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!