Friday, July 25, 2014

Trip to California (part 4) - Redwood National Forest

We left Crater Lake Wednesday morning and headed down to the Redwood National Forest in California. Not long into our drive Sanaa got car sick. She has never gotten car sick before and it caught me completely off guard. We stopped and she walked around outside a little bit and went to the bathroom (in the little toddler toilet I brought along). She felt better and we continued on. A couple hours later we stopped at a Walmart to pick up some supplies for the drive (paper towels, trash bags, etc) and when Layla stepped out of the car she began throwing up! Sanaa still wasn't feeling well so now we had two car sick kids! Walking around Walmart seemed to help both of them and after that they were okay for the rest of the day.

Seeing the large trees in the Redwood forest.

The girls found a snail and asked for a picture with it.

This was kind of cool to see. A tree that grew out of the stump of another and then its roots went down the sides.

The kids inside their fort they found. Sanaa really wanted to stay there and make it her house.

The Big tree. The stats on Big Tree are height 304 ft, diameter 21.6 ft, circumference 60 ft, and estimated age 1500 years.

Malakai, Layla, and Sanaa in front of the Big Tree.

A family picture in front of another tree.

Layla called this tree the twin tree.

It is so hard to get a serious picture with these 3! But their goofy pictures sure are fun to look at.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Trip to California (part 3) - Crater Lake

We took about 3 1/2 days to drive down to California and stopped at a few fun places on our trek down. The first night we stopped at Crater Lake. I haven't been back there since I was a kid, so it was fun to see it again.

Some fun facts (or fast facts as the sign called them) about Crater Lake are:
Greatest depth - 1,934 feet (592 meters)
Lake depth - deepest lake in the U.S; 9th deepest in the world (the deepest lake in the world is Lake Baikal in Russia and is 5,369 ft or 1,637 meters)
Maximum lake width - 6 miles (9.7 kilometers)
Volume - 5 trillion gallons (19 trillion liters)

The girls were most excited about seeing snow in summer! Papa Gene was kind enough to stop and let them climb around on the snow. Sanaa took one step onto the snow and immediately got upset and then had a meltdown about the snow being too cold and needing her boots. Layla just began climbing all over and even slid down the snow in her dress! Malakai wouldn't go near it.

Nate was able to carry Malakai out onto the snow but Malakai would not let anyone put him down.

Sanaa really wanted to go on the snow but wouldn't walk because she only had her flip flops, so Papa Gene ended up carrying her.

Layla had a blast on the snow and didn't want to leave!

Seeing the lake was fun. I remember it being a beautiful blue color but forgot just how blue it is.

Nate's parents rented us a small cabin for our first night. We ate a picnic breakfast outside the next morning which was fun!

Our first night was rough, but that was to be expected. Sanaa and Layla shared one bed, while Nate and I had the other bed. I set up Malakai's pack 'n' play between the two beds. I went to bed when the kids did since I knew Malakai would freak out at sleeping in a different place. The girls did fine, but Malakai cried and fussed for a good 45 minutes. Nate went over to his parents room to work on homework so that he wouldn't keep the kids awake. Finally around 9pm all the kids fell asleep. However, shortly after 3am Malakai woke up. He stood up in his pack 'n' play and said quite loudly, "Uh-oh!" I think he was startled by where he was sleeping. That of course woke up Sanaa and Layla. It took another 45 minutes for them all to fall back asleep. Nate was the only one to stay asleep during this. The kids weren't loud, but for some reason they had a hard time falling back asleep.

The next morning the kids played a little after breakfast while we packed up.

I took some pictures of the kids next to the trees because we were now headed to the Redwood forest.  I tried to tell the girls that the trees were going to be huge but also took some pictures so they could compare the smaller trees to the large ones.

When we stopped for our 2nd night we did discover that Sanaa's beloved Tiger had been left behind at the Crater Lake cabin. Sanaa cried for a solid hour and I felt horrible for not noticing that we had left it. Papa Gene called the place where we stayed at Crater Lake and they actually found Tiger! Tiger was shipped back to our home and when we arrived back from California he was waiting for Sanaa. I have never seen Sanaa hug something quite that hard. 

Trip to California (part 2) - picnic the first day of driving

This post is specifically for my dad. The first day of driving we stopped for a picnic in Lowell, OR. The park we came to had a bunch of different types of machinery. I know my dad would have enjoyed this park!

There were old train tracks and even a train car, but I didn't get a picture of that.

I didn't take pictures of all the signs. The bulldozer is a 1921 Cletrac Bulldozer. The sign below says, "This bulldozer was the predecessor for Gibson bulldozers. Cletrac bulldozers were used for skidding logs on gentle slopes as a replacement for oxen and horses. This Cletrac was recovered near Westfir in 2002 and donated to the Rolling Rock park Heritage museum.

The towed road grader.
"This grader was towed behind horses, a truck, or a bulldozer and was used to finish grading a road."

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Trip to California (part 1) - Nate preaching

Nate's parents flew in from Dallas on Friday June 27th. They spent the weekend with us before we began our journey down to California. The Sunday that they were here Nate preached for the second time at our church. The first time he preached his parents were not out here and they listened to his sermon after it was uploaded onto the church's website. This time they got to see him preach!

A before Nate preached picture.

And an after Nate preached picture. It's quite nerve-racking for me when he preaches. I know I get more nervous than he does. He does seem to have a gift for preaching and many people have commented on well he does as well as how natural it seems for him. Who knows what is in store for us. I know neither of us ever thought of Nate as a preacher.

I don't remember where I was when this picture was taken. Maybe I was getting ready for church or maybe it was a different day and I was packing. Who knows, but Gramma Carol took a fun picture of everyone together.

The 12-passenger van that Nate's dad rented and we drove down to California and back. We used the back and the last row to hold all our luggage.

On Tuesday morning (July 1st) we packed up and headed out. The kids were very excited! Sanaa and Layla sat in the first bench and Malakai sat in the 2nd bench with whichever adults were not occupying the front seats.

Malakai was so excited he wouldn't sit still and kept kicking his legs around and laughing.

This was the happiest point of the day for him. The rest of the day was hard and he was grumpy. He did not understand that we were going to be riding in the van ALL DAY LONG. I was tired and exhausted by the end of the day. I was also ready to buy myself a plane ticket home and let the rest of the family go to California without me. Thankfully day 2 of driving went better with Malakai.