out to be a good thing so the moms and dads could enjoy their tennis game.
 And believe it or not, it didn't prevent them from taking another nap in the car on the way home!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Remembering December - Okeeheelee Park

Okeeheelee Park - I just love that name, and I love that it's only a five-minute drive away. It was the perfect place to take some little kids. Unfortunately, we didn't realize until we got there that in the winter-time the nature center is only open on the weekends. Fortunately, the nature trails around the nature center aren't closed, so we had a nice little walk.
Look closely at Brooke's face in the following sequence of pictures. I imagine she's grateful she doesn't have an older brother. (We'll have to remind her when she's older that I always wished I had an older brother, until I got one! I wonder if my kids even know that story.) Anyway, Wyatt didn't mean to scare her, and he apologized nicely.
After our little walk we stopped at the playground. We had hoped to be able to rent a paddle boat, but guess what? Those are only available on the weekend as well. I guess we'll have to go back at a later date sometime!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Remembering the Holidays - Christmas Day

Happy Rudolph Day!
I may or may not do a Christmas post each month on the 25th, but this month I am. Here's the review of our fun Christmas Day 2013.

Even though no one woke up super early, with a house full of people it took a while for everyone to get ready for breakfast. (Remember our family tradition is to get dressed, make beds, eat breakfast and do the dishes before opening any presents. It's worked just fine for over 30 years!) Fortunately, everyone was patient and had fun visiting and playing while they waited.
And the cinnamon rolls turned out great! (This year we used my mom's roll dough recipe instead of our usual potato roll dough. Either one is delicious.)

Proof that Santa came:
We also had to take the traditional "stand by your stocking" pictures before we could take them down. Even grown-up children like to be silly.
And toddlers don't always like to pose for pictures.
Then it was time to open presents!
Stockings first.
Then everything else.
The memorable gift of the day was the one from the kids to their dad. And it was really the wrapping that made it memorable. You're familiar with the box-in-a-box-in-a-box wrapping trick, right? Wayne is known for predicting ahead of time what a gift will be, so the kids took advantage of that, and the first box had "Guess what's inside?" marked on it. So he did. While he mentioned it could be a rock or a sock, he went with refrigerator. Inside was a sock and another box with the same question. He stuck with refrigerator. This time it was a rock with another box. Even though the boxes were getting smaller, he stuck with refrigerator. That box revealed the refrigerator! By this time everyone was in tears from laughing. And there was still one more gift inside. (Which turned out to be tickets for an afternoon intra-coastal cruise.) Apparently Megan tried this once for one of her brothers and he didn't think it was humorous at all, so she was very leery when the others suggested they do this. She was quite relieved that it turned out so well. And to make it even better, when we talked with Elder Steven, he said he had the same idea earlier that week and was looking forward to doing it for Christmas 2014, complete with the picture of the refrigerator! I think he was kind of disappointed that he won't be able to do that with the same effect. (And to make it even funnier, last year he was given an actual refrigerator for his office. Too bad we didn't try this fun activity then.) Anyway, we hope this little story brings you as much pleasure as it brought us. We'll have fun remembering it always.
As is usual when there's a missionary in the family, the highlight of the day was talking with him. We tried Skype for a few minutes, but gave up and went to just the phone. He really does live out in the sticks where internet service isn't reliable, even if his city (Huambo, Angola - which we learned is pronouced "whawmboo") has a population of 1,000,000. He's doing great, and we were able to find a few pictures of some of his December activities. Technically, I guess he spent Christmas Day in Lubango (pronounced with "loobawngoo") with his zone, but the internet doesn't work any more reliably there.
Fay made yummy Santa fruit kabobs, (Yay for Pinterest!) and after snacks for lunch it was time to make a trip to the airport so Weston's family could return home. We're so grateful they made the effort to visit us, and we had a great time with them. (Pictures of our pre-Christmas activities coming soon.)  We sure have wonderful memories of Christmas 2013 and hope you do too!