Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

Here is a slide show of our summer vacation. Sorry it took so long to get on here. We went to South Dakota with my parents. We stayed in Custer State Park but visited The Badlands, Mt. Rushmore, and Devil's Tower too. We saw lots of wildlife in the park and did quite a bit of hiking. The kids had a great time camping with Grandad and Granny. We had a great vacation in one of our favorite spots. Hope you enjoy the pictures.

(If you put your cursor on the picture a caption should pop up.)


Vanity. Well, you certainly can't have any when you are driving around in a humongous 15 year old conversion van. Our Trailblazer is in the shop getting a new front bumber, right front quarter panel, paint and racing stripe decal due to the aforementioned mall incident so we had to borrow one of Mom and Dad's extra vehicles. They have held on to our old van just for such circumstances and to use on vacations etc. I can't say that it has been fun driving that bohemoth around but it certainly has brought back memories.

It reminds me of all of the trips we have taken in it (and our other brown van, the two have merged in my memory). We always had it stocked with lots of games, music and audio books and there was always a cooler stuck between the seats. I remember laying on the couch and chatting/singing/ giggling with Deena and Amber or Tia and Stacy as we cruised for miles in route to the next campsite. I remember Eric and Brian playing Super Nintendo Mario on the little 7 inch TV in the dark on the way to the Current River. I remember setting the tables up in the back and playing cards by map light for hours with Brian, Jill and Eric while Mom and Dad (both sans desperately needed glasses) tried in vain to read the road signs and maps that would get us to our next campsite at around midnight that night. I remember the night Dad almost crashed it into a herd of cattle late at night in Kansas in search of yet another illusive campground. I remember it breaking down on Mom and Jill and I as we went shopping for the food for Eric and Kari's rehearsal dinner. I remember climbing in and out of it at the ski slopes in Winter Park and Dad wrestling around in the engine to get the air filter off so that it could handle the altitude a little better. As a matter of fact the last time it ferried us around on a vacation Dad spent at least one evening at our campsite in Mesa Verde, Colorado wrestling around in the engine to fix something. That van has taken us all over the United States. It has hauled wedding dresses and lumber, exersaucers and ladders. I can't even count the number of times that I have drawn the shades so that I could change clothes in the back on the way to some function or another and I think most of us have slept in it overnight at one time or another. It has been a very usefull vehicle.

The kids love it. They think there is nothing cooler than having a couch in your car...espcially one that you can turn in to a bed any time you get tired. They love to sit back there. Cainan announced yesterday that he plans to drive a van himself when he gets old enough. He is really impressed by it's size. He keeps pointing out that our whole family could ride in it and still have room for his cousin Callah, too. Of course, it has the exact same seating capacity (if you go by number of seatbelts) as our Trailblazer but it's got us beat on floor space. Ryker and Cainan like to "surf" in the middle aisle as we drive up our long lane. They also like to be thrown up out of their seats as we go over the speed bumps in front of the school. They think its fun that the map lights flash on and off when we hit a bump and they are so impressed that it has both cup holders and trashcans (ashtrays) for everyone. They're a little disappointed that the TV bit the dust a long time ago but they don't mind that the van rattles and squeaks and the rear speakers just static.

Me neither. It's been nice being back in the old van. My sister and I should have given it a name. I wonder why we didn't? It sounds like something goofy we would do...probably while on a long trip to Utah or somewhere after Dad had banned singing and before we started playing Skip-Bo.

Out of My Mind

You know how your mind works quicker than you can imagine? It seems like sometimes in a split second you can have hundreds of thoughts whiz by, grab the one you want and then voice it with almost no effort at all. When asked a question by a familiar looking stranger you can scroll through hundreds of faces in your mind, determine the person's first name, where you know them from and the answer to the question plus an interesting comment all in about the time it takes to blink. (On a good day, that is.) Anyway, I recently had one of those experiences where my mind was whirling through possibilities in the blink of an eye.

I met my sister at the Mills Mall for a day of shopping. When we finished I loaded up the packages and the kids and drove home. I then unloaded the kids, talked to Brian for a little bit and then went back out to get the packages. When I stepped into the driveway I was shocked to see that the passenger side of my car had a dent in it. On further inspection I noticed that there was white paint smeared in the dent and the front bumper was cracked down the middle and hanging down almost to the ground on the passenger side of the vehicle.

My first thought was, "Who came in our driveway and hit our car???!!!" Then, "Oh no, did I hit someone and I don't remember it?" And finally, "Somebody hit my car while it was parked at the mall and I didn't even notice!!" Unless I am having out of body experiences the latter must be true, but the funny thing is that I had all of those thoughts in about the span of time it takes for me to type a single "e". How is it that I can run through unlikely scenarios at the speed of light but it took me 5 minutes this morning to figure out if "possible" has one "s" in Spanish and in English or just in Spanish? Then Cainan asked me how many days until Christmas and it took me another 3 minutes to calculate that after wondering whether November had 30 or 31 days.
Maybe it is one of those things that doesn't work if you are really trying, maybe it has to be...what is the word, you know, it is kind of like spontaneous, but it is describing your muscles and stuff...oh yeah, involuntary.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Happy Halloween

Harry Potter

Zoo Keeper