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— but just for some family news. You see, we were in Yosemite all last week! And while it’s true, I’m taking a blogging time out to catch up on Bible reading, I also took a time out to be out of town, and all those criminals who have been watching my blog, waiting for me to be out of town for a week, didn’t get to come over and steal my stuff! Pretty crafty, eh?

So Yosemite was fun. A little tough sleeping, for all three boys, but a Honda Odyssey is a nicely soundproofed car, so it all worked out in the end for the 40 or so other campers in our group. For those of you who know where our family internet pictures are, there are some new albums posted (for those who don’t hop on over to the family page, and follow the instructions).

On Monday, we drove up there. We showed up well before dark, but no pictures.

On Tuesday, we avoided The Valley, thinking it might be too much of a zoo on the holiday. One of us had the bright idea of going on a “flat, 2.5 mile hike” to a lake; it sounded so good, those of us with bikes brought our bikes! Immediately we found that bikes were not allowed on the trail, and pretty soon we also found that “flat” meant “formerly traversable by a vehicle”. Obviously, if you’re hiking to water, there’s some downhill involved. And it was 2.9 miles each way, and there were half a dozen trees fallen across the road, which made it tough for strollers. But the lake was indeed there, and warm enough to splash around in, and with everybody pitching in, we all made it back out alive.

Wednesday morning was the ropes course competition. The kids (except for #1, who was in the shop for an attitude adjustment) all raced through an awesome obstacle course put together by Mike and Stephen, including a low crawl, a rope swing, a climbing wall, a high-step, and a high-low (tightrope). And then the adults went. I was the slowest adult (and the heaviest, so the tightrope wasn’t quite tight enough), but at least not slower than the slowest child. Wednesday afternoon us and the Kazooless family went bike riding around The Valley. I absolutely recommend biking as the best way to get around in The Valley, since the valley floor is quite flat, and the distances are relatively short, and bike paths are very safe and extensive. And of course the views are breathtaking. But much more refreshing and enjoyable than hiking.

Thursday we popped into Bridalveil Falls, did some more biking in The Valley, and got some pizza (first pizza (crust) for #3 (and later that evening, another first for #3, if you check the pictures!)).

Friday we broke camp and drove home. We stopped again at Bridalveil for a bathroom break and some boulder climbing, took a 36-mile side trip to Glacier Point, got held up for at least half an hour at Wawona due to construction, so although we left camp at 10, we didn’t finish lunch north of Fresno until I think 2:30. That put us way behind schedule, but we booked it the rest of the way, and got home around 11.

Now that we’re home, we’ve taken the opportunity of the camping experience to continue to let #1 and #2 sleep together in the bunk beds now. #1 is still using the alarm, but setting it off very infrequently. #2 still has not successfully been able to take a nap in his bunk, but that just makes him all the more tired and ready for bed, so I guess it’s working out.

And finally, you’ll all no doubt be as excited as me to learn that my request has been approved, and I am now a world-ranked minesweeper. Not in the top 10 exactly (or top 100 (or top 200…)), but if you know my secret identity, you can find me here, and on various other record lists at the same site. Check back periodically to watch my ranking drop, as others are added to the list, and I don’t improve my times.

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6 Responses

  1. Welcome back! If you want an on-line ranking challenge, nothing – repeat nothing – beats this:
    http://www.gamedesign.jp/flash/domino/domino.html

  2. I dunno, man — it’s OK, but it’s no minesweeper! I get more captivated by playing Orisinal’s Bugs.

  3. I hate to break it to you, but I’ve been operating under a secret identity too: Freyja Van der Straeten. I’m listed as well. My ranking’s not earth-shattering, but it does come ahead of yours. Sorry! :-)

  4. I love playing minesweeper, and I got ranked there too. Not under a secret identity but under my own name, which “the forester” claimed is his/hers secret identity. Unfortunately, playing minesweeper all day long gave me RSI, so I had to quit. My ranking won’t improve anymore either.

  5. How funny is that — Forester is BUSTED! Bet you never considered the chances that the real Freyja Van der Straeten would uncover your fraud by googling their own name and finding this blog!

    Freyja, sorry to hear that you swept yourself right out of minesweeping. In the interim I have gotten lucky with an intermediate 18, and I am waiting for the site administrator to post an update to my old 20 (I’m sure they only get around to it once in a while). That will bring me 2 overall points closer to your ranking, but still not caught up to you, by a rather healthy margin. So I think you’re safe — from me at least!

  6. Woohoo! I’m world-ranked under 200! (Until the next time rankings are updated, when others will surely bump me).  Now I can quit my day job, and wait for the endorsement deals to roll in…

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