Saturday, August 30, 2008

Crystal Cave in Wisconsin

In case you did not know, summer break is coming to an end. This is our last weekend. We thought it would be fun to go on one last fun outing. We loaded up the kiddos, met up with the Burgoynes and hit the road. We headed east to Wisconsin and hit the Crystal Cave.
We took a cool tour and learned a lot about caves. The cave entrance is a huge hole in the ground. It was actually discover by two boys that were just walking in a field in the 1800s. They saw a hole and investigated it. Wouldn't that be amazing?To enter, you walk down stairs and ramps.
Did you know that these things grow one inch every 100 years.?
Here are my kiddos. Can't you tell they are enjoying themselves? The temp of the cave is around 50 degrees year round...thus the sweatshirts.
Here's all the kiddos that got to go on the tour. Fun times
Although the cave it really near the cabin, this was Erik's first time at the cave. (only my second)
After the tour, we got to go panning for gems. The gift shop has packs of dirt with gems mixed in. We then got to go out and strain the dirt and see what you find.
Emily found some really pretty stones in her bag of dirt.
There is a small ice cream shop called Nelsons in Stillwater. (We passed it on our way home) Their cones are huge. These are seriously child size cones. Andrew ate most of this..because of a melting factor, we had to take some off the top for him. After eating all this ice cream we went home and went into an ice-cream coma.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Team Member

Did you know that there is a Target basically on every corner here in Minnesota? Sort-of like the number of Stake Centers in Utah. I grew up going to Target. Julie Pollmann and I would get on our bikes and go to the 99 cent candy aisle and stock up. (always had a sweet tooth)
These days it seems that I am still going to Target every day. I go in for milk and come out $100 poorer, but happier because I got to get that one movie or a cute something or other. Yes sometimes I even remember to get the milk too. A new Super Target opened last March really close to our home. (compared to the one just close to our home) It has been calling to me on a regular basis. Last month, I sat at their computer and filled out an application. After 2 interviews, I got a job as a cashier. Because of the many family reunions, I was not able to start until last night (or at least go to orientation). My friend Lori also felt that similar pull and she went too. I start training tomorrow. I hope that cash register isn't smarter than me. All I can say is at least now, with the discount I will only be $90 poorer each time I go and still happy. Also I look stunning in the khaki and red.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

This commercial cracks me up. Hilarious! Tomorrow morning the new class lists are posted and we are all very excited to find out who is in our classes. We have most of our school supplies bought..sadly not from Staples, but from good old Target. The only thing we cannot find is the fine-point flair pen (this pen eludes me every year, I don't think it really exists)...and some non-perforated notebooks. I was just telling Ben today that I am actually kind-of sad to have summer come to an end. I am not looking forward to having to be out of the house by 8 am. Don't get me wrong, I will be doing the happy dance at 8:15 am on Tuesday Sept. 2.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The sleep over

On Wednesday we decided that we needed to have Emily's birthday party ASAP. (yes this is 2 parties 2 days in a row..we kept the decorations up) We wanted to have it before we all start thinking about school schedules and getting to bed early. Em and I made invitations. Actually, we bought everyone a pair of slippers and stuck an invitation in them. We delivered them. Guess what? Everyone could come. (last year we invited 15 girls and only 5 could come) We have 7 girls here trying to sleep. One girl left and is coming back in the morning.
These guys tried to drop their daughter off..we would not let them leave. Seriously THANK YOU for staying guys! These guys came up with the idea of setting the clocks ahead one hour, so the girls think they are up later. The girls are so happy that they are up so late..hehehe. While I am starting to hand out the Thank Yous..another big one goes to Grandma and Grandpa. They took the boys to the cabin for an overnight. All these girls would have killed the boys and we have been able to focus on the girls.
Can you tell that Erik is excited about the tie-dye activity?
This is what I see now...girls excited...girls not tired...but they are trying to settle down. (we are on our 2nd movie..Ice Princess. We just finished Aquamarine) It is 1 am/2am depending on what clock you check. See above explanation. I am now downstairs on Erik's computer trying to keep them quiet. So far this has been a really fun party. Yes, I would do this again. We have BBQed, played Apples to Apples Jr., colored, tie-died, had a"Midnight Hike" with glow necklaces (singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and yelling "lions and tigers and bears, Oh my" at the top of our lungs), dance party with strobe light, dress up and now movies. Alice the pet corn snake even got to come out and play for a while with the girls. Tomorrow...waffles, toe nails, shirts again, High School Musical sing on wii, and if we need it the park. 10am pick up time

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Andrew's's still June right?

I don't know what happened to this summer. One second we are counting down the days until summer break starts and the next it is almost time for school to start again. Guess who had a birthday somewhere in there. "The kid." We just had his party today. For one split second he thought he was already turning 6 (because he has been five for awhile now)...but no he is 5. A funny, quirky, talkative, tough five year old. This kid seriously makes people laugh and we all love him. We are lucky enough to have family close by who we can call and in a second are over for festivities. We are also lucky to have friends that count as family close by that we can call and in a second they are over for festivities.

We broke the kids into a boys team and a girls team and played "Olympic games."
The teams each made up a name and decorated a t-shirt.
The boys are modeling their super tough team shirts
Here is one of the events. Towel beach ball volleyball. It worked-sort-of. We also threw water balloon shot put, passed eggs with spoons (no they were not hard boiled) and ran around cones with webkinz on our heads. You know, the typical stuff you see from the Olympics.
Andrew LIVES for Cheetos. Thanks to Adriana and Alexis his tummy is going to be happy for a long time...and his fingers with be orange for even longer. Andrew loved opening the presents...and this one was much anticipated :)
Even baby Fiona made an appearance...yeah for cousins! I think everyone had a good time..and that Andrew was happy. That is what was important. Also, I am done with that party for another year. Hooray.

Someone else had a birthday this summer too. No Erik, I am not talking about you..Her fun party is tomorrow night. Eight girls over for a tie-dye sleep

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Camping Apple Valley Style

. We really like our back yard. We also like the idea of camping, so combine the two and you get Camping Apple Valley style. Camping is fun to do...esp. when you can unzip the zipper to your tent and then open the back door to your house and grab whatever it is you need. It is so fun to watch the kiddos get so excited about the tent, the sleeping bags and being outside. Last weekend, Erik set up the tent. This year went smoothly. We had a campfire and s'mores. To settle down the kids down, I read the book Elmer and the Dragon (that series is such a cute chapter book series). Last time, Ry had to go in early because a bug was staring at him. We are so outdoorsy, aren't we? (to ensure no staring bugs we sprayed the tent this year) We all lasted all night outside this time. In fact, the next thing I knew was Emily waking me up. tap tap "Mom, it is 10 am. Are you going to wake up?" Can you believe I slept OUTSIDE until 10am? I will add that I was not on the air mattress either. Thank goodness for 11am church.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Back home

WARNING: I am posting this while in a funk..I will snap out of it. Just humor me : ) This is a sign of life..I didn't die at the dentist. We actually have been home for awhile now. I just miss vacation though. I miss having no responsibility except the care of my kids, I miss having the family constantly around us. I miss the squishy sand feeling. I miss reading at the beach, walking on the beach and generally the whole Oregon coast. (That's a lot to miss) We did get unpacked in record time. Usually the bags sit a while, but not this time. Today, Emily saw the answering machine and was happy we were down to 1 message. We are back, but I want to go back on vacation.
PS..when does school start?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Beach fun

We are back to Glenda's house. I think some of you might not be surprised to know that we took about 600 pictures on my camera of our time on the beach. That number does not include the ones taken on other cameras. (Does that beat our record from last time Cynth?) Anyway..I am not going to post all the pictures. I do have to share a bunch of them though. We do not travel much, so that means this could be it for the year. Lauren was my partner in crime. If I wasn't taking pictures then she was taking them. Our Washington/Oregon family is so much fun to be around. It has been a treat to spend time with them at Manzanita. The pictures explain themselves. Obviously, the beach was the main activity and probably the most fun. So here we are...

Our movie

A long time ago, Lauren and I decided it would be fun to go to a movie together every visit. We started with Uptown Girls. We have also seen such gems as Cinderella Story, Pursuit of Happiness, Failure to Launch, and yes Bewitched. We hit this year's movie today. Joanne, Lauren and I drove up to Seaside and saw The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. Honestly, I cannot compare the movie to the books because I have not read them. I completely enjoyed this movie. It could have been the company, but I have to say the movie was pretty good too. Yes, I cried during it. I am such a geek.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Beach

After a super slow morning we hit the beach. Erik and I have decided that taking older kids to the beach is so great. We can plant ourselves in a spot and the kids totally entertain themselves with dune jumping, hide-and-go-seek tag, sand play and wave jumping. There were tons of pictures taken today..but here is one of the six cousins. Fear not, I am sure that more will find their way onto this blog. We love spending time with these guys. Also a great shout out to Vaughn...he took both Joe and Andrew to the beach for hours on his own. They came back so happy and I got to make tons of progress on my book.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Tide Pools and Seaside

I know it is a cheesy mom moment..but three star fish for three kiddos..I guess the sea anmenity is Erik.

We bought a tide book yesterday and realized that today was the best day for the tide pools. This is one of my favorite little trips we take while at the coast. Lauren, Sam, Vaughn (Lauren's boyfriend) and our household went to see what we could find. We definately were not disappointed. Star fish, sea anmenities (however you spell it),hermit crabs and other sea life were everywhere. It was fun to climb around on the rocks and explore caves. Ryan decided he wanted to be an explorer when he grows up...sort of a real-life Indiana Jones. Andrew got cold..but enjoyed riding on Erik's shoulders.

Emily is never far from Lauren's side. I hope Vaughn doesn't mind sharing her.

Here are Sam, Lauren and Vaughn. Seriously, these guys are so fun to hang out with..they are starting to understand what it means to go somewhere with a person with a camera stuck in her hand at ALL times.

I am adding this picture because I think it is such a great group of people..and everytime I leave the tide pools I end up with cute pictures of people leaving the tide pools.

We hit Seaside today too. Seaside is another town up the 101. It is bigger town, and a great place to hang out for an afternoon. Emily got to get her ears pierced today.She thought it would be fun to have Lauren there to support her..she didn't know that the whole tide pool group would go and support her too. It was fabulous. She did great. No tears.

She looks so pretty with her new ear-rings. She choose a small blue stone..the March birthstone. I cannot remember which one that is right now. We also got ice-cream and stopped by the local arcade for some ski-ball.

The day is young I am off to read my book on the beach. I have to figure out what is going to happen to poor Belle, Edward and Jacob...if you are not reading Breaking Dawn ignore that last comment and if you know don't tell me.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

One of my favorite places

Everyone should have a favorite place to be...I am lucky and have a few. Manzanita Oregon is top on my list. It is amazing here. Erik has been coming here with his family ever since he was tiny. Now we get to share the paradise with our kiddos. I love passing on traditions! This town is a cute get away, and only now is starting to be discovered by other people. The streets of the town has cute little shops. One of which is a bookstore. (Fear not, I got the fourth book of the Twlight series this morning.) This year we are staying a block and a half away from the beach. We got here and decided our house was wonderful. Perfect for our needs.

We took pictures quick before the kids had any effect on the looks of the place. After getting sort-of settled, we ran to the beach. You would be proud of me. I almost went and just enjoyed the evening. Skipping the camera, but it was so amazing that I had to run back to the house and snap some shots. These are the first of many to be taken.
Here are the kiddos in the sand dunes. They already found some good ones to jump. Emily is starting to jump the waves.
This is what Erik looks like standing on the beach.
I love the colors of the beach. The beach grasses, the sand and the water.

Emily and Ryan ended up getting soaked by the waves. Because it was evening, I didn't have them wear swim suits. I now know when the ocean is near always be ready to be soaked.