28 May 2013

Memorial Day

For Memorial Day this year we ventured out to visit Ash Hollow State Park. This site was a popular resting spot along the Oregon Trail. It is a little hidden spot covered with Ash trees, fresh water, and basic necessities. Thousands of pioneers crossed the Windlass Hill ridge to enter the hollow. Apparently, the journey was quite treacherous as the wagons had to navigate along the top of the ridge then descend down a very steep drop, legend says a winch was used to lower wagons down one by one. The site is about 70 minutes east of Sidney, in a little piece of green heaven (at least this time of year). We stopped at a Mom and Pop gas station/restaurant for lunch. I think half the population of Llewellyn was there for lunch as well. The State Park boasted a small museum and a 15 minute video. We hiked down the steep trail to check out the closed cave and then the natural spring. The kids were pretty wimpy walking back up the trail. We need to hike more. Death marches. A mile away from the museum is a cute little rock school. Down the highway a couple miles we stopped to hike to the top of Windlass hill. The view was magnificent! The kids enjoyed picking up Juniper berries and admiring the small wild flowers along the path. Everett was getting tired so I ended up lugging him up and down the hill. He was very worried about our van. He could see it at times down below in the parking lot. I think he was more worried about getting his binky back. We could literally see the wagon ruts trailing along the top of the ridge and the ruts created by thousands of passing pioneers. Pretty darn cool.

Lake MacConaughy was several miles away so we checked it out before heading home. The kids enjoyed wading in the cold water and whacking the sand with large sticks. On our way home we stopped at Dairy Queen for ice creams. I was ecstatic this DQ had butterscotch dipped cones. Yum! We drove right into a yucky storm cell that started several tornadoes and dumped hail on several surrounding towns. We lucked out, missing the hail and most of the rain on the drive home. The weather was hot and humid with temps in the 80s, we got home to temps in the 50s. Crazy Nebraska. Thanks to Justin for suggesting this little trip. It was a fun family trip!

27 May 2013

Everett's Birthday Party

Awwwww! He is two. Break my heart! Stop growing like weeds you Call children. Everett is one funny guy. He is half boy, half bossy cow. He loves to count 1-2-4-7-8 when Phillip gets in trouble. His newest phrase is "Come back here! or Come here!" with his index finger curling and uncurling. He can identify and say about 80% of the alphabet and numbers correctly. Smart kid. He can bring out the Man Diva at any moment with a full on tantrum. Course I ignore him when he goes all nut-so but still it cracks me up. He absolutely loves his monkey and kitty binkies. When he gets cranky I dump him in his crib for some binky loves. He lays down and snuggles in his Kermit the Frog blanket clutching his binkies. Sort of sad and cute at the same time. He wants to do everything by himself, if he can't accomplish whatever he tries he asks for help. At two he loves to drink milk, out eat all his siblings, and will do just about anything for a lollipop. Everett loves to read books. He loves playing the iPad, especially the Endless Alphabet game. Most of the time he is a pretty jolly kid. Lately, Phillip and Everett started to pal around. Phillip is good at showing Everett the ropes of being a boy. Phillip will demonstrate some form of boyhood and Everett will copy (ie. pounding a toy on the table and yelling like Tarzan). Everett is constantly talking, I can only understand the first and last words sounding like this: "Mommy, blahblahblah Van!"

For his party two of his nursery friends came over with their families. He loves Dani Smuin and RJ Wood. They will be great friends over the years. The kids loved the big tethered balloons. Everett went beserko with his, popping about 4 balloons. We had a simple BBQ meal with hot dogs, burgers, potato salad, baked beans, and punch. We got Everett a water and sand table, a fire truck tunnel, and a tee-ball set. He was very excited about all three gifts. Dani got him a fun book and a party blower. RJ got him a ball and bubbles. All around he was very happy with everything....until Phillip started beating him with the tee ball bat. Har-de-har. We love our cute, firecracker little boy.  

Everett is TWO