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. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

This Dude

 This handsome dude marked nine years today.  Nine years--unbelievable.  I can start to remember a lot of things about my life at nine years old.  I formed some of my most important friendships at that age.  I learned important concepts.  Set foundations for the rest of my life.  Scary!  Now my boy is there.  If I stop to think about helping him form friendships and setting foundations it's terrifying.  But then, learning to get up every few hours to feed and diaper him was just as terrifying nine years ago.  He has been patient with us.  I'm so thankful that he's ours.
 He is the best big brother anyone could hope for.  His little sisters and brother know it too.  They really look up to him.  And he takes such good care of them. 
 Ezra is excelling at third grade academics and holds the bar high for himself--a little too much pressure sometimes--he forgets that perfection is not required.
Sports are his love.  Right now we are enjoying watching him in the middle of his basketball season.  It's fun to see him grow as an athlete.  Ezra, may you always let your light shine brightly.  Jesus loves you.  And so do Mommy and Daddy!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Face of Forty!

 Tadd turned 40 today!  Wahoo!  We tried to make his day a little brighter by filling it with 40 notes/messages/gifts/surprises.  First of all, the kids came up with a list of "40 Reasons we Love our Dad".  Then we attached each of those reasons to a treat or a note of some sort and then hid them all over for him to find.  It was really fun for us to do.  Hopefully it was fun for him too.  I think he enjoyed it.  I loved seeing all the reasons the kids came up with.  They really notice the big and little things that make their Dad so special.
 I had full intentions of making him a cake--but life happened (and Henry climbed fully INTO the fire place twice--in addition to a lot of other mischief) and I found myself running to the grocery store bakery while he was at b-ball practice with Ezra.  I do plan on having some sort of a birthday shin dig for him in the near future and I WILL make some sort of cake for him then....unless life happens again. 
 His Mom and Dad arrived a few hours before dinner and that was a fun present.  We all get to enjoy having Grandpa and Grandma here with us for a while.
 And now we have a 40 year old roaming around these parts.  I hope to tap into some of his wisdom of the ages.  After all that excitement he took his tired self up to bed and was asleep by 9:15.  Happy Birthday Tadd!  We are very thankful the Lord put you on this Earth 40 years ago. 
Because their list was so sweet--I must share it : ) 

Forty Reasons we Love our Dad!

  1. He's funny
  2. His kisses
  3. He's tricky
  4. He's loving
  5. He fixes lights
  6. He builds us things
  7. He is trust worthy
  8. He goes to work every day
  9. He earns money for us
  10. He is the best dad
  11. His smile
  12. His hair
  13. He is creative
  14. All the painting he does in our house
  15. He is pretty
  16. He cares for us
  17. He coaches my teams
  18. Bike riding with us
  19. He is handsome
  20. He reads the Bible with us
  21. He prays for us
  22. He is saved
  23. He does fun things with us
  24. He takes me on Daddy Dates
  25. He takes me fishing
  26. He takes me out for hot chocolate
  27. He takes me to moto cross
  28. He is honest
  29. He is a good driver
  30. He is kind
  31. He gives to others
  32. He teaches us how to draw
  33. He plays kick ball with us
  34. He shoots hoops with us
  35. He helps me shoot better
  36. He orders pizza for us sometimes
  37. He takes us to Sunday School and meeting
  38. He prays with us at bed time
  39. He helps us with homework
  40. He is our dad