June 27, 2011

The city pool...

Nearly everyday, sometimes twice a day, we go to the local city pool. That's Olivia (on the right), at the swim meet last Wed. They threatened to close it, but thankfully, enough people wanted to ensure it is something that stays open! Our city supports a (pathetic) football team and building a streetcar (that will supposedly create revenue, but we have buses)...why would they want to close the pool? It's so good for the kids, lots of kids use it. I also love the glad they didn't cut that, too. It costs $10 per child for the summer and I would certainly pay more! We pay $10 for swimming lessons per child, too, that's twice a week for 30 minutes each time for 6 weeks. We've made some new friends & seen our old friends. Above, Hannah going off the diving board, working on her dive (mostly, belly flops....ouch)! We went with my mom to buy the girls Speedo swimsuits at Sam's club for $11-something.

Since we don't have central air, right now, we have a window unit in the upstairs window that we turn on when it's too hot and humid at night...otherwise, we spend most of our time outside and the pool is the best way to keep cool!

June 24, 2011

Zion, Bryce and Arches National Park to Colorado...

Next, we drove from Arizona up to Zion National Park, we hiked to the Lower Emerald Pools...can you see the water falling from the rock? The girls spent a lot of time on the bank of the Virgin River, because my right ear was giving me so much pain, I just wanted to lay down...after 24 hours of this, we ended up going to an urgent care. I guess it was too much change in elevation and my ears didn't "pop" ear still doesn't feel right, today. I can't hear that well out of it.
The next morning, we took the shuttle at Zion up to the main lodge, and ate a sumptuous breakfast. Their breakfast buffet is divine: French toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits, gravy, orange juice, tea, yogurt, granola...and more. It was $10.95 per adult and $5.95 per child. Well worth it!!!
Then, we drove to Bryce National Park...this is Navajo Loop here. The trail zig-zagged down into a narrow corridor of red rocks formed by ice, ages ago. They call the rock that protrudes upward like that a hoo doo. We thoroughly enjoyed listening to Ranger Kevin Poe as he told us about this park and sang, too!
This is the sand dune right across US 191 from Arches National Park...if you look up close, you'll see that little sign says "NO VEHICLES ON DUNE." Well, I sure wouldn't try to drive up that...but we did climb it. It wasn't easy!

We took a break in the middle of the steep dune...the biggest challenge was how HOT the sand was...and a little later in the day...we drove from Utah into Colorado.
The snow was so COLD. My feet got a little muddy, so I took off my flip flops and felt the coldness to the bone!!! Ouch. Just amazing, the air was so warm and the snow is melting, there must've been a lot of snow.

P.S. Check out this cute....and the tutorial is here!

Skirt week 2011

Did you know it's skirt week 2011? I just love wearing skirts.

June 22, 2011

Grand Canyon or bust!!!

Red Rock park near Gallup, NM was a great place for us to take a hike...we saw lizards, birds, wildflowers and beautiful rocks. This is one of my favorite photos from the whole trip...our "jumping" one!From Ohio, we drove through Indiana, Illinois, Missouri to Oklahoma...
Totem pole...see Olivia holding her new boomerang? It works, too. First time Rob tried it out to show Olivia how to do it, it came right back!
Olivia riding a reclining bike at one of the KOA campgrounds. In her swimsuit...she went swimming right afterwards!
In Amarillo, TX, we when on a hayride...the guy driving the tractor that pulled this had speakers that played songs..."Get your kicks on Rt. 66" (it was right off the old Rt. 66) and "She thinks my tractor's sexy."Hannah writing a postcard to Peepaw and Grammie.Church Street Cafe was delightful...we ate on their back porch, so many pretty flowers, AND delicious food.
Ouch. I did touch the cactus and got one of those prickly things stuck in my finger! That was a mistake. This is Old Town Albuquerque...

Little movie I took while we were driving...listening to a local NM radio station!The outside and inside of our tent...we camped 13 nights. The last 2 nights were really scary, horribly windy! It made me thank God for all the wonderful nights we had previously.
We drove our little black 2002 Toyota Echo almost 5000 miles over the past 2 weeks. We packed light...4-5 outfits (and we stopped to do laundry), just the necessities. Rob packed the car tightly. We borrowed a slim cooler from my parents that held a gallon of milk and lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and salami, at one point. We ate a lot of peanut butter and jelly or honey, too.This is the 4 corners, where the states NM, AZ, UT and CO meet. From there we drove into Arizona...right to Grand Canyon. There, we purchased an annual pass for $80, since regular admission is $25 (but we planned to go to 3 more National Parks)... We rented bicycles for the 4 of us while in Grand Canyon. It was a little adjustment for Hannah and Olivia getting used to using hand brakes instead of pushing back on the pedal to stop!
Right behind our campsite at Desert View Campground (only $12/night here, site #48) in Grand Canyon National Park...nice little hike. There were no showers here, so we drove 26 miles to the building where there are showers...$2.00 in quarters will give you 8 minutes of hot water!

June 20, 2011

Heading out west...

Every first Sunday of the month, you can go to a festival at the Bakersville seed company in Mansfield, MO. One of the first persons we met was David we are with him on his front porch with his dog:

(click on photo to see it bigger)
Rob took our photo by the Ko Shamo chickens.

So many pretty chickens...Olivia's favorite was that gray Silkie Bantam.

The Baker family can play...and sing! Strong voice out of this little!!! We bought a lot of seeds there, some honey, soap nuts, that purple prairie dress that Hannah is wearing by the trees, etc.

June 8, 2011

Summer vacation

I know it's still officially spring...but summer is just around the corner! I have worn my swimsuit this week, dipped in the cool water with my family. Here is a little walk down some of our past vacations:We drove down to Disney World in Florida in 2006 since we were living in Fort Stewart, Georgia, just 4 hours by car. I can't believe I used a stroller! My, how time has flown by...
Yeah, I know this isn't a vacation, but in June 2006 we made Cincinnati, OH the place of our new home. Home is such an endearing word to me, it means much more than a house, but a place of love, peace, happiness, sadness, laughter...
August 2007 we drove to Vermont. That's the house where I grew up. I have always loved that front porch. I still love sitting on our porch here in OH, although it is much smaller...
June 2008 Rob, Hannah and Olivia (so tiny, on the right) Red River Gorge, KY
Tetons - Jenny Lake in August 2009 after our stay in Yellowstone...we drove and camped for 2 weeks, from OH to IN, IL, IA, MN, SD, WY, then through Nebraska home...
Lake Erie in July favorite thing to do is lay on the beach (or swim) and read (here I was reading No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. And I loved reading this page where Mma Ramotswe explained to Grace that she didn't swim, but happily floated in the water: "A thin person would sink. You floated."

Hop on over to:
to see what she's been up to lately...I love this photo she took of a crocheted rock, plants and the ceramic pitcher (my mom has the same one).

What are you hoping to do this summer? Whether it's something you want to accomplish or a place you are planning to visit...

June 1, 2011

Jail time...

Hubbard squash in a Missouri jail, photo from the Facebook page of: Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company. You know seriously there are some seeds that can get you into trouble. The HUGE seed monopoly Monsanto has sued farmers for saving seeds. If they contain a certain percentage of their genetically modified seeds, they own it, even if you unintentionally grew it and it was pollinated by a bee the year before who happened upon a field of Monsanto's crop. So, we're trying to steer clear of that crazy stuff.We're planning our trip out west and hope to stop here: I assume this photo was taken last pretty!

Our garden is doing well...we planted the rest of our seeds exactly a week ago. We have red potatoes, yellow onions, beets, yellow and green beans, carrots, tomatoes, peas and a little herb garden. We cut some of my rhubarb stalks to cook with a little water and sugar...yum. We're eating lettuce and cilantro straight from the backyard. We went to a log cabin built in 1894 with some friends. There, we spent Olivia's 8th birthday and she got this hammock and napping mask as gifts from us... She is napping right now, actually.I cut 12 inches of Hannah's beautiful hair yesterday to donate to Locks of Love. We did it already once before (almost 2 years ago) and they sent a nice personalized "thank you" postcard. She loves having short hair, although it may not look like it in the more braids, but it is so easy to brush. Usually we struggle to get all the tangles out daily!