Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Craters of the Moon

Our next stop on our road trip was to my sister Mindy's house in Rexburg. We took a detour at Crater's of The Moon. I have driven by it several times and have always wanted to stop and explore. It was definitely worth the stop.

Isaiah liked the name of this cave and wanted a picture by it. I think he's pulling off the casual, contemplative look, very well.

This is the Indian Tunnel. It doesn't seem like much when you first make your hike into the entrance, but the further down you get, the more majestic it becomes. This was my favorite spot of the entire park. It makes you feel very small in a massive world.

I was so happy Isaiah endured the many stops we made along the paths to read every detail about the landscape around us. At first he just wanted to fly through the park so he could see his cousins, but he eventually got excited by what was around him.
Isaiah overlooking the park from atop the Inferno Cone.

I love all the rock formations.

This tree is along the path in, "The Devil's Orchard." The trees here were all infected with a non-native shrub called witches broom. Isaiah and I both thought they were very fascinating.

At the bottom of the Inferno Cone.

This was my favorite tree in the entire park! Apparently the trees there learned to adapt to the weather in order to survive. This tree has survived the wind and snow by bending and twisting along with it, rather than pushing against it. The result is the above picture. I like it because to some the tree may seem dead, but the reality is, it is still alive because it was adaptable.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Going Back

I will be periodically posting about our summer in an attempt to get caught up. Isaiah and I took a two week road trip to start the summer off. It was a little ambitious with many stops but we had a great time. With that being said I think it will be a long time until I attempt it again. Our first stop was only three hours east in Bend to visit my sister Debora and her family. Oddly I didn't take one single photo. We only stayed one or two nights, I can't remember exactly, (this is why you post right away). My sister has four boys so Isaiah was really excited to see them. Our only "outing" was to the outdoor pool they have there and the boys had so much fun we stayed all day. I left with a sunburn. Isaiah came down with something so we started the next leg of our trip like this.

I felt so bad for him. There is nothing worse than feeling yucky and being stuck in a car for eight hours. Our next stop was Grandpa and Grandma Dewey's house. We love visiting them!

This is the beautiful scenery along the way.

Isaiah still feeling sick. He was such a trooper though. He didn't complain once!

Again these pictures are out of order. I still can't figure out how to drag them to where I want to. G & G took us fishing while we were there. Exactly what Isaiah wanted to do. I of course could not fish because I didn't want to purchase an Idaho fishing license for the one time. Isaiah had success and he was more than excited about it.

Isaiah's little bit of Heaven on Earth.

G& G then took us to one of their friends farm so we could play around with this machine. Grandpa won't be too happy with me that I have completely spaced on what it is called. Let's just say giant digger:)

Isaiah was a bit intimidated by the "machine" and wanted Grandpa by his side the whole time.....

.....then again so was I.

Isaiah enjoying some story and game time with Grandma Dewey on her ipad. He loves that thing. So much that he asked for one for Christmas this year.....keep dreaming kid.

Isaiah's fish fry. With the help of grandpa, he learned how to clean and fry up his own fish!
Thank you Grandpa and Grandma Dewey! We had a wonderful time, although it was a tad too short.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Fun!

I am not the biggest fan of Halloween but I decided to have a little fun with our food this year. Isaiah thought it was pretty cool so I guess it was worth it.

Daniel toasted our pumpkin seeds from pumpkin carving.
They were yummy!

We had some family visit for the BYU vs OSU game. My sister's husband got tickets to go with his brother and they took a couple of their kids. As you can see they were obviously not cheering for OSU.

We made these monster cupcakes while the guys were at the game. I thought they were more cute than scary.

Pumpkin stuffed peppers. Daniel told Isaiah we were eating pumpkin brains, (sort of like the monkey brains in Indiana Jones). Isaiah thought that was pretty awesome.

Mummies in a blanket.

Now on to our pumpkin carving fun. We each had our own different ideas and I thought they turned out nice.

Stephanie: Boo pumpkin on the left. Isaiah: Scary pumpkin in the middle. Daniel: Hoffman pumpkin on the right (he was pretty proud of that one).

Halloween night getting ready for Trunk or Treat. Isaiah was very specific on what he wanted his costume to be, which was sort of a mix of things. He wanted green hair, white face, dark circles around his eyes, and blood dripping down his chin.

Daniel and I thought the green hair was pretty cool.

I think it turned out pretty good! Now that I look at it though his hair sort of looks like Dennis Rodman's :)

Isaiah with one of his buddies from school. It turned out to be a great Halloween this year!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Crater Lake

I haven't posted in so long maybe something has changed. I used to be able to just upload all the pictures I wanted to and then arrange them later. Now when I try to click and drag nothing happens. I'm annoyed but life must go on. The pictures may not be in order but our trip this year to Crater Lake was, in my opinion, the best one. We have gone the last five years and every year is different. We usually try to go after the season has closed which is after September 22nd. The pluses to that are way less people and easy to get our favorite campsite. Minuses - COLD at night. This year we went at the very beginning of September because it just worked out that way. We left our house at about 4pm and it's only a four hour drive but we didn't get there until 2am! Daniel wanted to sloooowly make our way down there this year. Basically he wanted to stop at the new Cabella's store in Eugene and stock up on more camping and fishing stuff. We spent at least an hour in there if not more. I enjoy trying out all the cozy camping chairs and Isaiah and Daniel love looking for the perfect fishing lure. Seriously there are about a million, just grab one! It is fun to watch though. Daniel really searches hard to find the type of lure he thinks the fish at Crater Lake will bite at (every year it's been a basic black lure so I don't quite understand what he's still searching for). Isaiah on the other hand thinks the bigger the lure the bigger the fish he'll catch. He seriously picks out lures that are basically the size of the fish that are in Crater Lake. We're not catching sharks out there Isaiah! After Cabella's we went out to eat to celebrate Isaiah's 9th birthday. I still can't believe he is 9! When we arrived all the campsites were full. We like to camp at Lost Creek. It only has 16 campsites but it is so pretty and quite there. Most people staying there are just passing through so we knew a site would open up in the morning. It was already 2am at this point so we decided just to sleep in our car for the night. It was interesting to say the least. I was so tired in the morning I didn't even budge when Daniel drove us to our campsite. When I woke up our entire campsite was set up AND Isaiah and Daniel had chopped a huge pile of firewood already! I felt pretty spoiled that Daniel let me sleep. I can be quite the bear on little sleep:) I really wish these pictures to follow were chronological.

Isaiah fishing and catching crawdads our first day at the lake

Isaiah caught a fish! Daniel and I were so excited for him. He has never caught one at Crater Lake before. I think he actually ended up catching 4 or 5 this year!

Eating his fish back at camp. Daniel makes some delicious fish
Isaiah's face here is priceless to me. You can just see how proud he is of that fish!

The walk down to the lake is long but it is so beautiful. The walk up is a different story.

We always pull over once on our drive to the trail that leads to the lake. I love seeing how excited Isaiah gets to see the lake.

Daniel working on his fly fishing on his favorite rock.

I caught a fish as well! :) This was my first fish that I have ever caught at Crater Lake as well. Of course we didn't keep it but I had to get a picture with it. Daniel wasn't very happy that I wouldn't hold my own fish. I tried but I can't handle feeling their lips move on my finger. It just feels gross.

Enjoying some relaxation by the fire.
There were forest fires all around so the Sunsets were amazing. We were so bummed because right before we took this shot the sun was just going down behind the mountain and it was bright red. It only took me about two minutes to find my camera and the sun had already gone down.

Okay now you can see why I thought this was the best year at Crater Lake:) I caught this one just minutes after that tiny one. I was pretty excited! Daniel is usually the only one that catches fish.

More relaxing.

Daniel wanted me to get a picture of our campsite. It really is so peaceful there. Behind those trees in the back is just miles of forest and they spread the campsites out far enough that you really feel like you are there alone.

I had to snap a shot of Isaiah in his undies. :) I have no idea why he wouldn't go inside the tent to change but this is what you get when you don't.

Cozy! For some reason this shot makes me want to go camping right now. Sitting by the campfire is one of my favorite things. Does that make me lazy?

Daniel and Isaiah cleaning the fish. I always make sure that I am too busy getting everything else ready when it comes to fish cleaning time. Daniel thinks I should learn how...I don't.

These are the Pinnacles. I think they are fascinating. We slept in the parking lot here our first night. We did all the site seeing of Crater Lake the first year we went and have only fished since. This year I wanted to do more site seeing and hiking. Daniel says we did it to make me happy but I know the real story. This year we camped through Monday so that means we were there all day Sunday. We already decided we weren't going to fish on Sunday so that was the perfect day for hiking and site seeing. It was actually really nice because they had opened up new trails and we saw many things we hadn't seen before.

These shots are along one of the new paths. Daniel and I thought it was the Tumalo Falls but now I don't think it is. I don't remember the name of the falls but it was really beautiful.

More fish cleaning

Hiking the trail near the Pinnacles. These pictures make me laugh because Isaiah was actually really mad on this hike, (don't remember why), but he still walked very close behind Daniel and would copy everything he did with his walking stick. The walking sticks are also another story. Daniel and Isaiah spent hours looking for them and carving them just right. Daniel really put some extra effort into his. He's a good dad.

It was a beautiful day....the walking stick and hat on the hand....Daniel seriously looks like an old man from the 20's here. I could have dealt with the hat but he insisted the stick be in the picture as well.

Gotta love Isaiah's outfit here. Sleeveless shirt, board shorts, soccer socks, and basketball shoes. Wow!
We saw some pretty interesting insect life while we were there this year. Isaiah brought his "Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America" book, so we had fun trying to identify them. We decided the beetle above was the White-spotted Sawyer but upon further investigation we aren't as sure as we were before.

These butterflies were all around the falls. I don't know why but they made everything seem so magical to me:)

These things were all over.

Okay this is where I am a mean mom. I had made this ribbon out of some grass and had secretly placed it on Isaiah's head. I asked him to stop for a quick photo. He actually looks really cute in this picture so now I wish I hadn't put that ribbon on his head. I guess the joke ended up being on me:)

Daniel took this picture INSIDE our tent in the middle of the night! He said he felt something on his arm and when he flicked it off it made such a big thump he had to find out what it was. Pretty sure this one is called the Great Grig. Whatever it is, I'm just glad it wasn't on me and that Daniel took it out of our tent.

Down by Crater Lake

This was the pile of wood Isaiah and Daniel had chopped while I was sleeping in the car.

I saw this spider right as we were getting ready for bed. We were never able to find out what kind of spider this was. I didn't care what kind of spider it was as long as it stayed away from me.

I know this was a long post! We had a great trip this year and hope to have many more! If you ever want to go with us let us know. The more the merrier!