Sunday, July 26, 2009

Crater Lake

We spent the past week camping at my favorite place, Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. For me, this is a little piece of heaven on earth.

Over 7,000 years ago this was a mountain, a volcano that erupted. A huge chamber of magma emptied in the eruption and the weight of the mountain couldn't be supported anymore and it collapsed. Rain and snowfall has since filled the caldera to form Crater Lake.

There are no inlets or outlets to this lake. The water level barely fluctuates because there is an almost perfect balance of evaporation/seepage and rain/snowfall.

It is the deepest lake in the United States and the water is incredibly clear. But the most stunning thing about this lake is the color of the water. It is the most amazing deep blue color. My pictures don't come close to showing how blue and gorgeous this lake is.

This was our third camping trip to Crater Lake. We do a lot of hiking when we go but we have never hiked down to the water as a family. The kids have always been too small to make the steep hike back out once you have gone down to the water's edge. But this year we hiked down to the water and took a boat tour around the lake. It was so awesome to get to see the lake and the inside of a volcano from that perspective.

We did a lot of hikes up to high points around the rim of Crater Lake too. I was sure I was going to get a picture of the whole lake after climbing to the tops of some of the surrounding peaks but the lake is so big that I could only get parts of it.

If you ever have a chance to visit this beautiful national park, don't pass it up. You will always be glad you did. And maybe it will become as special to you as it has for me.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Good Mail

Thanks for all of you comments on our Amazing Race and surprise trip. I feel very lucky to have a husband who loves us and took the time to arrange the surprise. I jokingly told him that he better not come on here and read all of your comments or he would get a big head. He just laughed.

I got some fun mail yesterday. I won a giveaway over at Simply This, That, and the Other for Hawaiian fabric. They were some leftover pieces from a coin quilt that Jodi had made. Aren't they so cute! My husband and I took our first trip to Hawaii a few years ago for our 10th anniversary. We had such a great time and can't wait to go back. I am so excited to make my own Hawaiian coin quilt. I am sure every time I look at it I will remember that wonderful week with my sweetheart in paradise. Thanks, Jodi!

I also got the second installment of 9 patch blocks from the 3 x 3 swap I have been participating in for the last couple months. They are so cute! I am still trying to decide what I am going to do with these. I think we have one more month in the swap.

Have a great day!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Our Amazing Race

I woke up last Wednesday morning to a love note on my vanity mirror...

It told me to there was a package downstairs on the kitchen table. It was a large envelope that said "open together". I wanted so badly to wake my kids up! But I was good and waited. After they woke up we opened it up and found this...

My husband had orchestrated a whole morning's worth of fun for us! My husband and I love to watch The Amazing Race and the kids know a little bit about it. We couldn't wait to get started. We opened the first envelope and we found out that we needed to use Braille to decode it. Notice the picture of Phil (the show's host), he is doing that eyebrow thing he always does. I laughed out loud when I saw that. We always joke about his eyebrow look.

We hopped on the internet because we don't know Braille and figured out where we were supposed to go first. A nearby school. When we got there we opened the next clue. It was a road block. It was so cool that my husband used all the same things they use in the show. If you are familiar with the show you know that a road block is a task that only one team member can do. You get a clue about the task, then you have to decide who is going to do it, then they get find out what the task is.

My son opened this envelope and the clue was "who is ready to run like the wind". He wanted to do it so he found out that his task was to run around the track once going forwards, then sideways, and then backwards. He was so tired when he got back! It was fun to cheer him on.

The next envelope we opened was another route info one that took us to a little lookout park. We had to answer a question about a sign at the park and then we opened our next clue that was a detour. A detour is a choice between two tasks. The task choice was called Winners or Losers? The Winners one was answering a quiz identifying the winners of the competitions they were in from tv shows. The Losers one was (answering the same quiz) identifying the particpants from the Biggest Loser. We chose Losers and took the quiz. Can you tell we like reality tv over here? The kids tried to help but they don't watch any of the shows so it was mostly up to me.

I checked my answers with the key and I passed the quiz with flying colors. Next envelope was a route info that took us to a big park across town. Once there we had to count the number of swings and lifeguard towers. Then we had to do some math which we got right!

The next envelope was a road block so only one of us could perform the task. The clue was called "Chutes and Ladders". I decided I would do it. I had to count to 100 using the play area. Steps upward counted as 1, monkey bars or rings counted as 1, and slides counted s 2. It was fun! I took a picture coming down the slide...

After I completed the task we opened the next envelope. It was a route info that lead us to a waterfront park on Puget Sound. We had to find a plaque that talked about the lighthouse at the park and find the huge bell they used to use before they used a fog horn and answer a question about it. After we got the question right we opened the next envelope. It was another detour, a choice between two tasks we got to do together. It was called Skip Rocks or Skip to My Lou. Skip rocks was just that except we each had to be able to make a rock skip three times and one of us had to be able to skip it five times. Skip to My Lou was all three of us had to hold hands and skip around the park singing the song Skip to My Lou. The kids really wanted to do Skip Rocks but I know I can't skip rocks so since we had to be able to pass at least one of the tasks to get our next clue, we held hands and skipped singing Skip to My Lou across the park down to the beach where we skipped rocks.

The kids easily got the three skips quota but nobody got five and the best I could to was two. I know, lame.

After that the route info took us to a local Fred Meyer store. We had to search the area to find the answer to a question about the where and when the first Fred Meyer store was built. After we found that we had another road block. It was called "Memory". My daughter was the only one left to do a road block and after she read what she had to do I realized that she should have done the one I did and that this last one was meant for me. Oops! This is how the task went... my son and I gathered 12 items from the store and we kept track of all the prices and then wrote them on little papers that were provided. My daughter had to match the items and the prices. It took quite a while but she got them all eventually.

After that the route info took us to our friend's house where we had to sing and do sign language to a song the kids learned at church. They had to teach it to me first. Then we got our last envelope and this is what it said...
Congratulations! Pack your bags because tomorrow you will travel to your final destination and the pitstop for this race! You will need to pack for a 4 day trip. The kids are going to one destination and we are going another. WARNING: the last team to check in will not be eliminated! But hurry anyway because its really exciting!

I was so shocked! He had planned for my kids to stay with our friends (and believe me they had fun!) and he and I were going on a mystery trip! I found out we were flying to Phoenix, Arizona where his brother and his family live. My sister-in-law (who I just love so much) just graduated from nursing school and was having a big party in celebration. My husband and his brother (her husband) had been planning this since February/March. No one else knew we were coming! When we got there she screamed and cried, it was awesome! We spent four days hanging out with them and more members of my husband's family that had come to be there. They were surprised to see us too. We had such a good time. The day before the graduation party the girls went out and the guys went to a baseball game. We had lunch at In-N-Out Burger and I thought I was going to die it was so yummy, I miss In-N-Out so much! Then we went and got pedicures, then went shopping, then to see the Proposal (SO funny!!), and then to dinner. It was so fun to be at her party and be there to celebrate with her. We went to church with them on Sunday and then flew home in the evening. It was such a fun whirlwind of a trip and what fun to get to run our own amazing race! I can't believe how lucky I am that I got go on that fun little trip with my husband and that I have those fun memories of being with people that I love.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Summer Stripes

I finished a pair of fun striped socks. I love self striping sock yarn! It makes for such a fun knit.

I did a lot of TV watching, car riding, and doctor's office waiting while knitting these babies.

I always have to have a pair of plain knit socks on the needles for something I can work on anywhere that doesn't take a lot of concentration. The stripes are there to keep my attention and make it fun.

Yarn: Knit Picks Felici sock yarn, Paradise colorway
Needles: 2.50mm DPNs

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Mini Quilt

I received this cute little mini in the mail as part of the Spring Blooms Mini Quilt Swap over at the Quilt Gallery. I love it! The flowers are machine embroidered and I love the strip of floral fabric at the bottom. I was also excited to find a cute charm pack in the package. I can't wait to play with it!

I would love to say thank you to whoever sent this to me, but there was no note or label on the quilt. So I hope he/she is reading this... Thanks! I love it!!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

I finished my table runner just in time...

I hope you all have a safe, fun, and patriotic 4th of July! Now go out and enjoy some fireworks!
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