Sunday, 24 July 2016

Back to Canada!

We drove up from the Grand Coulee Dam to British Columbia.
We opted to drive the Princeton-Hope highway, which was pretty, but very twisty.
Now we can say we've done it, but unless I'm on a motorcycle, I wouldn't have to drive it again.

We struggled through a few bouts of car sickness, & got stuck behind a slow moving RV in a line 35 vehicles long!

Grandpa had talked about donuts quite a bit on the trip, but they never actually materialized.  At Hope I had had enough, so I directed Grandpa to Tim Horton's so we could stop talking about donuts that didn't exist!

We had a great 3 weeks with my parents & the trip was a lot of fun!  Maybe we'll have to do it again next year!

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Berkeley Pit Mine & Grand Coulee Dam

We were back on the road & decided to stop in Butte, Montana to see the Berkeley Pit copper mine.

The kids seemed to have a bit of trouble with the binoculars...

You had to walk down a long tunnel to get through the hill.  Then you could see the pit.

It's huge, & this copper mine has a long history.  It was a quick stop, but interesting!

 We stopped to look at the sale table & scored a set of 3 shirts for Asher for $4!
One less thing to buy for school shopping!

Asher couldn't figure out why I wouldn't let him go see the trolley!

On the road again!  We spent a lot of time listening to our iPods!
(it was either iPods, or American politics!)

We made it all the way to the Grand Coulee Dam!
We watched a short video about the building of the dam, then walked around a bit.
After being in the truck all day the kids had a little trouble sitting still for the video, so we opted not to see the 45 minute, more in-depth video. 

I'm surrounded by craziness!

Friday, 22 July 2016

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch...

My mom grew up in Montana, & it was always my favourite place to visit as a kid.  I love the prairies, horses, & all the fun things to do on my cousins' ranch.  My kids feel the same way.  Asher & Chancery are city kids, but I try to get them a taste of farm/country life as often as I can!

We stopped to visit my Great Uncle Gordon, the kids said hi, then went right back outside because there were kittens!

We stopped at the cemetery where quite a few of my ancestors are buried.  Look at this display of sibling love while the kids stand by their Great Grandparents!

And we found the grave of my Great-Great-Grandparents.

Then it was on to the ranch!  The kids were eager to go for a ride on the Quads.  My cousin Justin was kind enough to take us through a few fields for a nice ride.

We found this old log cabin, & the kids enjoyed looking around, but decided they did not want to live in it.

We drove up to the radio tower & the kids both wanted to climb it.  SInce it was pretty windy, & the tower is over 100 feet tall, I told them they could climb it as long as they would stop where I told them to & go no higher.

 I told Asher he had to stop 2 sections below where he is, knowing that he'd go a little higher...  He loves to climb!

We had a great time at the ranch & we were sad when it was time to go.  We got to spend a little more time with Justin & Uncle Leonard though since they decided to join us for supper!

If you ever want to know how to restore sibling harmony, tell them they can share a milkshake, but only if they agree on one flavour!   They chose chocolate, & shared very well!

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Wyoming Wildlife

Welcome to Sheridan, Wyoming, the only place we took pictures all day!

It started as a rest area stop, & turned into a lunch stop because we didn't think there would be another rest area for a long time.  We saw some wild animals here.  There were baby swallows at the buildings main entrance...

There was this fierce warrior...

 We even captured a photographer in his natural element!
(Funny story:  Grandma took this photo.  Then a few minutes later discovered that Chancery was standing on a counter area, & then told Chancery she shouldn't stand on tables... notice where Grandpa is?)

At the playground Chancery found a bunny! 

It was a combined effort to try to feed the bunny a little bit of carrot, but it was not the least bit interested in our carrot, choosing dandelion leaves instead.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Minuteman Missiles & Needles Parkway

Another day on the road, with a few extra pit stops!

 My brother, Kurt told us about the new Minuteman Missile museum along I-90, & we decided it was worthy of a stop.

They had a kids activity book, that once completed the kids would receive a badge.  Asher & Chancery dutifully filled in the answers (though if you asked them about it, I'm not sure they could answer your questions), then brought their booklets to the rangers for their badges.

There are also a few missile bunkers you can go look at to see how they were stored, & signs explaining how they were maintained, & could be launched. 

After an exciting morning, we had a picnic lunch in Custer State Park, & I found two dimes in the parking lot!  It's the little things that make it memorable!

 We found the pack of donkeys, & I was shocked by what I saw!  So, it's fun to bring some fruits & vegetables to feed the donkeys.  I get that.  What I don't understand is people who bring a big bag of full-sized carrots & feed the donkey carrot after carrot until the bag is gone or they donkey loses interest.  There were celery stalks & apples all over the ground that the donkeys were not eating because they were being over-fed.  This also means that the next people who come to feed the animals won't have a chance because they are not hungry anymore.  Moderation, people!  Leave some fun for the rest of us!

We continued on seeing lots of unique rock formations on the Needles Parkway. 

And we squeezed through the eye of the needle!

 Chancery & I found a little crevasse to explore.

Photo op!

Once again, the kids wanted to climb on the rocks for a picture!

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Laura Ingalls Wilder Homestead

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Homestead was another place I had always wanted to go, but it just seemed a bit too far out of the way to justify a stop.  So, we made it a stop!

 We got there just in time for a picnic lunch

I drove everyone around the homestead
(not really, sadly there were no horses here)

Asher & Chancery pumped water out of the original well that Almanso dug.

Asher decided to try cutting the grass the old fashioned way, which technically is the modern way since we have a lawn mower very similar to this at home.

We found the horses!  The kids each got to have a slow, lead ride to the end of the field & back.  They both really enjoyed it, & I probably would have asked for a turn, but I would have wanted to go faster!

In the barn there were 2 kittens!
One cat for every kid!

The kids got to do some hands-on stuff.  They each made a rope out of 2 pieces of twine, & made a corncob 'ninja'!
(according to the lady who assisted in this task, ninjas are much more popular than dolls these days)

I was glad I finally made it to the homestead.  There was a lot that we didn't have time for, but maybe now I can convince the kids to read the books, then come back once they have done so!

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Pools & Pizza

Uncle Brian & Auntie Brenda had to go back home, so we bid them adieu, until we meet up again.  
When Brenda & Sharon & I get together we always end up having little pow-wow sessions covering everything from recipes to smart phone apps.  I'm really lucky to have such wonderful sisters-in-law!

 The next few days were spent at the pool, reading, playing with Lego, discussing Harry Potter, & family pizza night.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Fair Days & Pizza Ranch!

 We decided it was time to head to the fair on the last day of it.  We should have gone sooner, but we were busy with other things.  The bouncy castle & other kids stuff was closed, but the kids all had fun seeing & petting the animals.

Apple is first prize!

Asher is not crying.  He is baaing like sheep!

Antie Brenda became really popular once she asked to hold a bunny!

We saw a girl milking a goat, & it wasn't long before all the kids tried their hand at it!

Noodle & Asher are discussing whether or not this pig is Wilbur.
It's hard to tell since there was no spiderweb nearby. 

Chancery was showing Jelly & Aardvark that petting horses is nothing be afraid of.
Uncle Kurt doesn't look so sure. 

We headed to Pizza Ranch for dinner for pizza buffet.  It was the first time Noodle & Jelly had been to an all you can eat buffet, & they really enjoyed it!

 "You mean I can go back & get more pizza all by myself?"
"I can get my own ice cream?"
It might be enough of a pull to get them to go to Dordt College!

We finished up by walking through the mall, & the kids were given pennies for the charity funnel.
On our way back to the cars Noodle said, "I thought we were going to a mall!"
Auntie Brenda said, "That was the mall, honey!"
Noodle: "Really? but it was so small!"