Friday, August 27, 2010

First Day of School

Madison had her first day of kindergarten on Wednesday. She was super excited to finally go back to school. She is going to an all day kindergarten that is part of a classical program. The classical program offers a bigger emphasis on grammar, geography, government, and even some Latin (but not until next year)! She also does two days of Spanish per week. She is basically going to be a genius! She gets to ride the bus and doesn't get home until almost 4:00 everyday, but she wouldn't have it any other way.

Swimming Lessons

The kids took two weeks of swimming lessons in August at Pat's Pool. Madison really learned to swim and is a little prodigy. Hayes...tries hard. One day his teacher wasn't watching and Hayes walked off into the deep in, and I had to jump in (fully clothed) and pull him out. Not the first time either! They loved swimming lessons. One funny thing about Pat's Pool is that it is also home to like 30 rabbits, and we loved seeing the various bunnies everyday just milling around the yard.

Craters of the Moon

On our way home from Yellowstone we stopped at Craters of the Moon National Monument. Its a vast tract of lava rock and caves from an ancient volcanic explosion. We climbed to the top of lava cones and spelunked in caves created by lava flows. My favorite was the Indian cave that we walked all the way through (about 300 yards) and climbed through a hole in the top. Madison made a friend there that held her hand all the way through. The little friend told me not to worry she "had experience helping young girls through caves."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


This last weekend we went to Yellowstone, one of my favorite places ever! We camped out right on the Snake River near Ashton, ID and it was so pretty. We got to do my favorite part of camping: s'mores!

We one intense day at Yellowstone and saw basically everything we wanted to. Geysers, mud pots, fumaroles, buffaloes, bears (8!), deer, cranes, majestic mountains, and trees! The highlights from the trip were Hayes referring to Old Faithful as "shooting up into the into a masterpiece," and a park ranger trapped in a bathroom because he was escaping a bear. So funny. I want to go back and explore some more! Also, sorry for adding too many pictures, but I didn't include at least a hundred of them.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Better than Wildhorse

This last weekend we drove up Yakima-way to attend a funeral for one of Joe's high school friends. Despite the dour circumstances we had a fun time catching up with a lot of friends and family. On the way home, Joe decided to indulge my love of dust and desolation and we turned off the freeway at Baker City, OR, popped in the Johnny Cash CDs and took the scenic route back to the Idaho-Oregon border. We stopped in at the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. It was pretty interesting, we saw a lot of covered wagons and taxidermied animals and possibly people (although I think they may have just been mannequins). At the gift shop I bought the CUTEST buffalo cookie cutters. I just love buffalo, I would love to have a pet baby buffalo, but I don't think Joe would go for it. The scenic drive proved to be more scenic than we anticipated, it was a dirt road that followed the Snake River for at least 40 miles. It was beautiful to see part of Hells Canyon, and on the pictures one side of the river is Oregon, the other side is Idaho. We rolled into town late last night, making a final stop at Grandma and Max's house for 1st and 2nd desserts.

It's the dust and the mud...the bulls and the blood

Two weekends ago we took the kids to one of the top 10 rodeos in the country: The Snake River Stampede. They totally loved it! We went to the matinee and were able to see all the rodeo events. I liked the bronc and bull riding, and also started to appreciate the calf roping. Madison and Hayes thought the rodeo clown was especially funny! Joe says we don't need to go back next year, but wild horses couldn't keep me away!