Times and Sorensens

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Friday, September 30, 2011

At the Aquarium

We had a great time at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport.  The boys got to see and do lots of really neat things and I loved getting to watch them absorb it all.  It was an interesting place because it was set up more like a zoo, with lots of outdoor space and exhibits, just all featuring sea creatures.  Luckily it was a great day to be outdoors, slightly chilly in the morning and then perfectly mild all the rest of the day.  I'm really glad we made the trip!

They had a really neat shark tunnel.  The boys thought it was super cool.

It's not that Lucas was afraid of the shark teeth or anything, he was just having a meltdown at this point.

Check out this massive star fish (in the middle of the picture)!  One of the employees said that they found it under the boardwalk.

Daniel was really hoping to see seahorses and I'm so glad his wish could come true!

We let each kid choose a souvenir and each baby have one chosen for him.  This shark was too cute and is now a favorite crib mate of Caden's.  He loves to wrestle with it!  (Jake especially liked its evil eyes).

Thursday, September 29, 2011


For our annual week-before-Labor-Day beach trip we headed to Newport because we had tickets to the aquarium.  We decided to turn it into an overnight event for the first time so we could fit everything in and I'm so glad we did.  Jake ended up finding us a place to stay that I/we absolutely loved (way to go Jake!).  It was right up the hill from the beach with the quintessential wooden staircase leading down to the sand.  Inside we had plenty of room for our family and it was just so cozy and comfortable.

We had a 3 queen loft which essentially meant one queen up in the loft area and two more downstairs.  The boys initially wanted the loft but it didn't really make sense for them to all share one bed so they opted to take over the downstairs.  They were totally fine with it once they realized that that's where the TV was.  It was Daniel's turn to share with Lucas since Joshua "got" to share with him at the hotel we stayed at for the wedding.  They seriously fight over who gets to share with Lucas -- it's great!  Even though Joshua had to sleep alone he got Caden's pack 'n play set up in the corner right next to his bed which he thought was really fun.  Joshua loves having Caden nearby.  

The view was  breathtaking and it was wonderful to enjoy the colors of the sky as the sun set and rose during our stay.  The trip was practically worth it for the accommodations alone!  Good thing too because the beach ended up being too windy to stay for long.  We knew it was time to go back inside when Jake mentioned that the sand was exfoliating our skin.  Bummer, but we were able to enjoy the indoor pool and spa.

Here's a great photo for the hotel's brochure, don't you think?

Daniel looks the part of a pleased guest...I think we've got another one for the brochure!


Friday, September 16, 2011

Baby Food

It's that time again!  Time to teach a new Sorensen baby to eat, that is.  Caden turned 6 months old and was ready to take the plunge.  Luckily I had psyched myself up and was ready to help him in this important yet challenging and messy undertaking.

So far he is doing great and basically just gobbles his cereal up.  After the first few days I had to double his serving because he was wanting more.  It is so nice to have a willing participant!

It's kind of hard to believe I have a 6-month-old and that we've reached this stage already.  In some ways it feels like I had him a long time ago but in most ways I just can't believe we've arrived here at solid foods.  However long or short it has felt, he has managed to charm me each and every day of these last 6 months.  I can't think of a better way to have spent the time!

Oh yes I did experiment with borders on this post!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

First Day of School!

School started last week (the day after Labor Day) and is now in full swing.  I'm happy to report that things are going great so far and I'm getting really good vibes about this year.  Both boys have excellent teachers and are just happy campers in their classrooms.

Joshua is starting third grade and I can't believe I have a third-grader!  He has a really good group of friends and comes home excited to tell me about their adventures on the playground.

Daniel's transition into first grade is going incredibly well and it's such a blessing.  He's adapted to full-day school without so much as a blink and says he loves being a first-grader.  He especially loves that he gets two recesses and gets to eat lunch at school, among other things.

Daniel also started violin lessons this year, another big new event in his life.  He had his first private and group lesson last week and did well.  He seems to have a natural sense of rhythm and timing, so that's really good.  I'm really proud of him as he enters this new phase of his life.

Joshua is starting his third year of violin and things continue swimmingly.  He is a demon when it comes to reading music.  It is truly amazing to watch him in action.  His teacher dubbed him a sight-reading Ninja, which he of course really liked.

Meanwhile Lucas, Caden and I are enjoying our mornings and early afternoons together.  It really is nice to have this time to spend with them.  Our mornings especially have been happy and peaceful.  Here's to a great year for all of us!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pleasanton water park - how do I love thee?

On the last day of our trip we got to visit my beloved water park (click here for a trip down memory lane!).  We came here lots when we stayed a summer in Livermore while Jake was doing an internship at the lab (Pleasanton is the town right next to Livermore).  I have such happy memories of this place, coming here with my then-4-year-old Joshua and not-quite-two-year-old Daniel to meet family and friends.  

I am an incredibly nostalgic person and in case you couldn't tell, this little trip meant a LOT to me.  It was so neat to see Joshua's and Daniel's memories of the park return, it almost made me teary eyed.  And it made me so happy to introduce the two little ones who have joined our family since then to the park.  Lucas had an absolute blast and I could tell that Caden wanted to have a blast but couldn't really since he's just a baby.  We'll come back someday for you, Caden!  So without further ado, here are a bunch of pictures for your viewing pleasure!

Oh Caden...look at the camera!
Thank you sweet pea!
I absolutely love this one!
This one too!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Out on Lake Chabot

Lake Chabot was the fourth and final of the East Bay Regional Parks we visited on this trip.  If I haven't yet convinced you of how great the East Bay Regional Parks are, I don't think I ever will ;).  We went to take advantage of the boats they have available for rent.  You see, Jake had a long-standing promise to Joshua and Daniel that he would take them out on a rowboat and he really wanted to make good on his word within a year (it's kind of a long story involving bribery, but you can ask Jake about it sometime if you'd like).  Also, Jake's grandmother lives nearby and we were hoping to visit her after the lake, but she wasn't feeling well and we missed out on seeing her.

The boys had seen the paddle boats at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park from the day before and changed their minds that they wanted to ride in a paddle boat instead of a rowboat.  Jake (being the kind of dad he is) was willing to oblige but unfortunately it really ended up biting him.  He said that the paddle boat was basically a floating brick and was incredibly difficult to maneuver and work with.  On top of that, once they were out on the water Lucas wanted to peer over the edge and spazzed when Jake tried to restrain him to prevent him from falling in.  So he was having to paddle the thing while grappling with Lucas and in the meantime Daniel had decided that he didn't like it very much.  Poor Jake!

After they got back with the paddle boat Joshua and I took out a two-person kayak and had an absolutely fabulous time. I felt guilty for having such a great time after Jake had such a terrible one, but really, we had a blast.  I used to kayak a lot when I was younger, it was one of my favorite things to do.  All that came rushing back and I had just as much fun as ever, if not more since I got to do it with Joshua!  He learned how to paddle and even steer a bit while we were out there so he was actually able to help.  We made a great team!

 One last little side note about Lake Chabot is that Jake took me out on a rowboat (not a paddle boat!) there the summer after our freshman year at BYU, just before he left on his mission.  I was hoping he would kiss me out on the lake but no such luck.  We still had a nice time and now I find it kind of amusing that the next time we found ourselves together at Lake Chabot we had our four kids to bring along with us!  Memorable times for us Sorensens all around at Lake Chabot.  And an awesome time for Joshua and I, at least.  Sorry Jake :(  You get major Dad points for keeping your promise to the boys and we'll go rent kayaks up at Hagg Lake sometime soon!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Conservatory of Flowers - Forgotten Photos

Here are some pictures from out in front of the Conservatory I forgot to include with the last post.  They are pretty and I wanted to have them here to remember.

Lucas takes off!  Such a familiar sight...