Sunday, September 27, 2009

Where has September Gone?

Anna's 2nd day of school.

Watching for whales.

Fun times in driftwood forts.

I have to get some more pictures of the race from Stormy. Between Aaron and I, we only got 3 worthwhile pictures. Here we are getting ready for the kayaking leg. None of us had ever even been in a kayak like these before. We came in way behind everyone else in the kayaking leg. During a race is a tough way to learn. It was the steering with my feet that really threw me off. In the words of Johnny Cash, "we knew we would have to get tough or die."

Stormy and I coming in to the finish line.

Dee Dee pedaling along. She looks like she is out for a ride through the countryside.

Aaron ripping it up on the jet ski. It was equally fun watching and riding with him.

The little girls on the tube.

That is Cait in the middle, not sure if she is screaming or laughing.

Holding on for dear life.

Cody and Chance are to the right. Chance is the one laying down.

I waited and waited all year for September to come and now it has come and gone. This month has been amazing. Two trips to the San Juan Islands. A stay with friends at the lake house. Kids starting school.

Lets see first off, the kids went back to school, Cait to middle school, Cody 2nd, Chance 1st and Anna preschool. Colten is loving being the only one home while Anna is in preschool. I don't think he missed Anna at all. I, on the other hand, as usual struggled with whether or not to let her go to school. My sisters all convinced me it was good for Anna and that I should just let her. So I did and she is loving it. All of the kids like their teachers this year. Cait is in orchestra and learning to play the violin and comes home excited to share her new knowledge everyday. I hated middle school and she absolutely loves it. When I ask her how her day was, the usual reply is, "awesome". One day I asked her why it was awesome and she said, "I don't know it was just one of those days." I really hope it's not because of some boy. I don't think it is, but who knows.

Second, my sisters all came in and we did an adventure race together, It was a blast. Five miles of ocean kayaking, 18 miles of bicycling, and 6 miles of trekking. All that while orienteering to different checkpoints. We saw some of the most beautiful scenery, I have ever seen on this race. The name of our team was "bringing up the rear" amazingly we were not the last team to check in as we had fully anticipated being. None of us had properly trained for this like we should have, it was really more about the adventure as sisters and doing something we had never done before. I can't wait to do something like this again now. So many lessons learned and advantages to be gained next time. After the race we were able to spend some time with Misty and Noah, we had a great time at south beach, where we saw whales jumping out of the water! That was an amazing sight. We had got there just in time to see two pods of orcas swim by. The kids had fun playing in the drift wood forts, and I loved having my sister there to hang with.

Lastly, our friends invited us to their lake house. It was a great weekend. We went skiing, tubing, knee-boarding, and rode the jet ski. My kids loved every minute of it. The weather was wonderful. The house was big and very accommodating to all of the little kids. We had a total of 12 kids, 10 and under, running around. They were constantly on the move, I really enjoyed watching them all play together. They all got along really well. The food was amazingly delicious (and abundant) and the time with friends, very relaxing. It was the perfect end to summer and made me reminisce of my many summer childhood memories at the lake. We did some dutch oven cooking and when we pulled the dutch ovens off, we didn't make sure the coals were out. They smoldered all night and burned a hole in the ground. I know we had someone watching over us, because there is no reason they shouldn't have started a fire, especially with all the ample fuel nearby. It was actually a nice start to a Sunday morning, a reminder of the Lord's hand in our life. We really enjoyed so many blessings this month, quite the abundance.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sunny Funny Anna

Anna turned 4 this week! I can't believe how quickly my kids are growing. I registered Cait for middle school and Anna turns 4. How can that be? Anna wanted to have a soda party with Savana for her birthday. It really turned into a sugar party with soda, cakes and candy, I felt sick for the kids after just watching them eat. The girls all had fun dressing up and talking with accents. Even the boys came and joined in after a while, which ended with them turning on the girls and shooting them with water guns. When they were finished with their little party, they traded in their cakes for mud pies. For dinner Anna picked her favorite, which is hot dogs. This little girl loves hot dogs. She is such a funny eater for a kid. I know most kids like hot dogs, but she would rather eat asparagus, than chicken and prefers eggs over pancakes. After dinner we had cake and ice cream and opened presents. When I had asked Anna what she wanted for her birthday, she had quickly answered "ponies, so I can do my hair with them, and a mirror with lights." She did get those ponies and a mirror, but no lights. She was also showered with lots of other gifts. Dresses, and make-up, coloring books and markers and money. She loved it all. We are so grateful to have Anna in our family. She certainly adds a unique style all her own.

Blowing out the candles.

At her soda party.

The whole gang.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Franklin Falls

My friend Caroline and I packed up the kids and headed out to Franklin Falls today. Of course it was beautiful and of course I left my camera at home. It was a great hike for kids and the reward at the end was great. I had Colten in my little hiking backpack and he kept leaning over the side so he could get a better look at the river as we hiked along it. "Look Mom!, awfthom (awesome), fish! fish! Look Mom!" was what I heard from him over and over! He loved it. Chance and his friend Nathan had a great time crawling all over the rocks in the river, exploring, and in general just being boys. These two are really cute to watch. I'm glad Chance has Nathan for a friend, he is a good kid. When Nathan is over at our house it is so much more peaceful, because Chance is not bugging the girls. Cait and Cody loved the water. Cait wanted to go swimming in the pool under the water fall, but her mother was too paranoid to let her (good thing I didn't have that mother growing up!). Cait is becoming pretty adventurous and I am not sure I am ready for it. Cody loved the smaller pools of water and was very content to sit and soak. Anna got in the water a little bit, but enjoyed soaking up the sun and snacking with Savana more than anything else. Colten was all over the place, trying to keep up with the big boys. I wished I would have wore my swimsuit, but just being there watching the kids play, hearing the water, feeling the mist from the waterfall, having good company was more than enough. I am still amazed by all of God's creations.

I will post pictures when I borrow some from Caroline who was smart enough to pack her camera. I can't wait to take Aaron there!

Friday, August 7, 2009

This post is very messy. It resembles what my brain feels like most of the day. Flashes of this and that. I really blog for myself, because I know how quickly things fade for me. Read at your own risk!

Anna has started doing her own hair lately. She loves to do hair. Anyones hair. When her friend Savana was over, she did Savana's hair over and over. Good thing Savana is a good sport.

Chance and and Nathan. These two get along really well. We like having Nathan come over. Then Chance isn't bothering the girls so much. They thought they were pretty cool with their sticker costumes. Do you like Chance's goatee. (not sure how to spell that one.)

Some of the kids watching the horse show while Caroline and I picked berries.

This one's for you Misty.

Having fun with cousins.

More fun.

Cait and Cody after they got their haircut. Such cute girls!

Colten's face was red all day long and he must have drank gallons and gallons of water, but he never wanted to come in.

Caroline would put the berries in and her baby would take them out.

Buddies, Anna and Savana, and Chance and Nathan after picking berries.

Bud sitting on Aaron's lap while he's driving!! That has to be against the law. Bud doesn't seem to care about laws though. We he decided to get up, he crawled over Aaron's head and onto Colten's lap.

Sitting between Anna and Colten.

Naptime. I guess just thinking about Aaron driving to California wore Grandpa out too.

After 2 months of no work for Aaron, he finally has work again! I must say it was pretty fun having him at home. It felt kinda lonely without him those first couple days. We managed to find fun stuff to do though. My friend Caroline and her kids came with us to go pick berries. We went to Carnation and it was one of the prettiest places I've seen. The kids had a great time playing together and I find berry picking very relaxing and enjoyable and having good conversation made it even better. The berries were so sweet and delicious. What could make the day any better? Well at the blueberry farm, they were having a horse show. So you know me, I was in heaven. The sun was shining, the blueberries were easy picking, the kids were happy and there were horses everywhere. I'm pretty sure that was close to heaven on earth. On our way home Caroline wanted to stop by a little burger place she had spotted on our way there. There sign read, "we specialize in grease, salt, sugar and caffiene." It sounded like my kind of place so I was in. The french fries were delicious! I really wanted to try one of their shakes, but there was no way I was paying $4.00 for a small shake.

We also made a mad dash to California for Aaron to take care of some stuff he had started for Grandma and Grandpa before he went back to work. I'm always amazed at how well the kids travel for 18 hours straight in the car. This time we had Bud with us too. That dog kept thinking it was okay to sit on my lap and everyone elses while we were driving. Needless to say at the end of the drive I felt oh so dirty. Visiting Grandma and Grandpa and Kym is always enjoyable, the kids love helping Kym with all the animals, Aaron loves hanging out with Grandpa, and it's fun for me to visit with all of them and be away from home. This time we were so close to AZ that I couldn't avoid the temptation and the kids and I stole away to tucson for a couple of days. It was so good to see my Mom and Dad and DD, Misty and kids and LD and kids. The heat wasn't as bad I thought is was going to be. It was 110 degrees both days and it certainly didn't stop the kids from playing outside all day. I wanted to see so many other people, but couldn't let myself steal away time from my family.

Cody had her adnoids removed this week and tubes put back in her ears. She was such a little trooper. After the surgery, it took her forever to wake up. She would open her little eyes and start to cry because she was so tired, so the nurse would tell her to go back to sleep. I think it was close to 2 hours later that we finally left the surgery center. Cody does love her sleep, that was what I worried about the most with the whole surgery, was putting her under. Everything went just fine though and other than a stuffy feeling nose Cody is doing well.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

One Chance I'd take over and over again

PB and J on the countertop.

Swimming at the lake

View across to the main beach.

Colten gave Chance a black eye for his birthday. His little brother has an awfully hard head.

I guess holding his nose helps Chance think, shortly after doing so, the light bulb went on and Chance figured out where his next clue was.

On the trail to treasure.


Oh so close!

Victory at last. I was happy that Chance was actually the one who found his treasure.

First lessons with Dad. This is what happens when you let Dad do the birthday shopping.

Chance turned SIX this week! My little man. I love Chance. He can be so stubborn at times but for the most part he is a very good kid. He is kind and giving, smiley, happy and cuddly. Aaron was out running errands and volunteered to do Chance's birthday shopping for me, of course I took him up on it. I should have known better! My poor poor neighbors.

All day long I kept thinking about how blessed we are to live where we live. It is so beautiful and perfectly suited to Aaron and I's personalities (Only in the summer for me. I need to be a snowbird :)) We started the day out with waffles at Chance's request. For lunch we had his all time favorite PB & J. I don't know any kid that likes peanut butter sandwiches as much as Chance. Then we headed out to the lake. The lake is pretty close to our house and a great spot to cool off in this 90 degree, scorching weather (he he). The water there is warm and fairly clean for a lake and most of all, it is just plain pretty out there. Then we came home had dinner and started a treasure hunt for his birthday presents. I am a sucker for treasure hunts, ever since my sixteenth birthday I have been hooked on treasure hunts (Thanks Cori and Shannon and whoever else helped planned that. That was the best treasure hunt ever!) The kids had a great time figuring out the clues and we enjoyed many laughs watching the light bulb come on. At the end of the treasure hunt, stashed under a tree, was Chance's treasured BB gun. I wanted to thump Aaron when he told me what he got Chance, but after seeing Chance's excitement it was hard to be mad. He told us about how he had wished on a star the night before for a BB gun and how his wish had come true and that he had the best dad ever. I found it funny that he instantly knew Dad had bought the gun for him and not mom. Funny how well kids know their parents. We stayed in the field for a while and all the kids had a turn with target practice. We have some pretty good little shots in this family. Then we came in for cake and ice cream and Chance opened all his cards from family. Thanks for the kind wishes and bills ya'll sent his way. We ended the night with hide and go seek in the dark (another game I am a sucker for, it's never hard to talk me into a game of hide-in-seek). It was a very exciting, tiresome day with my sweet little kids. Thank goodness for non-birthdays so I can recover. Happy Birthday Chance, I've had a wonderful six years with you.


Just a couple of little things I wanted to blog before I forget them. Fathers days was a fun day. It was so much fun to watch the kids try to show Aaron how much they love him. They helped make him breakfast in bed. Gave him the cards and coupons they had made in school. All day long he was showered with gifts (used toys) wrapped up in blankets and towels. The cutest one was when we went to bed, I turned the covers back and was arranging the pillows and under Aaron's pillow was a collection of plastic dinosaurs and action figures the Chance had left there for Aaron to find. It was a sweet way to end the day.

On the 4th of July we spent the day with our neighbors. That week spareribs had went on sale and we were able to get 10 pounds of ribs for $10 which was a smoking deal. Aaron made some of his best ribs ever. They were delicious and really hit the spot. After dinner we went over to the neighbors and had a bonfire with smores and watched them light off their hundreds of dollars of fireworks. We definately got the best end of the deal. We provided dinner and they provided the fireworks. The kids sang the star spangled banner all day long and we are still trying to convince Anna that it is not "Jose can you see." Cait declared it her new favorite holiday as long as we live in Washington where we can set off our own fireworks. It was a wonderfully relaxing day. The only thing I wished we could have done, is went to see a parade somewhere. I have decided that I really enjoy parades, next year I will have to seek one out.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Lunch on Top of the World

We feel like we have been hanging out on the bottom a bit lately and decided it was time to feel like we were on top of things again, so we went and had lunch on top of the world a couple of times this week.

I love this picture. Anna was like a little Gazelle on this hike, hopping and bouncing up and down the mountain. I caught her in the air as she was jumping down to the next log.

That was the mountain we just climbed behind them.

These next couple of pictures are of a bike trail about a mile from our house. It is great to run down too. We have hiked this area quite a few times and always find a new trail to take. This one is by far one of the coolest trails we have been on. It had really cool obstacles all throughout the trail. This picture is one of the many plank bridges.

Some crazy sideways jump they had built.

This was the top of the mountain where we had lunch. We had invited the neighbor and her little girl to go with us too.

Colten having lunch with Dad.

Anna and Autumn with the Maple Valley area behind them.

Aaron and Colten on top of the world. Colten had a pretty good nap going up the mountain.

Anna, Autumn and bud.