Sunday, July 31, 2011


There was a free concert at the park in Grangeville one evening when we just happened to be visiting my mom. Nicole and Morgan talked me into letting them swim in the city pool while we sat and listened to the music. It was fun, but cooler than I would've liked. Will we ever get summer weather? I sure hope so. I can't face another winter just yet!

While the band took a break, Ellea talked me into playing on the playground equipment for a few minutes. Grandma even joined the fun!


Hangin' around.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Big Shoes to Fill

We were all delighted when most of the Kaufman clan came to fish at the pond and we got to visit with them. Ellea was especially delighted that they brought a Kaufman baby. Ben is one year old now and wearing 24 months. He's a big boy, but that doesn't stop her from holding him as much as possible! Luckily he's the sweetest baby ever and happily goes along with her baby-hogging ways!
He spotted his daddy's boots and tried to put them on. We helped him out a little and grabbed the camera (of course!). Turns out, this little guy is going to be a big brother next year. Yippee! Another baby to fight Ellea over!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Water Fun

As I mentioned yesterday, we went to the water park in Clarkston on Morgan's birthday last week. He was all for going when I mentioned it to him, but the day before he panicked that he was somehow missing out on a "real" party at home. We had a fabulous day and he still had cake that evening and a friend the next day. Never heard another complaint.The birthday boy with his buddy getting ready to hit the Lazy River.

It took much cajoling and a little bribery, but we got Ellea to go down her very first body slide. She went really slow the first time down, but it was fun enough to do it over and over after that!

Nicole and friend, Chaye, racing down the two slides. I'd say it was a tie! Maybe Nicole by a foot!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Birthday Times Three

My deepest apologies for missing yesterday's post. After 91 daily posts, I finally missed one! I'm sure you were devastated. I hope you were able to move on with your day despite my inconsiderate failings. Please forgive me. Know it may happen again soon!

Morgan turned 7 last week. Seven sounds very old for my youngest child. Not sure I'm very happy about that. He had plenty of celebrating. He blew out candles three times!! Actually, come to think of it, he blew out candles four times. When we were out to dinner the weekend before his birthday, the waitresses sang and brought him a piece of cheesecake with a candle.

The first present he opened was a few days before his birthday. A gift from his favorite godfather, Glenn's nephew, Phil. It was a combine made to scale. Phil was as excited about this toy as Morgan, I think!

The day before his birthday, we were visiting my mom in Grangeville. She made him a cake and showered him with gifts (of course!).

The day of his birthday we spent at the water park in Clarkston (a blog on that soon). That night, we had Hal and Nancy and my mom over for dinner and cake and presents.

You may notice that the cake is half eaten. We recycled from the night before.
This is cake number two. The day after his birthday, I let him have a friend over since we'd been at the water park the day before and he somehow felt ripped off that he didn't have a "party" at home. Dear sister, Ellea, wanted to help me make him a "special" cake, so we did an internet search and came up with this one. We were very happy with out it turned out. Morgan had no idea we made it for him because he was too busy entertaining his guest. It was fun to surprise him.

He told me later that with three birthday parties he must be seven times three which would make him 21. Thankfully, this didn't provoke him to request a beer!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sunset Art

The sunsets are so beautiful around here. Oftentimes, I'm too busy to notice them. I take them for granted.
Nicole and I were on our way home from a horse 4-H meeting a while back when we took these pictures. It's a good thing I have a blog, or I probably wouldn't have thought to stop for a picture at all.

These pictures don't quite do the beauty of this sunset justice, but they're close. God is such a good artist.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Christmas in July

Glenn's neice and newphew Wendi and Brian were camping near Grangeville with their Dad and step-mom a couple weeks ago. We wanted to go join them overnight, but it was the week before Nicole's horse show and things were too crazy to find enough time to camp. So we took the scenic drive up the Southfork of the Clearwater and sat around the campfire with them. We were all tempted to sleep in the pickup, but the voice of reason won out and we drove home instead.

Brian is Nicole's godfather and they had Christmas gifts for each other. We didn't manage to see Brian around Christmas, so they got to open their gifts in July! Brian is a smart man--he got Nicole a book on horses (Chicken Soup for the Horse Lovers Soul). Her two favorite loves, reading and horses. Is this my daughter, or what?!

The huge black object on the left would be Brian's dog, Kodi. He's a sweetheart, but he's your typical lab that acts like a juvenile until he's an old man!!! We took him for a walk while we were there. I take that back, he took us for a walk while we were there!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Spaghetti Tacos

Really? Are you sure?

I tried to talk her out of it, but Ellea was positive she wanted to try them. There's a kid's sitcom on TV right now called iCarly that talks about Spaghetti Tacos. It curled my lip to think of the combo, but Ellea persevered. "You always tell us to try new things." She had me there.

She loved them.

She insisted I take a bite. I relented. Still not a fan. Not as disgusting as I imagined, but not a fan.

The rule: we will not be eating these when I make spaghetti for a meal. If there are leftovers, they may be consumed in a taco shell at lunch the next day. I'll stick to my spaghetti plain, thanks anyway.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Birthday Growth

The day before his birthday, Morgan informed me that he was pretty certain he would grow overnight because it was his birthday eve. I chuckled and told him I didn't think so. Thinking I'd prove him wrong, I measured him before bed.

The strangest thing happened. . . .

I measured him again the day after his birthday (we were too busy on the day of his birthday--more on that to come). I can't figure it out. Somehow he measures a whole inch taller. I made sure I did it the same way each day. It's a mystery. I may never uncover the truth.

I can guarantee that Morgan will want to be measured again next year on his "birthday eve." Who knows. Maybe he's on to something.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Child Photographer

Morgan went with Nicole and I to the arena to ride Pony Joe a while back. During a break in the action, he asked if he could take a few pictures. Thank goodness for digital cameras. Back in the day of film, I would've said no way, but now--why not?! It was interesting to look at his work. . . .

I call this one, "Joe without ears."

"Look into my eyes. You're getting very sleepy."

"Self-portrait, with attitude."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cats and Kids

Oh, the life of a cat.

Who thinks he's a dog.

Ellea's cat, Vandal, isn't the most loving creature. He is your typical aloof cat who mostly wants to be left alone. He doesn't stand a chance with three kids in the house.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Silverwood, No More

This is it. The final post for Silverwood.

Until next year.
It'll be difficult for you to wait that long, but wait you must.

Nicole and I spied this Ferris Wheel-like ride called The Paratrooper and wanted to give it a try. The ferris wheel often makes my stomach lurch, but not in a terrible I'm-going-to-lose-my-lunch sorta way, so I'm okay with it. Not sure why Ellea joined us on this ride, because the Ferris Wheel terrified her last year. Almost more than the roller coaster did!

So, we're the first people loaded on the ride and just like with a Ferris Wheel, it takes forever to load everyone. It probably also takes forever to unload everyone, but I wouldn't know about that, because about 5 minutes into the loading process, the girls started begging me to ask the guy to let us off. First Ellea and soon joined by Nicole. I was rather enjoying the ride at the albeit slow pace of loading. It didn't lurch and rock like a Ferris Wheel. I tried to ignore them, but they continued to beg for reprieve. I was willing to stay on without them, but the attendant had replacements all lined up, so I got off. It might be my favorite ride ever. I may never know. Maybe next year.

Then there's the Thunder Canyon rafting ride. The ride tells you that you might get wet. I'd like to see anyone come off that ride even sorta dry! We debated not going on it because by this point the day was cloudy and cooler. We were glad we did go on it, because it's one of our favorites. One bonus of a cooler day with a wet ride is there's no line. Once we were soaked through, we decided to go three times!

And, last but not least, is the yearly tradition of having ice cream before we leave the park. This must be the best deal in the whole park. A "single scoop" of ice cream is about eight scoops and costs $4. Baskin Robbins could learn a thing or two from these people!!

And these are the dear people who joined us in our Silverwood adventures. You might notice they look a little wet. When we finished our ice cream and left the park, we were especially delighted to change into our warm, dry clothes. Nothin' feels better than a nice pair of sweats after you peel off wet, cold denim capris.

Then it was off to Moscow to stay the night at my brother's house. We were exhausted, but we (Glenn gets all the credit) made it. Next morning, sister-in-law, Paige fed us and sent us on our merry way.

And that's all I have to say about Silverwood.

Until next year.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Silverwood, Part Four

I know you're loving more and more and more pictures of our time at Silverwood. Imagine, if we ever made it to somewhere more interesting and photo-worthy like Disneyland. I'd have a whole year worth of posts!! Hang in there, dear readers. Just one more post after today. I promise.The girls had never gone on this ride before. It tilted around as it moved in a circle. I figured if the Tilt-a-Whirl was almost too much for me, this one would surely push me over the edge, so I passed. I was thrilled with this picture. They look like they're really enjoying themselves, don't'cha think?! (They're in car 14.)Then there's this silly thing. It was only about a 30 second ride, and there was no line (because it's meant for little ones, I think!) so we went on it multiple times. Poor attendant guy. He was probably getting pretty tired of us 30-somethings and our kids! Not sure why I kept going on this ride. It really made my stomach do flips (I know--sad, isn't it?!). When I was a kid, I loved swinging on a swing set as high as I could go. Can't do that any more--my stomach objects! Well, this is like a huge swing set with a motor. My back is to the camera (you know--the one with the crazy-curly hair!), you can see that I'm smiling and cringing all at the same time!!
Morgan "driving." Scary, but true.

We always enjoy the magic show. Nick Norton has been the magician every year for the past few years. We always leave there scratching our heads and wondering, "how did he do that?!" He makes his assistant disappear and reappear, makes a table float and wanders all over the audience with it. All kinds of cool tricks.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Silverwood, Part Three

And the fun continues. . . .

We all enjoy the log ride--well, Glenn and I enjoy the log ride and some of the kids do too. They all went on it. Once. That was enough for some of us!

The kids always get a kick out of the train ride. It meanders through the trees in the 500 acres around the park. It stops about halfway around the park for a little "train robbery." They collect money for a local charity.

I don't know why I joined the girls on the Tilt-a-Whirl. I'm trying to keep it from spinning, and they're trying to help it along!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Silverwood, Part Two

After a couple hours of water adventures in the water park portion of Silverwood, we were on to some theme park action. Glenn is always a good sport about being the one to schlep our wet towels, etc back out to the parking lot. While he was doing that, we browsed in a gift shop and rode the Carousel. Somehow we missed riding the carousel last year. It was very sad.

Not this year. The kids and I thoroughly enjoyed our horsie ride.

No one got bucked off, or anything!

We spied "Odie" from the Garfield comics wandering around while we were riding our horses. I asked the kids if they wanted me take their picture with him, fully expecting the girls to say NO WAY! But they were all for it!! I even pointed out that this picture would make it on my blog. They pondered that for a moment, but surprisingly, they were still all for it!

He has a pretty overwhelming tongue, that Odie, but everyone came away dry and unharmed.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Silverwood, Part One

Our local theme park, Silverwood, in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, has this fabulous reading program where the kids keep track of 10 hours of reading outside of normal schoolwork. Each child is rewarded with a free ticket to Silverwood for their efforts. Of course, the parents end up forking out $70 for their tickets, so it all comes out in the wash, I'm sure!

It was time for our yearly Silverwood event last weekend. We normally make the trip in June, but with the weather so delightfully soggy, we opted to hold out for warmer days. Wouldn't ya know it? It rained in the afternoon. It never got particularly cold and only rained for a short time, so we survived.

Here we are making our way to the front gate. The kids were apparently in the mood to get along. I couldn't resist a picture of the three of them holding hands. The days are numbered for their willingness to do this in public!!

The girls made a bee-line for the Lazy River along with Halle, one of the girls in the family we met up with from Cottonwood. We always start out at the water park portion of Silverwood, but after a couple of hours, our kids are ready to move on to the rides. Funny thing is, our kids have always been very intolerant of water being splashed in their faces. Did I try too hard to keep water out of their eyes when I bathed them? Is it somehow my fault that they have this deep-seated fear of water above their necks? I'll never know. I do know that like me, they're not daredevils, but even I enjoy the inner tube slides. To her credit, Nicole will go on those with me, but the other two? Nothin' doing!

Glenn even rode on the inner tube slides for the first time. I had no idea he'd never ridden one before. Otherwise, I'd likely have a picture! Hard to pack a camera around a water park though. That pesky water and all

Friday, July 15, 2011

Food, Fun, Friends and Fireworks

Some friends hosted a fun party in their backyard last weekend. We had yummy food, lots of great people to visit with and all in a beautiful setting. At the end of the evening we were treated to a fabulous fireworks display. I'm told, they went to a local fireworks stand after July 4th and bought out the rest of the inventory. It was a great display. I was feeling guilty that we got lazy and skipped taking our kids to see the fireworks on July 4th, but now I don't feel so bad!!

I played with my little point-and-shoot camera to get a slower shutter-speed to take these pics. It was fun. At one point, Ellea asks me, "Are you going to take a picture of every firework?!" Why, yes! Yes I am!Glenn participated in the lighting of the fireworks. He's a bit of a firebug, so I think he enjoyed himself although he did say the show wasn't as good right underneath them. At one point Ellea pointed out they had a small fire nearby, but they didn't seem concerned. The grass was very green so it was all good.We did get a little chilly. One forgets that just because it's 70+ degrees when you leave home, doesn't mean it will be warm when the sun goes down. We must remember we do live in Idaho and it will get colder than you think. I reminded everyone to bring a jacket, but they were grateful when the host broke out a few blankets to snuggle in by the fire. These smart girls figured out how to keep each others toes warm, too!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

All Grown Up

Nicole is only 12. I know that means I have at least six more years of her under my roof, but it still feels like she's growing up too quickly.

I can't get over how mature she looks in this picture. I love the picture, but hate the sentiment that she's growing up. The trail judge at the 4-H horse show assumed she was in the "Senior" division. That would mean she'd be about 15 years old. C'mon, she didn't even have make-up on!

So, anyway. . . . despite my resistance to Nicole growing up, I was immensely proud of her successes at her third horse 4-H show. She received a blue in Fitting and Showing (halter class) and a blue in Western Equitation (riding). She gamely attempted the Trail Class and her horse displayed his keen knucklehead skills by not cooperating at all. She was planning to show in Bareback Equitation also, but her horse bucked for the first time when she was practicing bareback last week, so she scratched that class. She's done very well with this horse despite him being uncooperative about some things. We've actually decided that we're on the lookout for a replacement. I want her to have a horse that she can really trust and excel with.

So if you or anyone you know have a great trail/arena horse for a 12-going-on-16-year-old, let me know!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

To Have a Sister

It warms my heart when my girls get along. It happens most days. It's no fun for anyone when they aren't getting along. I looked out the door of our camper on our campout last month and saw the girls looking like two peas-in-a-pod.I don't know which one started it, but they were laying on their backs looking at the clouds pointing out what they saw. They thought about running away when they heard the camera (I was trying to be sneaky--I need a quieter camera!), but they decided to continue their fun and allow my to fulfill my annoying need to take pictures of everything!

I hope they're still close after they grow up. I would like that.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Let the Camping Begin

We finally made it out on our first camping trip of the season at the end of June. We went with our buddies, Heath and Tara and their four children. We had a fabulous time. The hubbies went home to work for a while on Saturday (we were camped on the Salmon river which is only 30 minutes from home), so they were happy. The wives sat around in the sun/shade talking nonstop and doing nothing, so they were happy too! Funny how our needs are fulfilled in such different ways.

We had hoped for some sandy beaches to play on, but the highwater thwarted that plan. The kids claimed boredom halfway through the day, so we went for a walk. Of course, we couldn't pass on a photo opportunity.

The kids suggested we take a shortcut back to camp and we were all for it until we saw the daunting hillside we would have to scale to reach camp. Tara and I wisely waited until all 7 children were at the top of the hill before we looked at each other and said, let's go the "long" way!

The kids had spilled some water on the concrete next to the camp spigot and the butterflies took advantage of getting a drink. It was probably in the 90s that day. I loved the tiny blue butterfly you can see near the center of the picture.

So, there you have it. The first of many camp trips this year. Hopefully--but the summer is slipping away. Stay tuned.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Tired Daddies

A while back, Glenn, being the "fun parent," played soccer against Morgan and Ellea in the front yard.

Ellea said, "Our team is the Purple Octupus, what's your team name, Dad?"

Glenn had been playing for a few minutes at this time. He didn't miss a beat when he replied, "My team is The Tired Daddies."

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Orthodontia and More. . . .

Nicole's orthodontist in Lewiston hosts a Pool Party every year at the local water park. Admission is covered and they provide hot dogs and bottled water. It's all very fun and wonderful and free. Or not. We do pay plenty for the orthodontia afterall! (You may notice the absence of braces here, but Nicole is in head gear right now and will have braces in the fall. She's very excited about that!!
It was a lovely 98 degrees when it started at 6pm. Perfect weather for playing in the water. We were all excited about it. Well, the kids and I were excited. Glenn would've probably rather been at home relaxing, but he was a good sport nonetheless!
Nicole has discovered the fun of water slides. Just last year she was a tad bit chicken about such things, but she found her bravery and went down multiple times. We're headed to Silverwood soon. Maybe she'll accompany me on some of their slides in the waterpark. I'll keep you posted.

We spent a fair amount of time in the Lazy River that moves you on a circular course with a current. We also spent some time in the wave pool. Overall, a great experience. We plan to be present at next year's pool party. We're all about "free" stuff.