Tuesday, August 31, 2010


We went camping at the Assateague Island National Seashore last week. We spent three nights there. It was our longest camping trip ever. Not mine but our family's. I found out about Assateague Island after we came back from Florida, when I was looking online for cool beaches in our area. The most notable thing about Assateague Island is the wild ponies that live there. I'd say the second most notable thing would be the enormous mosquito population. But it is a very beautiful place and we loved hanging out at the beach.

We bought a screen tent on our way down since the forecast called for scattered thunderstorms. It didn't end up raining though (at least not while we were awake), but we were very greatful to have the screen tent for eating without being eaten by bugs!
I only got a couple of pictures of the horses and these photos do not show nearly how close they came to us a few times. They work very hard to make it clear (photos, handouts, signs) that you should stay far away from the ponies since they are wild (and you need to keep food locked up too!) so I was convinced and I convinced the girls too. The ponies however have no fear of people and don't care how close they get to them. I never got any pictures when they were really close because I was too busy watching them to see what they were going to do. One time Jaide was rinsing off at the shower near the beach and one pony walked right behind her to get a drink. Fortunately we didn't end up having any problems with any of the animals (besides mosquitos and one tick- have I mentioned lately how much I hate ticks!).

The horses near our site the first night. That site was across the road from ours. That is they bayside of the island beyond the horses.

Besides the horses and insects, we also saw some deer, some rabbits, many birds, a frog, and some dolphins.
The first day we spent at the beach was overcast and not quite as warm as the second. We set out our chairs early in the morning and stayed until lunch time. We had quite a bit of beach all to ourselves. Kiree loved digging and playing in the sand. Jaide liked jumping into the waves and went out past the waves with Bob or I a couple of times. We collected lots of big, pretty shells.
Bob built a sandcastle. He also helped the girls dig a big hole.
The ocean beat me up a bit. The crashing waves hurled lots of seashells at our legs and feet and I ended up with a bleeding cut. I didn't go back in after that one until the next day. The waves also knocked us down a few times. We ended up with quite a bit of sand in our swimsuits.
The second day at the beach it was much, much sunnier and warmer. It was also much more crowded. We'd been kind of spoiled up until then. We came early and the beach went from fairly empty to pretty full by the time we left (about 4 that day). We made sandwiches for lunch on the beach. Kiree fell asleep in her chair underneath my beach towel.
We all got a bit sunburned despite our best efforts to reapply sunscreen. We had a fun trip but we were glad to get back home in time for a real shower before going to Jaide's open house at school.
This last photo is kind of funny I think because the perspective looks weird. Bob and Jaide are farther away than they look because there is actually a big drop off and then flat beach. It also looks like Kiree is making a water bottle levitate.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

College Buddies

My friends and I are getting to be hitting that milestone age of 30 these days. My friend from college, Amber, hit this milestone earlier this month. To celebrate, she wanted to take a trip to Chicago to visit Nancy (our other college friend, and for me a high school friend as well). She invited me to join them and so I drove out with the girls. I'm really happy I went because it was incredibly fun. I really do miss Chicago (I grew up there) and loved spending time there, hanging out with Amber and Nancy, and showing the girls places from my childhood and youth. We stayed with my dad and the girls got to know him a little better. I'm really glad I went, but I don't think I will ever drive that far alone with the girls again. It was rough. I broke my perfect streak of never getting pulled over on the way out. Don't speed in Ohio people! They are serious about speed limits and the revenues, er fines they can generate.
But the time in Chicago was a lot of fun.
Jaide was very excited to see the hall of Jade at the Field Museum.
We went to the Lincoln Park Zoo (my first job), the Field Museum of Natural History (we used to go practically every Saturday when I was a kid and then we became volunteers there when I was a teen), the Chicago Children's Museum at Navy Pier, and the Art Institute. Transformers 3 is being filmed downtown and we got to see some of that hoopla. We ate delicious deep dish pizza at Giordanos. We drove to my old neighborhood and saw my elementary school and our old house.
A bronze cow given to the people of Chicago commemorating the cow art exhibit around the city the summer I graduated highschool.
The kids were sad to leave. We sure did cram a lot of living into a Monday night through a Friday morning. The trip home featured far fewer run-ins with the law although we did have one small detour in Pennsylvania due to my misunderstanding the GPS. It only added 30 minutes to our driving time and gave us a lovely tour of rural PA in the dark! We got to see deer run right in front of the car! When I saw the time until destination increase by a half hour I wanted to cry but I knew it would do no good, so I didn't. I sure was glad to be home when we got there and I felt like I was still moving inside the house. I'd never had that feeling from driving before. But I sure did gain a better appreciation for Bob, as he is usually the main (often only) driver on our long car trips. It sure is a pain in the butt (and back, and legs, and well, pretty much everything) to drive that long continuously.
Here are some more photos from the trip, now with captions!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

New Jersey

You know what's weird about New Jersey? They don't let you pump your own gas.

We went up to the Six Flags park in New Jersey over Bob's birthday weekend. We left Friday afternoon, checked in and had a quick dinner, then went to the park for the evening. The next morning, we got to the park a little before it opened and stayed until late lunch time before heading back home.
I think I've only ever been to an amusement park at opening time once before in my life. But this was the first time I ever got there at opening and then went to a giant playground first thing. Bob went on the tallest, fastest ride and I waited with the kids at a nearby play structure. The first actual ride I went on was a dumbo type ride. But then it was my turn to go on the tallest, fastest ride and it was fun.
I think the best part of going to the park was getting to go on rides all together. There are a lot of rides there with no height limit (or only 36" limits) with adults. And these weren't just kids rides in the kids sections.
I think a fun time was had by all.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Bob!

It was Bob's birthday yesterday. We made him an icecream cake and put a Scooby Doo candle on it to represent the 30 and a duckie candle to represent the 3. We sang to Bob and he blew out the candles a few times. The girls and I got Bob a black wii-mote. Bob is awesome!


See we did finally have some friends over to play. Homemade playdough Wednesday morning. Sand in the back yard (for a little while) Wednesday afternoon. Two different sets of sisters (three if you count Kiree and Jaide)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

When you've been wondering where the summer has gone...

...it sometimes helps to consult your digital camera.
Let's see. Here we go.
Oh, yeah, I remember now. The last week in July, Bob went on a week long work trip, so the girls and I had a girls week. We went to the zoo. Baby elephants are always cute. The kids started playing with these things and then all these other kids came to play on them too. Jaide and the polar bear looked at the camera for the picture, but not Kiree.
While Bob was gone, I spent a lot of time rearranging all the art and pictures in our house. I changed frames and where things were. Here's the staircase to the basement. I think it needs a couple more pictures.
And here are a couple of pictures from last weekend. Our friend Becky got married in the DC temple and we were able to attend. Becky is Danelle's sister. She had been living with Nathan and Danelle for a few months when she met Calvin. We were at their house the day they went on their first date and little Dan-o (now 2) greeted Calvin by standing naked in the window.
Bob took all of these photos.

These next photos are from the start of cooking week way back on Monday. I've been meaning to do but too lazy to themed weeks like I sorta did last year. Cooking week may actually go off sort of like I envisioned. The girls are going to help me make dinner tonight (fingers crossed). Yesterday went pretty well. The girls helped me make spaghetti sauce (opening cans, pouring them in the big pot, stirring). Then I wanted to make cookies. Jaide wanted to watch a movie. Kiree wanted to help, but as she was sitting on the counter next to the mixing bowl and I was searching annoyedly for the baking powder, she discovered the goldfish in the cupboard. Reaching for the goldfish, she managed to knock down the bowl and make a big mess of the floor and my pants. Cooking time was over for the day and Kiree joined Jaide downstairs with the movie. I ended up making cookies by myself (with non-floor ingredients) and we later dropped most of them off to a friend who just had a baby.
Speaking of movies, the girls all of us have been enjoying watching lots of movies since we signed up for netflix again. Now we can watch them streaming on the wii. That's been fun.
And last night while Bob and I were watching some dumb movie, I managed to pull out the sewing machine again to make Jaide a really big, lined zipper pouch to put all of her school supplies in. I also fixed the straps on this one pair of sneakers she barely got to wear before the ribbon like straps got all stretched out, rendering the shoes unwearable.
Tomorrow we're finally getting around to having some friends over to play (Hey, it's been a really short summer break!) and the next couple of weeks are going to be full of stuff. Oh yeah, and then there's school.