Driving Driving to Oklahoma

Today was the second day of what I have been calling “Our Drive Across America” even though really we are only going about halfway across.  I was thinking it might feel like a drive across America by the time we were done, but so far it’s been a lot of fun.

We are leisurely travelers.  For example, we made our first stop in Vantage, Washington.  It’s about 30 minutes from our house.  I’d been wanting to stop at the scenic overlook to see the Wild Horses Monument though.  So we did.

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It’s just beautiful.  This scenic stop also overlooks the Columbia River.

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I love the Columbia River.  We took the opportunity to take Buster for a little stroll too since we’d stopped.

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We drove across eastern Washington on I-90 to Spokane.  We had not made this drive before.  It’s pretty flat and desolate, but it was fun because I kept seeing these!

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Dust devils everywhere in the fields!  We have driven through a lot of areas similar to this in other parts of the country, but I’d never seen so many dust devils.

We stopped at a rest area outside of Spokane before we went into Idaho.  We like to stop at rest areas, and there are a lot of beautiful ones in Washington, Idaho, and Montana.  The facilities were almost all spotless.  Some even have fenced in areas for dogs to run leash free.

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I didn’t take any pictures, but our drive across I-90 through part of the Idaho panhandle was amazing.  We drove by Couer d’Alene Lake, and it’s just incredible.  It’s a beautiful mountain lake, and we can’t wait to go back there some day.

We spent the night last night in Butte, Montana.  We left pretty early this morning and headed to Rock Springs, Wyoming which is where we are tonight. We drove through some beautiful country today.

For the past two days we listened to the entire first Harry Potter book on cd.  Jim Dale reads it and he is an amazing reader.  Davey wanted to listen practically all day long both days.  Jim Dale is so entertaining to listen to, and the story is so good that I think we could happily listen to it again.  We might!

Today we also drove through Spencer, Idaho.  There are opal mines there, and you can pay to dig for opals.  I don’t know if they brought this rock in or if this is the mine?  There were some people digging here though.  I thought this was interesting!

opal-mineAnother highlight of the day were the “square” ice cream cones we had in Swan Valley, Wyoming.  Swan Valley is another beautiful area not too far from Jackson.  We stopped for a little break and saw people pouring out of this little convenience store with their square ice cream cones.  It was definitely some good ice cream!  (Well Davey wasn’t thrilled.  He claimed that his was too “vanilla-ey”  and he didn’t like his much.  David and I, however, were very satisfied customers!)IMG_0061

Tonight we experienced a nice noisy thunderstorm, and it poured down rain.  Buster was not happy.  Poor nervous dog.  He hadn’t really experienced thunder much before.   He’s been enjoying the trip for the most part though.  He’s always just happy to be with us.

Buster3Somehow David and I both accidentally wore Eskimo Joe’s t-shirts today.  So when we checked in to the hotel tonight, we encountered a group of people who were traveling together on their Goldwing motorcycles.  They were from Sand Springs, Oklahoma which is only about 20 minutes from where David and I grew up!  Small world.  The Eskimo Joe’s shirts almost always bring out fellow Oklahomans!

Now it’s time for rest before we head out again tomorrow.

 

7.5

Yesterday this sweet kid turned 7.5.

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Davey just keeps on growing in so many ways.  Of course, he keeps getting taller and taller, but his little brain has grown so much too.  I love to listen to him read.  His curiosity continues to grow.  His questions surprise me and often send me to google.  Yesterday, he was teaching me about biomes and deciduous forests or something like that.  His sense of humor continues to grow as well.  I love that.

He is also not afraid to take on new challenges.  This last week has been very challenging as he tries to figure out this whole batting in baseball thing.  He’s a beginning baseball player, and it’s been tough on him trying to break through the beginner wall. He has worked diligently each day with David though, and he is really getting it.  I am proud of his determination.

Happy 1/2 birthday sweet Davey!

The Alaska Poncho!

I finished my Alaska Poncho the other day.  I love it.  I almost can’t wait until winter so I can wear the heck out of it.  Almost.  I am too thankful for Spring at this point!

David agreed to help me take some pictures of the poncho.  When David takes pictures of me it seems to result in expressions like this:

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and this:

wool-gang-4But isn’t the poncho pretty?  It is so soft and warm.  I love the blend of colors.

I tried the stand to one side foot posed picture.

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Hmmm.

I got him to take a close up.  I really love the colors and how the pattern had blended the yarns.

wool-gang-1I decided to try to get David and Davey to model for me.  David was willing.

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Davey wanted to get in on the “posing” action as well.

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and this:

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Two sillies.

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Thanks so much to Wool and the Gang for the kit.  I appreciate it so much, and I had so much fun knitting it.  Now I will really enjoy wearing it!

 

 

 

Whidbey Island: Double Bluff Beach

On Saturday after the taekwando tournament, we did a little exploring on Whidbey Island.

I had done a little research and found a beach that looked nice.  It’s called Double Bluff Beach.

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A great beach for a little boy to play.  There were these huts constructed with driftwood.

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And so many sticks with which to pretend and do battles.

 

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He was non stop.

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All Davey really needs for total entertainment is a beach with sticks, sand, and rocks.  The shells and small tide pools though were definitely a great addition to that as well.

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We walked a ways down the beach seeing what we could see and finding little things.  Davey pretended all the way there and back.

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After we were done, David helped Davey with his shoes.  He had so much sand in his shoes that I don’t know how he could walk.

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Davey loves to ride on the ferry (we do too), so we drove down to Clinton and took the ferry to Mukilteo.

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We finished the trip off with fried fish and then ice cream for dessert at Ivar’s.

We have to get back to the beach soon!

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Whidbey Island Taekwando

This weekend we went to Whidbey Island (our first visit there) for Davey’s first taekwando tournament.

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Davey was a little nervous about it but he was excited too.

I think he’s laughing at Master Hughes (his teacher) in this picture.  He always makes Davey laugh.

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David gave him some words of encouragement before things got started.  The older boy standing behind him always looks out for Davey and helps make sure he is where he is supposed to be.

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They got all lined up, and then a group of black belts (and a few other up and coming students) kicked (literally!) things off by doing a great taekwando demonstration.  There was lots of kicking, flipping around, and breaking of boards.  Davey loved it (we all did!).

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Davey had to wait awhile for his turn to do his form.  He passed the time chatting with his good friend Eva.

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I think they were comparing patches here.

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Finally it was time.  He’s looking a little nervous.  I didn’t realize that he was going to have to his form alone in front of 5 black belt judges!  They were really nice but doing it for the first time was tough.

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He did well.  He had a mistake at the end which caused him to finish a little off, but overall he did great for his very first tournament.  We were just really proud of him for pushing through it.

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He was a little disappointed in his performance.  He’s not thrilled with his medal.  He had thought that everyone got a medal, and they did.  But – they also ranked the top 3 places, and he didn’t like not being in the top 3.

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He was very polite though and just did awesome working through a new experience.

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He even made some new friends.

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I asked Davey what he thought about it all.  He told me, “I didn’t expect to get a 4 medal.  Maybe 3 or 2, but not 4!”  So that was disappointing for him.  It was his first experience ever of competing in that way for a rank.  He’s ready though to do the next tournament, and David will participate in the next one with him as well.  It will be easier next time since we will know what to expect!

I am sure proud of our little 7 year old who wants to be a grandmaster one day.  He also wants to run a taekwando studio with David.  (Plus be an oceanographer!)

Reading is Fundamental

I have not blogged in awhile!  We’ve been busy with days of school and work (and play!).

I have been doing some knitting but I have put aside my Hulda Holly again for just a little break while I get some instant gratification with knitting a baby cardigan!

I am also starting back into school to get my elementary ed certification so that’s going to take up a lot of time as well.

One reason I want to teach is because I feel so strongly about reading and literacy.  I hope to become increasingly involved in promoting literacy and encouraging families to embrace reading with their children. I found this video this morning from RIF (Reading is Fundamental), and I wanted to share it. Here’s the link embedded in what I think is such an important statement:

“When you don’t have access to books, you only encounter them in a format that’s work…Owning your own books gives you access to something that is personal, positive and joyful.” 

Yes!

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Conversations with Davey

Davey and I have lots of good conversations before he goes to sleep at night.

He likes to ask me: “Mama, how were the second graders today?”  He loves any stories I tell him about what we did at school.

He likes to hear about the 8th graders I work with as well.  The other day I was telling him about how some of the 8th graders don’t always do their work like they are supposed to.  I told him that I didn’t really understand why some of them don’t want to work.  Of course, I know that there are many factors that go into this, and I am sympathetic to that, but I also like to talk about it with Davey, because I’m always trying to emphasize the importance of doing your best in school.

He said, “Well Mama, maybe they don’t love learning like you do. Not all kids love to learn.”

I really hadn’t thought about it in that way.

Davey does love to chat, and it often takes him quite awhile to fall asleep.  I decided to try something called “Square Breathing” with him.   It is a deep breathing technique and I thought it might relax him.  I actually think it worked pretty well.  We will have to continue practicing it and see how we do.

I explained to him that you think about your breathing and you breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, and then breathe out for 4 counts.  He thought about this for awhile and said, “That seems like triangle breathing to me.”   I thought this was a good point.  However, I just googled it and turns out that I had it a little wrong.  After you breathe out for 4 counts, you are supposed to hold your breath for 4 counts before you start again.  Can’t wait to tell him this.  He will think that makes much more sense!

I recommend it though.  I recommend it for myself as well.  We could all use a little slow deep breathing on most days.