Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I'd like to thank the Academy . . .

Ok.  Don't fall off your chair.  I know this may be hard for some of you to believe.  It was a little hard for me to believe myself.  I got my first blog award!!  I KNOW! How exciting!  Karen Giron over at The Sweetest Thing nominated me for the Arte y Pico award!  So cool!  The rules for the award are these:
  1. Pick five blogs you think deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also contribute the the blogging community. 
  2. Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog so everyone can visit.  Remember to leave the person a comment or email so they know they received the award.
  3. Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and the link to the blog that gave them the award.  
  4. The award winner and the one who gave it to them must show the link to the Arte y Pico blog, so everyone will know the origin of the award.  
Here are the nominees . . .  
Carrie Rhoades - My BSFF (Best Stampin' Friend Forever) and convention co-hort. Not to mention, an awesome stamper!
Sherri Barron - Oh my WORD! The girl has made some amazing things lately! 
Jenn Diercks - Ditto on the breathtaking creations!
Denise Hinton - The girl cracks me UP! And I love her crafty stuff.
Joan Bardee - Because Dear Paperlicious is my mentor.  Oh, and because she OWNS SCS!!

K-dub posted an awesome color challenge yesterday.  If the stars all align and my husband can hold his own for a few minutes without risking life or limb while on massive doses of pain killers, I hope to play along. Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow with something along those lines.  Until then. . . .  

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Catching Up

I can't believe it's been so long since I've been able to get a new post up.  Thanks to all of my loyal blog followers (all 2 or 3 of you) who have checked in to make sure I'm still alive.  I am.  We've been super busy and in this post I'll share what we've been up to.  Not much craftiness, although there has been some of that.  I'll share that in another post.  

We had a super fun 4th of July.  We took the kids to the parade and the big fireworks for the first time.  It was hot, but we survived and the kids had a lot of fun.  Well, except for Jordan, who f-r-e-a-k-e-d out at the fireworks display.  I didn't think about it until afterward, but he had never even see the small display at home.  We've always put him to bed before we started because it's always so late.  Apparently 3 years old isn't quite big enough to stay up late and enjoy fireworks.  My camera battery gave out just before the fireworks, so I'll share a couple of pictures of the kids at the parade, but I have no spectacular firework pics.  Sorry to disappoint.  
I'm pretty sure this was the first 4th of July parade the kids had been to.  At the very least, it's the first one they remember.  They loved waving to everyone, and were beside themselves when they found out they got candy!!  Good times were had by all.  

On July 7th we left for our annual week-long trip to Redfish Lake.  The Stanely, Idaho area is by far one of my favorite places on the planet.  It just doesn't get any more beautiful.  Really.  If you come to Idaho, you owe it to yourself to at least drive through that area.  It's breathtaking.  Here are a few pics of our adventures there.  

This is Redfish Lake.  This was about a 10 yard walk away from our camp site.  The second picture is my father-in-law and my boys in the raft.  They loved "rafting" with grandpa.  The next picture is from Stanley Lake which is about a 15-20 minute drive from Redfish Lake.  
On July 3rd a big storm blew down off the mountains and across Redfish Lake and created a wind shear that exceeded 90 mph. by some estimations.  It devastated a big area around the lake and several campgrounds near us were still closed, and probably still are.  Three people were transported to the hospital in ambulances, and there were numerous other injuries.  I've never heard of anything like this happening up there.  It was certainly the talk of the "town" the whole time we were up there.  Here's a picture of some downed trees. 
It's really a miracle no one was killed.  The picture on the right was taken in the camp sight right next to the one we were in.  The big tree that fell glanced off the bumper of the car parked in that spot.  If it hadn't been diverted by the car, it would have landed on a tent full of people and likely killed them all.  Pretty scary.  The damage in the campground we stayed in was limited to a few downed trees here and there, but other campgrounds literally looked like a bomb went off.  There were thousands of trees down and no one knows if or when the campgrounds will be re-opened.  If you care to learn more, you can see some local news coverage on the event here.

Jordan talked for a week before we left about how he was going to catch a fish.  There's a fish hatchery just down the road from Redfish Lake, and they have a children's fishing pond, so we headed over there with the kids.  Last year Dawson and Mason caught lots of fish - maybe 10 each.  Mason insisted on eating some of them.  I'm pretty sure that in his then 5 year old mind, he was picturing fish sticks.  Boy was he disappointed when he tasted the fresh trout he'd caught.  Here are a few pics of the boys fishing this year.  

Because we were there right after the 4th this year, the pond was pretty well fished out.  I think they stock it every weekend, but by the end of the week we had other adventures on our to-do list and didn't make it back to the hatchery.  I did happen to catch them harvesting some trout from the fish runs while we were there.  They scooped them with a big net and loaded them into a tank on the back of a pickup.  They were taking them to one of the local rivers to help the anglers out.  It was fun to watch.  

We have a tent trailer, so we're just mostly roughing it when we camp.  We do have beds to sleep in and a potty and a stove and small refrigerator.  There are no hook-ups at Redfish, so we take a shower at the public shower house every few days.  It's convenient and 5 minutes of hot water is only $2. We did see lots of wildlife.  I'm pretty sure I saw an Osprey every day and we saw a couple of them dive down and scoop their dinner from the fish runs at the hatchery.  What a life for an osprey, huh?  They other guys (the ones who didn't build their next adjacent to the fish hatchery) just don't know what they're missing.  Here's a picture of a doe that walked through our camp the last day we were there, and one of the standard camp fare.  Actually, I cook a lot in the dutch ovens when we camp, so I definitely don't ever lose any weight while we're camping, if you know what I mean.  

Ok, are you tired of the "What I did on my Summer vacation" post yet?  I hope not, because there's more!  We were home from Redfish for 4 days and Mike and the big boys left again for their annual backpacking trip.  Mike and I used to go backpacking once or twice every summer before we had kids, and the boys have loved doing this with their dad once they're old enough to carry a pack and walk a mile or two.  A bunch of people Mike works with plan the trip every year and they all take their kids on what they've dubbed "The Kid Hike".  This is in contrast to the definitely-not-kid-friendly hike the guys will go on later in August.  Mike and the boys plan their food and clothes and pack it all up all week and then head off early Friday for a weekend of male bonding.  I may impinge on that a little bit when I go with them next year.  I'd leave it for the boys, but Jordan will probably be big enough to go next year and Mike will probably need help carrying enough stuff for three boys and himself.  Just call me pack mule.  Anyway, here are some pictures of the boys from the kid hike.  

How cute are those two little hikers??  It's hard to see in the second picture, but they're both there with Dawson in the lead.  So cute.  Here's some scenery from the trip.  

Redfish Lake is sort of north-east of Boise, but for the kid hike they head up toward McCall which is more north and less east. Not that you probably care, but just so you know that you should definitely visit Idaho and some of the scenic wilderness our state has to offer if you've never been.  Just don't stay forever, ok?  *wink*  

Well, that just about brings us up to current.  The boys got home from the kid hike on Sunday, so I've still been trying to get caught up on the laundry from both camping trips.  My laundry room smells like someone lit it on fire.  I'm hoping that with a few more loads of laundry I can get rid of the smell.  

On the "still to be experienced this summer" list we have my husband's hernia surgery which takes place tomorrow.  Apparently he has a bilateral inguinal hernia.  I won't bore you with those details.  I'm sure my honey will be glad for that.  Something I learned this week - when you have one hernia repaired, they throw the second one in for half price.  Nice, huh?  Then, a week from tomorrow, I leave for stamping mecca - the annual Stampin' Up! convention in Salt Lake.  Just to add an element of surprise, I'm driving down and staying at my aunt's house with my girlfriend Carrie, whose baby is due on August 12th.  I can't wait!  It's SU!'s 20th anniversary, so I can't imagine how much fun it's going to be. When I get back, we're taking the kids to the Oregon coast for a week.  We took Dawson to Hawaii with us when he was about 15 months old, but other than that, my kids have never seen the ocean.  We're staying in a house right on the beach in Newport, OR., and we have a day planned at the aquarium in Newport and another day at the Portland Zoo.  It should be fun and we're excited to take the kids to see the ocean.  

Ok, I'm hoping to be back before I leave for convention with some crafty posts and share my convention swaps with you.  Some of that will depend on how my husband is doing after his little "procedure" tomorrow.  Hopefully he'll be back on his feet soon.  Thanks for not giving up on me!  Tah, for now. 

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