Friday, July 17, 2009

Harry Potter Nerdfest!

Don't judge me! That's what Ben had to tell some people who thought he was a Harry Potter looney! Steph and Jared won the competition so Christa and Ben had to dress up and act in character for dinner and the HP movie. Spells were cast, dances were performed, tears were cried (RIP ..... don't want to spoil the movie) and Jared was exposed as a buddy recognized him from a Star Trek convention is Las Vegas. "Jared Barney! Jared Barney! Kirk! You said you would NEVER take your Starfleet badge off!"

Friday, May 29, 2009


Yo everybody! We are in Europe right now and actually have the internet! We have spent a few days in Germany, Slovenia, Austria, Croatia, and now Italy. In the next 3 days we will hit Lichtenstein, Switzerland and then another part of Germany before heading out of Frankfurt. Pictures are coming soon!

Friday, March 27, 2009


I'm finally blogging about our little family trip to Australia in March. Warning: This is going to be a long post (sorry, I couldn't help it!). We were a little spontaneous about the whole thing (of course! how else would we do it?). Ben found a really good deal on airfare and we went for it thinking that we might not find a deal like that again. It was a little hectic to get everything in order in less than a week, especially cause we didn't have passports, but we somehow managed to pull it off.

This is the Gold Coast where we stayed almost the whole time. In fact, I think this was taken right out side our little apartment on the beach. I was in pure heaven listening to the waves crash every night outside our window and waking up to stunning sunrises over the ocean.
Easton loved the warm ocean. The first day we walked out to the beach he willingly jumped right in, clothes and all. Phoenix, let's just say he didn't love it as much as Easton did.

We took the kids up in the tropical mtns. for a little bit of hiking.

Me taking some nature shots with the new cam.
We did this real touristy skywalk thing that offered a different perspective on the rainforest. It was cool, but not worth the money.

I think this is a sycamore tree. super tall. the shot doesn't do this tree justice.
"Eye see you." Sorry chelsea, i stole that from you, i couldn't help it.

We went to SeaWorld one day because the weather was still cloudy. This Ray was eating my hand!
Nature loves me
our little tree hugger
Sea World Rocks!
Phoenix watching the dolphins or something
Easton not watching the dolphins. Can you see them in the back ground? Dolphins are so cute I think. They look like they are always smiling.
Finally, a sunny day at the beach. We camped out man. Our poor kids were getting so sick of it after eight hours a day. Ben and I are beach babies and there's not much one can do to pull us away.
One of the cool things about Australia is all the Aboriginal names that you see everywhere you go. So many of their towns and cities were named crazy things. Ben and I loved Coolangatta. Look at the last item on the list above. What is a "run up hill-hunting dog?"

"pretty bird"
Another jungle hike

This hike was magical. The greenery was insane and this outlook wasn't too shabby either. Once again, the picture doesn't do the view justice. The volcano we're looking at is called Mt. Warning. Sounds scary.

We stopped by "Tropical Fruit World" for an hour and got some eats. Ben is holding a jack fruit, the biggest fruit in the world we were told. These babies actually grow on trees and taste like banana bubble gum.
I prefer dragon fruit (the red one)
As we were a little bit off the beaten path we discovered these friendly pets
Okay, so it's a little weird
This was very weird. We parked in front of this framing store while Ben ran in to ask somebody a question. Is it just me or does this girl look like she just walked off the set of "The Grudge?" Seriously zoom in on her face. Creeeeepy. I just sat there wondering why anybody would display this picture to advertise their business. I think it has the opposite effect.
Byron Bay
So this was one of my favorite parts of the trip. We took a magestical hike through the forest, up a cliff where you could see miles of endless ocean, up to a light house that looked like a temple and watched the sunset to boot. I was dying. I could hardly take it all in. I only wished the moment could last longer.

I was trying to be artistic here.

Too bad I didn't see the "No Photography" sign till after.
We met a really hip dog at a playground one lovely evening. His owner's gave him a mohawk, seriously. Died blue. Hey, at least he looks happy about it.
Wild Child

They had some sweet playgrounds in Australia and tons of parks. It became clear where all their tax money goes. Above is the awesomest swing ever. Ben and I were having a blast, probably more fun than our kids were having.

Naptime at the beach. You gotta do what you gotta do!
We both got sunburned sooo bad, even after reapplying sunblock every couple of hours. Sadly, we had to skip the beach every other day because we were so crispified. Warning! nudity below. (just Easton's naked bum if you really are scared to look)

We got a really good deal at the Marriott and even though it wasn't right on the beach, we decided to kick it there for a few nights to change things up. The pool was absolutely incredible (too bad we were so sunburned that we couldn't fully enjoy it). They had a huge salt water pool with waterfalls and fish so you could snorkel. Then they had another big normal pool with a lazy river, caves, waterfalls and a water slide.

Phoenix liked the "little pool" where people washed the sand off their feet. "just my size."

The boys in the hot tub
Above is Brisbane. again, me trying to be artisitic with my camera.
These guys were all over the place!
We loved the Koala sanctuary!
ooh, he loves me.

We got to pet and hold a baby crocidile. He was so ferocious that they had to tape his mouth shut!
Crocidile Dundee

Feeding the lorikeets

And the kangaroos!
This was a little bit out of Phoenix's comfort zone
And definitely out of Ben's! Check those claws out. This guy wanted his food.
I didn't mind getting up close and personal.
A tasmanian devil looking at a tasmanian devil.
oh the pretty city lights of Brisbane
A view one of the coolest city parks in the world!
On Sunday, we went to church in Brisbane and it was next door to the temple.  So during Sacrament meeting, Phoenix started throwing a tantrum so I quickly took him out.  I was sitting on a big soft chair w/ no one else around so of course I started picking my split ends.  I heard a crackling noise and got up to see what Phoenix had thinking it would be a candy wrapper of some sort.  To my absolute horror he had broken a HUGE cockroach in half! I shrieked and scared him to death in the process.  The worst part was it was still alive and the top half was still moving.  Eew, i can't handle it.
sorry, these are a little out of order.
Our last day we took a ferry ride up the river to see the sights, I loved it. We even caught another glimpse of the temple.
The boys loved the ferry ride as well. They could barely contain themselves.

This is part of that really cool city park I mentioned called South Bay.
One of the loves of my life, oh and Easton too.

The flight was 15 hours long so you can imagine how fun that would be with two crazy boys. We had to be creative...turning barf bags into puppets and hats.