Saturday, May 30, 2009

Incline High School - Class of '99

I seriously can't believe it's been 10 years since graduation, but alas . . .

We had two lovely evenings with great food and company and a gorgeous day at the beach. Not much else to say except that it was fantastic to have a chance to catch up with old friends (maiden names only - sorry girls!).

Jessica Karlsson, Kristyn D'Ascoli, Erika Cooke, Jennifer Jacobsen, Ruth Wong, me

Me, Jessica Karlsson, Jennifer Jacobsen, Shelley Mitchell, Nina Porcelli

Crystal Shuey, Amber Anderson, Melody Orr, Shelley Mitchell, Allison Marshall, me

Fatima Dominguez, Karina Ponce, Megan, me

Gina Paynter, me, Stephanie Tiemann, Aimee Comstock, & Gina's baby Sidney

The last of my Tahoe bliss . . .

It seems every time I visit my parents, my dad ends up cleaning the car I drove. Last year it was Greg's truck which may have been the biggest scrub (inside and out) down in the history of trucks. This year it was my Durango. Mom and I took Porter to a rummage sale while Grandpa helped channel Ethan and Lincoln's energies - a good car washing! They loved scrubbing, but Ethan, more than anything else, loved the hose. Who can blame him? The Durango will never be like new again, but it sure looks better now than it has in YEARS!

Later that week during my 10-year high school reunion (more pics to come), my dad accompanied me to the family beach day as my "date" in Greg's absence. If not for him, I never could have had as lovely a time visiting and catching up with old friends. The pictures below are of Ethan and his ladybug friend, "Rocket." Thanks Amber for helping come up with the name. We still talk about him often.

Sharing his love of bugs with anyone who will look or listen.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lazy days . . .

I have to admit that I really savor every day we get to spend with my parents and at the beach. It's a grueling drive (especially solo with the boys) to get here, so once we're here, we make the most of every day. Weather permitting, we spend as much time as possible at the beach. I am happy in the sun, boys are happy with buckets, shovels, and endless water and sand.

Ethan was a little disappointed when he learned that Tahoe sand isn't quite right for building sandcastles, so . . .
. . . thanks for helping build the "pool," Grampaw!

And I absolutely love watching my little boys spending at least a part of their summer doing the same things I did during my childhood summers: Exploring the rocks and water, looking for minnows, crawdads . . . and bugs, of course!

I almost can't stand the thought of going home except that we all miss Greg and are excited to get back into our Wyoming groove with new friends and new places to explore.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Frogs, snails & puppy dog tails . . .

The world of bugs has been opened to my boys this past week. We spent a long weekend in Utah visiting family before I took the boys and headed to my parents' for a couple weeks. Ethan ran inside to tell me that he had a pet spider and that he, Lincoln and their cousin Brody were taking such good care of it. To keep there young boys happy together without angst or bickering for nearly an hour is nearly a miracle, so we watched, entertained ourselves by their curiosity, while they dug for tiny ants in the dirt and them placed them ever so gently on the spider's web. . . watching wide-eyed while the spider explored her freebies.
Ethan wants to pick up every bug he finds now . . . and we've had to set some limits. On our way to church on Sunday morning, he picked up a potato bug and said, "Look, daddy! This bug looks like an armadillo!" We had to stop him from putting it in his pocket to take to sharing time, but he's enamored with the critter world. It must be a boy thing.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Catching up and moving in

Sorry for the multiple posts all at once - I've been slacking the blog lately. Pictures of the house and other Pinedale goings on can be seen below.

The expectation: Before we moved in, we were told that the house was furnished and "loaded." The reality: When we moved in, there were large appliances, couches, beds, kitchen table (broken: Greg and his helpers fixing it below), a handful of dishes, and not much else.

We contacted our housing girl who helped line up the house for us. After researching, she reported that she could not order rental stuff for us because we would be required to have at least a four-month lease (our insurance approved only a month-to-month). So we went back to our insurance adjusted and requested an advancement to buy necessities for us to function independently in the house (i.e., pots and pans, baking dishes, silverwear, dish towels, cooking utensils, cutting boards, linens, pillows, alarm clocks, iron, trash cans). Apparently, however, he is not approved to advance any more money until a settlement is reached. Argh! So, because of the graciousness of friends and neighbors, we have a borrowed skillet, salad bowl, spatula. We had friends over for dinner on Sunday and served them food that could not have been prepared without their loaned kitchen supplies.

We are SO happy to be in a home and be together and have space . . . but apparently the battle is not yet over.

350 Spruce St

Finally - our home at 350 Spruce St! The yard is great, the space is great, and we're SO thrilled to finally be out of hotels!
Corner lot - front yard:

Family room/living area:
Kitchen/dining room:
And the little boys breaking in the long-awaited yard
(the Wyoming wind fills superhero capes wonderfully!):

Dogs, allergies, and a new vacuum

So when we moved into the rental house on Thursday night, the carpets and couches were supposed to have been professionally shampooed and cleaned. We realized relatively quickly, however, that this had not happened. Whenever the kids sat on the floor or couches to play, they came up COVERED in white dog hair (thanks to the very large dog who moved out two days before we moved in). Needless to say, my allergies and asthma worked themselves into a tizzy, and for the first 24 hours, I was utterly miserable. I even had dreams about not being able to breath because I was having such a hard time in reality.

Greg talked to the guy who supposedly cleaned our carpets. He swore up and down that he spent five-and-a-half hours cleaning the carpets, but you just can't up dog hair with a steam cleaner. We notified our landlady who is still attempting to get to the bottom of the situation.

Our second evening in the house, after the kids were in bed, I was still so miserable that Greg ran out to the grocery store (small town, small store, not much selection) to buy a vacuum. He called from the store to say they had a low-end Hoover or a Dyson. Because of the extent of my asthma- and allergy-induced misery, we opted for the more expensive Dyson . . . and I will never go back to anything else.

Greg spent three hours that night vacuuming the carpets and couches over and over. After vacuuming only about 10 square feet, the canister was already half full with long white dog hair. After finishing the house (minus the two bedrooms where the kids were sleeping), we had a basketball-sized hair and dust ball. My vote still remains that the carpet cleaning man has work ethic issues.
Before the first canister emptying:The beginnings of the hairball:
Mess on a 35-gallon yard bag:

The final product from the side (8-oz. water bottle for scale):

I LOVE bedtime!

I took these pictures of the boys sleeping our last night in the Pinedale hotel. It took a long time of whispering, giggling, and hiding together under the covers for them to fall asleep. I just love that, with all the room their shared king bed offered, they fell asleep right next to each other. I suppose they really love each other after all.

Now they share a full-sized bed turned sideways in one of the bedrooms in our rental house . . . and it doesn't phase either one of them. I love when children surprise you.