Monday, November 12, 2012

Sharing a Giveaway!

Sharing a giveaway over at The Daily Dietribe

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Out in the Orchard

I grew up on a fruit farm. We had a relatively small farm, but it was big to me. We had mostly apples and peaches. We had other trees scattered throughout the orchard and garden...pears, plumbs, cherries, etc. I don't remember the selling of the apples, but I do remember the peaches. People could come up to the orchard and pick their own peaches and pay by the pound.

Oh! Those peaches! They were amazing! Nothing like walking up to a tree, picking a ripe peach, giving it a good rub on your shirt to get the fuzz off, and biting right in...juice flowing down your arm, dripping off at your elbow. Mmmm! Nothin' like it!!

I rarely taste a peach that comes close in comparison to how those peaches tasted!

Sadly, when we moved to the 'big city' of Grand Junction, the orchards slowly began diminishing. It was too much work for one man to keep up from over an hour and a half away.

Of course, it's still fun to walk down into the orchard and explore, and enjoy memories. Like when we would, as kids, stack up all the empty apple boxes and make forts. Or play in the tree that formed a perfect little house for us to play was right next to a rock wall, which acted as our kitchen counter. Or poke at a dead, bloated sheep...ok, well, that's not such a distinguished memory. Or play in the run-down jeep, pretending we were driving all over. And in the winter, trudging through hip-high snow just for the fun of it. That orchard provided hours and hours of fun for me as a kid!

It's also still work for my dad. Here, I got some great shots when we walked with him out in the orchard to do some irrigating.

Cam's carrying the shovel, as he and Kenzie walk with my dad.

Cam was intrigued by the process of opening damns to allow water to flow.

Picking out walking sticks...we each got one.

The kids trying to get near the sheep in the neighbors orchard.

Growing up in the beautiful mountains of Colorado, on a fruit farm, is something I treasure. And I'm grateful it's still there for my kids to get a glimpse of and enjoy for themselves, and create memories of their own!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


We were greeted upon entering Colorado by this familiar sign! I always feel like I'm "comin' home" when I see this sign. I get butterflies in my stomach. I get giddy like a little kid.

I don't know about you, but even if I've "made home" somewhere other than where I was born and raised (and believe me, I've "made home" in lots of places), that place will always be "home" to me. There will always be special connections (besides family members of course, which will always be connections for me there). I'll always have special memories...lots of memories...that act as my personal history; the backdrop of my story.

You know, we experience a lot in life as adults that work to shape us into the kind of people we are. And hopefully we'll be learning and growing throughout our whole adult life. But our stories of growing up are a larger part of who we are than any of us can deny.

Anyway, the backdrop of my story is poorly captured in some of these pictures. Nothing beats actually being there and breathing the air for yourself. These snapshots will have to do for now.

You can see in this picture that there's still snow right by the side of the road. This is in June! Yes, we were at high altitudes, driving through the Rocky Mountains, but still...snow, right there, in June!!

There was this amazing waterfall hidden off the side of the road. I happen to notice it (I'd taken this route many times over my lifetime, but never noticed the waterfall. It could have been because of the extra snow run-off from the big winter Colorado had, though I think this waterfall is usually there on a smaller scale.) There was a spot to pull over on the side, which a few other cars had done, and we got out, crossed the road, and took some time to enjoy the cold mist coming off the fall. There was another family there, exploring, and we exchanged taking pictures for each other.

 The mountains are so majestic and beautiful! What an amazing Creator we have!

 There was another waterfall on the side of the road, which is not usually there. I took a little video. It was such a beautiful spot! I wanted to get a full 360 view of where we were.

As you watch, I hope you enjoy the little comment Mackenzie makes...hahaha, the fun of home videos.


There's more to come from our Colorado adventure!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Rapid City

Rapid City is the closest city to Mount Rushmore, and therefore where we stayed instead of one of the quaint (=$$$) towns in the Black Hills. So, the day after our Mount Rushmore adventure we spent the morning touring downtown Rapid City.

The major attraction of their historic downtown are life-size bronze statues of the US presidents! You can find out all about the City of Presidents project, including an identified picture of each statue and a write-up about each president HERE. It's a good resource for anyone wanting a refresher on the history of our US presidents.

The information center has a little booklet that guides you through a scavenger hunt. If you complete the scavenger hunt, you can return to the information center and receive a free special drink (can't remember exactly what it was). We ran out of time to complete the scavenger takes a good bit of time to walk the entire down town area, and we had to eat lunch and get on the road. It was a lot of fun though, and we wish we would've had time to complete it. The booklet has enlarged pictures of small details on some of the sculptures. For example, there was a really up-close picture of a what looked like a flower. It ended up being on the lapel of one of the presidents. So when we identified the picture, we wrote down the president that it belonged to, and so on. I think there were twelve, or so, pictures to identify in order to complete the scavenger hunt.

You can see here that Cam has the booklet and is looking closely at the shoe of this president, trying to identify one of the pictures.

It was a really cool thing to see these life-size sculptures, and to talk with the kids about the presidents. Definitely a great resource if your kids are studying the US presidents!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mount Rushmore Adventure

We had the opportunity to visit Mount Rushmore on our road trip. Neither Brad nor I ever had been there, so we were glad to give Mackenzie and Cam the experience!

The Avenue of Flags. Each state is represented here with it's flag and info about when they became a state, etc.

"Mount Rushmore, Mom!"

This is inside the "museum" part of the complex. There was a video presentation that was very interesting, and a lot of fun things to look at!

This is the model of what the sculptor originally wanted it to look like. Variations in the rocks didn't allow for the work to go that far down.

This was taken from inside a rock, at the base of the monument.

After a scenic drive through the Custer State Park we returned to experience the evening Lighting Ceremony.


This is the view of the stadium from the base of the monument. It's where people sit for the Lighting Ceremony.


The video presentation and Lighting Ceremony was really neat. Glad we returned for it!

I would definitely recommend making a trip to Mount Rushmore someday. It's beautiful. It's amazing to hear how it all came about. It's an experience I'm thankful for. It's an experience my kids are/will be thankful for.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wall Drug Adventure

Even before we entered the state of South Dakota we started seeing signs saying: "Wall Drug!" "The Best Place in the World...Wall Drug!" "Free Ice at Wall Drug!" etc. After about the twentieth sign I finally had to look it up. I grabbed Brad's phone, risked car sickness, and googled Wall Drug. It's actually a very interesting story. I can't remember all the details now, but basically a young married couple (the husband being a pharmacist) moved to the town of Wall to open a pharmacy. After some time, business was failing and the wife came up with the idea to attract customers with big, huge signs along the interstate. The main advertisement was the free ice water. There were a lot of motorists traveling along that route and she knew free ice water would attract them. Well, now it has turned into a huge attraction. It's much more than a drug store. It's an emporium of stores, a restaurant, and a play-yard for kids.

It just happened to correspond with the time we needed to stop for dinner. It was fun and the food was yummy.

Another good choice for a stop along the way on your next drive through South Dakota.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Here We Go!

The first part of our moving adventure began with many delays. It was so unbelievable we just had to keep from crying.

One of the delays was when we (finally) got on the road. We had just crossed the boarder leaving town (already hours behind "schedule"), when a warning light in the dashboard came on. Not knowing what the symbol meant, I got out the owners manual and found it meant "low tire pressure" and "pull over at nearest service station." NOT what we wanted to see! We pulled over at the next gas station and when we got out of the car we could hear air escaping the front driver's side tire. There was a huge screw lodged in it. Not so good. The really neat thing about this particular delay is that when Brad went into the gas station he saw Cam's teacher from that year at school! Ms. Bambi...Cam loved her, we loved her! She was the best teacher we could have asked for! So, while Brad painstakingly unloaded the back of the car (which he had painstakingly loaded like a puzzle just an hour before), Cam was kept happy by visiting with her and "washing" her car windows. It was a real treat for us to see her again! Brad changed out the tire for the spare and then once again painstakingly loaded the car like a puzzle. We headed back into town to get a new tire. Another few hours later we were finally headed out of town, for real this time...until we missed a turn and were heading south instead of north. Again...we had to laugh...just laugh.

Well, what I really wanted to share in this post was about our travels through Arkansas. We had only kind of planned our route, so when we were all of a sudden in beautiful mountains I realized we were in the Ozark Mountains! We made the kids stop their movie in the back seat and look out the windows to take in the beauty! If you ever have the opportunity to take the scenic route through the Ozarks it would be worth it! And if you do, you should stop at this restaurant in Harrison!">

It was a good place to stop and take a break from being in the car, and the food and atmosphere was great! We took a little extra time to let the kids walk around the grounds.

So, even though the first few days of us trying to get out of town...yes, I said days of us trying to get out of town...started out our moving adventure somewhat frustrating, once we actually got going the adventure looked like it was going to include some fun in it. So good!