Sunday, December 20, 2009

Saturday afternoon I gathered the family together. They were all excited-NOT. I told them I had something I wanted to do.
I then proceeded to hand them all the gifts I had put under the tree for them. They were in shock, we never open presents early (despite Kyle's days and days of trying to convince me every year that we really do open presents on Christmas Eve).
They all opened their boxes to find a Seasons Pass to Six Flags, then they were told they had 10 minutes to get ready, we were leaving to go. After that they actually perked up (once the shock wore off). Now you have to understand that we have lived here 11 years, 11 months and a little more than 11 days and have never been there, despite it being only 45 min. from our house (ok, actually the boys had both gone there once for a middle school field trip), we are not theme park going people (yes it is true, our kids have never been to the D-land place).
Once we got there, all the boys and Krystal took off to go on the scary rides. The girls and I went off in search the good rides. We got a little lost and ended up finding all the animals before we found the rides. The tigers are huge (I'm pretty sure that the fence was at least 20 feet tall, so we were safe from tiger attacks, and we didn't try to taunt it. It's feet looked almost as big as my head.)
There was an elephant out that you could pet. All the animal areas had workers by them to tell you about the animals. It was kind of neat.

I think the male lion wanted its picture taken, it was looking the other way, right after I took a picture, it turned to look at me, so I had to take another one.


There is a snow hill that you can sled down. Cammie was scared so I had to go with her the first time, then she wanted to go by herself. When she was almost down, her sled crossed over the divider and ran into another kid in the next lane. She didn't look like it was much fun. We all thought it was funny.


We finished the day with the dolphin show. We were warned not to sit in the front. They make the dolphins splash all the front rows of people. I was glad we listened to the warnings. We stayed dry.


By the end, everyone had had a good (although cold) time.


Why this made a great present:

5. Everyone liked it (halfway there Travis realized it was actually a season pass, not a one day thing, his look of shock was priceless).

4. One-Stop (web-site) shopping for 8 people.

3. It can be used over and over for a year.

2. Using it will be a good family activity and create good memories.

1. IT DOES NOT MAKE A MESS IN THE HOUSE OR ADD CLUTTER.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Halloween Week Highlights


I did something very unusual for me. I chaperoned not one, but two field trips. I am the parent that never even helps out in the classroom, so this really is odd. It was actually OK.

First was Sandra's trip to the DOW Wetlands in Pittsburgh. I didn't even know this place existed. We had fun being pretend scientists. First we explored what kinds of critters are in the water, and at the bottom of the wetlands food pyramid. The kids got to suction them out of the water and look at them through a magnifier.

Then we went on a nature hike to find evidences of some of the larger animals. We found lots of scat. Our guide handled the scat and taught us how to look at it and the food remains in it to figure out what kind of animal it came from. We saw some from otters, coyotes, and prairie squirrels. I don't think this is something I will be doing on my own. It was a very windy and cold day, but the kids still had fun.

Next I went to Smith Family Farms with Cammie's class. I can't even figure out how many times I have been there. I think this will probably be the last one, and I am not even sad about that.
Friday saw me back at the school (I know three times in one week is REALLY amazing, another mom even pointed this out for me) to see Sandra in her 3rd grade musical. It was done during the day. I think this was probably one of the better ones. It was all about Halloween. Sandra had two speaking parts in it. Andrew was working from home that day, so hewas able to go with me.

That night Andrew and I went out again (like two dates in one day-almost like my single days again, but this was with the same guy) to buy a new refrigerator. We had been putting this off for as long as possible, but finally I was tired of cleaning up water all day that dripped out of the freezer due to condensation from a leaky seal, and dealing with a fridge door that often wouldn't stay shut.

Saturday, I took Travis to UC Berkley for a diabetes eye clinical trial. He spent two hours having different tests done on his eyes to try to monitor the effects of diabetes on the eyes.

Between all these extra activities and my normal busyness, I had to make Halloween costumes. I had failed to get these done in time for the ward party the week before. I tried to convince the girls it was better not to have them for that because we were eating dinner there and didn't want to risk spilling spaghetti on them. It worked. I did manage to get them done before school started on Friday so they could wear them then. Cammie was only a few minutes late, and she decided it was OK not to have her fairy wings at school anyways because they are annoying. Sadly, I didn't manage to get them done on Saturday either. Luckily Cammie is very easy-going about those kinds of things. She was just in love with her dress.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The last day of the trip

On our final part of the journey, we decided to stop by Lake Shasta and see the beautiful water. This is what we saw.
We had stopped at this spot before, and had fun hiking along the water, skipping rocks in it and enjoying the scenery. This time it was all dry. Normally the water fills the valley to the right of this road.

At another stop we found some toys to play on, but still no water we could get to.




After much driving around and asking for help, we finally found a way to the water. We had to go on a scary dirt road, I had been assured by the friendly guy who gave me directions, that I would be fine taking my van down, since he had just driven down it in his non-4wheel drive truck. Getting down to the water was not a problem. Getting back up almost was. Sadly, it still wasn't a beach area that we could play in, but it was nice to actually succeed in our quest of getting to the lake.
Sandra and I walked into the water. This really freaked Fletcher out, and he dug his heels in, then started to lay in the mud, to keep away from the water.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Crooked River Canyon


A beautiful stop. The Crooked River Vally Gorge. The drop off here is over 300 feet. There are signs all over telling you to leave dogs in your car, because many have fallen to their death. The signs have pictures of dogs falling off a cliff. I was cautious and let my dog stay in the car. That would have been a bit too tragic for me. The valley is so deep, that it made me a bit dizzy to try to look down it. I had to be brave for the girls.







North Pole or Equator

Do you know which is closer; the North Pole or the Equator? For a few minutes today, we were right in the middle. I am happy to be heading back towards the equator and warmer weather.

Shoe Tree


We are on our way home. We are stopping to see interesting things along the way. This is the Shoe Tree. It is in northern Oregon along Hwy 97. It is a dead tree covered in shoes. There are hundreds of shoes tied on and tossed over the branches. We were wishing we had some shoes to add to it.

Cammie's Sad Picture


Cammie drew this picture a few days ago on my phone. She was getting a bit homesick and was really missing her dad.