Saturday, May 15, 2010

Playing Catch Up...

Friday, my Sister's youngest son returned home from his Mission.
(Elder Justin Bagshaw...fresh from the Alabama, Birmingham Mission, my bother-in-law, their granddaughter, their son-in-law, and my sister)

We went up to greet him and see everyone at the airport. It was then that my Sister pointed out it had been SIX months since I had posted anything on my blog. REALLY, six months?...and sadly, she was right.

We've done a lot in the past six months. Experienced the holidays of Halloween through Mother's Day.

Jim and I went to DisneyWorld with all of his siblings for a Family Reunion in January.
(two of Jim's siblings are missing from this picture. One who didn't make the trip do to conflicts, and one because they were serving a Orlando....which is why we went there in the first place. He and his wife DID play with us a little bit....just never when we got a photo taken.)

Then to Disneyland in April with Denae and the girls,
Matt and friends,
and Jim and I with Xander. We had a GREAT time.

All MY kids have had birthdays, and I did too, (but we won't mention that.)

Denae competed in a State HOSA competition and is now heading to Orlando, month. Pretty exciting stuff for her. She is trying to raise money by doing Photography sessions. If you are interested, check out her blog HERE. She does wonderful work...and it would go to a good least I think so!

Anyway...yes, I'm still alive and doing well. I will work to be more diligent in posting and I truly enjoy reading everyone else's blogs. I hope some enjoy mine. And you never know....I stumbled upon something this evening that really made my day. A total surprise!!! It brought tears to my eyes. Not to toot my own horn, that's NOT why I'm linking to this, but the comments by her friend were just as great. Check it out here. A wonderful surprise.

Monday, October 19, 2009

After 30 Years.....

Jim and I will be married for 30 years on December 1st, and we have had the same bed all this time. It was originally a waterbed until about 12 years ago, we got rid of the waterbed and kept the bookcase headboard. It was falling apart and sitting up on food storage buckets. I felt it was about time to get a REAL bed.

I still need to paint the bedroom....which we were planning to do anyway....and organize a few things, but I LOVE the bed and bedding set.

I feel all grown up now. :D

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Gorge is Gorgeous!

The Columbia River Gorge IS Gorgeous! It is so green and lush, and we really enjoyed our drive through here. We started at the Bridge of the Gods. I remember this bridge from when I was a young girl. I remember crossing to when I was headed to a Girl Scout Camp. I thought it was the coolest and weirdest bridge I had ever seen.
Not because of how it looks, because I had seen plenty of bridges growing up in Oregon. But because of this.....
The "road" was a metal grid that you could see right through. This is the bottom of a car driving over just above us.
See, this is looking down as we were driving across the bridge. As a kid...this was COOL!

On the other side of the bridge is Washington State. As I mentioned before, we were Geocaching, so I needed to find a cache in Washington to be able to count the state. There was one very close to the bridge, up a little trail on the Pacific Crest Trail. It was a beautiful little walk for us. And sooooooo GREEN! I don't think Utah does green! At least NOT like Oregon does!
Just a stump with pretty....and the ferns.
Xander checking out the moss. We found the cache and moved on. We went back across the bridge and our next stop was Bonneville Dam.
Here we are looking at the salmon going through the fish ladder at the dam. They were HUGE! I don't like fish, but I know Jim's mouth was watering!
Then we checked out the ladders from the outside. Here I actually caught a fish as it was jumping. They were saying it was the height of the Steelhead run. There were lots of fish. I have been here many times, but this was the most fish I ever recall seeing.
Next we took a look at the second powerhouse. Look at all that water! And Xander was doing some very serious Boulder Hopping. He finds such joy in simple just gotta love him!
Next stop...Bonneville Fish Hatchery. Here's Xander at the Sturgeon pool. These fish are bigger than Xander! Notice that Xander is still sporting his shades!
Next stop, Multnomah Falls. I love this place. Again, so green.
View from the Bridge. If you look at the top right of the curved set of stairs, you will see Jim sitting on the wall. He's waving so Xander can find him.
Xander looking for Grandpa from the Bridge.
Doesn't this look like a Post Card? It's so green. I know I keep saying that, but it REALLY is! This is on the Historic Columbia River Highway.
Apparently it's been around a while! It was a much prettier drive than the freeway. I'm glad we took the extra time to drive the old highway, it truly was a Scenic Byway!

Next we did a little nostalgia for me. We went to Alpenrose Dairy.
Alpenrose is a family owned dairy in the Portland area that has many good memories for me. I know that probably sounds strange, but let me explain. They do many family oriented events through the year, like each Easter, they did an Easter Egg Hunt. They are still doing this each year. I remember having to color my egg according to my age, then you go to they appropriate Baseball field and then when the whistle blows, you HUNT! If you found eggs with a number taped to it, you won a prize along with the candy you collected. Those fields seemed HUGE when I was a kid...but they are just regular ball fields now.
For the Fourth of July, they did a pagent, and I remember this building being the backdrop. There were grandstands all around, and they did rodeo type stuff and fireworks. Now...this is a midget race track, so they aren't doing the Fourth of July celebrations anymore. They also have a Velodrome for bicyclists. (Bicycle racetrack that the corners are very slanted). And whenever you visited, you had to walk through Dariyland.
Which was still there! Some of the buildings are just false fronts, others house "museum" type articles. It's like an old west town. I have some very happy memories here, and I just wanted to see the place again. Sometimes I just wonder if I need to see this stuff to realize they ARE memories, and not just made up in my head.

The last major thing we did this day was we headed south towards Salem...and again, back to Geocaching. I had found out that the ORIGINAL Geocache was placed just outside of Oregon City. I figured I couldn't be THIS close and not go to see it. There is a plaque placed to mark the spot as this cache is no longer there.
Xander and I at the plaque.

After this, we headed on to Salem and found our Hotel for the night. Phew....what a day.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

And we are the Oregon Coast

Jim had decided about 6 weeks ago that we needed a vacation and asked "Where should we go?" We discussed this for a few days and finally decided we would go to the Oregon Coast. I grew up in Oregon, so it would be somewhat of a nostalgia trip for me, but I didn't live on the coast. I also like to Geocache along the way as it brings us to some interesting sites that we would otherwise miss. So here is the chronicle of our trip to the Oregon Coast.

Friday, Jim decided to leave work early so we could be on our way. It's funny how when we were younger, a 12 hour drive was no big deal, but now....we wanted to break it up. We decided we would drive to the Boise, Idaho area and spend the night. You also have to realize that we had a 3 year old with us...which is another reason to break up the trip. But Xander turned out to be a VERY good little traveler. We only got 2 geocaches on this leg of the trip...and really no pictures.

Saturday, This is where the fun began. We hit 10 caches this day and they brought us to some interesting sites.

Meacham, Oregon wasn't a very big town at all, but come to find out, it was our Nation's Capital for a day...who knew??? This is part of what makes Geocaching so fun.
This Snoopy and Woodstock are there on the side of the freeway and I guess have been there for YEARS. I've never noticed this before and I have driven this road many times, but thanks to Geocaching we knew to look and take a picture. I am a BIG Snoopy fan.
A beautiful view at another cache that we didn't know was there. Very interesting how the hills are bare of trees, but the valleys are lined with them.
Then this scenic overlook just before you drop out of the Blue Mountains...there was a cache. Xander and I hiked over to it and he found these COOL sunglasses. It wasn't until we were back at the car that Xander had figured out that the lenses flipped up and down.
Xander....Lenses UP
Xander.....Lenses Down....Now aren't those just the coolest things you've ever seen? Xander sure thought so!
And in the town of Pendleton, Oregon, we were led to this sculpture. These things were full size and from a distance, it really looked like these cowboys were driving some cattle in. Very cool.

After Pendleton, we finally got to the Columbia River! That is a BIG river.
Our first scenic overview of the Mighty Columbia. We were at a view site called Rowena's Crest.
Jim and Xander at the Crest. Notice Xander still has his sunglasses. We had to teach him how the ear pieces worked and how the curve down when they are ready to be put on.

Next we came upon the small town of Moiser, Oregon. This town looked like a war zone as there was a forest fire going on behind it. There were lots of fire fighting personnel all over and we even saw TV crews. The place was just filled with smoke.
If you look very closely in the center of this picture you will see a helicopter with a water bucket. We watched it come past us toward the river, then fill it's bucket and head back to the fire. That was kind of cool. In the midst of all of this, we had a cache to find. It was this place...
A Porsche Museum. It wasn't open, I'm sure due to the fire and all the activity. I had also heard on the news before we even left home that the "Microwave Fire" (called this because it started by a microwave tower) had somehow cut off the power to Moiser, but they were not sure why. It smelled very much like a campfire there, so we decided to press on, but at this time we were realizing that several of the places along the gorge that we wanted to see would now be closed. We were supposed to make it to Portland, but we decided to get a room...but NOT here! We wanted a NON SMOKING room. LOL
We drove on and were able to see some active burning along the freeway. We even saw some smoldering that was RIGHT next to the road. WOW! We decided to press on and find a better place to stay. The sun was starting to get down closer to the horizon where we REALLY needed our sunglasses just to see. And Xander knew JUST what to do.
Here he is...Lenses down...doesn't he do COOL well? We ended up spending the night in Cascade Locks, Oregon. Found a room and settled in for the night. But this was something new to me.
I had NO IDEA that one needed their sunglasses in bed! The things a 3 year old can teach you.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What Was That???

One day I walked into my bedroom and sat down on the end of the bed. I heard something rustling up by the headboard. I turned around to look and......NOTHING!
Then THIS popped out!
Then it disappeared and returned with a friend and TOYS!
The toys gave it away who the hands belonged to. I called his name, and low and behold...
THERE HE IS! What a silly boy!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Golden Spike National Monument

Another stop on the way home from Declo Days....was the Golden Spike National Monument. Jim was reading a family history about his Grandfather and it mentioned that he was there when they drove the last spike. We were just about 10 miles from the exit when he read that, and I asked, "Do you want to go there? We never have, I think we should!" He said "Sure, it sounds like a good idea." So off we went.
It's quite a drive from the freeway, and I have to say when I thought of Promontory Point, I always thought it meant a point on the Great Salt Lake. But the lake is several miles from here. So it must mean something else....Hummmm, something to research.
We were very fortunate with our timing. I guess three times a day they actually MOVE the trains and re-enact the "meeting". We arrived there just 20 minutes before one of the times, so we were able to go watch the big trains actually operate.
Here is the 119 from the East and it operates on coal.
And here is the Jupiter from the West and it operates on wood. Well, actually they BOTH operate on STEAM, it just what they burn to build up the heat to produce the steam. I didn't realize that they engines were painted such bright colors back then, but they wanted to attract attention, so they were very bright and boldly painted at the time. It wasn't until later that they mostly went to black.
Here comes the 119! It's almost there.........
....and there it is!
And here is the special tie and plaque where the last spike was driven. The spike isn't actually there.
And a closeup of the plaque.
It was a very educational visit. Then it was time to head for home.