Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Fall Soccer

 We signed up three kids for soccer in the fall.  It made for some crazy weeknights and Saturdays, but the kids had fun.  Rob coached Emery's team and he does so great with those little 3-4 year olds.  Sadie really came out of her shell and started really getting into soccer.  She did great!  And Zac just loves soccer.  Can't wait for spring soccer to start! 

 Here is Sadie's team right after their last game.  They won most of their games and Sadie almost got a goal in a few of the games.  So close!

 This is Zac's team.  He had so much fun!

And Emery's team.  It rained on picture day so they had to take pictures inside and only half of the team showed up.  So this is the best picture I got.

I took zero pictures this season.  I only got the team pictures and this one of Zac with his medal.  I think it had something to do with the fact that I was chasing a one year old around the whole time.  :) 

Pumpkin from our garden

 This year our garden was very minimal.  We planted tomatoes and sunflowers and cucumbers.  That's it.  But we were happy when we saw a volunteer pumpkin plant come up.  It didn't get very big because it grew right next to our tomatoes.  But we did get one pumpkin out of it so the kids were very excited.  We picked the pumpkin at the end of August I think and the kids wanted to carve it right away.  So we went ahead and did it. 

 Everyone is ready to help clean out the pumpkin.

 Rob handled the knife work.

 And the kids scooped out the guts.

 I told all the kids to look at me and smile...Riley was very obedient.  Ha ha.

Here they are with the finished product. 

That pumpkin is long gone by now, but we went to the pumpkin patch the other day and picked out some pumpkins.  I think we will paint the pumpkins this year since Rob and I usually end up doing all the work when we carve them.  We'll see. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Paris- day 7!

 This was our last day in Paris.  We had already gotten pretty much everything checked off of our to do list so this was a pretty laid back day.  We slept in again (!) and then we wandered to the hotel restaurant for breakfast.  It was pretty yummy.  Laurel ordered orange juice and it was a tiny cup of juice yet it cost 8 euros!  ha ha.  I hope it tasted good.  :) 

We went to The Conciergerie (it used to be a prison).  It was really interesting and kinda dismal.  They beheaded a lot of people back then!  After that museum, we wandered back over to the soap shop and to the ice cream place we had visited earlier in the week. 

 I didn't take too many pictures on day 7.  I guess I figured I already had so many pictures I didn't need too many more.  But I liked this fountain so I took a picture.  

Then for lunch we stopped at a cafe that we had eaten at earlier in the week.  Every time I face timed with my kids the first question they asked was if I had eaten snails yet.  So I decided I better try them on my last day.  I remembered that the cafe had them on the appetizer list so we went there and ordered some. 
 We also got "baby caesar salads"  And they were definitely small.  ha ha  

 My face tells all in this picture.  The snails didn't taste all that bad.  They actually tasted good.  It was just the thought that I was eating the things that I have my kids find in our garden.  Ew.  And the fact that you have to dig them out of their shell doesn't help either.  And the sauce was green.  I ended up eating two of them only because Laurel tried recording me the first time and something weird happened and it didn't work.  So I took one for the team and ate another one so I could have it on video.  ha ha  Culture points for me!

 Laurel got such a beautiful supply of soap.  I only got 5.  I definitely should have bought more!  So pretty.

After lunch, we hurried back to the hotel and face timed with our families one last time while in France.  Then after that we got another massage.  It was so amazing.  (Thanks again Laurel!)  It was so great!

 That evening it was our goal to get a good picture of both of us together.  We wanted the eiffel tower to be in the background but the lighting didn't look very good and we didn't want to walk all the way down there.  So we settled for a picture in front of the Seine.  

 I love the one on the right with the boat in it.  So fun.

We ate lunch at a park near our hotel.  We got quiche, and I got some guacamole because  I had been craving mexican food the whole time I was there.  Ha ha.  Then we had one last crepe.  So yummy.  

The next day was the day we were going to the airport.  We bought our bus tickets the night before so we would be extra ready.  We decided to leave the hotel at 7:15 am.  Of course the check out of the hotel took longer than expected because they had a bunch of charges from the mini bar that we never actually took anything from.  We did move the stuff out sometimes to cool our water bottles.  I guess they have a sensor, so if you move anything it automatically charges you.  Whoops!  But Laurel got that figured out.  So we made it to the bus and to the airport.  At the airport we missed our stop so we had to take the shuttle back to the right terminal.  It was at this point I was starting to get a little bit nervous about making our flight.  Then when we got into the airport I got really nervous.  It was CRAZY!  Lines everywhere.  So after much stress and worrying, we ran to our gate and made it just in time.  Phew!

This trip was such an amazing experience and I'm so glad for Rob taking the whole week off of work to spend time with the kids.  He is such an amazing dad and the kids loved having him home the whole week.  I feel blessed to have been able to go on this trip. Thanks Laurel!  I had a great time!

Paris - Day 6

On this day we mostly just walked around and stopped in some shops and stores we had wanted to visit while we were in Paris.  In the evening we had tickets to ride the lift up to the second level of the Eiffel tower.  It was at 10, so I wasn't sure if I was going to be super tired or not.  We got to sleep in on this day (which was fabulous!) so it turned out to be fine.

We started out the day by going to breakfast at Angelina's.   Both Laurel and I got eggs benedict. 
 It was pretty yummy, except that the bacon was completely floppy and uncooked.  I think it might have been Canadian bacon but either way it was gross to me.  So I just took it off.  Rob's dad makes eggs benedict that I like much better than the stuff I had in Paris.  :)

 The whole time we were in Paris, we would see these military guys with some pretty big guns walking around on the streets.  We wanted a picture of them, but felt a little awkward so Laurel used her phone to take a picture while I pretended to point around and nod my head to act like we were trying to figure out where we were going.  Laurel joined in and then we headed on our way and had a good laugh.  And we got a good picture too!

 Then as we were walking down the sidewalk we saw these guys spray painting a random wall.  I don't know if it is illegal there because it was broad daylight and they didn't seem concerned.  It was weird.

We stopped in a soap shop.  I bought a few bars of soap and I totally regret not buying more.  I loved this store!  And just look how pretty it all is!  I love things that are organized by color!

We stopped by this park around lunchtime to try, once again, a macaroon.  And this was a macaroon from the place that was voted best macaroon in Paris.    I thought it was cool how in the middle of the day there were so many people sitting in the park eating their lunch.  

We decided to try a plain vanilla macaroon in hopes that it would be delicious, but I still didn't like it.  I don't think Laurel did either.  Sigh.  We tried...  The eclair was pretty yummy, and it looked pretty.

We also tried "escargot" in pastry form.  This was a pastry that they called escargot.  It had chocolate and pistachio cream in it.  It was my favorite pastry that we tried while in France I think.  

We spent a lot of the day just walking around enjoying the streets of Paris.  A few funny things happened.  There was a guy that was literally jumping in front of everybody as we were trying to cross the street and he would ask if we had a cigarette.  He jumped in front of Laurel and asked her so I thought I was safe because I veered left a little bit.  But after she said no, he ran over and asked me.  I told him no and then safely on the other side of the street, Laurel yelled back to him "you shouldn't smoke!  It's bad for you!"  ha ha  It made me laugh!

Then as we were walking along following our gps we looked up and realized that the street we were on was store after store of black hair wig stores with a few black barber shops.  It went on for a few blocks.  Then just like that it was back to regular shops and cafes.  It was really interesting.  

Then we headed back to the hotel and had dinner at the hotel bar.  We ordered French onion soup (which was delicious!) and I can't even remember what else I got.  I loved the soup though.  Actually I think Laurel ordered the soup and I "shared".  he he. 

I mean...doesn't that look delicious!  My mouth is watering just looking at the picture!  

Then that evening we took the metro to the Eiffel tower one last time.  I took a picture every few minutes of the tower when it started getting dark.

Laurel took this picture!  I think it is awesome.  I love the angle and the lighting.  

The Eiffel tower is a much different scene at night than it is during the day!  Apparently people go to get drunk at the tower.  We overheard some people say that on the metro on our way there.  It would never cross my mind to do that...ha ha.  We found a spot on the grass and waited for it to start sparkling.  While we were sitting there, about 6 or 7 guys selling alcohol asked us if we wanted to buy some.  No thanks!

We finally got brave enough to ask someone to take our picture.  All week I had been afraid that if we had someone take our picture, they would run off with my phone.  But I'm glad we got this one.  :)

 And a random selfie under the tower!  

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Paris- day 5

Ok- on day 5, we went to the Palace of Versailles.  We took a train to get there and it was a longer ride (about 40 minutes or so).  At one point on the train, the doors opened at one of the stops and all of a sudden this guy starts saying something in French and then we hear an accordion playing rather loudly.  We were on the upper level and facing away from where he was, but then when he was done playing, he walked up to our level and walked around with his hat so people could give him donations.  Thankfully he walked right by us but then he stopped a few rows away and just stood there for about three whole minutes and played a little tune until someone finally gave him a euro or two to go away.  Ha!  It made me laugh.  I thought it was hilarious because I saw the whole thing!  so funny.  But I guess that is one way to get some money. 

We got to the palace and I was just amazed at how big it was and how much gold (I don't know if it is real or just paint...) there was and how many statues were on the outside of it.  It really is amazing to think people lived like this way back when.  But it also got me wanting to take a tour of the white house in Washington DC.  I bet that place is huge, and that is where the president and his family lives...

Anyway.  I just took a bunch of pictures of things I thought my kids would like to see or things that I thought were cool or interesting.  

This door was huge.  And lots of gold.

And you can't tell by the picture, but this fireplace is huge as well.  Those logs were huge!
This is blurry, but all of the ceilings were very intricately decorated and painted.  

This was the "Hall of Mirrors".  Laurel and I were most excited to see this room.  I thought it was going to be like a mirror maze type thing because of the name...but it turns out it is just a room with big mirrors in it.  And, we didn't even know we were in it at the time.  I didn't even see the mirrors because I was busy looking out the windows.  The mirrors are on the opposite side.  When we finished the tour, we asked a worker where the Hall of Mirrors was because we had missed it.  She was amazed.  "are you sure you didn't see it??"  Then we looked through our pictures and realized that we actually did see it but didn't know that is what it was.  ha ha!  

This is where the queen slept.  

Then we went outside and looked at some of the many gardens.  

I loved seeing all the colorful flowers because there wasn't much greenery or flowers in Paris.

These gardens looked pretty cool from above.

And this was a giant mirror thing outside that was supposedly "art".  I liked it because we could take a picture of ourselves with the whole palace in the background.  THere was also more "art" down by the canal that was just a whirlpool in the ground.  We asked a worker what is was thinking that maybe it powered all of the fountains (which non of them were on, by the way :( ) but no.  He just said that is was art.  Weird.  I guess I don't appreciate the arts.  ha ha

After spending a couple hours walking around in the gardens and eating lunch there, we decided we were done and headed back to Paris where we went to the hotel and rested our feet for a minute.  Then we decided that we would walk down to the Louvre and get that checked off of our list.  I wasn't sure I was going to like it much because I just thought there would be so much stuff and I didn't know where to go.  I had heard stories of people spending like 4 hours there, and I didn't want to do that!  So we brought Laurel's Rick Steve's book and followed his tour in his book and it ended up being awesome.  It took us to a lot of the popular things that we wanted to see and gave us some information about the art.  It really was the perfect tour for both of us.  It only took an hour or so. 

Here I am outside.  The famous pyramid entrance.

This famous statue that I don't remember the name of was one of the first things we saw.

These crowns and jewels were quite impressive.

Sorry about the nudity, but it was everywhere!  ha ha.  Lots of statues and paintings of naked people.  

Then we made it to the Mona Lisa.  We had heard that if you want to get to the front of the crowd, nobody would just let you in out of kindness.  You had to push and shove your way to the front.  Neither Laurel or I are super pushy, so at first we just got near the front and took a picture.  That Asian gal was in all of my pictures trying to get a perfect selfie.  ha ha.  Then we decided to go back and try to be brave and push our way to the front.  And we did!  Much better.  There was a girl standing literally front and center for about 5 or more minutes taking selfie after selfie.  When we got to the front, we snapped a picture and got out of there to give other people the opportunity.  But this girl didn't care who was looking at her or how long she took, she was going to get about 100 pictures of herself with the Mona Lisa.  Good for her.  

And this was the crowd of people taking pictures of it.  It was pretty crazy.

Then of course, we had to take the famous picture touching the top of the pyramid.  :)

On our way home we stopped at a Japanese food place.  It really hit the spot that night. :)

Laurel got fried rice that was amazing.  And I got some curry chicken with some kind of soup.  So yummy.