Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Grace Face

Since I have Grandpa Bill's camera, I thought I'd try and take some pictures of Grace for the portrait wall...except while we were at Crater Lake her excema started acting up - no joke, this girl has a 7 step skin care regimen and we thought that maybe we could cut than in half for a few days. Apparently not!

So, here she is in all of her rashy faced glory.

Camp Hot Tub :: Day 5

Hayden :: Our day was really good, know why? We played lots of Wario on the Wii and we unlocked a new level and we only have one mroe level to beat the game. If you buy it for us, we can do the courses over and over again. That's the fun part. There is a sky course with jet packs. I love that course. Basically, that's all we did. We played Ultimate Pinball and then we went to Grandma Evie's. We wanted to bring home this bear and giant dog, but Pop Pop wouldn't let us. Pop Pop had bad behavior. We came home and Pop Pop went straight to his room and didn't have any dinner. Then we apologized to him for not putting the stuffed animals back when he said and then he had dinner. He said I was a big boy, even bigger than Bayley.

Bayley :: Gram-Mo got really into the slot machines on Pokemon Diamond on my DS. We got these giant milkshakes with Grandma Evie. They were huge! I got chocolate. Then we went to Grandma Evie's house. There were these big stuffed animals. We might get them in the mail, because they are like huge. They really could fit in the car, but Pop Pop didn't think so. For a while he was mad at us, but then he went to bed and then he wasn't. Hayden scratched his leg, but he has no idea of how he did it. Do we get Big Brother on our TV? Can we watch it? They are in the final 5.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Camp Hot Tub :: Day 4

Hayden :: Today we went to Nanny McPhee. It was awesome. I liked when they captured the piglet. Then we went home and had pizza. Then we played a new ping pong game, and then we played Wario Shake It. We should really get that game. Bayley & I could beat that game in two days. It's really good.

Bayley :: My day was awesome. We watched Nanny McPhee Returns, played DS and played Wii. Really fun! The movie had funny things in it, especially right at the start. Cousins were coming to visit kids at a farm and the whole ground was covered with poo. They called everyone Mr. Poo and Mrs. Poo. Tomorrow we go to a train museum. I'm walking in circles so I get dizzy.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Camp Hot Tub :: Day 3

Hayden :: We took this big hike up a mountain and it took two hours. At the top it's completely smooth. There's a bunch of rocks so you can take a good picture. It was Table Rock Mountain. As soon as we got down we got in the car and drove to McDonald's! After that we went to a store and got cookies, ice cream, soda. I got to drink a PowerAde.

Bayley :: The day was awesome. The best part so far was we hiked to Table Rock. But in a few minutes the best part will be the hot tub! Hayden got his hot tub time cut by 10 minutes. Mainly for hurting me. We got new pants today. Hayden wanted to get a shirt that was too small for him, just because it had a toy with it. So just I got pants. Camo and khakis.

Gram-Mo :: Bayley is quite the hiker! It's two hours up, and then you walk around the top to the other side. When we got to the top it was kind of windy, and then as we were leaving it got a bit chilly.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Camp Hot Tub :: Day 2

Hayden :: Basically we did water bumper boats and we did arcade games - I did motorcycle one and then Mario Cart and I was awesome. Gram-Mo let us pick out 3 goldfish each. I picked a black one and two white ones with orange on top. We got nine goldfish.

Bayley :: The heel of my foot is slightly swollen. I don't know. It might be because I was walking backwards and I tripped over the rocking chair. We went to this family fun park thing, and we got these bumper boats and we bumped each other and squirted each other, and I tricked Hayden. I steered towards this fountain thing that sprayed at your boat and then turned away at the last second, but Hayden got sprayed. Hayden sprayed me a lot more than I squirted him because his boat had shorter range than mine, so I had to get farther away to get him with my guns.

We did a few dipstick things, but we stopped when I complained Hayden whacked me in the head with my dipstick. Now we're watching Wheel of Fortune.

We went to the bank today with Gram-Mo & Pop Pop and they had these giant cookies, and we got two. Pop Pop got two too.

Pop Pop :: They tried to have another water war in the backyard but it wasn't hot enough so it only turned into an argument.

Gram-Mo :: Bayley finished his book. The boy reads fast! I found a fairy tales book and I'll see if he likes that. Maybe we can find Gabe's choose-your-own adventure books.

Friday, August 27, 2010


After Crater Lake, we went to Medford to visit family and deposit the boys for their week at Camp Hot Tub.

We hadn't even finished unpacking the van, and the boys were in the back yard, in their swim trunks, ready for a water fight. They have quite the system with 5 gallon buckets & dipsticks. Grace even tried to get in on the action this year.

It was so hot out, that Dad & Pop Pop even gave it a try. They must seriously be out of water fight practice, because the boys drenched them both.

After dinner at a Chinese buffet, it was time for Big Brother and then the hot tub. Grace donned her tutu swimsuit and let Pop Pop hold her while she splashed a few inches of water out of the hot tub.

Getting Grace to go to sleep - and stay asleep - is quite the challenge when we travel. She decided that night to try and sleep between her brothers...for a while. It took her a while to go to sleep, but she slept through the night! Something she didn't do either night at the lodge. Either she wore herself out, or she was petitioning for an invite to Camp Hot Tub next year.

The next day brought a visit from Grandma Evie. She had to remind us she'll be turning 87 soon, because she's so vibrant we tend to forget. As usual, she came with a trunk full of gifts which the boys opened immediately to snack on.

Bayley wanted to see if he was taller than her, so she indulged him...he's close...and she was wearing shoes...but I don't think any of us are ready for Bayley to be adult sized!

After a buffet lunch, it was time for everyone to head home. I took a quick picture of the woodshed Pop Pop is building, and we left the boys to Camp Hot Tub!

Camp Hot Tub :: Day 1

Bayley :: We rested, had a water gun fight and had a 100 hot dogs. Just kidding. After Mom & Dad left me and Hayden and Grammo started playing Wii. We did an hour and 26 minutes of Super Mario Brothers. We did 5 hours and 6 minutes of Mario Party 8 because I selected 50 turns. At 9 o'clock we went in the hot tub. We use snorkels now. It's pretty easy. You breathe through your mouth.
Hayden :: We went scuba diving in the hot tub. We got to go in the hot tub last night and we got 3 Costco hot dogs. We were in the hot tub with snorkles and giggles. Bayley has a blister on the palm of his feet. Water fights are scheduled after lunch for 2 hours.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Crater Lake : Hiking

We did as much hiking as we could while at Crater Lake. Much more than my heel would have allowed just a few weeks ago - thank you cortisone!

The hike down to take the boat tour was our first. When the ranger said Cleetwood Clove Trail was one mile down and 5 miles up, he wasn't joking! (actual distance 2.2 miles) It was quite steep in places, but earned it's moderate rating because of all the switchbacks.

Bayley is a champion hiker, waiting at the trailhead for the rest of us. Jeff was next, even with 30+ pounds of girl on his back. Hayden and I...we enjoyed the view and he scavenged snacks from the other hikers.

After we recovered, we drove the rim and took in more exploring. Lady of the Woods is an easy trail behind the Steel Visitor Center. The highlight is a sculpture of a woman carved right into one of the giant boulders scattered by the volcano blast. Grace did this .5 mile hike on her own.

Vidae Falls was fantastic. I had a hard time believing it was completely natural. It looked designed for the most splash possible.

Next we treked up Sun Notch for views of Phantom Ship. The views were great...and scary. No guard rail! We tucked a sleepy Grace in the backpack for this .5 mile hike , but she perked right up as soon as she saw that blue, blue water. It was bright blue! We also spotted bear and wolf tracks! Bears have seriously big paws.

Our final hike was Watchman Peak, another moderate/strenuous like Cleetwood Cove. After the less than stellar performance of...well, me & Hayden, I wasn't so sure it was the best choice for us. Still, Jeff encouraged us to go since it's shorter (1.6 miles) and does the uphill first, instead of 2nd.

I'm not saying it didn't earn it's rating, but it was better than the first one. See that little lookout tower way on the top? That's where we went. The view was amazing.
We even managed to get a family photo!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Crater Lake : Day 3

Our final day at the lodge, we had our best meal -- breakfast! The boys got chocolate syrup pancakes bigger than their heads! We packed up and headed out for the Watchman Peak trail (see the hiking post).

Once we got down from the high hike, we headed towards Medford. We stopped along the way to explor the Rogue River gorge (much smaller than the Columbia river version...but you can see the collapsed lava tubes.

Grace really enjoyed the waterfalls we saw on our hikes/boat trips. She would clap and yell waterfall until we clapped too.

A skip away from the river was Beckie's Cafe, a restaurant Grandpa Bill reccomended. We stopped in for lunch...and pie.

We climbed back in the car, and made it to Medford while Grace napped...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Crater Lake : Day 2

Grace has challenges sleeping in new places. After our experience in Newport, we were a little more prepared, bringing along our old TV/VCR combo player. Yep, VCR. We thought the videos would distract her and help us all get a good nights sleep.

Not so much.

Once I've been woken up twice, I can't fall back asleep, so as soon as the sun started to peek above the caldera, I was trying to take pictures of the sunrise with Jeff's dad's camera. He loaned it to me...and proved Jeff's point that I need something fast and easy. I loved all the options, but I could never get the lens clean (fuzz or lint in every shot) and I used auto for most things anyway. Still, I bet the pictures are much better than with our unreliable point-and-shoot.

Back upstairs, we ate a quick breakfast and headed to the other side of the lake for our boat tour. The hike down to the water was termed moderate/strenuous, but going down it only took about a half hour. The website said to plan for an hour, so we had some time to burn before we could board the boat. I tried to take a picture of a 3 foot trout, and Hayden tried to feed a chipmunk.

The kids were outfitted in the snazziest of life jackets, and we took our seats on the Rogue (seriously). Jeff & I loved seeing the lake from the inside looking out, but the kids weren't as enthusiastic.

They perked up when they could stand up in the boat and peer out at Wizard Island, Phantom Ship, and the Pumice Castle.

After the two hour tour (honestly), we had the priviledge of hiking back up the caldera to the rim... more on that in my hiking post.

One of Jeff's friends from work was staying at the lodge with his family, so Jeff & I traded time off from the kids so he could visit and I could watch the sun set and the full moon rise.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Crater Lake : Day 1

After leaving Rogue the night before for his turn at Camp Grandma, we headed south bright and early. We weren't even in Salem before we realized we'd forgotten 2 key ingredients to our happiness on this trip -- Mom's Nook & Hayden's blankie. Guess who was more upset?

I had to hide my frustration with having to go days with nothing to read.

We gave in and got a dual screen car DVD for the kids, which made the trip quite easy. The only issue was when we stopped, the DVD would reset. Much chaos and threats to toss the system ensued.

Once we made it to Crater Lake (without too much motion sickness) we were all impressed.


That's blue!

That's it?!

Isn't that amazing?

What time can we check in at the lodge?

I'll let you guess who said what.

The ranger station at Rim Village had a scavanger hunt (question & answer type) the boys did to earn a patch, and it got them to pay attention as we toured the lookout station and learn the history and facts of Crater Lake.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pump It Up

Another month, another round of birthday parties. This time Makena was up for turning 7. Our entire village headed over to Pump It Up to celebrate...and bounce!

This trip seemed more fun and high-energy than before. I don't know if it is that the kids are getting older, the parents are recovering from those years of sleep deprivation, or if everyone is just more comfortable with one another...but everyone had a great time. And that was before the cookie dough cupcakes!

After the party, the kiddos reconveined at Makena's house to play with the new toys...and stayed until dinner! Hayden decided he wants to do exactly the same thing for his birthday next year. We'll see...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Air Show

It's amazing what a difference a mile makes. Now that we are just that much farther from the airport, the air show becomes a paid event, rather than an excuse for an all-weekend BBQ. The boys headed over with the Webelos to see the happenings beyond the skies.

Hayden's favorite part was the Lego tent, and for Bayley the highlight was the fireworks launched from airplanes. It made him certain he wants to design fireworks when he grows up. Sounds...dangerous.
We're not so very far away -- Grace and I enjoyed the jets portion of the show while lounging in the back yard.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Tree To Tree Adventure

Grandma Camp this year included a trip to the Tree to Tree Adventure Park!

The boys have been trying to get Jeff to take them, and once he hears about it, I'm sure they'll be going back!

The park has rope climbing courses and zip lines. Bayley thought the kid zip line wasn't much fun until he decided to try it backwards...and with his eyes closed.

When I asked Hayden how it was he said "Awesome." and "Dad has to take me when he goes so I can show him what to do to be safe." Sure, that's the reason.

Art Projects

I have this great book on using art porjects to teach kids about great artists. It's also a great way to use up stuff you'd throw away.

Like using styrofoam packaging to make prints like Hokusai.

Old paint is great for van Gogh's thick paint techniques.

We're not famous yet, but hey, van Gogh only sold ONE painting during his lifetime! So maybe...