Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Annual Yellowsone trip.

Alyssa captured practically our every move on this trip on Jarom's iPAQ, so I thought I would save myself some time and just post what she wrote adding a few bits and pieces myself. So, I'll put my comments in red, the rest is all Alyssa. (Plus I think her journaling is so cute, I wanted to save it forever.)

Adventure's At Yellowstone
This Friday we went to Yellowstone . We went to are campground . The people who came were my Aunt Mimi ( Emily ) and my Uncle Bryon , my Aunt Deidra and my Uncle Kade , and my Grammy and Gramppy , and my cousins Liberty , Kayson and Brylee ,and my sisters and brother and me Alyssa , Halle and Carter and Kate , and my Mom and Dad . The first night we had Lausonya (aka lasagne) for dinner.

All of us in front of Kade's Backcountry Secrets teepee.

We also hiked around Norris Geyser Basin and Carter was too tired to make it the whole way. He also rubbed his hand on the boardwalk and got a sliver in his thumb that was an inch long. TRAUMA!!!

We didn't have lunch or breakfest because we didn't leave tell after lunch . Me and my family slept in are trailer . And Mimi and Bryon slept in ther tent . And Liberty and her family slept in there teepee . And Grammy and Gramppy slept in there trailer . The second day we had pancakes and bacon for breakfest.

Kade was our chef one morning, Bryon and my Dad also cooked breakfasts.

Halle and Liberty "creating a brew with secret ingredients that only bears know". They stirred this stump full of goodness every time we were at camp.

And after that we went to see old faithful blow water and got wet. And went to see other littler geysers too . Then we went to have lunch . We had chicken salad and grapes . And a little ways down there was a stream . And Halle was walking across a log that was over the stream and she fell in . Good thing that the stream wasn't deep. My Dad helped Halle out of the stream. Halle had to wear a towl for pants and her sweat shirt. Too bad no one was happy enough about it to take a picture. And after that we stayed a little longer. And climbed the logs during that time. And when we left we hung her clothes out the window. Then we drove for a while. And started to drive to a lake. Uncle Bryon taught me and Halle how to skip rocks there.

The clan at Yellowstone Lake.
Kayson trying to skip rocks.
Bryon teaching Alyssa how to skip rocks.
Alyssa trying to skip rocks. This girl could have stayed at the lake for three hours. She was having a ball!

After that we went on a look geo caching.
Look out point over Yellowstone Lake. Really quite pretty and we could even see the Tetons WAY off in the distance. A little bit later we saw a coyote. And after that we got gas. Then Halle and Carter said HI to the birds.

After that we went to are campground.
Mimi and Bryon at the campfire.

I made smockers (aka smokers, sticks with the ends on fire) and glow sticks . I did that for a while then when the Loons (Yellowstone Loons, a club for people who are passionate about Yellowstone. My parents are looney Loons :).) started to come up Halle and me went to bed. I think they talked for a while then went to bed. They actually never came, but Alyssa was alseep and didn't know any different.

We have been having problems with the battery on our camper going out. So my dad and Jarom were trying to fix it and accidently pulled out the fuse in my truck that runs the fan for the AC/Heater. (There has to be problems while camping, right?) Anyway, my dad/Maguiver, jimmy-rigged a pop can tab into to see us through the weekend. It worked and is still working.

In the morning we had cinimin rolls and bacon and eggs and hashbrowns. Then Halle and Liberty and Kayson and Carter went to play foxes and bears. And Uncle Bryon played Ker-Plunk with me.

Most of the little foxes. (Brylee is missing.)

Then we went to the Canyon Muesiem. First we went to the volcanoes part. Then we went to globe part were we got to touch something it was a little wet . Next we went to the map of Yellowstone. After that we went to a part were we saw how volcanos work. Then we went to the upstairs part of the building were we saw a baby buffilo and we saw a big buffalo. Then we went to binocuelers that were pointed right towards are campground. Then I looked up some informaitoin on a computer. Then we went back downstairs to the theater and watched a short movie. Then we left and started driving.

Lunch Break: Hot dogs and chips.

Kate enjoying a powdered donut.
Grammy and Grampy

After a while we went to trout lake.

Chillin' at Trout Lake.

Me and Halle and Liberty pretended to stir a witches stew. And we saw a otter it ate fish right in front of us.

Then we left and started driving. Then after a while we thought we saw a bear but it was a buffalo. Then we drove on once we new it was a buffalo.
Not the buffalo we saw at that time, but I thought it was a cute shot to put in anyway.

And started to drive again to a hill were we saw a bear with it's baby's ( They were so cute). SO CUTE!! I just wanted to squeeze them. This was the highlight of my trip.

The cubs and mama bear were up in the tree. We watched them for quite a while and they even climbed down for us. The babies looked like little teddy bears.

After that we went to Mammith. There we got Icecream cones . The flavors were strawberry , chocolate and vanilla. Then we had Taco soup for dinner. It started raining during dinner so we tried to move everything inside. Jarom had his hands full and tried to pick up Kate by one arm and it pulled her elbow out of socket. Thankgoodness we had MANY learning experiences of Halle's little elbow going out, and I was able to put it back in on my own. (Just call me Dr. Elena. HA!) After that we went to bed. In the morning we played phase 10 . Then we had french toast and smockeys in the teepee. Then we played phase 10 some more. Then we watched a movie.

After that we left and went to a lake (actually a river) called big springs and saw a muscrat Kate leaned a little too far over to look at the fish and her binky went right into the river. I was going to try and use that for the excuse to ween her, but when 2AM hit and she was screaming, I gave in and gave her a new one. then we ate icecream sandwiches after that we went home.

That's The Adventure's Of Yellowstone

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Scissors!!! AAARRRGGG!!

Earlier today Carter got a big old wad of gum stuck in his hair. He needs a haircut really bad, so rather than try to work it out with peanut butter or what not, I decided to just cut it out. So later tonight I told Carter to show Jarom where I had to cut his hair (which was on the side above his ear). Jarom said, "On the top?" I looked at the top of Carter's head and low and behold, he had given himself a not so lovely cut. Apparently he got the brilliant idea after he watched me cut his hair. Guess we're going to see Aunt Mimi or Emmy tomorrow.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Last day of School!!

Today is the last day of school for my girls. It's the last time (for 3 more months) I'll have to hear, "Mom, I can't find my backpack." YEE-HAW!! I am ready for the break. Although, now I have to find something to keep them entertained with. Here's to a fun summer!!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Trip to Craters of the Moon

We took the trailer on our very first camping excursion this past weekend. We went to Craters of the Moon. We managed to find a nice camp spot and Jarom did a great job of parking the trailer without getting any dents in my truck or the trailer, WHEW! (Way to go Honey!) The kids had a good time exploring the rocks and we all stayed up late and watched the stars. It was a nice night.

Oh, and I should mention that right off the bat, I found a not so lovely black widow in my trailer!!! The scary thing is, is that I am pretty sure she came home with us from CA, and that we slept with her before. After we disposed of her, we all started to have a good time. I just hope she didn't have any buddies that I haven't seen yet. It gives me chills just thinking about it.

Anyway, around bed time we noticed our battery on the trailer was low, so we hooked the truck back up to it to charge it. But after an hour, there was no change in the battery. We decided to go to bed and deal with it the next morning. When 5 AM rolled around we woke up freezing and my fridge had turned off. So poor Jarom hooked us back up and drove us back down the road to a TINY town called Arco and we made camp again in the KOA with full hook ups.

Playing games in the Arco KOA. We had the entire campground to ourselves and it was actually REALLY nice. We didn't have to worry about someone snatching the kids or how loud the kids were being or anything. They got to wander all over the place.

We played around in the campground for a while and then drove back to Craters for some sightseeing.

Somehow, we made it to Craters without my tennis shoes. So we stopped at the ONLY store that might sell shoes in Arco, The Irrigation Center. Sure enough, I got a new pair of men's tennies and they were whiter than snow! (Do I not look like the frumpiest, saggiest, old lady here? Not a very flattering picture, but oh-well.)

This tree was at the top of a pretty big hill we walked up. I was impressed at how well the kids did. No one even complained about being tired. Jarom and I had our picture at this same tree about 13 years ago. (I was going to scan it and post it, but it's so faded it's hard to see.)

Walking to the caves. This was a fairly long trail with treacherous lava on both sides. There was just NO way we were going to make it out of there without at least one skinned knee. Sure enough, Halle took a tumble and skinned her knee and thumb. (Nothing too serious, but don't tell her that.)

Inside Indian Cave. The kids had a blast going inside the caves. I remember going to a cave when I was kid and loving it too.

"Ooohh! Ice!" Kate LOVED to be in the caves. However, she wanted to walk all on her own. Now, a drunken little 18 month old waddle, and slippery, rocky cave floors, don't mix very well. She was such a little brat about wanting to walk on her own. We finally had to give up and I just took her and waited at the mouth of the cave while the kids and Jarom finished exploring.

We took an evening ride around the Crater's loop and we saw two deer and 4 antelope (Carter calls them buffalopes). It was the perfect time of day to see animals. We also took an easy trail walk which was just right to wind the kids down and get the last little bit of energy out of them.

Playing Phase 10. Isn't that a TOTAL camping game. We taught Alyssa and she caught right on and LOVED it. Unfortunately Halle and Jarom whooped both Alyssa and me.

Poor little Pay-Pay had to hang out in the playpen. She was a little too disruptive to join in the game. She really didn't seem to mind too much however.

Happy Birthday Brandon!!

Happy Birthday Uncle Brandon! We hope you have a great day. Thanks for being such a fun uncle. We love you!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Crazy old lady!!

Tonight we went to the old folk's home to visit my grandma. There is a crazy little old lady that lives there named Nadine. Nadine LOVES kids and every time we go, she stops us in the hall to hug and kiss the kids and asks over and over about my baby and Carter. She's got a thing for him. Anyway, she also is always carrying a stuffed animal that she wraps up like a baby in a blanket.

Tonight she was in the hall in her wheelchair gently holding her florescent orange blanket with something wrapped up inside. She stopped all the kids and wouldn't let go of them and then started to unwrap her blanket. I expected to see the familiar stuffed dog, but tonight she surprised me with a ball of tinsel she had swiped from a wall decoration. We politely oooed and ahhed at the pretty ball of tinsel, then quickly went on our way to Grandma's room.

We were visiting along, and next thing I know, Nadine is ever so slowly, slinking into the room. Now, you really have to get a mental picture of this. She is in her wheelchair, doing the Flintstones shuffle to move along, and very quietly and slowly is unwrapping her ball of tinsel. Everytime Carter would look at her she would pull out a little more of it and start to dangle it. She never made a sound. It was just like a kidnapper trying to lure a kid with a piece of candy. It seriously was one of the funniest things I have ever seen. Eventually she made her way all the way to the foot of Grandma's bed and sat and laughed at all the jokes as if she was one of us. All the time holding out her ball of tinsel trying despearatly to get one of the kids to take it. At one point, sweet little Alyssa took it from her and Nadine told her share some of it with all of her family. (Quin if you were there you would have DIED laughing. It was just your kind of thing.) It SOOO doesn't sound as funny as it was. I can't do the story justice.

When we left I wheeled her back out into the hall. She grabbed Alyssa's hand and we all headed towards the t.v. Thankgoodness it was tuned to some animal show. She was immediatly entertained and forgot all about us being there. There are somedays when the crazy people scare me, but tonight it was just a good ol' belly chuckle.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Travelog: To LA and back.

Get ready for a long post. It has taken me a while to get our trip to LA posted because my computer is dying. Anyway, I think I have gotten it now, so here goes.

Our trip started out great, but about 4 hours into it everyone was ready to kill Carter. He was being a TOTAL boy and spitting on his hands and wiping it on his sisters. YUCK!! So, we took a couple hours to visit with Blake and Missy and the boys. After we got some energy out, the kids slept all the way to Mesquite, NV. We stayed overnight in a hotel for $29! It wasn't a 4 star by any means, but it was a bed and shower, so it worked.

After separating Carter from the girls, we took off again. Alyssa would ask us the name of EVERY town we passed through, so finally in Vegas, we bought her her very own map. She loved it.

We made a lunch stop in Barstow, CA at McD's and we couldn't resist taking a picture with this great big cactus. The kids thought it was pretty cool.

Gas prices weren't cheap as you can see. We thought this would be a great heirloom picture for our kids someday. When they are grown and gas is $7 a gallon they'll look at this picture and laugh at how expensive their parents thought gas was way back in 2007.

In Tehachapi, CA there was a HUGE wind farm. Windmills stretched on both sides of this hill. It was awesome and a great relief to see something other than desert.

We made it to Quin and Natalie's place in Bakersfield, CA on Friday evening. The next morning we all got up and drove about 2 more hours to Santa Barbara and took a whale watching excursion. Santa Barbara is BEAUTIFUL. It is in my top 2 or 3 most beautiful places on earth. I definitely want to go back.

Here we are getting ready to board our catamaran, the Double Dolphin.

Getting ready to leave the dock.

First sighting!! Sea Lions! Carter has played sea lions everyday in the tub since this. It's hilarious.

We were able to sit right up front on the boat. The water would splash through these nets when we would hit big waves. And let me tell you, we hit A LOT of big waves!!

Next sighting! Dolphins!! These were so much fun to watch. They swam really close to the boat and just didn't even care that we were there.

Third sighting!! Wait a minute....That's Kate's sandal!!!! Sure enough she flipped it overboard.

We told them it wasn't a big deal, but they stopped the boat and fished it out for us anyway. How embarrassing.

Remember those big waves I told you about? Well, I got sick. The captain was so nice and gave me ginger ale and let me drive the boat to see if it would help. And it did, while I was driving, but notice the poor green girl next to me? We had to take turns driving.

I didn't feel so well while she drove.

Sure enough, I barfed. Thanks to my lovely brother for capturing the beautiful moment.

We never saw any whales, and honestly could our family have been more of a problem during the ride? (Don't answer that.) But hey, we got vouchers to go again and I'll be sure to take my Dramamine beforehand.

Next stop, the beach for a picnic. The kids wanted to play in the water REALLY bad, so we drove all over town looking for a place to buy towels. We never found one, so I told the kids they were just going to have to wade and NOT get wet. Honestly it was too cold anyway.

So, we arrive at the beach and not two minutes later (no exaggeration) Alyssa's shoe slipped off in a wave and she dove in after it! So much for not getting wet.

A cute shot of Quin and Natalie.

We enjoyed a picnic on the beach. It was a lot of fun to have the sound of the waves crashing behind us. The kids had fun collecting sea shells and could have stayed for hours had it not been so blasted chilly.

Family shot.

Kate HATED the sand. She wouldn't touch it for anything. She would sob if we tried to make her walk on it. We would try to set her down and she would curl her legs up underneath her as tight as she could. The picnic blanket was a little jail cell for her. She wouldn't even try to get off it. It was pretty funny.

After our picnic, Quin and Natalie drove back to Bakersfield, (the long way, don't take Highway 33 if you ever go there), and we drove on to Pasadena and stayed in a hotel. The next morning we were off for a bit of sight seeing in the L.A. area.

First stop, the Rose Bowl. We couldn't get very close because something was going on in it that day. Don't know what, but at least Jarom got to have a glimpse of it.

On to Hollywood!

We took a small stroll down the walk of fame and Halle was ecstactic to find a star with her name "spelled exactly the right way" on it.

We also browsed the handprints and autographs in front of the Chinese theatre.

John Wayne

Johnny Depp

The Governator

After a quick lunch at a delicious deli right next to Kodak Theater, we made our way to La Habra to pick up our trailer. It was in WONDERFUL condition and the family selling it was so great to us. They were very friendly and it was fun to meet them.

We hitched up and were off again!

We made it as far as Mesquite again, and stayed the night in the free RV parking lot at the Casablanca hotel. (How's that for cheap?) Here the kids are enjoying their very first breakfast in the trailer. (Not real homemade I know, but it's still breakfast.)

Next stop, IDAHO!!!

We did make it home all in one piece and we even still love each other. Now we're ready to take the trailer camping and get some use out of it!