Back in 2005 while Jill and I were in Brazil teaching classes, one of the gals we met gave us a huge bag of ribbon. We sat on the bed in our hotel room later that night, taking turns picking our favorite ribbon, piece by piece.
The last, unpicked piece of ribbon was thick with blue and yellow checkers. Neither one of us wanted it. Maybe because it was our old high school colors but more likely because it was just plain ugly.
So Jill pushed it over to my side of the bed and said "Here, I want you to have it." Then I pushed it over to her side of the bed and said "No, you're such a good friend that I want you to have it." Then she pushed it towards me saying, "No, I insist." and it just went on like that for awhile until I gave up. (Jill never gives up so I had no choice.)
So I waited until she was doing her hair and slipped the ribbon inside her suitcase. She must have noticed it while she was changing her clothes and slipped it into my suitcase. I found it the next day and tossed it in her purse. She found it that evening and threw it in my suitcase.
We quit talking about the ribbon after that but were both determined that we were not going to be the person who left Brazil with the ugly ribbon in our suitcase.
We ended up getting robbed a few days before we were scheduled to go home. I know I posted about it at one point but can't seem to find it in my archives. Basically though, three men walked up to use and stole everything we owned right off our bodies.
We were pretty shaken up and decided to fly home early. And though we were still upset over what had happened by the time we were boarding our plane, I think that in the back of our minds we were both thinking, 'Dang, I hope I'm not the one with the ribbon."
I actually can't remember who ended up leaving Brazil with the ribbon, but we've spent the last 4 1/2 years, trying to secretly get the ribbon back into the other person's possession.
I've come home to find it tied to my front door (mind you, we live 8 hours away from each other). I've found it tied to the side-view mirror of my car. I've untied it as ribbon wrapped around my birthday present and found it shoved in the bottom of a box of ebay dishes we were splitting.
When Josh and I got married, I had Jill's hairdresser tie it in her hair before turning her around to check her up-do in the mirror.
And one time, Josh got in on it, slipping the ribbon into the back of Sammy's (Jill's youngest) new dump truck while we were helping them load their car. Jill found it in her living room one day after Sammy dumped the contents of his truck onto the floor.
Our greatest fear is that the ribbon might one day be in our possession without our knowing it. Jill once inquired about who currently had the ribbon in their possession. I said that I didn't know, while silently gloating, knowing that she was the one who had it.
At this point in time, we've decided that whoever dies (gruesome I know...but that's the sense of humor we share) without the ribbon in their possession wins.
While Jill was doing her hair one morning in Montana, I unwrapped one of the antique glass insulators she bought, tied the ugly ribbon around it and then took a quick picture of it before wrapping it back up.
I was checking over my back, laughing so hard I thought I might pee my
pants the whole time I did it. I knew she wouldn't catch me though
because it takes her an eternity to do her news-anchor-style hair.
Both of my flights went well (which was a rare surprise for me) but my luggage didn't arrive (which is a pretty common thing for me).
After we got the whole luggage situation figured out (it arrived an hour after I got there), Jill, her boys and I got on the road, headed for Helena, Montana.
Jill came up with this idea a few months back; she'd pick me up from the airport and then we'd drive to her in-laws in Helena. Her in-laws were going to take the boys to the lake for a few days while Jill and I trapped all over Montana hitting junk shops and eating junk food.
I should state right now that I spent the entire drive through Montana with my mouth wide-open, just taking in how beautiful it is. Unfortunately though, I just kept telling myself that I'd get pictures of it all later. And of course, 'later' never happened so I left Montana without a single shot of it's amazing scenery.
Just thought I'd inform you now, in case that's what you were hoping to see.
We got kind of a late start on Friday, but had time to hit Goodwill and the coffee shop before grabbing lunch at the Staggering Ox. Jill had been raving about this place but I didn't think to take my camera.
The best sandwich I've had in my whole life. (Don't worry, I took my camera back there the very next day to have lunch again.)
Then we hit some antique shops in Helena.
That's an enormous, black metal magazine rack (and Jill striking a pose.) It nearly killed me to leave it behind.
Since that didn't kill me, I figured I'd take my chances by posting this picture of Jill. (Sorry Jill...it's just too funny not to post.) Jill likes to approve any pictures that are posted of her on my blog.
She did not approve this photo.
Wait till you see what she's going to do with all the glass insulators she bought.
I'm not sure what I had just spotted, but apparently it was wonderful.
Awhile later, Jill spotted this for me.
Have been looking for an antique, silver-plate chandelier for the dining room in the new, old house for months.
It's the prettiest thing I ever laid eyes on and I got it for a steal.
We had to cut antique shopping a little short because we had appointments for massages. I was nervous about getting one because the last one I had was terrible. First of all, it was a guy...awkward. Second of all, he talked the whole time and I'm not a multi-tasker (can't relax and enjoy a massage while trying to listen to someone share their life story.)
Jill had her massage first.
I picked out some Strawberry Daiquiri colored polish and got my toes painted while I waited. Bo, the guy (awkward again) who did my toes explained to me that the big toe I ripped off would never grow back to look like a normal toe (encouraging) and that while it was trying to heal, I shouldn't paint it.
All nine of my Strawberry Daiquiri painted toes looked great though.
When Jill came out from her massage, she gave me two thumbs up saying that the massage was great and that the massage lady didn't say a word the whole time.
So when the massage lady took me back, I was feeling pretty optimistic.
30 seconds into rubbing my shoulders she started talking. 60 minutes later, she was still talking.
I won't go into all the details, but lets just say that I learned enough about my massage lady to know that she consummated her relationship with her current boyfriend while wearing her hair in a side, crimped ponytail and a Flashdance sweatshirt after they met for the first time at an 80's party.
After our massages, we went to see 500 Days of Summer (loved it) with a couple of sodas and a couple of popcorn's (we can't share because she likes butter on hers and I don't).
We left the theater in a thunder storm and decided that even after soda and popcorn, we still had room for a couple of Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Blizzards from Dairy Queen.
We stayed up half the night talking and went to bed with stomach aches.
Woke up early the next morning, hit Starbucks and then left for Butte because Jill had read on Craigslist that there was a salvage sale starting at 9am.
That's Jill (in her Millie Vanilli legg-ins) telling me to hurry up because we were late to the salvage sale.
It may not look like much to some...but it was like heaven on earth to me an Jill.
We even took a few minutes discussing whether or not our husbands would leave us if we rented a U-Haul to bring all this stuff home.
We both like being married though so we decided against the U-Haul.
I got this old, bathroom sink for 20 bucks (have seen them on Ebay for $300-$400).
We filled up the back of Jill's car for a whopping total of $31.
And see that little white, toilet paper looking thingy in the lower right hand corner?...that's a baby wipe. Somehow it got stuck to my butt before we walked into the salvage sale. I didn't notice it until after we left. Jill said she had actually noticed it earlier, but in all the excitement of the sale, she quickly wrote it off as a handkerchief (because I carry a handkerchief around so often?) and went back to her rummaging.
After salvage sales, Germ-X is a must. (Thank goodness Jill happens to keep a gallon-sized bottle of it in the center console of her car at all times.)
That's our coffee, our Mountain Dew's and our maps to all the local antique stores.
Butte is kind of desolate but it's beautiful to me. Lots of old, wonderful buildings and history.
We decided not to eat in Butte though, because we wanted more sandwiches from the Staggering Ox in Helena.
If you get to the Staggering Ox early enough in the day, you can get 'bread guts' before they run out of them. Just a few minutes after we placed our order, they ran out of guts.
Thank goodness we made it in time.
You get to pick what kind of sauce to dip your guts into. Jill likes Italian. I like Sesame Ginger.
The sandwich bread is hollowed out like a cylinder that they fill up with your choice of fixings. Then you pour sauce on it and try to eat it. It's messy.
And you wash it all down with soda in a mason jar.
Whoever came up with this whole concept is a bloody genius.
I may not have remembered to take any beautiful photos of all the awe-inspiring scenery that Montana has to offer but at least I remembered to take pictures of our sandwiches at the Staggering Ox.
And then we went to Reeder's Alley which is the coolest little shopping area I've ever seen. Lots of old, brick buildings set on a hill.
She (barely) approved this photo. (Check out our new necklaces.)
Did lots more shopping. Ate dinner and then headed home with some chocolates from the local chocolate shop.
Sat up half the night talking and eating chocolate. And then we found some icrecream bars in the freezer. Went to bed with stomach aches again.
Unfortunately, we both woke up with stomach aches too.
Grabbed coffee from Starbucks and headed to Great Falls with a list of antique shops.
It pained me to have to leave behind that green cabinet too.
Not sure that I could find a spot in the new, old house for a stuffed pea-cock though, so I had to leave it behind as well.
Spent the whole day hitting antique shops and then grabbed a couple of salads for dinner and headed to the movies to see Unglorious Basterds (gruesome & dark but funny & interesting).
We skipped on the popcorn and sodas this time because our guts were killing us. (We both eat pretty darned healthy at home so our stomachs were having issues digesting the sudden onslaught of sodas, chicken cannaloni, orange-cranberry scones, bread & butter, icecream sandwiches...you get the idea.)
Jill's in-laws were home with the boys by the time we got back.
Spent about an hour trying to pack up Jill's car before we headed home Monday morning. We were quite pleased with our packing job. Only had to leave behind one old window, a sleeping bag and a cooler.
Jill suggested we quit our jobs to try our hand at being professional packers.
Had to drive the five hours back to Spokane with a chandelier on my lap. My legs started aching about 15 minutes into the trip but it was still a small price to pay for that lovely chandelier. Too bad I couldn't take it on the flight with me so it'll just have to sit in Jill's garage in Seattle, WA until I can get it home.
Stopped at McDonald's to use the restroom and grab lunch. Somehow, Jill managed to loose her keys somewhere between the McDonald's entrance and the car as we left (a span of about 10 feet).
It was actually the 4th time she lost her keys on the trip which only goes to prove her husbands theory that individually, we are both quite intelligent girls but together, our cumulative IQ drops by at least 100 points.
We had actually fished through the McDonald's trashcan before Jill realized that the keys had fallen between the center console and the drivers seat.
And even with all that, she managed to get me to the airport on time where I had to take three flights just to get home from Spokane WA, to Medford, OR.
The kids were asleep when I got home so I couldn't give them their surprises.
I actually threw up twice that night after I got home which I'm sure was just my stomach's way of revolting against my blatant disregard for the sensitive tummy I inherited from my Dad.
The kids were all excited to see what I had gotten them but Annie was particularly excited about her Hannah Montana movie, which I got for her only because she was convinced that I had been in "Hannah Bontana" with Jill, listening to "Hannah Bontana" sing for the last five days.
We had been telling the kids that we'd get cards from our new, local library all week.
The good thing about Coley and Annie is that they forget stuff like that. Courtney Lee on the other hand, NEVER forgets stuff like that so we hit the library on Friday.
A student in my current class took a shot like this and as soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to get something similar. (Thanks for the inspiration Laverne!)
Josh was grossed out by the magnified photo of human skin he found in this book. Courtney Lee was equally grossed out.
This one is my favorite.
And walking home with an armful of books.
Will be gone til Tuesday of next week. I'm meeting up with Jill (my best friend in the whole wide world) in Montana. We're going to go garage sale-ing, we're going to eat lots of junkfood and we're going to laugh non-stop for five days.
When you walk up the stairs and turn to your left, you're directly in my scrapbook room/office. It's about 15x13 and is the only room in the house with the original wood floors.
I got the white cabinet on the left from The Mulberry Tree in Grants Pass (quite a comedy of errors trying to get it up the stairs, over the railing and through the door) and the table from the Collectors Market in Medford.
We had a steel top put on it but it has to be replaced already because I wasn't smart enough to know that I needed a galvanized steel table top since plain old steel rusts (and rust doesn't look so good on all my white cardstock).
I bought those feet to make the table tall enough to stand at while I work. They look goofy though so I need to stain them or something.
Most of the stuff in this room was something I already had, was found at a junk shop or found on Ebay. (Unfortunately, I was feeling blue one day and my best friend, Jill decided to introduce me to Ebay to cheer me up.)
That little red perpetual calendar is my favorite thing I've ever found on Ebay. (Thanks Jill.)
The Puritan Leaf Lard bucket holds all my date stamps and that metal sign holder will eventually hold a couple of back to back photos as soon as I figure out which ones to put in there.
All this stuff sits on top of my work table.
I think Jill and I were up in Sellwood (near Portland, OR) when we found that silverplate dish. And Jill picked up that silver tray for me.
And that's an old surgical try that sits next to my paper trimmer and holds a bunch of my favorite adhesives.
I made the dividers for the drawers all by myself.
This old, wire shelf hangs on the side of the table opposite the drawers - has most of my wood-mounted rubber stamps on it.
I don't remember where I got that old, red chair - I just remember it was really cheap and I had to have it.
And Josh and I made that blue paper organizer that goes under the desk. It's got really cool molding all around it, rolling feet and two glass drawer drawer pulls so I can pull it out from either side of the table.
I store all my paper by color - works for me.
Found most of those old locker bins on Ebay and at junk shops too. They hold chipboard and punches and stuff like that.
This one holds all my acrylic stamp sets sorted in those clear Making Memories acrylic stamp pocket page thingies.
Jill had the idea of hanging these trays (there's six of them) on the wall. I attached old buttons to round magnets for hanging up photos and other cool junk. I love them.
This old Dewey Decimal Index card catalog holds a GOB of stuff.
Most of the jars/canisters on top hold lace and stuff like that. That stand on top was from the post office out in Jacksonville, OR - has a bunch of old postal stamps on it.
I used that old typewriter to label all the drawers the other night.
Josh made all those dividers for me.
I don't know what the old can was for but it's perfect for rolled up papers.
The red box is an Erector Set box and I don't know what the blue one was used for but someone took a Sharpie pen to it and wrote the word 'Salmon' all over the sides of it...so even though it doesn't smell like fish, I'm guessing that's what it was used for at some point in time.
That's Josh testing out my old typewriter. I kept asking him if he loved it...his response is at the bottom.
I got that card stand from Pottery Barn many moons ago - never even took it out of the box when I got it; just had Josh haul it down to the storage unit. (He was irritated about it at the time...but I had a plan for it...even if had to sit in the storage unit for 2+ years.)
It holds lots and lots of stuff that I want to keep in plain view.
This thing was the steel of the century - found it in someone's front yard for 15 bucks. Didn't even have to paint it. It holds all my stickers, rub-ons and a bunch of chipboard.
Got all those Hoosier jars from junk shops and garage sales - perfect for ribbon. The green and white floral boxes are from Target. Most everything else is a junk store find too. (I much prefer old stuff over new stuff.)
That blue, wooden box on the left is the ring box we used when we got married.
Those are just little Hobnail flower pots. Got most of them on Ebay for $2-$5 each.
That's an old sign-maker stamp set (in the box) that Josh and I found a long time ago.
Those blue boxes are Martha Stewart's. I had instituted a self-imposed ban on Martha Stewart for a long time, but I broke it for those blue boxes.
Trying to remember where I got those bins...all I can remember is that they were ridiculously prices. If I remember, I'll post it here later. (Oooh, I remembered: here's a link to the bins.)
More stamps. (I like stamps.)
All my inkpads.
So this blue wire shelf sits perpendicular to the white cabinet so I can hide my treadmill desk (which I'll show you in a minute) behind it.
I want to attach some fabric or something to the backside of the shelf to hide the treadmill more though.
The closet is more functional than cute but Josh and I put all those shelves in.
If you like Narratives, you're going to want to come over and hang out in my closet.
All the bins at the bottom of the closet hold all my Narratives paper, transparencies, sticker sheets, etc.
Josh put up those peg boards so just about every product I ever designed is hanging on them. It's like a big, Narratives warehouse full of stuff that goes back to 2003.
The bins are all full of acrylic paints, embossing supplies, all my office supply stuff, etc.
That green cabinet has all my photography books and lots of paperwork, etc. Going to put a little T.V. in there too.
That chimney used to be covered. One of the many projects that I started but Josh finished. Still need to put the molding up though.
And I'm looking for an old, oversized chair (preferably an orange one) to go where those suitcases are.
And that's an old cast-iron bathroom mirror that I'm using as a magnetic board. Still need to get a glass shelf cut for it. This is another one of those things that I picked up many moons ago but never had a place for it (until now).
Almost forgot the treadmill desk.
I got the whole idea of a treadmill desk from a Dateline special. It's simple; add a computer (at a height that is ergonomically comfortable for you) to a treadmill, set your laptop/computer on it and then walk at a 1 mile an hour pace for the bulk of your work day. The longest I could ever get used to was about 4 hours though.
Need to get my large rear back on this thing.
Off on a tangent now, but I was moving this treadmill a couple of months ago and ripped my entire big toenail off. The whole thing. It hurt really bad.
So that's the full tour - planning on doing lots and lots (and lots) of scrapbooking in there now that I've determined I'm still a scrapbooker.
I haven't scrapbooked a single layout for myself (meaning a layout that was not on a deadline for a project, marketing or some other purpose) in well over a year.
I've got my own office/scrapbooking room in the new, old house now and the vast majority of my energies have gone to working on it as opposed to working on any other room in the house.
As I've spent countless hours organizing my metal brads from my plastic brads from my fabric brads, my letter stickers from my letter rub-ons from my chipboard letters and my cardstock frames from my transparent frames from my epoxy frames and my metal frames, I've had this nagging question in the back of my mind...
What if I set up the scrapbook room of my dreams and realize that I don't like to scrapbook anymore?
Seriously, this question has plagued me.
I worried that I might find it boring, or cheesy or worse yet; find that I didn't know how to scrapbook anymore.
But last night (before and after watching a movie and eating vanilla icecream and fresh, out-of-the-oven Ghirardelli double-chocolate brownies with Josh Downs), I scrapbooked.
I turned on the radio and scrapbooked until after midnight and it made me happy. A quiet, middle-of-the-night, just-for-me kind of happiness that I haven't felt in a long time.
It reminded me that scrapbooking is good.
It's no masterpiece. It's simple (but I'm finding that I like 'simple' right now). It's on white, textured cardstock (as is every layout I've done in the last few years because I like white, textured cardstock). It's got strips of ribbon and other borders (as does every layout I've done in the last few years because I like strips of ribbon and other borders). And it's got crystals because I like those too.
The main photo is attached to a mini-album I made out of white
cardstock that I'll fill with more pictures from that trip once I get
them ordered from the lab. I still use www.scrapbookpictures.com (have used them for probably nine years now and still love them).
It's really not much of a variation from the layouts I used to do because I'm like that...I find something I love and then stick with it like a dog to a bone until I'm utterly sick of it.
And my scrapbook room is 90% done so I think I'll post some pictures of it tomorrow. I think it's really cool (since it is my scrapbook dream room and all).
I've got gobs and gobs of pictures from the beach to post but will get to those in the next couple of days.
In the meantime, I wanted to post that ScrapStreet.com is trying to raise over 1000 cards for Cards for Heroes, supplying cards to our troops.
This kind of thing is really important to me so I wanted to be a part of it by giving away a spot in one of my online photography classes.
you want to participate, all you have to do is make a card, or
preferably several cards for the Cards for Heroes program (it is very
important that NO glitter is used on the cards as glitter can be seen
with night vision goggles) and upload it to the ScrapStreet Cards for Heroes gallery.
Once you've uploaded your card(s), you will need to mail them to the
Cards for Heroes program at:
ScrapStreet c/o Brianne Nevill 1380-A Myers Pl Fort Sill, OK 73503
Half of my problem is that I get this unrealistic, Norman Rockwell sort of vision in my head anytime we go out of town as a family, thinking of all the fun we're going to have and all the memories we're going to make.
And our trip up to Bonneville Dam actually started off quite Norman Rockwell-ish.
In preparation for the five hour drive, I had sacks for all the kids filled with notepads, coloring books, new markers and healthy snacks. The kids got along, talking and coloring and having fun. Josh and I talked about how we wanted to fix up the new, old house room by room. We blared the radio and all of us sang at the top of our lungs.
We stopped in Eugene to have dinner at P.F. Changs.
Josh & Coley complain every time we stop in Eugene though. (The UofO Ducks are the arch nemesis of the Oregon State Beavers).
So Coley held up this sign as we drove through Eugene in protest of the Ducks (it says 'GO' in Oregon State's colors.) and he and Josh actually considered ordering duck at P.F. Changs (even though neither one of them like duck) just to make a statement.
We got to the hotel close to midnight and put all the kids to bed.
Josh had to leave early the next morning to work on a project at Bonneville Dam. The kids and I slept in and then went for a walk before heading to breakfast.
And then the pouting started.
And the fighting started too. (That's Annie observing a heated discussion between Cole & Courtney.)
And then we headed over to the continental breakfast that the hotel serves where I tried monitoring the trays of three kids who were quite excited over the assortment of unhealthy breakfast options that are not usually served at home.
By the time we sat down for breakfast, I had worked up a sweat from standing over the waffle machine and Annie was a crying, snotty mess because she couldn't have waffles with peanut butter & syrup, a chocolate muffin, fruitloops and fruit punch for breakfast. (She had to settle for waffles, fruit and orange juice instead.)
So after our lovely breakfast, I took the kids to the pool.
Thing started off well. The kids played, I took some pictures and then I tried to settle down with my laptop to work. It was hot in the pool room though and the echo of the kids hollering was wreaking havoc on my concentration so after a couple of hours at the pool, I turned on some cartoons in the hotel room and made lunch before trying to get back to work again.
So the other half of my problem is that I'm goal-oriented to a fault and base the success of my day on whether or not I've met my daily goals.
And I'm an optimist so my daily goals are usually on the unrealistic side.
My goal for this particular day was to get 40 assignments evaluated for my online photography class.
Unfortunately though, lunch and cartoons were not enough to distract my kids from the whining, fighting and complaining that was proving to sabotage my goal.
Josh had the truck so we couldn't drive anywhere and it was 108 degrees out so we couldn't walk anywhere either so we were basically stuck in the hotel.
By the time Josh got off of work, I was in tears and every single kid was in trouble.
Josh & I have rule however, that whenever we see eachother at the end of the day that neither one of us can bring up any problems or negative stuff for at least 15 minutes. It's normally a pretty great rule that helps us to get along better but on this particular day, I wasn't into abiding by the the 15 minute rule and started right in on him.
Turns out the project Josh was working on hadn't gone as planned and my non-compliance with the 15 minute rule was just enough to send him past his breaking point too. (Nothing like five people past their breaking points stuck in a hotel room together.)
About two hours later, we had pulled things together well enough to go to dinner and to check out the Locks.
The stairs go right down to the water.
That's the Bridge of the Gods.
Picking blackberries. (She likes the red ones too.)
And then we played on the playground for awhile but it was too dark to take any pictures by then...so I just played instead.
I'd like to say that the next day went a lot better but it didn't.
I didn't cry though. I just put them all in timeout a lot. And worked really hard to put on a calm, patient face and matching voice even though I felt like screaming and running away with the circus (where hopefully they would give me a job as the flying canon-girl but if not, I'd settle for the a job as the bearded lady).
I didn't get much work done though.
When Josh got back, we went to the fish hatchery and took the kids to see the dam where he had been working.
We had a picnic lunch first but most everyone's lunch went to the ducks.
That's Josh stealing some of Coley's lunch.
And that's Josh telling Annie not to rat him out.
Checking out the fish at the hatchery.
That's Herman the Sturgeon. He's huge.
Courtney Lee singing.
That's the fish ladder at the dam.
And then we drove over the Bridge of the Gods (and yes, we let Annie unbuckle so she could look out the window).
And stopped to look at the car of my dreams (a 49' Ford).
And then we stopped for some ice cream before making the long drive home where I had plenty of time to ponder on the fact that they can't all be Norman Rockwell memories.
I had plans of being a marathon blogger this week but it just didn't pan out the way I had intended. In fact, this is going to be the only post I get in this whole week, so I'm making it a big one.
We rented a cabin up at Willow Lake the weekend before last. We got up
there kind of late in the afternoon with just enough time to put in the boat...
And to tie up the boat near our cabin...
Unpack and eat some dinner.
Seriously, dinner wasn't that bad (hotdogs, pasta salad with spinach & tomatoes and corn on the cobb) so I'm not sure what the scoop was with all those unhappy faces.
That's Josh Down's finger pointing towards the cherry tomato that Annie didn't want to eat.
And after dinner there was just enough light left to play in the lake for awhile.
And to fish. (On Josh's behalf, I have to point out that there's a fish on his line in this picture...however small it may have been.)
Thankfully, smores are best in the dark.
That's Annie counting how many smores she was planning on eating. (Actually, she just likes the marshmallows.)
And then they all read the new books they picked out before the trip. (A Junie B. Jones book for Courtney Lee, Biscuit Goes on a Walk for Annie and the first Harry Potter book for Coley.)
Annie kept interrupting everyone's reading time by jumping on them.
That's Josh saying prayers with Coley.
We were up bright & early the next morning because we had to head into town to get enough cash for paddle boats. (Turns out they don't take debit cards at Willow Lake.)
The kids and I ended up at the park across the street from the grocery store in Butte Falls where Josh was getting cash.
And then it was time to go.
Josh was patient enough to wait in the truck while I tried to get a couple pictures of the girls together, which proved to be nothing more than a reminder of why I rarely try to get posed pictures of my kids...
While she was holding my camera, Courtney Lee snagged this shot of me putting sunblock on Coley.
And this picture of a spider.
And then I got this one of her.
And then we waited for our paddle boat.
Coley ended up swimming alongside the paddle boat most of the time.
Our destination was a little island we noticed out towards the docks. Turned out to be nothing more than an enormous mound of duck poop though.
In fact, that's Josh washing duck poop off of his shoes right before we left Duck Poop Island.
This also happens to be the last photo I took before I slid and fell on the slippery poop shores, covering myself and my camera in duck droppings.
Thankfully my camera landed just a couple inches shy of the lake and after a thorough cleaning with baby wipes and Q-tips, I was able to remove most of the duck poop from the cracks and crevices and buttons on my camera.
And then we took Josh's boat out.
Courtney's first time on the tube. Thankfully (for her), the 1975 Bayliner doesn't go fast enough to be scary.
She's not a big fan of the water so she ended up taking a nap instead.
Our safety flag is an OSU Beavers flag.
And then Josh decided we should walk up the creek looking for crawdads
just like he used to do with his Dad when he was a kid. He said the
creek was perfect for crawdad hunting...
Turns out the creek was a lot bigger in Josh's memory so we skipped crawdad hunting...
And walked back to camp so we could take the kids swimming instead. (That's Annie spraying Courtney Lee from a drinking fountain.)
Some of our family outings are successful. Others are simply stressful.
Willow Lake was a success.
Our trip a few days later to Bonneville Dam was not so successful but I'll have to wait to share those pictures until sometime next week because right now...I'm heading out of town for a girls weekend with my sister and some of our friends up in Portland.