Thursday, August 26, 2010

Kopachuck State Park

There have not been many hot days this summer around here. But when they come we sure do enjoy them! Living here with mom and dad there are lots of opportunities to be around water. I've posted about eating dinner at the beach by the Narrows Bridge before. This particular evening (and a few others) we ventured down to Kopachuck State Park. The sunset is visible at this beach. Plus, you hike down a fairly steep trail to get to the water, which means you get a workout on the way back to the car.
The water is freezing but that never stops the kids. Unfortunately, the current always pulls them quickly and so either Grandpa or Daddy have to get wet in order to bring them back to safety.
A watchful Grandpa.
Nora loved to dip her toes in the water.

If you look closely you'll see smoke rising above one of the mountains in the Olympics. There was a forest fire that had been very small and suddenly exploded to cover hundreds of acres that day. They let it burn as it was a natural cause and not threatening any humans. As beautiful as the Cascades are with the majestic Rainier around here...the Olympics at sunset have long been my favorite. If you can manage to cross the Narrows Bridge right as the sun is dropping--ooh, la, la!
Nora Liv turned 6 months the day after these shots were taken. She is changing in so many ways. She can do tricks--she sits alone and rolls over. She tries to move. She is experimenting with baby food, but doesn't love any of it yet. And the main thing is that she's happy. She still has fussy periods and loves to be held and cuddled. But I can put her down with toys on the floor and she'll play and be happy for fairly long periods of time. Her nights are full of interruptions, but she takes naps now. So many things to be thankful for. And she has two bottom teeth with two more just about to join them. Her thighs carry the majority of her weight still.

Ezra's my same old boy : )
The long legs I always wanted : )
Nora loved the feel of the rocks in her hands. As long as her pa-pa was in her mouth we were pretty sure that there weren't any rocks in there.
Her "hair" was glowing. Her hair does appear to be going blonde as it comes in.
So many opportunities for scenery shots. This happens to be the very beach where Tadd proposed to me. In August. At sunset. Down on one knee. After asking my father's permission. Yep, he did it all right. What else could I say but "yes"???
The lighting was just so beautiful for taking photos.Mom took some family shots for us. We are a family of silhouettes.

Watching for the exact moment the sun made its exit. After that we hiked back up to the car and drove home to the hot house. Ah, summer!

Miss Kine is Now Fwee

Translation: Caroline turned three! Way back on July 28th.

For Caroline's birthday we invited a few relatives for a pasta and cake feast and called it a party! Thanks, Uncle Dan, Aunt Cindi, Ally, Denise and Great-Grandma for coming to make her birthday so fun.
Caroline wanted a Strawberry Shortcake cake. My mom had the pan from when I was a little girl and wanted the same cake, so that helped. I asked Caroline what flavor she wanted and she asked for chocolate. I found a great recipe "La Diva Chocolate Cake" from my trustworthy cookbook A Passion For Baking. This cake is supposed to be wrapped in two layers of ganache--dark AND milk chocolate. But we needed colored frosting instead. I think it would have been pretty amazing with all the ganache, so I need to try that some day. Anyone having a party and need a cake??? Let me know : ) Anyhow. I love to bake. I'm terrible at decorating. My lovely mother came home from a long hard day at work and kindly made the chocolate cake look like Strawberry Shortcake. She had some helpers before the job was done.

The super cute finished birthday cake.
When it came time to open gifts, all the guests fled away from Caroline to avoid being in pictures. But I managed to get them anyway.
Caroline still opens gifts with gusto.
A hug for Great-Grandma.
Poor Caroline. She asked for a scooter for her birthday this year. I was so happy she did, because a couple years ago when Ezra earned a scooter by potty training we bought two scooters. They were 50% off and we knew that Caroline would want one some day. So, we've had a pink scooter hanging out in our stuff for a while now. We moved it from Snoqualmie to Idaho. Then we moved it back. And we packed it in storage. Where we can't find it. That's right. She asked for a scooter...we have the scooter...but somehow she couldn't have it for her birthday. Bummer. So, she got a sleeping bag. Which she's pretty excited about. We told her that someday when we get a house and free our stuff from storage she'll get a scooter and then it will be extra exciting.

Nora is trying to move these days in any way she can. If she's on carpet she grabs at the fibers and attempts to haul her body forward. She has rolled over and over a few times to get to a toy. And once while she was sitting up I saw her move her leg and scoot on her bum (just the way Caroline used to do instead of crawling) to try to propel herself forward. All of this movement terrifies me. This is only the very scary beginning!
She does love Strawberry Shortcake.
He helped her blow out her candles and gave her a big old birthday kiss.

Can you tell this little one had had just about enough party? It was a good time to call it a night!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Food, Fun, FORTY!

This is the kitchen we had to cook in at Tamarack--looks like a difficult task, eh? Such tight quarters and low-end quality : )

We ate good while on vacation. Makes me hungry just looking at these pictures again.
The above is the "Monterey chicken" I'll talk about later on in the post.

The whole reason we planned this lovely vacation was because a certain guy in our family turned forty this year. Yep--Uncle Alan kissed his thirties good bye. Aunt Heather is a great party planner. For his celebration night she had all sorts of black decor--fans with baby pictures of Alan on them, black licorice and candies, black table decor. And Uncle Alan's favorite meal--"Monterey chicken" a recipe borrowed from a certain eastern Washington man whose daughter just got married last weekend. It was delish!

Heather made a poster with 40 pictures of Alan--one from every year of his life. And each family brought him 10 gifts so that he had 40 gifts to open.
Kids love to party! comment.

We have a picture of Ezra and Teddy in only diapers when they were babies, so we thought we'd better continue the tradition.
On our last night of vacation we loaded up the vans and headed into McCall for dinner. Then we went to the shores of Lake Payette to play on the toys, wade in the water and eat ice cream that Grandpa and Grandma brought from the store.

There are now 9 grandkids. The 8th is crawling out of the photo and the 9th was in my front pack. We'll have to get an actual photo at some other get together. These kids were too busy making memories to pose quietly for them. That IS actual age order, though.

The ice cream was good!

And that, folks, was our vacation. I promise I'm done with Tamarack posts now!