Our Family

Our Family
Liberty, Heather, Glade, Ryan, Kim

Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Fun Day

We made our second pilgrimage to Capitol State Forest yesterday and really enjoyed it. This time, since the weather has been warm, we found the river and set up a picnic lunch on the rocky bank. The kids seemed to really enjoy it. Ryan was a really good sport about taking them in the water and keeping them entertained so I could have a break. The water was COLD! Everyone still enjoyed it though.

Kim perched on a rock waiting for her chance to catch a minnow.

Glade got pretty good at walking across the rocks. He sure is growing up.

Ryan (always the adventurous one) found a big fallen tree to climb up. Too bad it was so hot it gave his wrist a blister.

The highlight of the day was when Dad tried his hand at catching minnows and discovered a salamander right under his nose. It didn't really try to get away and the kids both got really excited about it. We held him for a few minutes and let him crawl on pants and hands and then put him back in his home.

Soaking in the Rays

It has actually been pretty warm and sunny around here the last week or so (nothing to you Arizonans though). It actually got into the upper 80s on Friday. I have used my Sun Oven more than ever before. I made 6 loaves of bread in it (2 at a time) on Friday, and cooked dinner in it on Thursday, including the rice. So that has been kinda fun. We don't have air conditioning, so I hate to heat the house up too much by using the oven.

By the way, I have had a couple of questions about it, so here's the low-down. My parents bought a sun oven for each of their kids for Christmas. It hasn't been quite as good for here, because of so many clouds, but anywhere in the Southwest seems like it would be wonderful. I haven't used it a TON yet though.

With the Sun Oven you have to plan ahead. It has an adjustable height with a tray inside that swings keep whatever you're cooking flat. You put it out facing the sun and at the right height for about 20-30 minutes to preheat. The warmer days work the best up here. Then you put whatever you're cooking inside. The door latches closed and cooking begins. My experience has been that it takes longer for things to cook, but it is kind of fun to be doing it all with the sun's energy. Just go out every 30-60 minutes to adjust the height and direction of the Sun Oven to keep it facing the sun. The best times to cook are about 11:00-4:00 or so. It is sometimes hard to get it up into the higher temperatures, which is why it takes longer to cook things. This past week I have gotten it up to 350* though, and it held on 325* for a few hours on the hottest days. Not quite as warm as I would bake in a normal oven, but good enough to do the job.

Overall, it's been kind of a fun experiment. I would like to cook in it more. The coming week is supposed to bring clouds, although we'll have to see how much since it is still supposed to be in the 80s.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

We had a really great weekend. Ryan had Friday and Monday off, so it was great to have him around more, well, sorta. He spent Friday getting ready to climb Mt. St. Helen's and left about 3:00 to get there. He camped with a group and hiked up on Saturday. You can read about his experiences here and here. He was the first one to the top for the whole day and seemed to have a good time. I would like to go there sometime before we move also. We'll have to see if that actually happens or not. Looks like a neat place.

Since he went up and down so fast, he got home pretty early on Saturday, so that was nice. We had a normal Sunday with church and family time.

Monday was Memorial Day and we decided to go on-post to the service to celebrate it.

We attended the ceremony at the cemetery. It was a nice program, not too long, just about right for two children to sit through. I really enjoyed it. They had an Army band and a tomb of the unknown solder. I never really knew before that the flag flied at half-mast until noon on Memorial Day and then gets raised to the top. The 21-gun salute really added also. The guns were pretty close by and so they were pretty loud. Our kids did pretty well though. Some others were crying. Kim just covered her ears and Glade didn't start whimpering until about the 18th shot or so. After I gave him a hug, he was all right. Very impressive.

Ryan and Glade in the peaceful cemetery.

Flags were on every grave.

The soldiers that shot off the guns. You can see the guns in the background.

Kim being her patriotic self.

We decided to stop by Burger King for lunch and then go to the lake on post. Too bad we didn't plan enough ahead. Kimberly didn't have her swimsuit, but managed to get wet and have fun anyway. Where was Glade during this time? Fast asleep in his carseat, which Dad kindly carried to the beach.

When we got home, we decided to try to make dinner in the sun oven, but it turned out to be too late in the afternoon, so we will have to finish the ribs up today. I have done a few things in there and it really works. Once when I made bread I baked 2 loaves in the sun oven and 3 in the regular oven and couldn't really tell the difference. I also baked brownies in there once. I will keep experimenting, when I have time. Washington's admittedly not the best place for this appliance because of all the clouds and rain.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mother's Day

I had a great Mother's Day. We spent Friday night camping. You can read about it on Ryan's blog.

It was a really fun trip. My family took me out for dinner in Cle Elum on the way home. We stopped at the same restaurant when we were moving out here. The food was as good as we remembered.

Sunday morning Ryan and Kimberly got up and made breakfast in bed for me. Biscuits and Gravy, my favorite! Thanks, honey. When we got to church I was surprised to discover that the Primary was singing in Sacrament Meeting. The bishopbric forgot to ask us to do it. I'm glad I was just the pianist and not the music leader! It went fine, though.

In the evening we talked to my mom and mother-in-law to round out the day.

It was a great weekend.