Sunday, October 3, 2010

Washington Trip - Summer 2010

We had an amazing trip to Washington this year! We extended this year's trip and stayed from August 6th-15th so that we could go to Andrew's 10-year reunion and spend more time with our new niece, new nephew, and Andrew's friend's brand new twins. It was a blast and Kaili loved playing with her cousin Madison and Joey (Andrew's family dog) especially.

Potholes is a reservoir near Moses Lake where Andrew's family has been going with the McDonalds to camp and ski since he was 9 or 10 years old. When the trip first happened with just the immediate McDonalds and immediate Skeens there would be 11 kids and 4 adults, but since then, several of them have married. So every year the pack seems to get bigger, but this year was crazy due to a surplus of children being born. If I counted correctly, there were 21 adults and 11 children under the age of 3!

What an adventure! We created two napping areas on the campsite, had tons of sunscreen and floaties that we passed around, and everyone who wasn't on the boat or cooking was likely on baby duty. It made for a very interesting and fun dynamic for all!

Coincidentally, Mitchell who is on his mission in the Spokane area was living in Othello - just 20 minutes from our campsite. After talking to the mission president, we were not permitted to see him, but decided that we could tour Othello and drop off a care package. The family that hosted the elders ended up being home when we went to drop off the package. They invited us in to take a quick tour of their apartment and leave a note on Mitchell's desk. We ate at a Mexican restaurant for dinner (one of two that were side-by-side in the town).

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Our first garden

Thanks to the home's previous owners, we have 5 raised garden boxes, which made it almost impossible to pass up the whole gardening adventure. In preparation last fall, I either pulled or sprayed everything that already existed to get rid of any weeds and so that we could plant what we wanted to enjoy. We planted in 4 of the boxes and at the last minute I decided to try out my version of square foot gardening in 2 of them. I strung string to form square foot boxes and tried to figure out how many seeds to put in each square. My problem however was that I never planned it out so I started to forget what I had planted where and eventually I was forgetting which squares I had already planted in. Besides the chives and rhubarb that somehow resurrected themselves this year, here's what we added:

Lettuce (3 types)
Snow Peas
Green Beans
Red Peppers
Green Pepper
Red Onions
Green Onions
Yellow Onions
Yellow Squash

So far we've enjoyed the green beans, peas, lettuce, broccoli, chives, and carrots. The jalapenos, peppers, chard and tomatoes are growing very slow; the cilantro flowered very quickly and I must have planted the herbs too deep because I haven't seen them yet. No sign of the cucumbers or the melon. The onions are just starting to take off and the corn is just about ready to harvest!

The only problem is I used one whole garden box to plant 2 squash, 2 zucchini, and 2 cucumber plants. I way over did it on the squash and zucchini. I swear I am picking out 10 of each a week and there is only so much you can do with them! Well, we won't be planting those next year.

I also learned that adding compost to the soil makes a huge difference. We added it to the corn and melon box and I think our corn is the healthiest, tallest crop in the neighborhood.

I think we will be a little less ambitious next year and plan things out a little better. And it will help now we know how things grow and what we actually enjoy harvesting. It has been fun nonetheless!

Here are some pictures that we took on July 5th:

Friday Visits at Grandma's

Almost every Friday this summer I've tried to take Kaili to Grandma Smith's house to enjoy some time at the pool and to visit. Andrew's mom got Kaili this "puddle jumper" to try out and after maybe 2 times, she was ready to fly solo. We've missed a few Fridays because of summer travels, but hopefully we can make it back over to Grandma's again this week. We love it!


A book Kaili found at Grandma's :)

Grandma showing Kaili her new piano

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Gorgeous Silver Lake Hike

We hiked to Silver Lake in American Fork Canyon yesterday and we had a nice time. We started the hike at 11:00 and got back at 2:45. Kaili was a rockstar! We stopped once to snack on the way up and then she just wanted to play in the water when we got to the top. We had a picnic there and on the way down she konked out on my shoulder. Such a fun hike! We'll definitely do it again!

Father's Day Surprise

I was pretty sure Andrew knew what he was getting for Father's Day, so I decided to add a little twist to it. I actually had two gift ideas in mind - a softball bat or a workout set (pull-up bar, push up handles, dumbbell weights). Because he guessed I was getting him a softball bat, I purchased the rest of the gifts, wrapped them and put the workout set behind door number one and the softball bat behind door number two and made him choose. It was a fun way to add a surprise to what Andrew thought was not going to be a surprise. He had no idea what was going on when I led him downstairs. In the end, he chose door number 2 with the softball bat. After he gawked over the bat, I showed him what he could have had behind door number one and I actually gave him a chance to choose the workout set if he wanted to, but he stuck with the bat. I returned the workout set the next day and that was it -- game complete!


It was close to 11:00 pm when I had my father-in-law look at a small wall in our basement to see if it was something Andrew and I could take out so that we could fit a bed in the room without having to tear out any of the built in shelves/desk we use for work. He rushed downstairs and I swear, it took only 10 minutes from when I said yay until Andrew and Steve had that wall removed. Pretty fun having pops in town! He even went to Home Depot and put one coat of spackle on it for us.

This was my contribution:


Kind of a funny story to tell if you haven't heard it. It had been a while since Andrew and I had been on a date together and we wanted to try something a little bit different so we booked a sitter and decided to take our truck up Provo Canyon on a pretty wet day (May 13th if you remember) to site-see and maybe find some mud. Well, we took the road that forks East off of Squaw Peak Road and drove about 3 miles near Rock Canyon Campground. Although we were on a dirt road most of the way up, the dirt was pretty packed and the steep incline was no trouble. However, there was one spot were they had just re-cut the trail and the fresh dirt had turned into some very sticky mud. We should have got the hint seeing a truck just like ours parked to the left of the trail because when we started going down hill we tried to turn the wheel to the right and we slid left, we tried breaking and we slid left. Everything we did made us slide closer to the edge to the left of the road, even being in 4WD. After several attempts go reverse back up the hill or go to the right, we decided to abandon the truck and start walking.

I was somewhat dressed up in red pointed flats and I couldn't even lift my leg without them getting stuck in the mud and my foot coming out. We held hands and made it up the hill and started our assent down with no real plan in mind. It was me who decided to approach a bunch of guys target shooting to let them know what had happened and to see if they caught up with us to give us a ride. As it turns out, they were about through and we hopped in the car of two total strangers and got a lift to the Riverwoods Mall where we enjoyed carmel apples from Rocky Mountain Candy Co. and chips and salsa from Bajios. Wonderful Grandma Smith picked us up and we dropped her back off to borrow her car to get back home. We drove it back to her that night.

We hoped the next day would be dry and sunny so the mud would be easier to handle, but it turned out to be even wetter and more muddy. We decided to take the trip up with our Corolla and park it just below that spot to check on Champ and to see if we could get it moved. Trying to brainstorm, I wondered if Geico could offer "roadside assistance" and tow us out for free. After talking with them for 30 mins and explaining where we were (since we were off the map), they agreed to contract with Larry's Towing and send us their "offroad rescue vehicle" to get us out free of charge. That was all wonderful since Andrew's attempt at moving it was unsuccessful, but this time we had Kaili with us and we had a 90 minute wait with pouring rain outside and too much mud to even want to step foot outside. Well, we made it through, every single minute of the wait and eventually our rescue vehicle arrived to winch us out.

Two things we learned: We love Geico and Grandma and we will try to enjoy more simple dates in the future.