Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Thanksgiving (Yes, I realize this was a month and a half ago!)

 We got to spend a lot of time with this darling Little Thing over Thanksgiving.  His Daddy had to go to Florida for a roller coaster convention (or some such thing) so he and his Mama came our way and then stayed on until the holiday weekend.  They even came and stayed at our house for the first four days.   Henry and Ollie had such fun together.  They look nothing alike, but they know how to make mischief together! 
 I almost can't handle this close up of Oliver--too much cuteness!  I know I'm a biased Auntie, but really folks!
 Our immediate family spent several days at my parents' house for Thanksgiving.  All four kids were home--some of us bringing others along for the ride.  Uncle Jeff decided to bring his girlfriend home for the holiday and before she went home she became his fiancee!  Thanksgiving day we went to my Grandma's house for dinner.  I was so happy to not be the only grandchild bringing kids along for once.  Oliver was there, of course, and my cousin had his baby boy in tow as well.  The three second cousins were born within 9 months of each other.  I'm sure they will have fun times together over the years.
 Our girls brought wikki-sticks along to entertain themselves and our new Aunt-Kaitlin-to-be helped them make elaborate creations like this hamburger Caroline is holding--complete with onions, tomatoes and pickles.
 Thank goodness for Jelly the Pug featured on Zulilly to keep the girls lookin' cute.  They rarely match, so it's fun to make it happen on a holiday.
 Emily asked me to get a family shot for her....but Jake was not in the mood for picture taking.  I'm showing a whole series of shots to show how hard he was to deal with :) 
 Isn't that sarcastic smile so cute?
 None of these ended up on their Christmas card.
 At least Emily and Oliver look good.
 Grandma loved having so many children, grandchildren and greats around for the day.  She made all the dishes she is famous for.  And I'm quite certain she loved every last second she spent planning and cooking.

Back at Dad and Mom's after the big meal we had a Seahawks game to watch.  Everyone changed out of dress clothes and into Seattle gear.

 When these guys got to be too much to control, Grandpa just stuck them up on top of the refrigerator. 

 We had a lot of fun times in the days following Thanksgiving.  The only other time I got my camera out was the day we made wreathes.  Mom and Dad's back yard is chalk full of greens--including holly--it was the perfect place for wreathe making.  Thankfully, a Michael's craft store has opened about five minutes away from their house as well.  After I got all the kids to bed late Thanksgiving evening I ran to the store to take advantage of holiday deals and grab all the forms, wire and decor we might need.
 Tacky engagement photo with a wreathe--so fun!!!  We decided that making a wreathe together is a form of marriage counseling.  They passed. 

 Grandpa took care of the Chief Trouble Makers.  He looks so much like my Grandpa to me in this picture.

 Poor Kait-Kait got hit with a nasty bug, poor thing.  She was trying to look happy here for one last picture before heading to the airport.
 Photo bomb!
 "Hey guys!  I'm still here!"

Monday, December 29, 2014

Ocean Shores

There is so much back-blogging to be done.  However, I thought I'd whet my blogging appetite with something much more recent.  For Christmas the six of us hopped on over to Ocean Shores for a family get away.  We knew that the kids would be happy no matter where we went as long as there was a good indoor pool.  It was for Mom and Dad's sake we went to the ocean.  We wanted to hear the surf pounding and see the beauty of God's creation of the beach--even if the sand wouldn't be hot on our toes. 
 Getting to the beach wasn't as easy as we'd hoped.  Our motel was "beach front".  But you have to walk through the dunes and grasses a ways to get to the sand.  Unfortunately, all the beach paths were severely flooded from the ten inches of rain that had fallen the few days before we arrived.  We tried a variety of paths in the dusk shortly after arriving.  After failing repeatedly we gave up and went inside for a Christmas supper of clam chowder and crab salad.  Later we headed to the delightfully warm pool for a long evening swim.  I stopped to ask the exceedingly friendly front desk gal about the beach paths and told her we had turned back at several flooded paths.  She said "Oh!  Please don't walk at night, we have lots of cougars, coyotes and bears around here!"  Huh.  No more night walking for us, I guess. 
 The next day we walked to the main road and made it to the beach.  We still had to skirt around many lakes and rivers along the way.  The Washington coast is considered a highway--you can see all the tire tracks in the sand.

 Wet sand is perfect for sand castle building!  No trips to the ocean with buckets to wet the sand down.
 Snow pants on Henry kept him dry and warm(ish).  I wish I had brought snow pants for all four of them! 

 The muddy looking sand where the surf was crashing was pretty.
 I was dry and cozy in the new rain boots my daddy picked out for me :)   I would say I got a pretty good secret Santa this year (and possibly an elf that might have helped him with decisions). 
 Henry adores being tossed in the air....again and again and again. 

 Beach treasures.
 Daddy brought along a kite even though it wasn't terribly windy...
  sadly, we were defeated by tangled kite string.

 Nora had some frisby and castle fun.

 And since it was blue Friday we needed an appropriate picture.  Thanks to Grandpa and Grandma for a Seahawks outfitted crew.

 Back at our motel, our new pets were waiting for an afternoon snack.  As Caroline said "they prefer carbs".  Rolls?  Yes!  Green onions?  No, thank you!

 Henry loved watching the "oof oofs". 

  For once in our lives we didn't have to worry about Henry running away because he was terrified to go outside with the deer.  It was rather nice!
 Oops, a few more beach photos snuck in here.

 Ezra and Caroline spent the majority of their time up on the dune creating this huge tunnel. 

 Inside we enjoyed gallons of hot chocolate, hot cider and tea.  Nora brought along a new puzzle for us to all work on.  The key to puzzling for us these days is to keep it simple.  It has to be finished before Mr. Seek and Destroy wakes up.  There is no leaving a puzzle out for weeks, days, hours or even minutes. 
 Haha--in this next series of photos I caught Ezra pre, mid and post sneeze.

 And there's Mr. Goober Face himself--awake from his nap!
 The finished puzzle--just in time!
We spent about 8 hours in the pool, but I'll spare you any of those photos.  The kids would have spent even more time there if allowed.  Their eyes and skin were starting to complain from being bathed in chlorine, however.  All in all it was a very fun trip.  Two  nights and two days was the perfect amount of time to be in Ocean Shores during the winter.