Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Virginia Beach

The girls and I made the 3.5 hour trek out to Virginia Beach. It was fun to see the Atlantic since we are all Pacific Girls! :) The weather was hot, humid, sticky, icky. There was a storm brewing so there were clouds (which we were happy for, since they kept the sun from beating down on us). We looked through some of the little touristy shops at all the tshirts and keychains. Oh, and the sunglasses. When we were done looking, we went down to the beach to lay on the sand and play in the water. It was pretty crowded, but we found a spot and sat for a while.

Then, it happened. A rain drop. Then another, and another. So, we packed up and headed to the car. By the time we got on the road, the clouds had opened up and drenched the town (luckily, I had put fresh Rain-X on the windshield before we left home!). We drove around to look at what we had missed on our walk, then decided to head home. The girls slept most of the time, and we went through a big downpour and lightning and thunder storm. We finished our day with Sonic in Fredericksburg. It was a long day, but we had a good time. Here are the highlights.

This one is just for Monica!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Butterflies and other creatures

We took a trip on the Metro on Tuesday to go to the Museum of Natural History to see the butterflies. Well, we went to look at other stuff, too, but the butterflies were our main goal of the day. The butterfly pavilion is free on Tuesdays, so we went to pick up our tickets (they give out a certain amount of tickets for a 15 minute trip through the pavilion) then went to look at all the other exhibits until our time came up. Here are some highlights of our trip.....

On the Metro. This is Karalee and me. It was our first time on the Metro here. fun!



Monday, July 20, 2009

Skyline Drive In Shenandoah National Park

We joined our pals, The Holms, for a drive along the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park. The road is called Skyline Drive and it's really beautiful. It's a 105 mile long cruise through trees with scenic views of the valleys on either side of the mountains. Ok, so, just so we get one little thing straight. The Blue Ridge Mountains ARE mountains, but they're baby mountains to those of us from the West. The highest peak is 4051 ft. Mt. St. Helens, our little short volcano in WA is 8,363 ft. It was definitely worth the trip, tho.

This is looking down east into Culpepper, probably Fredericksburg farther out. We pulled into around 15-20 overlooks and each one was beautiful. As you can see, we had great weather. It was cooler up there, which was VERY nice and a welcome change to the humidity down below. We packed lunches and stopped in a picnic area. First, tho, we made a little hike on part of the Appalachian Trail through the forest. We saw trees, flowers, bugs and bear poop. :) My goal for the day was to see a BEAR, not just the remnants of a bear visit.

A little bit down the road, my goal was complete. Traffic was stopped, I got all excited and started thinking there was a bear there, and THERE WAS!!!! It was just a baby bear cub. We took pictures of the little guy and got the heck outta there before Momma came by to protect her little one. He/she was just right off the road. It made me a little nervous because of all the traffic. I hope Momma came soon to shoo her baby into the forest, and away from all the dumb tourists...some of who drive just a little too fast for this road.

Another little hike we did was to Dark Hollow Falls. Did you know Falls can Kill? That's what the sign says. I didn't make this fact up! It was about half a mile downhill to the falls, then half mile UPHILL back to your vehicle. All along the trail was a sweet little stream that gradually got a little bigger and a little bigger until you reach the falls. Then it becomes a cascading waterfall about 70 feet over big rocks. Ok, here comes another comparison for those of you out west. Multnomah Falls is 620 ft. The bad thing about Dark Hollow is that it's easy to get to so it was CROWDED. We stopped and took some pictures and started our short trek back to the vans to continue along the road to the next fun stop.

We made it to Big Meadow/Byrd Visitor Center. We got out to stretch legs, make a potty run and check out the visitor center to see what else there was to see in the park. We decided that it was more of the same (beautiful forest and overlooks) and it was starting to get late, so we made that our last stop. We had to stop and snap a picture of the entire gang for a newer, updated picture with Miss Ava (almost 4 yrs old now) in it. We had to click and run because of all the stinkin' gnats. They were pretty much horrible if you were standing still. The trick was to keep walking. :)

This is one of our whole family pictures we have way back in 2002. Mae is probably around Ava's age then. Look how little all the girls are compared to now! Wowwee!! Time flies when you're raising kids! Sara was about 8, Anisa was around 10 and Syd was around 7.

Anyway, our trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains was fun. We're planning to go back in the fall to see all the colors. I can't wait! :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Even Our Pets Are Wierd

This is Anisa's fish. Well, one of them. She has 2 fancy goldfish. Batman and Robin. Batman is a big black fishie and Robin is a little plump yellow guy. They like to sleep during the day when they're not eating. They actually go to the bottom of the tank and just sit there on the rocks. Well, Robin also likes to just float......upside down. The first time we saw this trick it scared us. Now, it's just normal. I think it's because he has such a "fluffy" belly (don't want to call him fat) that it's just easier for him to float upside down. That's my theory, anyway. Why he does it really, we will never know, but he's cute, isn't he? :)

Why I love my Van and Traffic

Shocking news! I love my van! :) hahahaa Ok, most of you already know how much I love my big blue 1993 Aerostar with over 200,000 miles on her. But I'm not sure if you all know WHY I love her. Well, it's times like this when I am so happy to have her. We bought the girls new beds. Of course, they wanted the ultra plush european pillowtops. Big ol' hurfin' mattresses. We wanted to save a little money so we picked them up in Baby. I just took out the back seats and we got both mattresses and frames inside, then the guys tied the boxsprings to the top. You can't do this is any old van or even SUVs....I know. We've had friends ask if we could move stuff in the van since big stuff didn't fit into their space-lacking vehicles. :) There are people out there who laugh at my van (you know who you are) until they need something big hauled. She's more than just a people hauler. She's my Baby! :)

And, you're wondering why I said "traffic" in the title, right? Yeah, that's not a typo. Traffic is something we're learning to live with here. There is ALWAYS traffic on the freeways. It doesn't matter what time you go out, there is traffic.

Because I had 2 boxsprings attached to the top of the van, I couldn't drive too fast, but didn't want to take 5 hours getting home on the backroads. Luckily, I went to pick the beds up right about the time everyone and their brother was getting out of work. Traffic on the freeway was moving at around 45 mph, which was perfect for me. I only got a couple of funny looks, and since everyone was going slow, I didn't make anyone mad. It was a good day. :) Bonus, the kids were very happy to have new beds. I let you know later how they slept last night. :)

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


The girls wanted their rooms painted, so...we painted them. Here are the colors they picked.

Anisa wanted a dark plum-y purple. She picked a color called Kimono Violet. It's a little more purple than I thought she wanted, but we both really like it. We only did one wall in her room since it's so dark. The other walls are a really, really soft yellowy green color. It actually looks pretty together.

Sara just wanted purple, a pretty purple. So, this is what she found. We only did 2 walls in her room. Her other 2 walls are a really, really soft green, but she wants them white. We'll see.

Travis isn't happy about either color. He's more of an Antique White paint guy. The girls are happy, tho, and that's what matters. They are both getting new queen sized beds too, that's why their rooms are such disasters. :)