Thursday, July 28, 2011

The first little distance

Monday, July 18, '11
The first of many posts to come...
Last night Brian booked 3 campsites for our road trip between Crescent Bar and Iowa/Nebraska. It's nice to have that taken care of but it feels weird knowing that I played no role in choosing where we will be staying. We've decided to do this trip as cheaply as possible so it looks like we get to find out what a $14 campsite with no flushing toilet looks like... Yikes!

While Brian scoured the internet for cheap camping accommodations along our route, I continued packing and did some prep for our dinner.
Every year on our annual family camping trip we have a dinner competition.
Each couple is assigned a night in which they are in charge of of coming up
with an impressive menu and pulling off a scrumptious meal for the rest of us.
At just before 11p, upon reaching a good stopping point, I crashed. Brian followed shortly after. Impressively, without any communication regarding the morning, our alarms went off within 1 minute of each other, mine at 4:44a and Brian's at 4:45a.
[Applause for us on being so pagified!]
We snoozed for 20 minutes and enjoyed every second. My new store schedule has meant waking at 3a each morning so scoring an extra 2 hours of sleep was glorious! At 5:05a we realized there was no more time to spare so we got up and continued the overwhelming task of making ...
2 ice chests,
1 Rubbermaid,
3 duffel bags,
1 large suitcase,
7 bags +
3 boxes of groceries,
2 director's chairs,
1 not-so-compact tent,
1 Coleman grill,
1 lantern,
1 queen size double tall air mattress,
2 sleeping bags,
Brian's video camera bag,
my over sized camera bag,
my purse,
a laptop bag
and yet another bag of endless DIY magazines and adoption-related reading materials ...
fit in our VW Passat. Somehow, we conquered.
Following a quick Sbux stop and gas-up we hit I-84 at 7:30.

Topics of conversations throughout the drive included
 (but were not limited to):
.personifying Christ.
.the progression of the Catholic church.
.our camping dinner.
.the naked poet in The Knight's Tale.
(Jeffery Chaucer, author of the Cantebury Tales. :)

On our way into Quincy we remembered that we needed a few groceries so I searched "Quincy, WA, groceries" on my phone and our friend Steph's parent's [family] produce business popped up. Ironically, they crop farm and there's no store (no place to purchase their produce) but it reminded us that they live there and we couldn't help but stop and say hi. After a brief stop at the wrong house we were directed to her parent's. Brian thought I was out of my mind for walking up to strange houses and knocking with such confidence but I've always really liked Steph's parents so I decided it was well worth it. We were greeted by her mom and although we'd just intended a quick hello, she insisted that we come in. We enjoyed lunch and a nice visit before continuing on to Crescent Bar with both her home and cell phone numbers "just in case we needed a clean shower or a nice, comfy bed." She's so sweet. :)
We crossed the Columbia river a total of 5 times that day and then, with perfect timing, rolled into Crescent Bar just after my fam had and proceeded to set up camp and officially launch our vacation.
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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Oh vaca, how we love you.

Brian and I are currently in the midst of a 2+ week vacation made up of several mini vacations stacked together.

We know, we are so blessed.

Soon to come are many entries filling you, my faithul readers :), in on all the lovely details.
Until then, let me tell yuh, I MISS THIS GUY ...

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Without any Warning...

Yesterday Brian and I found ourselves in, lets just call it,
a sit.u.ation,
when without any warning, a huge tree branch gave way with our car as its target.

 Unfortunate for us, it had good aim...

Here's the link to the article in The Columbian.

I'm bummed that I didn't have my camera to better have captured the craziness.
Cell phone pics will just have to do...

Note: All these pictures were taken after the tree was moved out of the street and [mostly] off our car in order to allow Brian access out of the car.

I had just clocked off at work and was standing in line waiting to order a beverage for the road. I glanced out the window and saw my car parked across the street. I smiled to myself knowing that Brian and my pups were inside, patiently waiting to pick me up. "How sweet!", I thought. Less than a minute later, as I walked toward the bar to wait for my drink, I glanced out the window again and saw this...
What in the world?!
"Man, I must be tired!", I thought.
I did a double take.
Yes, in fact, there was tree. On top of my car.
Now, this picture is deceiving. Let me assure you, just moments after it happened Brian wasn't just standing on the sidewalk looking calm. No, no, instead, 8th street in downtown 'Couve was mayhem. People shouting and running everywhere.

The circle on the right is outlining my car. As you can see, we're serious when we say H.U.G.E branch.
Once again, big branch, makes my car look tiny.
The lady from the City, taking a look at the tree.
This tree spells TROUBLE.
Something like an hour later, a random City employee stumbled upon our situation. He ever-so-slowly got out of his truck, took a moment to ponder, and then proceeded to place cones around the branch. I thought, "Really, Buddy?! You may have missed it at the time of action, but it'd be pretty hard not to notice the mess we've got going on now..."
Little Bummer.
My antenna is no longer.
Big Bummer.
The roof of our car is dented.
Althought the verdict has yet to be declared, the city says it will most likely be determined an act of [some say]God/[some say]nature.
It all depends on who you talk to.
Gotta love how random moments like these bring out people's world view...
After a couple hours of standing next our dirty, damaged Passat we were able to leave. We were still a bit stunned so we circled around and took one last look before leaving the scene and finally heading for home.
This situation of ours, it's a bummer.
We're still stunned that it happened but we're so very thankful that it didn't turn out worse.
Praise God from whom all blessing flow!
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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Happy 4th of July, Y'all!

Mom, that "y'all," it was for you. ;p

Brian and I were both able to get a few days off surrounding the 4th so we headed for home! The best part, we got to take Sam with us. :)

Pitstop. ... PHOTOSHOOT.

Not sure what we're doing here but we look like sun worshippers. What can we say, us Pacific Northwesterners get reeeeally excited when the sun comes to call...
Following our mini shoot, we hit the road again and enjoyed our handcrafted, loaded sandwhiches complete with itsy bitsy heirloom tomatoes. YUM!
*     *     *
The morning of the fourth mi maMa made her (World's Best) Cinnamon Rolls.
They were delectable. As always.
After breakfast we hopped in Dad's truck and headed out to the bay to launch the boat.
The water was smooth and it was a gorgeous day for a trip to Eliza Island where Sis-in-Law Amy's parent's have a cute little cabin.
I call these Brian's and Millie's "hospital pics." Brian wasn't able to meet Millie when she was born and he hadn't made it home since then, so this was their first time meeting.
Beautiful baby girl, how precious you are...and so festive!
As you can see, MillieGirl was a big hit with us. :)
Just chillin'
(This is what vaca should look like.)
Barb giving mi maMa a little island tour.
(Sam and I were supposed to be part of the tour too. We got distracted. :)
Vince and his banjo headed to the beach.
God's gorgeous creation. To Him all glory, honor and praise is due.
Baby snails attached to the rocks.
If only you could hear the sound effects that went along with this pic...
Back in the boats, headed for home.
Bu-Bye Eliza Island! Thanks for the invite and the fun, Wayne and Barb and fam!
*     *     *
Upon returning home there was work to be done! We washed the inside and outside of the boat (stupid salt water), and then moved on to the Mustang. No one else was all too on board with this last task but it needed to be done and I figured my dad couldn't deny me the privilege of driving his car if I had cleaned it for him. So, yes it was a scheme and it worked!!!
Here I am, driving his car for the first time. It's pretty fun, [once you figure it out. ;]
After our family BBQ in the park we took Sam for a little tour. We started in what could just as well be called Evernook. I showed her the house we lived in when I was a wee one. We showed her where I went to school and downtown Ltown. I still haven't gotten to shop inside the recently opened Cheeks but someday, oh someday, I'm gonna go wild in there!
*     *     *
We spent Tuesday at the ranch with the kiddos in their awesome "new" backyard. We had Tuesday night dinner at Dad's and Mom's as usual. Mom and Tess usually drive to town to walk but we talked them into staying home since it was our last night. Of course, (we should have known) they were still determined to work out. Bro-in-law Brian came up with the 'brilliant' idea to circuit train. It was hilarious. 
Here's some documentation from our kiddo pool party, four-wheeler fun, and circuit training madness.

While Dad and Kolter did this...
a few of us did this...
So tired, but so entertained.
Feet in the pool, cooling off.
We kind of look like eachother, except the mustache and braid factors.
After working out comes dessert, right?! Mom went inside for a bit and came out with these...
Amish Cream Cheese Brownies topped with fresh strawberries and whip!
(Baker: Gma B...Assembler: mi maMa)
After dessert we got the map out and Brian and I discussed our upcoming roadtrip to the midwest with Bro-in-Law Brian.
As you can see by my facial expression, it's going to be quite something.
Following is a video, just for giggles, of our Tuesday night fun.
Note Sydni's killer push ups. ;)
*Be sure to silence the music (at bottom of blog) before playing the video.

*     *     *
Wednesday morning, before hittin' the road, we had another breakfast. I should have photographed it. (Sorry, I was too busy drooling. ;p )
Seriously though, it was beautiful.

Nutella, Spread it generously!
Fresh Strawberries, Slice 'em thick!
Dave's Killer Bread, Toast it!

Everybody, go to the store, buy the necessary goods, go home. Feast.
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