To Seattle... Which I have to say, the highway right before driving into Seattle, was probably the prettiest drive I have ever been on. The trees were amazing! However, the closer we got to Seattle, the cloudier it got. But that's what they say right? It always rains there. The ONLY planned thing we had on our entire trip besides visiting my Grandpa, was to go up in the Space Needle. But what good is it going up if you can't see anything? But, we went up in it anyway. Each of the kids took turns looking out through the telescopes.
Then, they all played this game with this camera thing. There are cameras set up outside on the space needle, and you can maneuver them and zoom in and see things that are outside the space needle. Someone was in control of the camera, and they would find something and zoom in on it, then the other kids would go to the window and see if they could find it. They actually played this for quite a while.
Melissa was the first to venture outside in the rain. Then we all followed, and boy was it cold!
I guess we weren't really dressed for the weather. We just weren't quite sure what to expect. After leaving the space needle, we got in the car, and drove on to Portland, Oregon.
There are just way too many pictures to post the entire trip in one shot, so you'll just have to enjoy it as we did, a piece at a time. On our quest to see all of the 50 states, we took a trip over the kids "Fall Break" and captured a bit of the Northwest. We left here bright and early Wednesday morning and drove to Spokane, WA. Of course, we hit Idaho and Montana on the way. We had to get out and take a picture of Spencer in front of an exit sign that pointed towards Spencer, Idaho. Because really, how many kids have their names as actual cities? Like Melissa said, "Some kids have all the luck." How do you like my strategic photography? I tried to get the arrow to point right at him.
At a rest stop in Montana, we figured we should get a picture of the family actually in Montana. But then, we had a bit of a dilema. Steve wanted a picture of the family with all of the trees behind, but I didn't want the road in the picture, so I suggested just a shot with some foresty stuff behind us. So, in Steve's attempt to sway me as to the road not really being in the picture, he snapped this picture of me. I know, I look fantastic don't I? Did I mention we got up REALLY early?
But other than the fact that the kids don't look all that great in my shot, I think I was right about the background. Don't you? Okay, whatever, Steve was right...
While in Spokane, we hit the highlight of our trip. We stopped to see my Grandpa who is in an assisted living center there. I about lost it when I saw his room sign.
Michelle and I bought him that hat during my Freshman year at college when we were attending BYU. I'm glad to see that it's still in use.
These are some pictures that we took while on our visit with my Grandpa. You can kind of tell in the pictures that Melissa and I were a little emotional. And just maybe perhaps, my Dad might have been a little emotional because of it (he's behind the camera), but you didn't hear it from me...
Melissa has mentioned to me that she would like to go back some time and visit him, and I actually would like to too. Before we went, I kept hearing about how he's just not himself and what not, but it seemed like there were moments where he was completely himself. He still loves good pie for one, my Aunt had mentioned that he didn't eat a good dinner the last two nights before our visit, but then during our visit ( I went over that night with just my Dad), the nurse said that for dinner that night he had eaten two pieces of pie before dinner followed by dinner and some more pie and ice cream. Then the next morning when we took the kids over, there were quite a few moments of his old personality coming out. In fact when he walked, he couldn't take very big steps, but he certainly had a little "giddy-up" in his stride. And he was constantly on the go, wanting to change where we were sitting, and wanting to go with us "somewhere". Somewhat reminiscent of his spry years. He was always doing something.
When we got home, the first thing our kids wanted to do was make him some more signs for his birthday since the old ones were all falling off the wall. I should have gotten some pictures of those, but didn't think of it before we sent them off. It was a good start to our trip!
No, not playing with Mr. Potato head, this was her prize, her new passion? Reading! She is required to read 20 min. each night as part of her homework. In September, her teacher announced a contest that they were going to see who could read the most minutes for the month. Jenna at first started to read 30 minutes each night because that was what Spencer was supposed to read. And she was in the lead for the first week, however, then the next week a kid had read quite a bit over the weekend, and was catching up to her, so then the next three days straight, instead of playing with friends after school, she read... and read... and read... Then she got so far ahead, she said she was pretty sure that she was going to win. However, then she said that just to make sure she would win, she was still going to read 30 min. each night. Surprise! Surprise! she won. I just went to Parent Teacher Conferences this past week, and her teacher was showing me that there was a reading test they took at the beginning of the year, and then the same test taken at the end of first term, and her results were amazing! She jumped up almost three grade levels in her reading ability. I guess you could say that all of her reading has paid off in more ways than one.
Melissa had to do a bug project for science this past term. They were required to find 15 different bugs, and classify them and display them the same way that scientist do.
I REALLY hate these kinds of projects. Science projects I understand. They conduct an experiment and learn about the scientific method. However, collecting bugs? Really? Let's just say I'm glad this one is over. Here she is with her final project. Of course in order to get to this point, there was a whole lot of this...
For the past several weeks. Seriously, finding bugs isn't all that difficult, but finding 15 different kinds and in different orders and groups and what have you, that is next to impossible. Lucky for Melissa she had a bunch of Aunts helping her. Her friend even caught a bug for her as well. The prize goes to Melissa's aunt Marlene and Grandma. They caught her a Katydid. However from what I hear it was no easy task. They cornered it in the garage where it was hiding safely under the car. So they had to coax it out to where they could nab it and spent quite a bit of time on their hands and knees trying to do it. The sad thing is, Melissa had her 15 bugs by then, so she actually let it go because she thought it was too cute to kill.
Here she is with the bug right before she let it go. I hope the bug enjoys it's freedom because there were several other bugs who ended up on the board with a pin through it.
I know that I am WAY behind on posting, so since I have a few minutes to spare, I thought that I would create several blog posts, and then have them set to post a new one each day. Hopefully that will get me caught up at some point. So what have we been up to? September was actually a pretty relaxing month. We found lots of time to actually do some "chillin". Jayden is perfecting his "lego ships" that he makes for his storm troopers. Melissa has had her fair share of homework. And how she can stand to do homework in this position every day is beyond me. I originally thought it would last for the first week at most, but nope, every day she is laying on her tummy doing her homework.
Spencer has spent several hours doing legos with Jayden.
And of course, Jenna seems to lose another tooth every other day. She has lost a total of six so far. And two more are loose. But let's hope that her two front teeth come in before she looses the two to the left and right of those because I don't think she will be able to eat otherwise.
This was a cute picture so I thought I would add it.
Jayden came home from Preschool yesterday with a list of things that they interviewed him about. I thought I would share his answers.
How old are you? "Free" - That is his way of saying three. But at least he was honest, usually he isists that he is four.
What is your favorite food? "Pancakes" - Not hard to please!
What is your favorite color? "White" - Whatever, I bet some other kid chose this or she gave him some options and this was the last one that he said. His favorite colors are blue and yellow.
What is your favorite Song? "I Am a Child of God"
What is your favorite movie? "I like Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, but it's at the Redbox"
What is your favorite treat? "My Mom's" - That would be a frozen chocolate zinger. That's what he wants when he says he wants my treat.
What is your favorite animal? "Rascal" - His stuffed webkins Dog.
What do you want to be when you grow up? "Me" - I hope that he stays himself too!
How many people are in your family? "Spencer, Jenna, My Dad, and Spencer" - What about me?
What does your dad always say to you? "That his air compressor is red" - Jayden is TERRIFIED of Steve's air compressor because the motor goes off at completely random times and scares the begeebies out of him. The other day, he would not step a foot into the garage until I checked and made sure that it wasn't plugged in.
What does your mom always say to you? "Gives me a treat" - Glad I could oblige.
Who is your best friend? "Melissa" - This is true. He loves to hang out with Melissa.
What is the best present you've ever had? "One minute" - I think he is meaning that every once in a while I will let him have extra minutes on the Playstation, and I guess to him that his favorite present.
What do you think about? "When my mom mows the lawn"
What does your mom do all day? "Talk to me"
What does your dad do all day? "Watch a movie" - Whenever Mom is gone and Jayden is "hanging out" with Dad, Dad usually puts a movie on and then lays there and takes a nap while Jayden watches the movie.
What was your favorite vacation? "It was blue" - I don't think he even knows what a vacation is.
Before school started I took the kids to Lagoon. The stranger there in the middle is Melissa's good friend Haley. I thought it would be a good idea of she came with us so that if Melissa wanted to go off and ride some big rides, and Spencer didn't want to, she could. Doesn't everyone look excited? (Jayden must have some intuition at this point that it won't be a fun day for him.) Marlene came with her two kids Megan and Parker, so here's the entire group!
Our first ride was the swings! Jenna loved them....
Jayden did not... He watched from the exit. I tried putting him on, but after screaming bloody murder, I had to take him off.
Jenna and Megan rode the airplanes together...
While we were looking for the next ride, we ran into Melissa Haley and Spencer waiting in line for the viking swing. So I figured I would get some pictures of them since I may not otherwise.
Here they are waiting for the ride to begin. I think Spencer is already a little nervous. He was the surprise of the day. He tried EVERYTHING. And said he liked it whether he actually did or not.
And there they are! Only Spencer isn't holding his arms in the air.
Jenna on the Dumbo ride. I thought for sure that she would want to try some of the bigger rides. She was tall enough, but was happier to be on the little rides.
Next we went on the cars.
This was by far Jayden's favorite ride.
He went on it SEVERAL times. Here he is on the blue car with Parker. Then a red car by himself...
Then a red car with Parker...
Let's just say that he went on a green one also, and the blue one again... That was until we found the bumper cars. He liked those too.
Here we are on the train...
Jayden actually liked that one too. The train basically took us through their "zoo" which was awesome. We saw all kinds of animals REALLY close up.
After that we went to the car and had lunch. After lunch we went in and went to Lagoona Beach. Which is a water park like Raging Waters. Jayden enjoyed playing in the kiddie pools with Jenna. Melissa, Haley and Spencer went around on the water slides by themselves. Later, Marlene had to get to Back to School night for Megan, so she took Jayden and dropped him off at her Mom's house. Then, Jenna and I hung around the beach for a while and then when we met up with Melissa and Spencer again, we went back to the amusement rides. Jenna and I rode several by ourselves and then when Steve was on his way home from work, he came and picked up Jenna. It was all perfect timing because as I was taking Jenna to the pick up area, Marlene got there. She had left her kids home with her husband and came back to ride the scarey rides her kids couldn't go on. So after Jenna went home, Marlene, Spencer, Melissa, Haley and I went on the big rides. It was a lot of fun!
Before Jenna left, she rode the whale ride which was the only ride she remembered from the last time we went to Lagoon. After she got off, she said, "Hmm... that wasn't as fun as I remembered it!" She was a lot littler then!
I just had to post the video from the bumper cars. The guy running the ride would just stand there and say "Turn your wheel!" over and over again so the kids could get unclogged... I like Jenna's look at the boy who bumps her!