Archive for the 'Random Thoughts' Category

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Drifted

For once our School District called a SNOW DAY! Yeah!

For once our School District called a SNOW DAY! Yeah!

Heritage & Culture

Heritage and CultureI love Claire’s school!
She’s working on her Heritage & Culture.
Here are some things we put on the whiteboard in my office.
(No, I don’t have a yellow dry-erase marker. Yes, that bothers me.) 🙂
I love the ideas she had for describing our family’s culture. ♥

Teeth! Hair! Shoes!

In less than 2-weeks, Claire will be 10. She gets ready, gets her breakfast, and makes her lunch & school snack all by herself in the mornings. I’m slowly being worked out of a job, and that’s okay. Every now and then, I do yell, “Teeth! Hair! Shoes!” just to feel important in the process. 🙂

An Experiment in Positivity

I decided to try an experiment. I realized that a big part of happiness is how much of an actor you can be. Pretend to be happy, and soon you forget that you’re pretending. Way back when, I was the most enthusiastic Chutes & Ladders Participant you’d find playing with my daughter. The truth? I LOATHE that game. It’s infuriating for no good reason at all…but I pretended to enjoy it, and my daughter had the best time. Another example: Mornings. I’d just as soon get up at the Crack of Noon. Seriously. But guess what? Mornings happen every day (weird, I know!), and on the mornings when we have to be places, I get to suck it up and pretend to be okay with it all.

A lot of things with parenthood are like that. Do I love every aspect of it? No. Do you hear me complaining about things? Not usually. Why put that energy out there?

Well, as I awoke to a white blanket of snow on the ground and more falling, I decided to have an attitude shift. I used to love snow (no, really), and over the last few years, my patience for it waned. Well, NO MORE. My daughter loves snow, and why should MY attitude dampen her fun??

I ran into her room and said, “Good morning, Claire! LOOK OUTSIDE! LOOK AT THE SNOW! Isn’t it beautiful??”

She groggily replied, “Mom, are you feeling okay?”

And I said, “YES! Yes, I am. I’ve decided to like snow, and it’s so beautiful outside.”

“Really?” she asked tentatively…and that broke into pure joyous screams of “SNOW! SNOW! FINALLY SNOW!” She was up in a flash and so excited to start the day.

So far I’ve had a fantastic morning. I’m happy. I’m upbeat. Yes, I shoveled, and yes, it’s the fun heavy snow on top of a layer that is slicker than snot (as Grandpa says). Yes, I tweaked my knee and my back isn’t sure what happened, but you know what? The sun is shining. It’s all melting, and it’s GORGEOUS right now.

I’ve decided to embrace whatever is outside my window. The fact that it kills spiders is purely bonus material.

Knife Skills

You may have noticed Claire wielding a knife in the post about our Dinosaur National Monument Adventure. Well, she has been working on all KINDS of knife skills, actually. My husband has been going through his Boy Scout Manual with her, and they’ve worked on all sorts of things this summer.

It makes me nervous, but I’m glad she’s learning the proper safety and techniques. She’s really good at it!

Axe Skills

Hand Saw

Plus, it really helps on Tree Trimming Day… 🙂

#LabelFAIL

Scene: We’re on our roadtrip last weekend for Fall Break. We’ve stopped at the gas station, and my husband has picked up a tasty beverage for the road. We get in the car. He’s driving.

He starts speaking non-stop, barely taking a breath: “Why do I feel weird? I feel weird. Do you know why I feel weird? I tried to get a drink that didn’t have a lot of caffeine and this one doesn’t. It doesn’t say there’s ANY caffeine on the label. I looked. I looked at the label, and there isn’t caffeine listed at all, but I feel weird. Do you know why I feel weird? Why would I feel weird if there’s no caffeine in this drink? Whoooooooo!”

I take the can from the cup holder and look at the label. He’s right. There is no caffeine listed. I turn the can around and see this.

Caffeine not listed on label

“Nope, sweetie. I have no idea why you feel weird.” *cough*

#LabelFAIL

😉

Dinosaur National Monument

For Fall Break, after staying in Steamboat Springs for the night, we were able to head out west to Dinosaur National Monument. This is a FANTASTIC park that straddles Utah and Colorado. In fact, we lost track of when we were in which state. We saw dinosaur fossils; we got to touch huge dinosaur bones; we saw petroglyphs, and we camped at the end of a 14-mile 4×4 road. Our campsite was amazing, and the hikes we did lent themselves to once-in-a-lifetime views.

We had such a marvelous time.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here is about 32,000 of them! (give or take an extra hundred for the captions…).

Enjoy!

Click on the photos to enlarge, if you so choose.

1 Night in Steamboat

Our view from the hotel room balcony in Steamboat Springs. Magical!

Dinosaur is in CO and UT

Dinosaur is in CO and UT

 

Look! We found one of the Dinosaur heads!

Look! We found one of the Dinosaur heads!

 

Both of these models did a great job of not wiggling while I took the picture.

Both of these models did a great job of not wiggling while I took the picture.

 

So many bones

So many bones

Yes, we got to touch a dinosaur bone. For realz, yo!

Yes, we got to touch a dinosaur bone. For realz, yo!

 

A cutie and some Petroglyphs

A cutie and some Petroglyphs

 

You may have to click on the photo to see the road we're taking. It's 4x4, all the way to Echo Park Campground. Sue (the Subaru) was in HEAVEN. (And we didn't die.)

You may have to click on the photo to see the road we’re taking. It’s 4×4, all the way to Echo Park Campground. Sue (the Subaru) was in HEAVEN. (And we didn’t die.)

 

It's awesome having an extra helper set up the campsite!

It’s awesome having an extra helper set up the campsite!

 

Our campsite was surrounded by TALL cliffs. The sun didn't even hit our campsite until after 9am! We brushed our hair in the sunshine and took a selfie, because of course we did.

Our campsite was surrounded by TALL cliffs. The sun didn’t even hit our campsite until after 9am! We brushed our hair in the sunshine and took a selfie, because of course we did.

 

View from campsite of Steamboat Rock (from Echo Park Campground, not to be confused with the Steamboat Springs where we stayed the first night!)

View from campsite of Steamboat Rock (from Echo Park Campground, not to be confused with the Steamboat Springs where we stayed the first night!)

 

Steamboat Rock up close. Incredibly difficult to capture the true majesty of it.

Steamboat Rock up close. Incredibly difficult to capture the true majesty of it.

 

Confluence Trail led us to the confluence of the Green River and the Yampa River

Confluence Trail led us to the confluence of the Green River and the Yampa River. See my two there?

 

Stone Skipping Lesson. (As you can see, there were hardly any stones to choose from... *cough*)

Stone Skipping Lesson. (As you can see, there were hardly any stones to choose from… *cough*)

 

River Hike Confluence Trail - The colors are just gorgeous!

River Hike Confluence Trail – The colors are just gorgeous! The river and Steamboat Rock are to the right of us, down the bank.

We made it back to our campsite for lunch.

We made it back to our campsite for lunch.

 

After lunch, we decided to hike Mitten Park Trail, on the other side of our campground. This looks easy!

After lunch, we decided to hike Mitten Park Trail, on the other side of our campground. It’s already shaded by the cliffs. This looks easy!

 

This part of the trail looks super-easy. Right? Right.

This part of the trail looks super-easy. Right? Right.

 

Claire found a section where the sand was two different colors. Blonde and redhead. Hmm. Familiar?

Claire found a section where the sand was two different colors. Blonde and redhead. Hmm. Familiar?

 

Waitaminute. This isn't an easy trail after all!

Waitaminute. This isn’t an easy trail after all! And, yes, the rest of the trail was harrowing. I was duped!

See the rafters through the artistic-looking tree? Be careful. Don't fall to your death. No pressure.

See the rafters through the artistic-looking tree? Be careful. Don’t fall to your death. No pressure.

 

Our campsite is way down there!

Our campsite is way down there!

 

See? I've marked it!

See? I’ve marked it!

 

Yes, this is the trail. This is on the way back down. Do you see where Claire is pointing? Yes, that's a cactus. Ask me how I found it on the way up!! (Yep, put my hand right in it while trying to hoist myself over a boulder. That is decidedly ill-advised.)

Yes, this is the trail. This photo was taken on the way back down, because I was too upset to take a photo on the way up. Why? Well, do you see where Claire is pointing? Yes, that’s a cactus. Ask me how I found it on the way up!! (Yep, put my hand right in it while trying to hoist myself over a boulder. That is decidedly ill-advised.)

 

Petroglyphs!

Petroglyphs!

 

More Petroglyphs!

More Petroglyphs!

We didn't slip and fall to our deaths. We made it down (relatively) safely. Or, this is all a dream...

Headed down…

 

We didn't slip and fall to our deaths. We made it down (relatively) safely. Or, this is all a dream...

We didn’t slip and fall to our deaths. We made it down (relatively) safely. Or, this is all a dream…

 

Back at camp, Dad has Claire work on her whittling skills.

Back at camp, Dad has Claire work on her whittling skills.

 

The next day, on the way out, we stopped at Whispering Cave.

The next day, on the way out, we stopped at Whispering Cave.

 

Inside Whispering Cave

Inside Whispering Cave

 

Side-by-side photos. Left: pictures we took of the "dot" petroplyghs. Right: an explanation.

Side-by-side photos. Left: pictures we took of the “dot” petroplyghs. Right: an explanation.

 

A photo from the 4x4 road of the 4x4 road on the way out. Goodbye, Echo Park! Goodbye, Dinosaur! What a fantastic adventure!

A photo from the 4×4 road of the 4×4 road on the way out. Goodbye, Echo Park! Goodbye, Dinosaur! What a fantastic adventure!

Hoof-Covers

And now for something more light-hearted. My husband has coined the phrase, “hoof-covers.” This makes me laugh every time I hear it. “CLAIRE! PUT ON YOUR HOOF-COVERS NOW, PLEASE!”

They are his generic term for appropriate footwear, especially when dealing with Claire.

How did this come about? Because the poor guy was tired of rattling off every possible type of shoe, before landing on the one Claire deemed appropriate. “Hoof-covers” indicates that he really doesn’t care WHAT goes on her feet, as long as they’re covered when we leave the house.

She’s very literal.
I have no idea where she gets it.
No, really. I thought I put it up where she couldn’t reach it.

😀

Anderson Farms Coupon

andersonmaze4x6The corn maze at Anderson Farms is one of our favorite activities to do when the days shorten and we slip closer to fall. This year, we’ve been invited to check it out in exchange for a review, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, here are some discount tickets if you’d like to check it out for yourself!

Metamorphosis

When Claire was a toddler, she’d bring me bouquets of Dandelions. I’d put them in shot glass vases. Now, I use a shot glass to measure out hippy-dippy Household Cleaner. There’s a story of metamorphosis here, but I’ll leave it untold.