Thursday, June 26, 2008

No Fathers Day Cards In Scotland

I was sent a link to a disturbing news article about a school in Scotland that has let the tide of political correctness dictate their actions. Go to this's-Day-cards-banned-in-Scottish-schools.html (cut and paste this into your browser. For some reason I can't get the link to work no matter what I do. It's something wrong with yahoo, not the website. I promise it works if you cut and paste.)
It is really sad to see the state of the world and how far the pendulum has swung from the racist, sexist, bigoted era of the industrial revolution to where we are now today. The adversary has truly perfected the use of PC as a weapon against Christianity, the family, and moral values. Society has now become so blinded by PC that we don't even dare stand up against radical Islam and their hate-driven policies. We don't even stand up for families-the backbone of the society. We have fallen so far that we no longer allow Father's Day to be celebrated, all because we are afraid we might hurt someones feelings. Rather than celebrate diversity, we try to homogenize everyone because we are afraid that different equates to bad. NEWSFLASH WORLD!!!! Different is good, and we can embrace that. If someone did grow up in a home with only one father, so be it, but don't make everyone else forget about fathers so that we don't offend that kid raised by lesbians or a single mother.
How ridiculous is that? Does that mean then that we should no longer celebrate Veterans Day because not all of us are veterans? Or, how about Mothers Day? Not every female is able to give birth, so we don't want to offend them. How about Valentines Day? We shouldn't celebrate love because some people have had their hearts broken and are not in a relationship-I would hate to offend them. While we're at it, we shouldn't celebrate the 4th of July because we might offend the British for breaking away from their sovereign rule. In fact, let's just do away with all holidays and all birthdays and we'll have one celebration called PC day. We'll hold it in August because that poor, neglected month doesn't have any holidays right now.
In fact, while we're at it, we should get rid of the BET, the United Negro College Fund, Ebony magazine and Black History Month because I am offended that I'm white and there isn't a WET, United Caucasian College Fund, Ivory Magazine or White History Month. If we're being balanced and fair here, then that's what we should do. Instead of having the double standard that PC has created.
I for one am saddened that our society is falling apart and crumbling because rather than stand up for what is right, we decide that we will allow the evil disguise of PC to tear our values apart. In short, PC basically means we embrace everything and all values as long as its not christian, middle class, white or straight males. Maybe it's about time we start to stand up for what we know to be true.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Cripple Creek

Yesterday I decided to take the family on a ride after Aubrey's nap. I have been trying to get to know the area really well for recreation activities like camping, biking, fishing, hunting and climbing. (By the way, in Colorado you can't get a hunting or fishing license until you've been a resident for 6 months. Booooooo! That means no hunting or fishing in Colorado for me this year.)
In some of the books I have been reading through, they mention a dirt road that goes from Colorado Springs around the south side of Pikes Peak to an old gold rush town called Cripple Creek. I was really excited to get out and in the mountains to see what the area had to offer.
After getting lost for an hour trying to find the road, we finally began our ascent into the mountains on the upper Gold Camp Road. The road is closed for a short section between the lower Gold Camp road and the upper and has a detour we didn't know about. But we still really enjoyed the roads we got lost on: The Lower Gold Camp road and High Drive.
We drove up and up for quite awhile and then we were rewarded with some amazing views of Colorado Springs and the plains.

The mountains were looking great yesterday and the aspens looked like such a bright green set against the dark pines and the red dirt.

These next two pictures are to serve as proof that I'm not a yuppie (maybe I'll do a post later on yuppies, ick). Many people now days buy SUV's simply for symbolic value. They have become such a status quo item that it's kind of annoying. Many of the owners of the Hummers, Jeep Rubicons and other SUV's never even take them off of pavement. They would rather drive around town in a vehicle that comes stock equipped to travel many of the 4-wheel trails in moab just to show off their wealth rather than use it for what it was engineered and designed to do. They drive along sipping their Starbucks coffee, never daring to let the tires of their expensive ride see dirt or rock. These are the people that annoy me and I hope to never be mistaken for them.
So, on the way up I found this side trail that looked like a fantastic place to break in our Pathfinder. After all, that's what it does, right? Find paths?

Lisa wasn't as excited about it as I was, but she went along for the ride anyway like a good sport. Although not as impressive as a jeep or old school landcruiser, I was quite pleased with our "family" car. Let's see a minivan do this!

We saw this younger buck off to the side of the road in his velvet glory. Although still young, you can see he has the potential to be a real bruiser.

The Gold Camp Road was originally used by miners to transport their gold from Cripple Creek down to Colorado Springs. It was one of the most productive gold rushes in the history of the United States. It's mind boggling how much gold they pulled out of there. They upgraded to trains eventually and had to carve out tunnels in the mountains. Here is a picture of one of the few that remains intact and has not collapsed. They were pretty cool to drive through.

After enjoying the amazing scenery along the road we finally came out into Cripple Creek. The main roads were all blocked off and we decided to see what the hub-bub was all about. As we strolled along main street with the kids we discovered that they were having their summer festival.

There were all sorts of activities going on and the kids loved the live folk music. I tried to get Lisa to dance to it, but alas she refused :(
All in all it was a great day for driving, sight seeing and enjoying the town of Cripple Creek. I plan on going back up next week when they have the Donkey Races. Anyone else want to come?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Utah Vacation

Because Cody's job doesn't start officially until July 1st, we decided to take our first road trip in our new car and head over to Utah. After our 9.5 hour drive including stops, you wouldn't think the kids would still want to drive in a car, but I guess riding in a jeep is funner than a pathfinder. : ) We visited my grandparents and Cody was put straight to work helping my Grandpa get the pool ready.

You can't tell now, but my Grandma was every bit a red head as I am when she was younger. This is where the gene comes from.
Tucker loves to play with his Grandpas. My dad makes him "push the button" in order to be released.
Tucker's grandparents Calderwood have a fun sandbox under their deck that he loves to play in. It's always bath time after sand time!
I was able to see a few of my best friends while in Utah. This is my friend Leah. I forgot to take the camera out when Karen and Maquel came over. Sorry guys!
We took a drive up Little Cottonwood Canyon and stopped at Alta ski resort to let the kids play around and take some pictures.
My parents had their Stake Family Fun Day the Saturday we were there and it was a kids dream! Bouncy houses, water slides, fishing games, treasure hunts, popcorn, sno cones, everything a kid loves!
Tucker was pretty funny with the slide. If the kids in front of him were going to slow up to the top, he'd sneak past them and butt in line.

My mom bought the kids swimsuits this year and I couldn't resist throwing this picture in. Aubrey is so cute in her swimsuit! I love her chubby thighs!
Father's Day was fun because we actually got to spend it with our fathers! We went to church with Cody's family and spent the evening with mine. I'm about the only kid that stuck with piano growing up so we were playing a few of our duets with Aubrey helping out. I can't wait until we own a house so I can finally get a piano!
All the Foster cousins. Mckenna, Halle, Aubrey, Parker, Tucker.
My brother Spencer was great! He gave Tucker a controller and Tucker thought he was really playing the game.
On our drive home we met up with our dental friends the Lintons on I-80. They were moving across the country as we were headed back to Colorado.
Tucker and Brayden found the only water spot within miles.
We had a great time in Utah and are sorry we didn't get to see all of our family and friends. There just isn't ever enough time. Thanks to our families for housing us and letting us stay! We're glad we live closer so that we can visit more.

Our first purchase

This table has a hidden leaf and we bought 2 additional chairs. A huge step up from our previous oval shaped, piece of crap table. : )

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Zoo Ghost Town

This morning we decided to discover the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. We ended up buying a membership so that I'll have a fun place to take the kids during the next year. The Zoo had the most amazing giraffe exhibit we've ever seen. They probably had 15 giraffes and a few baby ones. We bought the expensive 3 for $1 crackers to feed the giraffes.
We took tons of pictures of the animals, but to not bore you with pictures of animals I'm sure you've all seen before I'll let you look at this nice shot Cody took. I LOVE our telephoto lens!
There was a grizzly bear swimming in the water right in front of Tucker, but of course by the time we got the camera out he swam away. We had fun though. The zoo is right on the side of the mountain and there were a ton of animals out today.
My sister and her boyfriend, Dan, drove through Colorado and stayed with us for a couple days this week. We took them to Garden of the Gods and a Ghost town Museum.

Tucker is practicing his aim.
Can you believe they really used to use these types of instruments in dentistry?!!
We ended the excursion mining for gold! Too bad we didn't arrive over a hundred years ago. We might have found some. : (

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

John Denver-poet or liar?

One of my favorite movies growing up was "Dumb and Dumber". In fact, one of my favorite lines in the movie was the one regarding John Denver. They questioned the honesty of John Denver regarding the Rocky Mountains. I am here to testify, that John Denver, in fact, was not full of it. These Rocky Mountains are awesome.
As much as Lisa and I enjoyed camping in Maryland and Delaware for the past four years, we always missed the Rocky Mountains. I loved being able to camp in the mountains of Utah with the pines and aspens. I loved the solitude that camping provides, something very, very rare in Maryland camping. And I loved the familiarity with the trout streams out west and the dirt roads and trails that are so non-existent in Maryland.
Tuesday morning Lisa and I packed up the Pathfinder and headed out to the Collegiate range with the kids. I went picture happy with this post, but it's with a purpose. One is to make those not near these kind of mountains jealous, and two, to prove that John Denver was right.
We headed to Buena Vista, and this is a scenic shot from the highway looking west.
We went to Cottonwood Lake, and set up camp. Here is our tent all set up.

This is the view we had from our campsite. Pretty amazing scenery.
Here is a shot of Cottonwood Lake looking east.

Another view from our campsite. Jealous yet?

Lisa standing next to our new rig.

Tucker tried his luck at fishing with this big stick. Surprisingly, he didn't get a bite.

We went for a hike as a family, and the kids loved it.

They really thought the rushing water under this bridge was cool.

Here is a glimpse at us lounging around the campsite. And if you notice my shirt, yes, O'doyle does rule.

Tucker and Aubrey loved playing with their chair. They would sit in it, get up, move it to the other side of the campsite, tussle over who got to sit in it there, and then move it again. They loved it.

Lisa taught Tucker the art of roasting marshmallows. He loved eating smores and helping daddy with the fire.

This picture shows just how much Aubrey loves gettting dirty. We couldn't keep her face clean for more than two minutes. She loves to roll around and get dirty. That's our little princess!

On the way out we saw a group of bighorn sheep, so I snapped a couple pictures of them with my new telephoto lens. What a sweet lens it is.