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Category: Field Trips

After we learned our US States early this spring, I figured I would eventually have Satori track license plates on the road. Before I could bring that idea up to her, she already was noticing that vehicles all had license plates for different states. I planned to get a workbook or something for our next trip, but didn’t have it ready in time, so today I figured I could probably print it out from home.

I googled “state license plate checklist” but didn’t find anything perfect. This checklist was the closest. I found the license plates extremely hard to read, so I added the state names to it. I fired up the laminator and now we have a glossy License Plate Checklist!

I quickly realized that neither permanent nor of course dry-erase marker would stay on the laminated page forever, so I will be bringing along these tiny stickers instead. Satori can use them to mark off when she’s seen a particular plate. I think up to 3 can fit, and if she wants, she can even color code them and stick new colors on top to signify even more.

Here’s the checklist I whipped up today, in case anyone else wanted to use it.


I may post a few updates while we’re on vacation, but if not… we’ll see you after Memorial Day! Have a great holiday.

Thanks to everyone from this blog and on WTM who suggested great places to see while we’re in Oregon. 🙂

For Mother’s Day last weekend we spent a glorious day at the Denver Zoo. The weather was perfect and we spent it with family. Both my mother (Satori’s Grammy) and my Aunt Elizabeth were in town, so our whole family and our out-of-town visitors as well as cousins Peyton, Brady, and Beckett enjoyed the day.

Props go out to Aunt Elizabeth who gave the girls these cute, colorful umbrellas! Handy against the searing Colorado sun.

The twins check out the lioness. The lion with his big mane was in front of the other window.

Off in the distance we saw African Wild Dogs running around.

David maneuvered the twin’s stroller. Here he is posing with my Mom.

Satori and Peyton were inseparable as usual.

I didn’t take many actual zoo animal photos, I did not bring my heavy telephoto lens. I couldn’t resist this baby orangutan and his mother.

It was so cute to see the mom pick up the baby by his arm and just fling him on top of her head!

Shortly after entering the zoo, we also witnessed a mother Bighorn Sheep preparing to give birth to her baby, and by the time we were leaving the zoo, she had just given birth.

It is extremely challenging to get all the children to look at the camera.

We only saw half the zoo before it was time to go, but here”s more of our favorites animals.


This photo will always make me laugh. I thought it would be super precious to have the two girls feed fluffy pink cotton candy to each other. Satori immediately offered her tuft to her cousin, but little Peyton loves her food and proceeded to cram her whole handful into her mouth quickly! I gave up on that cute idea and just took this photo. 🙂

Thanks Mom and Aunt Elizabeth for spending the day with our family! We’re sorry it snowed a foot in the mountains and we were unable to have you up to our house, but that will happen soon.

The past few days we’ve had Gramy and Grampy visit us from Wisconsin, and we all had a great, relaxing time!

The weather was perfect, sunny and 70’s. We drove to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park and then down the western side of the Rocky Mountains and around back up the eastern slope where we live on the Peak to Peak Highway.

We enjoyed this refreshing stream, Satori played in it quite a bit. Grandpa and I learned about the geology of the area while she splashed with Grandma. This was the site of the Lawn Lake Flood in 1982 which had a flash flood from a dam that broke. It rushed down the mountain as a 30 foot high wall of water, creating an alluvial fan in this area and the meadows below. Huge boulders were deposited in the meadow. It reached Estes Park.

Here we are driving up through RMNP and Angela stopped to get photos of our Flat Kids we’re hosting this week. If you look just to the top left of my hand, you’ll see the line of bare area where the Lawn Lake Flood rushed down the mountain, and where we were in the above photos.

We then drove down and did a loop around the mountains, viewing the ugly damage the pine beetles are doing to our Rocky Mountain forests. A few of the trees on our property are already dying. 🙁

The next day we visited our quaint neighbor town of Nederland, where the Carousel of Happiness just opened this summer!

Every stop to get groceries now necessitates a ride on this beautiful carousel.

If you’re ever up our way (Rocky Mountains above Boulder), be sure to stop in Ned to take a whirl!

The family went camping this weekend, to watch the Perseids meteor shower. The campground is just across the road from our house.

In fact, we live in the distant hills in the background of this photo.

Satori playing a logic game.

We even had a little visitor, a flat traveller we are hosting for the week! We’ll be taking her and any new Flat Travellers we get this week, to the Rocky Mountain National Park. Which reminds me, I have to get photos of Flat Satori’s travels! I’ll do that next.

EDIT 2 days later:

For those who wanted to know more about the Logic game Satori played above, it is Kanoodle. Our family loves logic games, and this is truly pocket-sized so I can throw in my purse or even in a big pocket and pull out anywhere. The game says it’s designed for 7 years and up, but the first puzzles are easy enough for a four year old, and perhaps a bright 3 year old. The puzzles start out as 2D, but then they get harder, until you’re solving 3D puzzles. Entertaining even for an adult!

We’re back in Colorado and looking forward to taking it easy at home for the next few months! I need a day or two and then I’ll respond to any website emails and comments.

Here’s some photos of our last 12 days from visiting my parents (Grammy and Grampy) on their Wisconsin farm.

The weather has been cooperating, and my Dad was so proud of his crops!

Soybeans starting to grow.

We drove around on this new vehicle to check out all the fields.

Maddie our Golden is getting old and we had to pop her in the back.

We got to visit Great Grandma down the road!

Satori and I made this froggie stepping stone for Grammy.

And of course, Satori now is sporting a new little bob haircut! We’re all loving it.

Here’s a selection of photos from our 9-day trip across the National Parks of the West! We explored Yellowstone, Grand Tetons and Glacier National  Parks. We hit 5 states – Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana and back to Colorado. Here we are on our hike in the Tetons overlooking Jenny Lake at Inspiration Point.

Can’t miss Old Faithful! I’m so glad we sat here to get the geyser all backlit like this.

One of David and Satori (my favorite) hiking in the Tetons.

A view of the Tetons from down below.

In the Tetons we saw quite a few moose, close to the road too. We saw so much wildlife that were so close that we could actually reach out and touch some (of course we didn’t though).

A mountain goat in Glacier National Park.

We also saw a baby mountain goat feeding right next to the road, and he was sooo cute! He had the sweetest little bleeeaatt he did over and over.

Driving Glacier was so scary, the road was so narrow, and up so high, and they had construction to boot! Luckily David drove on this harrowing road. I barely had enough courage to pull the camera out.

Yellowstone showed us tons of bison. These two were leisurely strolling down the road.

Our family in front of Yellowstone falls.

Why Yellowstone is named after “yellow stone”.