Friday, January 25, 2013

Train Trip

6 AM Bryce and I loaded up, picked up our neighbors Andy, Eli and Isaac and headed off to the train station to ride the Empire Builder to Seattle.  Joining us were the rest of Bryce's cub scout pack and their parents.
It was a four hour trip to travel through the Cascade Mountains which included going through an eight mile long tunnel.  Finally, we made it to the end of the line at King Station.
 Now it was time to explore Pioneer Square and see all that it had to offer.

On foot we walked a couple of blocks to the Klondike Gold Rush Museum...excuse me... the Klondike Gold Rush National Park, not museum.   Whatever,  they are an official National Park even though there is not a tree in sight, but that is how they are classified. 
I had talked to the park rangers ahead of time so they were expecting us when we walked in the door.  They took us right in to view a documentary on the gold rush and its impact on Seattle.  About this time the song, "North to Alaska" starts playing in my head....once the movie was over we walked through the "museum" to follow the journey of five individuals who had succumbed to the gold rush fever.
A few more blocks over was Milepost 31.
Milepost 31is an informational spot that provides an inside look a the SR 99 Tunnel Project.  This tunnel project is the world's largest diameter bored tunnel.  Pretty cool stuff!

By this time, everyone was pretty hungry so we walked over to the Waterfall Garden Project to have a picnic lunch.  It was a little chilly, mid 40s, but dry so we were thankful we had a nice place to eat our lunches.

After scarfing down our sandwiches, chasing the pigeons, and playing a game of tag, we headed down to our next destination - The Underground Tour of Seattle.  On the way there we encountered some men playing a giant game of chess, so we had to stop and watch.

Finally, we made it to the grand finale, well, almost the finale because we had one more stop after this one, but this is the one we were looking forward to the most...The Underground Tour.

Our tour guide was awesome.  She was such a history geek and had a fun way of telling all the dirt and gritty details of how Seattle got started.  Unfortunately, the thick, moist air underground made it difficult for Bryce to breathe.  He started feeling pretty queasy and his chest was hurting pretty bad, so as soon as we made it to the surface, Bryce and I had to leave the group and head back to the tour headquarters to wait for the others to complete it.  We were both pretty bummed.  However, our day wasn't over.  We had one more stop to make...Firestation 10.
 My neighbor, Andy, is a Seattle fire fighter...a professional fire fighter.  He arranged for us to visit station 10 and get a grand tour of the facilities.  What was really cool is that a call came in for fire fighters while we were there, so we saw four fire fighters come sliding down the fire pole to run to their truck.  Neat, huh?!
 The fire chief let all of the boys handle the equipment, feel how heavy it is, and get the sense of what a fireman has to do.  He even hid in a dark room and let the boys use his heat finder to find him!

 He then took the boys to the living quarters for the fire fighters.  Many of them like our neighbor, live at the station while they are on duty.  Andy is on duty four days and off five so half of the time he lives in Seattle.  We ended up on the upstairs patio of the fire house looking over Seattle.  After this picture, the fire chief had all of the boys lean over the railing and spit!  Love it!
Kings Station was just down the road from the fire station, so we quickly headed back to board our train to head home.  It had been a long, busy, fun, educational, awesome day.  Best rain.  For Seattle, that is saying something.

We were back home by 8:30 pm.  A fourteen hour field trip!

Saturday, January 19, 2013


I am still on my weight loss journey. Technically speaking I have completed phase two but it turns out that I am the only one who has not cheated in the program.  Our mentors have decided to extend phase two for three more weeks.  I don't mind really; my eating habits are not going to change.  I just want to get measured and step on the scale.  I will wait two more weeks for that.  I am wearing a size 8 now and medium tops.  I even got a size 6 skirt that fits.  Yeah!  My daughter wants to shed a few pounds too so I am tracking her eating and she is following the phase one guidelines.

Today for breakfast I decided to make muesli.  I found the recipe in this book that I got for Christmas.

It is full of healthy recipes using natural ingredients.  To make muesli you start with rolled oats.  I had some generic old-fashioned oats that I used.  Probably not the best type but it is what I had on hand.
Last night, I mixed together in a bowl 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1/8 cup shredded coconut and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon.  The recipe also calls for almond slivers but I didn't have any.  I probably could have put in pecans or walnuts but I didn't .  I then covered the mixture  with 3/4 cups of warm water and 1 tablespoon of Bragg's raw, unfiltered vinegar, covered the bowl with a cloth, and let it sit all night. 

This morning in a saucepan I heated up 1 cup of water with 1/4 teaspoon of salt.  (I just realized that I should have used only 1/2 cup of water since I had cut the recipe in half.  The full recipe makes 4 servings, but this recipe should make only 2.) 

 Once the water comes to a boil, add the soggy oat mixture and an eighth cup of raisins

to the boiling water, stir, cover, and reduce to a simmer. The recipe says to simmer for several minutes.  I ended up simmering for 15 minutes until it was to the thickness i wanted.  Now that I realized I boiled too much water, I understand why it took so long to thicken up. I bet if I had used only 1/2 cup in my saucepan, it would have taken only 5 minutes to be ready instead of the fifteen.  Live and learn.

Once it was to my desired thickness, I added 1 teaspoon of flax seed meal for more nutrients.
Then scooped up about a cup of the muesli and transferred it to my bowl.  You can sweeten it with raw honey, stevia, date syrup, or maple syrup if you want.  I chose to sweeten my bowl with 1 tablespoon of  100% pure maple syrup.
Bonnie ate the other cup of muesli for her breakfast. For more variety, she added a diced up fuji apple.  I think next time, I will add the apple to the oatmeal mixture when I cook it in the boiling water.  Yum!

It was a good, filling and healthy breakfast.  Calorie count minus the apple is 160 calories for 1 cup of muesli.  Not bad!

Friday, January 18, 2013


Blogging has not been on the top of my list this month.  Sorry about that.  Bonnie took her first eoc (end of course) exam on Wednesday.  She feels  really good about it.  This  morning she took her geometry eoc.  She is still making a's in all of her classes so I am not too worried for her.

Todd has come down with the crud. He stayed home from school yesterday and today.  Today I got the awesome privilege (that is sarcasm by the way) of taking the boys to the ski slopes with Todd's school.  They had two hours worth of lessons and now, after eating lunch, are back on the slopes to ski for another two hours.  I think that is about all I can stand.  Sitting in the ski lodge for four/five hours is not how I wanted to spend my day.  Oh well.

Todd and I are dreaming.  We are dreaming about purchasing some property and building a house.  The bank says we can do it and for less than what we are paying in rent.  We have a contractor and all the paper work, we just have to settle on a house plan and work out the minor detail of settling matters of purchasing the proper from my mother in law and her sisters.  We have had this dream for years, literally years, like before kids years.  For whatever reason we keep coming back to this property.  I have given the matter to The Lord more than once and I am quite prepared for Him to say No, not yet.  Right now my prayer is for Him to slam the door shut if this is not the best thing for us.
Time will tell and I will keep you posted.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

It's been awhile

I know that it has been awhile since I last posted. With the holidays, hosting various parties, entertaining guests, and dealing with all the drama that has been happening around us, I just haven't felt much like posting.  Also, I got a new toy that I love (an ipad!) but posting with it and downloading pictures on it is not as easy.  It would be if I had an iPhone, but since I don't...well....

Anyway, we started back with school last Wednesday.  Believe me, I wish we had waited until Monday.  Trying to start back after a two week break and working at church didn't go over very well.  Regardless, we are back in the swing of things.  Bonnie is winding down her semester at the high school and fretting over her end of course exams.  She has two more weeks and then she will start her second semester.

This week the boys start ski lessons for the second year.   That means I get Fridays to myself at church.  Yeah!