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Showing posts from July, 2011

Another RV remodel

Because we like to do things on a whim (and very likely because we were all high on paint fumes!), we took out the bed we recently built for Lizzy in the downstairs bedroom and put in bunk beds for the boys. They've been wanting (needing) a personal space that they just can't get in the open loft. We pondered a track curtain to separate them, but just see disaster in that future. Plus that's not a permanent space and it "doesn't count" if they leave the curtain open, etc. They sometimes don't want to have to look at each other and we respect that. I had a little brother, so I get it (sorry little bro!). So now they each have a bunk (off limits to all without permission) in the slide which we painted Army green (as requested). It seems like a bunk model RV may have been better for us, although we really use that room downstairs a lot (band practice, games, ect). Plus we can still access it when the slide isn't out, so that's stil

Matt's birthday!

Matt, my baby, is 9 years old! We celebrated a little early because we're going to the place of his choice tomorrow - the Grand Canyon! Last year his birthday was at Mount Rushmore. Pretty nice track record for him. We had s'mores, thanks to a surprise in the mail from the Grands. (Matt says thank you for the card, s'mores, & candy! We'll call soon!) We also had cake of course. He chose strawberry with chocolate icing. Weird, but good! He opened his gifts (transformers & hotwheels) and they had huge battles for the rest of the night. Hard to believe he's 9!

Montezuma Castle

Next we went to Montezuma Castle . Again, the kids did the Junior Ranger , which was a scavenger hunt with questions. The main castle is so cool! It’s built right into, and protected by, the cliff. They say 35 people lived in the castle, then 200 more in the community below, near a creek. There was also Castle A (not super original?) which was built into the base of the cliff nearby. It wasn’t as protected, but was neat because we got a closer view. A very nice feature on the path at this park was a diorama model of the castle for a peek inside with a narration of what life might have been like there. One of the rangers (seeing the kids’ ranger vests and knowing they’d be interested in a lesson) took us out to a cactus and showed us something interesting. Besides letting us eat the sweet cactus fruit (looks like jelly with tiny seeds in it), she showed us the cochineal bugs . They live on the cactus in a white cocoon and when you smash them, they’re bright red. Guess what t


We finally got out to explore Arizona today and wow! Definitely a day of new things for us. The southwest is certainly pretty, but it’s also very fascinating. First we went to Tuzigoot National Monument . (Tuzigoot is really fun to say.) The kids did the Junior Ranger program and we checked out the pueblo on top of a hill. There’s a path around rows of block rooms all piled on top of each other, all built into a hillside with great views of the Verde River valley. The path even goes through one of the rooms and out onto the roof. Here’s a panoramic view from the top. It was fun to imagine life there in the 1400s and trying to tell other kids which little block home in the piles of block homes was yours. It’s amazing how easily the pueblo blended into the hill from a distance too. They really took advantage of the desert terrain.

Aim low

When people ask me how I do it all (seriously, no one asks, but if they did...) my advice? Aim low. :) Sound too lame easy? How about... Lower your standards. Yes, I'm awesome like that. Today I was really busy with work, but I really wanted to keep painting the RV, so what did I do? I painted a whole wall ! I was just creative with my choice of walls. Aim low, I'm tellin' ya. I feel quite accomplished today. :) So far, in 5 days, we've painted the living room slide and behind some of the front shelves. And today's wall. We're definitely not breaking any speed records. Bright enough for you? No more beige on beige on beige for us!

School or pyromania

The boys said they found something to disassemble and inspect... great way to learn... then we smelled the burning... Still though, great way to learn!

Petrified Forest National Park

Also on our route was Petrified Forest National Park , so we stopped again to explore and of course let the kids earn their Junior Ranger badges . (They're running out of room!) We all agreed this place was WAY cooler than its name. We propose it be renamed to Southwestern Badlands and Painted Desert with a Petrified Forest Inside National Park . Maybe a bit long? This is a panorama of 3 pics (gotta love Photomerge in Photoshop)! Parts were like the SD Badlands , others like the John Day Painted Hills of OR, then the petrified trees were new to us. The views were amazing and the hills and trees very colorful due to the different kinds of minerals. We learned about the colors and how the trees came to be there. (As expected in a national park, they claimed theory as fact and said the trees were 225 million years old, which is completely plausible - if you ignore things like the 1950s boot found with a petrified human foot inside of course.) But as always, these thousands of

Petroglyph National Monument

Since Petroglyph National Monument was on right our way in NM, we stopped to check it out. We hadn't planned to stop or read about it, so we were surprised to learn there were 24,000 petroglyphs in this area! We went to the visitor center, the kids did the Junior Ranger program , and we hiked (despite the crazy heat) to see hundreds of the petroglyphs. Jack wasn't a fan of hiking on the hot sand. Maybe we need desert doggie booties.

New Mexico

Just our drive through NM was amazing. The west is just so much more interesting than the east! I didn't sleep very much on the drive. And *that* is saying something. :)