Today my mom sent me a box of things from my Gramma Eloise's house.   I got her favorite sweater....a white cardigan with butterflies all over it.   It still smelled like her.   The kids were so excited to play in the big bag of gramma's jewelry.   Many of the pieces I remember from my own childhood.  In a time where everything seems so disposable, it seems so noble to buy what you like and then actually keep it forever.   While she never really had any expensive pieces of jewelry, she always looked like a million bucks when she left the house.  She was never without her coral lipstick and her clip on earrings.  Usually she had some sort of a fancy pin on (butterflies were her favorite).  
I remember her for her bowling league,  Friday night Moose Lodge dinners,  her amazing pie baking talents, her canned green beans and applesauce were like no other, her open toed high heeled sandals for every occasion including mowing the lawn and weeding the  garden, her amazing bee hive hair do which I used to go with her to get set weekly at Elsie's salon.  
She walked to my house to babysit me when I was little and then finally got a drivers license sometime after I was born.  Her first car was a Ford Pinto with a little round porthole window that she swore was the easiest car to make the turn from Crematory Hill to Hampton Road.  

It's so hard to believe that both of my grandmothers are gone.  It is also unbelievable that I was lucky enough to have them for so long in my life.  They lived long enough to meet my children.  Here they are in the jewelry. 

The Great Wolf Lodge = The Super WalMart of waterparks

I couldn't believe it.  I packed up my kids and drove north.   97 miles from Portland was the exit for Great Wolf Lodge.  Seriously, it was an exit on the highway.  There was, however, a Dairy Queen right across the road.  We spent the next 36 hours locked away inside this "resort" where anything you wanted could be purchased with the scan of the wristband (i.e. mark of the beast).  You couldn't believe this place even if you had seen it.  There was a wave pool, an obstacle course pool, a kiddie pool, a huge play area where you got massive amounts of water dumped on you every 5 minutes, hot tubs, water slides, corn dogs, nachos, and beer.   For those few hours, we were living the American Dream. 

There we were....Three moms and six kids.  So while two moms were trying to get some fun in on the grown up water slides, the third mom was trying to maneuver with 6 kids under the age of 8.  Wow.  I do have to say that the big water slide was the most fun I have had in a long time.  The adrenaline rush was just right.   I was only a little shaky when it was over.  

Then there were the wands.   Jesus, the wands!   So you buy these wands (with your wristband) and go on a quest.   Really,  they are more for older kids, but who cares if you can read the directions?   You aim them and wave them at things and they light up and talk and move.   Kinda reminded me of the old time shot gun games that you played at amusement parks, only futuristic.

Just when I couldn't take one more minute.....we were gone.  


50% chance of rain

That means 50% of no rain, so you have to go for it.  We had gorgeous weather and views in Astoria yesterday.  The last time we went to Astoria with no plans, we didn't see anything but the bridge.  Many people told us to "Give Astoria a Chance".    So, we did some planning and had a great time there.  

We hit the Maritime Museum which was surprisingly fun.  We did the museum and then went on a tour of an old Coast Guard Ship.   We learned a lot about the Columbia River Bar (otherwise known as Graveyard of the Pacific......) and how treacherous it  is to maneuver in a ship.   We took the cute little trolley up and down the riverfront.   The kids hit and AWESOME comic book store there and got some fun reading material which they devoured on the whole car ride home.  Carson and Sharon climbed the Astoria Tower for some awesome 360 degree views.  Last on the agenda was a stop in Seaside at the most awesome candy store.  We spent 30$ on candy before playing on the beach for an hour or so.    Spring Break fun!