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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Miscellaneous Summer Notes

For Nathan this was definitely the summer of friends.  Nathan wanted to play with his friends every day if he could have.  The ones seen at our house mostly were William, Treuce, Nate and Owen.  This particular day both Owen and Nate were here and the boys had a great time.

Nate and Nathan became really good friends over the summer.  Besides going to each other's houses, they also played spring baseball and fall baseball together and Nate's dad even took them to a Mariner's game.  David took them both out on a fishing trip with uncle Chris where they had a blast.

We also saw Olive and Olive loved swimming this year.  She definitely enjoyed our pool and our kids loved splashing around with her.  Look at the cutie smiles she sports.

Isabelle practicing her swim moves.  I love this picture.  Love how she has her chin almost a foot out of the water.

Abby lost two teeth over the summer.  She still has them in a little tooth container and will not render them to the tooth fairy.  She also spent the beginning of summer tracing animals.

Lorena's sister Karen came to visit and we got to meet her.  I guess the boys hadn't seen her in 30 years!  It was a wonderful time visiting and it was really good for Lorena.  Her and Karen reconnected and they even took a trip to the beach.

Rosie, Rosie, cute little Rosie.  She is just too cute.

Isabelle and Grace, Nate's sister.  The girls love their Grace.  Abby squeals when she first sees her at the ball field.

Little Hannah hanging out outside while all the other kids swim.  She didn't seem to enjoy outside as much as Isabelle used to.  She definitely doesn't like the heat we've had this summer.

I can't remember what I did but Dave vacuumed for me!   I think I was sick.  What a guy.  Thanks, my man.

Nathan and David took a bike ride together.  During the ride, David showed Nathan how to pop a wheelie.  Nathan was so impressed that David couldn't stop doing them, desiring greatly to impress his son.  He ended up falling backwards on his wrist.  It wasn't broken, unfortunately.  I say this because it would have been less painful for my husband.  It has been weeks and he is hurting badly.  But at least they had fun while the girls and I played at a local playground/water feature.  That was Nathan's last trip on a much too small bike.  :-)  My mom bought him a new bike.  That Oma!

Happy kids at home.  That is what summer is for me.  I love summer.  School starts again next week and I'm very sad.  I don't want to send them away.  I want them to stay home.  I envy home schoolers.  

Fair 2014

We like to visit the local Fair every year.  My mom not only paid for our trips this summer, she graciously paid for all of us to go to the fair as well.  Needless to say, our kids love their Oma.  :-)  She even paid for all-day ride bracelets.  We were fortunate enough to go with our good friends, Kevin and Jaime S. and their two adorable kids.  We weren't sure how it would go to have kids of such a large age span (2 - 8) but it worked out beautifully.

Abby and Isabelle love the Merry-Go-Round.  I can't remember why Nathan went that time.  I think he went with Isabelle.  Abby's favorite is the kitty who eats a fish.

Abby super excited getting a glimpse of a seal.  This was pre-show, so they weren't expecting to see them yet.  And yes, Keens are THE shoe to wear to the fair since you can just toss them into the washer afterwards.

The little kids' are were they have a free petting zoo and other kid attraction.  We stayed here for a while waiting for a race to begin that Rylee and Isabelle were going to participate in.

Rylee got 1st place!  Isabelle even got 3rd (out of 5).  It seemed she was more embarrassed by it though. :-)  She looked so funny running the race.  She threw her feet sideways.  It was really adorable.

The seal show.  The kids loved it.  David said it was really funny.  There were a lot of wasps around so I didn't want Hannah around.

Race car time.  Nathan was so sweet and went with Isabelle.  See the smile on her face.  

David with Rylee and Isabelle on the Merry-Go-Round.  Isabelle and Rylee got along so very well. 

The boy and I taking a kind of selfie.

Inspired, the man and I took one too.  Love that man.

For a little while Nathan was leading as fastest 8-year old pitcher at the fair.  He was surpassed by evening.

We didn't end up taking a whole lot of pictures but we sure did do a lot.  We left late that night, 11pm.  Even Isabelle was still up and doing well.  She actually got a second wind and wanted to go back and take rides with dad.  It made for a very special time for them that dad really treasured.

Until next year.

Camping 2014

This year we wanted to camp closer to home because we had baby Hannah.  That way I could take the little girls home to sleep and David and the older two could enjoy all the benefits of camping without a crying baby.  Most of all, we didn't have to worry about Hanni getting cold in the middle of the night.  We were worried that maybe Isabelle would not like this arrangement but she was super excited to sleep with mom in mom's bed, so it all worked out.

Dada, dog and Isabelle resting by the lake.  It was a really cute moment because Isabelle tried to copy her dad spitting sunflower seeds.  Not a trait for a little girl to acquire to cute nevertheless.  At this age, she is also eating them whole (the sunflower seeds).

Little Miss Cutie-Pie.   Here she is collecting sticks.

Camper girl extraordinaire.  She kept running around in these extra warm clothes.  But she liked it.  She is making an "L" out of the sticks.   

The view from our campground.  Ahhh, campfire.  How lovely.  I can start a fire with a flint.  And with ember.  That's right.  Now it will never happen again because I bragged!  But I'm proud of that skill.  :-)  David taught me another fire building skill: The lodge set-up that maximizes the flame to ignite other pieces of wood.  One of David's favorite camping past-times is to roast the perfect marshmallow.  And he is king of perfect marshmallows.  Nathan is getting really good at it too.

Little man camping.  This boy loves camping!  It is so good for them.  Him and Abby love to just roam the woods.  Abby can find something to play with just about anywhere.  But while they used to play with just their imagination, it has now changed to where they actually copy adult behavior, such as sweeping an imaginary tent, building an imaginary fire, etc.  Being in the woods is so good for all of us.  It is great to just disconnect and go back to basics.  The only thing that wasn't good, the dog was covered in tree sap.  And it didn't wash out.

The little lake was perfect as the kids just got done with swim lessons.  Abby did the funniest thing: She'd get wet, come to the sand bank, roll around in the sand and be completely covered in it and then go back in the water and repeat said unsanctioned behavior at least 6 times.  Her and Nathan had a great time together while Isabelly was content playing in the sand.

Dirty Isabelly feet.  Tree sap mixed with dirt.  At least on her it washed off...

And a happy Hanni enjoying everyone being able to give her so much attention.

We live to make her laugh!  Toothless baby smiles are priceless.

Abby turning Hanni into and elf by pulling her ears gently forward.  Hannah thought that was the funniest thing and kept smiling big.  Look at those big blue eyes.  Will they stay this color?  They look so much like cousin Olive's.

Nathan and Abby in the water.  How much fun they had with each other.  This summer they mostly loved playing with each other.  Some days they'd fight all day long and drove me crazy.  But camping time was not one of those days.

This frog was in our pictures.  I assume David, Abby and Nathan saw this on one of their morning fishing trips without the little ones.  Pretty cool.

Our pop-up tent.  The old one ripped completely last year.  We chose this one as it fits all of us (including Copper) and will still fit on most campgrounds (some state parks have tiny little enclosed pads).

Abby sporting her leaf hat while Isabelle is making a hilarious face.  Nathan just being himself.

The kids journaling.  Since last summer, we bring camping journals, markers, and pencils.  This year was Isabelle's first year journaling.  They were all very diligent and we even dated all the pages for future reference.

The nightly sleeping arrangement.  Abby in her beloved caterpillar sleeping bag with the even more beloved "Bear".  Nathan with his "Losty", a bear who once was lost but now is found.  He came from Yellowstone.

Camping makes one tired.  The view from the front of our car as we were on the way to McDonalds.  They all fell asleep within minutes.  It was really funny.  Even Hanni was sleeping.  We were going to surprise them with $1 ice-cream cones but in the end, it was only dad and I who got some.  :-)

We had a great time camping.  Hopefully next year we can venture out further (although this state park is fantastic!).  Hopefully we can also camp much longer.  Being in the woods is just so relaxing and wonderful.  

"Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean."John Muir

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Beach Trip 2014

 Thanks to Oma, we were granted another fabulous trip to the beach.  We decided to our favorite beach, Cape Lookout on the Oregon Coast.  We drove through Tillamook, Oregon and spent the night in Tillamook, just 15 minutes from the beach.  

One of our favorite places to stop: the Blue Heron in Tillamook.  It is a really neat shop with all kinds of food, ice cream, treats and animals.  And this great cut-out of animals that my kids love posing as.

If you ever wondered what those weird contraptions in hotels were there for, here is your answer.  And you thought they were to place your suitcase!  Silly you!  And yes, I absolutely love Keen shoes for my kids.  Perfect for beaches, fishing, and any other day you may need a good sandal.  Plus, Abby has never ever managed to ruin one.  Pretty impressive.  Especially since she just managed to break her first Saltwater sandals.

Sandangels.  I had sand in every piece of laundry we brought back.  Especially the clothes that Abby got wet and then made sand angels with.  But the girls love doing this.  Abby had so much sand in her hair.

The nifty little pop-up tent my mom's money purchased for Hannah (or Hanny as we call her).  It protects her from the sun, especially since she is too little for sunscreen.  And the older kids can use it later to play with in the backyard or in their rooms.  Copper had so much fun on this trip.  He loved being with us everywhere.  We are really glad we took him along.  He was so happy and got lots of exercise.  He also hurt his tail but the dink in it went away after a few days.  

Nathan and Abby splashing in the ocean.  David is with them and the water is still very shallow.  There were some kids really deep in the water and they made me very nervous.  Not looking forward to the day when Nathan and Abby are that age, going to the beach with their friends and making not so wise choices.

Beach, glorious beach.

Copper came along on this trip as well and he loved it.  He didn't go to the bathroom for a long time. We kept taking him to places and gave him his "pee or poop" command but it took him a long time.  Finally he went.  He absolutely loved the beach.  The only thing that was disappointing was that Dave had looked up and found that all Oregon beaches allowed dogs to run off-leash.  When we got to Cape Lookout though, it stated that he had to be on the leash.  That made for less exercise.  Later on we ran into people who told us as long as we have control over the dog, most people let them run.  So we did.  :-)  That way he got tons of exercise.

Little girl and the ocean.  Isabelle was very tired and torn about coming with me to the water.  She finally decided to come along.  She did get scared of the water.

Cutie Pie.

Dada and the little tiny one.

This is such a great feeling, toes covered in sandy water.  It always amazed me how you can walk on the beach but if you stand for a little while, your feet start to sink.

Cape Lookout is a great beach.  The beach is sandy, they have cliffs (little ones), trees, hiking paths, a campground, and not many people go there.

On our way home we found a really great campground park, Fort Stevens.  We wanted to remember it for next time as it had great campground, wonderful biking routes, a historic site, a lake for fishing and a playground.  Here we are visiting the historic site, Battery Russell David.  It was neat to be seeing it because Nathan and I have been watching lots of documentaries on WWI and WWII.  Battery Russell and the Fort it is in, according to a memorial stone, is the first fort that was attacked by sea (from Japanese) since the war of 1812. We had lots of questions because unfortunately no markers are there to guide you.  Nevertheless, it was neat to walk through and take guesses.  Plus, we found a website once we got home and were able to have many questions answered.