Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Back to a routine . . .

The end of spring break has come to a close and now Alvin is back to a heavy workload and has come home grouchy the last two days and it is only Wednesday. His mind is busy having to maintain two work places, working on a City of Chandler tile project, keeping up with his church job, and on top of that knowing he has to go thru the interview process to actually get the college job. It is defnitely sometime to worry about knowing some of the issues that are involved.

But, nevertheless we had a good two week break. Alvin said it was very relaxing for him. The days we spent in Seattle with Cody, Chelsea and kids were awesome. I do love going up there. We went to the Mill Avenue street fair. We haven't done that for a while and Alvin enjoyed visiting with some of his old ceramic buddies that he used to do the show with. The rest of the time we had appointments, went to a couple of movies, pizza with the kids, and the hike and helped Chelslea and Stephen paint the outside of their house. Alvin actually had only one week off from college teaching so the second week he put in many more long hours at the college. He will never get caught up! I feel so sorry for him with such a hectic schedule.

We are picking out outside house colors for the house. The painters are coming Monday. We have lived here 30 years and the stucco has never been painted but the wood has several times. We are going with a darker stucco color and the green a different hue. It is hard choosing the right color! We have purchased quite a few sample paint colors to hopefully get it right. We are also repainting the inside two accent walls that we had painted in the fall and after living with the awful brownish color for quite a few months will try for a better color.
Here are some pictures of painting Chelsea's house. Unfortunately we did not get a before and after picture.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Let's Take A Hike Stephen!

This morning we got up and I asked Alvin what he was going to do? (still on spring break) His plans were to go out to the college like he has done all week and do the millions of things that need to be done out there. He asked if I had something in mind to do and I said I wanted to go on a hike. I have been on a real excercise kick since seeing my knee doctor last week. The Doc and I decided I should really give my knee a workout this next month to possible see if it "might get better."

So, we headed out with tennis shoes, water and camera and decided we needed some kids too. Chelsea and Stephen are painting the outside of their house this Friday so Chelsea all week has been prepping the outside by sanding, scraping, cauking windows and fixing cracks. We didn't figure she would go but if we took the kids she would possibly get more work done.

Chandler and Tatum were overely excited to go but Cooper took major convencing that it would be fun. So, we headed out to Usery Pass only about 15 miles away from Chelsea's house.

We told Tatum to not touch any cactus so the first little while she walked with her hands behind her back. She was such a good hiker and kept up with her brothers. Chandler helped her in the rough spots by holding her hand. Such a good big brother!
She slid on the loose rocks a few times and came home with a few minor stratches.

We preceeded to walk up the hill (ok - that is just the lower part of the hill in the above picture - it was taller than that) and were about 20 steps shy of reaching the very top when a bee hive scard us from going further.

These rocks were about three quarters of the way up. We had a rest stop at my encouraging of course. Back down the hill we walked around the mountain so together we probably walked two miles.

We went to McDonalds for lunch and then decided to go to the lake and Butcher Jones Beach which was another 5-6 miles down the road.

Alvin was teaching the kids how to skip rocks in the water. Both boys were finally succcessful at the task with many tries.

We had lots of fun! Now, I am requesting a public apology from my favorite son-in-law Stephen! It seems when he called home to see how everybody was doing Chelsea told him we took the kids on a hike. His response was, "I hope we don't have to call the emergency crew to rescue them off the mountain." I understand that you haven't seen much physical activity from us the last few years and we have defnitely gained a few in the last years; but, well - - - next time you just come along and see for yourselves that we still can do these types of things. (You can only come though if you will let me try out your walking sticks)

My challenge for the October fall break is to be in better condition so we can hike the "wind cave" trail which is a 3.2 mile round-trip hike. Anybody welcome to join me. My grandkids committed themselves already.

Go to this site to check the hike out:

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Seattle trip!

We went to visit Cody, Chelsea, Carter and Cash for the first days of spring break, and before I go any further I need to clarify something. It seems that everybody talks about the Seattle area being rainy and nasty all the time. Alvin and I do not agree - we have been there on three different occasions and yes there is a little bit of rain almost every day but the sun has always come out to make the days perfect. We both like it there.

We had a great time doing some different things. I guess there is so much to see and do we will never be taken to the same place twice when we visit. We went to the local zoo and aquarium this time and it was pretty.

This is the first view you see when entering thru the main entrance. What a site to see!

Notice the monkey's muscels!

The acquarium was quite large with tons of variety.

And, this playground was way too cool! I would love to have just some of this playground stuff for my backyard. (like I have room) When we were leaving to go back to our car Alvin, Cash and I were walking up this ramp and I said, "My body is very tired." Cash spoke up and said, "My body is not tired at all." And, at the end of the day when we unloading the car Cash said, "I had a fun day with Nana and Pa." It was a very fun day Cash!

Our next adventure was an all day road trip arriving home way after dark. Every since Cody has moved there he has talked about going to the ocean and on our last visit he took us to all these bodies of waters and he called them the "ocean". Now, I call the places more like bays. Anyway, this time we actually took a 3 hour car ride to the Pacific Ocean and the beach he took us too was the best thing in Washington I have seen so far. This beach you will not find surfers or sunbathers or sand castles. Just logs and small rocks!

What do you think? I loved it and could spend hours climbing and just sitting and looking. Notice in this picture Chelsea's leg. She broke her foot falling down her stairs the first morning we were there. She was a trooper though and did everything we did.

Anybody that knows Alvin very well knows that he is always on the lookout for rocks that are smooth and flat. He is always thinking ceramics. In the above picture Alvin and Cash ventured out on the rocky beach to search out for that perfect rock. We came home with a heavy grocery bag full.

Our next stop was driving thru Forks, Washington. Those of you Twilight fans know that this is the place where the story takes place. It is not a very exciting town but it sure has captilized on the Twilight fame. Just outside of Forks is the Hoh Rain Forest. I guess Forks is the rainiest place in the United States. It didn't rain while we were there.

In the area between the rain forst and Forks driving we saw lots of elk. Now Alvin is not a hunter but his brother Brian is so it will defnitely been a good conversation between the two of them.

At Christmas time we see all the Christmas tree lots in Arizona advertising "Washington cut trees". Now I know why. I have never seen such beautiful trees and all sizes too. The above pictures shows a tree that is 500-550 years old.

We just had a marvelous time spending time with everybody. Thanks Cody and Chelsea for making it so much fun. And, Carter and Cash you were the perfect little boys while we were there. See you soon!