Sunday, August 29, 2010

A day at sea...

Earlier in the week, Tyler called and told me he was taking Wayne crabbing on Saturday morning and wanted to know if we had three people from our family wanting to go along. I told him we would have no problem filling those seats.

So, at 8:00 Saturday morning, Tyler and Wayne pulled up and Jason, Ethan and Brenna headed out with them. I put Brenna in charge of pictures because I knew that the dads would be pre-occupied to take any pictures. She did get Uncle Tyler to take this one!

They had a great time even though some sea sickness was involved. Once the pots were set, they headed over to Lummi Island to let the kids get out and stretch a little. I'm sure Ethan and Wayne were in much need of some running around. They all had some snacks and waited for the time to come when they would head back out to pull up the pots. They put out six pots and this is one of them after being pulled into the boat.
Tyler measured each one to make sure they were keeping only legal sizes.
By the time they were finished pulling the pots, they had limited out and had a full ice chest and 5-gallon bucket.
I'm not sure what Uncle Tyler was thinking but he decided to let Brenna "drive" the boat a little on their way back in. I guess each of the boys helped Tyler "drive" also but Brenna and Jason weren't feeling very well when it was Ethan's turn so there is no picture of him "driving" the boat.
I'm so thankful for the beautiful weather they had. There had been a chance of rain but that burned off and they had blue skies!

Later that evening, we headed over to Tyler and Tanya's for crab and corn for dinner! You can't go crabbing and not eat any of it. We ended up with about 13 cups of crab from this trip in the freezer to be used for yummy meals throughout the fall and winter. Can't wait for crabbing season next year! We are going to have to get in on a trip again...hint, hint! Tyler, thanks for including our family on this little crabbing adventure. Next time, I will make sure my crew takes their Dramamine before they leave the house!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A trip to Harborview

Saturday afternoon, we headed down to Harborview to visit Nathan. Nathan had to have another surgery on his leg to help get his hip and knee moving more. (For those of you who might be new to the blog...Nathan is a family friend who was in a serious motorcycle accident in April.)

When the kids heard that Nathan would be having this surgery they all requested that they get to go with us to visit. We didn't take them with us during Nathan's initial hospital stay and they were pretty bummed. They just didn't understand how serious things were then.

Nathan was so ready to see the kids...especially Ethan. They've become cartoon watchin' buddies.
"Aunt" Janice loved having the girls there.
It was great to be there to visit and to help pass the time. We were able to see Nathan stand and Ethan's mouth about dropped to the floor when he saw Nathan standing. I think Ethan had envisioned Nathan having to just lay in a hospital bed like before.

Eventually, Nathan had to use his special machine to help bend his knee and handed the controls over to Ethan. Nathan is one brave boy! He had shown Ethan the stop button and Ethan would push it when Nathan would tell him to. Ethan thought this was great! They also spent some time together playing Ethan's video games.
** mean the world to Ethan! God has done so many miracles with your body and we are praying for more!

Before leaving we had to get a picture of Nathan and the three kiddos.
I am so glad that we were able to make the trip down to Seattle. Yay, the drive was long, but it was so worth it just to see these four smiles!

Friday, August 20, 2010

A day at the fair!

Thursday was our day to go to the Northwest Washington Fair here in Lynden! The kids were excited to go and see the animals and ride on the rides. Jason and I were more excited for the evening event! HA!!

We started our time out by going through the small animals barns. We like to get these out of the way first because the chickens are always so loud.
When we went through the cow barn we came upon a calf that had just been born. We had only missed it by a couple of minutes. Ethan was super excited to see a brand new calf.
The kids had a great time at the "Animal Experience". They were able to pet the animals and hold some of the smaller ones. Ethan's favorite was the donkey.
We eventually made it to the rides. This was our best year for rides yet. They had so much fun together and not once did we have any upset because they had to ride with someone they didn't know if they were all unable to fit in the same seat. The girls just took turns riding with Ethan.
I can't believe we let Ethan go on this next ride. Where has our baby gone? It just seemed wrong that he was able to ride on the "big kid" rides. Aagh!
We headed for home with the kids and got them started on dinner and settled until the neighbors picked them up for movie night at their house.

Jason and I couldn't get back to the fair fast enough. When we arrived back at the fair, we grabbed dinner and headed over to the grandstands to watch the horse shows. After the horse shows, we made our way back out to the Grandstand Entrance to wait in line for re-entrance for the Casting Crowns concert.
This was an amazing concert! We were so excited in March when we found out they were coming to the fair. We decided then that this would be our way of celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary. Our seats were ground level and we were in the 7th row. What a night!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Quick but fun camping trip

Our poor girls weren't even home 24 hours before we headed out for a very short camping trip.

Jason headed to church Sunday morning to lead worship while the kids and I stayed home to finalize the packing. We pulled out around 1:00 and were off to spend a couple of nights at Beachwood, a campground near Birch Bay.

We got our tent up and held off on pulling much of anything else out before taking the kids to the pool for awhile.

Monday was our first full day camping and we were finally beginning to feel settled. And...we are now, officially a TWO tent family.
After breakfast on Monday morning, we headed down to the playground to get in some volleyball and time at the playground.
While at the playground, somebody was very sleepy and took a little nap while the kids played. (I wonder how long it will take for him to find this?)
We were eventually able to convince Ethan is leave the playground and headed back for some lunch. After lunch, it was time for some more swimming! We were all so hot and couldn't wait to get down to the pool.
After dinner, I received a very big surprise! The girls wanted to do the dishes. Brenna had been helping some already but to have them offer to do the entire job on their own was great! I did help with the bigger items and the knives but other than that, the girls were on their own.
 Once we got everyone cleaned up for the night, it was time for s'mores! This is always the highlight of camping. We do s'mores with the kids, tuck them into their sleeping bags and then Jason and I get to sit out by the fire and just chat. It's my favorite time of the day!
Tuesday morning, we got up, had some breakfast and then started to pack up. It was a quick trip but great to have a couple of days away from the phones and computers and just be together as a family. It's all about making memories!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Bringing home the girls!

Saturday morning was an exciting time! I headed down to Camp Gilead with Trisha and Paige to get the girls from camp.

When we pulled in to camp this is what we found...

The staff was attempting to find homes for all of the lost and found items that had been collected throughout the week. So thankful we had nothing in that pile.

And then walking up to the cabin to find our suitcases, sleeping bags, and who knows what...
We only briefly saw the three girls from a distance before they had to head off to breakfast. We decided to head up and meet them at the dining hall. They were so excited to see us and we couldn't wait to hug them!!
Before the campers were dismissed to their parents, they headed to the chapel for closing ceremonies. It was so neat to see the chapel full of kids, singing. They announced the winning teams, heard some final words from their pastor for the week, and watched the DVD put together of the weekly activities.

We pulled out of camp around 10:45 and stopped for an early lunch in a little town before getting to the freeway. The girls were out by the time we did get on the freeway (about 30 minutes from the town where we ate lunch), they were TIRED!
It was so good to get them both home and to be together again as a family. We missed them so much while they were gone but were so thankful that they were able to spend a week at camp, having fun with friends/cousins, meeting new friends, and most of all...learning more about our Lord and Savior. They were so excited to share with us everything that they had learned throughout the week.

Friday, August 13, 2010

1st sleepover!!

Ethan has been begging to have Wayne over to spend the night. We decided the best time to do this would be while the girls were at camp. So, Thursday evening we picked Wayne up and brought him to our house for their 1st official sleepover. Now, just to clarify...these boys have spent the night at each others homes but only because the parents of one or the other were going away and needed a place for the boys. This sleepover was simply "just because"!

We met Wayne at his other aunt's house and to say that Ethan and Wayne were excited is an understatement.
Once we got back to our house, these two boys played and played and played. By the end of the evening, they were tired and dirty. So, before bed, they had bath time and I had water all over my floor. Oh well! I'm glad they were having fun!!
After bath, we had a snack and then it was off to bed. These boys were so excited to be sleeping in the tent (in the living room).
Yes, the boys have the same pajamas and insisted on being twins. I'm so glad that I had just washed Ethan's!

Once we had them in the tent we had quite a bit of lantern fun going on in the tent.
Eventually, I ended up reading them a story and then snuggling with each of them to get them to fall asleep.
Before going to bed myself, I went to check on the boys and this is what I found.
Crazy boys!! I'm just thrilled that they slept all night!

For breakfast in the morning, we had waffles
Thankfully the weather had started to get nicer and the boys were able to go out and play in swimming pool. They had so much fun out there together.
Ethan loved having Wayne here! The boys played so well and I love watching them interact with each other. Ethan is really hoping Wayne can come for another sleep over soon.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Down with the swingset

We have really noticed this summer that the structure of our swing set was really swaying while the kids would play on it. We decided that it was time to bring it down.

It was sad to watch it come down. It's yet another thing to remind me that our kids are growing. They have had so much fun on this swing set. We thought it would be best to take the swing set down while the girls were at camp. This way, there would be no discussion about it. Ethan was a little bummed at first but quickly got over it.

Here is Jason separating the sections.
I wonder how long it will take for the girls to notice?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A week of camp!

We spent this last weekend packing the two girls and getting them ready for a week of camp.

The last two summers, Brenna has gone with her BFF to Camp Gilead in Carnation, WA...about 20 minutes east of Monroe. This year, we decided that we would send Alyssa along with Brenna and her BFF. It's a year earlier than we sent Brenna but decided that if they were in the same cabin she would be fine. We also requested to have a counselor that attends our church so we felt even better about sending her. Our niece Brenna was able to join them and go as Alyssa's friend. The girls were so excited to get to camp!

We left just after 7:00 Monday morning and arrived at camp around 9:30. We got the girls settled into their cabin.

Brenna, our niece, went for the top bunk and Alyssa decided that wanted a bottom bunk for the week. She sleeps on the top bunk at home all the time so she was wanting something a little different I guess.
Brenna and her BFF went to the opposite end of the cabin so they could still feel like they had their own space and weren't "babysitting".  And, of course, they went for the set of top bunks with no divider...this could only mean trouble, HA!
We left Brenna and EmmaRae up at the cabins and took the two new campers, Alyssa and Brenna, for a tour of the camp. We stopped for a quick picture.
They were pretty excited to be wearing their new sweatshirts that they got that morning. I'm sure they are going to have a blast this week.

Before leaving, we got one last picture of our girls.
It's going to be a long week for Ethan. He is already missing his sisters. We can't wait to see the girls on Monday and to hear all about their week. We are checking the camp website daily for pictures of the the activities they are doing. (If you click on the link to the pictures, make sure you choose Junior Camp #2 in the Summer 2010 section. You will have to choose Next Screen on the bottom right to find Junior Camp #2.)

I am so glad that the girls had this opportunity to attend camp. It's weird that this is the only summer that they will be there together. Next year, Brenna will be attending Teen Camp...aagh, weird!

I would give anything for the kids to be able to attend camp each summer. It is such a great time of growth for them spiritually and in maturity. I attended this same camp while growing up from 3rd grade - 12th grade. I pray that our kiddos will be able to do the same.

I am reminded of some amazing memories every time we pull up to camp. Saturday can't come fast enough!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

From the park to the river

After spending the first half of the afternoon at the park, we didn't even make it in the door at home and our phone was ringing. Brenna quickly answered it and was talking with Wayne. They had a short conversation before he was wanting to talk to Auntie. He had a question for me. He wanted to know if the kids could go to his house and swim and if I would have coffee with his mommy. I told him we would be there soon. We chatted a little more and then Tanya took the phone from him. During our conversation, we discovered that Wayne had invited us over without Tyler and Tanya knowing about it. We got a good laugh and decided that Wayne actually had a great idea. However, we decided that taking the kids down to the swimming hole at the river would be a lot more fun for them. Tyler and Tanya live across the street from Riverside Park so it's very convenient. The kids all know that our time of fun always starts out with a picture.
Once we got the best picture we knew we would get, we headed down to the river. It took our kids a few minutes to actually grasp that this was safe to do and that it wasn't deep. Wayne and Weston had been to the swim hole before so they knew to just run in.

Before we knew it, the kids were all in the water and having a blast!

Of course, this auntie made sure that Wyatt was able to join in the fun. We went from this...
to this!
The girls started carrying logs over to where we were to try and ride them. However, the water wasn't quite deep enough. With both girls sitting on the log, they bottomed out.
And to make sure we fulfilled all of our plans the moms made sure we had our coffee in hand!
While we were all playing, we had a surprise visitor! Tyler decided to ride his bike over.

I thought I was just giving him a hard time when I asked him if he had to dust the bike off. Little did I know that he really did have to dust it off and not only that, he had to pump up the tires. The bike eventually ended up in the swim hole for a little bath. Not exactly the type of water I would use to wash something off with but whatever works I guess. The kids thought Uncle Tyler was pretty funny when he attempted to actually ride the bike through the swim hole. That was one workout I was not willing to do.

The girls decided that it would be fun to cover themselves in river mud. We teased them that they had their own spa going. Uncle Tyler tried to bribe them with $5 each if they would cover their faces but they didn't go for it. I was sooo happy that they didn't go for the idea.
Alyssa found the best mud and had the best coverage. It amazes me at how this girl can go from being such a princess to getting down and dirty. These kids had so much mud on them.

When we got back to Tyler and Tanya's we sprayed each of the kids off. It's a good thing they have warm water connected to their outside hose because spraying each child off took awhile. I could not have imagined spraying them with cold water.

Thank you Wayne for thinking of this great idea and for inviting us over! It was a wonderful day spent with the kids! They were all completely worn out by bedtime.

I'm hoping for a few more days like this before school starts. This summer has gone so fast and our days get filled with babysitting and other stuff. It's all great stuff but I don't want to miss out on the days with just the kids at home with me, or where ever we decide to spend our time. They are all growing so fast. I still can't believe that Brenna starts Middle School this year. She has become such a beautiful young lady!