Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

Wishing all of you a Wonderful Christmas and a great new year ahead.

Now it's time for me to clean in house, bake more cookies, and get ready for company and opening gifts tonight.

Remember the most important thing this time of year is family. Cherish and love them.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Back Home

We are now back home. It was wonderful to see friends and family again, but it's great to be back home. Though we have all been battling flu and cold bugs we are happy to be home.

On our way out we were able to stop by San Francisco to show the kids a wonderfully interesting place. Though we didn't get to see all of the sites. It was getting to late and we knew we needed to get on the road. I would upload pictures but I don't have the time right now. I've got two books to write for the family, so I'll share pictures later.

They can keep San Francisco. It was nice to show it to the kids, but I could never live there. I cherish the peace and quiet of home, and even it's starting to get a little crowded for me. I'm a country girl. I'd rather be out in the middle of no where.

This time we were smart. We stopped at night at hotels to rest. We didn't push it all the way through like we did the first time. We weren't going to temt Jamie to start screaming this time. I must say she was much more of a pleasure on the way back home.

When we got into Oregon we ran into snow. It was nasty. There were slide off's and wrecks. Then we came across a logging museum. Even though the snow was thick and it was cold the children really enjoy us getting out and stretching our legs as we walked around the different shops with all the logging equipment. The boys really thought that stuff was neat. Again I'll share these photos later so keep checking back. It was gorgeause there.

We kept traveling wanting to at least make it to Washington. We were hoping to push it all the way home, but at about midnight and about three hours from home (with clear roads) we decided to stop. The only place we could find left a little to be desired. They gave us a big room with three bed, but the room wasn't the greatest looking thing. But at least we got some rest in a warm room and weren't out on the icey roads. We saw so many people in the ditches that we knew it wasn't wise to push it anymore.

Then we got on the road the next morning as soon as we could. I was going to call our family, but noticed no phone in the room. Then I forgot as we headed out. So we got back on the road and just before we got to Spokane before we hit the hill going down into Spokane, James realized that he hadn't been paying any attention to the gas! Oops. That's right we ran out of gas. So the kids and I stayed in the car while he headed for the gas station. He knew where the next gas station was and we weren't too far from it. Not long after he started out a highway patrol started to stop in front of our truck and then saw James, so he went on ahead and picked up James. He told him he couldn't have him walking on the freeway. He could either climb over the fence on walk along the frontage road or he could give him a ride up to the gas station. We'll gee what do you think he would choose. It's icey cold outside I don't think he's going to say "gee I think it's a nice day I'll walk" Ha. No, he took the ride and got back to us much faster while the truck was still warm.

So another fourty five minutes later we were walking into the house. James picked up the phone to call his mom and the phone started ringing. It was my mom almost in tears because we hadn't checked in with anyone and they were all expecting us in the night before and here is was almost noon. So we had to get on the phone and make lots of calls to let everyone know we were okay, and my parents had to call the police to let them know we had made it back home. That was an interesting experience.

Now I've got to get back to the books I am writing.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Four Days of Thanks Giving

As I'm sure all families can relate to we had a very crazy Thanks Giving Day. We haven't had a Thanks Giving like that for years. Since we moved up to Idaho we've always just spent Thanks Giving with my parents. But this year we were in California were we had a lot of different families and friends to see.

First we had dinner with my husband's sister on Tuesday night because they weren't going to be able to spend Thanks Giving Day with us because Renee always does Thanks Giving for her husband's family. Renee loves to spoil our kids every chance she gets so the day started with her picking up the kids that afternoon to take them shopping. By the time we got to their house that night they were just getting there. They unloaded so many toys out of her Suburban that I knew right then we would be in trouble getting everything back home. Let's just say Christmas came early for the kids. Then we had a nice dinner with his sister and brother-in-law.

Then Wednesday was spent with my Dad's family. Other than Grandma's funeral in 2004 I hadn't really spent any time with them, so it was really good to see my dad's brother and sister. My Aunt Kathy and I got to talk a lot about our research on the family, but there wasn't nearly enough time. But it was great to see old pictures and things that belonged to my grandparents that she shared with me. She hasn't even promised to make sure that I get grandma's ring which was passed down through the family and is inscribed by the first couple. It was wonderful for her to share all of that with me.

My mother's twin sister has been working seven days a week ten hour days, so they only chance we had to spend with my Aunt, Uncle and cousins was the day of Thanks Giving for the first half of the day. So we were up and out the door by 8:30 that morning to go meet my Aunt and Uncle who would lead us to my cousins house. We had the most wonderful Thanks Giving dinner I think I have ever had. We had CRAB for lunch and my cousin even made my mom's Cheescake that he knows I love. It was great to see my cousins again. I really miss them. My cousin Sara even had a set of twins in the last year. It looks like we are all done having kids now! I'm glad she got the twins though and not me!

Then we had to high tail it back to James' parents house to spend the rest of the day with his family. Again another wonderful time with family. I no longer feel like the outside in his family. I think they really appreciate what I have been doing for them with the research of the family as well as the books I am writing on the family. Of course it didn't take long before my computer came out so I could share what I have found out about their family and the pictures that have so generously been shared with me. At first my husband made a little comment, something like "here we go again." But then he soon realized what all of this means to his family and how happy they are that I can do this for them. I think he is starting to appreciate what I am doing for them after he saw how happy it made them.

The fourth day, Friday, was spent with my dearest best friend. We had so much to do all week and it was so hard to wait till Friday to spend time with her, but we agreed that it was our day so we could wait and spend the rest of the week with family. She was suppose to have one of my parties too, but no one showed up. There were a couple phone calls that their second Thanks Giving Dinner wasn't going as planned and they wouldn't make it. But oh well, it gave me more time to spend with my best friend. I miss her so much. I have almost had her and the boys moved up here, but some things happened. Now maybe we will get her moved up here this summer. We are planning another vacation back down there this summer after we get my husband's shop built to get his old '67 Chevy pickup that his dad gave him years ago, so he can finish resorting it.

We'll be leaving tomarrow, Saturday, morning. First we will stop in San Francisco before we head out, so the kids can experiance that.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Columbia and Jamestown, CA

My husband and I have always been very fascinated by old ghost towns of the "Old West." So one plan we had when visiting family in California, was that we wanted to take the children to our favorite place to visit, Columbia and Jamestown.

We went with James' parents. First we stopped in Jamestown to visit the old Railtown Museum. James loves trains and so do the boys. Here are a few of my favorite picture there.

Here is my father-in-law looking back at the Blacksmith shop we just left.

Here he is walking hand in hand with Jamie. This one is my favorite!

Many of our favorite movies were made here. How many do you know?

Engine #2 a bit of a movie star, but I believe #32 was the biggest movies star.

Old signs. So where is our next destination?

And I wonder why they didn't want to leave!

We all really had a lot of fun in James town. The kids came home with train toys. Of course Justin got one of his favorite characters, Thomas the Train, who takes a very close second only to Bob the Builder.

Next we went to Columbia. As we were entering I almost wanted to cry. One of my favorite ghost towns was being built around. It is once again booming. It is no longer the little old ghost town in the middle of the California hills that I use to love. We parked and walked into town. What was left of it!!! I is now only one small street that is blocked off from public traffic. It use to be blocked off all the way up the hill to the grave yard and the school house! What happened? It is moments like this when I find I HATE PROGRESS! There were new buildings going up. It just wasn't the same experiance I had hoped to share with the kids. We did stop and had a picture taken in the old photo shop of my father-in-law, James and the two boys. I can't wait to see it. But I left Columbia feeling really sad. It's sad that people can't have more respect for history. Then again maybe many people consider me crazy because I want to preserve as much of it as possible, but there was miles of undeveloped hills near Columbia, why couldn't they build another town near by and leave Columbia to it beautiful history? It's sad! We only took a few pictures in Columbia. I think James and I were both taken back by what we saw of our old beautiful ghost town. We had once loved it so much that we spent the day of our Senior prom there.

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