Monday, April 30, 2012

East bound and down...

East bound and down, loaded up and truckin',
             We're gonna do what they say can't be done.  

We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there.  

We're east bound, just watch ol' "Cougar" run.

I can't believe the day has arrived!!!
We're heading east...towards home!
Washington to Kentucky via Florida...
in 2 months!
We hope you'll ride along as we explore northern and midwest America during our expedition :) 

20,000 miles logged to date...
approximately 5,000 to go!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Washington~Where Team Monty began...20 years ago

Springtime in Washington, 1992...two people fell in love, with Mt. Rainier as the backdrop.

Welcome to Washington

Hello, Mt. St. Helens!  It's so good to see you!

Mt. Rainier welcoming us back :)

A gorgeous campsite on Ft. Lewis at the Army Travel Camp
...and a VERY happy Monty wearing a t-shrit!
Thank-you Lord for sunshine and a few days of warm weather !
After settling into our campsite, it was time to take the kids on a trip down Memory Lane...

McChord Air Force Base brought us together, as we both were assigned to serve here--I arrived in 1990 and Jon, 1992.
(In 20 years, things change...McChord AFB has now combined with Ft. Lewis Army Post to
become one Joint Base--Lewis-McChord and it's now called McChord Field.)

We were serving in the same small air defense career our paths crossed here:
Another change:  Our unit used to be the Northwest Air Defense Sector and it was an active duty
unit, call sign:  "Bigfoot"

There is a nice monument to those of the air defense mission outside the building now.
This is a radar height finder with an F-16, the tools used to help us "see" who was flying in our air space
and then defend it, if necessary.

We showed the kids our first apartment and then our first house on base.
But, the best was taking them to our home church while stationed here.  It was an amazing "Team Monty" experience.  Together we worshipped the One who knit this family together where He started it all!

Heritage Hills on McChord Field...
with Mt. Rainier as the backdrop---
my how life changes in 20 years!
Team Monty established 1992.
The team expanded in 1998, 2000, and again in 2003.  :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Last stop in Oregon...Portland

We made a quick 2 night stop in Portland on our way to Washington so we could check out the Columbia River Gorge.  However, Portland has so many things to do we could've stayed a week.  It was raining during our day there, so we decided to check out the 
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

There is so much to see and do at OMSI.  The kids loved all the hands on activities that they offered to help kids (and adults) explore and understand the world around them.

We started with the Lego gallery:
The Art of the Brick

Mt. Rushmore:  We're hoping to stop and see this next month.
The Solar System-the Sun is the base
(In the background on the right-is a flat portrait made of Legos, too.)
My favorite
There were many stations with logic games...some we solved, many we didn't.  

This was a fun exhibit that explained how salmon find their way back to the correct spawning grounds.  They use their sense of smell!
First, you roll a dice and select the spice shaker that has the corresponding number on it.
Next, you smell it and then try to find your correct spawning grounds.
Each spice container represents different areas of OR and WA spawning grounds.
It was a challenging task!

There are many areas to explore at science, physical science, turbine hall, planetarium, IMAX, a submarine, and more.

Earth Science Section
Learning about watersheds and earthquakes.
Here, the kids are building a functional watershed area with dams. 

We had a blast playing with the infrared machine.
It's a scientifically proven fact:
Monty is a hottie :)

Physical Science Area
I think this is where we had the most fun!
We learned how quick the monkey's short term memory is.  Then, we got to
try the experiment they used on the monkey.
Numbers 1-9 were shown quickly on a grid.  You have to memorize it quickly and as
soon as you start, they blank out the numbers and you have to remember the order.
Um... the monkey beat us most of the time :(
We learned about other amazing animals and the skills God gave them, for example the Lyre Bird.
Lyre Bird-You tube

And then we learned about humans :)
Our favorite in the humans area was about balance.  We got to stand on a balance board with a timer.
It was an experiment that revealed how good kids balance is compared to adults.
Jolie stood on the board for a minute without any problem before we made her get off so we could try.
Jon and I didn't even last 5 seconds!

The Turbine Hall:
Robotics, holograms, water power, 
chemistry and physics labs

Learning how rockets work
The chemistry lab
Learning how the sun makes impressions on paper.
Experimenting with different metals that are used in fireworks.
It was the kids first time using a bunsen, fun! 
Physic lab
Learning how static electricity actually runs through your body!  Jolie is spinning the wheel, Faith is touching the static ball while holding pie tins.  As the static builds, the pie tins go flying from her hand!
We also watched the movie "Born to Be Wild" in the IMAX theater.

The SS581 USS Blueback submarine also calls OMSI home.
We got to tour it. :)

Checking out the periscope
Torpedo Room
Chow Hall :)
The crew of the sub includes 3 chefs and 1 baker.

On moving day we woke to a gorgeous sunny day!  Since we only had a short drive up to Tacoma, WA we decided to spend the morning exploring the Columbia River Gorge.  We only had a couple of hours, so we drove scenic Route 30 and stopped off at a few waterfalls.

Stunning view!
That is Brutus in the photo...without his buddy.  We left the RV at the RV park.
Faith spotted this BALD EAGLE flying overhead at the overlook!
A unique trail to the waterfall on the right side of the photo.
We love all the moss and ferns that call the northwest home.
The end of the trail above.
A little friend that Daniel found on a trail.

Goofing off at the Multnomah Falls Visitor Center

The Grand Pooh-ba of the many waterfalls along the Columbia River Gorge
Multnomah Falls
The view to the bottom of the falls taken from the bridge in the above photo.

It's time to head north.  
This is how Oregon said good-bye...
Mt. Hood standing guard behind the Columbia River.
This is the first time we saw Mt. Hood during our visit...we glimpsed it as we were crossing the bridge between the states.
(Sorry the picture is so blurry, I didn't expect to see the mountain and I barely got the camera out in time to snap this!)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tilla-mooooooooo-k, OR

It's moving day to Portland!  It's a short drive from Lincoln City to Portland, so we had time for a field trip at the 
Tillamook Cheese Factory :)

I {heart} barn quilts!
Special delivery from four types of cows:
Jersey, Holstein, Gurnsey, and Brown Swiss
Beep, beep
It's a self guided tour...
but the displays were so well done, that every question we had was answered.
For example:  Did you know that there are approximately 350 squirts of milk in a gallon?
Packaging Room
The packaging crew was so friendly...they kept waving to the kids :)
It was really mesmerizing watching the 40 pound blocks of cheese (coming in from the right in this photo)
getting cut down into the correct size, being weighed for accuracy, then getting the plastic package put on
and being sealed.
The lady in the picture in the bottom left corner was fixing blocks that didn't have
the correct weight.  She either shaved some cheese off the block if it was too heavy or added a strip of cheese
if it was too light.
After the cheese is determined to be the correct size/weight, it gets its package wrap.
Final product...ready to eat!
They take great pride in their farms, cheese, and people.
This is the 100th anniversary quilt.
At the end of the tour was what we all were waiting for...
cheese tasting!

We "loaf" cheese :)
The Tillamook Cheese Factory is a must-see stop!  While there, we learned that the town of Tillamook would be a GREAT place to stay awhile, but...

Portland awaits!