Sunday, March 5, 2017

Nomads Run

Years ago, pre-kids and pre-marriage, Robbie and I started a bucket list on a Cold Stone Creamery napkin while sharing an ice cream sundae.  And number 24 on that list is to complete an ultra marathon.  Well, I can proudly check that off!

Robbie and I traveled to Agafay Desert to participate in the Nomads Run.  It was by far the best race we've ever done!  It was very well organized, the scenery was amazing, and there was a good crowd. Robbie ran the 24k while I did the 63k.  The best part about it was that we were able to relax after the race.  I mean, really relax........because we left the kiddos at home.  And since it was also Robbie's birthday, we celebrated with a delicious French dinner and wine under the stars.  There is no electricity at this lodge, just lanterns, so you're literally dining under the stars.  If we were going to be here another year, we would sign up again in a heart beat!

It's easy to place in the top 3 when you're the only three
females in the ultra marathon.
La Pause Eco Lodge

Monday, February 27, 2017

A Tour of Southern Morocco

With only four months left in Morocco, sniff, sniff, we're trying to see as much as we can of this beautiful country.  The kids had a week off for winter break which we extended by a couple of days so that we could see the southern part of Morocco.  Our itinerary included stops in Demnate, Dades Valley, N'Kob, Jebel Saghro, Erg Chigaga, and Timmelsay.  It was simply stunning the entire way. Obviously, there was no shortage of windy, hairpin turns.  But the breathtaking scenery made up for all the car sickness episodes had by most of us.

The lovely Maison d'hotes Tizouit in Demnate
Monkey Fingers, Dades Valley
Do they look like Monkey Fingers to you?
Jebel Saghro
Our first campsite in Jebel Saghro

Bab N'Ali (The doors of Ali Baba)
Our second campsite
Heading back
Sandboarding in Erg Chigaga
Wahoo! Best.Day.Ever.
Ember: "This is crazy!"
Old kasbah ruins in Timmelsay

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Snow and Monkeys

Most people probably think of dry valleys and deserts when they think of Morocco.  But it actually snows here too.  It's always fun to see people's first reaction to snow if it's their first time, especially in adults.  They react no differently than children.  We witnessed this so many times on our trip to Ifrane.  It's always so refreshing to see people enjoying the simple things in life.  Everyone was there to just laugh and have a good time.

That's a pile of homemade sleds!
Now, Michlifen is not like your typical ski resort.  There are no gondolas, fancy apres ski lodges, or even a ski village.  There are maybe two ski lifts.  Well, T-bars to be exact.  There is a run down, one story cement building where you can rent old school skis and sleds actually made from skis (quite ingenius to be honest).  It almost feels like an open air market.  Robbie and I brought our snowboards which were actually difficult to ride once the sun came out and turned the snow into slush.  We managed to find skis for the kids.  But of course, they didn't have kid sizes so they ended up wearing boots and skis that were 5 times too big and heavy than they were used to.  Of course, the lift was not operating the day we were there.  But that's why they offer mules to take you up the mountain!  Yes, that's right, I said mules!  How many kids can say they rode a mule up a mountain to go skiing? These are the first two that I know of!

You can't tell from the photo, but they are wearing adult
size boots.
Catching a ride up to the top.
 Ember had her own fun in the snow too.  She got to sled on one of the Moroccan made sleds.  With so many people hanging around the sledding area, it became too much of a chore trying to steer the thing.  So she built a snowman and ate some snow instead.

Would we say it was worth the trip to Ifrane?  Sure, playing in the snow is fun.  Would we go again? Mmmm, probably not.  With kids, it's a lot of work helping the kids up the slopes with all the ski equipment.  There is also no where to hang out by the slopes to take a break.  But least now we can say that we've skied in Morocco.

Oh, we saw some monkeys too!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

I'm 11!

Ready to play a round of Watch Ya Mouth?
He may be another year older, but he will always be our baby boy.  Happy Birthday Mason!  We love you very much!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Back to Paradise

For our R&R we chose to head back to La Digue, Seychelles.  But this time, the Youngs flew over from Tanzania to join us.  Good friends and beautiful beaches.  The perfect way to spend our vacation.

Back together again!
One of the many reasons we love these two!
Gotta love those eyebrows!
Just relaxin'
Swim.Climb.Snorkel.Climb again.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

In Loving Memory

April 27, 1947 - November 16, 2016

Memories of you will stay with us forever.  We miss you and love you very much!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Where Should We Go Next?

How about Kathmandu, Nepal?  Sounds good to me!  Yep, that is where the Blanchards will be heading to next and we could not be happier.  Of course, we will be very sad to leave Morocco. There are so many good things about this place.  But unfortunately, Robbie doesn't have the option to extend.

We've been told that Nepal is like Asia's dirty little secret.  Yes, it can be a dirty place, but there are so many cool activities to keep you busy.  Climbing, trekking, rafting, biking, name it, they've got it and we cannot wait to try it all!

Monday, October 31, 2016

A Crafty Halloween

I have never been a crafty person and I always envied the ones who could sew together cute outfits or do fun, creative art projects with their kids.  Well, this year was my first attempt at being one of those crafty parents.  

Good Halloween costumes are hard to find in Morocco and they can be quite expensive.  Luckily, Cadyn wanted to wear the same vampire costume she wore last year.  Ember finally fit into Cadyn's old Dorothy costume, but she needed ruby red slippers.  And Mason didn't have anything to wear.  So we searched online for homemade costume ideas and he decided that he wanted to be a stick figure. 

I was able to find everything I needed to make Mason's costume and Ember's red shoes for very cheap in the local grocery store and a couple of small shops in Centre Ville.  It took most of the day, but I think it turned out pretty darn good!

I actually made these!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Probably The Cutest Video You'll See Today


One sunny afternoon while driving in the car.........

Mason and Cadyn struck up this interesting conversation..................

Cadyn: I'm not going to get married when I grow up because I'm going to be too busy. I'm going to be a gymnast, actress, veterinarian, and I'm going to pick up trash all over the world. So I'm going to be alone.

Mason: I don't know what my job will be. Mommy, can you help me find one?

Mom: Well, you don't need to worry about that right now. You have plenty of time to figure out what you want to be.

Mason: I know! I'm going to be an engineer! I'm also going to have 1 kid and a dog.

Cadyn: Are you going to get married?

Mason: Well, yeah.

Cadyn: I'm going to go shopping at the mall on the weekends. I'm also going to be President! And as President, I'm going to get rid of all guns!

Mom: Wow! That's great! But you're going to be very busy. Are you sure you're going to have time to be all those things you mentioned AND be President?

Cadyn: Yeah, you're right. I'll have to stop being a vet.

Mason: I'm going to invent all the things that haven't been invented yet. Like real light sabers! But it can only be used by good people. So I'm only going to sell it to the military. I'm going to be so rich! I'm also going to invent fortified walls for every house to keep people safe. I'm really good at building strong walls. And with my money, I'm going to help poor people.

Cadyn: If I don't become President, I'm going to travel to every country and pick up trash and give money to the poor. I'm even going to go to Syria.

Mason: Syria? It's dangerous there, Cadyn. You could get killed.

Cadyn: That's ok. At least I'll be helping people. Well, it might hurt. But maybe not. I don't know.

Mason: I'm definitely going to be an engineer! Ooooooh, I can't wait to be rich!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Quotes of the Week

Blogger has been giving me a hard time with formatting so I wasn't able to include the quotes with the photos of the week blog entry.  So here they are.........

Quotes by Mason

"I'm so frustrated now that I feel like saying a bad word!"

"Cadyn, we can't get married because then our kids will have like, 3 eyes or wobbly legs."

Quotes by Cadyn

"When you milk a cow, does it die?"

"I want a husband like Daddy."

"Mommy, you know how you're smart?  Well, whatever you touch, I like to touch and then rub it all over my head so that it will make me smart."

"Daddy, why are they saying Barack Obama?" (Referring to the prayer call)

"Daddy, I never knew your middle name was moron." (Ahem, it's actually Moran.)

Conversation between Mom and Cadyn:

Cadyn: Alice's dog has to wear a cone around her head but I don't know why.
Mom: Oh she to wear it because she got spayed.  She had to have surgery so that she can't have babies.
Cadyn: Did Emo have that surgery too?  She doesn't have any babies.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Photos Of The Week

I'm tired and it's late. Get me off this train!

Have you tried the Bonk! app?
Cadyn has.....

Trying so hard to make a wish on a dandelion

First day of 5th and 3rd grade at RAS

Monday, August 22, 2016

Ember is 2!

Can you believe it?  2!!!  Whuh?......When?......How?  I feel like it was just yesterday when we were bringing her home from BirthCare and now she's running nonstop, feeding herself, playing pretend, and speaking French.  Sometimes I wish time would just slow down so that I can enjoy these moments a little longer.  I started a list of things that I love and will miss when they were tiny things because I know I'll forget them.  No matter how hard I try to remember every little detail of them as babies, somehow they slowly fade from my memory.  I haven't posted them yet because it's kind of ongoing.  It may never stop........

We didn't throw a party for Ember.  Actually we didn't start having parties until the kids were 3 or 4 years old.  Mainly because they didn't have any friends until then!  Anyway, we had a nice dinner at home and a variety of desserts to sample from Paul's.  Blowing out the candle was hands down the best part for Ember.  Although she kept wanting to touch the flame, surprise, surprise.  

Happy Birthday Ember!  You're a feisty one but that's one of the many reasons why we love you so much.  You have brought so much happiness into all of our lives.  We love you Sweetpea!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Friday, July 22, 2016

Aunt Michelle and "le chien"

"Doug.  Say Doug."


"No, it's Doug.  Say Doug, Ember."

"Chien.  Woof, woof!"

"Let's try this one more time.  Say Douglas.  Douglas."

"Le chien est la."


Okay, so Ember may have had trouble understanding that I was saying Doug, not "dog".  But she certainly had a ton of fun with both him and Michelle.  We all did!  Thanks for visiting us in Morocco guys!  It was so great to see you!