Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fall time 2011

Some photos from November of last year (I'm just trying to focus on the fact that I'm finally catching up, not that I'm so far behind!)

Our backyard after a few days of leaf fall from our neighbors trees. INSANE! 

Some fun at the LDS family history center.

One of Jacob's favorite past times is begging to go into daddy's office while he is working.

Joshua at the ward's pine wood derby. He is pretty excited for when he gets to do this himself!

The view from our house one evening. Talk about amazing.

Cute little Jacob at the playground

Did any of you play in big pine trees when you were kids? I did with my brothers and sisters and now my kids are loving it too!

The ever so popular Lion photo at the Hogle Zoo. Too bad it is near impossible to have them both looking at the same time and both unblurry at the same time!

Jacob's first time in nursery. He did really well (it's a miracle he is actually staying in his seat for this photo). There have been a few random days where he needed us to stay with him for a few minutes but generally he can't wait to go play.

And of course there was thanksgiving. We had it at our house and there were plenty of sick tummy's after!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Corn Tip

Try adding a little milk, powdered milk or sugar to the water when you are boiling corn (avoid salt while boiling). It will make your corn even more sweet and yummy.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Grand Caymen - Stingray City

We did a tour with moby dick tours in Grand Cayman that took us snorkeling at a reef and then to stingray city. I have been to stingray city one other time and loved it. Last time I went I felt nervous and barely touched the stingrays. This time I got a lot more adventurous which made James, after watching me for several minutes, get adventurous too. A tiny part of me still felt nervous about their barbs on their tails--especially when they started wipping them around--so I started off by touching the stingray they affectionately call frisbee. He was tail free.

By the time it was time to go I was so sad to say goodbye to my new pets. They really do act like pets. They are so used to people. They enjoy them (and the food they bring) so much that they come up to any boat that goes into the stingray city area (which is really just an area in the ocean with shallow sandbars).

This is the only underwater photo of fish/reef that was taken. James had the camera that day. If I had known this is how he was going to take photos I would have taken the camera! Maybe he was too distracted with the fish that chased him all over the place and kept swimming up to his face mask. I'm not joking there. It freaked him out a bit. 
Me. I had the hardest time getting a snarling mask to fit. I ended up having to use a child's mask. Apparently my face is the width of a child's.
The stingrays came right up to our boat when we got there.

Give me five!
There is a technique to holding them. It took me a while to get it. After that, I could pick up and hold any stingray that came near me. In fact, if you hold your arms the right way they practically swim into them. I was about the only person there (besides the tour crew) that was able to get a stingray into my arms and keep it there. I'm a natural stingray tamer I guess :)


They say that if you kiss a stingray you get 7 years good luck. That gives me a good excuse to go to Cayman again in 7 years. I swear the stingrays were trying to give a kiss too. They would come out of the water at you if you puckered your lips.
A big storm brewed while we were there. Luckily we were able to finish up our trip and get on the boat before the worst of it started.
This photo is for Joshua. I am suppose to be saying "arrrg" and acting like a pirate. Unfortunately it looks like I'm puckering my lips. Oh well, I tried.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Roatan Honduras

The third stop on the cruise was in Roatan Honduras. We decided to have a nice, relaxed day of reading and snorkeling. James had never been snorkling before so this was especially fun for him. The water was a little murky and the sand was dark in color (compared to places like cayman and cozumel) so the underwater pictures didn't turn out too great. We took the photos with our iPhone inside an aquapac. Actually, whenever we left the ship we put our phone in the aquapac so all photos from these posts are taken from inside it. It worked great, especially when it started to rain unexpectedly.
There is a monstrous drop off once you go a little bit out in the water which is why the cruise ship is able to park (do you say park with cruise ships?) so close to the island.






See, water is a bit murky.  I actually took this photo to catch a cool long and skinny fish. Unfortunately, you can barely see the fish. I have super duper photography skills, don't I?
The beach we hung out on. Came equipped with beach chairs and a live band.  It did end up being a really nice and relaxing day. I could have stayed there for a week or so if the water didn't have icky seaweed on the bottom of it that grossed me out on contact.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Belize - Zipline

No, we are not the ones in the photo above. We were suppose to do cave tubing in belize but the water was too high and dangerous. I'm kind of sad about that (yes, I'm aware that I should just be grateful, blah blah blah) but that is what you get for going there during the rainy season. Why would be go in the rainy seasons? Rainy seasons = discount cruise and available babysitter = much happiness.

We ended up doing zip lining and ATVing instead. Zip lining was more fun than I thought it would be. Honestly, I thought it would be a bit boring (obviously I'm not afraid of heights or that would be the last thing on my mind). It wasn't boring at all and we even got some exercise out of it since you climb up a lot of steps to get to the zip line platforms. A little exercise was nice after days of an all you can eat buffet--24 hours a day. Have I ever mentioned I have a problem saying no to food that is sitting in front of me asking me to eat it?
This is one of the first smaller and lower ones. We got really high up eventually. I ended up being the first to go down most times. Some people were a bit hesitant. I figured that if people kept dying here they probably wouldn't still be open--even in Belize. 
One of the platforms we zip lined from. Side note: did you know that most Belizians speak a few languages? The guy helping us with the zip line spoke four. I was feeling super smart with my english and bad spanish.

We are pretty high up on this one. Could barely see the ground. There were some massive trees there.

James flying through the trees

ATVing was more like boating in a couple feet of water. It was slow going because people kept getting stuck. I didn't mind. The jungle was nice to look at.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Mexico - Tulum excursion

Our cruise ship stopped for the day in Cozumel. We took a ferry from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen and from there took a bus to the Mayan ruin Tulum. We were suppose to go swimming right when we got there (tulum is located on a beautiful beach) but a big storm started. Bad timing, but at least it was semi-warm rain and we already had our swim suits on. Luckily we had our camera phone in an aquapacso we could still take photos. Or at least take photos without ruining our camera like other people were.

There were a bunch of iguanas lying around.




Despite the storm, lots of people still went swimming.
This beach is closed off for nesting sea turtles

Monday, November 07, 2011

Western Carribean Cruise

James and I went on a week long cruise to the Western Caribbean last month. You heard that right, there was no mention of kids there! They stayed in Utah and were looked after by family. They hardly knew we were gone.

 We flew into Tampa where we stayed with my brother and his family for a couple days and then headed off on the cruise. We were lucky that we were able to combine two great things (seeing family+cruise) in one trip since tampa is a cruise port city.

We visited Belize, Cozumel Mexico, Roatan Honduras and Grand Cayman. I'll do separate posts of those later.

We went to the Florida Aquarium while we were in tampa. Here's my niece.

Our ship (sorry for the foggy edges, the camera was in an aquapac)

The first thing we did when we got on the ship was play chess. A little strange, but that is what James wanted to do. Pretty cool chess set, you have to admit.


If you've ever been on a cruise, you know that they center around eating (and drinking and gambling--but we didn't do these things for obvious reasons). The serving staff a funny singing and dancing skit for us each night while we ate dinner.

We spent a lot of time reading and relaxing on the cruise ship.

It rained on and off for the last few days of our cruise. At least we got a pretty rainbow out of it.