Friday, August 30, 2013

Unidentified Fuzzy Wuzzy

I was admiring my neighbor's garden, after watering my own, and a cute fuzzy wuzzy crawled out. It looks darling and huggable and tickles our hand when it crawls on it, but I know it was destroying my neighbor's food crops. So when Miles squealed with delight and asked to take it home I acquiesced. I emptied their sidewalk chalk bucket and we put it in.
I have no idea what it is. I surfed the web and the closest thing I found was a tiger moth caterpillar. I'm not sure, though, and am wondering what to feed it. Anyone have a clue?
I threw in a romaine lettuce leaf, a broccoli leaf and a parsley leaf. I guess we'll see which one is the winner!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Longest Road Trip Eva!

A couple months ago Alan had a BRILLIANT idea. He suggested we go to the west coast to visit family while he studies for his second set of (med school) board exams. Not fly, but drive.
I hate driving. I fall asleep at the wheel. I get car sick. I HATE being strapped into a car for long periods of time.
So of course I said, "Sure, let's do it!"
The kids were great, it was just...well...four days of tired, antsy, bored, unadulterated torture. But it was well worth it.
We made it to my dad's in Modesto, CA just in time for my birthday (Jul 7, in case you wanted to send presents). My dad even wrapped a package of lotion he didn't want. So thoughtful.
 We had cake (I made myself) and Its-Its (yummy ice cream-cookie sandwiches).
My little family drove to Reno visit my oldest sister, Francine, for a few days. We went jet skiing and to her community pool and hung out and had a ball. :D
I spent almost every day with my sister Jennifer. I loooooooooved it! :)
We went backpacking overnight with our friend Lindsey.
It was awesome girl time, to say the least. ha!
And we swam at lots of friends' houses.
I was able to meet up with lots of great friends like Amy...
And my dear friends from United Rentals (Athena, Paige, Sarah and Jessica). I love them!
I visited my awesome friend Liz.
And my dear, dear friend, Katie. I'm so blessed to still have so many wonderful friends in my hometown!!
After 3 weeks in CA we drove up to WA. I got to see my BFF's older sister (hence my sister by proxy), Trina! She made us carne asada which was ridiculously delicious. I love her so mucho, more so that she's Mexican now. :)
We caught up with friends in Renton, WA where we used to live. Sexy ladies!
And stayed the night at Alan's Aunt Donna and Uncle Stu's. Luckily Cousin James was in town.
I love Donna! :D And Stu. :D :D :D They are my faves.
We met Alan's family (parents and two sisters and their kids) and his friend (and wife) at a Mariner's game. They lost terribly. We're convinced us being there somehow broke their winning streak.
At least we had fun!
Then we headed to Ocean Shores, WA. 
 The beaches were huge and they had cool tide pools.
 We stayed the night and had a blast at the beach. Alan rented a scooter and took some of the kids for a ride.
Mom with a big starfish!
Alan, Miles, Elijah and I hit a trail on our way to Wenatchee, where his parents live.
It was fun and gorgeous. Yeah us! :)
We stayed at his beautiful sister's house. I fell in love with their pitbull, Remi. :)
We celebrated a birthday (kids in line to hit piñata)...
 Went to a splash pad (free and so fun!)...
Visited Levenworth and hiked some more...
And hit the super slide and horseback riding at Ensign Ranch on our way out. It's such a FUN and INEXPENSIVE place to play!
After 2 weeks with Alan's family we drove back to the Vancouver area to stay 2 1/2 weeks with my older brother and his family.
They've got a full on mini farm going on with 3 cows, over 30 chickens and 4 or 5 turkeys. And can't forget their 5 children. ;)
Needless to say, my outside-loving boys were in heaven.
They also played lots of video games, of course...namely Mine Craft.
One day we hit up Cannon Beach, OR.
And I fell in love...
(Not with my sister-in-law, I already loved her.) :)
 I was surprised to find awesome tide pools and the giant rock was so majestic and mysterious.
Alan studied while we played and it was such a fun time!
We enjoyed our time in Vancouver area immensely and look forward to the day we can move back to the west coast, nearer to our awesome family! 
On our way back to good ole' PA, Alan took us to see Multnomah Falls. They were beautiful! He and the two boys hiked to the top of the falls while me and my flip flops stayed with baby down below.
The next day we drove by Mount Rushmore. It. Was. Awesome. That's what my 6-yr old kept saying, anyway. :) And it was amazing!
You can take a little mile long hike to get different views of the carvings.
And you can walk through a really cool museum. Ive always wanted to see Mt Rushmore but never thought I would. Hooray!
The next day we stopped to see my old friend, Annie. We know each other from college days and it was so good to reconnect over pizza!
The next day (we're at August 23rd now) we saw our friend Michelle! We were friends and neighbors in Hershey, PA for 2 yrs and now she lives with her family in Ohio. It was good to see her again!
We reached State College around 4:30 p.m. that same day.
The next day was Saturday and we drove 1 1/2 hrs to Harrisburg to hit Bass Pro Shop and Costco. There we were able to meet up with more Hershey friends: ate lunch with the Mikesell's (no picture) and said HI to Kara (above) and Jeffrey Chen ( mean below).
We love them a whole stinkin' lot. :)
Christian started first grade today. Miles starts preschool next week. 
Time to unwind...while getting into a school routine. Are we insane?

Don't answer that. ;)

It was a fun summer. And while we say we'll never do a cross-country road trip again...
I'm glad we did this one. :)
(Elijah saying, "Noooooooo!" to another long road trip!)