This Blog is the journal/scrapbook/photo album etc. that is all about my family and our lives together. Here is where family and friends (and anyone else too, I suppose) can keep up on what's happening with us Mannimals! COMMENTS ARE APPRECIATED!! ;) Check back often as we'll respond to comments and make new posts as often as possible!

Monday, June 26, 2006

End of June 2006

Aviendha shows almost no desire to crawl. She'll roll and scoot a little, but she really just wants to skip all that and jump to walking! She can stand and hold herself up for a minute at a time with only one finger to hold onto for a little balance help. She's wearing her Strawberry Shortcake cheerleader outfit my Dad sent. Adorable as always. :)

I love getting cute pictures of Athena asleep with the kids. Athena and Matrim sleep like the dead! Avi sleeps light like me.

Aviendha and Matrim share now so we changed the room around. They are so great together, they make excellent roommates. Avi sleeps in the crib now (bassinet is retired for camping now) and has about outgrown the swing.

Mat's football beanbag, mic stand (that goes with his guitar), Nemo nightlight, toybox (my dad made for him) and new bed. Athena and I took down our bedframe and put it in the garage some time ago. Now we just use our mattress on the floor and have been loving it. So when Matrim completed the Potty Chart Athena set up for him, we got him a mattress to do the same. He sure loves his new "big-boy bed" and chose out Cars the movie sheets.

The other corner of the room and to the right is the closet. So there you have it, the kid's room.

One day there were several of these white moths hanging out on the front of our house. They look dead as they don't move. Even if you blow at them or nudge them, it's bizarre. They look kind of cool being as snowy white as they are (not a racist comment!).

Happy Father's Day! Athena got me (lol, and herself) a great gift! I finally get to BBQ on a real grill! The maiden voyage I made our steaks almost well instead of med and med/rare playing with the temperature, which of the 4 burners to use, and indirect vs. direct grilling. Athena and Mat split some catfish as well, and I did pretty well for only grilling fish a time or two before. This is the second BBQ and it's hamburgers this time. Everything worked well, but I forgot to cheese them and one of the buns got a little crisped when I toasted them.

Dinner is done. My other present is the lantern there. It's a nice one that collapses to half it's size and has a remote. Since we usually have dinner after dark it will come in handy for BBQs and camping. Athena's cousin Sara and her husband Wade gave me the Bronco apron and grill tool set some time ago and it's great to finally get to use them. ;) And I just happened to have my Bronco shirt on too. I grilled up some perfect cheeseburgers on my next try and followed that up with Parmesan chicken breast. All of which were spiced and or marinated in my own secret mix of spices. :)

Thought I'd make the family laugh with a crazy cut when I was giving myself my latest trim. Where'd I park my Harley? ;)

Yet another cute sleep picture. I can't help it, they're just so adorable!

There would be more pictures here since we've been doing a lot of fun stuff lately, but we haven't been taking the camera out folfing and we've been using the video camera for the fun stuff around the house. Now that I think about it, I wonder if I can upload video content from my camera. I'll check on it and if anyone has any helpful info leave a comment.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Camping at Prairie Creek, Redwood Park

We didn't get any pictures on the way in or the first evening. This is the next morning and we are all excited for the plans we have for the day. The day started off great with Avi saying her first word! She said Mama and then repeated it another 4 times after. She's such a bright little girl! She just said it again as I'm writing this. :)

Matrim immediately ran to climb up on the roots of the 2 redwoods in front of our camp.

This is one of my favorite pictures from the trip! Athena is looking radiant while Mat helps cook up the morning breakfast. Camp food is always so much tastier, especially when Athena cooks it since she does such a great job!

Breakfast is done and we're hanging around camp getting our food digested and ready to go hiking.

One of Avi and I. She does a good job of sitting up on her own. She can even stand for several minutes and take a few steps if you help her with balance by letting her hold your hands.

Mat didn't realize he wouldn't be able to get up the moss on the tree.

The camp was a great one. We had coastline, beach (which we never made it to this trip), good campsite, friendly rangers, lots of good hiking, and an abundance of wildlife in and out of the camp. This was our camp squirrel. Mat had fun chasing it around the several times it popped up in camp. It was fast so it was difficult to get a picture.

Aviendha, taking her after breakfast nap.

These birds are pretty, but hard to get a good picture of. They seem to recognize that you have a camera and are camera shy. If you try to take their picture they'll hop or fly away, but if not they'll get closer and hold still for you to see them. I had to try several different times to even get this picture and it's not totally in focus.

We decided that our highest priority to hike was Fern Canyon (amongst many good choices). Here's a picture of the fam near the entrance to the canyon. It's an awesome view to see in person!

A fallen tree lying over the creek running down the canyon.

A big wall of several fern varieties. It felt very refreshing on this hike. Great scenery and a good clean air to breath as you hiked.

The fam crossing one of several little bridges. Both walls of the canyon are loaded with fern and other plant life. Some of the walls were wet enough that you could see water continuously dripping off the plant life.

Also there were several pretty water falls. Here's a small one running over moss and lichen.

Here's the top of a double waterfall. We stopped near this one when a group of fellow hikers asked us if we'd like to puff with them. Of course I sampled a couple different kinds of their stash and some hash and shared some of mine before continuing up the trail. Oh, and a couple (that were probably late forties were passing) and asked if I'd take their picture for them. The dude with the stash invited them to join the circle. Athena and I both were fairly sure they would refuse and keep hiking, but the lady ended up hesitating and then coming over to stand by us. I guess her hubby was in construction and so didn't partake, but she did. After taking her first couple tokes she mentioned she hadn't smoked in 10 years. I laughed and told her the hike was about to get much more beautiful. ;)

A fallen redwood that has fallen into one of the walls of fern.

Someone kindly told us about this waterfall that was hidden off the main path. It was a small space and other people were waiting to see it so I couldn't get a better picture.

There were several large mushies growing on this redwood. I snapped a picture before one of several stupid gothic kids could break one off with a thrown rock. Haha, as if any of those idiot goths could actually throw a rock with any accuracy.

The back side of the loop took us along the top ridge of the canyon. Here the forest opened into a meadow. I like to see the towering ring of trees around these open spots.

There were a lot of elk in the area. There were several elk at the entrance to our camp and at the entrance to the coastal road we drove to get into and out of our Fern Canyon hike.

Here's one of the clearer pictures I took of an elk.

LOL! "Let's all moon the human with the camera on 3." This is a picture from the car of the sign in front of the wild elk pasture.

We're back from the hike and it's Aviendha's dinner time. After that we got invited to go to a Prairie Creek Campfire. We decided to go and check it out. It wasn't too bad. The ranger put on an informative little program filled with facts about the camp, wildlife, and safety. At the end, Athena and Mat got their complimentary hot chocolate and we talked to the ranger a bit before returning to camp.

Now it's our turn for dinner. Matrim and Athena are waiting patiently for the coals to get hot enough for me to grill us up some Fillet Mignon.

Here's a banana slug moving through our camp (that's Mat's shoe to put a little size context in the picture). This one is medium sized (they get up to 8 inches and are the 2nd largest slug in the world, according to the ranger).

I spotted this baby as I was prepping dinner. It was pretty small and I was surprised when I saw it.

A lighter, plastic fork, and Athena finger to give size context.

That's 1 of 2 elk/deer (we're not sure) hanging out in the trees right outside our camp site. Athena saw them and got several of pictures before I got up and saw them. They hung out a while longer before moving off away from the creek that runs down the backside of our camp site.

You will submit to my will. ;)

Probably the best shot of the bunch.

A shot of both of them. One on the left, one on the right.

Some kind of flying beetle is eating the remains of steak on the grill.

I've just got Avi to sleep so we can start the regrettable task of taking down camp and packing to leave.

"Mat, wake up. It's time to go." :)

Aviendha is distracting our work with a fun game of peek-a-boo. She loves to play it and laugh and laugh!

"Oh no, where's Avi?!" ... "Peek-a-boo!"

We've returned from our camping trip to find a few nice gifts for the kids from Grandpa D. Here's Mat in his new Cars clothes. It's always a bummer having to put all the camp gear back away. We're stoked to go again! Probably in 2 weekends.

This picture is over-exposed and I was too lazy to fix it before posting (as usual), but she's wearing a very cute, little hippie girl outfit! She's also pretty tired so she didn't want to smile.

Camping took it's toll and both kids are asleep early. :)

Here's 2 more pictures that I took and decided to post even though the camping is over (she's still got her new outfit on since she only got to wear it for a minute before bed). They were too cute to choose one, so I'm posting both. ;) This one was a cute face as she played with her favorite toy on the walker.

Here is an adorable smile for Dad!