Friday, August 24, 2012

Calling All Actors!

Thanks to a wonderful family sponsorship the boys were able to do an acting class at the Civic Theater. It was such a great experience. You'll see us there again!

The theme was Dr. Seuss. The boys spent all week memorizing their lines and preparing for the big show. I went about finding "costumes."

A ton of family showed up and watched the boys perform. They had so much fun! And they did a wonderful job. Here are some of the best shots.


One of our favorite summer activities is to go hiking. It's been so hot we haven't been able to go lately, but this week we just sucked it up and went. The kids had a blast!

Here are the kids on the trail.
I let the boys climb a big rock hill.
We bring only the essentials. Babies. And water bottles.


The kids have never been to Silverwood. This year they got free tickets from school for completing some reading time. It was a blast! We arrived at opening and stayed until closing. 10 hours at the park (not including driving time). So much fun.

The airplanes were a big hit.
This was the boys' first ever big kid roller coaster. And their last (for now). Oops. Thomas said it was fun, but his face on the ride said otherwise. Here's Joshua and Dan before pulling out.

We did many many other rides, and ended the pre-lunch rides with Thunder Canyon, the 8 person raft that goes through the rapids. Molly calls it "bumper boats" and she will cry if you ask her about it. She hated it. Oops.

We ate a picnic lunch and then changed into swimsuits and headed to the waterpark portion. Katie LOVES the water now. She went down the small slides head first!

The boys did the big slides and really really enjoyed them. Then Dan took turns taking the boys on the tube rides while I did the lazy river with the other kids. It was pretty great. The boys would just swim the river and enjoy the current. Katie wouldn't get out of the water! She was right there with the boys! Molly floated on a tube happily, until I let her tip over accidentally, then she didn't like it so much. Oops.

After the waterpark closed, we changed again and went back to the rides.

Molly rode the carousel on a horse named Bob. She was so happy.

The girls really enjoyed the "Frog Hopper."
We were there until it was really dark. But the kids had a blast. We can't wait for next year!

Batter Up!

This was the boys' first year of baseball. It was really fun to watch. They are 6 1/2 years old and took a class for 4-6 year olds. It was very evident that the boys were the oldest in the class. But they had a great time. Highlights include:

Thomas batting
The girls would get bored. So they climbed fences

The boys and their coaches. Coach Timber and Coach Homerun

Some parts I wish I had had a camera on hand for?

1) Dan and Thomas frequently play baseball at home. But because there are only two playing they've devised new rules (for home only). If the person is running from base to base, you tag them with the ball. Thomas tried this once at the first practice. Oops. Kid not so happy to be tagged by a ball in the back (wiffle ball mind you). Poor choice, great aim.

2) Thomas takes tagging someone out very personally. So, when he was first base, the person hit the ball, he grabbed it and "tagged" them with a "gentle" tackle. Yup, tackle baseball. Oops. To be fair, the kid got out. But, yet another learning opportunity. Oops. (*Fingers pointing at daddy*)

3) Katie decided the first week that she would not wear her seatbelt home. So she and I walked home. No stroller. Almost 100 degrees. A mile and a half. And she walked the whole thing. She liked it so much that she asked me to bring the stroller so we could do it again the next week. Mommy time is good time I guess.

River River and River Again

We love the river. We go there often. Here are some favorite moments:

Daddy and the boys jumping off the dock
Joshua is really loving the water and is learning to dive.

We try to invite friends over often. The Autrey's are one of our favorites. Here's Sami (the boys' friend):

And sometimes the river is exhausting (especially for Katie)

More river pictures to come!

Library Time

Because we like to keep the library operating with our late fees, we also partake in the many awesome programs the library offers. During the summer there are weekly events that my kids are finally old enough to go to!

We went to Japanese Drumming. It was awesome. I won't lie. The girls were not impressed. They fell asleep and slept through the entire presentation with loud drumming. Silly girls.

We went to an "Animals at Night" presentation. The kids were fascinated. I'll have to get the pictures of my phone, but Joshua helped during the owl presentation and Thomas helped at another part. Really fun!

We also saw a magician. The boys thought it was hilarious. And they learned tons of great stuff. I learned to check the girls when I tell them to dress themselves. Halfway through the magic show, as Molly was rolling around on the floor in front of me, another mom exclaimed, "Oh my!" I look down and Molly is going commando. In a dress. With her legs high in the air. Whoops. We had a quick discussion about sitting properly when not wearing underwear (is there such a thing?). I learned to check before we leave. :)

We ended with a karate presentation which was more like a lesson. The kids absolutely loved it. They practiced stances, phrases, and breaking boards. They all want to take karate lessons now!

Ocean 2012

One of the more expensive parts of being married to me is that I require a yearly trip to the ocean. To feel the ocean, walk on the ocean, hear the ocean; it sets my heart at ease.

Sometimes the trip there is not as easy as it would seem. A week before we left, strep throat started running through our house. I got all kids on antibiotics before we left on Monday. BUT, by the time we hit Tri-Cities on Monday morning, I was crying in pain. :( After an hour of signing up for temporary insurance in Oregon (because Group Health hates me), I got my meds and in 24 hours was a much better person.

On the way down we stopped at Multnomah Falls. It was a wonderful stop except that I had spent so much time with insurance on the phone sitting in the car with the doors open that I drained the battery. Thank goodness for nice people with jumper cables!

This year we rented a vacation house with our good friends the Worthy's and stayed in Lincoln City for nearly a week. It was really a wonderful vacation. Here are some highlights.

As soon as we got there we went running on the beach. The girls loved running with Kyle.
 It was low-tide so we found starfish.
We went to another beach that Beth had heard about and it was amazing. There was a massive dune that we crawled up.
 Once at the top there was a cool tree...perfect for a picture.
 And a ledge for posing on.
Thomas loves walking on the beach just as much as his mama. We walked for hours. Sometimes we got goofy.

We went back to the "dune beach"at low-tide and the tidepools were amazing. This time we brought fishing nets (from the dollar store) and buckets and the kids spent hours catching fish and crabs. So much fun!

The kids made a pyramid on the beach.

We went BACK up the dune and jumped off the little cliffs.

Molly waited until I'd already done a trip up that darn dune before she decided she HAD to go up and jump too. Ack! But, we'll just chalk that up to good quality mama/daughter time. To be fair, she had a blast and kept jumping off higher and higher cliffs until I was no longer comfortable!

On the fourth day, Katie realized she does in fact like that water and the beach.

Last day family picture.

On the way home we stopped at the fish hatchery at the Bonneville Dam. The kids did great and the trip ended on a happy note. What a great vacation!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cherish the Moments

You might think that the phrase "cherish the moments" applies mostly to parents and their children. But not in our house. Today Thomas was having a moment because his sisters were being annoying. I pulled him up on my lap and we had a chat.

I explained that after this summer he and Joshua will be in school full-time and that they will never ever get this time back. The girls will miss them and get bigger and life will change. But this precious.

I told him how I hope and pray that I played and enjoyed my time with my brother when we were this age. Thomas asked me, "Do you miss him?" I replied, "Yes. Very much. We use to do so much together. But now we're married and have families. Life changes." His eyes welled up with tears and he gave me a big hug.

I explained that when I was a kid I thought my brother was annoying too. And even more, that he thought I was annoying too!!! When I asked, "Can you believe that?" Joshua eagerly jumped in the conversation to say, "Yes!I can believe it. You are annoying. Like when you talk...." Um.....thanks Joshua! He went on to say that it was annoying when I talked to other adults and he wanted to talk to me too. :)

I told the boys to cherish the moment. Love those girls. Those two little girls look at the boys with such big and happy eyes. They miss Thomas and Joshua while they are at school. The reunion is so sweet. But right now, it's summer, the girls are little, and this is the time to really love each other and enjoy our time together.

You might think that "cherish the moment" applies to parents and children but it doesn't. It applies to everyone. Cherish this moment. Whatever it is. Whomever your with. You won't get this moment back.