Saturday, August 21, 2010

Our family vacation

We stayed at the Marriott right across the street from the capitol. We ate at CPK. First time for the kids and I. We walked in and around the grounds and then walked to old town Sacramento where we splurged at the candy store, went to a couple shops, and checked out the bridge and river. We then walked back going through Westfield Downtown Plaza. Chris and the older boys went to the hotel pool while Lolo and I crashed. We did just drive 10 hours. Leaving at 5a.m., our new dvd player, listening to my sansa, and bringing our pillows, saved us.

The aquarium was crowded. I think I would appreciate it more if I had a pass and could visit it a couple hours at a time. It's huge. We were there for at least 5 hours and didn't get to read or participate in everything. We quickly went through the place, spending longer spurts of time at the touch and feel areas. We stayed at a Marriott in Salinas and ate at an all you can eat Chinese buffet. Vy said this after setting his first plate down, "Mom, I wish I had a bigger mouth." I think he meant he wishes he had a bigger stomach. I hear ya buddy, kapish.

We camped for four nights at Lodgepole campground. We booked sites 110 and 111. My favorite parts were trying out new dutch oven recipes and eating dutch oven food, being able to see the stars, having my niece and my parents around, Loyd reading The Great Brain to us around the campfire, and the variety of activities available to do.

This is 3.4 miles round trip. This will be a special hike to us since it was the first time we saw a bear in the wild. My neice (T) and Toki were up ahead of us. We see T stop Toki and whisper something to him. They turn to walk towards the rest of us. "We just saw a bear." To which Chris said, "No, you're just kidding. They're just kidding." All the while his head is spinning around to check out if it's true. I spotted it next. We were all really excited and a bit freaked out. However, it wasn't phased by us at all even when Chris followed it to take pictures. Pretty sweet experience. Chris owes Toki and T $5 each for spotting it first. That's the deal around here.
We went to three different areas to play in the water. We were mostly in the Kaweah river. But the kids and I did go and check out a nearby creek.

Some of the trails we went on included the Big Trees Trail which we did before heading to Crystal Cave. We also went on Congress trail where we were able to see some very impressive groves such at The House and The Senate. We were also able to check out General Sherman Tree and The President tree.

On one of the days we drove around to check out some of the trees, we also climbed stairs to this impressive view point. I found the following description on Wikipedia. "The Moro Rock Stairway has 400 steps that lead to the peak. The 797-foot-long stair was designed by National Park Service landscape architect Merel Sager and engineer Frank Diehl, and was built in 1931, following natural ledges and crevices." It originally was made from wood but now is cement. We made our boys go up it. T and my parents didn't quite make it to the top but they got really close.

My three fav. parts of the video include: hearing Loyd's version of why he was so nervous going up to Moro rock....a simple "because I'm a wimp" would have sufficed; hearing Angela say "ohhh, ohhh, it's so gorgeous" in the caves....I chuckled; and when the cave guide told us to turn off our flashlights....Vy had a really hard time doing that....there were at least 3 times we barked at him and once I actually wacked him with my flashlight but T took the blame. heehee sorry T, love ya!

peace out

Friday, August 20, 2010

I thought about

not blogging anymore and deleting my facebook account. While on vacation, I was telling Chris how nice it feels to not have access to the internet, to not be lulled by the little voices coming out of the computer screen letting me know what they've been up to lately, and to not have the urge to see. This addiction of mine is a time waster and can take me away from being productive or engaging in other necessary activities.

However, during our vacation, I was reminded that if I don't blog about it, we don't remember. Chris absolutely does not remember when he and I and a few of my cousins went to Magic Mountain, a long time ago. I'm almost positive we did. And so the confusion would not have to be, if I had recorded it somewhere. A trip like this isn't worthy to make it into my paper journal but it probably would have made it onto the blog with a few pictures. Another example is Uncle Quin quickly forgets all those turkey dinners I've made for him. Every year he adamantly says that he spent Thanksgiving dinner with friends at some buffet followed by a movie. I try to tell him otherwise and that in fact he spent it with us, eating the turkey dinner that I slaved over. So, I make it a point now to take pictures with him in it, just so we remember or so I'm not insulted (insert laugh).

And so, I've decided that blogging is a good thing for us and will overlook the judgmental things that people say about my blog and us, and mostly me. And if you're wondering what I'm talking about, I guess I'll mention a few.....a person who wonders why I'm up so late blogging....she looks at what time my posts are recorded (after she mentioned that, I made sure I changed my post time to something reasonable although it really was 11 pm when I started and 2 am when I got done).......that same person also wonders "why I think anyone would want to read that" in regards to some of my posts.....geesh sorry for wasting your time and for having feelings.....another example is someone who mentioned that I brag about my races because I share them on the internet....geesh, sorry for sharing one of my few outlets with you.......I personally like hearing about other people's recent races...It inspires me.......but obviously I'm not inspiring to him, just an annoying bragger.

And so I say to people like them, if you're going to be critical, please don't visit my blog or please do us a favor and "defriend" me. Neither of us need that type of negative energy.

I'm also very excited for our vacation post. It was a great vacation. I have over 1000 pictures to go through. It will be 2 a.m. before I'm done with all the work that's going to go into the post and I'm not going to be ashamed of it.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Transfer

Earlier this summer, we thought for sure we were transferring to Japan. But, we've hit a roadblock and the process slowed down drastically. Whether we're going to go is still up in the air.

It seems that every other day someone asks us about it. I've never had a miscarriage but I'm feeling like we sort of have. I told a few people, too soon. They spread the word and now I'm having to tell everyone the bad news. :0)

I'm feeling fine about it. I'm not stressed or anxious at all. I've moved on and am living my life. We enjoy it here, so either way, it'll be fine.

One funny thing that has happened is our stuff is being claimed by people. "I'll take this." "I'll buy that." "I'll take that off your hands."

So far the bunkbed, ladder, trampoline, kid's battery operated jeeps and 4 wheelers, both vehicles, and our house have been claimed. Even my clothes have been eyed. And our 42 year old couches..........I hear are being fretted over....Don't worry I won't throw them away. They're too sentimental. They'll just go to whoever in the family wants them.

As for the other stuff......keep dreaming.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Crayfish and Naartjie

Last Saturday we went fishing at East Canyon Reservoir. One of the things they do after setting up their fishing poles is go exploring around the area. They usually collect treasures for their own tackle boxes. Besides that, they were able to find crayfish.

Here are the boys posing with the thing. Toki caught it but Vy found it. He felt entitled to hold it as well. So, there's a bit of tug of war going on.

Here Vy managed to steal the net. Toki punches him.

Vy kicks him in return.

They both get ready to retaliate.

Legs in ready position. ha-ya

Both got a good swift kick in.

Say "Cheese." And that's how life goes around here. (bad exposure on the photos above.....sorry....used my portrait lens when there was plenty of light....shame on me)

Naartijie Photo shoot. I brought my camera along this time.

Some snap shots of the boys while waiting around the photo shoot.

Vy's usual look

Vy's fake look

Vy's usual look.

Vy's fake look. Thanks for humoring me, kiddo. I love you.

Some post editing fun

Toki's eyeballs do this weird thing. They seem too far apart. I noticed Chris' eyes do the same thing in his pictures. Anyhow, I did take Toki to the specialist for this a while back. I think I've taken my kids to a specialist for just about everything now.

Chris went out of his way to take pictures of this project, so I think he wants me to blog about it.

Quin gave us two of these picnic table/bench things. They had fallen apart. I was tempted to throw them away. Chris taught the boys to recognize what needs fixing and then had them help tighten things up. After mending the benches and cleaning them, the boys stained away.

It's been a couple weeks since we put the t.v. in time out. I love how the boys haven't asked for it and have found other ways to fill the time. I have to house is extra messy these days and I've found the boys have a talent of trashing the house in no time. *sigh {can't wait till school starts....just between you and me ;0) }

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Whips, Wolf Badge, and Whatevers

Toki went to his first cub scout camp last month. My only request was that he did not buy a whip. Can you imagine him with his whip and younger brothers around? It just didn't seem like a good idea. Chris went up with him on the second day. He was sad to see Toki sad when all his friends bought a whip and he couldn't.

This put an idea into Chris' brain and the wheels started turning. He spent the ENTIRE weekend researching how to make a whip, driving around town looking for the right material, and then making them.

I know at this point, Chris would like me to go into the science of making the perfect whip. However, I wasn't paying that much attention. All I know is that it took a lot of time, it was complicated, and our neighbor who was formally known as the whip expert is now coming to Chris for advice on whip making.

Best Dad Ever

Toki learned how to make these survival bracelets out of the same material his whip is made out of. He has sold 4 and has 6 more orders. $3 each. Let me know if you are interested.

Stuff we did in July:

finishing up the painting, trim, doors in the house
Toki earned his Wolf in cub scouts
summer outing with our neighbors