Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Lullaby

Two years ago when I was tucking Erik into bed I decided to sing "Silent Night" since Christmas was just days away. He loved it. Nearly every night since then he has requested that song. We probably sing it about 300 times a year, and I'm not kidding. (Usually just verse 1)

I haven't grown tired of it. If anything I love the song even more as it has become a daily reminder of my Savior. The melody is calming. The words are simple. At times when we sing the song I might tear up but usually not. Mostly I feel hope. I feel peace. I feel that overwhelming love that our Heavenly Father has for each of us. I want my children to grow up feeling that too.

How wonderful that we have Christmas to honor Him.

Silent night. Holy night. All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and Child.
Holy Infant, so tender and mild,

Sleep in heavenly peace; Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night. Holy night. Shepherds quake at the sight!
Glories stream from heaven afar; Heavenly hosts sing Al-le-lu-ia!
Christ, the Savior, is born! Christ, the Savior, is born!

Silent night. Holy night. Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face,
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at the birth; Jesus, Lord at thy birth.

Text: Joseph Mohr, trans. by John F. Young
Music: Franz Gruber

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Cookies & Snowflakes

Claire took a good look and then said, "what is that?"

That, my dear Claire, is a Christmas cookie. Erik style. But to answer her question, I think it started out as a snowman. Erik's decorating strategy is to load on as much frosting, sprinkles, and candy as possible.

The snowflakes today were enormous. It was like 5 regular flakes joined to make 1 gigantic flake. Erik was running around trying to catch them on his tongue. After church Jeff bundled up Megan (Erik and Claire can now get their snow gear on by themselves) and took the kids to the park across the street for sledding.

Getting ready isn't the undertaking it used to be. But the process still reminds me of a scene from the movie, "A Christmas Story" where the mom is bundling up Ralphie's brother to go to school. He is all big and puffy and can't put his arms down. Ralphie describes him as a "tick about to pop." While Megan is also all big and puffy in her snowsuit, she resembles a lavender marshmallow. On a snowy day there is nothing cuter than a toddler in a snowsuit.

"There is no such thing as bad weather, only improper clothing." I've heard a couple of variations of this quote and don't know the original source. But that part doesn't matter. I like the idea.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Amaryllis

Here is a sneak peek at one of our Christmas traditions. It is the official gift for our grandparents, school teachers & primary teachers.

In mid-October we buy a bunch of the amaryllis bulb kits and plant them. Over the next few weeks they are fascinating to watch grow. And when they is so unexpectedly pretty you can't help but smile. Some bulbs grow quickly and are ready to blossom by Thanksgiving while others creep along at a snails pace. Still others turn out to be duds, they shoot up leaves but seem to forget the part involving the stalk and blossom. This year out of the 14 we planted it looks like 2 will be duds.

Just because it is winter it is no excuse to not be surrounded by living growing plants. Plus I can move these potted plants around everyday and they don't mind a bit.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Cocoa Kind of Day

It was a...



and a cocoa kind of day.

(This was from two Saturdays ago.)

Thursday, November 12, 2009


A*S (or ALS) is the subject of today’s post. I get a range of reactions from people in regards to my health. Some people are surprised that I am not in a wheelchair. While others are surprised to find out how difficult it is for me to lift Megan because they still see me walking around the neighborhood.

Another clinic day has come and gone so here is a summery of the 4 ½ hour long visit. Jeff and I invited along a friend who happens to be an occupational therapist. We thought she might find clinic day interesting from a professional view. Besides, how does that saying go…”misery loves company.”

We arrived at 12:00 for A*S (haha) clinic check in. There is no particular order for which clinic staff I visit with as they just rotate between patients. The first to come in was the Rep from the MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association).

MDA Rep and Jeff

MDA Rep: I’m lining up speakers for the monthly support group meetings. Is there anyone you would like to hear speak?
Janae: Stephenie Meyer? (People I am kidding on this one but I just wanted to see his reaction. But now when I re-read it, it falls into the lame category. Oh well, haha.)
MDA Rep: I was thinking more along the lines with someone within the ALS (A*S) field.
Janae: Ahhh. I would like to hear from someone involved in the research of the disease.

And then we chatted about how things are going in general.

The Physical Therapist (PT) and the Occupational Therapist (OT) were next. Here is the PT doing a strength test.

PT: Let’s review some questions. Walking?
Janae: I have noticed my right foot is starting to drop.
PT: Have there been any falls?
Janae: A couple months back I did trip and rip a hole in the knees of my favorite jeans and bruised up my hands pretty bad. For the most part I take it easy and am very cautious so it has cut down on my falls.
PT: What about stairs?
Janae: Going up is easier than going down. I feel sorry for anyone who is stuck behind me while I’m going down. If I know someone is behind me I will let them go first, I’m soooooooooooo slow.
PT: How about writing and typing?
Janae: My writing is very slow. I have to concentrate and it is messy (I used to have very good handwriting as I had to practice page after silly page for a Landscape Architecture class). Typing is still okay but much slower than previous. If my hands get cold then typing becomes even more awkward and clumsy.
PT: Can you shower and get dressed by yourself?
Janae: Yes. But showering, conditioning, dressing, combing through my hair, putting on face lotion etc…it is an exhausting process. (I’m sure there are people who think my hair would look better smoothed out with a flat iron. Honestly I am past caring and only do it on rare occasion.)
PT: Eating?
Janae: I can eat, chew and swallow just fine. I use a sharp knife to cut my food (even pancakes) because a butter knife requires using extra effort. It is easier to cut food while standing up versus sitting down.
PT: Driving?
Janae: I can still drive fine.

The OT was in on all of this too. Plus by having another OT in the room (our friend), why they all ganged up on me! They lectured me on the importance of using energy saving devices, and conserving energy whenever I can, getting a brace for my right foot, and how to go about getting one of those tags to entitle you to a close parking spot. Of course the PT and the 2 OT’s were right. But for me to use a handicap spot I will have to be in really really bad shape.

Atrophy is u-g-l-y. I no longer wear my original wedding ring. Now it is a simple lightweight band.

Next was the Social Worker. She also wanted to know how things were going. I said we had a ton of help. Overall I’m doing okay on an emotional level but during clinic week I am more irritable because this is not something that normal healthy people do.

Clinic Nurse (These boots fit her personality)

N: Any changes?
Janae: I feel like my overall strength took another dip in October. Everything seems to be harder than it already was. There is something else weird that has started since my last visit. Maybe once every few weeks it feels like I get a Charlie horse in my throat and it is very difficult to get any air and breathe through my mouth. So I breathe through my nose until my throat relaxes and I can breathe normal again. The whole episode lasts maybe a couple of minutes.
N: That is what we call a laryngeal spasm. It isn’t necessarily related to A*S. They can be scary if you don't know what is going on. Try and stay relaxed until it passes as tensing up can make it worse.

Then she measured my breathing on a weird little device. I took it 3 times and my high score is 97% which is great.

N: Any shortness of breath?
Janae: Only if I try walking and talking at the same time for a long time.

My neurologist, Dr.Bromberg

Dr. B talked a little more about laryngeal spasm (if I spelled that right?). Not fatal and if I do happen to pass out then my windpipe will automatically relax and so then I’ll be able to breathe. Awesome.

-We talked about my fasciculation’s (the very subtle muscle twitches which are constantly flitting through my body).
-We talked about my difficultly in sleeping from my muscles getting stiff from just lying there. The current muscle relaxer isn’t helping a bit so he suggested increasing the dosage.
-He discussed other med. options (none of them sounded that great).
-He discussed an upcoming drug trial.
-Asked about my balance. It is awful.

Then Dr. B. tested my leg strength (good), arm strength (weak), hand strength (terrible). But I already knew that before going in.

I left with a few free devices from the PT and OT, a med prescription, an AFO prescription (brace) for my right foot, and a form for a handicap sticker (still don’t know about that one).

Me saying that I've had enough

There you go. My version of A*S clinic day to the best of my memory and with the help of the notes Jeff was typing on his laptop through the afternoon.

On Saturday afternoon Jeff and I were at a park with our kids. Earlier in the day I had attempted a minimal amount of yard work. Later, at the park I found myself exhausted and sitting on the bench instead of playing with my kids. I don’t like being a sideline parent. It sucked. Even Jeff mentioned how it was hard watching me sit there. Granted I would rather be outside on the bench instead of inside on the couch.

Here is where I climb up onto my soapbox (with some help, thank you Jeff) because I just want to say:
"Parents out there, next time you are at the park get off your A*S and go play with your kids. They'll have more fun and so will you."

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Jenn & Her Magic Camera

Saturday afternoon we were at the park and I got a call on my cell phone from Jenn (J). She said she just saw a photo of Jeff and I which had been posted by Jenn (F).

I hadn't yet seen any pictures which were taken the previous day. As soon as we got home I went straight to the computer to check out Jenn's website, There on
Day 20
(06 Nov) was Jeff and I. Wow it turned out really well and am excited to see the family photos later on!

Truth be told the camera isn't really magic. Nope. It is all Jenn. Following "Project 365" these past few days has been fun. Life is filled with moments of delight and wonder where you just wish time would stand still. Jenn beautifully captures these moments through the camera lens. I'm a huge fan of her photography and respect how she is taking it to a new level by pushing herself to become better through this crazy year long project!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Introducing Daisy

A kid's wish list can get lengthy. And it was just a matter of time before a hamster made a reappearance on the list of must have items. When Erik did announce how he was saving up for another pet I had to remind him of an earlier conversation back in the days of Mother Bear...

Janae (aka Mom): "Whoa whoa whoa. That is fine if you want to buy another hamster. But, just so you know, I'm not doing any hamster cage cleaning this time."

Erik: "I'll do it."

Janae: "Do you remember the conversation we had when I asked you to clean Mother Bear's cage? As you were cleaning it you starting gagging and said you weren't cut out for this." (It was pretty funny when he said he. I just started laughing.)

Erik: "Yeah. But this time I'll do it."

With the terms agreed upon Erik happily began reassembling the hamster cage which had spent the past few months collecting dust in the garage. And I began accepting bets on how long it will be before I'm cleaning out hamster cages again. Just kidding. I think he is ready to take care of his own pet.

By Monday the necessary $7.00 was saved up in his Shamu wallet and we drove to a nearby pet store. Erik picked out a cute little orange and white hamster and we brought her home. He came up with the name "Daisy" and it seems to be a good fit.

At dinner Thursday we were sharing our high and lows. My high was that Daisy hadn't had any babies yet. (remembering how Mother Bear had 11 babies 4 or 5 days after we brought her home)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Blue hair boy

Who doesn't want to color their hair blue and then
jump in a big pile of autumn yellow leaves?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Tulip bulbs? Check.

One of the best trades I ever did was for my planter boxes. We started with two rather boring planting containers and thought that by building boxes around them, it would add a little bit of personality to our front porch. For the trade I did some residential design work for Shane and Julie. Shane then built some boxes that turned out perfect. They are beautiful and make me smile.

I've gotta say that between my planter boxes and my beloved blue chairs, hands down, the front porch has become my favorite room.

Last summer the boxes had potato vine: Loved it.
This summer the boxes had trailing petunia: Looked nice enough.
Summer 2010 the "It" plant will be potato vine again.

Last fall Jeff suggested we load up the boxes with tulip bulbs. I'm telling you as silly as it sounds this particular flower makes my heart sing. We put about 50 bulbs in each box and waited waited waited. It was worth the wait.

and mid-spring...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Thank you again...& again

Hey Claire, what is the biggest number that you can think of?
"One hundred fifty six thousand seventy nine three million forty two ten."
Wow that is some number!

Erik it's your turn. What is the biggest number that can think of?
He is such a smarty pants second grader.

I don't know how many times I need to say THANK YOU but it is somewhere along the number line of what my kiddos said.

While I'm not pleased with my weaknesses being so publicly on display, I've got to say that I am forever grateful that I don't have to experience this privately.

Last week I received a sweet card from my cousin Jennifer. In one part she said how she really does believe that God doesn't give us more then we can handle. And she is right on. Don't you think the reason we can handle situations so much more terrifying and challenging or heartbreaking, than we ever dreamed, is because God sends others to our aid?

I will be ready to sit down and say, "I'm done! I don't want to do this anymore and I mean it this time!" But I never stay in that tantrum state for too long (even if I want to) because inevitably someone comes along and does or says just the right thing to get me going again.

So...THANK YOU for the thoughtfully written cards, letter or emails, treats, dinners, help with household tasks, friendships with me and Jeff and the good friends my kids have, and thank you for your prayers on our behalf. And for all the smiles and tears and laughs and many other things I forgot to mention...thank you.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Afternoon Stories

Erik, Claire & Megan love story time. And Jeff and I do enjoy reading books with our children. Despite having a decent collection of books at home and picking up additional books at the library, Jeff felt like he was re-reading the same story over and over. Instead of reading to wind the kids down he was putting himself to sleep. Really he was. Claire would be nudging him so he would wake up.

A few months ago Jeff decided to read out loud some of the novels he thought Erik and Claire might like too. It has worked out well and each night will read a chapter or two. Now Jeff usually reads the novels to the kids and I will read the picture storybooks or graphic novels like Rapunzel's Revenge. Truly your kids won't want it put down. It is by Shannon & Dean Hale and wonderfully illustrated by Nathan Hale. Anyway, check it out.

We just hope that our kids will grow up with a love for reading.

Some of the books Jeff has read:

The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe
Prince Caspian
The Horse and His Boy
Harry Potter 1
Harry Potter 2
Summer of the Monkeys
My Side of the Mountain

I snapped this photo of my Fav 4 while Jeff was reading this afternoon. It doesn't look like Meg is into it as much as the others.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Parenting 101 - scratch that earlier idea

Okay so I've decided to scratch any plans for writing a parenting book (not that I ever had any plans).

This is how a message went that I left on Jeff's phone minutes after I finished the earlier blog post:
"Hey it is Janae, I was wondering if you were going to make it home today for lunch.
I need some help fixing the blinds...

that Claire accidentally messed up...

when she was trying to open the window...

to air out the house...

from all of the smoke...
which was a result of burning graham crackers & chocolate chips...

from when she was trying to make smores over the lamp."

On this one I actually hold myself partly to blame. Claire had come in asking me to help her with a snack. I keep saying, "Just a minute." She finally took matters into her own hands and climbed on top of the ledge to make smores over the lamp. Who knows where she got that idea! I promise we restrict our smore making to the microwave or camping trips around the fire pit.

Claire, I am so sorry! No more "Just a minutes!"

Your focused and dedicated mom will be there right after she finishes this blog post. Hahaha. I'm kidding. I'm coming now!

Parenting 101

If I were to write a Parenting 101 book there would be a section on grocery shopping. It would discuss how if children were to compare the way parents shop for groceries, the fathers would have a higher approval rating versus the mothers.

My point being is that when Jeff does a grocery run he will usually come home with a greater selection of kid-friendly food than I might (chocolate milk, multiple varieties of cereals, chips, ice cream, & frozen pizza). Not that I'm complaining, because Jeff really is great. Having a husband/father who doesn't mind grocery shopping isn't something to complain about.

One day I was talking to Erik about his day at school. Lunch/recess is usually his favorite part and so that is what we talk about. I'll ask him what he ate, who he sat by, and what games he played during recess.

This particular day Erik said how he picked chocolate milk to drink. I asked him if he ever picked the white milk. Erik replied, "Ah Mom, we eat mostly healthy food for breakfast and dinner. At lunch I like to have a little fun."

The way he said it just cracked me up, "...have a little fun". My son is living on the edge with his chocolate milk drinking habits. Hahaha.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Easier said than done.

What is easier said than done? Oh all sorts of sayings come to mind but the one that stands out is "Enjoy the Journey." I'm telling you what, I had to repeat those 3 words every day during the month of September in hopes that eventually I'd believe it.

Enjoy the journey. Enjoy the journey. Enjoy the journey. Enjoy the journey.

I found myself day dreaming how much easier it would be to enjoy the stinkin' journey if I had a strong and healthy body.

There were moments where I quit grumbling long enough to remind myself that when I was als free I took my health for granted and found other things to be wishing for. It is easy to wish for and surround ourselves with stuff and fluff and crap that just doesn't matter.

Enjoy the journey. Enjoy the journey. Enjoy the journey. Enjoy the journey.

I know I'm not alone and that many others had a challenging month for one reason or another. With that being said if you now find yourself in 3 days into October you deserve a pat on the back or a high-five. Maybe I will make and distribute t-shirts that say:
"I Survived September 2009"
"I survived September '09 & all I got was this crummy t-shirt."

Ready or not here is October and there is a big bowl of candy waiting at the end.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Labor Day Weekend

We went to visit my parents over Labor Day Weekend and had a wonderful time.

The weekend was filled with activities like: an amazing trout dinner, visiting the farm where my mom grew up, looking for the Monarch caterpillars, picking raspberries to top the breakfast crepes, making arrows out of cattails & bows out of dogwood branches, not letting Jeff win in the game "Settlers" (wha-hoo Mom and Lisa!), and loading up with fresh produce from my parents huge garden.

Saturday night my Aunt Julie and her husband Alan hosted a trout dinner at their home. I'm telling you what, this was the best trout I've ever eaten. It was melt in your mouth good. From the pictures I took that turned out here is a quick look at some of the family group.

Set up the grills, melt a cube (or two) of butter, put on the trout and MMMmmm!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Butts & Grudges

Since my mom was in town for part of the weekend to spend time with the grand kids, Jeff and I got a chance to head out on a Southern Utah daytrip.

In total we drove down south about 4-5 hours to Calf Creek which is between Boulder and Escalante. It is a beautiful trail that follows a creek back a couple of miles to a waterfall. Before we even drove down I knew I wouldn't make it the entire way to the waterfall because unfortunately a 4 mile round trip hike in sand is too much for me. Jeff and I hiked around a bit and then drove on a back country road called the "Devil's Backbone". Even though I've never lived here this desert country feels like home, and it was good to be back even if only for a few hours. We initially left home at 5:45am and arrived back around 7:30pm.

On these long drives we usually don't talk a ton but will listen to a book on tape. This trip wasn't any different, although there were a couple of conversations which stood out.

One story Jeff shared came from a mission companion. While this guy was in high school he was on the basketball team. One day the coach was really upset and was just chewing the team out. In his frustration the coach yelled, "you've got to pull your butts out of your heads!!!" Jeff's friend thought this was funny (although he wisely didn't laugh) because of course what the angry coach meant to say was "you've got to pull your head out of your butt." Which is a rather rude way of saying "get your act together."

Later on I was relating to Jeff an experience I had last summer. I was visiting my parents and sister and we took the kids to a place called Willow Park. While there I saw an individual I hadn't seen in years. Background: This person and I were 2 people out of 5 who had worked for an extended time period on a group project during college. Short story is that there was a tremendous amount of unnecessary DRAMA surrounding this group. In the end I was quite happy to have moved on. Or I thought I had moved on. But 11 years later, once my brain registered who it was, I played the "I don't see you game" and tried to avoid her. Turns out I had been holding a grudge FOR YEARS and never realized it until that moment. In looking back I really wish we would have talked.

I have done a fair amount of grudge holding in my life...and I'm trying to get past it.

This story has an end!
And it is this: Holding a grudge and the phrase
"pull your butt out of your head!"
have 3 things in common:
1- Both take a lot of effort.
2- Both are a waste of time.
3- Neither one really makes any sense.

In the center of this photo you can see a teenage kid standing on a rock. He and some family had spent the previous 4 days riding 4-wheelers around Utah back country. They were visiting from Kansas.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Yesterday, August 19th, was initially set aside for a clinic day. But in early August I decided to push the appointment back a couple of months. I rescheduled. So instead my day was spent offering landscape suggestions to a friend, picking Claire up from kindergarten, errands, birthday party carpool, talking to distant friends on the phone, doing some dishes, reading books with all 3 kids and eating a bowl of ice cream with Jeff. It was a good day.

I look at my body and think that there have not been a lot of changes since my last clinic day. While there have not been any significant changes, muscle atrophy remains my ever constant (and always unwelcome) companion. One big example would be how much more difficult the same hikes are this year compared to last year. And despite my new poles I still manage to trip at least once per hike. One small example would be how I can't push open safety pins with my thumb.

There has been another change which is: I don't mind talking about als when people have questions. I think I realized this when one day Jeff's brother sat down next to me, took my hand and examined it. He then compared it to his wife's. Later he said something along the lines of how there wasn't much muscle left at all in my hand.

Don't you think that any of us are alive at the end of the day is a miracle? There are so many things which can go wrong on any given day. Considering that, I have over 33 years worth of miracles as it is. I love being able to laugh, cheer, scream, cry, hurt, forgive, be forgiven, heal, pray, love, and laugh some more.

And at the end of the day I love being grateful for one more miracle.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Casa de Pollo

For the past three years I have taken my kids to the local IFA store in early spring when the baby chickens come in. Every year Erik and Claire ask for one. And every year I say no. Well this was the year of the chicken, so for Easter I surprised both Erik and Claire with two chicks.

(It isn't really "the year of the chicken", I think the correct animal for the chinese calendar is the ox/bull/cow...but frankly considering the size of our backyard the bovine just weren't an option.)

Erik named his chick Rocko (yes Rocko is a reoccurring pet name in our family) and Claire named hers Sarah. They turned out to be great pets. After they were a month or so old they would spend the entire day in the backyard scratching in the dirt and eating bugs. They would take naps on our lap, and would run to us when they saw us carrying their bag of chicken feed.

When we got them there was an "exit strategy" in place. Erik and Claire knew that they would be temporary pets and after 5 or 6 weeks they would go to a different home. That 2nd home turned out to be that of Jeff's uncle and aunt, Randy and Marie. During the day these chickens are still free range, running around keeping Randy's enormous garden pest free. At night they have a fancy little coop to keep them safe. I'm telling you they have the good life.

Photos from when we visited the chickens last month.

Megan holding Sarah.

Erik and Rocko.

This third chicken belonged to our neighbor Ben, but it also joined the others at Randy & Marie's. Here is Ben reunited with 'Chicken Nugget'. The bird is MUCH larger than when Ben saw him last and it appears he is not quite sure what to think!

Chickens before...
...and after.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Yup, I love him.

In looking for a picture for this post it was hard to find one of just Jeff.

The pictures I came across were Jeff and Meg making breakfast for us. Jeff reading books to Claire. Jeff and Erik fishing. Jeff giving Meg a ride in the baby backpack. Jeff and Claire on the beach. Jeff and Erik pruning trees. This photo I used comes from February 2009. I took it just before Jeff took Claire to a Daddy/Daughter Dance. Claire was so excited to go out with her Dad and Jeff was looking all handsome in his suit (he cleans up nice).

There are plenty of things Jeff does and things I do which the other person finds annoying. But without a doubt we are good for each other. I love him. A lot.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Two - 2

The month wouldn't be complete without saying a "Happy Birthday" to Megan. This is one busy little girl and she is so much fun. We are glad you are part of our family!


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Washington (state)

We just got back from visiting Jeff's brother and family in Washington.

What I liked best was that the kids had a lot of unstructured play time. I cringe when I catch myself barking out a steady stream of orders about "don't do careful...don't get're going to get hurt..." It isn't much fun for them or me. It was nice to pull up to the rocky beaches open the car door and let them go explore. Over the course of the trip these 6 curious kids spent hours and hours on the beach looking for crabs and starfish and anemones, trying to catch fish, skipping rocks, piling up driftwood, and just playing. At the end of each day they were sandy, dirty, and tired but they had had a blast.

Most of the photos come from Joe and Sandi. Thank you we had a great time!

Sandi, Ryland, Joe, Wakely and Bridger

Megan is about one salmon long

This trip to Washington was planned around when the lowest tide would occur because there are some fun things to see!

We took a ferry ride out to Orcas Island and stayed for couple of nights and went whale watching too. Here is a little waterfall we hiked to.

On the island there were always deer hanging around the property where we stayed. The kids would pick apples from the trees and set them out as "bait" and then wait for the deer to show up.

Between the camouflage shirts and the stick horns it makes for a pretty good deer disguise.

Ryland gave his dad one of those fancy spa "hot rock" treatments.

Whale watching with Captain Dan.

The killer whales we saw were from (I think) J Pod. They said the dorsal fin on the males can be up to 6 feet high.

Megan and Uncle Joe