March 28, 2010

#1 Family Backpacking Adventure

Here is what Kenneth had to say:

"We went backpacking yesterday as a family - to the same place we
went last week with the scouts. Lennard Fuller and his two older children
came along with us. They are the ones going to Havasupai with us this
summer. We got off late because I was slow. That is becoming characteristic
of me, and I am starting to look hard towards avoiding having lateness
become a permanent part of my resume. As it was, we had short hike -
probably 1 to 1.5 miles, and got most of camp set up before dark. Then we
sat around and talked. The girls all said they were very tired, so they went
to bed at about 8:30, then talked and played in their tents until about 10.
After breaking camp and filtering some water in the morning, we set out and
hiked the long way back out. I think we went about 6 or 7 miles - I can't
find my map. Hazel did amazingly well. I didn't expect her to be good for
more than 2 miles, but she hiked the whole way. There was a good amount of climbing, too. I only carried her once, and it was of such short duration
that it hardly counts. The kids all claimed to have enjoyed it, and seemed
proud of themselves for their accomplishment."

I was really impressed, the kids all carried their own sleeping bag, and some other items.  I divided up all the stuff and loaded each kid up with what I thought they could carry.  They all exceeded my expectations.  They all had good attitudes and didn't complain once (except Hazel who complained less than normal).  I really thought that they would have some sore muscles, but no one has any they will admit to.  I am feeling a bit more confident about going to Havasupai.

About the photos in the slide show.  The pictures of the fire pit are of Truman demonstrating his fire lighting skills.  He used his flint and steel and his infamous "baggie of dryer lint" that he carries on all camp-outs.  The photo of the "wire racket" looking thing is actually a grill that Truman made (out of barbed wire) on a previous visit to the same location with the boy scouts, he did say that he left it in the fire to get it red hot before he cooked his food on it. We followed our Easter season tradition of roasting marshmallow peeps over a fire.  If you have never tried this delicacy you should.  The sugar coating melts and caramelizes.  You must let the melted sugar cool a bit but then when you bite into it, it is a crunchy caramel shell over liquid marshmallow fluffy deliciousness.  There is also a photo of Kenneth filling his cup at Hackberry springs.

Because of all the rain we have had this winter, the wildflowers were dazzling.  They were everywhere, it was beautiful.  I almost forgot that I live in a desert.  (except for the cacti).

The hike also ushered in a new era for me personally, my hiking boots fell apart.  I bought this pair of boots for Archaeology field school in 1996, and they have served me well.  When I put them on I noticed that there was a little rip in the heel of one boot.  3/4 of the way back to the trailhead the heel of one boot peeled loose and began flipping as I walked. Christian pulled out his trusty knife and cut it off.  Then about 100 yards from the parking lot the other sole started flipping.  It was also cut off.  I have been declared "soleless".

Kenneth really wanted to rush right out and get me a new pair but we were too tired to go anywhere by the time we got all the camping gear cleaned up!

I am still tired...

March 21, 2010

Spring Break

I sat down to make a post about our really fun spring break and got the photos off the camera.  These are all the pictures we took...

Pirate day. Pirate hats and a treasure hunt.

Sleeping out in the back yard....

Yep that's all the pictures we took.  We also had Pirate dinner on PIrate Day.  No manners allowed, the only silverware you get is a knife.  IBC rootbeer in a bottle. Food grabbing, bread ripping, greasy finger licking, loud belching good time!

We also went to see Alice in Wonderland 3D (except Rebekah, Nate and Hazel, they had a babysitter!) I really like Johnny Depp, and I mostly like Tim Burton, so I was happy with the movie.  I think the kids and Kenneth enjoyed it as well.

I spent most of my free time replacing the doors to the kids bedroom and bathroom.  Painting and sanding and chiseling...  The new doors do look nice.

We rode our bikes to the library and played on the playground.

We also watched Pirates of the Caribbean 3, which I have seen a couple times but the big kids had never seen. So 2 Johnny Depp viewings this week...

The men of our house went on a scout backpacking trip and the rest of us women and children stayed home. We ordered pizza from Pizza Hut (which we haven't done in years) I did the mending and Nate and Hazel went to bed early. The 3 other girls stayed up half the night playing rampage.

We had a little birthday party for Nate at the Swimming pool. Only 2 friends came but it was really fun.

Today (Sunday) our friends the Leahys came for dinner and a quick visit before they return to Colorado. We were flattered that we made it on the list of people to see!

Now I am ready for bed and it is just past 9pm.  Vacations make me tired!

March 14, 2010

Bike Safety

I was beginning to think myself grown up.  I have crashed my bike twice in the last month.  It is a little embarrassing to admit to but Kenneth's reaction was too funny today so I will relate the story.

The first time I crashed was not very interesting, I decided to hop my bike up the curb.  The boys make it look so easy, so I went for it and misjudged.  I hit the curb hard and didn't fall but I had several large bruises. (Hazel and I have a detachable tandem bike thing, but she and her part of the bike were at preschool)

Today on the way home from church, riding my bike with Hazel and her attachment, we were talking to Christian and Truman.  Hazel and Truman have bells on their bikes and like to ring them and joke around.  And the boys cater to her insistence that they do tricks. We were all being funny and I was teasing Truman that we should "Zip" Kenneth and Rebekah's  tires because they are slow pokes.  Truman decided to cut in front of me an "Zip" Kenneth himself.  So I came up behind Truman to "zip" him.  Kenneth hit his brakes. Truman's stopped bike caught my front tire and I ate asphalt. In my church clothes none the less.

Here is the sweet part. Nate put neosporin and a bandaid on my skinned knee and was willing to put one on my skinned chin.  He was so cute, worried about me.  Tonight at family prayer he blessed me that I wouldn't crash my bike anymore.

And the Funny part:  Kenneth was feeling really bad about causing the accident.  He was apologizing to me, repeatedly.  I admitted that I had been trying to zip Truman and that's why I was so close to them.  He got this funny look on his face and the rest of the day when he sees my scraped up chin he grins.  I think he is laughing inside at what a silly girl he married.

Definately not grown-up to crash my bike goofing around!

There's always next year...

Happy PI Day!

PI Day has become one of my favorite holidays.  It is uncomplicated by rituals, obligations, or traditions.
Last night we hosted our 3rd annual PI Party.  We had lots and lots of pie, even pizza pie this year.  We invited everyone that we could think of, and about half of them came. This year friends from Kenneth's work brought a PI cake and some terrific PI Cube trays...

A glimpse of the PI spread near the beginning of the evening.
The PI cake this morning.

PI Cubes anyone?

The best part of the day was the the afternoon cook-off.  After spending the morning cleaning, we went to the pool for a little swim and then the cooking began in ernest.  Christian made a Pepperoni and Sausage Pizza. Truman made Triple Berry Pie, Syd made her signature cherry pie.  She said "I don't care for the cherries very much.  I just like to do the lattice, it is so pretty".  Abigail made Cheese Burger Pizza. Rebekah made Grasshopper pie.  Nate made an Apple Pie. And Hazel and Kenneth worked together to make a Pumpkin Pie (I think Hazel ate half of it). 

March 11, 2010

Nate Turns 7!

Nathaniel Lycurgus Welling

Rebekah got him an assortment of Cam Jansen books.

Christian and Truman gave him 10 bottles of Diet Coke and 5 rolls of Mentos. 
(Awesome science! look on youtube if you are new to this experiment)

Cool pop-up card from Grandma Welling.

Opening one of the "props" from G & G Cornwall, it came is part of a kit for doing plays.

7 candles (4 normal and 3 trick)

March 7, 2010

Old Toys are the best

This is a TP that my Grandparents made for my brothers and I when we were kids. It is still fun after all these years.  It did seem much bigger when I was a kid.  It must have shrunk...

Happy Birthday Truman

More adventures of Hazel

Sometimes a girl just needs a quiet place to take a break. Is the floor in the hall closet really that Quiet? Or Comfortable?

Our girls are allowed to have their ears pierced at at age 8. Hazel is having a hard time waiting and will sometimes put stickers on her ears. The stickers don't stay very well. So being an intelligent 4 year old she solved the problem by drawing earrings on paper, cutting them out and using a glue stick to glue the earrings to her head. Genius! (The earrings did stay longer)

Hazel also loves to take pictures. When we were in Costco the other day she got out my phone and was telling random people "say cheese". It is hard to explain to her that you really can't take pictures of people you don't know. Why? Umm, people don't like it. Why? hmmm... do you want a piece of gum? OK.
So this is the interesting thing, half of the pictures she takes are of her own feet. I think this one was pretty cute.

Hazel is also a great cook!

The Sassy Hazel... Winking

Not just winking, but Winking while wearing "Funky Monkey Pajamas", and Truman's "Mucking" boots!

Winter? what winter?

My winter garden has done really well this year, and it was pretty too. Kenneth laughed at me for planting flowers in my vegetable garden, but I have really enjoyed the splash of color!

We grew peas, we never cooked them because the kids had too much fun standing out there eating them off the vine. Hazel somedays would pick a big pile and have them next to her while she colored.
I have tried several time to grow celery and have been unsuccessful, so this time I just dumped a whole pack of seeds down a row. I didn't think about it again and then I was out picking things for salad and realized that the whole package came up!
We also had great luck with broccoli and cauliflower. It was delicious and bug free!!

These pictures I took Friday. My trees are all starting to bloom. I love citrus trees because they are the only fruit tree that blossoms with fruit still on the tree. I think the effect is very nice when I go out to pick a lemon or orange (not the grapefruits, I already ate them all) and to be surrounded with the flowers and the heavenly smell!

I also discovered a little patch of Johnny Jump ups among the carrots!

My apple tree in bloom, and blue sky!

Feb Fotos

I have had a busy computer month trying to reorganize and sort out my transfer from PC to Mac. I am really happy with my new iMac. So I am finally going to catch up on a bunch of photo's that were on my camera.
Here is Abby perusing the book order...
I have no memory of taking these pictures, so I can't say that I even know why they are significant but in light of the next set of photos of her, these are for balance.

Here is Abby, "practicing" the piano. She has been a reluctant practicer until about 2 weeks ago. The below photos are 3 weeks ago. For the last two weeks she has been practicing before school happily of her own free will and I have to say that my life is nearly bliss!