Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Wind in Oklahoma

February 18th - March 19th

To pick up where I left off in our Oklahoma adventure, I start with the weekend of February 22nd and our Fairy Tale trip to Turner Falls in Davis, Oklahoma.  Turner Falls is a 77 foot waterfall with 2 natural swimming holes.  Absolutely gorgeous! One pool is right at the base of the falls and the other is 1/2 mile downstream where the city has added ladders, diving boards, and water slides.  So while the admission to the park, (just to see a waterfall?) seemed a little steep, it ended up being well worth the money and the 2 hour drive for us to get there.  In addition to the waterfall, there was a 1930's stone castle, completely open and un-fenced for our exploring pleasure.  We lost count at 200+ stairs!  Apparently a doctor had the castle built as his summer home.  What a vacation spot!!! My only regret- not bringing a baby backpack!  How could I have forgotten to bring one to OK?!?!  Mary did fantastic but the stroller would just not go everywhere and she tuckered out before everyone else.  However, it was probably a blessing in disguise judging from my sore calves the following day.  PS` Dusty and I both remember catching crawdad's when we were kids but neither of us remember them being this big!

The following weekend we enjoyed a Dr. Seuss celebration at the Nye Library on post.  Dusty and I honestly would have rather avoided the super crowded, noisy room but the live owl was really cool and the kids had a blast.  I sneaked* out halfway through to turn in our books and movies and check out new ones.  This library has hundreds and hundreds of movies which have kept Nathan (and me!) sane during Mary's morning nap.  Nathan's favorites so far are Dora (which I have now banned because I just can't handle her anymore- sorry Dora fans) and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse along with the usual LeapFrog and Thomas the Train.  Dusty always gets a National Geographic of some sort which we watch on Sunday evenings.
*for any English nerds out there- I looked up snuck in the dictionary to see if it was a word because it kept coming up as misspelled and made me curious.  The past-tense of sneak is sneaked or snuck.  I didn't realize that either could be accepted but according to my English nerd friend sneaked is more British-sounding.  

The next day we experienced thundersnow for the first time!  For anyone who has yet to have this privilege I will attempt to describe the storm.  First of all, you have to forget everything you know about precipitation.  I was under the impression that precipitation could fall in 3-4 categories- rain, hail (which is frozen rain), and snow (with a possible 4th being labeled sleet).  Thundersnow, or so it's called by the locals fits into none of these classifications.  It is minuscule snowballs that act like sand (it literally felt like we were walking in sand) and ice at the same time.  Normally when navigating potentially slippery sidewalks, I like to follow a white is best rule- i.e. white now is much less slick than clear, melted snow.  With thundersnow, the opposite is true.  When thundersnow lands, it immediately fuses with the teeny, tiny balls around it creating a sheet of white sand-ice.  Weirdest weather I've ever been in!  Oh and I didn't even mention how odd and scary it was for me to see lightning while watching "snow" fall.  The next day, the hotel staff literally had to chip it off the sidewalks.

Brian turned 8 on March 5 and requested pizza and a movie for dinner so we grabbed little ceaser's and watched How To Train Your Dragon- Riders of Berk.  We had planned to have a friend birthday party for him in a few weeks.

The weekend of March 8, we finally took advantage of some of the facilities on post and went swimming!  We all had a blast in the pool but as we were driving home, Dusty realized he didn't have his phone.  (His 2-week-old iPhone 5!)  Yep, it had been stolen from the locker room while we were swimming.  We were hoping that it had just fallen out of his pocket and Dusty went back to the locker room twice looking for it and asking at the desk but it was gone.  We called right away and cancelled the service and tried to use the find my iPhone app but the person who took it had turned the phone off.  A week later, we got a phone call from a person who claimed that he had the phone and had just purchased it for $250 from some guy off Craigslist and didn't know it was stolen and could I please just give him the code to unlock it because he didn't know it was stolen.  Well after a visit from the police to report the phone lost, WAY too many phone calls to Sprint customer service and local sprint stores, I have almost completely lost my faith in general human goodness and we do not have the phone back.  The whole situation just made me sick.  And it really made me miss Rigby where I'm 100% positive, someone would have done everything in their power to get the phone back to us.  So we spent the rest of that Saturday looking for a new/used phone for Dusty and drove 45 minutes to buy one only to show up and have the guy tell us he couldn't actually sell it to us yet because he still had to find a new phone for himself.  ARGH!  Dusty just ended up buying a new phone outright having been so frustrated all day and having to have one in order for his unit to be in contact with him about meeting times the following day (because heaven forbid the Army have any kind of a schedule and stick to it).  Good thing we got our tax return the week before!

On to happier times, we spent Monday FHE washing our van.  The inside hadn't been washed since before we left Idaho in December!!!  It was filthy! Mary kept trying to run out into the street so we buckled her into her stroller... I'm not sure it helped.

Later in the week, I attended a music class that our ward choir director hosted for the toddler/pre-school crowd in our ward.  What a talented woman!!  I had a blast and so did Mary and Nathan.  We of course, let the kids play while the mommies chatted afterward.

Saturday, March 15th brought the day of Brian's Birthday Party!!!  We went swimming again in the morning to kill time and only got to swim for about 30 minutes because there was lightning and the indoor pool was connected to solar panels outside.  Once I get a themed idea in my head about a party, I just go all out.  Maybe its the perfectionist in me but I really love when everything coordinates and goes together.  Brian told me he wanted an army party with a real army mission.  I was originally thinking I could basically do a pirate treasure hunt but in camo instead of black but I just couldn't get the idea to solidify so I finally turned to pinterest.  And boy did pinterest deliver!  We started the party (under a metal picnic shelter in a thunderstorm) by making dog tags and binoculars (the binoculars idea actually came from Brian himself, not pinterest).  Then Brian passed out military compasses with hidden missions inside.  The missions were:
1- Move the troop:  kids had to move little play army men in partners with each partner only using their index finger.
2- Wounded Warrior:  kids had to wrap their partner's wounded leg and help them get to safety!
3- Battle of Tug: yep, good old-fashioned tug-of-war.
4- Minefield bridge: yep, good old-fashioned balance beam.
5- Target practice:  We used water guns to shoot toy soldiers off the end of the table.
6- Search and Rescue:  (This was my favorite pinterest idea!)  I hid about 50 little plastic army men in the tree area next to the picnic shelter and had the kids find them all.  Luckily, the thunder and rain had stopped by this point.
Despite the rain and thunder, the kids had a blast and even though Brian (and me too!) missed all of his Rigby friends we were grateful to have enough friends here for a decent party.  Mary had a blast playing in the mud and I put Dusty in charge of taking pictures.  The army cupcakes were a hit (even if they weren't homemade- no oven here, hehe).

To continue with the pattern of Sundays having the most bizzare weather, this Sunday was the windiest yet.  If anyone thinks, like I did, that Idaho is a windy place- well, Idaho ain't got 'nothing on Oklahoma! I asked Dusty to check the weather for tornado warnings about 10 times! (There weren't any)

This week is Spring Break and I did absolutely nothing for St. Patrick's Day, (I think I was all greened out from the army party :-P) but today we went to the local family fun center and spent a small fortune on arcade games.  Oh, and we also found the scout office and got Brian's uniform and Wolf book!!!  He's super excited to start scouts next week and we're all looking forward to family coming in for Brian's baptism on the 30th!

Oh, and at some point, we played at this really amazing park but I have no idea which day!

Dusty took Nathan to the bathroom at the park and got a kick out of this miniature toilet.
And a few other random gems.