Wednesday, October 21, 2015

We Interrupt this Trip for Hiccup

Greg was reading over my shoulder and asked me why I never blogged about his Halloween costume.  
From last year.
That kid...he kills me. 
He LOVES How to Train Your Dragon.  I remember watching him at the movie theater for the first time and knowing his deepest desire at that very moment was to own and ride a dragon.

I can't say that much has changed and How to Train Your Dragon II kept the dream alive.
Until last Halloween when he at the very least was able to BECOME Hiccup. 
 He made a pretty cute Popeye back in Kindergarten....but even I was thinking this was it.  
My pinnacle of costume making right here.  
No costume I ever made could EVER beat this because I could see his little boy heart OVERJOYED when it put it all on. 
 And isn't that why we do it? 
 Magical.  My little blondie became Hiccup with a wig, a cut up thrift store jacket and vest, some belts and old boy scout patches and a lot of sewing Wal-mart faux leather on jeans and arms.
 My fingers were numb but it was worth every stitch!  I had him try it on one more time and then we sold the costume to another lucky little boy. 
 Greg wanted to pass the dream along knowing it wouldn't fit him another year later. 
Here's hoping that someday there might be dragons to fly as well for this boy of mine! 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Cascade Locks and Multnomah Falls Oregon

After deciding we were grateful to not be pioneers, we headed back on the road towards Pendleton, Oregon. 
We thought it might be a fun stop to see the woolen mill tour.
 There was a store and outlet store there, but the outlet/seconds prices were still in the hundreds, so no thanks.
 The tour was 45 minutes long.  No thank you to that too, so we took a picture and got on our way.
 I guess Pendleton is famous for a big rodeo they host every year.  The town is trashy and gross.  I was thrilled to leave and get back on the road. 
 This dog in the parking lot had the same idea...
Let's go!
We continued on to Cascade Locks in Hood, Oregon.  What a fun stop! 
You can go down below and watch the fish swim up the ladders
 And talk to your kids about the importance of getting a solid college education. There are employees who sit here 24 hours a day and COUNT FISH!  Can you imagine?  I would fall asleep.
 This is Dan lecturing the kids on getting good grades.  Then we wondered if maybe the fish counter is some guy who has a masters degree in Fish Hatchery or something.

We arrived as they were closing so we buzzed across the parking lot to the fish hatchery.
 They have machines were you can buy fish food and feed the fish.  We had fun watching them swarm after the food.
 Cute little house on the property.  It was so pretty and well manicured.  It would be the perfect place for a party or reception.
 This was the best though....
 Yeah, THAT! A sturgeon.
 We took the scenic route up to the falls.
There are a few little ones along the way that are so cute
 But THIS is what I was excited for the kids to see!
 Multnomah Falls!

 It was so beautiful there and perfect weather!
 Then we spotted these crazy people....doing handstands on that bridge!
I took some pictures and then we hiked up to the bridge.  I offered to text them to him and it turns out one of the guys was from my small little hometown in Newbury Park, California. 
 Small world, right?
Crazy for sure....

Monday, October 19, 2015

Westward Ho! The Oregon Trail

Dan is a huge fan of making sure the kids learn something on every trip we take, like school.  I like the gift shops.  I tried to make this trip a better mix of the two so everyone was happy! 
First up for shoving information down the kids throats was The Oregon Trail Interpretive Center in Baker City, Oregon.
 It is a few miles off the interstate but not so far you start to feel like you are losing major travel time.  
It's easy to spot high up on a hillside.
There were several wagons circled round, one authentic and others replicas that the kids could climb up in.
 Inside the center is really nice.  There are large exhibits that show the scenes of wagon trail life and the many animals that came along with the pioneers.  
The center is a decent size but not so overwhelming that the kids got bored.  It had an entry fee but it was nothing huge, maybe $30 for all of us? 
I would say if you ever want to stop there, plan on about an hour of your time.  Worth it for sure!
 Lauren tried on a prairie girl hat and the bought this little rag doll with her own money.  She named her Charlotte and she was her constant companion this whole trip!  The sweet lady who worked in the gift shop makes these dolls and seemed pleased that Lauren wanted one.
 At the front of the center.  The sun was so bright!
We headed down the hill right by the entrance to the the center and that is where I thought we were showing the kids the coolest thing ever.  
Wagon wheel tracks!  
The Oregon Trail tracks!  
The REAL ones!  
From over 100 years ago!  
The dirt is so trampled and packed down that after all these years, nothing still can grow in the tracks!  
 Greg was super unimpressed. 
 So I made them pose and took a picture of them so someday they will see that their parents took them to some cool places. 
Back in the car kids.....

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Fall Break Road Trip to the Pacific Northwest!

With our oldest now in Jr. High, the kids are on different schedules.  His school is traditional and the younger two are on a year round schedule. 
 Graham had the entire week off for fall break so we decided to pull Greg and Lauren out to play hookie for a few days.
Years ago I lived in Vancouver, Washington, working across the river for Delta Airlines at PDX.  
I just love that area!   
Dan had never been before so I got to planning and off we went!

I am one of those weird trip planners, like with a spreadsheet type of planner.  Some things are good to wing it with but I like knowing where I'm going to sleep every night!  
We took off from Salt Lake last Sunday morning with out first stop being in Boise, Idaho.  
 The kids were a little wound up from being the car for five hours
 but they still managed
 a little silliness at the Boise LDS Temple!
 I really wanted this trip to be a no fast food one - its fun to try new local places and have the kids try some new foods along the way!  We stopped in Meridian at the Flatbread Neopolitan Pizzaria in the older part of town.  It had a really nice town square park next to the patio so the kids could run around and play while we ordered.  They loved making their own pizzas and the food was delicious! 
They were most looking forward to swimming that night at the hotel, it was a great first road trip day!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Lauren's Paris Birthday Party

I haven't been great at blogging this past year but I feel like doing a few posts, especially now that all three kids are back in school all day!

Lauren celebrated her birthday earlier this year and doing a Paris theme was a total given.  
She LOVES Paris!  She likes to watch language videos on YouTube and teach herself French.  Not.kidding.  It's pretty much adorable to me!
 Welcome to Paris, Utah!  Ha!
She has the cutest bunch of friends!
 The girls tied fabric scraps onto flip flops for their craft and then we had a fashion show to model them. 
Some of the girls didn't know how to tie (??) so thankfully big brother Graham came to the rescue along with his friend that was over.  The fashion show quickly turned into a conga line around the kitchen island!
 The house got VERY loud.  
We then had the girls be fashion designers with le toilet pa-per.  You know, like you do at every single bridal shower you have ever gone to in your 20's. 
 They thought this was both disgusting and hilarious.  
We pinned the flag on the Eiffel Tower poster while getting ready serve cake and ice cream.  
 My sweet little Parisian girl.
 I usually let Lauren have one or two friends stay over to play after a party.  She gets to play with her new toys and games with friends and it feels like the party lasts a little longer for her while we clean up the aftermath!
I think this cutie had a great day!  So far being seven is great!