Monday, June 29, 2009

Birthday Boy

Lots to post about, lots of new pictures...lets spread it out over a few days, shall we?

Camden turned 6 on June 19th. I'm really not sure how that is even possible. I think my heart breaks a little bit, each time he grows another inch. No matter - - he could be 6'5" and he will still always be my baby.
I had the "birthday table" waiting for Camden when he woke up, and you'd better believe he zeroed in on the cupcake pretty fast. I think it was in his belly before 7:00 a.m. We had fun looking through his baby album together, and I told him all about the day he was born. Every time we'd turn a page, Griffin would point to a random picture and say, "Is that me?"

I couldn't get a great picture of this, but I made a fun little birthday banner to hang over the fire place, using a picture from the day he was born, and each of his birthdays. I think I'll just change the number and add another birthday picture to it next year!

Camden's birthday happened to coincide with the annual Cherry Festival, so Steve took the afternoon off, and we all headed to the park to enjoy the rides.

Back home that night for some birthday cake. Since Cherry Festival is a pretty busy time in these parts, we decided to hold off on the birthday party until this past weekend.

As you can probably guess, Camden's party theme of choice was "Titanic". He was pretty specific about what he wanted for a cake, and so I spend quite a bit of time distressing over how the heck I was going to make a Titanic out of cake and fondant, but in the end it turned out just fine.

The iceberg was sort of an afterthought, but think Camden liked that as much as he liked the ship!
Fondant is really very easy to learn how to use, and I am amazed at how many things you can do with it. I can't wait to try another cake with it, soon.

Camden had a great time with his friends, and both the boys were good and tired that evening. I think Camden was pleased to have converted some more people into Titanic fans, too.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Dead Laptop Battery Blues

So my laptop died last week. I come to you via the old, slow desktop in the basement. I don't often get the chance to sneak down to the basement to use this computer, thus the lack of emailing and blogging from me for the past few days. I can't upload pictures on this computer for some reason, so all you are getting from me today is a boring, photo-less post about how I can't wait for my new laptop battery to get here.

On the same token, I have to admit that this break from my laptop has been very, very refreshing. I've realized just how much time I spent on my computer on any given day, and I'm determined to have different Internet parameters going forward. I think as a stay-at-home mom, it is really easy to get sucked in to an open laptop, dozens of times throughout the day. It is a good distraction, gives me a mental break, and really, it can break up the monotony and a tough day. However, without this distraction, I've gotten a lot more done, and I've spent my time in a much wiser fashion. So, we'll see what happens when the UPS man arrives with the box from Dell. Sigh.

I'm obviously behind the 8-ball on all sorts of blogging though - - such as the annual Cherry Festival, and my sweet baby boy's 6th birthday. So, lots of pictures to follow in the coming days.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Thoughts on a Rainy Day

I awoke in the middle of the night to the sound of rain, and my first thought was, "Yay! I don't have to water the lawns tomorrow!" Then, I promptly went back to sleep. It is 8:00 a.m. now, and still raining, so I'm guessing there won't be any swimming lessons this morning. We shall see. Swimming lessons began this past Monday, and Camden is doing great! He has much more confidence in the water than he did last year, and I have a feeling he'll be making great strides this summer. Griffin...not so much. While he enjoyed the "Mommy & Me" class last year, he spent the first two classes this week, screeching and clawing at me and wanting to get out of the pool. So, we are officially drop-outs, I'm sad to say.

Steve's away at annual training right now, and these little boys have been working me over this week. Now, I'm not looking for any sympathy here, because I know all of you know exactly what I am talking about. The bickering. The toy-throwing. The tantrums. The general unruliness of a 2-year old and an almost 6-year old. These are the times where I feel very sorry for my poor mother, because I am quite sure my brother and I caused her the same heartburn I am feeling now, when we were little. Alas, that's not all we've been up to this week, thank goodness. We've managed to throw in some ice cream, some crafting, lots of yard work and gardening, some baking, a little kung-fu, one child with runny eyes and a fever, and some birthday party planning, to round it all out.

Speaking of gardening, I'm finally starting to enjoy the fruits (or veggies) of my labor. All of my radishes have been picked and eaten, I've made 2 cups of pesto (which I promptly froze in ice cube trays and popped in the freezer), and I've baked some rosemary bread. I'm so happy that my herbs are doing so well this year - - I love having them right there at my fingertips.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Change of Command

Steve reached a big milestone this past Saturday, when he rotated out of company command. He's been a commander for the past three years, and, in addition to his full-time job, it has been a huge time commitment for him, as well as a ton of responsibility, so we are both glad it is over with. Steve is away at annual training right now, so the boys and I loaded into the car and met him in Mountain Home for the ceremony. I enjoy seeing Steve "in action"in his Army role, because it isn't something I get to see too much of. If you know Steve at all, you know that he is the perfect type of person to be in the military. He makes me very proud, and I'm thankful for all that he does, so that I can stay home with the boys.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting

In honor of the late, great David Carradine (who will forever be Justin LaMotte, to me), I give you:

Kung-Fu Camden

Our boy has recently begun studying kung-fu, and is loving every minute of it!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

A Titanic Adventure

Last Friday, we set out on a nearly 315-mile road trip to Eastern Idaho. Our destination? The Museum of Idaho, to see the Titanic Artifact Exhibit. If you've never been out West, this is what you see a lot of: Wide Open Spaces.

Everyone was all smiles as we set out.

Griffin "read" all the books I'd packed in about the first 20 minutes.

The Captain, tending to some urgent Army business. I annoyed him by taking a picture of him, every time his cell phone rang. I stopped taking pictures after about the 7th call, but they kept coming just the same!

Look! I was there, too!

We made a pit-stop at the Mountain Home armory, where I snapped a quick picture of the sign, while Steve is still in command (for one more week).
When we pulled into the armory, there was a cow in the parking lot.
Isn't Idaho lovely?
Next stop: Craters of the Moon National Monument. The boys loved it! We got in a good leg stretching.
Soldier down!

At long last, we reach our hotel in Idaho Falls, where Camden treats Griff to a choppy back massage.
Mmmmmm! Continental breakfast!

After not being able to fall asleep the night before, Camden woke up at the crack of dawn and proceeded to ask every 5 minutes, what time the museum opened. He wanted to be the first one in the door, and I am happy to report that he was! The exhibit was absolutely amazing. No cameras allowed inside, unfortunately. Needless to say, we had a great time. I think my favorite artifact may have been the perfume bottles that had been brought on board by Adolphe Saalfeld of Manchester, England. He was a perfume maker, and boarded Titanic carrying a leather satchel filled with 65 little bottles, that he was probably taking to America to sell in various boutiques. He survived the sinking, but his satchel sank with the ship. Of the 65 bottles lost, 62 have been recovered. There were little holes in the display case, and you could still smell the beautiful perfume. Amazing. Camden's favorite: the large model of Titanic, as it appears on the ocean floor.
After lunch, we started our journey back West. We passed a ton of these potato barns.
This is Number Hill in Arco, Idaho. Graduating seniors have painted their year of graduation on this hillside every year since 1920.

Hey, look! Picabu, Idaho! Did you know that this is the town that inspired Picabu Street's name?
We stopped for the night in Fairfield, a one-horse town. We had a fabulous meal at the Soldier Mountain Brewing Company. Did you know that the actor Bruce Willis owns Soldier Mountain? Actually, by the time our meal came, the boys were done eating, so we packed ours to go and headed to a local playground so the boys could burn off some pent-up energy.
Chicken Gorgonzola pasta....delish.

After a couple of glasses of a delightful Spanish wine, I did a little climbing.
Breakfast the next morning....

Before hitting the road, we watched the beginning of the Camas Days 10K, organized by our good friend Dennis, who just happens to have been Steve's commander while they were in Iraq. That's Dennis in the blue shirt. The "yellow team" from the most recent season of the Biggest Loser was supposed to be there to run the race, but they didn't show up. Hmmmmm......
We made it home around lunch time, and what a great time we had. It was great to get out of town and see another part of this beautiful state.

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