Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer flowers

I love summer and all the beauty that comes with it. Some of my favorite flowers bloom in the summer and just looking at them brings back so many memories of why I love them so.

For example the roses, my grandmother loved roses, she had them all over her front yard. I remember vividly when they bloomed each summer on our week visit to her house. We would help her in her yard, pruning flowers and trees and then for fun play slip and slide down the little slope in the back! The smell of fresh roses always makes me think of her.

Lilies and daisy flowers are so unique... so many colors and varieties big and small.  My best friend had Lily boquets in her wedding and oh they were so gorgeous... and smelled so good.  Every time I smell that fragrance it makes me think of that morning wedding and holding those boquets.

Iris make me think of my mother,  she loves iris and the color purple.  I remember her planting them at the house we had in Genesee, ID and at Lenore, ID.  Teddy bear iris are my favorite.  I even got her to paint me some oil paintings of iris, her own style and Monet's iris!  I love them both!
She was telling me how the pull the bulbs apart and keep only the new growth for the old will never bloom again and how Grandpa Phillips used to always get so mad for he would dig up his bulbs break off the new and toss it over the fence.  The other side of the fence would be filled with blooms and he would have none.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Angel's Rest Hike in Columbia River Gorge!

  Auuhhh the smell of the trees and fresh air in the morning as you are getting out of the car and heading to the trailhead.  The parking lot is already full and we had to find a spot alongside the road.  The first few feet up the trail makes me remember how much I enjoy being outdoors.  The sounds of birds and the quiet of the trees all around.  This is one of the most gorgeous hikes I have been on in the Columbia Gorge.  It is just outside of Troutdale about 12 miles and the hike itself is a length of 2.4 miles one way,  anyone can do at their own pace.
I have done this hike once before but today was a great day for a hike and wow this one really delivers on the diverse scenes and tons of people traffic.  The 2.4 mile distance up is just as hard as the 2.4 miles down, the elevation change and rocky trail make for slow going but just think of all the gossip and chatting you can get caught up on.   Great for girlfriend time!
We are talking of trips that have been had and trips that we are planning to do.  Where we want to go and see this summer.  Even of people we want to think of and visit. 
Another great thing about hiking especially on this trail is the other people and catching the tid bits of their conversations as we go by.  Even being able to see all the dogs and their owners that visit this trail.  All types and breeds.  "guitar cases and surf board fell on the trail", a boston terrier yips at me on the way by.... oh the joys of hiking.

These flowers were at the top of the trail and I am so intrigued by them, they were like some kind of tiger lily but the pedals curled up... GORGEOUS!!  I may have to enter this picture!  It is interesting!! I love searching the trails for the different types of flowers and plants, it is even more exciting if I actually know what the plant or flowers is named.  There are lots of beautiful daisys and buttercups.  But this lily was devine..

A view from the top!  Look at the Columbia River below!! wow!  I do not know about you but I am nervous of heights and let me tell you sitting on these rocks at the top really get my blood going.   I cannot turn it down though for the sights are too great to miss.  See that couple up ahead of Kali?  Yes I will be on that rock next... I want to see how it all looks from there too.  We came this far, why the hell not?!

This is a steady climbing trail, always going up and up or down and down.  I have to keep my eye on the trail most of the way up for it is quite rocky and uneven,  my feet are feeling quite clumbsy today.  On the way down I start to feel a little dizzy or light headed, maybe I have been staring at my feet too much, uh oh I feel my leg give a little, DOWN I am on the ground.  Darn it my camera hit the rocks.. good thing the screen side did not hit, just a little scratch here and there and uh oh I have a bruise on my leg already from the fall.  Good thing only Kali saw me go down.  All I can do is laugh about it now, I feel like an OX that is NOT sure footed.  Oh yes, I know I am almost home with the welcome bridge left to cross.  The weather was great, the company was wonderful and I cannot wait to go again soon!!  Even if I did fall a little. :)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Jewel @ Oregon Zoo June 25th

I was fortunate to go see Jewel in concert at the Oregon Zoo with my sister Emily. 
Finally a night out just the two of us.  We had a great time, beer was good, the weather was warm and sunny, and the music was incredible!

I have not been to a concert at the Zoo before and now I am excited to be able to go back.  I do not think there were bad seats, other than the people that surround you.  The seating is all on the lawn, you can sit on blankets or try to bring small chairs.  I found that it was actually nice to laydown and stair at the sky while you listen to the music.  You can bring your own food, just not your own drink, but you can fill up a water bottle when you are in there! 
We were fortunate to have a lady behind us think that we actually went to that concert to hear her sing Jewel's songs.  NOT!!

I really enjoy her music for her songs are little stories. She was also a good story teller inbetween her songs. She did a few of her new hits and then the rest of the concert was by request.

We even got to have a free picture taken with Jewel! And just for Portland she googled our town and wrote a quick song about us! Thanks Jewel!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Boot Camp

So I signed up for a better body boot camp.   I am at the weight that it is hard for me to loose mroe and get down to the size that I want to be.  I need to tighten my tummy and butt.... so I thought why not give it a try. 
Today was my first session at 545AM.  I did not sleep all night, was so worried about getting up on time.. woke up every hour.  I hate that.  So I get up and get out of the house in plenty of time to be early.  I get to what I think is the address of the class and cannot find the class... oh gosh, I have to call Eric and wake him up to look for a phone number.  Who is going to be up at this time in the morning?  Well the instructor right?  so I call the number that Eric found,  and after 4 rings he answers, just turn right from where you are and we are here at the stadium.  Oh, now I feel not so smart.  Oh well.  Wow the first class was fun, hard, but fun.  I think I will like this. 
The classes are three times a week, but he said for this month they are doing five days a week for the same price, so I may just try going to that too.  But I think I will give it a week to get over my soreness.  We will see.!! Good Luck!
Day two of boot camp: More of the same circuit workouts.  I am starting to feel a little more soreness.  That is good!  Just need to work on my diet and sticking to the right amount of points.!!  Oh new body here I come.. well at least a more toned one!  I am really liking the early morning workouts.  Great way to start the day energized!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Daycare? want one? need one?

When I was just married and thinking of having kids, I thought it would not be something I would do, take my child to daycare and still work full time.  Then Ashlee came and yes I was back to work full time.  The thought of paying someone else to raise your child, well was not what I looked forward too.  I hated it at first but then I got in the groove and it was working for me, then Sawyer came into the picture and I did the full time work for a couple of months and it was NO longer for me. 
Finally, I talked my husband into getting what he needed from his company so that I could stay at home with our kids and no longer send them to daycare for 9 hours a day.  Those weeks that I had to be at work knowing that I was not going to have to keep doing it were great and also scary.  I was so happy to tell my boss that I had enough of this and wanted to quit. 
But then deep down in my heart I was scared that I would not be good at staying with my kids all the time and that I would go nuts without an agenda of things to do.
My first month off of work was a little hard, but it was also nice for it was December and the kids and I had a lot to do to prepare for the upcoming holidays.  Thank goodness for lots of cheap crafts and ideas at JoAnn's and Michael's.. it has now been about 6 months since I stopped working and I am starting enjoy my time with the kids, but I am really missing some girl friend time. :(
So now that I am starting to ramble a bit? 
My goal of this note was to ask how much daycare is good and how much is too much?  When Ashlee was going full time to daycare I noticed that she would pick up a lot of new things, some good, some bad.  She would be learning new songs that I had not heard before, and also new mannerisms... again NOT all good.  I think she has also learned a lot of good things too, like how to talk to people, new kids, how to be able to make friends quickly, and how to share, at least somewhat.
How much do you send you child to daycare?  How much do you think is good?

My girls first movie at the theatre!

Saturday was Ashlee's first trip to the movies. We went to see Toy Story 3 in 3D! She was so excited, we had to get popcorn and licorice.

The 3D glasses fit well and we were set to go find a seat.
It is a saturday morning and the theatre is almost full?! wow! 

We got a seat about 1/2 way back and sat down.  The seats are large with high backs and Ashlee tried to sit back in them and the bottom flipped up! so she had to sit on them toward the front.  Just after the movie starts she proceeds to move over to my lap and watch.  I was quite impressed... we went potty before the movie and she made it the whole way through without having to get up for any distractions.  That either means it was a good movie or she did not have enough to drink :).

We had been trying to think of some rewards for her going to bed and sleeping well.  We have a star board but she is doing so well we did not want her to loose interest.  I think the movie reward went well and we will have to do it again soon!

Friday, June 18, 2010

lawn mowers... who needs 'em?

This AM I decided to be nice and try to get the lawn mowed before Eric got home from work.  I get all the prep work done.. clean up the dog poop, get out the yard debris can, get out the mower and prime the motor pull the cord and VAROOM... it is running and not two seconds later, sputter and nothing... dead.  Ok just a fluke, I prime it again, hold the throttle lever pack and pull the cord, VAARROOOMMM....sputter, sputter and dead again?!!!
So I call my husband, ask him "is there something wrong with the mower?" No worked fine last time I used it, which was Saturday morning. hmmmm who knows!! So being the non mechanical person that I am, I look the Toro website up and start trying to find trouble shooting... I even break down and call to ask my dad if he has any ideas what might be wrong.  Nothing, from no one... so Eric is home for lunch and he takes it to a mower place to look at it... they say it will be a week before they can even look at it, and it would be $40!  yikes!!
NOW WHAT?!! I need a mower!
Ok so now after watching Utube, I feel a though I can take this thing apart and fix it! Ha!  This should be fun, this is why I took small engines shop in highschool.  Oh I feel all the dirt coming back!  For one thing our mower is a MESS!  Someone needs to learn to clean it up!
I got the thing all apart and wow there is gunk everywhere.. and I smell like gas....air filter is black, the carb bowl is caroded and the oring is nasty..guess I will send for parts and carb cleaner tomorrow.  Hope I can get this thing back together.  wonder if it will run? 
Check back with you tomorrow... with an update.  Still need lawn mowed.  it is at least 6" long right now.
update; yes, we fixed it.  the carb clean utube video did the trick.  Got the mower back together and running, mowed the lawn and we are ready for a new adventure!  Thanks a lot Utube!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Naps.. how long are they really needed?

Naptime here at our house is very important,  if it is missed then the nighttime sleeping is not so good.  I remember thinking tire her out and then she will sleep a lot longer and better.  Wrong!  For some reason the more tired she is the worse she sleeps.  That does not make a lot of sense to me but that is how it works with Ashlee. 
Sawyer on the other hand seems to sleep well whenever!  I am not sure when Ashlee does not need her afternoon naps anymore.. lots of people have kids her age and they no longer have naps, but I have tried and she still wakes up at night if we skip it.  Maybe I should just shorten her nap from 2 hours to 1 hour.? wonder if that will help?
Ashlee is going to be starting 4 days a week of afternoon school in September and I need to get some ideas on naptimes.  Would an hour nap after school work? 245 to 345? or there about?  When there was just one child it was easier to move naptime around, with two, one is still very relient on that schedule.... help? does anyone have suggestions?
Follow up; I tried letting Ashlee go without the nap in the afternoon and she told me after 4-5 days that she was just not ready for it.  She was tired all the time.  We worked out a solution of her taking at least an hour nap for now.  Her additude has improved about it since it was her idea.

Playdates!! Love them... hate them!!!

ok .....So one of Ashlee's school mates called and left a message with me yesterday. She wanted Ashlee to come to her grandma's house for a play date. Ashlee was SO excited to go!
But there is always the "AWE is she going to take my child"? will she be one of those abducted kids? I could not handle that! I am sure it will be just fine!!! right???!!
She came with her grandma to pick up Ashlee and to ask if there were any allergies for they were going to do snack about 1030am. I cannot believe that I let her go with them on her own. I am paranoid!! I do not think I will get anything done while she is gone.!!!
I am not really sure of the family other than I know where they live, the car they drive and that she subsitute teaches here in OC area. Her grand-daughter went to school with Ashlee and they really hit it off in class.
When do you worry? how much? Ashlee told me she would be just fine, and just let her go. wow she sounds like to is 10 already huh? ok will write more when she gets home!

Well the playdate was a great success!! Ashlee had a ball and she came home right on time. She said it was great and that she for sure wanted to do it again! plus she got lunch! Oh I feel better :o)

Silver Falls OR....camping

Finally a sucessful trip and it was even a little relaxing. Eric is getting a lot better with pulling a trailer and also on how to use it and set up and take down. We were working like a well oiled machine instead of a complete cluster!!! HA HA

I have never been to Silverfalls State park before, I am So glad that we rescheduled our campsite down there. It is just outside of Silverton OR, and cute little country town, lots of antique and craft stores, and to top off the neat place that is ......the weather was amazing! I think my skin finally got some SUN!

There are ten different falls to see, but beware dogs are not allowed on any of the trails, too much foot traffic. We got to see 4 of the 10. One of these days I will get to hike the whole 8.7 mile loop to see all of the falls.

I am very happy to see that Ashlee is going to be an outdoors person like me. She loves to be doing something, biking, hiking, drawing. Now I just have to get Sawyer into it too!

We are getting better at using the trailer, after these first couple of trips working out the kinks we are starting to like the trailer. I sure enjoy it over a tent, we have heat and a bed! Ha. Eric is even set up to have our tv and cable in there :) roughing it I know!  Couple of years with this and I think we will need to upgrade to something bigger and better... watch out RVing here we come!

Ashlee was so excited to see all the playgrounds for kids, but with so much sun the slide was a little warm.... so we went hiking instead!

Ashlee got to help with roasting marshmellows, she tried to cook them the Patrick star way " shove them in the flame and burn them to a crisp".... needless to say she was more excited to eat the chocolate.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Stop talking?

I remember back about 3 years ago, right when Ashlee was starting to say a few words. I was SO excited, I wanted her to say everything. She did too, fast! Now she is 4 and wow she never stops. I mean as soon as she is up from bed, non stop "bla bla bla"
I have to tune her out for she NEVER stops! She talks on the phone for a good 45 minutes about I do not know what with her Aunt Lisa and grandma Porteous!
What is it going to be like when she starts grade school? I am so scared on how it will be when she is actually old enough to have friends to talk to on the phone! watch out! I need a seperate line for her now!
It is time for Sawyer to start learning how to talk and I find myself a little hestitant on drilling him, I like it when they do not talk back and talk for that matter... it is SO quiet! He started saying " momma" and that is all, he has two words so far, "baba" and "mama" that is it and I really am not sure if I want him to learn more! HA...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Wow I started watching this show on TLC today, toddlers and tiaras. I am so scared of these kids. They wear more makeup then I do and fake hair, fake nails, fake tans, there is nothing real on them. How is that pretty? and the sad thing is these kids like it. They get to spend all this time being fake and then they get completely addicted to it! yikes!
Then it happened... my husband was saying how NO way is that going to happen in our house, the next thing you know Ashlee says " can I be in a pagent?" HA that is funny! :) you go girl!
I know if she said that about something that I am interested in or used to do, like rodeo or omoksee, I would be so all over that! anything to do with horses I SO want her to be interested in. we will see...

Looking back I am so glad my dad was so obsessed with horses! At first it was weird to have so many horses, but I loved the thrill of the butterflies in my stomach and my name being called saying "Larsen" is on deck! I would tense my legs and my horse would wake from her slumber and begin to prance in place just a little.
I got my first horse when I was seven . Her name was Lady, she was the best first horse ever, at least as far as I was concerned.
I did not know anything about riding or saddling a horse. I soon learned that putting a saddle on the horse was hard work. It was heavy and I had to lift it a long ways, so I started learning to ride bare back. at first I could not stay on hardly at a walk, but before long I knew how to run the barrel pattern at full speed!
Then I got a POA pony appropriately name Smokey, and we were bareback riding everywhere. At the time I lived in Genesee ID and my girlfriend, Matah would ride with me everyday after school. We could not wait for the last school bell to ring so that we could run home and jump on the ponies. Matah rode my sister's pony Cinnamon. I loved the fact that Matah and her horse had the same color hair, it was so neat! Are favorite trail was just out of town towards the highway to Moscow, a dirt trail through the fields. We would race and race, sometimes I would win by a hair and others by a mile....I loved the thrill of running as fast as my horse would go!
I felt so free and alive! Soon I found that same thrill in O-mok-see horse games.
I had to graduate back to a horse for my pony just did not seem to be fast enough. I went through a lot of horses trying to find that right one! There was Thomas the Apaloosa, Truck, the running quarter horse, and finally Missy and Wanda our favorite quarter horses! Watch out barrel racers here I come! :)
I barrel raced all through school and up through college. I took clinics to learn more about my horse and about the "ins and outs" of barrel racing. We traveled all over Idaho, Washington, and some into Utah and Wyoming!
I hope some day I will get to do it again though Ashlee.... I hope... we will see :o)!!


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