Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Geotour - Bridle Trail, Tolmie, and Millersylvania

We are working on finding all the 100 geocache in the Washington State Centennial Geotour. After this weekend we now have found 20 of the 100 geocaches.  "100 caches in 100 parks to celebrate 100 years."

We stopped Friday afternoon at Bridle Trails State Park.  I was shocked how few people were there.  In an article by The Seattle Times Bridle Trails was considered one of the worse state parks. Some actually said the parks existed for the benefit of its rich neighbors. We saw none of that. We set off on the trail dodging the horse pies.  We even ran into two riders on horses.  Tigger got to meet horses for the very first time.  He didn't even bark.  He was in love with their poo. (I know gross) We loss the signal for our GPS but our great geosenses took over and before long we had the cache in hand.
Cody under the tree tunnel
Saturday we convinced Nonna and Pappy to go geocaching with us.  We stopped at Tolmie State Park which is pretty close to Nonna's house.  The beach is nice but the parking is somewhat limited at the beach access.  I did like that the beach was close and a fairly level approach. Pappy was able to do it with his walker.

Cody on the Beach
We had the cache in hand pretty quickly.

Then we ventured on to Millersylvania State Park just south of Olympia.  This has Deep Lake.  Millersylvania was also voted on by Seattle Times Readers as one of the worse parks. It certainly seemed popular when we visited. We had some concerns about retrieving this cache as the park was really busy.  Practicing a photo op helped us make the grab. I was in the photo so no pictures here.

So far this summer we have hit 20 state parks.  I am amazed at the diversity in our Park System.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Retro/Vintage Military Tween Boys Room

tin sign above wall switch
I gave you a little sneak peak of Charlie's room design but I never followed up with a completed room post.  A lot of this decor came from around the house. Charlie's is so excited about all the changes we made. I think it looks really good and a lot more grown-up.
Thrifted Bookcase
The story of the amazing 27 cent bookcase.  It went from a nice mint color to sleek black. The prints are from Amazon and I placed in frames. 
Kevin made the desk with a top from the
Dumpster. The chair was a throw away from dumpster
that Kevin fixed
The black square shelves were built by Kevin. All the trinkets and photos are from
stuff we had around the house. The bedding is a blue camo from JCPenny's.

If nothing else there is a ton of history in this room .  There were a lot of contributions of photos from our family.  My Dad's pictures of being in the Air Force.  Pappy on a CAT during WWII. Even pictures of me in my Kevlar helmet. Of course, the room wouldn't be complete without a busted up propeller hanging over the closet.

There are a few more cosmetic fixes and another picture to hang up but it is looking good.

I am linking up with Emily A Clark Kid Space Linky Party. There is still a couple of days before the pottery barn kids giveaway.


I think my youngest son has been playing a little TOO much Minecraft.  I found the following on my chalk board speech bubble.

He also has been practicing drawing Minecraft figures. I might need to seek an intervention.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Project Life Tuesday - Week 28

I am linking up The Mom Creative Project Life Tuesday.

It was a busy week 28.  My youngest had VBS(Vacation Bible School) at a local church in the evenings.  I wish I had taken a picture of the set. They even had a draw bridge.  They always go all out.  Their enthusiasm is what makes this VBS so great. We also had a death at the end of the week. Our dear dog Niki passed way.  We are still processing this.  I plan on doing a tribute page but wasn't up for it yet. It was somewhat unexpected. I will put it on the back of VBS page. Of course, I couldn't miss a chance to try a pretzel burger with my friend Mrs Epi.

Trying to keep it simple this summer and Project Life is all about simple!

Growing Potatoes

I have been growing my potatoes in a metal can. I have done this for a couple of years.  The only problem is the metal can really heats up which is good and bad.  It is good when we aren't having a warm summer but in the heat the plant really wilts. So I really have to water a lot this summer as it has been quite warm.  The can has drainage holes in the bottom .

When we visited the Story Garden at Hovander Park they had a couple of potato plants in plastic garbage cans.  I think I might do the plastic version.

Mavis at 100 dollars a Month is doing different versions of potato towers in straw and dirt. She has been posting her progress.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Hovander Park

I made the children go on a mini adventure on Sunday.  I hadn't realized that Hovander Park had updated their playground equipment.  Well I have one child who can't resist a playground.  So, we headed out. We stopped and looked at the cows.  Glad to see they had them out there this year.

What a beautiful playground and a vast improvement over what was there previously.  Though, I am pretty sure we will all miss the yellow tractor that everyone stuffed with gravel. It was a Ferndale tradition.
Cody on the Bridge
We even ventured over to Paul Banyan's Garden.  This story garden is really neat complete with a bed, Paul Banyan, chair, and lots of scarecrows.
Cody and Charlie in Paul Banyan Chair
in the Story Garden
I loved the pot people.
My oldest wanted to stop at the weed garden.  Not sure what the fascination is with that. Charlie was concerned that there wasn't a warning on the stinging nettle plant.  We all have some contact out in the wild with the nettle. I was impressed that he remembered what a nasty weed nettle is.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Geocaching Tales

Our summer has been full of geocaching adventures.  Last Saturday, we were needing some distraction and headed to Lynden to Geocache. 
Charlie in front of the Lynden Sign
We geocached at the city's Frisbee golf course.  I love the art on the water tower which I don't have a decent picture of. IT was a fair sight better than the water treatment plant that is nearby.

Charlie found some frogs being used as geocaches.  The caches were inside these plastic frogs. These are geocaching mascot Signal's relatives.

Sunday found us racing to find a zombie immunity idol for a upcoming geocaching event.  My hubby was elated to be the first to find this idol. We got there just minutes before some other geocachers.
Kev with the Immunity Zombie Idol
Some people will go to any extent to find a geocache.  They have the geocaching FEVER bad if you know what I mean.  Thursday found my hubby in a tree retrieving a geocache.  Lets just say the descent wasn't that great. No bones were broken but the ninja pride was definitely hurt.
Kev in a tree

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Slacklining was on our bucket list.  We deconstructed our playground and in it's place we are putting a smaller playground (swings only) and a slack line course. While it isn't the prettiest to look at here is the slack line in all it's glory. It is tons of fun.
You can see one upright of the future swing set
Charlie rocking the Slackline

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Oh some more Linky LOVE

Beautiful July Sunset
This I found via Facebook  "In which I want to be a Person"  I thought it was a good read.

Love Craigslist, Hate Craigslist.  Check out this blog post about an AWESOME craigslist find. It also is hilarious. I think Elizabeth Victoria Barnes and I might be besties.  LOL

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Project Life Tuesday - Week 27

I am linking up with The Mom Creative Project Life Tuesday. I am not quite caught up but here is week 27.

The journaling:

Sunday we took the bikes and rode part of the
 Centennial Trail. It was probably the hottest
day of the week. We estimated we rode
12 miles.  We spotted another eagle along the
way. Charlie spent several days perfecting
his hot tub snorkeling. Charlie and Heather
went to the $1 movie "Diary of a Wimpy
Kid" with friends on Tuesday. We spent part
of  the 4th of July digging holes for our
new play set. We spent the evening shooting
off a few fireworks and watching the sky
around us.

Kevin thought it would be fun to draw the year with sparklers.  So we experimented doing that and with a little Photoshop magic we ended up with the photo below. It is a little rough but I was pleased that it turned out.

 The digital element was a freebie - Sandie Krieger " 4th of July Home of the Brave "

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Goodbye Faithful Friend

Niki and Charlie
Our dog of 11 years passed away today. It was a little unexpected.  She was a California dog living in the Pacific Northwest.  My husband found her in a box just outside of a Border Patrol check point in California.  She actually purred as a pup. She loved to ride in the car.  She was the boss of our dog Tigger.  She was a good faithful friend.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Unexpected Surpise

We are so lucky that we got to place a geocache for Washington State Centennial Park Geotour to celebrate the Centennial. Our cache is placed at Peace Arch State Park.

What I didn't expect when I placed our cache, was the great stories that people wrote upon finding our cache.  It reminds me why I like geocaching so much.  I thought I would share a few.

Boys pointing to cache

Our First Finder
FTF! Had in hand in just a few moments. TFTH.
Lola & The Gnome

The hint for our Geocache is -"Where Giants Get Their Rhubarb" and here are some of the interesting responses to that hint.
Me in the Rhubarb
Took some time looking for it. Found it before the giant came to harvest his garden. Fun hide. #5 SP stamp for me! This is one of the first state parks that I cached in when I first stared geocaching. I stopped and visited a friend since I was in town. Thank!

We have some of this growing in the Naturescape area of Discovery Gardens in Mt. Vernon. Also called dinosaur food. Giants and dinosaurs must have very good digestive systems. TFTH  (Moink)

Humungous! Tftc (GrammaJoi)

Holy giant rhubarb, Batman! This place was busy today, thanks in part to good weather (and it being a weekend) but also thanks in part to an art festival that was going on. Fortunately, nobody else was really in the area of the cache so we were able to grab it and slip out without being noticed. What a beautiful park - it has been years since I was last here so I enjoyed the opportunity to return. TFTC! (Sembei)

Why don't/didn't my gunnera look like that?
TFTC!!! (Dougsea)
 There was some Wrong Turns as Well. That is always fun on an International Border
 Thanks for the easy cache :)
Once we parked it was EASY. But we missed the turn into the park and ended up going through the border into Canada - my shortest ever visit to Canada! (ConwaySuz)

Thank god I have an Enhanced Driver's License in lieu of a passport. This is what I get for following my Nav on my phone (you would think I would have learned my lesson already after it routed me down the wrong way of a one-way street before). It had me routed to go around into Canada and back into the US for parking. I was in line to cross the border before I realized I should have turned earlier.

A quick talk to the border agent about what I was doing, and he let me turn around.

Now I am in a 10 minute line to get back into the US
. I talk to the border agent, and explain that I followed my Nav instead of my common sense. He laughed, asked if I was carrying any weapons, and anything illegal. I said no, and explained I was in the area to find the cache. He said it wasn't his first time hearing about geocaching, and that he was going to have to look it up, and try it himself someday.

Finally, I arrive to the right parking spot. Quick find. Love the area of the hide!!! Found about 2 minutes before the sun set. TFTH (Geo-LMP)
One of my favorite stories as involves another geocacher helping out a newbie

Came here before attempting to cross the border. Wow the line was long!!! Got near GZ to find a couple with child combing the area for the cache. I could tell they were caching. So I said "What are you doing in those bushes?!"! They looked a little startled. hee hee I told them I was there for the same reason. I found the cache in a couple minutes....and asked them if they'd want me to tell them where it was or wait until they found it. They got so excited and said they wanted to see it. They're pretty new to caching.....and I really enjoyed seeing their excitement!!! We all signed the log....and I snagged a TB from the cache and one that they were carrying (one currently held by cacher that's probably their caching name).

We put everything back and then I told them about the nearby virtual cache. They didn't know what a virtual cache was/is so I explained it to them. I met them there a short time later to make sure they knew what to do for the virtual logging requirements!

Many thanks for the nice sized container on the border. Loved this area! tftc #12479 (Geokashers)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Project Life Tuesday - Week 26

I am linking up with The Mom Creative Project Life Tuesday on an actual TUESDAY (sorry to shout!)

Week 26th found us finding more State Park Caches to fill in our State Park GeoTour Passport.  All of these parks were in highly urban areas.  IT was neat to find rather large state parks here. We now have 17 stamps. We ended the week by tearing down our playground.  It has been a little of 9 years.  We hope to build a smaller swing set as our boys are older. Right now it is a mess but it is going to be great. We also managed to fit in another geocache find on Saturday after our demolition of the playground at the local community college.

Materials Used
I ran out of my favorite Design G Page Protectors so I am trying out a We R page protector.  It is just so-so for me. I am going back to my favorite Design G.

The circle on the slide photo was a freebie from the Queen of Quirk from the way back.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Just Some Summer Linky Love

Hot Tub Snorkeling
Hey, everyone should snorkel in their hot tub!
The Milestones That Matter - This was a really great article.  It really makes you think about our culture norms about milestones for kids

I have a child who needs to practice some math this summer.  I was at the library and they had some calendars for this program called Bedtime Math.  The goal is to make Math at Bedtime as common as the Bedtime story.  We have been doing these story problems basically with a short introductory paragraph on something of interest.  There are 3 or 4 levels of problems presented.  I know this isn't enough but it a good way to keep the practice going. I think it is really well done.

Love this Make a Wish Geocaching Story  AND the Oldest Unfound Geocache found after 12 years.

Friday, July 5, 2013


We had a great 4th of July.  I don't know what it is but boys and fireworks. We had fun trying to write with the sparklers.  We also had our annual tank off which Charlie won. We love to light the tank fireworks and see whose tank will go the farthest. I got an excellent picture of Cody shooting off a roman candle.
We spent of the evening just watching the sky as everyone shot off fireworks around us.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Project Life Tuesday - Week 25

I am a bit behind.  I am once again linking up with Project Life Tuesday with The Mom Creative on a Wednesday. I got project life block but I pushed through. Here is the result
8 x 10 insert with a Father's Day Caching  Page
On the back side of the 8 x 10 insert 

Week 25 found us starting with Father's Day and ending school and going on a State Park Adventure with 92 year old Pappy.

I even taught my children to whittle.  We are totally living on the edge.