September 6, 2013

First day of school

11th grade and 7th Grade. How in the world did that happen?  So proud of these two kids. 

Crazy Day! Fun Day!

So, Steve and I had a crazy Saturday a few weekends ago.  I've had my Acura for 6 years now, and it really has been a great car.  Probably my favorite car to own so far. Steve on the other hand did not like that car.  It drove him nuts that we had to put Premium Gas into it and then it only averaged 25 miles per gallon.  For just a little 4 cylinder it wasn't the greatest gas mileage, but I didn't buy it to save gas, I bought it because it really was fun to drive. And gas prices weren't as high as they are now.

So for 6 years I've been putting my foot down every time he tried to sell it.  :)  Then the other day I was looking at the value on Kelly Blue Book and noticed it had dropped about $5,000 since I had last looked.  It had held it's value pretty well up until this point.  It probably took a dip because it was at 63,000 miles, up over that 60,000 mile point.  With that, and the money I was spending on gas and knowing it drove Steve nuts, I got to thinking.  If I ever wanted to get another new car, now may be a good time to do it.  It has been paid off for years, so I would be able to trade it in and not have to have a huge loan on a new car.  So I decided to see what Steve thought.

It took no twisting of any arm to get him to jump on board so we started looking.  It took a few weeks, but we settled on either the Accord or the Camry.  I liked the Accord a little better then the Camry.  It felt like I was in my Acura only it was bigger and better gas mileage.  But, I also really liked the Camry.  They hold their value better and it's a fun car to drive, and they've really classed it up and given it some nice details.

We headed into the Honda Dealership on a Saturday morning to crunch some numbers.  They ended up giving me below invoice for the Accord and they gave me private party value for my Acura!  This is one reason why I'm so picky with my car people!  That thing still looked great and they were willing to bend over backwards to give me a great price to get it.

When we told them it was a deal, the salesman walked away and I looked at Steve and said "Well they gave us such a great deal, you should get one too."  Steve thought that was a great idea!  So, we asked them what they'd give us for his Highlander.  It wasn't to far off what we would have hoped to get.

We went for lunch to talk about it, and decided to get Steve the Camry.  We didn't need an SUV anymore because we have nothing to pull and honestly we've only used the third row seat once in the year and a half we owned it.  The Camry would give us better gas mileage.  Probably if it hadn't had black interior and a dark red exterior Steve would have kept it, but those two things drove him nuts.

So we headed to Toyota to crunch some numbers.  Sure enough they gave us invoice and a fair trade in price for his Highlander.  And, the Camry wasn't much more then what the Highlander was worth.

We started out at 8am and headed home at 8:30pm.  We were exhausted, but when can you say you bought two new cars in one day?

My car is the white Honda Accord, Steve's car is the Silver Camry

July 10, 2013

July 4th 2013

This 4th of July we headed to Kalispell MT.  We all loaded into the Sequoia.  Eight people, 2 dogs.  That's how we roll!  

Eric, Fay and I took our bikes.  One day Eric and I headed out on an 18 mile ride.  It was absolutely beautiful!  

Fay's Mom and Dad made us some great meals, we spent time swimming in Lake Blaine.  We had a crazy fireworks show Steve and Eric put on.  Two exploded on the ground, one tipped over and shot between the house and garage.  (It was a little scary!) The fireworks are bigger in Montana! 

Rod took Kelly and Avery fishing one morning at Echo Lake.  Rod caught 47 fish, Kelly ate 29, and Avery caught 16.  

We got to see all of Eric and Fay's old stomping grounds.  Fay grew up there and they spent 4 1/2 years of their married life there.  

We got to know Fay's Granny better and absolutely fell in love with her!  She is hilarious.  At some point I asked her what she thinks of Eric.  She said, "I never know what to expect from Eric."  I asked her what she thinks of Steve.  She said, "OH....Steve is wonderful!"  We all busted up laughing.  Poor Eric, he can never catch a break.

Fay and her Mama!


Easton with a Sparkler.  A really big sparkler!

The group: (Left to Right) Keith, Rod, Eric, Connie, Fay, Steve, Easton, Granny, Coach, Jessy, Kelly, Avery

Only in Montana do you see license plates like this!

             We had a big storm one night that produced these beautiful rainbows!

This was Fay and Eric's first home they lived in.  It really is a cabin in the woods. It's out in the middle of no where!  And 100 years old.  

Rod and Connie have a beautiful view!

And gorgeous yard and home!

Huge backyard.

I don't know if you can read this, but Keith loved Montana and loved Fay's family.  He wanted to stay.

I Made The Grade 2013

I did the "I Made The Grade" bike ride again this year on the Lewiston Grade.  This is my third time participating in it.  Last year I couldn't do it because I had just had my hysterectomy, but this year I was excited because I have my new bike and I was curious to see if I could improve my time at all.  

I did beat my last time by 10 minutes!  For me that's pretty good.  I made it up the hill in 1 hour, 44 minutes. Eric went with me and he beat me by 20 minutes.  I expected this because he's so stinking fast.   Can't wait for next year...

1st Weekend Spent At The Cabin

We spent our first full weekend up at the cabin.  The weather was pretty good, still a little chilly, but we made the most of it.  The kids fished a lot and we had some fun campfires.  Unfortunately Fay got really sick and spent half the weekend in bed.  Hopefully that doesn't ruin it for her.  It was as always completely crazy with the Benson's, but that's the way we like it.

Kelly and Avery at Owens Grocery Store in Newport

Keith and Eric with their crazy fire made w/o any gasoline.  Impressive!

Keith snuggling Eric.  What can we say, they're close.  Toby was jealous.

Crazy face swapping.

Keith and Eric all mixed up.

Gorgeous Diamond Lake Sunset

Keith being reflective at Diamond Lake Store.  Actually he's just being a dork!

Eric has A LOT of energy in the morning.

He also has a really BIG fire poker

They don't mess around 

We ate really well!

Kelly fished a lot, Avery slept a lot.

Pretty Easton.

Lots of fishing.

This was a crazy fun weekend, and I'm super excited to make more and more memories up there.  

No Words Required

April Visit With Chris and Carl

We were lucky enough to have Chris and Carol visit over spring break.  I love my in-laws.  I could not have asked for a better Mother-in-Law.  My Father-in-Law Chris (Steve's Stepdad) is about as nice as they come.  We always have fun when they come to town.  We smoked a lot of meat.  Did some shopping and ate out at some fun restaurants.  Can't wait for their next visit in August!  This year we get to have them here twice.  Yay!