Tuesday, February 26, 2008

It's Almost Time!!!!

And what do you ask is it almost time for? It is almost time for the cruise. Cam's dad decided to retire with a bang and he is taking all of the kids and spouses, (but none of the grandkids,) on a cruise to Mexico. We are going on a Norwegian cruise ship all the way to Alcapulco, Ixtapa, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. It is an 8 day cruise with my husband all to myself! Well at least without kids who always want to hug him, hang all over him and sit by him. (My girls and I are always fighting over who gets to sit by Daddy at dinner.)

Now I love my children but I am a big proponent of alone couple time and of adult time. It makes me a better mommy when I have a chance to just be Melissa for a little while. My first long trip out of country was to Europe two years ago for Cam's graduation from college. Last summer we went to the Sierra's backpacking and now we are going cruising. I wouldn't be so lucky as to go so many places but my wonderful in-laws keep providing the wonderful vacations. They baby-sat for the last two so we are looking forward to enjoying this vacation with them. My great sister, Stacey, will be watching the kids for this vacation.

Anyways let the count down begin! We only have 10 more days and we will be warm, relaxed and entertained all at the same time!

Friday, February 22, 2008

President's Day Weekend

My brother, David, came to visit us this weekend. We felt very special because the Putnam men do not come to visit unless there is hunting or fishing involved. Don't worry though there was lots of destruction, adrenalin and screaming. . .

Anyways he came on Wednesday a day earlier than he was going to come. His work training went faster than it was supposed to. He came back with a hand held PDA thing that was only worth about 2500 dollars. He liked his new toy. His job seems pretty relaxing to me. Trips to Alaska, trips to Southern California and someone else pays for all his gas. What more could someone want?

We went to Disneyland on Friday. I don't know how much he wanted to go but it was the only thing I could think of to do with the kids and David that would be fun. I think we all had a good time. Ashling achieved the goal of her life (she is only 2) and she got to meet Ariel. Ariel invited us to go swimming with her sometime and it is all the girls will talk about lately.

On Saturday the adults went skiing at Snow Valley. I like skiing but I am morally opposed to ice skating. Especially on skis! Needless to say the day for me involved a lot of snow plowing down the hill in fear. I don't even like the sound of skis on ice. It sounds awful like the music before jaws comes. It wasn't my favorite day to ski but I think I got a good workout. Cameron took David back to Slide Peak but after one icy run they decided to come on the front of the mountain too.

So we decided to go hiking in the afternoon down at the bottom of the hill. It was beautiful. Everything was green. We came to a point where there were rocks all over the road. A guy had told us that the road was impassible. Well for some people that might have been the case but I was with Cameron and David. So they decided that this was the perfect time to roll the large boulders off the steep road and into the ravine. They broke trees, crushed rocks and made lots of noise. The girls loved it and tried to create the same effect with much smaller rocks.

Next we built a rock dam at one of the many creeks we crossed. Ali could walk across it and enjoyed trying to make the water stay in the hole we created. We then went on a nice 4 by 4 drive where we were seeing all sorts of interesting scenery and still trying to find the biggest rock to roll of f the hill. All of a sudden Ali started crying and saying that her ear hurt really bad. She had been saying this a little when we went down the hill but was too busy enjoying the day to notice. Now it got so bad and she kept crying. By this point we were so far on the drive that it was faster to keep going than to turn around. We started discussing going to the doctor and eventually I decided to call nurse advice. She told us to come in as soon as possible.

After that we kept trying to hurry. At one point we came to a hill covered in mud. There were several people who could not go up the hill at the bottom and we were worried that we would have to turn around. Ali was crying, screaming, moaning and alternating that with sleeping. I was so worried we would have to turn around but David and Cameron decided to keep driving. I had in my mind the image of a life flight helicopter having to get Ali in the middle of the road if we got stuck between two mud puddles. (The good news is that the cell phone reception along this road was amazing so I could have called for help.) But my little escape with only high four wheel drive kept going through the mud crossings. (I know it was my husband's excellent driving ability and fear of his daughter's wrath if we had to turn around that really kept us going.)

Finally we made it to the urgent care! The nurse gave Ali some ib profin and told us it would be awhile. By the time we saw the doctor Ali said her ear was feeling better. We were almost ready to leave thinking it couldn't be that bad if medicine made her feel fine but they called us back.

Ali had a double ear infection which they prescribed antibiotics for. On the way back up the hill her ear drum ruptured. (Amazingly an ear drum rupture is actually pretty painless once it happens. I was trying to give her more medicine to help her up the hill and as she took it she called it magic medicine because her ear drum ruptured and everything was fine.

I am glad that we live in times where we have medicine and are not always stuck with nothing to do for our children when they are in pain. I also learned that there should always be medicine in the car for everyone because a little medicine would have made her comfortable until we could get her help.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Well, I guess it is my (Cameron's) turn to weigh in on a few items. First...let's talk winter. It was looking pretty serious there for a while. Just when even I was starting to think..."Hey, we could use a little break here." the clouds rolled on out, the temps slowly warmed up (it was 80 today and yesterday in San Bernardino) and everything is so vibrant and live with color...snow-capped mountains, blue blue blue sky, and hawaii-green grass. Even the dirt looks better after all the rain and snow. Now I'm ready for more snow, but I live in So. CAL, so I might have to be patient!

Now lets talk politics. Short...sweet....and to the point: I might vote for nobody because I don't like anyone out there. I'll probably settle in on someone. But for now, I think Obamma is just a hip kind of guy who reaches younger people well with promises of change and hope....change and hope for what? Despite our war and our slowing economy, we are still doing quite well around I don't know what the change and hope being promised is for. Clinton just has an annoying voice and doesn't think they way I do about important issues, so she's off my list. McCain is a superstitious nut who makes sure to use the same hotel rooms in order to ensure ish victories during campaigning...and he's environmentally out of touch with reality. Huckabee is just unqualified with lack of Federal government experience and some really weird decisions in his past as a governor. For now, my main issue will be to support any candidate that will make a top priority of returning all illegal immigrants to their country of origin and telling them to take a number, and denying all of the illegal reject criminals who have ended up in our jails for violent crimes any potential of future entry to our country. Living in So. Cal, we see first hand the effects of illegal immigration, and it isn't a pretty site. I am not racist in any way. The associate I spend the most time with at work is named Ricardo Perez, and he is a model of what Mexican-Americans should be, with aspirations, drive, respect, and intelligence beyond that of most all people. I know a handful of people like Ricardo and I hope I can be as good an American citizen as he is.

Well, that's enough for now, I hope anyone who has a comment feels free to share!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Snow Snow Snow!!!

This is our favorite year for snow since we have been married. Right now it is snowing hard and we have about six or more inches of snow. That is in addition to the other 2 1/2 feet of snow that we have. It is a winter wonderland. Ali didn't have school last Thursday, Friday, Monday or Tuesday!!! Can you believe that? And it is looking like she might not have school tomorrow also. Cameron has become very close to the snow blower and has spent hours trying to get the snow off our driveway. Last Monday I was completely snowed in!!! I could not get out of the garage if I wanted to. So we enjoyed a quiet day at home. Unbelievably in addition to the snow we have also had about 8-10 inches of rain in the last week.

Today we had church in the dark. It was snowing and raining and the power was out. It was neat to sit in the dark and listen to the testimonies about President Hinckley. I can't help but think how happy he was to go home and see his wife and enjoy her company once more. When I think of President Hinckley I think of how much he loved his wife. We heard him speak in Stake Conference about 3 weeks ago. He spoke on how to improve marriage. It was a great talk and I appreciate being able to listen to him implore us to have good marriages.

Yesterday we went skiing. We have season passes to Snow Valley. I love having them!!! Cameron is volentering there a few times and so then we all get season passes. Cameron was up there yesterday but he took a long lunch in between shifts and spent time teaching Ali to ski. I went skiing up on the mountain. It is nice to live so close to the ski resort and and go skiing for a couple hours and then come home. I also took Ali up skiing on Tuesday for awhile. It is a lot of work to teach someone to ski and I am grateful for all the people who spent time teaching me to ski.

The only down side to all the snow is that the mountains are crawling with Southern California tourists hoping to catch a day of snow play. They are like ants. They crawl (and I mean crawl) up the mountains in the morning and crawl back down in long lines. They swarm around each place you can sled, ski, eat or get gas. When it is snowing they are completely helpless (like ants in water). Cameron spent a while helping a poor soul get out of the snow even though it was their own fault because they were up here with two wheel drive and no chains. Another poor lost soul was putting chains on in the middle of our road. Today someone was trying to drive up without chains and when they couldn't, they decided to drive backwards on the Highway!!! Oh well they give us something to mock and laugh about!

Well we love the snow and are enjoying winter a lot. Tell us about your winter adventures!

PS If you look down to the Disneyland post there are some disneyland pictures up now.

Hiking with Daddy

Before we got all the snow Cameron took the girls hiking a lot in December. I claimed it was too cold but they were more than willing to go and hike with Daddy. We are lucky because there is a nice trail right up the road from our house. It is an access trail to Keller Peak which is a the main hiking area in Running Springs. This particular time they took a picnic and were gone for an hour. The girls loved it. Here are a few pictures.