Saturday, August 30, 2008


Wednesday was the first day of the last! It is the last year of high school for any of the Blake and Diana Purcell children! I know, I know, that means we are getting really old! This is the last time I will take a picture of my children going off to school! I can't even begin to imagine where the time has gone! I remember Cindy's first day of kindergarten, and how hard it was to send her off to school, and now my baby is a Senior!
There he goes, driving off into the sun....rise!


When we got home from Michigan, Blake saw that something had been digging trying to get under our patio. Well, the next morning when he was in the hot tub, he heard something moving around, it was a skunk! He watched it walk around the patio and wander out into the field.
So Blake decided to put more dirt and pack it down, hoping to discourage the skunk from trying to get under the patio. There was no sign of it for a few days, then Blake could tell that it had begun digging again. He borrowed a skunk trap to see if he could capture the varmit.

The first night he had the trap set, he made sure that Poky and Baby were locked in the garage, but he didn't catch a skunk. The next night Baby wouldn't go in the garage, and when he went out in the morning, he had definately caught something black and white! Baby was not happy at being locked up in the cage! She ate all the tuna fish, but was really ready to get out of there!

Blake decided not to set the trap the next night because there had been no sign of the skunk for the last 2 nights. About 2:00 am I woke up to Poky growling, he was in the garage growling like crazy. After a few minutes, I heard him go out of the garage, then I could hear an animal fight. It woke Blake up and he bolted out of bed. By the time he got to the garage, Poky was back in there, but he was leaving a little trail of blood. We don't know what he was fighting with. His ear was scratched and bleeding. Blake went out to the patio and looked to see if the skunk had dug some more and sure enough it had, it was probably under the patio right then! So at 2:30 am, Blake set the trap again. Poky and Baby were safely locked in the garage this time. When Blake got up a little after 5:00 to get in the hot tub, there was the skunk in the trap!

Now, he had a really big problem! How should he get rid of the thing! He had tied a rope on to the trap to drag it away from the house into the field. He had to wear his "headlight" flashlight so he could see where he was going.He got the trap out into the field, but didn't know how he could open the trap and shoot the skunk without being too close. Then he got the idea to drown it, so he filled the ditch with water and dragged the trap to the ditch and dunked it, when it was dead, he buried the stinking thing!

The next night he got a big idea to see if he could trap whatever was fighting with Poky. (We didn't think it was the skunk, because there was no odor.) So, he set the trap out on the driveway. At about midnight I heard the trap door slam shut, so I woke up Blake and he ran out there -- he couldn't tell what was in the trap, finally he got brave enough to get close enough to see --- it was a large black cat! He let it out and it ran off in a real hurry. We still don't know what Poky was fighting with, but decided we've had enough trapping wild animals!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Trip to Michigan

Sometime last year we started planning a trip to Stevensville, Michigan to see Cindy and Ken and Sydney. We planned to drive our Red pickup and get a uhaul trailer so we could take Cindy's furniture that she'd left in Idaho to her. So, on August 8th, we loaded up the
trailer and pickup with Cindy's couch, love seat, table and chairs and some other things she wanted. Brian and Celia and Blake and Jared and I were planning on going, but at the last minute, Celia had an opportunity for a job interview, so she decided that she would stay home. We were sad and we missed her. We also took my niece, Jackie so that Syd would have someone to play with. So, on Saturday, August 9th at 5:00 a.m. we loaded into the pickup and headed east. We stopped at my sister Lynne's home in Woodruff, Utah at 8:00 a.m. for breakfast and to pick up Jackie. We left there about 9:00 and continued on east. We stopped at Cabela's in Sidney, Nebraska for some leg stretching time and some food. We went on to stay the night in Lincoln, Nebraska. On Sunday morning, we took off again. We arrived at Cindy's about 6:00 p.m. Cindy has a very nice new home, really open and spacious. She also has a very BIG dog. Stormy is a Great Dane that is still a pup and doesn't realize how big she is. Blake, Jared and Brian loved her, Jackie and I weren't as sure about that. We unloaded the trailer, and pickup. Cindy and Ken had an older couch and love seat that they said they were going to give to Goodwill, Brian decided that it was better than what he had at home. So, he called Celia and she said if we could fit it in, to bring it home. We had only rented the trailer one-way, so they worked hard, but finally figured out that they could fit the couch and love seat and all our luggage in for the trip home. After all the moving, we just chilled out for awhile, we were all pretty tired from all the driving, but were glad to make the trip. It was so fun to see Cindy and Ken and Sydney again.

Jackie was a real good traveller. She watched dvd's and ate snacks and played games and counted trucks.

Blake and Jared and Brian all took turns driving. They made sure that Blake was driving when we got near Chicago, so he could deal with the traffic and many roads.

I didn't drive, I just rode along and entertained Jackie, and passed out drinks and snacks. I was probably the worst of the travellers, I'm not a real good sitter for long hours.

Cabela's in Sidney, Nebraska

We had a small trailer for such a big pickup.

Jackie's up bright and early, ready to leave the hotel in Sydney, Ne.

Brian and Jared getting to know Stormy.

Blake and Cindy watching the boys and the dog.

Check out Cindy's blog to see many more pictures of our adventures!


Monday morning, Ken, Blake, Jared and Brian went and played tennis. Cindy and I took Stormy for a walk, and man do they walk fast! Syd and Jackie just played and played. After lunch we went to Deer Forest, which is a petting zoo that includes deer that you can mingle with and feed. Brian and Jared loved it! Then we went to a little river, everyone waded in the water and played with Stormy. She loved chasing sticks in the water and running around. We grilled hamburgers at Cindy and Ken's. Then we watched some Olympics on TV. Ken had them recorded, so we had hours to watch commercial free which was great. Cindy, Syd, Jackie and I played some games, too.

The llamas were very friendly and funny.

Syd feeding the deer, Jackie being a little leary of the deer.

Jared and Brian feeding the deer the apples that Ken cut up for us to take.


Tuesday, after playing some tennis we loaded up and headed to Rothbury, MI to the Double JJ Ranch. It is a resort that has an indoor water park, an old western village. We played in the water park and went down the slides, played in the wave pool and the lazy river. After that we wandered through the village, the girls got to ride an old horse. We stayed the night in a log cabin. It was lots of fun.

Brian and Jared being flushed out of the "toilet bowl". That's what we dubbed this slide, it was the favorite.

Ken, Cindy, Syd and Jackie coming out of the huge slide on a 4 person tube.

Jackie was really good at making it across this pool on these floating logs using the ropes to hang on to.

Brian playing basketball in the water.


Wednesday, we left the Double JJ Ranch and headed for Grand Rapids. We went to the John Ball zoo. It was a fun zoo, most of us touched some stingrays and a shark. We went to McDonald's for lunch then headed back to Stevensville. In the evening, Ken took Sydney and Jackie to a concert at the county fair. Blake, Brian, Jared, Cindy & I went to St. Joseph to get some yummy pizza, then we walked down to the Lake Michigan beach and watched the waves, then we walked back up to the town and got some yummy ice cream.

Jared, Jackie, Cindy, Blake and Brian touching the stingrays.

Syd and Jackie seeing if they measure up to kangaroo. Syd is actually younger than Jackie by almost 2 years!

Jackie and Syd feeding some birds.

Jared and Jackie petting and brushing some nice goats.

Brian wished he'd worn his swimming suit, he wanted to get out into those waves.

Jared and Cindy checking out some of the waves.

Here are the 5 Purcell's that were together for a few days.

Brian, Cindy and Jared eating their yummy ice cream cones.


On Thursday, Blake, Jared, Brian and Cindy went to play tennis in the morning. Ken took Jackie and Syd to the Curious Kid's museum. In the afternoon, we went to the beach of Lake Michigan. The waves were high and good, the kids all had fun playing in the waves and digging in the sand, it's almost like being at the ocean. We went to dinner at Texas Coral, we got our drinks in a quart jar!

Blake and I just sat on the beach watching the kids play. Ken and Cindy laid on the beach for awhile. Ken took the girls way out far and they loved playing in the waves.

Brian and Jared found a log that they took out in the water and tried to float on it. They had a great time.

We took a fun group picture after we were all cleaned up.

Ken and Cindy and Sydney and Stormy in front of their cute house.

Coming Home

5:00 a.m. Friday morning found us loaded up and taking off. Goodbyes are never easy, but I think it was easier early in the morning when everybody was still too sleepy to think. We headed west and went for 17 hours on Friday. We ended up stopping in Laramie, Wyoming for the night. It was raining cats and dogs, and the temperature dropped down to 40! We were afraid that we'd wake up to snow Saturday morning, but there was not snow, and the rain had quit. We got to Lynne and Rob's house in Woodruff, UT at about 11:30 a.m. We dropped Jackie off and ate lunch, then headed for Idaho.

I didn't take very many pictures on the way home, but I had to get one of this windmill that was right out my window.

Then this was pieces of a windmill still being built. I love seeing the windmills.

When we got home Blake, Jared and Brian transferred Cindy's brown couch and love seat to Brian's pickup so he could take them home.

There, they are all in, Jared is jumping out so Brian can get home to Celia.

So now our trip that we have been planning for a long time is over, all we have left are the memories and the pictures. It was so fun to see Cindy and Ken's home and do so many fun things with them! Thanks Cindy, Ken and Sydney for such a great time!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Trip to Oregon

On Sunday, July 27th, Blake, Jared and I loaded up my car and headed for Klamath Falls, OR. Brian and Celia drive their pickup all loaded up too. It took 12 hours to get there. Celia's parents, Mike and Grace Clift met us at the Resort in Klamath Falls. We did some sight-seeing, some bike riding, some dvd watching, a lot of eating and tennis playing. It was a fun vacation.
On our way Brian passed us so we could look and see if the tarp was blowing off. He loaded up 7 bikes in the pickup along with coolers and boxes of food and luggage.
This deer was on the grass right outside our condo - Blake and the kids spent a lot of time "deer hunting". They would search for deer on their bikes and in the car and looking out the patio doors.

Jared and Brian riding their bikes down a boat ramp. There were bike trails all around the resort. There were some pretty steep hills to climb and go down.

Oregon - Lava Beds

On Monday we drove to some Lava Beds, they are kind of like Craters of the Moon, but bigger and with some vegetation. Blake, Brian, Celia, Jared and Mike went down in some of the caves. Blake really liked them and wanted to go back.
I guess that being in a cave makes Celia feel pretty tough!

Jared and Brian in a cave.

Oregon - Crater Lake

On Tuesday we drove to see Crater Lake. This is a 6 mile wide lake that was formed when the mountains imploded after several volcanoes erupted. There is no outlet for the water, it keeps full from melting snow and rain. It was such a deep beautiful blue, it was breathtaking!

Blake is feeding a chipmunk, Brian, Celia, Jared, Mike and Grace are looking at this magnificent lake.

Blake, Jared, Brian, Celia and Mike hiked up this mountain to view the lake. If you look really close, you can see my car where Grace and I were waiting.