So Mick left this morning for a business trip. His flight was cancelled and he had to go to Seattle to catch a flight to San Francisco. In the process they lost his luggage and he may have to stay an extra day. Poor Mick.
My kitten (Butters) knocked over the frogs tank and water went splashing everywhere. The kitten, whom i love to pieces, is in a lot of trouble now and hiding under my bed. Not even those big, cute, innocent, blinky eyes are going to get him out of this one.
Graham tried to heat up his lunch in the microwave without removing the metal handle from the take out box. Yeah, can we say fire? Everything was fine- we just have to replace our 400 year old microwave now. YIPEE!!!
That’s 3 things that happened today. Other than that- we are just peachy.
Around 3am Mick woke up and said ‘I think it’s raining in the tent’. Sure enough, a fine mist was covering my face and i felt down and my sleeping bag was wet. Our Fly had come undone on one side and the rain storm had indeed come into the tent. Mick bravely woke up and went outside and fixed the problem. I pulled my sleeping bag over my head and went back to sleep.
A few hours later we woke up, broke down camp and hugged our good byes. It was kind of sad. All these people live near us but i just got used to having them around.
We headed to Cabella’s and found out it wasn’t open for another hour. On our way out we bumped into some of our camping buddies and we decided to stop for breakfast. After a nice breakfast we went to Cabella’s. (i LOVE that store). After an hour of looking around and comparing it to the on in MN we were on our way. We made good time. When I drove everyone else in the car was sleeping. It gave me a while to just reflect on our trip and just how much fun it was. I was thankful at how fortunate I was/ am to be able to experience something so incredible.
It was good to finally be home and see our little furry kittens. I took a long hot bubble bath and laid on my nice, soft, new bed. WE all went to bed early that night. All I remember is my head hitting the pillow then it was morning.
Took a couple days to unpack and catch up on sleep but I’m back to normal now and ready to go back and conquer those last 12 miles.
After all that riding we decided to take the last day and treat the kids to a day at Silverfalls water/amusement park. Not being a big roller coaster kind of gal, i wasn’t too excited for this and would have preferred to spend the day back on that Hiawatha bike path. I sucked it up and went along. Thomas headed off with the older boys again and Graham stuck with me and some other old farts who don’t like to be scared to death on rides. We rode the train with a couple other people.
Our first big ride was a water ride where you sit in a circle and get water dumped on you. It was a lot of fun even though we all looked like we wet our pants. After that we went to the water park and changed into our suits- just a bit too late. Graham talked me into going down a huge water slide that proved to be a lot of fun. Then we hung out on inner tubes in the lazy river which was way cool. Some how the older boys talked me into going on this ‘family’ raft ride. It scared the you know what out of me and they got a kick laughing at me. I swore I’d never do that again. I would have kept my word had Graham not begged me to ride it with him. So we talked a few other people to fill our raft and we were on our way. It was much more fun the second time and a lot less scary.
After that we had to walk to the other side of the park to have this ‘buffet’ dinner that had been prepared for us. After choking it down we decided to ride a few more easy rides before the park closed. Graham had his heart set on the Antique cars cause he wanted to drive me around the park. He insisted i sit in the back seat. I felt just like Ms. Daisy.
After a long fun day we headed back to camp. We packed up a little in preparation for our departure the next day. we had another camp fire and we all sat around it laughing and reminiscing and making promises to do the trip again. Once again- a perfect day.
After the long ride the day before we were all a bit tired and sore but we geared up and got ready for the last day of riding in Harrison. It was an out/in route (16 miles out then 16 miles back). I wasn’t sure what I would be able to do- but I knew I’d give it my all.
I rode with a couple of the gals and we chatted and just enjoyed the view. we came to this really cool bridge that was a killer to get up but so sweet to ride down.
At mile marker 10 we decided we needed to stop for lunch and consider heading back. My legs were sore and I just didn’t have the pep that I did the previous days. After lunch we headed back to conquer the last 10 miles. Towards the last 6 miles we were panting and struggling to stay at a good pace. It wasn’t until later that night that we discovered that the last 6 miles is all up hill. (3% gradient) Made me feel MUCH better knowing that it wasn’t just me being lazy. When we arrived back at our starting point I just laid in the grass and looked up at the blue sky. It was awesome. Graham went to the little town store and got a G2 for me. I was pretty proud of myself. Mick hung back with Graham that day and they managed to do 12 miles total. Thomas however, did every single mile at a fast pace. Oh to be young again.
Afterwards we headed back to camp for chili dogs and another camp fire. Yeah, it was another perfect day.
After a MUCH better nights sleep we started the next day getting ready for a 30 mile bike ride from Mullan to Cataldo.
Thomas once again took off with the older boys and I decided to take a leisure ride. Mick and Graham went to sent up camp at our new camp ground- since Graham still wasn’t feeling well. The first 10 miles came and went with little to no effort. Around mile 12 I started feeling a bit tired and realized my seat had been moved and it was too low. I figured I didn’t have that far to go so i just toughed it out. (i also didn’t have an allen wrench to move it) One of the people on the trip invited a bike enthusiast friend to join us. We called him Doc. He and I rode about 10 miles together just chatting and taking about bikes, rides, etc… Prior to that I had about 5 miles where I was all by myself on this amazing trail. The only way I can explain it is that it was very spiritual. When Doc and I were riding together I brought up this point and he said he totally understood that but that it was hard to explain to other people that had not experienced it. We talked about our love of bike riding and how in many ways it was the closest to flying that we’d ever come. He told me about his wife Liz-who was an avid bike rider as well- and how after 52 years of marriage he was still so very in love with her. It warmed my heart. After a bit we stopped and had lunch at this amazing little picnic table facing the water. We chatted some more and some of the other riders caught up to us. I handed out energy drinks and candy to the kids that were tired. Doc and I finished our lunch and hoped back on our bikes. He was all energized and said he was gonna go on ahead. Another friend, Julie, and I rode together and pushed each other because the last 5 miles was really tough. When we saw the other bikers and trucks at the end we were so happy. Mick and Graham were waiting at the end for me. It was so cool to see their smiles. Doc was there and when i walked passed him he said ‘you are one tough riding lady’. It was awesome.
On our way back to the camp we had to stop at Wal-mart to get an new air mattress since ours had gotten a hole the night before. Needless to say I was starving and grabbed grapes, oranges, bananas, cheese nips, and a chocolate cake to take back to camp with me. Oh, and and air mattress.
We had dinner and a camp fire. Another end to another perfect day.
I haven’t blogged in forever and so much has happened. Where to begin….. Well, with the trip.
A week ago we returned from a 6 day bike trip to Idaho. It was incredible. The first day was a travel day- which proved to be a bit stressful in the beginning due to some bike rack issues. Fortunately, we have good friends who help us out and the Cheeseman’s proved to be just that. After a long day of driving we finally made it to our camp ground and set up camp. As usual the first night I didn’t sleep well, since I wasn’t in my bed, not used to my surroundings etc… I was up at 5am, thinking it was much later. It was actually a beautiful morning so I didn’t mind the solitude.
Around 9am we headed out for our first bike ride- Hiawatha Bike Path. There were 30 of us total on the trip and we had all been told about this particular trail. We would need bike lights and rain gear because we were going to be riding through a mile long tunnel.
Thomas wanted to ride with the older boys and I opted to hang back with Graham. The first couple minutes in the tunnel were a little scary and I was impressed that Graham wasn’t freaking out because the visability was not so good. I then realized I still had my sun glasses on and promptly removed them and everything became much more visible. Graham was a trooper. He rode the whole way- slowly, but he did it. There were a couple wipe outs since it was slippery and dark. At the other end of the tunnel we saw the sights then turned around to go back through and continue on the 17 mile path. On the other side of the tunnel Graham decided he was done. He was actually running a bit of a fever and fighting a cold so he hopped in the truck and rode down the path with a friend of ours. Mick, Thomas, myself and the others had a quick sack lunch then headed off down the path. It was the most amazing path I’ve ever been on in my entire life. We crossed several wooden bridges. We rode past snow, water and a forest fire. We had a snowball fight in 80 degree weather. It was perfect. The end of the trail came way to soon but a lot of the boys were tired. Graham was waiting at the bottom of the trail with my friend. He was handing out energy drinks to everyone who rode. While we waited for our ride some of the boys tried catching a chipmunk. Others played cards and most of the adults just chatted. It was a perfect day.
We headed back to camp for dinner and a good nights sleep.
About a week ago Thomas math teacher sent me an email asking if we’d be able to attend an awards ceremony because she was nominating him for a special award. I said absolutely.
Anyone who knows us knows what trouble we’ve had with Thomas and homework this year. It has been a particularly trying year- with Thomas telling us homework is done and then his teachers saying it is not. If he could rely on testing alone, he’d be fine. It’s the ‘busy’ work that gets to him. And really, I can’t blame him.
So we all headed out to his school for the big event. After a few awards Thomas’ turn was finally there. His teacher gave a little speech about each one. She started out by saying how ‘incredible’ and ‘smart’ and ‘helpful’ he was. She then went on to say how not only had his math scores exceeded an 8th grade level but that he had the HIGHEST math scores in all 6th grade. He was then awarded Mathematician of the year. I was so very proud. When I spoke to her after the ceremony she couldn’t stop telling me how wonderful Thomas was and that his work was amazing. She knew about all of our home work stuggles this year and she told me that Thomas was gonna be ok and that I didn’t need to worry. That was very nice to hear.
Along with getting an award Thomas’ was giving a package of Baby Ruths. Aside from Twix, these are one of my favorite candy bars. When I saw that Thomas had them I said “too bad you don’t like those’ and he looked at me and said. ‘YES I DO.” ….damn….. So then I said “too bad you are allergic to peanuts” and he looked at me puzzled and shook his head and said ”No I’m not!” And we both started laughing. Hey, I tried. In the end he gave me one. It was a good night.
Friday was Graham’s 9th birthday. The whole day was amazing- according to G. Started out with him opening a present which he had begged and begged to do. It was a game ‘Pass the Pig’ which I would highly recommend to anyone who likes to play quick little games that make you laugh. I insisted he open another present cause I was so excited to give it to him. It was the Wandmakers Guide book- which is another item I would HIGHLY recommend. At breakfast I had one more thing for him to open. A box of sugary cereal- cocoa Crispies. (we don’t normally let the kids have cereal like that but this one had an Indiana Jones light up spoon in it). Besides, you only turn 9 once. Graham decided not to have a party this year but instead to go to a movie and dinner. I decided to surprise him with lunch that day and picked up Subway on my way home from Krispy Kreme- where i purchased 3 dozen donuts for his class. After school Uncle Buddy came over and we headed over to the theater to see the new Indiana Jones. In the car I let him open another present- Sour Patch Kids. His favorite movie candy. After the movie we headed to his favorite restaurant- Sushiville. The night ended with him opening up the rest of his presents and an evening spent outside playing with his new Nerf gun/missile launcher. It was a very good day for my little 9 year old.
The night before Mick and I reminisced about when little Graham was born and all the complications and worrying that we experienced. It’s so hard to believe that was 9 years ago. He’s grown up so much and he’s such an amazing child. He LOVES to read. He finished the whole Harry Potter series in 3 months. I can’t keep enough books on his book shelf for him. He’s so smart it’s awesome. His reading teacher talked to me about moving him up to 5th grade next year. Apparently, his regular teacher and resource teacher had already discussed it. The decision was that academically he could handle it- but they didn’t want to put a 9 year old with 5th graders. I COMPLETELY agreed. So next year they will once again develop a special curriculum for him. Classes with 5th graders, socializing with his 4th grade peers. I am happy with that. There are so many times where i have to remind myself that he’s only 9. He has the best conversations and the funniest sense of humor. He still loves legos and snuggling and holding my hand when we are walking. He INSISTS on sleeping on my floor on Friday and Saturday nights. He’s so sweet. He LOVES his big brother and will do ANYTHING for him. He’s really over come his fear of bike riding and now we can’t get him off his bike. It’s awesome. He is such an amazing kid I am blessed to be his mama.
time for another game of Pass the Pig!