Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Karrie!

Hope you have a great one!

Thermal Features of Yellowstone

Nice to have a shot with the eight of us. Thanks Kris!
I thought this is what Hawaii would look like. Such amazing colors of blue.

We joked that this is what the end of the world would look like. DESOLATE.

The birds live in the dead trees. Seems amazing to me. The bottom of the trees are white and they call that "white socks."

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I am starting to really miss my girl.

Little Girl's Room

So we sent my daughter off to camp on Sunday afternoon. While she is gone we plan to re-create her room. She has never had a room decorated so I know she will love coming home to this. Today a friend invited Ethan over to play with her son and I was able to clean the toe boards and tape off moldings. We are painting it a softer lime green and then adding light pink, turquoise, and white vinyl polka dots. We found a white desk at Target tonight. Not the best quality but good enough for a starter desk. I need my dad to work his wonders on a desk someday. We also picked up some white and turquoise plastic containers for the closet and a turquoise wastebasket as well as some fun polka dotted sheets. I was tempted to buy all new turquoise hangers but that isn't a needed item.
I am so anxious to see the finished project and to share pictures with you all.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Cody Stampede

One of our stops on the trip was Cody, Wyoming. We met my parents and my sisters beautiful family there. We decided to do the Cody nightly Rodeo that night to ensure we got it done. The weather had been so iffy. (I was glad we did because the next day is when we moved our little party to Billings, MT for my dads heart problems.) It was fun to see the kids watching the bulls and cowboys and Ethan loved the clowns.

They invited to kids down to grab red tags off the calves behinds. Elijah (my nephew)and Alicia went down. They announced what they were doing with all the kids on the field so none of them really heard what was going on. I lost track of Elijah, the one in red next to Alicia in the picture, as I followed my daughter running all over that arena. She was fast. She was chasing the wrong calf but she was fast. :) She was wearing bright green and orange so I am sure she caught some peoples attention and she probably provided a good laugh as she was after a calf that had already lost his red tag. She really had no idea why she was out there. She was even chasing that calf after the said they could stop. It was so fun to watch. In the midst of all this she lost her cowgirl hat. A Rodeo clown found it and returned it to her. Great photo op.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Nebraska memory

So one of our family's highlights was one of those not planned moments. We were driving through Nebraska and Ben saw a turtle in the middle of the road. The van turned around to go see if we could remove it so it didn't become smooshed turtle. It was a big turtle and when I got out to take a look at it it smelled BAD. I thought it must have been hit already and was rotting. That wasn't the case.

Anyway, Ben decided to try and move it and quickly realized it was not a happy turtle. He was going to give up but we were all whining in the van about it getting hit. Ben then got his ax out and tried to scoot it along with that. It did not take Ben long to see that it had done his business all over himself. That was the horrid smell I smelled earlier. He must have been scared and, well, you know.
Saving the turtles life was soon given up as the turtle was not happy about being helped and Ben was tired of being snapped at.
Luckily this road does not have heavy traffic but it does have some. I am not sure how that old, grumpy turtle could have made it across, but we hope it did.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Our Western Road Trip

Just a little note before you start. I cannot get the pictures to look the way I want. Sorry.

We are home. 13 nights and 14 days is quite a road trip and it was a very good and memorable one.
We saw 6 states Oregon, Idaho,Wyoming, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Montana.

We slept in 7 hotels (one with a waterpark IN IT!), 2 cabins, and one condo.

We felt EVERY weather imaginable, rain, wind, thunderstorms, lightening, snow falling on us in the Tetons, snow on the side of the road at the high elevations, hail, rain that felt like it was being thrown at us and was about the size of 10 drops combined, warm weather and 90+ degrees. This all in 2 weeks. It was fun. Really the weather was great and the bad weather went by so fast because the wind was so fast.

We saw a moose, antelope (thousands of antelope), bison, elk, deer, cranes, pelicans, swans, a bear, bald eagles, a fox and a coyote.

We saw the Tetons and Jackson Hole, Mt Rushmore, a Rodeo, Yellowstone, Old West towns, we gold mined, went to a Wild Mustang Sanctuary, hiked around Wind Caves in SD, and so much more.

The kids were AMAZING!!! We didn't even use all the goodies I put away to entertain them. But the last few days they were tired. We would go to bed and Alicia would ask us to put he to bed earlier the next night. But we were having so much fun.

We had one small hiccup in the trip. My parents and my sisters family met up with us in Cody, Wyoming. The second day there we went to the Cody Museum that is really incredible. Just about 20 minutes into the amazing gun museum my dad started to feel dizzy and clammy. He had been having some problems a few weeks before so we knew this was serious. We wheeled him to the van hoping he could go back to the cabin and rest but he asked to go to the Hospital. After many tests and many hours they decided to fly him to Billings, Montana where he received a stent. It was a very emotional time for my mom and us. We followed them up to Billings and then when dad was released we continued on with our trip. Dad was a trooper. I am so glad he was wise enough to go to the hospital. His heart problems were in an area that is referred to as the "widow maker." He is lucky that he was able to be seen so fast at the Cody Hospital because they got him on drugs right away and there was no heart damage done. We were all glad we were close to dad when this happened instead of an hour away or, as in my sisters case, a state away.

All in all a wonderful family trip. I know now what I would do again and what I would change. I have been thinking about our next vacation. It will be one where we do not travel from place to place but stay in one location. I want to unpack in a room and stay awhile. :) A road trip is so much fun but not very relaxing.

I am going to add a few more posts about the trip in the next few days. There is just too much to tell and so many pictures. Since this blog is partly for myself, as a sort of journal, you will all have to bear with me. :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Back from Yellowstone

We should be home by now, or later tonight. I will update my blog with all the wonderful details in the next few days. I am hoping all 2 weeks were wonderful. I didn't want to post on my blog that we would be gone for two weeks so the area thieves out there could take their time rummaging through our house. But now we should be back and I will be going through all my pictures, looking for those that best show our family road trip. I am hoping as I write this on June 4th that the rain stopped for our vacation and that we didn't spend it all in the van or running from covering to covering. We'll see.

Friday, June 11, 2010

kindergarteners no more

I love kindergarten graduation. Alicia's was so fun and memorable. But this year they did not have a graduation for Ethan's class, so a few of us moms borrowed some caps and gowns and took some pictures. The first batch of pictures were of Ethan and his best friend Orin. His mom and I could totally imagine taking these same pictures in 12 years and the boys will probably be acting the same and still complain about the pictures.

Then Tuesday night, during Ethan's family birthday party, the three kindergarten cousins took their "graduation" pictures. It is so sweet to think of them going through the next 12 years together.

It seems impossible to believe my "baby" will be in all day school next year. 1st grade sounds like such a big kid.

Monday, June 7, 2010

clean carpets

So my vans carpet got cleaned today and so did Ethan's room. I love clean carpets. They make me happy. Big smiles every time I walk by his room.
We are having Alicia and Ethan switch rooms the week Alicia goes to summer camp. We are going to paint Ethan's old room and then move her stuff over. So for now the room will only have a mattress for Ethan to sleep on. Then hopefully we can carpet clean the other room before Ethan's stuff moves in from the garage. Guess that means I can have big smiles again in July. :)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

my wvi email address

So for a long time my wvi email address was not working. The last 2 months really. But Ben set it up on his IPOD on Thursday night so I can now get emails there. I am hoping you all can go back to emailing me there. It doesn't get the junk mail my hotmail addresses do and I can check it on an ipod in my bed before I sleep. :)

Thanks all

Friday, June 4, 2010


I had a proud mommy moment at the party that I had to share. I don't want to forget it. When we had pizza I has 11 chairs and 11 children. When we had cake I had 11 chairs and 12 children. So I added a small child chair. They all went running in and one of the more quiet and shy girls was last, leaving her with the small chair. I was in the kitchen for some reason and I could hear this all going down. The kids stated saying "______ is crying." and "_________ got the small chair." I felt badly and was going to go in and tell Ethan to take the small chair when Ethan popped up and said, "You can have my chair." He went and sat in the small chair and as he got swallowed up in it was very good about letting all the kids laugh at him. I was incredibly proud. Ethan has a heart for others. He never wants to see anyone upset or hurt. This has helped in making Ethan very popular. He can be anywhere and have new friends. People are just drawn to him. I have been trying to figure out how he will use this gift to serve God and what kind of career he may be good at but I will just have to wait and see.

Ethan turned 6!

Yesterday was Ethan's sixth birthday. I decided to have a friends birthday party during the day since next year he will be in all day school. We invited 12 kids and 11 showed up, one a little late.! It was a large party. But it went well. I had planned a Lego party and there were so many things I wanted to do that I either had to give up on either because I couldn't find what I needed or before I spent too much money. We started with pizza and fruit and I was very thankful that I now have a table that can fit so many kids. (Thank you Martha) I did buy 10 pounds of Lego pieces off of eBay and separated those out into bags for party favors. We also played a sort of game with them. Each kids dumped their bags out and then had to create something with the misc. pieces they had. Some kids are so good at using their imaginations.
I made a Lego cake, or a few Lego shapes, but I wasn't pleased with the way they turned out. Thank goodness Ethan is 6 because he thought they looked great.

I wasn't sure how the other kids felt about the party. But I know Ethan had a great time. It was quite a day for him as earlier I had gone into the classroom and we did orange floats and then when Ben got home from work we took Ethan to McDonald's. NOT OUR CHOICE. We told Ethan he could choose and he said somewhere with a playground. :) He did first choose Chuck-E-Cheese and then when we said "no" he asked for a restaurant in Disney World. :)
It was a good day and I now have a big boy.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Alicia's School Project

For a couple of weeks Alicia and her daddy worked on a school project that was due June 1st. Each child in the class was given a tribe that lived in North America. Alicia was given the Pueblo people. She needed to show what their home looked like and what the area looked like as well. She knew exactly what she wanted done and bossed her dad right along. They had a good time together and I love the finished project. It is amazing what every child did. They all look so different, different looking homes, different landscape, etc. I wish I could go in and tour all the finished pieces.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Gluten Free Wednesdays

There is a NorthWest Gluten Free Summit coming this November in Corvallis. They will have speakers and vendors and serve food that is gluten free for breakfast/lunch/dinner! If I had more money I would think about going. But you may have more cashola then I have right now so here is the website.

It would be really cool to listen to professionals on the subject and try gluten free products.