Sunday, May 17, 2009

Master's Paradise

My mom has the Youtube clip of the graduation "speech" over at her blog. It was done on a real video camera and is MUCH better, if you want to check it ou.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Graduation Day

As many of you probably know, my husband has spent the past two years working his tail off to earn his Master's of Social Work, or MSW. Well, it paid off - finally! Graduation day is here at last. My husband and one of his fellow MSWs were nominated to be the student speakers at the ceremony. Because we had family members and friends who were unable to make it out for the ceremony, I thought I would share his awesome speech here.

I know the picture quality is horrible, and I apologize. I couldn't find a better seat, and I couldn't figure out how to get my camera to zoom in on video mode, so this is the best I could do. You can't see him very well, but you can hear him, and that's what matters. So here he is - my husband.

I am so proud of him.

Friday, May 1, 2009

A Good Day

Most of you probably know that my mom, A Chelsea Morning, has had a few days off this week. Krissy and Andy took the kids on a trip to Denver to go to the zoo. What you may not know is that Aaron and I took the day off to go play with them. The trip to the zoo quickly turned in to an all-day Denver adventure. It was way fun, and I know my mom is dying to see the pictures, and I promised her I would do a post (in a timely manner, I might add), so here we go: The Great Denver Adventure!

We began our adventure at Ocean Journey, the aquarium in Denver. This was built a year after I left for college, so none of us had ever been here before. As you can see, we got to meet Sharky, and have our picture taken with him! As you can no doubt also see, it was a bright, sunny day!

Cameron was blown away by "them big ol' fish" and totally impressed by the fact that they were "way bigger than Nana's fishies."

Even little miss Avery was pretty impressed with these underwater critters. She even agreed to pose for a picture with her new friends on the ocean floor.

Cameron was completely mesmerized by this shark. Every time we would start to walk away, he would come running back for another look. Every time he came back, it was just as exciting as the first time he saw this shark. Don't worry, though: "He's a good guy."

Cameron and Uncle Aaron found a really cool bubble to play in. This was a little bubble that you could actually crawl into and stand up in, and you found yourself standing right in the middle of the fish tank. It took us a while to get him to go in there, but then he was running around like crazy after that, going into all the bubbles. He had a blast making faces at us through the glass.

No amount of coaxing could get him to stick his hand in that water and touch those stingrays, though. Not even after Uncle Aaron touched one. (And then proceeded straight to the men's room to wash his hands.)

Um, no thank you! We opted out of this experience. We did, however, decide to brave the Spongebob Squarepants 4-D virtual reality ride. Well, Krissy, Cameron and I braved it- Daddy and Uncle Aaron were too chicken. They said it was because somebody had to watch Avery, but that was clearly just an excuse. I am sure the guy running the ride found it quite comical that the four year old boy sat calmly through the whole experience while his mommy and aunt squealed and hollared and made a big ol' fuss over the whole thing. It was quite fun, though!

Our next stop was the Denver Zoo- the basis for the Strommenger family trip. Unfortunately, we showed up right at naptime, so many of the animals were less than exciting to see. But each of us got to see our favorites, and Cameron loved it, so it was a great experience.

Our first stop was the big animals: hippos, rhinos, elephants. Despite the lack of activity, Cameron was still very awestruck by these guys. He wanted to know why this rhino kept on "licking that same ol' spot." I don't blame him for wondering- we stood there watching this animal for about 6 minutes, and he really did stand there licking that "same ol' spot" the entire time. Who knows!

Cameron thought it was pretty cool when this hippo got into the water with his great big ball. He kept going under water and then reappearing somewhere else. Cam got such a kick out of that. When we tried to get him off the railing to move on, it was not an easy task. He kept saying he needed to see him do it just one more time!

Avery could have cared less about that hippo!

Anyone who has ever been to the Denver Zoo (and probably any zoo, really) knows that there are all sorts of birds just walking around. It made my day when I saw these tiny little fuzzballs following the mama goose around. I only got to see one penguin on this trip- and he kept his back to me the whole time as if he was mad at me! Krissy kept saying that we would go to the bird house before we left. Do you think we ever went to the bird house to see the penguins? NO! We passed it - twice- but we never went in. But I did get to see these baby geese, so that made it somewhat ok.

When this peacock spread out it's feathers like this, Cameron's reaction was to say "Oh. My. God. Aaron!" Aaron just about fell over laughing. It's a good thing he didn't, though, as Cameron was on his shoulders at the time. As a matter of fact, Cameron was on his shoulders the entire time. Early on in the zoo experience, Uncle Aaron stepped in goose poop and made a big deal out of getting the mess of his flip flop. Cameron somehow latched on to that image and became terrified of stepping in it himself. Every time Uncle Aaron tried to put him down, he would start walking on his toes with his legs all bowed out, stopping at every single stick, rock, and leaf and saying, "What's that? Is that poop?" After a good round of laughing hysterically, we quickly figured out that we would move much faster if someone just carried him. He still pointed out every spot from up high, though. That kid has a heck of an eye for goose poop!

These, of course, were Krissy's favorite. There were two baby giraffes licking their mama's neck!

Cameron liked the giraffes, too, but he didn't at all like being told he couldn't crawl under the bar and go in there with them, though.

Here's my penguin! Hey- I'll take what I can get! In case you can't tell from the blinding light, our little boy is three feet tall! There's no goose poop in the penguin house (or penguins for that matter) so he is actually standing on the ground. Nobody told him that penguins poop, too.

For some reason, these guys made me think of you, Mom. Hmm... weird.

Our last stop of the day was dinner. We decided that while we were out having so much fun, we might as well top it off with dinner at Dave and Buster's. If you are not familiar with it, think Chuck E. Cheese for big kids. They have a restaurant that serves your typical dinner variety, and then a huge arcade to entertain kids of all ages.

They had motorcycles...

...and bad guys...

...and ski ball...

Is anyone noticing the common theme in these pictures? Cameron was VERY helpful in defeating these games! What you can't see is Krissy playing a haunted house game. It's some sort of spinning arrow thingy game that she managed to get 1600 tickets out of. 1600! I think she practices a lot at Chuck E. Cheese, because no one is THAT good at a spinny arrow haunted house thingy game. Needless to say, Cameron made out like a bandit at the prize shop.

It was a fun day. A very long day, but a day filled with fun. The kind of day that you go home so exhausted that you just fall into bed, but you know that it is a good kind of exhaustion, because it's the kind that comes from having a fun, fun day.

Yup- it was a good day.