Archive for the ‘Idaho’ Category

Pepper the Traveling Cat
November 6, 2009

DSC01283A number of friends have asked how our cat is traveling, especially since most cats seem to get completely nerved up over a short ride to the vet. Pepper has been no exception, but he is a very smart cat. He knew something was up as he followed me for days from room to room, and from house to motorhome as I was packing. If I had an empty bag he climbed inside, if I had a bag packed, he climbed on top.  Amber made sure he knew where the “kitty facilities” were a few days before we set off, and Pepper even took it for a test run before the trip.

He was suprised by the roar of the engine and complained for the first few minutes, but found comfort right next to Amber (his favorite human) in a chair. He prefers smooth roads at 55mph (we all do) as opposed to bumpy roads, city driving,  slow driveways or parking lots.  And while he has found a really great hiding spot for super rough travel days, most of the time he is completely content, sleeping soundly while we travel.

On days that we are set up at a campground, the kids walk him on a leash several times a day (for fun) and he will spend time outside with us (on the leash) if we are outdoors, but he prefers to be inside the RV.  At home it is the opposite. He is and inside cat, but when he hears the car pull in, he hides just inside the door to escape, and roam, and protect his territory. He thinks he  is a “guard cat” and has protected our yard and home from big dogs, little dogs, racoons, rabbits and rodents…that is, when he is sly enough to get out. I was very concerned about his history of trying to eat dogs… knowing that we will probably camp next to dogs…but yesterday Amber walked him right past a dog at a campsite and Pepper completely ignored it. She also dropped his leash at one point (on purpose) to see what he would do and he stayed in step right beside her.


Didn't someone say it was time for school?

I mentioned earlier that he is a smart cat. He knows how our doors and screens open at home (thankfully he doesn’t have a whole lot of muscle to put behind it) and in the middle of the night he pushes the book off from the top of my water glass (that would be the book I placed on the water glass to keep middle of the night kitties from drinking my water) so he can drink fresh water.  Of course that wakes me up, and I, like a good cat mom, get up and get us both fresh water. He is even smart enough to know not to mess with dad’s water…

With all of their recent time together, Amber has decided that it was time to teach him some tricks. Now, between Pepper’s smarts and Amber’s determination, we are the proud family of  a cat that “sits” on command and “touches” (much like a dog’s shake) in order to earn a treat…… No kidding!

A day at the zoo…
November 6, 2009

DSC01299Amber started out the day extra early in order to “attend” her English class via “Skype.” She loved seeing her friends as much as they loved seeing her on the “Smart Board” at school. After a number of “Hello’s” and letting the novelty wear off slightly, Mr. Prescott jumped right into the lesson and later paired the kids up to complete a challenge; coming up with as many unique collective nouns as possible with a partner.DSC01353 She found more collective nouns today at the zoo. Can you find them?

Since we got such an early start on school for the day we were finished earlier than usual. After one more round of double elimination air hockey… and Tyler proving to us that he really is the family champ, we set off for the Iowa Discovery Center and the Boise Zoo. The Discovery Center was completely “hands-on” and each of walked away with dirty hands and full brains.

Whisper Dish

Tyler’s favorite exhibit was the Whisper Dish.  While he was sitting in front of one dish, Amber walked completely across the building to another. Sitting back to back, they were able to speak to each other, even whisper, as if they were very close. As we walked away Tyler said “Mom, you know we could make one of these pretty easy at home!”

Tyler also loved the robots they had on exhibit.  Amber,  on the other hand was completely intrigued by the powerful microscope, and spent a good 30 minutes looking at all the slides. Animal lover, tender heart, naturalist, scientist! Fits her perfectly.

  After lunch we headed to the Boise zoo.  Amber (who speaks cat…really) played hideDSC01354 and seek with a snow leopard. We were all amazed at the enourmous size of the Siberian Tigers, the playfulness, grace and speed with which the Whited Handed Monkeys swing from rope, to branch, to bar… They were Tyler’s favorite, and I enjoyed them too until he explained, and Amber verified, that they sometimes throw poo at each other. While I didn’t witness that (thank God), we saw plenty of it flying and I did leave with monkey poo in my shoe…….(no photos for that one!) And though we have seen lions,  zebras and giraffes before, they are always intriguing,  beautiful creatures.


What makes a perfect day?
November 5, 2009

Today was a perfect day in my book. We had no agenda. No place we had to be. We did not travel. We did not see one of the seven wonders of the world. Yes, my husband spent time in his “driver’s seat office,” but still managed a bike ride, a run, a few repair jobs…


My kids played outside for hours on end.
Tyler did 347 laps around this campground on his bicycle.
Amber sang, walked her cat, and made movies.
The sun was shining.
Tyler proved to each of us that he is the air hockey champion of the family.
We ate chocolate chip cookies.
We sat in the hot tub.
We laughed.
My husband and son wrestled on the floor.
We played games.

What is your idea of a perfect day?

Tomorrow there will be work to do, schoolwork to be done, places to go…but today was perfect. That’s why I’m here. That’s how we get through the days that are not perfect. We remember and give thanks for days like today.

Life is a gift. Children are a gift. Children grow up…Live every day.

Go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, STOP!
November 4, 2009

I am loving Boise already!



November 2, 2009

Photos cannot come close to what our eyes have taken in over these last two days. I’ll share a little bit of what I was able to capture…

Heading into Yellowstone

Run kids run!


Geysers and hot springs galore


Steamy Hot Springs

Science Lesson

Another science lesson: Can you identify the different animals by their pelts? What is the difference between a wolf and coyote? What part of the buffalo did the bone in Tyler’s hands come from?

(Answer: It’s a spinal bone. It is one of many that help hold up the muscles in a buffalo’s hump.)

Old Faithful

Old Faithful


Bump…I’ll say!