Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What Makes a Family

I married into, birthed and inherited my children. I have five. The first two daughters, I married, the third daughter and son, I birthed and the fifth child, I inherited. My husband's ex-wife gave birth to a third daughter, Faith, a year after she and Tom divorced. Having come from divorce, I knew how awful it felt to be left out from a "new family" so Tom and I decided to include Faith on a few of our family trips. When she was 8, she joined us in Tahiti. Then there was Hilton Head, South Caroloina. She came with us to Disney World and New York City and it was an absolute must that she participate in our Fiji return this summer.  Faith has become a full-fledged member of the family with her own (albeit rotating) room.  A family creates memories together. They include each other, they annoy each other, they grow up together and they remain united, if they choose. If we have done our job well, our children will remain close to each other and close to us because they like to be with us, as much as we like to be with them.  Our Fiji trip was a glue. I believe it was a pliable, yet permanently sticky glue that will meld us together for good, as a family. Peer in and take a look:

I realize that I am an important part of our family. As a natural nurturer, it has been "easy" for me to be compassionate about all of the members.

My beautiful family!

None of this would be possible without Tom. I am so grateful!

Friday, August 03, 2012

A Sure Thing

Tomorrow we leave for Fiji. Five years ago, we had the most sensual vacation. I said this about Fiji before we ever left. Fiji is a sure thing. There is absolutely nothing that could prevent this from being a dream. I was right. Again, I say this. It already IS perfect.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Camp Kalin

This summer, Aidan's friend Kalin asked to spend half a week with us in July and a full week with us in August. Both of Kalin's parents are contributing members of our society and are otherwise engaged during normal business hours. My job, however, is this. So we decided to call our time with Kalin "Camp Kalin".  Kalin's dad, Eric, made us some Camp Kalin t-shirts.

Here's a photo diary of our first three days. Yeah, I know. We are pretty awesome.

Monday:  The making of the Camp Kalin Club Cave and Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

Kalin's dad, Eric Zobel, is an awesome artist!!

CK Club Cave

Campers Erin, Kieran, Kalin and Aidan

65 million year old T-Rex that was lent to the museum for the summer. This is an extremely rare and precious event to have a T-Rex in Santa Barbara!

Etchings of life in the Cretaceous

A simulated dig in Hell Creek

Blue Whale skeleton. An actual native of Santa Barbara

Look Out!

Max, the Great Horned Owl, who lives at the SB Museum of Natural History

The kids are standing in front of Max's house.

Garage Band, Beach walk ADVENTURE from Goleta Beach to UCSB and LUNCH  at the all you can eat UCSB DINING HALL
Garage band with Harrison, Kalin and Aidan

Goleta Beach. High tide.

The geology in Santa Barbara is dreamy good for us rock geeks

Cue discussion about exoskeletons vs. endoskeletons

Hey! A rope swing!

And a LABYRINTH!!!!!
Camp Kalin Campers walked the entire labyrinth without cheating. 

Stunning cliff views of the beautiful Pacific.

Lunch at UCSB. Thank you Eric's Boss for the passes!

Even though it was all you can eat, we were all pretty good.

with the exception of Aidan and Kalin who claim to be dessertatarians.

 Hobby Store, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Craft time
Santa Barbara has an awesome hobby store. The owner and workers know Aidan. He showed Kalin the War of the Worlds model he bought on Saturday.

Just looking was lots of fun in this great shop!
 At the Santa Barbara Museum of Art:
Aidan and Kalin point out Bangalore, India where their one of their best friends, Srikar, now lives.

Amazing collection in the Asian exhibit

Portraiture in the Children's Museum.

Drawing without seeing what you are drawing

Painting wooden cars the kids received for FREE at the Art Museum.

It was a fantastic week at CAMP KALIN!!!
Next installation, August 20-24