Monday, August 31, 2009

The iLucy & Ruby show

... now I know why my girls are so tired in the morning!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hellgate (without the fire)

Eric decided we needed a little adventure today so at the last minute he called and was able to get us on one of the Hellgate quick and scenic jet boat tours on the Rogue river. When we told the girls that we were going, they all complained and said they just wanted to stay home. I know they are glad they went.

(Photo stolen from their web site here)
The boats travels up to 45 miles per hour, goes through white water rapids and does 360s.  
You get soaked....

... and soaked!
There are quiet scenic parts where the driver would point out bald eagles, turkey vultures, osprey, and women in bikinis. We even watched a man on the side of the stream reel in a salmon the size of a 1 year old child! I have to say the driver was hilarious, it was very entertaining.

I took this photo at the end of a high speed 360 right before the wave came in the boat... see what I mean about getting wet. It was a really hot day so it felt great and you dried off quickly.

If you are ever up this way, I strongly recommend putting hellgate (the one on the Rogue) on your to do list.

Friday, August 21, 2009

To die for

If you are ever driving through Central Point Oregon (only a few miles North of Medford) you MUST stop and get corn here. It is seriously the best corn you will ever eat... if you think I am exaggerating you can read this.

I heard people talking about it but I was a nonbeliever,  after having eaten 3 ears in one sitting... I BELIEVE!!!

The pick fresh corn every hour and it is just AMAZING!

It's yellow!

Congratulations Haley!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Oregon weeds

Blackberries grow all over the place here. You can pick them along bike trails, or just pull over and pick by the side of the road. This is our favorite spot to pick off the side of the road.

The girls have done this before so I was surprised when they insisted they did not need long pants and long sleeves. I let them go like this figuring they would learn more from the natural consequences then they would from me nagging.

Of course the girls got all scratched up and had thorns in their crocks. Luckily we had Dad with us so we came home with a large bowl full of blackberries. 

Look at this photo and the rolling hills in the background... I still can't believe we live here. 
I really love it!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The river

Eric has been working the night shift, so it has been really nice to have him around. Today we ran out to the river with him for a few hours. He has never been to the river so we were all really excited to go with him.

FYI-Eric is not a fan of cold water. When we went diving in Mexico he wore a full wet suit. 

The river is always on the cold side but today was exceptionally cold. I couldn't believe he actually got in the water. After an hour, his body was numb enough he actually did the rapids a few times and the rope swing... what a good Dad!

 The girls as always had a blast and did not want to leave. As soon as we did they were asking when we could go back. Not bad for free entertainment!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The fish hatchery

The kids here meet every Thursday at different parks in the area... but today we went way out of the area (45 min away) to a fish hatchery.  It was super cool. They all got to feed beautiful big rainbow trout. 

Right after I took this photo of Lucy feeding the fish, she stuck her hand through a hole in the wiring and a large trout jumped up and bit her finger. I was not worried at first, but then I saw the blood. It turns out that rainbow trout have teeth on the top... who knew? 

Lucy was fine, she didn't even cry. I think she thought she was cooler then all the other kids because she actually got to "touch" a fish. 

We also saw some of the largest salmon I have ever seen in my life.  Ok, honestly I think the only Salmon I have seen has been on my dinner plate. 

I'm so glad this one didn't bite Lucy!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Frogs 101

1. Don't ever set your frog down while playing Legos and forget about it, it may take hours, prayers and even tears to find it. 

2. Frogs eat crickets. When purchasing crickets it is imperative that you choose the pin head cricket (small crickets). If for any reason you come home with the large crickets, be prepared to have everyone in your house forgo sleep for the night.

3. Frogs do not urinate often, but when they do it is a steady stream capable of traveling far distances.  Be prepared at all times and hold them accordingly to avoid any undesirable situations.

4. When holding a frog asking to have your photo taken, be prepared for anything.

5. Frogs are cold. Beware that children may use cold frogs on your bare back as weapons of distraction early in the morning. 

6. It is very hard to determine the sex of a frog visually, but only male frogs croak... female frogs do not. If your frog croaks it's a boy... even if it's name is princess.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The pear farm

Our church, The church of Jesus Christ of Latter day saints is very involved in Humanitarian service. If you are interested about it you can read more here and here.   As part of this humanitarian effort the church owns things like cattle farms and orchards to help supply food to those in need.  There is a large pear farm near where we live that they can all the pears and send them to areas in need. The church has asked that every LDS member in the area donate 12 hours of their time over the next 3 weeks of pear picking season. 

Eric and I went to go work there this morning and I was so impressed. The people in this area have been doing this for YEARS. The people we picked next to said it is a local tradition.  They also said that LDS members that live hours away will drive in on a Sat to help pick and some bring out campers and stay for a week.

The trees were LOADED with beautiful pears. I mentioned to someone there must be by divine intervention to have trees that full. He agreed and said this orchard has the highest yield in the valley. Last year they produced 1.6 million pounds of pears and this year they are projecting 2 million pounds.  

It was really impressive seeing so many people willing to donate their time for charity. I saw several senior citizens. One lady had a really hard time walking but she had her basket strapped around her and was picking. (I had to take photos when no one was looking because I didn't want to seem like a slacker.)

 It was very organized. As we arrived and signed in they asked if we had picked before. Since we had not we were "trained". They are very serious about it. There was a list of rules like you must wash your hands before touching the pairs and if you have diarrhea you are not allowed to pick(I'm not sure how they check or enforce that). They do not allow anyone under 12 to pick because pears are so fragile.  We had orange rings to measure the fruit and if it was to small we left it on the tree. If any pear hit the ground you had to leave it there... I felt so wasteful because I was clumsy and kept dropping them. 

We filled several of these huge plastic bins today and I'm sure we will fill many more in the next few weeks.

Sunday, August 09, 2009


"Mom you are being illegal." Lucy

"It's legal to eat while driving" Me

"No it's not, you have to hold the steering wheel!" Lucy

"Ya Lucy it really is. Lots of stuff is legal here that was not in California like talking on the phone while driving." Ruby

"And going topless... that's legal here too." Haley
(public nudity actually is legal here)

Haley's friend Anna lives up the canyon and this was our conversation after picking her up from her house today: 

"look at all these deer they are so beautiful... there are even two babies over there." Me as I am getting my camera out. 

"Ya my Mom hits deer ALL THE TIME" Anna

"She HITS deer... with her car?" Me

"Oh ya, all the time. She thinks they are going to move so she keeps driving... but she always hits them." Anna

"Are you serious, do they get hurt?" Me

"I don't know, but my Mom has to put duck tape on her headlights." Anna 

While driving we saw a dead raccoon on the side of the road and I said "Oh no, looks like that little guy didn't make it"
Then Ruby sadly said " Ya... probably Anna's Mom again."

"Mom, is it really bad if a frog pees in your mouth?" Ruby

"Pees in your mouth??? Well it would be disgusting, but you wouldn't die" Me

"Really???" Ruby

"Ruby, did the frog pee in your mouth?" Me

After a long pause "...ya" Ruby

"What happened?" Me

"I was looking at the frog in my hand and turned it around to look at it's back when it just squirted right into my mouth... I ran to the bathroom, spit and washed my mouth out. I'm just glad Im not going to die." Ruby

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Get a clue party

I promised Haley we would do a birthday party for her, but it needed to be in Aug. I figured that would give her some time to make new friends and we would be settled by then. So we picked the 1st Saturday in Aug to have a Nancy Drew party. When we were making the invite list she really wanted to invite boys... so we decided to call it a get a clue party. I googled for ideas and took many of things from here and here

For decorations, I used large black magnifying glasses I got from the dollar store. Then we just put question marks everywhere. I rented a helium tank and so we could hang question marks from the celling.

As the kids arrived we had detective ID badges with their name and team color. The kids were divided into two teams and they all hunted for the same clues but in a different order.  We all had ID tags, Eric and I were Agents and Lucy was the photographer.

Here are some photos from the sleuthing. I listed the clues down below. 

For party favors I gave everyone a wrapped gift and then we did it gift exchange where they could steel what someone else had ect. I bought Nancy Drew books and Hardy boys books for the exchange. 
We also played a game of detecting who they were (name taped on their back) by only asking yes or no questions. They got into this game way more then I expected. They kept asking for more names, so we played three rounds.

Ruby helping clean up. Like their Dad, the girls LOVED sucking the helium out of the balloons and talking funny.

Haley had wanted a hedgehog for her birthday... but she changed her mind and decided that she wanted a white dumpy tree frog. I opted for a lock on the cage to avoid any "accidental drownings" like we had with the hamster.

Introducing the newest member of our family... Kinko!

Overall Lucy did a great job as the photographer. She loves taking photos of herself and I guess she just couldn't resist.

Here are the clues from the hunt. Fyi- the hunt tool about 45 min. 

(The 1st clue was written really large but the paper was torn into pieces and they had to tape it together to read the clue.)

1. The large BROWN house is holding a clue. Near the front door is the best place to view. You will need to HUNT for the clue, but don’t smash the FLOWERS

(One of the girls at the party has the last name of Hunt. She only lives 2 blocks away so of course I needed to use her house! Orange plastic flowers stuck in the dirt with clue bags/ puzzle pieces)

2."A secret massage has been MAILED to you, hurry FOUR your next clue!"

(This clue was in a SUPER small font that you had to use a magnifying glass to read. There was a key to our community mailbox . Our box number is 4. )

3. You are not going to MEXICO but you will need to travel by foot South then West to find the street with a HOT VIEW not far from you. At #3735 you will find a sweet clue to keep you alive! 

(3735 Calle Vista with Clue with tootsie rolls - You’re on a roll- note for Zoo)

4. You’re on a roll! 

There is a Zoo keeper named HALEY. Go to her zoo and find the animal with your teams color for your next clue.

(Two different stuffed animals in Haley's room with the teams tape colors on them)







(They had to use the code key to transcribe this message. They had to jump on the trampoline to see the sign in our upstairs window that said Freezer.)

6. As a detective you need to use all the proper TOOLS in your bag. You also need to be smart and   _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ,  _ _ _  you can find all the clues in the house.

(crafty and sew were writen in invisible ink so they had to use the spy pen light to read it. Clue was in my craft room on the sewing machine)

7. Look UNDER the APPLE but not one you can eat. It’s as easy as 1, 2 to find the next clue. 

(Dictionary under Apple computer. On page 12 it says go to page 185. On pg 185 Mirror is circled and it says downstairs.)

8. RORRIM, RORRIM no eht llaw ohw si eht tseriaf fo meht lla? sI ti ruoy maet... ll’ew ees. kooL ni eht nevo.

(Message written backwards ... last three words are look in the oven)

9.  You guys are good, your doing great. Figure out this clue.... I hope it’s not too late. It’s in the back, green and can slither through the grass but it is currently coiled up.

(Phone with phone number and puzzle piece on the hose)

10. Call 840-1570 and ask for Hector for your next clue. 

(I was in my closet and answered like a farmer man... "You are so HOT, oh so HOT! If you wanted to be any hotter you would need to be in front of a fireplace.) ***This was my FAVORITE clue. They were all so nervous to talk to a stranger, Haley handed the phone to someone else in her group. 

Once in front of the fireplace they were told to put together all the puzzle pieces they collected.

Both teams had to combine their pieces to find the cake!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Our sunflowers

The flowers in our yard make me so happy!

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