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Riding Haylee's Comet: July 2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Camping and 4th of July

For the 4th of July weekend we decided to go camping. It had been three years since we had been camping, and it would be Haylee's first time, so we were all very excited. Even though there is an absence of mountains around here, there are plenty of trees, hills and greenery. Our destination was Governor Dodge State Park about 45 min from our house. The campsite was beautiful with plenty of stuff to do. There are two lakes and lots of trails to hike. We had tons of fun making foil dinners, building fires, roasting marshmallows, eating smores, telling ghost stories, skipping rocks in one of the lakes, and hiking to a waterfall. We can't wait to go again.

JT had fun helping to set up camp. His favorite job was to collect twigs to help start the fire.

Haylee had almost as much fun sitting in the camp chairs as she did trying to crawl around to eat dirt, rocks, and anything else she could get her hands on.

Skipping rocks on one of the lakes.

Our dog Max thought he should get to sleep on our air mattress. We will have to figure something else out if we want to take him camping again; he spent half the night pacing around the tent and keeping us awake.

A hollow tree we found on our hike. You could look all the way through it.

A spring house along the trail.

One last shot from the hike: an awesome rock face at the bottom of "Hidden Canyon."

Last but not least is a shot just before watching fireworks. There is a huge fireworks show here in Madison called Rhythm and Booms. It is a show where the fireworks are choreographed to music. It sounded like fun, but when we heard that they were expecting more than 200,000 people to attend we were a bit intimidated. Fortunately Brandon found a great plan B. The fireworks are shot off on the edge of one of the lakes in downtown Madison. One the opposite side of the lake is another state park. We used are pass from camping to enter the state park and watch the fireworks with a much smaller crowd.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

New House

When we moved to Madison, Brandon had only been here once for his interview. The rest of us had never even been close. We contemplated trying to find a place to live from afar, but since this strategy had put us in some places we didn't really want to live in previous moves we decided against it. Fortunately, as part of our moving package Epic would put us up in an extended stay hotel for up to two weeks.

Them main problem was that we didn't want to have to move all of our stuff into a storage facility for two weeks; then move it into our house. We arrived in Madison on May 30. Our moving truck reservation allowed us to keep the truck until June 2. That gave us three days to find somewhere to live. We toured several apartments and town homes. The pickings for immediate move in were a little slim, but we found a place we wanted to rent. After some confusion with the property management company about which homes were actually available, and which place we were actually renting, we got everything set and moved our stuff in on June 3. Lucky for us Penske didn't even charge us for the extra day.

So far we have really liked our new house. It is a end unit town home in south west Madison. There are three bedrooms, two and a half baths, formal dining (which we just use for a playing), and it even has an unfinished basement. The location is awesome. Only a couple minutes from Epic, close to shopping and church, and right across the street from the school JT will attend in the fall. We are finally pretty much settled and really enjoying our new adventures here in Wisconsin. Here are a few pictures.
View from the sidewalk in front of the house.

Living Room.

Kitchen and Breakfast nook. It is not my favorite of the kitchens that I have had, but definitely not my least favorite either.

Haylee's half of the kids' room.

JT's half of their room.

I asked JT to make his bed because I was going to take a picture for the blog. He was so proud of his work that he wanted a close up picture of his work to make it onto the blog.

Our basement with plenty of storage.