Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Welcome to Death Valley...

... where it is 70F during the day and 40F at night. It took us 6 hours to drive to Death Valley, thanks to the road closure on the South side. We had to drive around and enter from the West. Then our campground was all the way on the North end of the valley. It was out of the way, but a great little campsite!

We didn't have much daylight left on Thursday, but we managed to see Ubehebe Crater which was caused by volcanic activity in the Park a few hundred years ago. This was my favorite site in the Park. A short .5 mile hike uphill took us to a view of the smaller craters.

We also drove up to Scotty's Castle. This was a family's vacation home in the park and cost them 1.5 million to build in 1906. We arrived after the tours ended, but that's okay... taking tours of inside of houses is not my "thing."

The next day was a hiking day (I LOVE me a good hiking day :oD ). Our first hike was through Golden Canyon. And the walls of the canyon were a yellow-y color... I guess you could call it gold... or maybe there was gold discovered here. We don't know for sure because we didn't pay the 25 cents for the interpretive brochure. We made it 3 miles round trip to the Red Cathedral.

Our next hike was through a canyon that we hiked about 15 years ago called Mosaic Canyon. 15 years ago, we got there so late that we didn't make it to the end, and I really really wanted to make it to the end... it was such a beautiful interesting canyon. The walls and floor of this narrow canyon are made of smooth white marble. It opened up into a wash and ended at a dry waterfall... 4 mile round trip.

We also drove past a couple interesting spots... Artist Pallet where the hills are infused with soft watery colors (I took that description out of the tour book):

This is Salt Creek. There is actually running water in Death Valley and it's supposed to be full of Pup Fish... not a pup fish in sight...

After our 7+ mile hiking day, the next day was a driving day. We took a drive out to the Rhyolite Ghost Town in Nevada. My favorite building was the house built out of 30,000 bottles from the local saloons.

Our drive back to Death Valley was though a narrow one way trail. It's hard to see the majesty of the scenery from these shots. It was really breath-taking!

Here are a last few pics from the campground... and Jim's 62nd birthday! Happy Birthday, Jim!

Thanks for coming on our trip with us!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Happy Birthday Part II

We had Cheryl's family party at Grandma and Papa's house. We cooked eggplant parmesean, balsamic roasted veggies, pesto pasta salad, chocolate cake and we picked up a Trader Joe's spinach salad. We also had, from my mom, brocolli salad, fruits, veggies. And Papa picked up FIVE pizzas.

And she had THREE desserts: the cake, blueberry pie AND apple pie!


Welcome Home, Bud! Love you! Missed you!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

It's a baby (card)!

My friend is expecting a grand-baby. So, I want to be ready with a little boy card.

Here is the boy card. I used a freebie from All Dressed Up. So, I'm entering it in the All Dressed Up Clean and Simple Challenge.

Thanks for stopping by!
Have a great weekend!

Happy Happy Happy

Here is a happy card that I wanted to share using Diana's cute December card kig:

I used a cute Dilly Beans digital stamp called Amalia's Daisy. I just adore her cute digital girls. This is being entered in the Dilly Beans Celebration Challenge this week.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

One Little Word 2014

My goal for 2014 is to live healthier and make better choices. When I eat better and workout diligently everything seems to work better. Better sleep. Less weird aches and pains. Clearer thought processes. More confidence.

Turns out it is true what they say... being healthy makes you feel better on multiple levels.

So my word for 2014 is IMPROVE. This year I want to feel better and be a better person.

I'm taking charge and improving my life this year!

The stamp used on this card is from an old Unity KOTM. In fact, I bought this kit just for the sun and cute clouds. So, I'm sharing this in the Unity Friends with Flair Friday. Welcome Unity Friends!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

One Little Word - 2013

As I was preparing my post for 2014, I realized that I didn't post my word for 2013. So for those who really want to know, last year my word was "STRONG." Last year as you all know was the year of the Marathon, so STRONG was an appropriate word for last year. Oh, and I was also in a mixed media phase of crafting... so, here is last year's card:

Stay tuned! 2014 coming soon!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy 24th Birthday, Cheryl!

Cheryl says, "Don't post embarrassing pictures of me." Well, she doesn't seem to understand that it's the mom's job to post cute pictures of her kiddos... even though those pictures might be embarrassing.

I went to my pictures of 20 years ago and found this... 4 year old Cheryl:

Awww... Isn't she adorable? hehehe...

This picture of tonight has been given the Cheryl stamp of approval... completely non-embarrassing:

So my girlie turned 24 today. Something about 24 sounds so much older and 23. More serious. More real, as in, "She's graduated college and really not going to live here with us forever." I'm so grateful for the relationship I have with this young woman. Believe me. I do count my lucky stars for it every single day!

I LOVE you Cheryl... I LOVE you bunches!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Happy New Year - Part II

I just had to share... look what Cheryl did to Jena. Jena is not looking very HAPPY, haha!

Happy New Year, Jena-girl!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year's Progressive Dinner

One of the neighbors down the street thought it would be fun to do a progressive dinner for New Year's Eve. This was a completely last minute thing. I was amazed that we were able to get a party of 10 people together.

We have 5 couples and 4 houses... Here's the schedule:

9:30-10:15 - our house for horderves and wine
10:15-11:00 - house #2 Mexican and margaritas
11:00-11:45 - house #3 for kabobs and punch
11:45-12:30 - house #4 s'mores and champagne

I stopped at Total Wine and got a couple bottles of Pinot. I'm also having: shrimp cocktail, ham/cream cheese roll-ups, crackers w/artichoke dip, and fresh veggies.

My decorating was very minimal. I embellished a $0.99 banner from the party store with a hanging star garland, made a 2014 banner, and got a few balloons which I attached to my Christmas arrangement.

Here's my table. I tried really had to make a pretty table. If our bunco parties are any indication, our neighborhood is full of professional hostesses, haha! If the veggie tray looks a little out of balance, it's because Cheryl got hungry:

Happy 2014 Everyone!