Saturday, August 29, 2009

Squirrel - schmirrel

We are teaching our kids to be independent learners. As such, we had a small family debate regarding the small rodent running through my house's name.

After spending some time with google images (love that feature) and reading several informative articles, together, we determined that our friendly little guy had stripes on the face and that they ended at the tail. Also, there were only five of them and not thirteen. As such, we regret to inform our readers that our rodent is actually a 'chipmunk' and not a squirrel. They do however belong to the same family and are very similar.

Here he is again, so that you can also check out those features

We apologize for any inconvenience our erroneous reporting may have caused for our readers.

Squirrel - schmirrel.

Final vacation photos

Here are my little rockers at the Hard Rock Cafe. Check out the youngest's lips!

Continental divide

Continental divide hike - this is much prettier than the other continental divide areas we've been to.

Lunch on main
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Drying out


After 15 minutes they were freezing. I'm thrilled to have discovered yet another great summer perk to our area!
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Last days of summer

While we only have a few days left before school starts, we've been trying to make the best of every moment.
The girls and I took my husband to lunch at the girl's favorite chineese restaurant on Friday. Apparently, their favorite thing about the restaurant are the beads to the bathroom and the paper placemat that tells which Chineese year you were born under. While dismayed that they didn't have one, before we left, our daughter spoke to the manager to let her know she really missed the placemats. The manager explained that they'd stopped using them for environmental reasons, but gave my daughter 4 to take home with her! Way to speak your mind little girl!

Here are our fortunes if you are interested. Feel free to try and guess which belongs to who

The famous beads to the bathroom

After lunch, we all went to a park to play for a while. Then the girls and I did some school supply shopping (if you can believe it, Walmart was completely out of glue sticks and #2 pencils..arg..)
Afterwards we stopped at the carniceria for carne asada meat, and then headed to the local spray park


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While we fished with our cousins, here are my little fishermen.



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As I've mentioned, our cousins came camping with us last weekend. Here are some of our photos.

One little, two little, three little indians (is that pc?)

Silly guy

Working on breakfast
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My Squirrel Story

While we generally love that our cat is a mighty huntress, this week wasn't so good.
On Monday she brought a hummingbird into the house. Luckily, it was so scared, I was able to get her to drop it and I picked it up and took it outside so that it could fly away.

Today, I was working on the computer, and the cat ran in and pinned something into the corner next to me. I was amazed to find it was a tiny squirrel or chipmunk (I'm not sure which, but it was a rodent and it was in my house ALIVE!)

Here are the ensuing pictures. We only had to pull out the dishwasher, clear out two cabinets, and tip the sofa on its side to get this guy caught. The cat got cranky when we kept trying her to go get it. She went and hid under the bed, disgusted that we let her toy get away.

Here are the action packed pictures.


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For the record - I did scream as it ran past me several times and got away from me. I was amazed at the adrenaline release I got from this afternoon adventure.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Vacation Sequel

Well, we decided to head to the big city for a couple of days, and excitedly booked a room. We headed to the amusement park and had planned to spend several days there. As it turned out, the local schools had all already begun and everything was closed. What a bummer.
We hung out downtown and visited the Hard Rock Cafe which my family wasn't particularly impressed with and eventually made our way back to the hotel where we enjoyed a couple of very refreshing hours in the pool.
My husband and I traded off visiting the temple the next day and we packed in some shopping at the mall with the girls (they liked smelling the different perfumes)and were awed at all of the stores. We then went bowling and then did some miniature golfing.
On Friday we headed home and decided to head over to a lake a friend had recommended. Well...we crossed the continental divide and so we got out and did a really beautiful hike. Then we continued on our way. We eventually made it to the lake, but we couldn't find the right public access area. Instead we opted for wading and throwing rocks for a while. We found a great little bakery for lunch, and then headed home and eventually arrived there after six long hours.

Upon our arrival at home, we collapsed for 30 minutes until the phone rang. Our cousin was letting us know that he and his family were on the way for a camping trip with us that evening. As such, we pulled ourselves up and started to pack up the car again. We headed to the mountains where we met them and camped out near our favorite lake again. We definintely enjoyed the campfire and the stars. The kids enjoyed snail shell mania. They collected tons of those things - yuck!

The next day we headed fishing (no luck - just one bite) and eventually made it home to finish constructing our garage shelves and getting the garage cleaned out and organized. We worked hard to get the house back together and now, I think we might need a vacation from our vacation!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Days 1 & 2

So we decided to hang out around in our area for our vacation this year.
Yesterday we headed to a local greasy spoon for breakfast, then played in a river along the bike path. The water was SO cold and the highlight was climbing up onto a rock to count fish!

We then went to the park, did some school shopping and headed to the spray park. Unfortunately, it is closed on Mondays, but we will visit it before the week is over.
We headed to the grocery store and the girls bought the ingredients for some recipes they wanted to make for dinner.
Our eldest learned to make a tater tot casserole at activity days, and she was thrilled to make it for us. Our youngest learned to make ants on a log at school so she made this for us along with a 3 layer jello concoction.

Today we put together some shelves for our garage. We then took the kids to piano lessons, and worked out while the kids had gymnastics, and then we all went swimming. To end the day, we took the girls and we all got our toenails painted.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Week of August 9-16

I'll just apologize beforehand. It seems like I haven't blogged in ages - so this is a little on the lengthy side.

I really can't believe that summer is coming to an end. While many mothers can't wait for school to start, I'm hitting panic mode. I'm not sure why this summer has been different, maybe because my kids are getting bigger, but I don't want school to start! We are having just WAY too much fun hanging out, staying up late, and sleeping in...boy we just aren't ready.

This past week has been pretty busy. First we lost our computer. I'm working on a loaner laptop from my husband's work, praying that we can figure out how to recover all of our lost files.

On Wednesday I rode down the river with a girlfriend. While I was a little worried about the rapids with the kids (er...slow - pids) we ended up leaving the kids and just us doing it. While it was extremely calm, it was nice to relax and it was definitely a new experience. I've done lots of whitewater rafting before, but not so much of the - if you want to move, you'll have to paddle the entire 5 miles.

We were graced to see two bald eagles and their nests right along the side of the river.

(There are two eagles in this photo but I took it from my phone and we were moving (slightly) so it isn't the greatest photo.)

We took the girls to the rec center a couple of times in the evening to do some rock climbing. They are such monkeys and love it. I don't think there's anything there that isn't too hard for our oldest. Our younger daughter is so strong too, but she gets scared about coming back down about 2/3 of the way up. That's been a fun and new adventure.

On Thursday, we headed down the road and the girls got hair cuts. Our youngest donated her hair (10 inches) to Wigs for Kids. She's got a super cute new do which I will post photos of in the near future. The other haircut was just a very minimal trim, but it is great to see healthier hair. After the haircuts, we did some school shopping. This year was quite the adventure as my kids are beginning to become much more opinionated (where could they have gotten that from?) about their clothes. They found some stuff they loved and all were happy.

On Friday I got to work and re-organized the food storage - even building some shelving. That was quite the project. From there I went through all of the girls' closets and drawers and sorted through the clothes that they've grown out of. That turned into a much bigger project as I ended up going through all of the kids clothes we've been hanging onto for years and finding people who could use it. My whole living room was strewn with clothes. The missionaries stopped by to introduce the new elder and I think he was scared. Later I found out they didn't have dinner, so I threw together dinner for them. We then cleaned all of our carpets and hauled away a couch and took the other downstairs. We then started a painting project. The beautiful red is now gone from both the bar and the dining nook. They are currently under construction. I'll definitely post some new pictures soon.

We've finally decided that after many years of marriage, it looks like it is going to stick. After many hand-me-down couches, we broke down and decided to get some real couches. Our first clue that we needed them was when my violin students started pulling the batting out of the holes in the old one. That was the clear message that we really needed another option. So, we were finally able to make it work this weekend and we are having a blast fixing things up and putting everything together.

Here's our white trash goodbye to the floral couch. That was after we moved it from the front porch :)

This next week we are having a family vacation. My husband is off and we are hanging out here (cause this is an amazing place to take a vacation you know) and besides cleaning up and organizing, we are spending some quality family time - that translates as lots of hikes, fishing, games, and laughter. Bring it on!

So - there's my narrative of my last week and a lengthy one at that.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Well, the circus came to town.
While this may 'sound' amazing, it was actually a mexican circus and well, it was an experience - at least I could understand what was being said!

It was kind of funny. Some friends called today to ask us if we wanted to go because they'd received some free kids tickets. We figured 'why not?' Well, as we got to the ticket office, we were amused to see that all of the kids' admission was free anyways. At least we got a chuckle.

Here's the acrobatist - she was from Brazil and actually pretty amazing

The lasso artist who had a few good moments

Here are the kids with the clown - that was their favorite. Because he didn't speak any english, he used a whistle the entire time. Despite the headache from the constant whistling, he was fairly amusing.

The girls and I
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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Another County Fair

Once again the county fair has come and gone.

While I don't consider myself a great quilter or an amazing cook, it's exciting to participate and see how I do. I was pleasantly surprised with the outcomes this year.

Here's my quilt that won grand champion in the quilting class


I was pretty surprised - I mean I worked very hard on it, I just expected to get wiped out by some of the amazing quilters out there. I spent 9 months working on this quilt, and I hand embroidered different stitches onto each block's border. I think I enjoyed that the best - finding a stitch I wanted to learn (thanks for the book Liz), learning a new stitch and seeing how it turned out.
Anyways - that's my new Christmas quilt for my bed.

Lest I bore you - I also entered some canned peaches and peach jelly, both of which won grand champion in their classes. My dutch apple pie, banana bread, canned tomatoes and pears also did really well. The pie, jelly & banana bread recipes are on my cooking blog.

So that you know I'm not trying to turn this into a brag fest - they thought my caramels were too hard, and they still didn't like my rhubarb pie. Next year - again. I thought they were perfect, but I must have different tastes than the judges apparently.

The real praise goes out to our daughter. She entered some peaches she canned a couple of weeks ago, and she won grand champion in the children's division. We were pretty proud of her. Our youngest entered a pillow she had sewn and won a participation award.

It was so fun to see what our friends had been working on and to see how they did.
Our only problem now is how to get that animal smell out of the quilt!
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