Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Dallas World Aquarium

I lived in Texas for 23 years and I don't ever remember going to the Dallas Aquarium.  It was pretty cool.  We all had tons of fun.  We had tons of fun before even stepping foot into the aquarium.  We ran over something on the highway and got a flat.  Thankfully the aquarium parking lot is not far from the highway so we were able to make it there.  Then we had to call Progressive for assistance because Dodge makes it near impossible to get to your spare.  Seriously.  Once the tire was changed we were able to enjoy ourselves.

When you enter the aquarium you are at at the tree top level.  So you get closeup view of the animals that live in the trees.

This sloth was totally disgusting and incredibly interesting at the same time.

As you walked through the aquarium you were spiraling down so you could see animals at multiple levels.

Eventually you found yourself at the bottom of the tank.
The boys could have stood in front of this tank for hours.  

When we were at tree top level we saw this huge thing down at the bottom of the water, but we couldn't make out what it was.
This manatee was huge!  We also had a great time watching him because he loved trying to float on this log.  He took it with him all over the aquarium.

Well, he poses just as nicely as the other Fiene boys.  He fits in the family...and he is probably more active than our dog, Fritz.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Swimming Lessons

While in Texas the boys had swimming lessons with Mrs. Kirk again.  They were all very excited to swim with Mrs. Kirk again.

 Gus did very well.  He was nervous to swim without a floatie last time.  This year he took off like a pro.

 He even looks like he is having fun.  That is HUGE for this stoical kid.

 The last time we did swim lessons Gus wanted to jump off of the diving board but just couldn't bring himself to do it.  This year he asked to jump off on the first day.  You can tell he is still talking himself into it.

 But he did it.  He said it was AWESOME.

 Anders was practicing his swimming skills in Florida this summer before we went to Texas.

 He actually participated fully in his swimming lessons this year!!
Now he says he doesn't need to practice again until a couple of days before his lessons next year.  Such a punk.

 John also did very well this year.  He has come a long way and loves to be in the water so he loves to practice all of his new strokes.

 They worked on diving a bit this year.  There were lots of belly flops.

There were also lots of great dives.

I'm so glad the boys get to have lessons with Mrs. Kirk.  The boys love it and they learn a ton.
Thanks, Mrs. Kirk!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Texas Fun

After a long full week of VBS we loaded the kids in the car and headed down to Texas.  I don't enjoy the drive down to Texas, but I do LOVE going back home.  Hans and I usually have a list a mile long of places we want to go to eat.

Since we were getting a late start we decided to stop in Springfield, MO for the night.  For those of you who don't know, it is a little harder finding a hotel with a dog.  Especially a big dog.  It isn't like we can hide Fritz in a bag and carry him in.  So, we booked a hotel we thought would be okay...but we were so wrong.  They did indeed take pets, but this place was a dump.  We weren't staying there long so we were fine with the dumpiness, but we were roomed next to a drunk party girl and were up all night listening to her fight with someone on the phone.  NOT a good experience.  No more hotels for us...at least not when we have Fritz.

But, we made it to Texas and packed the week with lots of fun.

 The boys played many, many, many games of Mousetrap.  This produced lots of laughter, tears, yelling, and fighting.

 Of course the boys went to Grandma's art room to paint.  Anders always finds something fun to play with there.

 We went to a fun pool party for the 4th of July.  One of the guys was throwing kids into the pool.  So of course John wanted to get in on the action.  This guy was easily throwing kids high into the air.  You could tell he had to brace himself when he came to my rock of a kid.  He is deceptively heavy, always has been.  So, John gave him a work out and had a great time doing it.

 Gus was not going to let anyone throw him anywhere.  He was content jumping into the pool himself.

 The boys decided they wanted to pack their suits to wear for church down in Texas.  They love dressing up.

 Anders makes it very hard to get a nice picture.  He has attitude.  Can you tell?

 Well, Hans looks nice....

 The boys seemed a little more willing to be "normal" for my picture with them.

 Again, we tried to get a picture of the boys with their Grandparents.

 Again, Anders was a ham.

 At least everyone seems to be having a good time.

The boys loved hanging out with Uncle Mark too.  Never a dull moment with these guys.

Thursday, September 24, 2015


***It has been quite a while since my last post.  We have been pretty busy.  Summer is always busy and goes by way too fast.  This summer was also my last summer at the library and this August I started my new job at an elementary school.  So needless to say, I'm behind.  Way behind.  Thanks for bearing with me.***

In June we had VBS (Vacation Bible School).  It was a small group, but the kids had a great time.  I was in my last couple of weeks at my job at the library, so I was pretty much useless as a volunteer.

 They started off each morning with a little skit and a puppet show.  John was super excited to be a part of this.  He is going to be my theater major.

 Outside time was always a hit.  They started off each recess time with an outdoor game that went along with the theme or story of the day.

 Every church has music with VBS.  Ours does too.  But what you are looking at is not our music time.  This was our "Silly Songs with Pastor" time.  Yep, folks.  That time is written into the schedule and done apart from music.  Kids can't get enough of Hans' silly songs.

 This year Amanda did arts and crafts.  The kids always love this part too.

 Art and crafts is not a one man job with the littler ones.  All hands on deck!

 The snacks also went along with the story.   Although I'm not sure the kids actually remember that.  They seems to eat all of the materials before actually making the specified items out of the food.
**On the subject of food...one of the days we were supposed to cut hearts out of watermelon with a cookie cutter.  This is not as easy as it looks.  I have a new found appreciation for the edible bouquets made out of fruit.**
 On the last day there was a Touch-A-Truck across the street from church.  So we brought the kids over and let them explore.

 Some of our kids...we are missing a few.

Kids and helpers!

I think everyone had a great time!