Friday, September 05, 2008

First Day

While today is Abby's first day "all by herself", her other first day was on Wed, Sept 3rd (parents stayed the first hour). She counted down all morning... 4 hours, 3 hours, 2 hours, 1 hour... how much longer??? She was so excited to go, but I told her we needed a picture of her on her first day of school. She quickly dashed over to where I asked her to stand and sadly tripped on something and landed on her forehead on the garage floor, so that's why her eyes are a little red in the pics.
She really wanted me to take a picture that showed off her backpack...I don't know if you can tell, but I couldn't. But, when Abby's teacher went to put Abby's name tag on I discovered Abby's shirt was on backwards!! Oops!! Since her backpack had been covering her back I couldn't see the buttons running down her back until her backpack was off. We righted it immediately, and no one was any the wiser :D
As we walked over to the school she was such a chatter box. It was so cute. You could feel just how excited she was. It was very fun. As I walked home and contemplated the fact that my children are all in school now, if only for 2.5 hours, I was actually very pleased... not sad. I couldn't help but realize... this is what being a mom is all about... preparing my kids for the world, and Abby is ready. I didn't feel sad about my youngest going off to school, just content. She's going to do great!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

And the winner is...

You might have to turn up the volume to hear

We're going tomorrow Sept. 5!
Ethan told me when I entered "Put my name on it" Because we all know he is the lucky boy. I told him I had to put my name on the entry but I would put his name on and tell them why he wanted to go. So, as soon as I told him we won he ran upstairs to tell Elise and then came back down and asked me. "Did you put my name on it?", and of course I had. Charmed kid!
I LOVE the Peak 104.1!!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Guest bloggage (take 2)-Pacific Crest Trail

Hello everybody, Brad here again. You may have wondered (or not) where Samantha and I were when Tracey and the other kids went to Paulina Plunge. If I may be so bold, we did something way cooler. We and many of the young women went on a 2 and a half day hike on the Pacific Crest Trail, guided by our bishop. Although we were only hiking about 25 miles of it, the trail extends from Mexico to Canada. We started early Thursday evening:

We hiked a couple of hours until we stopped for the night.

The next day got harder. There was a lot of elevation change, and as you can see, Samantha was using our old heavy external backpack. But that notwithstanding, she did quite well. We stopped at a small crystal clear lake for lunch and had a swim. Chilly, but very refreshing to sore muscles!

We continued our hike to Obsidian Falls, which was really neat. Thousands of scattered pieces of obsidian were all over the trail, which led to this:

Although we initially wanted to go further on Friday, we decided to stop after about 10 miles. We were high enough elevation-wise to almost touch some clouds, which unfortunately decided to rain on us that night. We packed our wet gear the following morning, mentally preparing ourselves for what Bishop called the worst part of the hike.

It rained off and on Saturday morning. We hiked a couple of hours until we hit it: a big lava flow leading to the summit. And yes, it was as cold as the picture looks.

And yes, it was the hardest part of the hike. It was quite a climb. We reached the summit, which was quite desolate. We were at glacier level, and there was still a lot of snow. Speaking of which, here's our fearless bishop showing how to stay young:

As we started our descent, the scenery began to look much prettier. Wildflowers, which were sparse the first part of our hike, soon were all over. We were now hiking through terrain which was more "Pacific" than "Bend", if you know what I mean.

By this time, legs and shoulders were sore, blisters had popped, but spirits were high, as we could feel the end coming near.

Here we are, right before the final 3 mile descent to our destination.

We made it to our destination on time. The rest of the bishopric had planned a feast for us on our arrival, which the bishop's wife graciously hosted. We then went home for some well-deserved recuperation!

I'm grateful I had the time off to go with the young women. I've never been so close to such spectacular scenery. Our bishop carefully planned our trip, right down to the last meal. He was great. At the beginning of the hike, he warned the young women that this might be the hardest thing they've done so far. And for many of them, I'm sure it was. Heck, it was hard for me! We all made it, with varying degrees of help and encouragement. I'm very proud of Samantha. This wasn't an easy 25 miles, and it was her first major hike. She did very well, and even stopped limping around the house before me. I would definitely do this hike again. Any takers for next year???

Monday, September 01, 2008

Paulina Plunge

On Saturday our friends the Lewandowski's took the younger 3 kids, me and the Green family on a 4 mile trip aptly named "Paulina Plunge"
I'm afraid I didn't get a picture of the first waterfall we went by.
I'm also afraid to say that I was not a very good mom and let Abby leave the house with her sneakers on and no socks, so she ended up with blisters on her toes after about 5 minutes :-(
This was the 2nd waterfall Here's Elise sitting in "the chair"
Here is the 3rd waterfall. Kim was the only one who slid down this one (at the base), everyone else just waded in the pool. I think they were still a little chicken.
There was a small little slide here the kids went down. Here's Ethan

*NB- Double click on the videos to open the video on the youtube page and then click on "watch in high quality" underneath the video box. It is much better!

Elise waving from behind "Peek a boo Falls"

I didn't get pictures of the 4th waterfall either.

John and Gregg were first to go down the slide. They would spend the next 30-45 minutes standing there in that cold water helping everyone get down the slide and catching them at the bottom. They even helped a tour group who came along, where John had to rescue a dog who unexpectedly found himself going down the slide. Thanks guys!!

We went by ourselves, but here is a video of Ethan and I together.

Here's Elise

Poor Brooke got SO dirty! I guess this would be the 5th waterfall.
Poor Brett took a bad spill and got some serious road rash, a cut on his shoulder and lip and a bloody nose, but toughed it out. Here he is with his battle wounds.

Ethan and Breanne prepare to slide
Elise sliding

Abby's blisters really hurt when she put her feet in the moving cold water, so she didn't get to slide, which I feel really sad about. We will go again for sure though.

Doing this post makes me want to go again... right now!

This trip was really one of the highlights of my summer. It was SO fun. The Lewandowski's were so good to let us tag along and are such great people. Thanks so much for such a great day!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Summer's End

Can it really be true? All the signs are there...
We caught our last Bend Elks game a couple weeks ago. and last week made what will most likely be our last trip to the outdoor pool

and then last night the temperature dipped below freezing!

It is sad to see summer end, but I know the kids are anxious to see their friends at school and I have to admit it will be nice to be on a bit of a schedule again.

Goodbye summer. It was a fun one, and passed all too quickly.
Luckily Fall brings it's own fun and I'm sure we'll find more "Bryan Adventures"

Abby's Birthday Party

Abby had her birthday party on Monday, August 25th.

Afton, Clarin, Lily, Brett, Carson, and Kennedy all helped her celebrate.
Abby wanted a Strawberry Shortcake themed party, and since we found cupcake wrappers with Strawberry Shortcake on them she decided she wanted cupcakes instead of a "regular" cake.

(Yes, all the cupcakes were there at one point, just 2 eager beavers snagged theirs before the picture)