halloween cookies

Every season at our house is celebrated with at least one batch of shape cookies.

Look at that cute little coffin! I can’t even pick up a ghost cookie without “flying” it and making oooooOOOOOOooooooo sounds. ha!

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ooooOOOOOOOOoooooOOOOOoooo!!!!!!! Cutest cookie ever!

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knitting

This is the results of my vacation knitting. A lot of knitting done but nothing finished…

The grey thing-a-mabobber was supposed to be my one goal. But I decided to stop in a Hobby Lobby store, which we don’t have locally, and was impressed with the “Hobby Lobby I Love This Wool” yarn. This stuff is not bad at all and CHEAP! So I cast on a little something for Lotus and a little similar something for a 1st birthday swap I joined on Ravelry.

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Here is a finished project I don’t think I’ve shared. This is the Two Summer Dress we made before for a birthday gift. We made a second for Lotus. I did the knitting portion and Jason did the sewing. It should fit her well next summer.

See how it looks like Jason is holding her arms lovingly? He’s mostly keeping her from ripping her hat off. She’s smiling because she wants to rip her hat off;)

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New to us

The 50’s dining table set has been swapped out for this fabulous 60s/70s set.

The green, vinyl swivel chairs are pure awesome. Even Lotus’ seat is strapped to one for portable, spinning goodness.

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Whatever you’d call the opposite of hoarding (purging?) is what I have. I tend to get surges of spring cleaning during any season and nothing is safe during those times. I’ve thrown out boxes of photographs. That’s how serious I am. ha!

You’d think I’d have more regrets but I don’t. The one thing I’ve been sad we got rid of was this slide before we conceived Lotus. The great thing about Craigslist is: we found another one!

The kids were remembering all the cool things they did with the slide, turing it on its side, etc. They did remember it being a lot bigger;) ha! Now Lotus and Simon are playing on it and having all the same fun Isaac and Xander had (well, and Simon but he can still have fun on it).

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The last chapter of our epic road trip

Arizona and California and finally back home in Oregon!

It was an amazing five weeks, 8000 miles and 14 states, packed with so many fun things to see and do. Road trip 2011 is a success!

A rest stop in Arizona…

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Saguaro National Park…

The kids wanted to see some giant cacti and so we did!

Starting with this beaut…

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Ha! Okay here’s the biggun’s

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We had a lovely Couchsurfing experience with a woman in Tucson. She has a lovely home, soup in the crock pot, towel sets laid out for each of us. We are definitely going to have to step up our hosting game. She sets the bar high!

I didn’t take any pics of Joan unfortunately but here is Lotus on the bed wondering if a lock might make a good nipple;)

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On our way out, early the next morning, my friend Timmi in Phoenix was up for a visit. The kids had a blast playing and it was great to meet a longtime online friend in the flesh. We loved Timmi’s house!

I wish you could see how long her gorgeous hair is. Jealous!!!!

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California…

We stopped and saw the giant dinosaurs (featured in the Pee Wee’s Big Adventure movie).

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They are up inside the head of the T-rex here…

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It was wonderful and a little odd being back home. It almost felt like we were walking into someone else’s home. BUT, we slept great and it is GOOD TO BE HOME!!!!!!!

Driving, driving, driving…

We’re making our way home and finishing up day three of our week long drive.

The first two days didn’t include very much sight seeing other than the gorgeous views out the window. We breezed through Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and started the long trek through Texas.

We had a wonderful couchsurfing experience in San Antonio with the Lavens. They were the sweetest folks, making us feel right at home. They got the kids cozy on the couch for a movie and popcorn. They know just what kids need to wind down after a long day on the road.

Then they sent us off with one of their CDs. Great music! I wish we could have made it to one of their shows.

Lots-o-photos time…

Isaac says he is unable to sleep in the car, so Jason keeps snapping photos of him “not sleeping.” ha!

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Big ol’ wagon wheel at a Texan rest stop…

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And finally Carlsbad(ass) Caverns. It was HUGE and beautiful.

Even more amazing than the caves was that we were told to whisper quietly while in the cave and the kids were actually near silent the entire time we were inside. Yes, Simon was quiet??! !

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After the caves we drove to Carlsbad, NM to find a hotel. The town looked dumpy at first but we found a river that is a flanked by playgrounds running up and down both sides….seriously, a different play structure every 200 yards or so. Wonderful parks!

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Ha! Weeeeeeh! 😉

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Sick of beach pics yet?

This evenings beach photos are brought to you by Clearwater Beach. Only one more day left in Florida!

It wasn’t *this* dark yet but exposure was tough against all the white sand, bright sun and reflective water. Nevertheless, you get the idea: It was gorgeous!

Those two tiny dots on the water are Isaac and Simon’s heads.

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Check out that sheet of rain out there, luckily not on us.

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more week three fun

We spent a day at Adventure Island water park…

This cabana had a mini fridge, locker and concierge. Spoiled!!!!

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It was fun! The kid areas were awesome.

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and the frozen margaritas were great too;)

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We got together with our Florida friends again and had a fabulous time.

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Having lunch together at their house.

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Then we hit the park. A really big one with lots of different sections, laid out in a giant butterfly shape.

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I spy with my little eye…a baby grin. Isn’t this photo funny? She loves her brothers so much.

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Eeeeeeek! Less than two days left here in sunny Florida. As Isaac said, “driving for a week feels more like three weeks. Staying here three feels more like one week.” The time went by way too fast. Luckily the drive home looks to be filled with more fun and adventure.

Now off to the beach while we still can…

Week three in Florida

And soaking up every minute of the sun and surf we can before we have to leave.

The best part about staying here for a full, relaxing three weeks is the extra time we have to chat with the locals and explore places we would have missed otherwise.

A guy on his motorcycle pulled to the side of the road told us we should have lunch at this restaurant where the kids can feed alligators…

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While eating our lunch, the waitress told us about a great spray park down the road. So we dropped Jason back home to get back to work and off we went to see the park…

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While the kids enjoyed the spray park, I sat on a bench and chatted with another lady. She told me about a nice beach just a little further down the road called Sand Key. So after they played, we headed to the beach.

The walk from the parking lot…

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Watching two pelicans fish together and my boys having fun makes me happy!

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The water is so clear and with each wave a school of small fish can be seen rushing by.

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I begged them to stay on this beach here with me forever but they insisted on going home eventually.

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And just because this pic was in the batch I imported off the camera. Lotus having fun pulling out all the plastic. She is getting so close to walking!

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Primate Sanctuary

The Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbor, FL is just down the road from where we are staying. The staff is completely made up of volunteers and they were so nice!

The grandma at the door gave us a history, the printed guide and a bag of monkey food. Then we were off on our own to look around. The place is quiet. We saw four different volunteers doing the lunch feeding and just one other couple visiting.

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The kids are calling “Pongo”…

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Here’s Pongo, a three year old male orangutan.

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This monkey was kind of scary. He threw his slide around the cage and then slammed up against the side, shrieking at us. These are not good pets, people…and why they end up here, unable to live in the wild. A showcase of rip-yo-face-off monkeys.

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Quite a few birds have come to live here too.

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This is the chimp “Cheetah Mike.” He was one of the chimps featured in the Tarzan movies in the 1930s and he is 81 year old.

The grandma also explained the average lifespan in the wild is 12-15 years; in the zoo: 40-50 years and in a sanctuary: much longer because of the lower stress environment. I wonder if he is bored? The couple that used to own this place toured them around as “boxing chimps” in the 50s. Yikes.

Leave those apes in the jungle!

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Primate Sanctuary preview

I hope the fuzzier primates we see today are having this much fun…

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