Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Scene at the Fair

Does the fair really need words? 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Summer Sizzles to an End

As the days of summer vacation counted down to a sad end we managed to squeeze in last bits of fun.  Once again we waded through traffic and heat to see the Blue Angels perform over Lake Washington.

 We took a last beach day with a friend along...

We visited the Harbor one last time.  Uncle Jacob and Aunt Emily were at Grandpa and Grandma's that weekend as well, so we got some more special time with Ollie.

 And we visited The Compound in the Woods (hehe) so that I could have some chat time with Sarah and so that the two Nora(h)s could have some play time together.  Nora up, Norah down....
 And Nora down, Norah up!
 The two little guys who will someday be best friends played nice at first.  But Henry quickly took it to fight mode as the visit wore on.  Someday he'll learn to play nice, right????
 And finally, finally, one day the weather man told us that the days of constant sunshine and upper 80's were coming to a close.  We didn't really believe him because we'd been living it for so long.  But, we packed up the car and raaaaan to the beach that night just in case.  As we left for home after our swim and the sun set in a heart achingly beautiful way, I just sat there watching the kids throw rocks at the water and call to the ducks.  "Drink it in, self" I said "and save it for some November or January day when you really need it!"  I almost felt like crying.  I knew the kids would be starting school in five short days.  I knew change was coming.  And I knew I was powerless to stop it.  So, we stayed five more minutes and soaked in the beauty.
 The sun gave us one amazing good bye wave...
and then it was gone.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Headed East

Mid-August we hopped in the family mini-van and trekked over the mountains and through the state to great-Grandfather (McEvoy) and Great Grandmother's (Froese) houses.  We had a fabulous driver:

 Sound track provided by the back seats.

 And I rode shot gun.  That means I get to take pictures, trade out books on CD, pass back match box cars (which will eventually be chucked at the back of my head), dig out the crayons and coloring books, pass out various food and snack items and nap when possible.
 We arrived at my Grandpa's place smack dab in the middle of the 103 degree afternoon.  We tried to stay inside his lovely air conditioned living room.  Alas, Henry had just been sitting for five hours in his car seat.  He was bent on destroying all of Grandpa's pretty decorations.  We decided to brave the heat and go for a little walk around Grandpa's super cute neighborhood.
 We stopped to watch the ducks at the pond just down the street.

 After a while we hopped back in the car and drove across town to Tadd's Grandma's place.  Grandma keeps a well stocked toy cupboard.  Between the fun toys and chatting with Grandma, the older kids were happy and entertained.  Of course, that didn't work with little guy.  So Tadd and I took turns letting him run the wide halls of the retirement home.  It was so good to get to see Grandma--it had been a little over a year since we last saw her.

 We walked with Grandma down to her supper hall and then we left and headed to Uncle Ted and Aunt Lynne's house.  They were kind enough to host us during our stay.  Our kids absolutely love staying at Aunt Lynne's country estate.  One reason is all the animals.  Pictured below is the regal Dexter.  He's half labradoodle and half black lab.  He is huge.  But he's so happy and friendly and harmless.  We all love him.

 The kids' favorite of the six felines is Pete the Cat.  He has his summer "lion cut" right now.  He's the favorite because he best endures the kids' endless attentions.

 The fires in eastern Washington were raging during our trip so the sunsets were all bright red.

 Another activity the kids enjoy at Aunt Lynne's house is wading and floating in the creek.  Wading was easy this year--floating, not so much.  The water levels were very low and the tubes were getting caught on the bottom.

  Henry--don't you know you have to get in the water to float????
One day Uncle Ted took us into the booming metropolis of Waitsburg where his Father lives so that the kids could float on the Touche River.
 It was a really fun time playing fetch with all the dogs, swimming and throwing rocks.  This day was much cooler than the previous because the wind had come up and there was a major dust storm blocking out the sun.

 Grandpa comes to Uncle Ted and Aunt Lynne's house each night for supper allowing us lots of time to see him. 

  Our visit overlapped with my  parents and two of my brothers and one sis-in-law by a few hours.  We were planning to leave Saturday mid-morning and Mom and Dad had picked Jeff and Kaitlin up at the airport in Seattle around midnight and then kept right on driving until they reached Walla Walla.  I don't know how they were all awake and functioning--but it was sure fun to get to all be together for a bit.  We took the opportunity to snap a shot of Grandpa with all the grandkids and great-grandkids who were present. 
 Then Mom and Aunt Lynne joined in the photo fun.  After we finished our photo shoot we got back in the car and headed north for Oliver's house!!!  Henry knew he was going to see his dear Ollie and he could not understand why it was taking so long.  "See Ollie!" he kept demanding.  
After our arrival we headed off to the park by Lake Coeur d'Alene for a picnic dinner and some play time. 
 That's Tubb's Hill behind the girls there.  And while we were playing at the park we heard lots of sirens and smelled pretty strong smoke.  When we looked up on Tubb's hill we could see that there was a fire.  More fire trucks than I could count arrived quickly the fire was extinguished. 

 Not sure this is how the sand sifters were supposed to be used--but these two sure thought it was fun.

It's a lot of fun to watch these boys develop their friendship.  Having a boy cousin just four months different in age is a special thing. 
We wrapped our trip up with a quick drop by visit to Uncle Brett.  We swooped into Moses Lake and took him out to a one day late birthday lunch.  Wished we could have spent a little more time with him, but we were glad for the quick visit.  Then it was home again, home again, jiggity jig to finish off the last two weeks of summer vacation.