Tuesday, June 30, 2009



Blue-raspberry/grape sno-cones. Yum! A summer favorite at our house, and always better when we make them ourselves! 

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Happy Birthday TT!


Yesterday was my sister’s29th birthday. Normally, I would have blogged about it on the day of, but we had so much fun yesterday I never had time to blog!

Tish, Lorenzo and Jaron showed up around 3 o’clock and we hung out for awhile before deciding to go out to dinner at Sakura's. It’s always fun to sit perilously close to an open flame while someone expertly flips your food around and makes a delicious mess!

We all had way too much to eat, but the chef wouldn’t leave without first trying to get us all to catch a piece of shrimp that he aimed at our faces.


Landon was first, and although he didn’t catch one he was a good sport and tried 3 or 4 times. He wasn’t about to try it with shrimp either, so the chef used some chicken for him.


Next up was Jaron, who wasn’t going to let a perfectly good shrimp get away from him! I think he all of his!


Then it was Tony’s turn, but it all happened so fast the only shot I got was this one…and the shrimp is already being devoured. 


I’m thinking we may need to enter Zoe into a food tossing/catching competition. She caught all four pieces of the shrimp that was tossed at her. You can see in the photo that she was willing to jump out of her seat in order to catch it if necessary! ;)

Tish declined the opportunity to have food flung at her, so it was on to Lorenzo. Lorenzo missed his first piece, but the second one was all his!  


Happy Birthday LaTisha! We love you!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Browns and Whites


This isn’t the first time Landon has used the slip and slide this year, but it is the first time I remembered to take pictures! This kid loves to play in the water, he just never tires of it. I guess Zoe’s too big for it now which is kind of sad really. She sure used to love it too.

Speaking of Zoe, she found an old diary of hers from when she was probably 7 or 8. Here’s one of the entries.

IMG_5666It reads: Deisha is cool and nice. Deisha is one of my bestfriends. Deisha is brown. Brown and whites are fine together.

After I nearly fell over laughing I realized this is probably the point in Zoe’s life where she realized there were kids that weren’t the same color as she was. She’s always had friends of all ethnicity’s but I think she just never thought about it before she was about 7 or 8.

I can remember when Landon was either 4 or 5 and he realized for the first time that his cousin was brown. He came to Tony and I and told us: “Did you know that Jaron is brown?”. He was just amazed by that fact, and Tony and I thought it was kind of cool that he didn’t see colors when he saw people. Now we know that Zoe never noticed color either!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father’s Day x2

Dad, Feb 2009

I am terribly lucky to be able to say that this is my father.

Seriously, he is one great guy.

  • Who else lets you mess with him incessantly while he’s trying to sleep?
  • Who else will do magic tricks in the middle of restaurants to keep the kids entertained?
  • Who else volunteers to fly into a war zone, sleep in leaky tents with a bunch of strangers, and deal with sandstorms all in an effort to serve his country and do his work?
  • Who else slips on a curb while cutting the grass and then has to wear a cast for months because the bone just won’t heal?
  • Who else loves the 4th of July and Halloween more than his grandchildren?

Yep, my dad is one awesome guy. He’s terribly funny, passionate about his work, loving and generous.

I Love You Dad! Get home safe, we miss you!

Tony w/ kids June 21, 2009Not only was I lucky enough to have a terrific father, I actually married a fabulous man too!

  • A man who was willing to be a father to my (then) young daughter and eventually ask to adopt her.
  • A man who was willing to give up nearly all his sleep and free time to attend school and work the graveyard shift in order to make our lives better.
  • A man who loves his children and actually spends lots of time with them.
  • A man who puts up with me, and still loves me even when I drive him crazy.
  • A man who will get up and help when anyone yells that they need help doing something…as long as you remember to say please! ;)

I am so proud of you Tony. You are a wonderful father, a terrific husband, an excellent student and a dedicated, hard worker. I am so happy that we have you, and I love you! Happy Father’s Day!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Feeding the Ducks…

Being that today is our last, we tried to cram as much in as possible. First was the etching class, then we went to the Dayton Farmers' Market (we didn’t buy anything, but there were some really unique items there) then back up to the resort for a dip in the pool.


We were at the pool for about 2 hours, then it was dinner time. On our way back down to the room we saw these two crossing the street!


I had to hurry, so it isn’t the best picture, but at least I finally got one!

Once dinner was done we went out and raced on the go carts, then went to the arcade for one last hurrah. There was a live band, so Tony and I sat in the lounge listening to the band while the kids spent their money. Landon chose a million little toys for all the points he had accumulated and then we headed home.

On the way home we spotted a bunch of ducks that looked like they wanted some bread so we stopped by our room and grabbed some bread and then headed back out to the lake.



If you enlarge the top picture you’ll see what we ended up feeding a lot of our bread to. These fish were at least as big as the ducks, and VERY hungry.

Local Celebrities


Any idea who those people are? I don’t know what year this was taken, but the picture is of Tony, Zoe and Kiersten canoeing down the Shenandoah River. This little picture is all over the place out here! On brochures, posters, fliers; there’s even a huge one in the main lobby where you check in! 

Glass Etching

This morning we all got up and took a glass etching class. We decided to take this class purely because Landon was able to do it with us. He always gets left out of these things, but not today!





In the above photo’s, you can kind of see that Landon used a lighthouse stencil while Zoe chose an elephant, Tony a tree and I chose the sun. After we used our little “picking” tool (I don’t know what it’s called!) to pick out the parts we were supposed too, the instructor applied an acid to the designs, which etched our image to the glass.


Once they set for 15 minutes, they dumped the excess acid into a bowl, then washed our glass with water and baking soda (i think), rinsed and then handed us the finished product to dry.


I (like an idiot) forgot to get pictures of the finished etchings…so, I’ll have to post them later!  This was a really fun and easy project. Landon needed little assistance and Zoe didn’t need any extra help at all!

Dark Hollow and Rose River Falls


Tony really wanted to get out to Shenandoah National Park to see if we could hike to a waterfall. We found one waterfall that was only about 3/4 mile each way, so we thought we’d give that one a try. So, after our soap making class we headed out towards the park. We were all pretty excited to hike through the woods, and made it down to Dark Hollow Falls without any problems. We did notice it was downhill the whole way and we quickly realized that meant an all uphill return, but that didn’t faze us! We were really feeling confident after that first trip down so we decided we would really go for it and hike another 2 miles or so to Rose River Falls.


Along the path to Rose River Falls we saw a small waterfall (that I don’t know the name of) and we saw this cool tree with mushroom stairs. We also had to cross the stream twice in order to get to the waterfall…one man made, one just some slippery moss covered rocks and that was kind of scary. (There were actually a lot of moss covered, wet, scary, slippery spots, but I’ll spare you all the details!)


All of the above photo’s were taken at Rose River Falls. I didn’t get too many…I don’t know if it was because I was too tired, or too freaked out because Landon nearly tumbled down the falls trying to catch a leaf. Either way, I didn’t get anything spectacular of the actual waterfall!

I have to admit that I was really excited about a long hike through the woods with the possibility of seeing beautiful waterfalls. What I didn’t realize though was how long 3 or 4 miles can be in the woods. It was nearly always up or down hill, which can be equally daunting.

There were moments when I thought I might need to start thinking about all those “survivor” like shows on TV, you know, to see what I remembered about surviving in the woods. Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember anything so I kept moving.

There were several spots going uphill that I needed a break, and even once where I was slightly dizzy from the effort…but, I am proud to report that I made it. I was a sweaty, grumpy, slightly whiney, dehydrated mess at the end, but I did it.

And, just look what we saw on the way out of the park! This bear cub crossed right in front of our truck! He didn’t seem to be too worried about the cars going up and down the road, so I clicked a zillion pictures and then we were on our way. 




We saw a few deer and fawn while we were out also, but they aren’t as confident around us so I couldn’t get pictures. The fawns couldn’t have been more than a few weeks to a month old though…they still had those baby fawn spots!  

All in all we had a pretty good time. We were all pretty dirty and very thirsty when we got done, but that’s what happens when you spend 4 hours trekking through the woods!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Making Glycerin Soap

This morning Zoe and I took a class on making glycerin soap. Of all the classes that are offered here, Zoe really wanted to take this class. We’ve taken many classes here before, but never soap making, so we really didn’t know what to expect.


First you get the two soap molds, choose your soap colors and toys that you want to include, then smell all of the oils to see which one’s you’re going to use.


Then the soap people give you a measuring cup full of melted glycerin and you mix your choice of soap dye and oil in the glycerin and then pour it over your toys and soap cubes. Zoe chose yellow and blue soap cubes, yellow dye and cucumber melon essence oil.


Here Zoe is mixing up her second batch of color and oil…cute, huh? We started our class at about 11:15am and finished around 11:30am. Not too much to do, so I don’t know if I’d take the class again, especially for the $15 I paid for each of us to make these two little bars of soap. We did have fun though, and now I know (kinda) how to make soap! ;) 

These are my two bars of soap:


After we finished with our soap we headed upstairs to play some pool with Tony and Landon before driving up to the Shenandoah National Park for our hike to the waterfalls. (I’ll post about the waterfalls in a separate post.)

IMG_5516IMG_5519 IMG_5517IMG_5520

Thursday, June 18, 2009

T-shirts and Tubing

Today ended up being a pretty full day even though we didn’t initially have any plans. We all got to sleep in again, which was excellent, but as soon as Landon was up he was ready to go do something! He wanted to go on a bike ride, so he and Tony went off on a ride while Zoe and I hung out in the room.

Zoe getting ready to roll up her shirt Landon picking colors for his shirt. 

Once they got back we all ate lunch and then headed up to the lodge to make some tie-dye t-shirts. The kids had a good time making their shirts but we won’t see how they turned out for a week because that’s how long they told us to leave them folded up in the bags.

It's a really long tubing track!Zoe tubing down the mountainLandon tubing down the mountain

After the t-shirts we headed over to the family fun park and let the kids do some summer tubing. They put this special track on the snow tubing hill and the kids get to tube all they want for $10 an hour…it’s worth every cent; they had a ball!

Kids at the pool

Because it was only 5pm we decided we still had time for the pool, which made Landon super happy. I didn’t seem to get any really good pictures, so I’m stuck posting this one. I had just yelled to the kids to look up at me and Landon accidentally hit Zoe in the mouth…and no, I really don’t have a better picture to post!

As we left the pool, Landon noticed the park and wanted to play but it was really getting late and we hadn’t eaten dinner so I told him we would come back after we ate.  Since he didn’t forget what I told him we ended up going over to the park around 8pm tonight. It was pretty nice out except for the gnats.

Tony and Zoe at the playgroundLandon on the playground equiptment

Tomorrow Zoe and I are going to take a soap making class. She really wanted to take this class more than any of the others, so I thought we’d give it a try. We are also planning on going up to Skyline Drive and then hiking out to see Dark Hollow Falls. I sure hope the weather’s nice!  

Water Balloons

When my kids told me they didn't know what to do with themselves yesterday I suggested they go outside and play with the water balloons....