Friday, January 17, 2014

2014

Obviously I have been doing a less than great job of keeping this blog updated lately. Zero updates for 2013? I'm trying to keep focused on how much I love reading back through the posts as a way to keep motivated.  Problem, is, facebook is a huge time-suck and receives much of the content this here blog used to.  So, here's to 2014, and trying to update more often.

And of course, it wouldn't be a post without a picture or two. :)  These are from our most recent trip to Pacific Beach.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Art Gala 2012

The kids were really proud to show off their pieces at Art Gala this year, but Reed seemed especially proud!



 Spring's self portrait.

 Reed's self portrait.

Clay sculpture.  Reed's was entitled, "Ferry".

 Spring's clay sculpture entitled, "Stripes of a Zebra".






Saturday, September 24, 2011

NWSS

Toward the end of July, we made our annual trip to NW St.ring S.ummit. It was a busy July for us! When we got home from Summit on July 27th, I realized that between July 1st and the 27th, we had been home for a grand total of seven days. All the other days we'd either been somewhere else, or in transit to or from our travels. What a month!

We got there on Wednesday because Gerry was a volunteer.  It meant that we got to get a good camp site and hold down space for our friends, but the real fun began once all our friends showed up.  We've camped with the same families for a couple of years now and the kids enjoy playing together.  It's fun to catch up and watch their kids grow as the summers pass.  We brought our hammock as did another family and the kids had lots of fun playing in them.

Reed and Spring playing with their friend R.  This marked the first year that we would let the kids play out of sight on occasion.  They weren't far, and we could still hear them, but it was a mark of the fact that our kids are growing fast!  And I have to brag because I made the little red dress S is wearing here.  I actually finished some of the hand stitching on it on the car ride down!

This was one of my favorite moments of the entire trip!  The kids are having a jam session together! :)




Reed and Gerry down at the music.  I think this is from Thursday night.  This evening, Reed really wanted to go home early.  We hadn't quite gotten into the groove of going down for the music yet, so we had forgotten to bring toys, snacks and jammies for him.  I was torn.  Part of me feared that if we went back early that night, that he'd want to go back early every night and I knew that neither G nor I was going to be excited to miss the music for the next few nights.  But I also worried that if I made him stay, it would take all the fun out of it and he wouldn't want to come to the music any more.  But when I stopped and considered how unprepared we were, I decided to go back to camp.  It turned out fine and we stayed for all the music after that!

One of the cooler things we got to do while we were there was go do some tie-dye with the kids.  Part of what I loved is that every parent in our camp had bought a pack of plain white t-shirts for their kids to dye, and every family brought all the t-shirts just in case another family forgot to bring some.  I love how we take care of each other!

The actually tie-dying was a little chaotic. We went down early, wanting to make sure that we got there before the die ran out.  Well, they weren't quite prepared for the huge rush of families they got.  There weren't enough rubber bands, and the dye wasn't ready yet.  They were making a turmeric dye which had to boil before it was ready.  It all worked out though.  The kids were super excited to do their tie-dye, partly thanks to a tie-dye video game we have on our ip.ad, but they stayed reasonably patient.  Also, thanks to that same video game, I was able to offer some advice to other families for how to fold their shirts.  Here we are, finally waiting in line to dye our shirts.

Here's Reed wearing his finished t-shirt (and looking like the spokeskid for An.nie's Bu.nnies).  The flash makes it a bit tough to see the variation in coloration though.  Also, check out how much his tooth has come down in just a week!
Spring silliness at camp.
S took more naps in my lap during the month of July than she's done in a LONG time!

And the point of doing the tie-dyes on Saturday morning (aside from it just being a cool thing to do) was so that the kids could wear what they'd made in the kids' parade that afternoon.  Reed wore his, but you can't really see it under his costume.  Spring on the other hand was tired and didn't want to wear hers.  Actually she didn't want to wear the dragon cape either and soon wound up shedding it.

A happier Spring at the end of the parade, sans dragon cape.

On our way home, I caught a salamander for the kids.  I was actually getting worried that I wasn't going to be able to catch one for them.  It was Saturday and we'd been there since Wednesday, and I'd blown the only chance I'd gotten thus far by not being quick enough.  But this time, I caught one. :)  I'm not sure who was more excited, me or the kids!

G and R enjoying the Saturday night set.
Reed had been eagerly anticipating a paddle boat ride since the day we arrived. Sunday morning, it was finally time!  Spring had no interest in going, so it was just the boys.

A fun shot of them going under the bridge.

Later in the day, Gerry went out again, this time with Reed and two other kids from our group, both about R's age.  I think all the parents were wondering how well it would go, but the kids all did great and it wound up being one of Gerry's favorite parts of the trip!!

Hanging out in camp on Sunday afternoon.

Can you guess who took this picture?  Just check out who's missing. :)

Another portrait by Reed.

G and I took our kiddos and our friends' son R out for a walk on Sunday afternoon.  There were lots of fake mustaches and masks that you could use to have your picture taken here.  Pretty fun!

And we stopped and saw a peachick that was being taken care of by the owners of the property (the chick had been abandoned by its mother).  Of course Spring loved seeing a baby!

One of R's big accomplishments for the trip was learning how to slide down the pole on the playground by himself!  G is there to spot him, but didn't touch him on the way down.  At the top...

And landing.

Us with the two other families that we camped with.  What a great group of people!!



Thursday, September 15, 2011

Big week!

As I work on catching up the blog, I think I'm going to jump around in time a bit so I can blog about current things and also catch up on the past! We had a BIG week this week. It was the first week for preschool for R and S! Sunday night before R's first day, we reminded him that he had his first day of preschool the next day. I hadn't anticipated an nerves on his part or I would have talked to him more about it earlier, but when we started talking about it, he got really serious and it was clear he was worried. We talked and let him know that everybody gets nervous before the first day of school! I hadn't planned on staying for the day with him at school and had some work I needed to get done before a meeting I had on Monday afternoon, so I stayed up late doing my work so that I could stay with him if he needed it.

Monday morning he woke up and was really excited to go to school! He even insisted that I take his picture (above) which Gerry had mentioned the night before and Reed wasn't thrilled about. :) We left early to give him some time to settle in before the school was crowded with kids and parents. Once he got there, I could see he was getting more comfortable. I stayed for about a half hour after class started, and when I left, Reed was just fine! Whew! Aside from being proud of him for doing so well on his first morning of school, I had a proud moment just as I was leaving and Reed had a question for his teacher. She was doing something else and I heard him ask, "Excuse me, Miss Ellie?" I was so proud to hear such polite manners!


Spring had her first day of school the next day. Reed really wanted to take her picture before school so this was the one he took. I was volunteering in her class that day and got to stay for the day. She did great, but it's clear that she's quite a bit more advanced than the rest of the class which has a wide age variation. S was invited to join the next class up but I declined because it would have meant that R would have been on class on Mon, Tues, and Wed and she would have been in class on Thurs and Fri. It just would have been too much I think.


S with her teacher.


And the other big news for this week is that we took the training wheels of R's bike!! We had experimented with taking one training wheel off at a time, but he had gotten frustrated at how tippy the bike was. We had borrowed a balance bike from R's friend T and had been encouraging him to practice lots on the balance bike because it would make his peddle bike easier. He took our words to heart and spent a lot of time practicing on the balance bike. Then yesterday, R, S and friend T had ridden bikes down to the end of our cul de sac with Miss K (our friend, nanny and T's mom). R and S were riding balance bikes and T had his peddle bike. T didn't want to ride his bike back up the hill, so in R's words, "I did a very kind and noble thing. I told T that he could ride his balance bike and I would take his peddle bike." Apparently, he hopped right on and rode all the way up the hill! Wow!! We are all SO proud!! Miss K says that everybody did a happy dance for R when they got to the top of the hill!!!


S has been doing great on her balance bike. She's a real daredevil and seems to have no fear of falling!! She'll ride all the way down our hill without slowing down and will actually push herself to go faster! Sometimes I can hardly watch and to make things more scary, she'll wiggle her handle bars every so often so she it looks like she's about to crash!



Our favorite places to ride are in the neighbors' driveway...


...and at the end of the cul de sac. It looks like they're about to crash in this picture, but they avoided each other!


Here is some video of R and S at the neighbors'.


video
video

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Day out

We got home from our sailing trip on a Sunday and the following Thursday, the kiddos and I headed off for a camping trip with Grandma and Grandpa Mills while G went backpacking.

Our first stop was a night at the De.nny Cree.k campground near Sno.qualmie. Reed and Spring were super excited to be camping in Gma and Gpa's tent trailer. We were trying to get settled down for the night and Reed was bopping around in his bed, when the lowlight of our trip occurred. He bonked one of his front teeth on something very hard.


The tears were immediate and urgent. Grandpa brought him to me and I looked at him. His mouth was bleeding and one of his teeth appeared to be almost completely broken off. We all felt sick immediately.


We began trying to decide what to do, when my dad suggested that maybe the tooth had just been pushed up into his gums (when he was young, he'd had a neighbor who had done that). I looked again at his tooth, it was one that he had chipped previously, and sure enough, I noticed that the contour of the chip was still there and I could see the outline of his tooth under his gums. So, we got on the phone with the nurse on call from Reed's pediatrician's office. She said we didn't need to be seen that night, but to call a dentist in the morning. Reed had settled down pretty quickly all things considered. We spent some time trying to talk him in to taking a dose of ibuprofen, but that just caused more sadness so we let it go.


In the morning when we woke up, Reed said it felt funny, but didn't hurt anymore. Thank goodness! We called a pediatric dentist's office and she explained that this is a common injury and as long as the tooth doesn't get infected, they like to leave it alone and the tooth would grow back out. With that, we were ready to head out for Da.y Ou.t with Th.omas!

Gma, the kids and I headed out to see Th.omas and all the attractions while Gpa packed up the trailer. There was lots for us to see including this engine that the kids could play in. Spring insisted on wearing the bill of her hat way down over her eyes so she had to tip her chin way up to see anything. It was pretty funny!

One of the stranger parts of our trip came when Gpa rejoined us. On the shuttle to Th.omas, he had sat by a family with a 4 and a half year old boy named Reed who had jammed his tooth into his gums during a camping trip! O.o What are the chances of that?!


Soon, it was time for our turn to ride Th.omas. R and S were super excited!! I love this picture, not because it's a great portrait or anything, but because you can see that they were just about to turn themselves inside because of the excitement!


We managed to get some good pics on the train too though. :)


Still waiting to depart!


We might be on our way at this point... it's hard to tell.


More cuteness on the train.


The kids LOVED seeing Tho.mas and I have to admit, I even got pretty excited when I saw him. :) You might have noticed that both R and S are wearing matching tie-dyes in this picture. It's not that I think it's super cute to dress them the same, but when I take them to a crowded place, I like to have them wearing similar bright colors so that if one of them gets lots, I'll have an easier time spotting them!


After our ride, we stayed around for a little bit longer, but we were headed to Potlatch next, so we left pretty quickly. It was a long drive there because Friday afternoon traffic was bad! Fortunately, Gpa beat us there and had the trailer all ready for us when we arrived. :) I didn't wind up taking a lot of pictures of us at Pot.latch because it rained a lot. I was thankful that we had the trailer to play in! We made it out to the beach a few times, went for some walks around the campground and even managed a to get out to do some bubbles.


We also went into Hoo.dsport on Saturday and didn a little fishing and crabbing there. Somehow though, I managed not to take any pictures of that. Perhaps I left my camera at camp or something. Anyway, despite the tooth and the rain, we all had a great time!