Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's Finished!

Our basement is finally finished. We are pretty happy with the results.
Here are some photos before we start to fill it up with stuff!
The family/tv room

The Ikea kitchenette (we were really impressed with Ikea cabinets)

Ikea also did a desk/craft area. That long silver thing is actually a roll-top with shelves and an outlet inside. Pretty cool!

The storage room - yep we are finally going to have some food storage

Bedroom (and there is a finished bathroom too but I didn't get any pictures)

I think I will just leave it empty for a while. There is something that feels so nice about new and clean and empty. Besides the kids love having the space to run around.

Here are two links to the before pictures. Number one and number two.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Day 4 - The Road Back Home

As we left the cabin on our last day there was a skiff of snow on the ground. Leaving just in time! On the way home Wes and the kids hiked Wilson's Arch.

Stopped for lunch in Moab when I realized we hadn't taken any pictures of this very important person!

Our final stop was the Prehistoric Museum in Price. For the first time the kids were more interested in the "Hall of Man" than the "Hall of Dinosaurs." I think the trip definitely sparked an interest.

Welcome Home!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Day 3 - The Four Corners and Canyon de Chelly

Day three started with a trek to The Four Corners - which we heard on the news the other night is not geographically in the correct place! But I guess since legally all four states accept the monument as the spot where Utah, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico meet then we can count it.

We had to buy some fry bread and Navajo trinkets from the local vendors.
We then headed to Canyon de Chelly which is located on the Navajo reservation in Arizona. On our way we hit a sandstorm that reduced the visibility to about 20 ft! It was totally wild! I have never seen anything like it! There was nothing for miles and miles all around us and the pink sand was being blown in gusts across the highway. We had to reduce our speed to about 20 miles an hour at some points. Needless to say it took us a while to get there.

We stopped for lunch in Chinle and debated about whether to attempt to go to the canyon or not. We decided to push on. The wind was fierce but the canyon was gorgeous!

As usual Wes geared us up for an adventure and we braved the wind and sand to take the 2.5 mile hike to the ruins at the bottom of the canyon.

The White House ruins...
Built at the base of this sheer cliff wall!
Little SJ trying to take cover from the blowing sand.
It definitely was an adventure but Canyon de Chelly was spectacular. I am so glad we got to see it. Someday I hope to get a chance to really explore it (without the sand storm!).

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Day 2 - Mesa Verde

A short history lesson:
Mesa Verde National Monument was established by Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 to "preserve the works of man." It was the first national monument of its kind. This area was home to the Ancestral Pueblo people from about 600 A.D. until 1300 A.D. They originally made their homes on top of the mesas where they farmed and hunted for about 600 years. It was only during the last 100 years of their time in this area that they for some unknown reason moved their homes to the cliff dwellings. They lived there for a couple of generations and then migrated South into New Mexico and Arizona. No one really knows why they left.

There are over 4,000 archaeological sites in the park - 600 of those being some sort of cliff structure. We saw two of the three largest and most well-preserved cliff dwellings. The first was the Spruce Tree House:

The second hike was to the cliff palace - the largest cliff dwelling. Archaeologists believe that about 250 people lived here at one time. The hike in and out was pretty cool - the kids loved going up the skinny steps and ladders.

We also saw some of the ruins on the mesa tops.

The really was an incredible place. Although the ruins have been restored and cleaned up somewhat - it is remarkable that they are still standing after this many hundreds of years. I have always been amazed by the life and culture of the Native American Indians. It fascinates me!

Day 1 - Road Trippin'

(Me loving my new Salomon Trailrunners - ready for some hikin'! Yeah!)

For Spring Break this year we headed South to Cortez, Colorado. Cortez was our home base for our planned adventures to Mesa Verde, the Four Corners and Canyon de Chelly. As anyone who has visited this part of the country knows - not only is it magnificent but it is vast, wide and sparse. In other words we were going to spend a lot of time in the car getting to where we want to go. So we made an investment. And as we were cruising down the highway with the kids watching a movie, quietly listening with their headphones while Wes and I were listening to the new U2 album - we decided it was worth every penny. (We used to have to rig up our portable DVD player or Weston's laptop with a bungee cord. It was a huge pain and I got pretty sick of listening to movies but never watching them.) Don't worry - they didn't miss the incredible scenery and we also listened to some books on CD.
SJ wasn't so sure about the headphones at first but she eventually got the hang of it.

Addie got a little car sick watching the movies so she tried to see how long she could hold her arms up in the air. 30 minutes! No kidding!

This is the cabin where we stayed. It sat on 80 acres and had incredible views.

Like this one from the hot tub - which was put to good use!
The entire trip the kids couldn't wait to get back to the cabin. They loved hiking and exploring. Apparently there are some Indian ruins located somewhere on the property.

It turned out to be the perfect home base for our excursions. Let the adventure begin~

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Egg Hunt

Here are a few cute photos from the egg hunt in my mom's yard:

All in all it was a great Easter!