Saturday, June 28, 2008

Smorgasboard

I am signed up for google ads on my blog. How it works is ads are places on my blog that related to the words in my posts. For example when I was pregnant, I always had pregnancy related posts, and pregnancy related ads. Today I just happened to notice the ad, and this is what it said:


Camille
Huge selection, great deals on Camille items.
Yahoo.com



I'm imagining little bobble head dolls with my head on them, and keychains, plates with my face and blog address printed on... That would just be great! I think I'll make some of these items and use them for blog giveaways. Sweet.





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Today Andy and I were cleaning the garage and we found this old girls bike basket. Andy was messing with the kids by trying to attach it to his motorcycle. Then we decided it would be so awsome if we could get it on our neighbors motocycle...





...He's a motorcylce police officer.

So we peek over and their garage is open and no one is outside.

Perfect.

So we snuck over and put it on, and then snuck back home and got the camera.. then snuck back over and took pictures.






Here's now cool my neighboor is... He comes out and sees the basket and gets a bunch of snacks and puts them in! Then he calls us and tells the kids thank you, he's been looking for something to carry snacks and candy in. (I think he thought the kids put it on his bike, not Andy and I.) Hehe..

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Aaron has a new key phrase that we're all using now. It's this:

"Snap it out" with an emphasis on the 'p'.


Nobody knows what it means, but it's fun to say.




Snap it out...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

My Crazy Cat

I know I've already posted a novel today, but I have to add this.

This is what happens when the cat is outside and I turn on the sprinklers and she wants to come in, but doesn't want to walk through the water to get to the door.

video

Crappy family pictures by The Picture People NE Mall.

While we were in Texas we had family picture taken. They really did a pretty bad job. The contrast is just a mess and some of the poses...


Everything pretty much speaks for it's self, but I just want to make it clear that Spencer, who is Jason's 13 yr old son, is NOT Dave and Jason's love child, nor is he the reason we were all gathered together. Also, I did not crop the pictures at all... This is how the 'professionals' cropped the pictures.


Don't ask me what the photographer was thinking...



Look out Texas, Here we come!

I know, I'm late posting. I decided to post all my pictures for the whole trip today, so there is a lot to look at.

Starting off with our flights down. Aaron was so cute. We had a really fun time traveling together. He behaved himself so well on the plane in during our long 4 hour layover in SLC. He had this little bee movie toy and a toy airplane that he carried with him everywhere. Our flights were uneventful and pretty smooth.

We arrived in Dallas at about 10:00 pm. Andy's mom Anne, and his sister Jenn picked up up at the airport. when I saw them waiting for us outside the security area I said to Aaron, "whose that?" and pointed. He says, "I don't know??" There was a gal that over heard us and just started laughing. It had only been about 6 months since we had last seen Andy's parents, but to Aaron's credit, Anne had lost about 40 lbs in those 6 months. Way to go Anne!



Andy, Noah, and Jennica were flying a different airline so they didn't get in, and make it back to the house till about 1 am.

We stayed with Andy's sister Bonnie and her family. The kids had so much fun and it was way better than being at a hotel.

The Fort Worth Zoo

At the Zoo I did not take any pictures of animals because who wants to look at animals panting in the shade.

It was really hot the first day we were there and the humidity was just thick and heavy. I don't know what we were thinking heading off to the zoo before our bodies had a chance to acclimate.


Lunch time! A shaded pavilion with ceiling fans. Fantastic.


Three is actually a komodo dragon under all those kids. Who knew they could be so docile.



Sierra and Preston making out with the large lizard. Yummy.


The zoo, for some reason, has a "wild west" town area. Not sure what it's there for except to maybe get more gift shops, restaurants and ice cream parlors into the zoo.


Aaron is the same size as the swanson's hawk... or was it the peregrine falcon?


Afterwards we went for ice cream, then home to shower for the retirement dinner.

Congratulations Rick!

On Tuesday, July 11th, My Father in Law Rick had his IBM retirement dinner at Reata Restaurant in Fort Worth.

It's this really high class restaurant that serves western/ Texas style "wagon train" food. I had buffalo, and it was FAN-TASTIC. They also make this chocolate bread pudding in a tamale served with carmel ice cream. Doesn't sound all that great, but it was really amazing. We also had this appetizer called "Calf Fries". The waiter described it as this, "there's the sirloin, and the tenderloin... well, this is the LOIN, loin... if you catch my drift."

The two lovely ladies in the center are Rick's boss and supervisor.




Fort Worth Water Gardens and Billy Bob's

Fort Worth has this really amazing park with 5 or 6 different architectural water features. The last time we were in Texas, in 2005, several tourists had just died here, and it had been closed until just a few weeks before we arrived this trip. People are not suppose to actually get into the water, but they had to make a lot of changes so that when people did get in, they would not drowned.

Noah was at cub scout day camp with his cousin, so you won't see him in any pictures.





The water use to run all the way round this bowl shaped water fall. It was really cool to walk down into the center had the water rushing all around you. Now it only comes down on one side.





This next area is down below street level. Water runs down all the walls in a courtyard full of trees and a large shallow pool. It's my favorite spot.



After we left the water gardens we grabbed some lunch and then headed over to Billy Bob's Texas. Billy Bob's is the worlds largest honky tonk bar in the world. It use to actually be livestock stockyards. Then during WWII they manufactured airplane stuff there. Later it was turned into a department store, and then it became Billy Bobs. The interior of the building is about 3 acres, and has a capacity of 6,028 people at any one time.

We went at about 2:00 in the afternoon so it was really empty and a pretty safe environment for the kids. The bars were open, but we didn't see anyone ordering or drinking. We'll probably wait until the kids are grown up to tell them we took them to a bar.


Firs we went to the indoor bull riding arena. There were no bulls but the kids really liked seeing it anyway.


Then we headed down to the dance floor. The kids had a blast on the cool air conditioned dance floor after being out in the heat for so long.



Notice the famous sequined saddle disco light. Every inch of this real saddle is covered with tiny mirrors and it rotates above the dance floor like a disco ball.

Gotta love Billy Bob's.

Camping at 7R Ranch, Texas

Andy's parents and Andy's brother, Dave, purchased adjoining land out at 7R Ranch. It's about an hour and a half out of Fort Worth. It's a great Ranch, the views are beautiful, and the developers are working hard to create a really nice community. They have a private, stocked, lake, pools, community centers, with full kitchens, lookout towers with air conditioning, There were just finishing construction on the rec center which includes a weight room, basketball court, lap pool, and large theater room, to name a few...

Anyway, The only building on the family property is a garage my in laws build to store all their things while they are in Russia. It also holds all the ATV's and such. IT has a sink with running water and a small AC unit, but no bathroom. There were bathrooms and showers at the community centers, however it was about a 7 minute drive to the closest one...


Here's Aaron sitting on the riding mower in the garage. Not that there is any grass up there yet.

Our family was staying with Andy's parents in the pop up tent trailer. It was pretty comfortable, except the air conditioning wasn't working the first two nights.

Here's Noah and his cousin Justin on a ride in the go cart. They had fun with it but the chain kept coming loose, and finally it just wouldn't tighten up anymore so we had to stop riding it.

Aaron and his cousin John sitting on the ATV. The threads on one of the wheel bolts ended up getting stripped, but we were still able to ride it, then one of the other bolts came loose on the same wheel and the threads ended up stripping on that bolt too. After that it really couldn't be ridden anymore.



I didn't get a picture of the all terrain golf cart.. It ended up breaking too. It ran out of battery juice on the way back from the pool so they towed it back to camp... They didn't notice till they got back, the switch inside the motor compartment that warns not to tow until it's switched to the tow position. We're not sure what needs to be fixed on it, but it won't run.

Also, Dave's wife Rachel was driving a group to the bathrooms one morning and noticed coming back that her tire was low. It ran flat before they got back to camp. She had accidentally driven right along the culvert (drainage pipe that runs under the driveway) and sliced the tire open.

The last night there Andy and I had an opportunity to talk about Vincent. It was nice to share our experience with his family. We did it in the evening after the kids had been put to bed. It was quiet and peaceful. Even if Rachel did complain about having a hard time staying awake while we were talking...

Despite all the toys getting broken we still had a great time, just being together with family, swimming and playing games. I think we all agreed that we would not be having another family reunion up there again until the cabins are built. It was pretty hot, and um.. local bathrooms would have been nice.

The next moring we drove back to Fort Worth, and Aaron and I got ready for our flight home. It was uneventful till we got to Las Vegas where they started boarding our flight early.. then we had to sit on the plane waiting and waiting for connecting flights to arrive and the passengers to get to our plane. After about 45 minuted of sitting on the plane, on the tarmac, in 120 degree heat, they deboarded us because the wings on the plane had overheated and they needed to find us a new airplane... Long story short, we were suppose to arrive back in Boise at 10:00 pm, but instead didn't arrive till 11:57 pm. Poor Aaron was just worn out!

Horseback Riding at 7R Ranch


Out at 7R they have horses available for the residents to ride. They were great horses. I felt bad for them because it was just so dang hot.

There were three horses, and about 18 riders... Here's Noah baking in the heat, and waiting for his turn.

The ranch's insurance required that all riders be at least 8 years old. That excluded Jennica and Aaron from ridding. Jennica opted to stay back at camp and make windsocks out of toilet paper rolls with Aunt Symony and the other younger kids.

Aaron wanted to come see the horses. As we were walking through the barn, there was a saddle someone had left on the ground. Aaron was so excited, and he just ran over and climbed on.


Noah was pretty brave when his turn to ride came along. The horses were so docile and good, but they were hot and tired. They didn't respond well to the kids reining them, because for the most part, the kids didn't know how to properly rein, and so the horses just got fed up and stopped 'listening'. With most of the younger kids if someone didn't lead the horses they would just go straight to the fence and stand there wanting to go back to the barn.


Noah was riding Tomahawk. He was such a good horse that you didn't need a lead rope you just had to walk in front of him and he'd follow you around like a puppy.



Here's me leading Tomahawk with Noah ridding and Uncle Marty leading Bob, the horse, with his daughter Emma riding.

Then is was my turn. I got to ride Tomahawk too. I would have liked to have taken him out of the corral and run him through the trees and shade, but alas, since it was my first ride at 7R there was no leaving the corral.


Clearly my whole diet plan hasn't been working all that well, and the poor horse is suffering for it.

Andy's mom, Anne, went for a ride on Tomahawk too.


Then Andy had a go.



Andy looks pretty good, but that poor horse looks so worn out. He's just glistening with sweat.



I hope they got sugar cubes when we were done with them.

How Does Your Garden Grow?

When I got back from Texas I was so anxious to see my garden, and how much it had grown. I couldn't believe how great it looked!


Yeah okay, so this is not MY garden. Would it have been great if it was? I wouldn't have even minded if it came without the migrant workers. I would have taken it anyway.

Sadly, this is what I cam home to instead.

Little plants and weeds.

Here's my corn. Most of the plants are still small and hard to see. The weeds don't help much. There are actually 4 rows, but I only photographed two. I love fresh corn. I really hope these are good producers. Last time I tried planting corn some kind of fungus got to it and destroyed all the ears before they had a chance to ripen.


Here's my covered rows I mentioned a few posts back. The weeds are pushing up the fabric.
I suppose it's mostly my fault. Last year I did not plant a garden and we didn't have the money to convert this area to a brick patio and planted berm like we had originally planned, so I just let the weeds grow. And grow. And grow. Till they were about 6 feet tall and thick, thick, thick. It took 5 large barrel sized trash bags to get ride of all the weeds once I finally got around to weeding. The weeds had all gone to seed last summer so when I tilled the garden this year, I'm sure I just mixed all those seeds right into the ground, and they just smiled up and me and said, Why, thank you".
Here is the after shot. It took about 4 hours to weed, and filled an entire trash can. The can was so heavy it took everything I had to drag it off of the lawn. It's still siting right there in the middle of the garden.



At least my plants look bigger.


Each of my plants needs it's own little angel to lean over it, and whisper, "grow".