Archive for March, 2010

packing up and heading out!

i hear jasper and jon talking up a storm somewhere behind me and when i go hunt them down, i see this:

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jon is brushing jasper’s teeth and she is getting a kick out of doing it without a sink 🙂

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and then it was time to start packing up but somebody looks to be preventing me from finishing!

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ah, a girl and her trail mix…

she likes to hand pick each piece out of the big bag of trail mix and put each chosen piece in her own little bag.   she was rather persnickety about it 🙂

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after we packed up and turned in our key, we headed out for more walking and wandering around…

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the docks were so windy that jasper and i felt like we were going to get blown off!

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‘bye, mineral wells!  we had a wonderful time!

the next morning at O’too early…

after the hike, we headed back to the site to get dinner finished – mainly so we could move on to the s’mores 🙂

we ate, hung around the fire a bit and then went off to take our showers…  we were non-smoky for all of 5 minutes once we got back to the site but hey, that is ok!

jasper was tired enough to actually tell me it was bedtime:  “mommy, i think i am soooo tired that i am ready for bed now.”

and she proceeded to cuddle up and fall asleep in my lap…

so we put her in the shelter and went back out to the fire to enjoy the night and the alone time.

and then?  well, then it was morning!

jasper woke jon up with a happy, “it’s good morning time!  are you awake now?”

they got up to start the morning fire and i cuddled under the warm covers until jasper came and got me too.

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“i am hungry!”

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we get the day started with breakfast sausage, campfire biscuits and hot cocoa or tea…

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here i am pulled out of my warm cocoon and wishing i was still there 🙂

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but that wish doesn’t last long 🙂

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that girl.

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really.  that girl!

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happy day, happy girl – just all around happy!

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yup, still happy.

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well, maybe i am wishing for some coffee about now and wondering why my water hasn’t boiled yet!

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a tickle fight caught on camera!  i think i am winning this one!

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and the smoke chases jasper away from the fire:  “aaahhhh!  my eyes!  my eyes are burning!”

heehee, it was pretty funny.

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don’t i look amused?  hey, at least i have my hot tea now 🙂

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and it was Good!

the hiking!

cooking, fishing and reading aside, what we did most was walk.

there were a fair number of trails closed because of all the wet weather but there were still some good trails to follow…

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taking in the view – i think jasper has got it made, how about you?

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jasper and jon forged ahead while i followed behind a little more sedately 🙂

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why walk when you can run?

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and why run when you can climb?

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what a cute cheeseball!

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when she wasn’t running or climbing, she was asking questions…  nothing new there 🙂

we saw plenty of deer sign so she kept talking about “finding some of those deer!  but daddy, you can’t shoot these!  you have to hunt different deer, ok?”

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on the trail of deer!

and do you think we found any?  of course we did!

on the way back, we snuck up on about 5 whitetail and man, was jasper ecstatic!

“we found our deer!  we found our deer!  i am so happy!”

so we stood there silently and watched them watch us until they decided that we were freaking them out and they bounded off…

it really finished the hike off perfectly…  it’s the little things, isn’t it?

cooking, cooking, cooking (and other stuff)…

i wasn’t making the stew part up, see?

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we simmered that stew for hours!

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but yes, it made for a good excuse to hang out at the campsite and read 😉

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until the fishers come back and then it is game on again!

i hope i never, ever get tired of seeing these two enjoy each others company!

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but sometimes a girl likes to just sit under a tree all by herself…

and i love that, too.

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and when A Certain Someone starts to get cranky?  here is where the laptop comes into play – i brought a couple of movies for jasper to watch once it got dark but she ended up watching one a little earlier than that 🙂

it was a perfect way to break up all the hiking and the running and the fishing – it just gave her some downtime with her movie in the shelter – and it gave jon and i some together time outside by the fire.

another win-win…

jon kept asking if this really counted as camping – with our laptop, our mattress, our restrooms w/showers, our table but i say yes, it counted!  it just counted in a much more comfortable way 🙂

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and here is her crappie!  all campfire-grilled and on it’s way to being completely eaten!

our little fish whisperer…

after lunch, jon and jasper went off to fish while i stayed behind to mind the beef stew that we had simmering on the fire…

and if i happened to find myself laying in the sun and reading my book, then, well, i just don’t know how it happened!

but it wasn’t too long before jon called me and told me to come down to the stairs…

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and there we go!!  jasper caught a 14″ crappie!!!!

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jon was just as excited about it as she was 🙂

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so then i hung out with them for a bit and watched them fish some more…

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and it didn’t take long before jasper caught another crappie!

but this one was too small to keep so we photographed the moment and threw it back…

jasper is so spoiled – somehow she always manages to catch a fish!  she thinks that if she is fishing, that means she is catching fish…  ‘cuz somehow, she usually is!

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and they continue to do their thing…

while i continue to watch them until i get a little bored and head back to the site to check the stew and read my book…

nice for everyone!

the day has come!

yes!!!  finally!!!  we are heading out for our camping trip!

jasper lilith has been wishing on the stars for about a month now – “i wish for camping with mommy and daddy and me!  with marshmallows on sticks and a big fire!”

after a late start, we get on the road and it pretty much starts out great and just keeps getting better 🙂

(always how you want a trip to work but not always how they do, huh?)

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“are we going camping now??!!”   “i am so ready to go camping now!”

ok, ok, we are going!

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we have always used tents but when i went to reserve the site online several weeks ago, the only available site that they had at mineral wells was a screened shelter – all the tent sites were already taken!!  yeah, it’s a popular campground but the way it is designed, you would never know that there are tons of people around!  anyway, at first, we were kind of bummed we couldn’t use our tent but then i decided that we might as well make the most of it and took the blow-up mattress and the laptop…  the whole hog!\

and it.  was.  so.  nice.

i told jon that we might have to keep doing shelters like this until jasper was old enough to be in her own tent because i loved it!  we could stand up and move around in it (vs. on our knees in the tent) and the mattress was so comfy and, well, really, i loved it!

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jon and jaspy get that fire started first thing while i set up the shelter.

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see?  plenty of space, a beautiful view of the lake, nobody around us and close enough to the restrooms that we could walk.

and the wind started to get very ferocious so by the time night hit, i was glad that we weren’t being buffeted around in a tent…

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jasper needed a hug and i am always glad to provide one of those!

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here come lunch!

“daddy, i can do my own hot dog!”

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which lasts for all of a minute before she almost drops the hot dog in the fire and says something like, “never mind!  i changed my mind, i can’t do it!  it’s too hot on my hand!”

of course, jon saw that coming about a mile away 🙂

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and so jon continued on with the hot dogs…

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while jasper sat on her rock and watched 🙂

(did i mention how much i loved the shelter?)

and we are one step closer.

to getting the sail boat on the water, that is…

jon received his oars today and i think jasper was as excited as jon was even though she didn’t really know what they were 🙂

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it doesn’t look like it really matter what they are to me – she is just excited because jon is excited!!

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and she did The Oar Dance.

(and i think that inside?  where no one can see?  jon did The Oar Dance, too.)

the zoo! (during spring break! i know, i know.)

jasper is on her 2nd week of spring break but this week, it is everybody else’s spring break, too!

which means pretty much everywhere we go (museums, the zoo, the  mall, etc) , there are lines…   lines upon lines of people with the same idea.

we narrowly missed going to the zoo on the same day (1/2 price day) as every other person in the metroplex – apparently, the fort worth zoo broke a record…  jasper and i were planning on going that day until i remember that it was spring break and thought, “oh no, too many people.  more people than animals and where is the fun in that?”

so we didn’t go that day and boy, am i glad that jasper is the type of kid to roll with the punches – she was disappointed but not crazily so and was fine with the assurance that we would go to the zoo the next day.

and so we did (and it was still really busy but not bang-my-head-with-frustration busy).

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“look at the elephants!  why aren’t they cleaning themselves?  they are really dirty-dirty!”

so i mentioned how busy it was, didn’t i?

right.  it was busy enough that while we had a great time, i did find myself avoiding some of the busier sections…  when we left and were climbing into the car, jasper gasped, “oh, no!  we didn’t see any of spotted animals!  or crocodiles!”

and we hadn’t…  ‘cuz it was really packed in those areas and i just bypassed them to go elsewhere.  she was disturbed that she missed the cheetahs and the giraffes but she will live 🙂

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it was crowded in the aviary as well – in fact, when i went to go buy a stick of bird seed, the woman selling them warned me that the birds weren’t really hungry anymore.  i got a stick anyway and we went to go try and entice the full birds to eat from jasper’s stick.

here she is calling out, “here, birdy, birdy, birdy!  here, birdy, birdy, birdy!”

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and lo and behold, after a while (yeah, i have a patient 3 year old, for sure!), some birds came to her birdy call!

there is her little hand 🙂

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“oh, birdy…  you so beautiful and yellow and white!”

she kept trying to get the birds on her finger too but they weren’t having any of that this time.  usually, they will perch on fingers just to get the bird see but not this time.

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jasper was busy feeding and admiring the parakeets but i was busy snapping pictures of she and i!

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and on to the wolves, otters and more!

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oops, she heard the train!

“OH!  i hear a train!  hear the whistle, mom!  hear it??!!”

i hear it!  i hear it!

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“cheese, mama!  cheese!”

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we all know that jasper likes to talk – to herself, to me, to jon, to strangers in the grocery store so it is no surprise that she liked the little telephone devices so much!

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a conversation is happening here, let me tell you!

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“oh, mama!  more pictures?”

yes, baby of mine, always with the pictures 🙂

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“ok, mama!  i’m smiling now!  you can take my picture now!”

uh, huh…

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did you think that we wouldn’t ride the train?  after that excitement over the whistle?

oh, no, we rode that train 🙂

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another wonderful reason to ride the train is that it takes you back to the entrance of the zoo – brillant!

and then our zoo trip was over and we were both tired, hungry and did i mention, tired?

we addressed the hungry part by heading off to meet jon downtown for some burritos and beer!

then it was home for a late bath and even later bedtime.

phew! what a day!

the building of a saddle…

if you don’t have a real saddle, make one!

(or at least a jasper approximation of one!)

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jasper ran in to the living room to ask if she could borrow some tape (“i won’t use too many, mom!  i promise!”) and after awhile, she came running out again to get me to “come see something!!!!”

so i went and i saw!

she had made a saddle – the towels are the saddle, the taped on teapots are the stirrups and the beaded necklace is the reins…  and there you go, you have a cobbled together saddle 🙂

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the teapot stirrups really tickled me 🙂

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oops, a stirrup fell off so she is putting it back on.

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and now jasper is trying to get on the horse without kicking the stirrups off – it is trickier than it sounds!

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and she made it!  the stirrups made it too!

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she is pretty pleased with herself here…

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“giddyup horsey!  giddyup!”

it looks like she is saying the pledge of allegiance here, doesn’t it but she was just pretty serious about getting ready to giddyup 🙂

that’s my girl!

“say the word… i’m thinking love…”

i borrowed a hat from mom to wear while running and jasper had to have one too!

and, of course, it was pink 🙂

because, “pink is my absolute favorite color, mom.  and maybe purple.  oh, and red!  but i love pink best.”

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smile for the camera!

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if i am within a foot of this girl, i have to give her kisses…  it’s like a biological imperative – you just can’t fight it.

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luckily, at this age, she still loves them!