Monday, March 25, 2013

Friday, March 22, 2013

Oklahoma is more than OK part III

Thursday dawned (at least I think it dawned, there wasn't really much sun) wet and dreary but it was warm and cozy in our cabin.  After the morning dam(n) horn (as I like to call it) rang we all got up and hung out while Grampa fixed biscuit, cheese omelettes, and tomato slices for breakfast.

Giddy and daddy snuggle under a blanket while watching the high water in the river

For some reason Gideon was stalking grampa

The river was swelled with rain

After breakfast we sang happy birthday to grampa who turned 66.  It's Gideon's favorite song so he really enjoyed it.

Gideon singing along

grampa enjoying his birthday song

A birthday hug

Darth Vader is very busy and has lots to do people

After breakfast we packed up the cars and got ready to head home.  Before we left we actually remembered to take a few family photos.

It really was a great trip and I look forward to doing it again many, many times over the coming years (and hopefully with lots more of our family and friends).  There was so much more to do (horse back riding, paddle boats, canoes, trails, etc) and hopefully next time we will have better weather and more days to explore.  But even with the rain the time spent together was priceless.  I learned so much about Dad and Debbie!  I don't think I will ever venture out into the woods again without our personal campfire girl :)

We are so lucky to have family so close who love and support all of us!

*Bonus:  On the way home we stopped at McDonalds for lunch and Mac took an adorable picture of Gideon and I, score!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Oklahoma is more than OK part II

Thursday morning started out cool and cloudy.  It turns out that sometimes they have to release water from the nearby dam but before they can do that they have to produce a sound somewhere between a fog horn and a tornado siren to warn people of the impending flood.  Apparently this sound has to go on over and over again for no less than 20 or so minutes.  Someone who makes the decisions thinks 5 am is the perfect time to do this so we were all a little annoyed and confused when we woke up.  Dad and Mac left early in order to go out on a fly fishing expedition with a guide Dad had hired so Gramma Debbie, Gideon, and I headed out to explore the park.  First we decided to find the train we had heard about the day before.  When we got to the depot we saw that it wasn't going to open for another few minutes so we explored the playground across the street.

The boy loves slides
When the depot opened we bought our tickets and spent the 20 minutes before the train ride hanging out/eating snack/talking with employees/freezing our little buns off.  For the last few minutes we ended up sitting in the car with the heater on (it was 43 degrees).

I was not expecting it to be so cold and hadn't packed any winter gear for Gideon, whose long sleeved t shirt and light jacket weren't cutting it.  We threw an extra long sleeved shirt on him over his jacket and  I rummaged  through my car and found an old hat of mine and a hand towel that we used to bundle up the boy.

The depot was right next to stables filled with beautiful horses.  I got to talk to the woman who runs the stables and you can tell she loves her horses, probably more than people.

Gramma Debbie toughing out the weather.

The actual train ride was short but cute.  A teenager from Dallas shared fun facts and silly jokes with us over a loud speaker as we chugged along through the woods.  We were his only passengers but he still made us laugh and even managed to call us pretty.

Ready for the train to go go go 

train selfie

chugging along through the woods

After the frigid train ride we decided to find something to do indoors so we drove down the the forestry station for a look at the animal they had on exhibit.  It was a lot of dead animals.  A lot.  Gideon loved the bear and the armadillo and the aquarium.



I swear he isn't picking his nose...
The clouds were seriously threatening to storm and I knew I wanted a pic of Gideon and the Old Man Head Totem Pole (okay maybe that isn't what it is really called, but it should be) so we headed back to the main office for some photo opps.   Inside we discovered an enormous museum full of dioramas depicting the history of the park.  Turns out Gideon is a fan of dioramas and he carefully studied each one while whispering "wooaaaaaa."

This picture was a must


More bears!

some people see stuff like this and think "look how old that tree was!"  but I think "look how much older that tree could have been," then I get depressed.

in case we look back on these pictures in a few years and think "where were we again?  oh yeah!"
loving one of many dioramas

we thought it would be funny to have him sit in this old log chair.  we were right.

posing with a large piece of something from somewhere

We were pretty tired after walking the museum and it was starting to rain so we headed back to our cabin for lunch.  The guys returned later that afternoon with three trout and tales of fishing adventures (like when they stopped for coffee and dad had to go back to the cabin to use the bathroom).  They are pretty much fly fishing experts now so I expect there will be more fish in our future.

this picture makes me smile.  I can't imagine how cold that water must have been but you can tell they are having a great time.  and my dad looks like a dork. 

We passed the rest of the day indoors listening to the rain, playing highly competitive angry birds, being silly with grampa, and dancing.

poor grampa was trying to read

For dinner Mac stuffed the trout with lemon, garlic, and onions, sauteed some mushrooms in butter and wine, and steamed broccoli.  It was so good I couldn't stop eating to take pictures.  After the Giddy monster went to sleep the husbandit managed to get a fire going by finding dry sticks and leaves under the house (I tossed in a couple of pine cones that I am sure made all the difference) and we followed Debbie's instructions for making a campfire girl favorite, bananas stuffed with chocolate, wrapped in foil, and thrown on the fire.  It was extremely delicious and the perfect way to end the day.

the little fire that could

watching the bananas cook and enjoying some warmth

yummy banana face

please with the outcome

my banana was awesome

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Oklahoma is more than OK part I

We just got back from a road trip to Oklahoma and we are exhausted.  My dad and Debbie had been on a road trip of their own since last Friday that included a wedding, an Amish creamery, and a trip to THE Branson Missouri and they decided to end it at a cabin in Beaver's Bend state park.  We were fortunate enough to be able to join them and I was really impressed by how awesome the park is.  It is only about 3 1/2 hours from our house (the portable blu-ray player came in very handy) and the roads there are pretty though empty.  As we crossed the border from Texas to Oklahoma the road turned bumpy and uneven which made us chuckle with Texas pride.  Those silly Oklahomans and their inability to maintain their roads.  We stopped at a Walmart in Broken Bow for groceries that was pretty much the worst Walmart I have ever seen (one kind of jelly, dirty floors, etc) but the employees were incredibly nice so we gave them +5 points (bringing them to a total of 5).  The cabin was perfect, right on the water, two bedrooms, comfy rocking chair, large deck with chairs, grill and fire pit, rocks to throw in the water, an intense but pleasant shower, and of course a non functioning tv.  Okay the TV was a little scary for me, but I sucked it up and actually enjoyed the outdoors for once (I also had no internet access and managed not to go crazy).

The cabin from several angles on a cloudy day.
Dad and Debbie immediately got their lines in the water and tried to catch some dinner.  My pole (purchased a week ago and selected because it just felt right (and came with a free hat!)) needed to be tended to so Mac saw to that while Giddy and I wandered around outside.  The weather was beautiful and sunny and Gideon really enjoyed throwing rocks in the water.  The kid has a great arm.

Fixing the poles with the help of his trusty dinosaur
many, many, many rocks were thrown (many)
The discovery of this log may have been the highlight of Gideon's day.

Fisherpeople doing fisher things

No fish were caught so dinner was chili dogs (which I prefer anyway) and chips (mmmm).  Gideon tried his first Cheeto (daddy wasn't too happy about that) and discovered he loves them, so at least we know he is definitely human.
Reading his new bedtime story from gramma and grampa

After the child went to bed we made a giant fire for s'mores.  The marshmallows we bought were the only ones they had at the 5 point Walmart and they were ridiculously huge and dense.  We discovered that the cabin did not have any wire hangers so Dad and Debbie used cutlery.  Mac the mountain man used his pocket night to whittle us up some marshmallow roasting sticks that gave the marshmallows a nice woody flavor.

Toasting the mallows

Perhaps a little too toasted 

Afterwards we were pretty tired and decided to pack it in for the night.