Monday, July 29, 2013

Dexter is official!

Well as of Tuesday at noon we are officially Dexter's family!  He has been such a great dog for the entire week we have had him.  He is great with Pete and loves me dearly (which we all know is the most important!)  He is house-trained, plays fetch and loves a good petting! 

He is such a great dog for our family.  I was worried about finding a dog that would fit in just right and I think we found him. 
I was attempting to write a blogpost and Dex decided he needed a snuggle. Sometimes I wonder if I have a cat in dog's clothing!




If you are interested in a dog or cat I would highly recommend the Animal Welfare League. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Summer Life

We have been enjoying our nice relaxing time together before the school year hits and life gets crazy again.  We haven't had too much going on really.  Phil has tutoring every morning but really that has been the only real thing going on. Our little garden is doing well.  See my cute little watermelon?



See my cute little kid on the playset?
I've been getting lots of painting projects done because the weather is perfect for it.  Low humidity (for Indiana) and nice cool temperatures.  I did a makeover on Dex's doghouse that we bought out of somebody's yard for $20. It looks so much better, but I had forgotten to take a before picture! I also painted a bookcase I had picked out of the garbage.  It is amazing how just a couple minutes of painting makes just a huge difference in looks!  I have a few more things I'd like to paint, but I don't think my painting weather streak will stick with me. 

Doghouse redo

We took a quick trip to the Elkhart County Fair on Tuesday night.  We saw lots of animals and tractors, and Pete got to ride a couple of rides.
Pete with a dream tractor
Who am I kidding?  Every tractor is this kid's dream!


Just a nice lazy week of little projects and a healthy serving of fun on the side. 
Mom and Pete being monkeys with oranges during the lunch at the high school

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Weekend Visitor

We had a rather unexpected visitor this weekend.  Dexter the Dachshund!  We've been thinking about getting a dog for awhile. Phil had said originally that once the guinea pigs were gone we could get one.  No worries Eileen and Millie are doing just fine, promise! But recently he changed his mind and the rules.  I'd been doing some research and decided we just needed to stop by the pound in Warsaw to see what was actually going on and how adopting really worked. So off we go Friday evening to the Animal Welfare League of Kosciusko County just to scout it out, nothing more.  We get there get signed in and asked what kind of dog, breed, size, etc. We respond we don't know, just one that will be good with a three year old!  He walks us into the back and starts in the small dog/puppy area.  They all start going crazy! Oh humans! Love me! Feed Me! I have to pee! Except for one...Dexter, a two year old Dachshund.  hmm...he's cute and not too crazy and jumpy, we'll remember him...Next the big dogs. They all go crazy, but jump tons higher and bark louder!  We go to the cuddle room and they bring Dexter to us.  He is super calm and laid back.  Pete gets to pet him and isn't freaking out.  He even eats the treat Pete gives him.  The guy tells us that if we want they have a fostering program that we can pick him up Saturday afternoon and keep him until Tuesday morning to see if he'll fit in with the family. We say that sounds like a great idea, then he asks if we'd like to take him now, since he is here and they don't hold pets for fostering, so he might be gone by tomorrow afternoon.  So we fill out the application and go home with a dog, and get dog food and visit grandmas'. 

I love this picture!
 
 
He is an amazing dog.   He is loving, quiet, patient with Pete, and an amazing beggar!  We are pretty sure we are going to keep him but still aren't positive, though if we don't I think it would break his heart.  He is super attached to me and will barely let me leave his sight.  Maybe that is why I like him so much!  Until he tried to go into the cornfield, and it took us a couple minutes to find him again.

 Know how hard it is to find a wiener dog in a cornfield?

Dexter.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Days 12-16: The Welch Family Reunion and the Long Drive Home

We had reservations at the Jackson KOA for this night.  It was a decent drive not too long, but not short either.  The GPS couldn't find the place so we went into Jackson looking for a the address, but never found it.  We called and they were actually south of Jackson (we drove right past it!) in Hoback, Wyoming.  It wasn't far but still annoying all the same!  It was a decent place, though they have tried to cram way too many spaces in one small little campground.  No way I'd imagine trying to take an RV into this place, no views for them either since there were maybe 5-6 feet from the next RV.  The cabins weren't much better, those ours did have a view of a mountain side, but most didn't. We stayed at the site that night, had Pudgie pies and s'mores over the fire.  So yummy!  Another camper shared some watermelon with us so an added bonus!

In the morning we packed up and headed out to Grand Teton National Park.  At the gate we met a ranger from Indiana, who even told us about another ranger that is from Warsaw!  Small world?! Well it gets even smaller! We started to pull away and the guy leans out of his shack and shouts, "I'm a Cardinal too!  I went to Ball State! Chirp! Chirp!" Isn't it crazy.  I loved it, so rock on Ball State Rock on!

We puttered through the park just checking out the scenery and taking our time to make it to the reunion.  Pete fell asleep and we drove through this national park to get to Yellowstone National Park, where the reunion was to be held.  We drove through Yellowstone, checked out a couple of auto loops and headed over to the cabin once it was ready for us. A few people were there before us but before the night was over pretty much everyone was there.

In the morning everyone sang me happy birthday, since it was July 4th, and we headed out to the park with Phil's mom, and plans of meeting up with Amanda and David.  Well we never did meet up! But we checked out Old Faithful and did a few other walks that day. That night we had a white elephant gift exchange. Pete got fishing gear from grandpa, Phil got a puzzle from Zion National Park from Kaylynn and I got a dentist gift bag from Phil's cousin. Plus I got a great birthday cake!

Today we actually left at the same time as Amanda and David. We went on a hike up to Harlequin Lake and checked out some paint pots after a picnic lunch.  We headed to West Yellowstone afterwards to pick up some shirts and start dinner after that.  We had a family history night and family information game about the past year this night.  We got our car packed up for the 13-14 hour driving day ahead of us.

Phil and Pete at the lake

Pete holding Robert's hand.  He had to hold someone's so he chose Robert!
We left once Pete woke up in the morning and were on our way.  We only stopped when completely necessary, like Pete screaming for a bathroom and we didn't have any real food left in the car.  We only stopped one real place for fun Wall Drug, South Dakota.  It is huge tourist trap, but way worth it.  I've been before with the venture crew, but they've done even more with it now!  They even added a splash pad!  Pete wasn't so sure about it, but we've added it as a must for future vacations. But alas I forgot to take my camera in with me, so no pictures!

We finally did make it home the next day.  Just in time to go to bed and send Phil off in the morning to a workshop for school!  A great trip with wonderful people! 

Thanks!

Next Stop: Laundry Room.


Days 11 & 12: Grandpa and Grandma Welch's

Once we left Evanston we headed for Gossners Dairy.  Love this place!  They have the best milk, it comes in tons of different flavors, shelf stable and oh so tasty!  We picked up lots of cheese, 2 cases of flavored milk boxes and a case of cream for my mom since they didn't make it there this trip!  After we left with our also purchased ice cream we took the trip to Phil's grandparents in Corinne Utah. 
Phil and his Grandma

There ended up being a birthday party for Phil's Aunt Kaylynn.  So lots of family was around for that.  Everybody greeted us at the door and Pete flipped out!  I had to take him outside and get him to calm down for me before getting him inside the house to see everyone. But he did get calmed down after some "dumptruck and dirt" therapy in the sandbox.

doesn't this picture scream boy!
In the morning Pete wanted to help grandpa "work in the dirt" aka work in the garden with him.  Though while Grandpa and Phil were pulling weeds, he broke up dirt clods for him.  What a big helper!  He found the tractor and had to try it out for some time before moving onto the next adventure.  We also helped with some peas in the garden and got them all ready, we just had a party with it.  Pete decided he needed to call in some help and brought the Tonka trucks over to help haul the shells around.
Pete driving the tractor
 
Pete helping daddy in the corn

the pea party


Pete catching a ride after dumping the shells

We headed out that afternoon to make it up to Jackson, Wyoming near The Grand Tetons.
Thanks for the great time!



Next Stop: Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park





Friday, July 19, 2013

Days 10 & 11: Evantson, Wyoming

Today we split up with my parents, they headed up to Yellowstone and we went to Evanston to see Phil's sister Amanda again. Pete was super grumpy when we got to their house, he hadn't taken a nap and refused to take one at their house.  It ended up being a nice afternoon/evening to watch movies!

After a great nights rest we did some laundry and played at a local park with the kids. The laundry part explains Pete clothes choice for the day. I love the shirt but not my first choice for park attire!

After the park we went back to the house ate a nice lunch and got everything packed up again, to start the journey again.  This time the destination was grandma and grandpa Welch in Corinne, Utah; by way of Gossner's dairy, in Logan!

Next stop: Grandpa and Grandma's

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Day 9: Dinosaur National Monument

After Salt Lake City we traveled up to Vernal to visit the Dinosaur National Monument.  We stayed at a KOA in Vernal and had another two room cabin.  Really they are nice. We got to the cabin unpacked ate some lunch and then headed over to see Dinos!  Pete was super excited the whole time we were driving there. He kept insisting that the dinosaurs needed a snack and juice, but really didn't want them to eat-the house, mommy, the car, Pete, his toys, but they could eat the hay and juice. I thought it was great to hear him list off all of this stuff! 

The site was pretty cool, though not amazing for a two year old.  The huge wall of dinosaur bones was amazing and the building was nice.  Pete's favorite part was riding the tram/truck to the dinos and the visitor center!  He watched the video and was way into in once he gave it a chance.   He did earn his junior ranger here too!  He even wore this one on his shirt for awhile.
Phil and Pete at the wall of bones

We went and checked out an old homestead for a bit before heading out to dinner back in Vernal and having some play time for Pete.  I try to pack lots of random toys and activities for Pete to do in the car or at rest stops along the way.  I'd been saving this one the whole time and I think he enjoyed it!
Pete at the homestead
 
 
Pete and his airplane

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Days 7 & 8: Salt Lake City

The first night in Salt Lake Pete ended up being sick.  His allergies had kicked into full gear and were going crazy before we got his medicine into him.  He had an early night and was the easiest to put to bed than he had in awhile! We had a quick breakfast at the first hotel, packed up and headed up to Taylorsville for awhile.  Phil grew up in Taylorsville so we had to stop and see his old house and what was going on in his old stomping grounds.  Pete fell asleep while cruising down memory lane.  Next we went to downtown Salt Lake to Temple Square.  We puttered around there for a bit seeing the sights before meeting up with Thomas for lunch and leaving Pete with my parents so we could go to the temple.  Pete got to ride the commuter train with grandma and grandpa to the new hotel to go swimming.

After our trip to the Temple and Pete's swimming time we met up with Phil's sister Amanda at a park and let the kids play.  Pete had fallen asleep and was in a grumpy mood for taking a short nap and being woken up too early.  After playing we picked up dinner and headed to the hotel to take all the kids swimming.
Pete, Robert and Alania playing in the sandbox
 

It ended up being a late night after we got all the kids rinsed off and in jammies.  Amanda had a really late night since she had to drive back up to Evanston  that night.
all the kids snuggled up
Pete, Alania, Matthew, and Robert


Next Stop: Dinosaur National Monument



Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Days 4, 5 & 6: Bryce Canyon National Park with a Side of Car Problems

The first day was spent driving.  Our car started making some funky noises outside of Denver and then my parents' car started to have problems outside of Grand Junction, right after we left civilization and were in the desert!  It took us a couple hours longer to get there because their car couldn't go the speed limit.  Once we made it to Ruby's Inn and our "home sweet teepee" for the night.  The teepees were cheaper than the cabins so that is where we stayed. The only downfall was that they were right on the road, other than that there was tons more room and Pete thought it was fun to run circles around inside!
A scenic walk along the road while letting the cars take a break!

The next day we dropped our car off at the shop to be fixed.  It ended up taking extra time because they lost the part that they special ordered for us! So do yourself a favor and don't have your car break done around there!  We had to change our hiking plans since we were going to do a one way hike down into the canyon and then hike out (going down again instead of back up) another trail and to the second car.  Instead we hiked up the Tropic Trail which actually isn't in the National Park but also gets into the canyon.  We used it both ways, it was hard but fun to see the canyon from the inside as well as the top.  Pete was a big grump starting out because he had just started to fall asleep.

Phil, Pete and Mom on the trail
 
The views were beautiful the whole time, sometimes looking through our pictures I think they look Photoshopped!  Our last morning there (because they lost the part!) we took the rim walk around the canyon.  I won't lie some of those edges seemed a bit close and Phil was a bit too eager to get close and have a better look.  Pete finished up his junior ranger for this park too and got his badge.

 
Picture from the rim walk
We headed off to Salt Lake in the afternoon once we got our car back.  We had Pete ride with mom and dad for the last leg of the journey so we could stop and see Phil's brother Thomas in Provo.  We had dinner and went to a comic book store and checked out his apartment, before heading up to Salt Lake.
Pete doing what he does best: Playing in the Dirt!

Next Stop: Salt Lake City


 


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Days 2 & 3: Rocky Mountain National Park

Most of day two was spent driving in the car.  We stopped at another KOA this time in Estes Park, Colorado.  It was pretty nice they had ice cream socials and a "train" (golf cart pulling the kiddie cars) every night too.  Pete was in love!
The choo-choo

Day three we headed over to the national park.  We bought an annual pass to all of the national parks for the year because we knew we would be going to quite a few over vacation alone.  We had it paid for long before vacation was over.  We quickly got to the road we needed because they close it during the day for construction and if we would have been 5 minutes slower would have had to use the shuttle buses.  We went on a short hike around Bear Lake, which is the only place to see the mountain view of the state quarter for Colorado.  Pete had great fun, he even found a furry friend to follow around.  It isn't a chipmunk but a Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel.
family picture at bear lake






  After that expedition we got back in the car and drove up to the top of the mountains, Pete took a nap (shhh...I did too!) and had a picnic on the other side of the park.  Pete was also working on his very first junior ranger!  There program starts at the age of three!  Yippeee!  We completed that and went to the Alpine Visitor Center.  Pete loved seeing the huge piles of snow!  Eventually we headed back to our cabin did some grocery shopping in the only grocery store in town. I swear if I ever go there again I will pack any and all groceries with me because it was shear madness!  Whatever you do avoid the Safeway grocery store in Estes Park it is constantly packed and you will wait in line for forever!

It was a great stay in the area. We loved the park and the junior ranger program for the younger ages. The KOA was nice clean and the employees were friendly and helpful.  All in all a great stop for vacation!

Next Stop: Bryce Canyon National Park

Day 1: A Change of Plans

The first stop on our trek westward was Omaha, Nebraska; after the 8ish hour drive.  We stayed at a KOA with my parents and split a double camping "cabin" (shed) it had two rooms one with double bed and another with 2 sets of bunk beds.  It was a crazy good deal and worked out well, plus I just had to bring bed rolls and not all of the camping gear.  We had planned on going to Winter Quarters and seeing the historical sights in the area for the Mormon Trail, but we were all tired of being in the car and it was 91 degrees that afternoon/evening.  Instead we ordered pizza for dinner (delivered to our campsite!) and jumped on the trampoline thingy, played mini-golf and went for a swim in the pool!  Phil tried his luck on the slack line and Pete ran off lots of bottled up energy on the playset.  It was a great KOA and fun evening.
Phil and Pete jumping!



We finished off an audio book Red Shirts it was a great book kind of Star Trek/Stranger than Fiction/Galaxy Quest. The only problem is a couple of characters like to cuss a bit too much for my liking.  It might not be too bad in reading it because you can skim over it, instead of listening to it. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Pete's Great Escape and the Case of the Missing Sandals

I went to my parent's house yesterday with Pete.  I was talking to my mom and he was playing in the kids room with all the toys.  I went to check on him and he wasn't in there.  I went wandering around the house calling for him and couldn't find him anywhere!  I was really starting to freak out with no response from him, you know having a kid that had a completely random siezure will do that to you.  Well I was getting really freaked out when I made it out to the garage and out of the house until he came running to me.  Oh and was I mad. Just check out the video from the security camera!  Really it is funny watching it.
video

The case of the missing sandals happened later on that day before dad showed me the video.  We needed to go grocery shopping and I couldn't find my shoes anywhere in the house.   I knew I came over with them on but couldn't find them anywhere after that!  Well I borrowed a pair of my mom's sandals and started to leave, until we started to drive out and I saw them in the yard!

This boy can be such a headache sometimes, but I do love him!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Day 1/2: Getting past Chicago

I hate driving near or around Chicago especially when trying to get somewhere in a hurry, like having fun on vacation.  Well we cheat and started out the evening before vacation to get away from Chicago and have just a bit of a head start. We stayed in a Super 8 and headed out early in the morning from there.  I normally wouldn't have even blogged this but I got this video in the morning of the boys! video

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Bobcat.

 
I took Pete to the park for lunch the other day for the free lunch. We bike over grab a lunch, bribe him to eat with the promise of playing afterwards, play and bike on home for a nap.  This day I needed to run over to Great Grandma Horn's house to help her with some stuff so we had a nice long bike ride, though really with the greenway it isn't to bad at all.  While we were at the park they were filling in the beach with some new sand and cleaning up the area a bit in general. Pete saw a big digger working, which then got traded out for a bobcat instead.  He was in LOVE! I'm just in love with the way he says bob-tat.  We sat on a porch swing and watched the guy work for about half an hour before it was time to leave to get to grandma's.  Poor boy fell asleep on the way home he was so tired!