Wednesday, July 28, 2010

sea lions, dolphins and rays oh my!

We have had the awesome pleasure of going to a great little marine park these last few months. Jeff and I decided it would be fun to buy their season passes so that we could enjoy it as much as possible. Karina is still free at her age so it really is a great deal for our family. These are just some of the cool things you will see there.

We have had the great pleasure of being joined by some of our family and friends too! This trip we had fun with My sweet friend Heather and her precious little girl, Madelyn, that is just Karina's age. Heather bought a pass too since Madelyn is free and we are hoping to go with them again in the future. Maybe when this weather cools off a little.

These are a few shots from the great bird show they put on.

And here is Karina when she was still a bit nervous about touching the sting rays.

I couldn't resist taking pictures of the flowers or this beautiful bird. I think he is my favorite one there!

After taking a break to eat lunch and enjoying a little stroll we headed to the dolphin show. And as my sister-in-law pointed out when we went with her, " This place just makes you want to jump in a pool!" This is especially true on the days when we have gone and it has been pretty hot.

Well our next trip was fun and on a busier day I might add. When we arrived there was a school bus full of kids that were about to go in. We scooted in right before them and I'm glad we did. We got a great seat for the sea lion show. The girls, Karina's cousins Indie and Sensi, loved it.

After this show we met up with Emily (my sister in law) and her kids. We went by to see the turtles and the sting rays on our way to the bird show.

The kids loved it! And I loved watching them take it all in.

Love this pic of these sweet kids. I am so glad Karina has all of them in her life and I love being their auntie! Oh and have you heard of the Food Network show called "Chopped"? Well Karina wasn't really that happy in this picture so she got "Cropped"! Out that is.

Sweet sisters!

And below, these two are such cute little buddies at just a year apart.

Having fun petting the rays.

All set and ready for the dolphin show.

Well this was the end of our time there with the cousins. They had fun roaming the gift shop for something neat to take home. And they even got a cool glimpse of this sealion again from the window in the shop.

A funny little collage of the kids in the shark photo prop. Karina looks a little too happy to be eaten by a shark if you ask me. :)

And our most resent trip we made we thought it would be fun to invite Karina's little friend Lola. She loved every minute as you will see in the pictures and was just a joy to have along.

These two had a great time together. Thanks again Jen for letting us borrow her for the day. They were really excited about that ice cream too and no they did not eat that whole thing. After I took the picture I made them both "share" with me. That meant me scooping 3/4 of there ice cream into a bowl for me. I even had a hard time finishing!
So that is my LONG in the making post from this summer. Soon to come are some oh-so-sweet pics of my new little nephew that I just adore!! Precious little Noah came back in June and we have been enjoying each minute we spend with him. So check back soon!! In the meantime try to stay cool.

Friday, July 23, 2010

taking the plunge!

I would like to introduce you to my little fish. Her name is Karina and she has literally come leaps and bounds with her swimming this week as you will see in the following pictures. Jeff and I had talked about putting her in swim lessons somewhere. Then we found a book that I was given awhile back. The lady that had written it was a Red Cross Certified swim instructor. So we both got in our heads that I could probably teach her on my own.
Well after the first two lessons I had given her she started doing this!

It is amazing to me how quickly they learn if you let them go at their own pace. I know all kids are different, but I truly thought it would take us a little longer to get to this point. As you can see she is mighty proud of herself!!

Then it came to jumping, which she used to not want to do even when her cousins were.
This was all new yesterday and by the end of our time there she was jumping off the diving board!!

I now have to watch her like a hawk! She really is so brave and as proud as I am of her we still have a lot to learn. But I love watching her make a splash! And I really think the rest of our lessons are going to go just great with where we are now. I praise the Lord for giving me the motivation to teach her and her the desire to learn! It really is so rewarding! We even went out and bought her some neat goggles to have some fun with.

Oh and her daddy was so proud of her for swimming for the first time that he took us for ice cream to celebrate! Now for some swim time with daddy so that he can see his little fish in action!
And a big huge thank you to Em who took all the pictures for me!!!