Saturday, March 31, 2012

Talent Show Rehearsal Video ~~ Surfin' USA

The talent show was a success this year.

The only hitch was after the show when the kids went to collect their trophies (everyone gets one) theirs wasn't there. It did show up the next week which made them happy because now they have 3 different trophies each displayed on their shelves.

I did not buy a professionally filmed DVD of the extravaganza this year because, well, ummmmm.....  overall the acts were.... well, shall we say, under rehearsed. Two poor little kids got lost in the the middle of their acts and the audience sat holding their breath while each of them struggled to get back on track. Eventually they both did and they got some of the loudest applause of the night, but they weren't moments I want to relive.

Fortunately I recorded my dynamic duo during rehearsal which came out fine. They had had only 3 days of practice when I took this and by the time the actual show came around they were pretty much completely in sync.

They crew never could get that dang surfboard to stand up.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday Night Follies

Evenings at our house can never be described as boring.
(Or quiet but we already knew that).

Jeffrey at the top of his lungs in the shower (heard from 2 rooms away):

"Somebody once told me the world is gonna roll me
I ain't the sharpest tool in the shed..." (pause for deep breath)
"She was looking kinda dumb with her finger and her thumb
In the shape of an "L" on her forehead....


Repeat 45 times.

This is what happens when I let him borrow my IPOD.

Friday, March 23, 2012

LA Natural History Museum Survives the Crew

It's spring break out here in our neck of the woods. 
And in order to keep the natives from climbing the walls we decided on a family outing to the LA Natural History Museum.
The Hall of Dinosaurs has been closed for several years so this has been our first opportunity to get downtown and see them since they re-opened.

Let us start with the first exhibit that hasn't changed since my oldest kids were in pre-school.

This is a picture of Jeffrey before he got warmed up into comedian mode.

Our first stop was the new exhibit area which really showed off how impressive these creatures were.

I wanted to see more of these long necked guys:

 They had several walls of bones behind glass:

Sarah models next to a T-Rex head.

Everyone taking a look at bones in the way they were uncovered:

Jeffrey studies a large marine tortoise (turtle?):

This was the upper leg bone of one of the dinosaurs.
(I guess I should have paid more attention to what I was taking pictures of)

A T-Rex foot:

A Carnosaur... I believe it is the same as the dinosaur in the Disney World Ride in Animal Kingdom:

One of the docents let the kids hold some casted T-Rex teeth and she even had some real fossils they got to handle.

A full grown T-Rex and baby:

A close- up of it's head:

These frilled dino heads were SO impressive:

This one was HUGE!!

A Stegosaurus... I couldn't get people to stop cluttering up my picture.

This stained glass was on the ceiling of the rotunda outside the dino gallery:

This extinct animal is related to modern day pigs:

Katherine checks out some of the interactive displays:

Jeff and Jeffrey read about the mammoth:

Sarah studies the remains of one of the earliest humans:

I think Jeffrey was waiting for the polar bear to talk at him:

In the Great Halls were all the taxidermied animals.
I find these both fascinating and a little sad.
The halls are completely dark with the only lights coming from the glass covered displays,
so I really couldn't get very good pictures.
Here is a Grizzly:

The big displays at the end of each room did not have glass and the pictures came out looking more like a painting than real.
This shot is with no flash and lightened in photoshop.

With flash and no photoshop:

I took these hippos for Emily!
(Wish you were with us!)

And then it was into the Hall of Gems.
WOW there was so much to look at.

And so it starts....
"Jeffrey go stand with the meteorite..."
This causes massive amounts of giggling:

And it becomes contagious and this is what I get when I try to get 3 of them to stand still long enough for one decent shot...
Alex of course is behaving himself.

More meteorites.... with no accompanying goofiness:

A view of one of the display walls:

Here are a few of the displays up close.
Of course the pictures do them no justice because the flash either washed them out or no flash left them in the dark.

There was SO much to look at:

This is one of the world's largest flawless crystal balls:

In the gem vault.. I love opals!

I was trying to get a picture of Katherine while we waited for the boys.
"Smile Katherine"
She smiles then immediately gets distracted before I could click .... LOOK A SQUIRREL!

We took a ride on the huge antique elevator which creaked and groaned to the point I was glad we made it safely to the 2nd floor. It came complete with an elevator operator.

And then came the bug zoo.
A really big wolf spider.

But the WORST was this tarantula which was bigger than Alex's hand.

What's this?
Is everybody actually standing and smiling for the camera nicely without any fooling around?

Out the window you could see the Colosseum... USC's football stadium.

This little Musk Rat was SO cute and fuzzy:

Trying to fit a dinosaur back together:

I knew that previous picture was good too good to last:
Thank you crazy-eyed child.

Around the corner from the discovery center (still on the 2nd floor) was a place you could see the paleontologists work:

Downstairs by the exit there was a giant mega-mouth shark preserved in a tank.
There was also a coelacanth (which Jeffrey immediately knew how to pronounce), but I couldn't get a good picture of it.

We moved onto the Science Museum across the park and spent about an hour checking out the exhibits after we spent a small fortune at the on-site McDonald's where Jeff stole Katherine's Little Pony Happy Meal Toy and threatened to make Alex carry it around on his shoulder for the rest of the day:

Sarah and Alex demonstrate the infrared screens:

Alex listens to sound waves through different sized pipes:

This was SO cool.....
One person sits on one side of the room:

And another sits WAAAAY across on the other side and you can whisper and hear what the other person is saying.

Trying out the musical instruments:
(Well goofing off AND trying out the musical instruments)

Figuring out which car is the most aerodynamic:

Outside we saw the original entrance to the museum.
"Los Angeles County Historical and Arts Museum" it reads.
Right now you can't go in this way but it was very pretty.
The stained glass in the ceiling I showed earlier was just inside of this entrance.

My crew heads into the rose garden.
Look how nice and well behaved they are pretending to be.

Me: "Lemme take a quick picture of the museum from back here"
Sarah: "Woo-Hoo!"
Me: ***SIGH***

OK, that's better.

And before we get back to our car we passed some seriously huge Rubber Trees.

So that was our day.
We had a really great time and I think the kids might have actually learned a thing or two.
At the very least they didn't spend the day glued to the TV or bickering.