Saturday, August 22, 2009

This is what 35 looks like...

When I was a teenager, 35 seemed downright ancient. 35 year olds wore outdated clothes, drove boring family cars, worked stuffy grown-up jobs and had lost the luster of youth. And while this is somewhat true, 35 still isn't exactly what I envisioned. Sure, I'm older and the luster of youth is starting to tarnish a little. Yes, I drive a minivan. And no, I'm not trendy. But I do have a pretty great life. I have such an awesome family. I have good friends and a fulfilling job. I have a wonderful man that I look foward to getting old with. This is what 35 looks like - and it's pretty darned good!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Kite Festival

On a whim we decided to make a day trip to the beach on Tuesday. We went to Long Beach for the Washington State International Kite Festival. We had never been to the kite festival before so this was all new to us. The weather was beautiful and it was the perfect day for kite flying. There were hundreds of kites in the sky - big twirling kites, huge animal kites, spinners and foils in every size and shape imaginable. They even had choreographed stunt kite teams flying to music. It was amazing to see so many kites in the sky at one time!
By far our favorite display was this one:
Hundreds and hundreds of kites lined up one after the other, streching as far as the eye could see (and then some). We were told there were 250 kites on this line, which is easy to believe. Just looking at it from the ground it seemed that they stretched all the way up to the sun. It was unbelievable!
On our second time past this display the kite owner asked the kids if they wanted to try to pull the kite in a little. Of course they said yes! They tugged and could get it down a little but they also learned how much pull kites have once they are up in the air.
We wandered around the kites for a while, the kids dipped their feet in the ocean then we went and explored the booths of kites, crafts and food available. And, of course, we went to visit Jake the Alligator Man. A trip to Long Beach just isn't complete without seeing that creepy little thing! LOL

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Long time, no post...

As always, summer gets away from me. It has been hard to find much extra time between teaching summer camps, camping with the family and chaperoning Boy Scout camp. Thankfully this is my last week of summer camps this year and I get 3 full weeks off before returning to a new year of preschool. We're hoping to end the summer with a few more fun family activities and maybe a trip to see my brother, sister-in-law and adorable nephew.

Boy Scout camp with Chase was good. We went to Camp Hahobas in Washington and it was a GREAT camp! The staff was amazing and the boys all had a great time. I only stayed a few days, just enough to help get the troop settled, get all the paperwork done and help organize the boys schedules. Then I took off and let Chase and the other boys enjoy some "non-Mom" time at camp. Chase earned another 3 merit badges there and brought home 4 partially finished merit badges. He also earned his star rank, one of only 4 (of the 20) boys in the troop to have achieved this rank. He's doing just fabulous in scouts and I couldn't be more proud.

Since I'm so bad at posting pics of myself, here's one taken by my good friend Tammy who has braved camp with me every year since our boys started scouts. 6 years and counting!!! Anyways, this is overlooking the Hood Canal at a spot not too far from our campsite.

Since last update we have taken another camping trip to the beach, this time to Pacific City. Usually we LOVE Pacific City and it's our fave camping spot of the summer, but we hit a bummer of a weekend.

The first day we got there was sunny but so windy. We walked on the beach, the wind blowing stinging sand at our bare legs. It distinctly reminded me of a windy summer day I spent on the beach as a kid with my brother and sister, the stinging sand hurting us but not enough that we gave up the beach. Of course, despite my fond memories, none of us really wanted to get hit by stinging sand so it wasn't too long before we headed back to the campsite and donned our bathing suits for a swim in the indoor pool.
The next 2 days were all overcast and dreary outside, though we did find time to go to the beach and see the tidepools. The kids did the obligatory climb of the sand dune. Carissa was first to the top, winning for the 3rd year in a row.
Now, a huge shout out goes here to Tristan, who labored up the hill to the first burm (where the race ended) and then continued up ... all the way up to the tippy top of the dune. And it's a LONG way up! It took him a while but he kept trying and trying, long after everyone else had given up. And he made it! Way to go!!!

We spent much of our time in the pool, swimming for an hour or two at a time 3 or 4 times while we were there. It was fun to just relax and play together.

I did get the kids to sit still long enough for me to take some portraits of them. Here are some of my faves:

Brian got some new ink. He had his first session a few weeks ago and got the first two turtles put on. He goes back in later this month to get the final 3 turtles put on. When he's done he'll have 5 turtles, 2 adults and 3 kids, each with a special design on their shell selected by each family member. Here's what it looked like when it was getting worked on:
and here's a done-for-today picture (the redness has gone away ... it's a black-and-white tattoo:

Last, but certainly not least, we welcome a new addition to our home. Tristan's rat, Lucy, has been sickly since we got her. If you remember a post a year ago, she had gotten pneumonia and had to go through 2 rounds of antibiotic shots. She got better but has never really been "well" since. Her time finally came and she is now buried in our yard.

When Tristan went to pick our a new pet we talked to the pet store about an alternative to rats, which don't have great lifespans. They suggested guinea pigs and as soon as Tristan saw this little guy he was sold.
He named him Hurley, after the punky little guinea pig in "G-Force", which we had seen just a week earlier.
This little piggy has the cutest little punky hairdo. This little piggy cuddles. This little piggy loves lettuce and timothy hay. This little piggy jumps around when he's happy. This little piggy is adorable, even if you can't tell front from back. This little piggy already has us wrapped around it's little finger.
Well, that's the news from here. Hope your summer is great!