Sunday, October 10, 2010

September 2010

Another month has gone by and October is almost half over. Soccer, school and work are keeping us all busy. Brian is taking 21 credits this semester. We had hoped he would graduate next May. But now it looks like it will be after the Summer semester. All three kids are going every which way with soccer games and practices. The only days we don't see a soccer ball are Friday and Sunday. All of the kids are back in Piano lessons. We switched Hannah to a new teacher. So far so good. She says shes having fun again. I hope it lasts. =) Sierra-Cascade started digging strawberry plants on September 19th. And it has been non-stop ever since. I am already tired and we haven't even it the peak yet.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

First Day of School 2010

So this isn't quite the first day, but the fourth. We kept forgetting! =)

August 2010

My how time flies! I can't believe it is the end of August already. For the most part this was a quiet month.
  • Hannah went to her first overnight basketball camp at UNR in Reno. She had a great time, learned a lot about basketball and made some new friends.
  • Midge (our dog) celebrated her 8th birthday on Friday the 13th.
  • Soccer practices started on the 16th. Hannah and Parker are both on traveling teams this year. Hannah is one of the goalies for her team. Parker is a defender. Eli's team plays other teams in Susanville. There are only three boys teams this year so they are going to be playing the girls teams too. =)
  • D. Todd Christopherson, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve came to our Stake Conference on the 22nd. Everyone expected major changes, but he just reminded us to set a good example and live a righteous life.
  • We waited until the last minute to go school shopping in the 20th. I took Hannah and Brian did the boys. It was a long day, but much better that doing everyone together.
  • School started on the 23rd. Hannah is in 8th grade, Parker in 7th and Eli in 5th.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

How about that airport security?

I was cleaning out my purse and was reminded of our trip through airport security in Minneapolis on the Fourth of July 2010. I carry a Leatherman tool in my purse. It was a gift from RMEF in Oregon. I love it as it comes in handy . . . often.

In 2008 at the Reno airport, I had to mail it back to myself as I forgot to take it out of my purse and airport security did NOT appreciate that.

So you would think I learned a lesson. Nope, I head right into airport security at Minneapolis oblivious to the fact that it is still in my purse. Sure enough they want to check my bags. To my surprise it was not my purse, but my carry on. What the heck is in my carry on that they don't like? Gasp . . . a full size tube of toothpaste!!

Go figure, security takes away my toothpaste but lets me on the plane with a Leatherman tool!!

Parker's first Boy Scout Camp

Our stake participates in an Aaronic Priesthood Scout Camp sponsored by a stake in the Sacrament area. They camp somewhere up on Donner Pass. While not officially sponsored by the LDS church, it is run by LDS members.

Parker had a great time. When he got home and walked in the door, the first thing Hannah said was "don't you think he looks older?" Parker earned 7 merit badges in 1 week. He was pretty proud of himself. He also advanced in rank to First Class.

Each scout troop had to build a boat out of cardboard and duck tape. Brian said Troop 58's didn't float for long. =)
Turns out Parker is really good with a bow and arrow. Brian said Parker got several arrow near the center of the target.

What does Brian want for his birthday?

A Nalgene bottle of course!
He got one from DaKine a couple of years ago and loved it. He likes the wide mouth and that it holds 32 ounces. Unfortunately it got left behind in the dishwasher when we moved from Dufur. Now he has a new one to fall in love with. He even put a DaKine sticker on it!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Lupkes Family Reunion

As most of you know Brian saw his dad for the first time in more than 30 years last May(2009). Brian has not seen any of his dad's family in Minnesota since he was a toddler.

Every year the Lupkes have a get together on or near the 4th of July. We have talked about going, but found out this year that Brian's dad was making plans to go. So that is what prompted our "Road Trip" of a vacation this year.

Upon our arrival we met the oldest brother, Dick and his wife Barbara. They live in New Jersey. They showed up as a surprise to everyone. We also met Jim and his wife Lu. We stayed at their house. Then Ralph and his wife Diane. And of course Brian's dad Steve and his wife Gloria. They were also so welcoming, as if they had always known us. Brian and I both felt relieved and very comfortable.

Lu cooked up some fabulous chicken and Diane make the best cheesy potatoes I have ever eaten.

The next morning I got up early to do laundry before it got too hot and then we all headed over to Ralph and Diane's for breakfast. It was so much fun to visit with all of them and learn about the lives. I am a 20 question kind of person, so of course I had to find out about everyone. It was great to put names with faces and learn their personalities. =) I hope they had as much fun meeting us!

Vacation Day 3

Thank you Delana for the great pancake breakfast with homemade syrup!

And we are off, headed for Wheaton, MN. But first we have to get through South Dakota. We decided to go straight north out of North Platte to Pierre, SD. Pierre is the capital of South Dakota. We had lunch there and then headed east toward Minnesota.

It took all day, but we got there about 7pm. Had to use the phone at the gas station to call Brian's dad to come find us. AT&T has no cell service in Wheaton, MN. For someone who claims to not be attached to her phone, it was actually hard to not be able to use it.

Brian's family welcomed us with open arms. And so did the mosquitos! Welcome to Minnesota!

Vacation Day 2

After have a nice breakfast at our hotel, we headed northeast out of Salt Lake City and into Evinston, WY. I call the interstate that runs east/west across Wyoming and Nebraska the "treadmill highway". Once you get up out of Evinston, it is pretty much straight for hundreds and hundreds of miles. To me it feels like you are driving and getting no where!

We had lunch in Rawlins, WY at a park with a retired Union Pacific engine. It was windy, but nice.

We finally made it to North Platte, NE where my friend DeeDee and her family live. We had BBQ dinner and stayed up visiting with her and her daughter Delana until well past midnight. I wished we could have stayed longer here too. So much to talk about! Our boys and Delana's boys got along really well. We all decided we must get together again!

I totally forgot to take pictures. :o(

Vacation Day 1

I had great plans to blog each day of our vacation. So much for great plans! Too much driving, late nights visiting and being in the 3% of the US (South Dokota & Eastern Minnesota) that does NOT have AT&T cell service!

We had a great time even though Hannah and I started out tired. We went to the midnight show of Eclipse Tuesday night. This time I was on top of my game and bought ticket 2 weeks in advance! =) After the movie, we went to my office so I could work on a project I was trying to finish before leaving. Brian and the boys picked us up at 5:30am.

We drove to Salt Lake City. The kids have never been there and I had never driven in from the west before. The salt flats are amazing. People even leave messages written in them with rocks. After checking into our hotel and grabbing some dinner, we went to temple square. We got there just in time to watch the new Joseph Smith movie, but just missed the visitor center as it was closing.

Temple square is so beautiful and peaceful in the heart of the city. I wish we could have stayed longer, but the next day called for more driving!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Piano Recital 2010

The kids are still taking piano lessons. Hannah hates it, but we have a saying "piano is non-negotiable". Two of our three piano teachers and one friend (all women) told me that they wanted to quit at one point when they were teenagers, but their mother wouldn't let them. I hope some day Hannah will appreciate the talent and skills she has. =)

All spiffed up and ready to go!

We always have to have a goofy picture. ;o)

I took video of them playing their pieces, but can't figure out how to post it. I will keep working on it!

Mud Ball 2010

After shopping and a quick visit with my friends Brenda and Barbara in West Linn, Hannah and I arrived at Brad's house. The kids decided to play kick ball. Because of all the rain, the back yard was quite soggy. It soon became "Mud Ball".

Cole and Parker waiting for their turn.
Eli is pitching; Hannah is kicking. By this time Hannah who was the first to take a spill is covered down the left side in mud. =)

I love this picture of Cole headed in for a score!

Who is this guy and what is he doing in the game?

Memorial Day 2010

We went to Portland and The Dalles for Memorial Day weekend. We stayed with Brian's mom Margaret in Oregon City. On Saturday Hannah and I went shopping while Margaret, Brian and the boys went over to Brad and Diana's new house to BBQ.

I love this picture. The both have "the look". And they do it so well!

Brad playing badmitten with the boys.
Wait for it, Wait for it . . .

Parker is 12!

Parker turned 12 on May 21. He could hardly contain himself until the big day. 12 is a major milestone if our family. It comes with a later bed time and a cell phone. Not a major cell phone, but a trac phone which still qualifies. =) We figure it is a good way for the kids to learn accountability with the phone.

Parker was actually camping with the Boy Scouts (yes that is SNOW in the picture) the night of his birthday, so we celebrated Saturday night after dinner. We don't allow cell phone use on Sundays, but he carried that thing around - "just to tell time, Mom."

Sunday, May 16, 2010

More USS Hornet

Anchor chain. Each link weighs 159 pounds. They use this hook to catch a link and lift it so they can put a clamp on, actually 2 clamps one on each side of the chain, to hold it in place.
YES this is an escalator!! It was not original to the ship but was added in the 1950's. Originally the room where they prep the pilots was right below the flight deck so it was not a big deal for the pilots to go up about 10 steps of a ladder in all their flight gear. But then they moved the room to below the hanger bay so it was more protected from enemy fire. So they installed the escalator to make it easier on the pilots. And yes it still works.

The USS hornet was the air craft carrier that picked up Neil Armstrong and the other astronauts after the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon. They have quite a bit of NASA stuff on board.

The kids thought this was a score board. But actually it is a compass heading and how many knots they are traveling. So supply ships could come along side and travel parallel while transferring goods. The flags to the right are countries the ship was in.

The whole time we were on board, I thought about my Grandpa Bill who served in the Navy during WW II and my brother Bill who served in the Navy during the Gulf War. My brother was on an aircraft carrier, the USS Nimitz. The Nimitz is much larger than the Hornet and this is actually the second Hornet. The first sank in 1941 so they changed the name of this new carrier when it was given it's commission in 1942. The USS Hornet had a maximum crew of 2,500 men. I believe Bill said the Nimitz had a crew of 5,000.

The ship had everything. Medical and dental facilities, library, chapel, post office, a store to buy gum or cigarettes and of course the brig (jail). I would definitely not want to go there. The cells had 2 bunks in them and were just big enough for the bunk and to walk along side them. If you have to use the bathroom you had to wait for the next "head call". There were 4 cells in a tiny little hall way, 2 decks below the water line. It was claustrophobic! I couldn't wait to get out of there.

The engine room was AMAZING! I always find it interesting the technology that they had before my generation. We look around us at all our modern cell phones and other gadgets and gizmos. They had none of that, but what they did have was very sophisticated.

I, of course, loved the whole experience. Eli had an upset stomach most of the time. But was a trooper and even slept the whole night with his group. I was with the other moms in another berth.

Oh and if your a fan of the show "Ghost Hunters" you can look up the episode they filmed on the USS Hornet. Apparently it is haunted!

USS Hornet CVS-12

Docked in Alameda is a retired aircraft carrier the USS Hornet. It was used in some of the raids off Japan during WW II. It is a museum now and has a program called "Live Aboard". You pay $60 a person and you get to eat and sleep on board for a night. You get to experience chow lines and 3 high bunk beds and very small spaces even though it is a very large ship, 984 feet from end to end.

In the picture above, you can see 7 port holes right under the flight deck. Our tour leader was a retired Navy boatswain that actually served on this carrier in 1968. The carrier was retired in 1970. It was really cool to have a guide who knew so much about the ship first hand. Anyway he took us up in this little room at the very front of the ship where all the maps were stored and told a story about what happens if you open one of those port holes during rough seas. The boys got a kick out of it.

This is Bill our fearless leader with Eli. Bill was a boatswains mate and had the boatswains pipe and we all woke up to reveille. Before this picture we had trekked up 3 or 4 flights of ladders to get to the top of what is called the "island". This is where all the controls of the ship are. I can't remember the correct name of the room.

This was a great display of the effect the crew of this ship had during WW II. This semester Brian is taking a history class that covers WW II and he had to write a paper about his opinion on whether or not the US should have dropped the atomic bombs. Seeing all the history on this ship really brought the part of US history alive for me.

Art - Vallejo, CA style

On Saturday, May 1, 2010 Eli and I joined other Webelos and their parents for a trip to Alameda. On the way the caravan had to stop in Vallejo to drop off a parent and pick up a grandparent. While we were waiting for the switch Eli and Joe, the two scouts in our care, noticed this car and got out to take pictures. As I was looking at them I was thinking this care could be used in the "I Spy" game for kids. I also wonder if the person really drives it around or if they just leave it on the street in the name of ART.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Eli earns his Arrow of Light Award

Eli and the other Webelos from Pack 405. The signs are the 12 points of the Boy Scout oath. They were supposed to be greeting the people when they came in the door. As you can tell they were more into being silly. :o)

Kim was Eli's den leader. She is an amazing gal. She had 12 boys and managed to get 10 of them through to receiving their Arrow of Light Award.

This is Eli crossing the bridge from Cub Scouts into Boy Scouts. Tom Wharton is one of the Scout Masters.

Our baby is growing up!!

General Conference April 2010

While the kids and I were journeying around Oregon, Brian, our Bishop and the Priest age Young Men from church were journeying around Salt Lake City. They had fun seeing the sites, attending two sessions of General Conference and playing a game called "Shoot the Moon". Apparently Luke is the Shoot the Moon champion!

Beading with Grandma Margaret

After Easter in The Dalles, we went to visit and spend the night with Grandma Margaret. We love going to Grandma Margaret's house. She makes the best grilled cheese sandwiches! :o)

Margaret's hobby is making jewelry. Hannah and Eli wanted to make something.
Hannah's necklace is brown and cream beads with one large bead at the center. It turned out really beautiful.
Eli's was multi-colored. Greens, blues, reds. The next morning he made a bracelet to go with it.

Bonneville Dam & Multnomah Falls

On our Easter trip we went to Bonneville Dam and Multnomah Falls with Bill and his family. Mindi and her family met us there. It was raining, sometimes pouring, but we had a lot of fun!
Parker and Rae Anne were inseparable

Best buds, Ian and Eli

In the elevator on the way down to view the fish ladder.
Diva! Stay for the picture!

Cousins :o)

4 Generations

Grandma Jo and her children, Ray, Nina and Bill

Grandma Jo and her grandchildren, Chet, Wendy, Trudy and Bill

Grandma Jo and her great-grandchildren Logan, Rae Anne, Randy, Parker,
Garrett, Hannah, Eli, Ian and Billy

Friday, April 09, 2010

Easter 2010

It was WAY too much driving, but we had a great trip to Oregon for Easter. It worked out that Hannah could go to Washington overnight Friday to hang out with her BFF from our Dufur days. The boys and I went with my brother Bill and his family to Bonneville Dam & Multnomah Falls. It rained, but we had a great time.

On Sunday the Dodson family gathered at Grandma Jo's house to eat and hunt Easter eggs. It appears the prize egg was eaten by a bird. So we had to draw a winner out of the basket. Chet did the honors and RaeAnne won the giant bag of M&M's. We had a wonderful time. I always love getting together with family. It so rejuvinates my spirit. I hate being so far away from everyone.

We took a lot of pictures. I will post a few this weekend.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Catching up!

I can't believe it has been almost two months since I posted anything. So the following posts are a few things we've been doing.

Hannah played community basketball in the Lassen Hoops league. Her team took 2nd place at the season end tournament. She LOVES basketball. The last couple of weeks though were rough as they overlapped with middle school volleyball. Hannah is not as crazy about volleyball, but they didn't have enough girls for a team at her school if she didn't play.

Brian got talked into being the ref for home games at our school. He went to a little mini training and is doing pretty good at it.

The boys start spring soccer when we get back for Easter and Spring break. They are ready! They are on the same team this year which will make the practice schedule easier.

Brian is doing well in school. He loves his Biology class this semester and the teacher recommended him to be a tutor. So now he gets paid $8 hour two times a week to help a couple of people.

My mom was in the hospital again with a bacteria. This time not in the blood stream, just in the open wound on her foot. They are doing ultra-sound therapy on it and it is healing pretty well. It helps that she is confined to our house and mostly her room, so she is staying off of it. But she is going a big stir-crazy I'm sure!


Parker wants to be a snowboarder so bad. It makes me wish we were more of a ski/board kind of family. He has gone a couple of times in the past with friends of ours. There is a section of the sledding hill near Susanville that people use as a short snowboard area. These are a couple of pictures of Parker giving it a go. :o)

Eli is a Webelo!

Eli is the only boy his age in our church group here. The church charters a Cub Scout pack. And it is not fun to do Cub Scouts by yourself. So we worked out an arrangement with one of the local town packs that is sponsored by the VFW. Eli as been meeting with them and having a great time. He earned his Webelos (we be loyal scouts) badge and received it at the Blue & Gold Banquet.

The Cub Master did a ceremony and they painted the boys faces with color representing things like loyalty, courage, etc. It was really fun. Our baby boy is growing up!!

Hannah's Room

From the day we moved into this house Hannah has been bugging us to paint her room. Probably because for the last couple of years we lived in Dufur we had talked about painting her "white" room a different color. At that time it was blue. Now it is purple. So she went to WalMart and brought home paint swatches. I had her cut them apart and tape them to her wall in different color combos. Thank you Nancy Taylor for that idea! Finally she decided on the exact purple she wanted, Brian bought paint and began the project over Thanksgiving break. Yes it took us THAT long to get it done.

We where shopping at Ross in Reno and found the green curtain. I really liked the color too, but wasn't sure how it would look with the purple. We found a paint swatch to match it and Brian bought paint. I was worried, but it turned out pretty good and Hannah likes it. Which is ALL that matters these days. :o)

The stripes were a pain in the keester. Thanks Gina Aldridge! Hannah saw some pictures of what Gina had done with Carlie and Berkeley's rooms. I talked her out of the polka dots. No way was I taking on that challenge. Once I got the hang of the tape and the level, the stripes actually went pretty fast. And yes I know I should have ironed the curtain!

Bathroom Decor

I think most of you know that I am NOT a home decorator. We lived in Dufur almost 6 years and I did not put one picture on the walls. OK, that's not totally true. I did put pictures up in the kids' rooms.

Anyway, I wanted a clock for our bathroom. And not just any clock, I wanted a really BIG clock to fill up a wall. AND it needed to fit in with the lime green paint Brian put up to cover the baby poop yellow that was in there when we first moved in. I was scopeing out ebay one day and found this do-it-yourself clock. I bought it hoping the colors would be close enough to the green and the flowers in the shower curtain. Brian was SHOCKED when I actually put it up. :o) I think it turned out pretty good if I do say so myself.

Our bathroom is one of those that is divided into two rooms. The tub and toilet are separated from the area where the long counter and double sinks are. This clock came from Brian's mom Margaret. I have always admired it and wanted to have it. FINALLY she gave it to me along with some picture that matched it.

SNOW in Susanville on March 31, 2010

Isn't is supposed to be SPRING??

Yesterday we woke up to pouring rain. By mid morning it was snowing, but it was that wet heavy snow and it didn't stick much. By afternoon it was gone. But around mid-night last night it starting snowing good. It must have took a break at some point, but as we head out this morning it is snowing again. :o)