Thursday, July 30, 2009

yay! fair contest time again!!

The catalog with the new contests at the state fair arrived today :) The kids have been tossing around ideas on what to make for this year's contests.

The older three all want to enter the Spam contest again this year. It's a maindish. We've decided on one so far...tatertot casserole with spam instead of the other meat. :puke: but the kids are excited. Leelee wants to do a variation on green eggs and spam but trying to figure out how to make it a main dish instead of a breakfast. I suggested a panini, but she's not so in to that. Alex wants to do spam yakisoba ...*shudder*

The best part is they are having a wreck-tastic contest this year...ugliest cake. Leelee and I are both entering that one. I am not sure if it will be a complete homage to cake wrecks, because that will probably be completely lost on the judges. I may even recreate the infamous duck cake from a few years ago.

Even though I know I will lose, I'm still going to enter in the pie contest. It's the biggest contest at the fair. This year they are limiting it to one pie per category. Last year they did all pies in one category and you could enter three. I'm going to stick with what I know best and make a knock out apple pie. There's also a nut category, but I don't make nut pies...unless you count snickers as a nut pie.

We are also entering the sewing contests, and I'm limiting the little kids to the cupcakes and pumpkin decorating. We have already picked out our cupcake theme and will practice this year. Lizzy is actually entering this year so we're keeping hers very simple.

The kids were really excited to see their names in the catalog this year for their first place entries from last year. hopefully Alex will win a ribbon this year as last year he was the only one that didn't win anything.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Post Vacation Menu

Now the fun begins. I haven't really had to cook for the last month! It's been absolutely horrible on my stomach. I love my mom, but she's a horrible cook. She can bake circles around me, though.

It's nice to be back in the saddle again cooking meals that I know my family is going to enjoy.

Monday: Chicken with Lemony Quinoa
Tuesday: Meatball pizza
Wednesday: Taco Salad
Thursday: lime garlic chicken, spinach
Friday: Pancakes
Saturday: pasta.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

our annual summer picture

Every year we take this picture on vacation at the beach or pool from behind so we can see how they've grown. This year was no different except we vacationed at the beach in Oregon where we froze our butts off. So no swimsuits this year...instead we got sweatshirts. :rotfl: At least we'll always remember this as the year of the big road trip. And as usual, D is photoshopped out of the picture while he is propping the baby up.

There's no place like home!

After nearly 5 weeks on the road we are finally home!

It was an amazing vacation and one that we won't be repeating for a very long time. We're going to wait two years before embarking on another massive road trip. Our plans are to travel up the east coast to Maine and down back again visiting historical sites. The timing will be perfect because Alex will be studying US History that year. The following year is my high school 20th in Colorado and if we're going that far, we might as well continue on driving all the way out to Seattle again. I think on that trip we'll finally take the kids to the Grand Canyon. The year after that, so in four years, we are hoping to take the kids to Disney World. By that point, we'll not have any kids in diapers, so that's the perfect reward to be out of the diaper stage of parenting LOL

The best advice we received in preparing for the trip was to allow for itinerary changes. At the last minute, because of FIL's health scare and our car problems, we decided to forgo the Grand Canyon and instead go to Nauvoo, Illinois. I am so thankful we made this change. For all intents and purposes, the Grand Canyon is a giant, yet very pretty, hole in the ground. Nauvoo was so amazing. We really wish we could have stayed longer than two days. We definitely want to go back. The Nauvoo Pageant was amazing and the rain managed to hold off til we were safely back at our campsite.

I really wish we would have known more of the fun stops along the way. We missed stopping at the first pony express station museum in Kearney, Ne, and Ft. Kearney, and there wasn't time to stop to see the birthplace of koolaid, which is just the sort of wacky place we'd love to stop. When we head up towards Nauvoo again, we also plan to stop at the Mark Twain Museum which we didn't know was on our path, either, til we passed it.

In the end, we did take a late tour of Carthage Jail. It was much smaller than I thought it would be. And, we pushed ourselves home in one day, traveling more than 12 hours! It was long and hard, and I don't recommend doing it.

Now that we're home, we're getting caught up on everything and the laundry pile is calling me...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Last update from Portland

We're heading out from Portland tomorrow. I'm really sad because we love it here so much. What I don't love is all the traffic. I am seriously wondering how I lived here for so long without going insane from it all. The south definitely has a slower pace to it and even though I really hate the giant bugs, I'm looking forward to going back.

Last night we had some spur of the moment family fun. We visited the Portland LDS Temple. that picture on the link is old and all of those trees are now very mature. It's such a beautiful building on the outside and inside. It's hard to believe D and I were married there 15 years ago!

And in contrast to that, we then took a trip to see the wildlife of downtown Portland :P We stopped at Voodoo Donuts. I have a thing for donuts. I joke that Kari's name starts with a K instead of a C because she was born the day the Krispy Kreme opened on our side of town. Voodoo Donuts has been on the travel channel and food network. It's one of those places that you just *have* to visit just for the experience. We purchased bubble gum donuts for the kids, along with the traditional voodoo doll donut. Also in our big pink box were the butterfingering (a butterfinger topped creation), an Elvis (banana fritter, topped with peanuts, chocolate chips, and chocolate and peanut butter syrups) and the maple bacon. I was skeptical about the maple bacon, but Alex loved it. If you want to try it, buy a maple bar and stick a couple crisp pieces of bacon on top. Probably cheaper than the $2.50 we spent on the single donut!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Just call us the Griswalds

After years of trial and error, we've determined that nothing in our lives ever goes as planned. It was our my big fear that our vacation would end up something like a scene from Vacation complete with the car going over the edge of some cliff or rolling away or some horrible yet comically funny injury to a child parent.

True to form, things are falling apart around our ears. The injuries haven't been to us, but rather parents. D, however, has threatened to throw a child over the edge of the Grand Canyon if we ever get there.

After my mom's ill-fated trip to the roller rink, we made it down to Portland where our van promptly broke down. Naturally, it wasn't the easy repair. We have had it in to the mechanic to replace the coil pack. As usually, it was a cheap part that required pulling apart the entire engine. Then, D's dad had a health scare. OK, we're worried sick about him but no one else seems to be. UGH.

Between the car repairs and wanting to spend more time with my FIL, we're now here until Monday.

Today, we took the kids to the Oregon Zoo. We've been to zoos across the country and this is one of our favorites. Unfortunately for us, we have a child who should know better who apparently doesn't know better. Being good parents, when we go out as a large group, we employ the buddy system. The buddy system, however, does not work if one of the buddies is the child who should know better but doesn't. This particular 8 yo decided, after a careful head count, to dawdle in a building and get left behind. By the next buddy check, his buddy --the 12 yo who should also know better and say "hey my buddy's missing--noted that Ben was missing.

D took off looking for him in one direction and my MIL took off in another direction and I stayed put. Mind you, this is the one time I've EVER left my cell phone at home. MIL and D both have the cell phones *and* the two way radios. I'm sitting there with nothing. D claims to have told me to meet at the green in front of the elephants, but the kids and I swear he didn't. So we sat and waited and waited til a very frustrated D rounds the corner and says everyone has been waiting for US at the green. By this point, the crisis of the missing child had been resolved.

You would expect that the 8 yo would have learned to stay with the group, but he kept wandering off. Even tho they have tested his hearing several times, I'm not convinced the child can actually hear well. I want to take him to another audiologist ...

Anyway, tonight D and I are going off to see the new HArry Potter movie and dinner at House of Teriyaki. We ate there yesterday for lunch, but I have five years of not eating there to make up for!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Mama Mia swap

Thanks Val!

Mom's present
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Thursday, July 9, 2009

space needle

Traffic is horrible but the views are breathtaking
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bye bye washington

Today is our last day in Washington. Things have been hectic but wonderful.

Ben's baptism and Millie's blessing went well. We had most of the family here but traffic made it so some family missed the event. It was a real bummer.

Mom took the kids roller skating yesterday and she fell and we got a call early this morning that he was taking her in to the doctor to get looked at. Mom is fairly young so this is her first "old lady" type injury. Not that it's too "old lady" since she got hurt roller skating. Dad was very non-sympathetic in his joking way with her last night since he broke his ankle last year while roller skating. I think there should be a ban on my parents going roller skating!

We're heading down to Portland as soon as we get word on how mom's doing. We were supposed to leave a bit ago because we were going to get together with some friends, but family comes first, yk?

The kids have been so unsettled, especially Lizzy. This much time on the road and away from home are not doing the two year old well.

Hopefully we'll have some pictures to post later of our big adventures. We have them on CD just haven't had the chance to upload them.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Columbia river

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Yellowstone and beyond!

Well we are recovering from yellowstone. Our tent was too big so we had to camp at a KOA. It hailed the first night and it put a hole in the tent's rain tarp! We went in to West Yellowstone where we had to spend $10 on a single roll of duct tape...cause we're adapting to southern culture and fix everything with duct tape.

We got to see a bear on the last day.

I'll give a more detailed accounting later including how I almost had to call out a search party for D and the kids on a hike...
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