Monday, February 22, 2010

Get the Heck Out of Dodge...Day 3

Okay....I just finished this post and the entire day deleted...pictures and everything...so here is the new version.

We went to the Moqui cave.

We went to an ice cream/deli for lunch. Savannah and Baylee tried not to kill each other in public.

We went back through Zions and the tunnels of doom.

Noah and Baylee started spitting on each other about half way home.

We made it home mostly liking each other.

We will try vacation again.

And one day, when I am not so angry that Ctrl+Z doesn't work in blogspot...I might post again.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Get the Heck Out of Dodge...Day 2

So where did I leave off? Oh yeah...brown water.

After the phone call I ran to check our tubs, toilets, sinks...we were in the clear. But we did discover something odd about our tub. For whatever reason, it was only like 2 feet long. Caleb
couldn't even lay down in it. Not that I would ever let my children take a bath in a strange hotel room, but it's always nice to know I could if I wanted to.


Needless to say, every time someone took a shower the entire bathroom was soaked. It had a full-size head, full pressure and about half the size showers usually did...so basically Niagara Falls space in a 3x3 room. It was an adventure....isn't everything?


So we decided that day 2 would be our big adventure day. Let's see what we could pack in. We drove to Kanab and had breakfast and found out there was a 'secret way' into the North rim of the Grand Canyon, which was currently closed due to winter. AWESOME. So the lady that owned the restaurant told us who to call and what to do. We called it was closed. Of course it was...duh have you ever been on an adventure with the Morgans?

So we decided to just drive. And head toward Page, Arizona.So off we went through the Escalante National Park, we took our first stop at Big Water and had a stunning view and neat adventure at the 'mini' museum. Noah kind of missed part of the conversation and wanted to know if this was the grand staircase. Ummmmmm, sweetie...no. But he was pretty good natured about it.


So we found a fun hike to do just over the dam and through Page. We got to where the ranger directed us. Over the bridge, through the town and to the Horseshoe Bend...and that is where the real adventure begins.
We head on our little hike to see the amazing view. Somebody who is 12 and a girl is still upset about spending time with us. Can you tell? It's mostly because we are evil parents who's children are their who world and want to spend time with them. What's up with that? Arrest those people.

But we continued walking made to the edge where there were no guard rails, and if you have ever met any of my children, you understand why they were NOT allowed within 20 feet of the edge. So the one picture we took had a rock behind them to keep them from falling over the edge. I am NOT being melodramatic...just realistic...have you met my family? Sheesh. It was pretty though.

So after we were done avoiding the edge we purposefully hiked to, we took a little bit of a side route to head back to where we were parked. And that is where we found, wait for it.....the dinosaur poo. Don't believe me? What does this look like to you? Really, what else could it be? If it isn't petrified poo, then I'm a monkeys uncle.




So we did what every normal family would do. We climbed all over the pooh. Felix proved that when you gotta go, you gotta go. Caleb and I understand that philosophy, but man Wooooo, it was stinky.

Because the Morgans are who the Morgans are...we had a REALLY good time playing on the dinosaur poo. We have renamed the hike, Do the Poo hike.

We climbed in, around and under. And nobody fell off. Ahhhhhhhh, MIRACLES do happen.



We finally decided to head back to the car...and it was a little more difficult than the hike down. Poor Baylee pretty much just hung on for dear life while I drug her up the hill. YAY Tylenol...we wouldn't have been able to do this without you.



So once we finished at Do the Poo hike, we headed off to the dam. WooHoo the dam was fun...especially since my kids had so much fun swearing. We enjoyed the dam bathrooms, the dam stores, the dam view, the dam postcards...you get the picture. But nothing was quite as spectacular as when Caleb looked out the window and said is that the dam water? We're twisted...we accept that.



So we did some lunch (horrible experience at denny's that is a story for another day and time). And then headed back from the direction whence we came. We stopped at the grand staircase just for Noah, but all 4 of the kids were out cold, so Felix went and explored on his own.



As we pulled into Kanab, we had to stop a take a picture of the most patient cop in the entire world.


This cop was in his car, always watching. So still, so diligent...AMAZING. And yes he's a dummy. Really...he has no brain and is made out of plastic. Someone even drew a mustache on him.

So decided there was room for one more adventure left in us and we went to the Coral Pink Sand Dunes. SO MUCH FUN. The kids were rolling down the hills, Noah was faking that he was in the desert trying to find water and Felix was huntin' wabbits.

We finished off the day, completely exhausted with a yummy dinner at a really good diner and collapsed into bed. IT WAS A GREAT DAY.

And then Day 3 happened.......

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Gettin' the Heck Out of Dodge....Day One

Ahhhhhh, a four day weekend. I was so looking forward to getting caught up on life. Then Thursday night, Felix had a brilliant idea. "Let's go somewhere."

Now let me clarify. He does this all of the time. I usually win. By winning I'm sure that most of you assume I mean, we went somewhere. So sorry. I'm a chicken, a homebody, afraid of adventure, afraid that my children will drown, get lost or kidnapped, afraid of that big bad world that dominates. Yeah, it's a scary place out there. Home is safe. It just is. I know I completely go against the norm with the fact that I hate to travel and/or vacate. I'm not asking for your approval...either love me the way I am or stop reading.

So Felix says, "Let's go somewhere." And this time, because I was trying really hard not to be me, said okay. He found the hotel, we told the kids the house was clean or we stayed home. Surprisingly, they cleaned the house. Hmmmm....should have tried this much sooner.

So Friday morning, we loaded up, and we got the heck out of dodge. So where were we going. Only the bustling metropolis of Mt. Carmel Junction, Utah. I know, you've heard of it. Who hasn't? Short, short version....east entrance of Zions National Park, 15 miles from Kanab.

We are on the road. Woohoo...so far, no one has killed each other, fought or thrown themselves out the window...this trip is a success. We decide to stop in Beaver for a late lunch. Because my chicken-ness is contagious, we go for Wendys. As I am standing in line, waiting to order and waiting to order and waiting to order and waiting to order, Felix was herding Caleb over to the tables. Caleb being completely who is is decided to mess around with the self-closing door....you know those hinge thingys that slowly (and as we discovered, painfully) close after you walk in.


For whatever reason, Caleb decides to mess with Felix's head just one more time and put his hand near the hinges. Insert thumb, smash thumb flatter than a pancake, scream loudly (ear piercing, glass shattering), exit Felix and Caleb. I could tell by the look on Felix's face that something was very, very wrong. I gather every one else (without food) and go out. By the time I get outside, Felix is examining the thumb and telling me to head home. It was already a sickening shade of red/blue/black/purple and a few other colors. I watched while it began to expand back to a thumb shape and then exceeding expectations by swelling at a crazy rate.


So I do what ever normal mom does. I walked over to the convenience store, bought medical tape, first aid kit and a cup of ice. I taped up his thumb, threw his arm over my shoulder, shoved Tylenol down his throat and stuck his hand in the ice. I jumped into the back seat of the car with Caleb on my lap while Felix got everyone else in and said, "Keep going."


You need to understand...it wasn't as though I was unsympathetic to the plight of my baby. I know he hurt, I also know he smashed his thumb above the knuckle so it was likely a soft tissue injury. I also knew that I never go along with going somewhere, and I wasn't ready to back out.


After a quick call to the pediatrician, who confirmed what I thought and a you should probably to to an insta-care, I browsed the internet, found an insta-care 30 minutes from where we were and gave Felix stunningly accurate directions on how to get there. Can I just say, it was awesome to drive into this insta-care in Cedar City, walk in, get checked by the doctor and get right back out to the car in 13 minutes (p.s. it was a soft-tissue injury...I'm that good). So we grab some food and get back on the road.


Now for this next segment....I wish to urge all of you to get a GPS/Map/Tom-tom car thing. No need here. I had Google GPS on my Blackberry. I had directions. Little did Google or the map tell me, these were the more expensive directions. Following the road, following the little dot on my phone and the next thing you know we are at the entrance to Zions National Park. Huh? We didn't want to go to the park today...


After a little conversation with the ranger, we found out our hotel was on the other side of the park, just past the east entrance. That would be 25 dollars please. Fine, we were going anyway and the pass was good for 7 days...fine, whatever.


It wasn't quite dusk, but it was getting close, I was getting stressed and then the cliffs happened. Ummmmm, have I mentioned before that I am extremely terrified of heights (some of it might have something to do with last summers adventure). Why am I ALWAYS on the outside of the car...looking down?

Oh did I also mention that I am claustrophoboic? Because I would have tried to prepare myself for the mile and half long tunnel of death... Really, it isn't so intimidating from the outside. Try the inside.

I sounded something like, breathe, breathe, keep driving, breathe, breathe, keep driving, whoever said we are going to die...cork it, i said cork it, breathe, breathe, breathe. You get the picture. I think the tunnel from He....purgatory was a fantastic adventure for me....because I lead such a bland and boring life.


Sorry living the experience again and just trying to breath. Woo. Scary. Flashbacks suck...especially since you are the only one who can see them...YIKES.


Once we made it through yucky tunnel, we went through a little yucky tunnel...all tunnels will be yucky from now on.


So we made it to the hotel in about 20 minutes.


Our very own Best Western. Felix checked in and we drove to our non-adjoining rooms with our heated, outdoor pool completely covered and out of commission.


We separated boys vs. girls, and I don't know if that what quite the way to go. Although to be fair the girls did a stand-up job of pretending not to fight with one another while they were laying down.

But I do need to share the fun of our room. The door was not sealed and it was 20 degrees outside. Okay, crank up the heater. Pretend like you don't see the dead bugs on the floor. It's was really all well and good until Felix called from the boys room to find out if our water was as brown as theirs. No really.

Stay tuned for day 2.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

WOW!

January was quite a month! In some ways I am so grateful it's over...in other ways I realize what an incredibly inspiring journey it was. So I guess I'll tackle the highlights and see where it leads...and with me, we could end up just about anywhere.

Hell on Earth
I can't think of anyone who isn't aware of Haiti and the devastation and destruction. But when I found out through friends that someone Felix and my mom used to work with had been trying to adopt children and that their world was now in utter chaos, I became an avid reader of their blog. Even though the situation was technical 'arms length', I learned.

I learned that humanity is NOT dead. That there are so many people who are willing to open their hearts, arms and souls to help others. Like the pilot that wouldn't leave without the babies. Like the Rosenlofs who wouldn't give up. Like the workers in the orphanage who stayed with those babies during the chaos of the moments. Like the coordinators in the international adoption agencies who put their lives on hold to save the children. Like the shelters in Florida that opened their doors to the children and families once they arrived. This list could go on and on...and probably should.

Most of all, I learned (again) how humbling it is to witness miracles and the hand of God in every day life. He can move mountains. He has and will again.

No WHEY! WHEY!
My baby brother, the final sibling got hitched! Talk about modern day miracles! What a blessing it is to watch true love meet and blossom (okay, more like explode). How beautiful to witness two people, find out how wonderful they are as people, but how perfect they are together.

Stacy, we love you! And are SO happy to have you as a member of the family! P.S. Thanks for making my brother a 'people' again! I forgot how much fun he is!

UGH!
I hate the political climate. I do. You don't have to agree. It's called freedom. I have lots of strong opinions and would really love to push them on people. I am going to try and not push them on people, but I am going to exercise my freedom and tell ya what they are. You can exercise your freedom and not listen. Really, I'm good with that.

So here they are:
1. The State of the Union ticked me off so bad, I couldn't watch it in it's entirety. Why? Because regardless of what the president says, and how good things are in Washington, D.C. (the only place in the nation unemployment is actually going DOWN), every where else it sucks. And sir, it's been a year...stop blaming your predescesor. Freakin' get over it, stop taking my money and freedom. I know there are stalwart socialists who think you are deity, but I'm not one of 'em. Yeah, give me back my change...

2. I hate politicians. I know that is a pretty generic statement, however, in most parts of the nation bribery is a crime. Not on capital hill. Instead...you get bought off to get yourself or your constituents (read: yourself) gain. It's time to get the politicians out of Washington and put people back in. Idon't want to be represented by career politicians. They only know how to relate to other politicians. I want my representation to be people...a lot like the people who founded this nation. They came from professional diversity, geographic diversity all because they had one common belief. Just one. Freedom.

3. Political Party Affiliation sucks too. I have decided I am no longer a Democrat or a Republican. I'm not an Independent or a Tea Partier. I not in the Green Party, Communist Party or any other party. For the sake of my voter registration, I am keeping things 'as is'.

So what do I believe? Well, I am a conservative. But that doesn't mean I am closed minded. I believe in the freedom to choose. If you don't like it, CHOOSE not to participate, but don't take away my freedom to CHOOSE to participate. I believe in tolerance...from every body...not just those who think that the rest of us need to tolerate them.

I know I am goin' around the block to get to the house next door. So here goes: I believe in the founding principles of this nation. I believe in the freedom of religion, speech and every thing else in the constitution. I believe in the separation of church and state (and by the way, that actually means the government will NOT impose and state backed church on the people...if you don't believe me, look it up). I believe this nation was founded under Christian principles with divine guidance. I also believe, you have the right to disagree.

Okay, tirade over.

Funny Ha Ha!
I think one of the best things I have gotten out of the month of January is my smile. I forgot how fun and funny my kids are.

Caleb is constantly focusing, positioning, aggravating, contemplating...all words that HE uses to me to tell me what is going on in his life. He is also not afraid to tell me I have a big butt. It's okay, after the original offense, I realized he was right and told him he was just jealous because he didn't.

Savannah is traversing into being a young woman, and Felix is totally fighting her every step of the way. You want to see something funny...watch the two of them duke it out about whether or not she is allowed to talk to boys through IM. No really.

Baylee is (as usual) walking the fine line of pushing her siblings to the extreme, me to the extreme and quite frankly the rest of the world to the extreme. Watching an 8 year with something to prove is really entertaining...frustrating for the mommy...but entertaining.

And there is Noah. Trying to figure out how to get on Mythbusters, blow stuff up with purpose and redesign the entire universe. And yes, he does believe Pluto is still a planet...and he agrees with me. What kind of ego does someone have to have in order to tell a planet it can't be a planet anymore?

So here are Felix and I, watching the chaos that constantly churns around us. Trying hard not to screw anyone or anything up too badly. At least I get to enjoy this journey with my best friend.

Lessons Learned
1. Being me is not as difficult as I make it sometimes.
2. Regardless of the storm, I can still dance.
3. I am amazed at the people around me, that really (really, really) make me want to be a better person.
4. I am lucky to be surrounded by a family that enjoys laughing as much as I do.
5. As much I hate politics and all of the other crap, at least my freedoms are intact enough to let me go off like this.

Peace out!
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