Thursday, July 30, 2009

summer catch-up

Monday after the 4th the boys went with G&G up north for Karate. They aren't doing the 'camp' this year, because they've outgrown it, but are taking quite a few classes throughout the summer to get some good training. I know they are taking a jiu jitsu class and a kick boxing class. They are taking something to do with grappling. and Elijah is taking a sword and knife fighting class. They are having a great time. But, it is hard to have them away for so long. I am a home body who likes her family home as well. You wouldn't be able to tell with the life we live though....
We have been working pretty steady while they've been gone. One of our customers/friend gave us this scooter to add to our collection of putt putt toys. I think it will help me gain more confidence on the bike. Kas even took a go at it, which pleased us all I think!
We had Harley weekend, which is always fun. The fire dept has a fundraiser breakfast that we try to help out, after that,

our branch Pioneer party and a few other essentials, we headed up north to see the boys.
We got there late Saturday. Sunday morning we slept in, and then went over to Silver Lake, which is only about 20 minutes from Shaynes house and a family favorite campspot. We had a wonderful come it always tastes better camping? eggs, sausage, fruit salad, yumm!

Then we went exploring. Jess and I spent a girls camp at Silver Lake, our family has camped here numerous times, and J and I almost 'renewed our vows' here....we couldn't, so had a little reception here instead, which was great fun. My Simpson family had Thanksgiving here in their little lodge. We rented the whole thing and a few cabins. It was wonderful!
These photos show a little why we love it so much.

Beautiful scenery......
cute cabins (to rent...which we haven't)
love the moss covered trees....
little playground.....
We have a family shot right here, 6 years ago...if I can figure out how to scan the photo I will do it later. The kids have grown a lot. J and I are just a little chubbier! ;)
We also took a bunch of photos in this tree...I hope I can scan them. This is not a good shot, cause we had the camera on the ground......but it serves it's purpose! Look at my boy. It makes me crazy! Later in the day we went to a river near Shayne's house. am I a bad mom for letting my kids swim in that river? It was soo dirty, from a storm the night before. Elijah is definitely our adventurous one. He kept finding ways to float down the river a bit. It was a warm day so the water felt good. I just stuck my toes in....
Monday we went to the studio to watch the boys. Shayne has a very nice studio...

Practicing moves....

more moves......I let Cayden and Kale take some photos...this is what I got......

We are glad the boys are doing something productive this summer.
We are very blessed with great kids! And are very thankful for Jessie and Jonathan, Dad and Mom and Shayne and Penny for letting the boys do this.
We also left Kas up there so she could spend some time with the family. She is not interested in Karate this year...but wants to hang out with her cool Aunt Jessie. oh yea, and everyone else.
J and I rode the 650 home. It was HOT but we had a nice ride. We left the motorhome up there.
Oh, and we had a family birthday party for J! Happy 28 hunny! ;)

4th of July

The 4th of July at the beach is one of my favorite activities! I know I am kindof crazy, but I LOVE when people come to town. I love seeing them all, and wondering why they came to Ocean Shores, and how excited they are to be on a vacation and stuff. I do get impatient with all the traffic, and waiting in line at the grocery store and all. There is only one way out of town and on the 4th it gets way backed up and takes forever to come and go. but it is still worth it.
In Ocean Shores you can still drive on the beach, so the cars line up 4 deep sometimes and in some places. We usually try to find a place that isn't so packed. Because when the fireworks start going it gets crazy!
Another reason I love it here, is cause illegal fireworks are allowed on the beach. They are sold at the reservations, which are all around us...I personally don't usually buy fireworks, but alot of people spend a lot of money and take them out onto the beach....and I just have to show up and watch! Now, regular firework shows don't really interest me. They are nothing like what we see. The down of it you usually have to wear a sweatshirt...and sometimes a coat, or wrapped in a blanket. Which I really don't mind either. The last two years the fog has rolled in, which makes it harder to see the fireworks and drive around all the other beachgoers. Sometimes it rains. Last year the wind was really blowing, so the smoke was horrible on the eyes, and sand was blowing up into them. BUT, I still think it is worth it. and soo much fun.

Every year the kids make 4th of july tee shirts. Thanks to Family Fun Magazine we have been doing this for years and love it. This year was my first. I drew stars on my tee shirt with a bleach pen. I really liked the way it turned out. The kids used fabric paint. Their new favorite thing is the glow in the dark paint. Amber also made a shirt. Grandpa just jumped into the picture. You would NEVER see him painting a tee shirt! We brought the motorhome down to the beach after dinner. Friends met up with us. We were nervous about taking the motorhome because the tide was going to be high at 10:30--right when the official fireworks would start to go off. So we might have to try and leave in soft sand. I got J's truck so we had 4x4...but I ended up getting it stuck and the 4x4 not working. It took forever for us to get it out. and all the locals were wondering why J's truck, which is usually pulling people out of the sand, was in it! He was on patrol and couldn't come help us. I was very embarrassed. But, some kind soul took pity and finally got us out.

I thought Kas and Emma were getting their seats ready on the top, but they ended up not lasting up there for the fireworks!
Kaleb did some carving while he waited. Ted brought the girls which was fun.
He made some jiffy pop.
But, most of it either burned or didn't pop. I think he was out of practice.

Elijah loves lighting fireworks, so he appreciated those who brought them. I got my baby fix, which made me very happy!

Jeremy was officially on duty that day so he was gone the entire day and night. Friday and Sunday he had certain hours when he had to be at the dept. No fireman takes the day off on the 4th. In fact they hire in about a dozen or more other firefighters for the weekend. I told J they should sell tickets for people (mostly women) to walk through the firehouse while they were all there getting ready to hit their spots....It was a sight to behold! Anyways, he had a great weekend. I am always glad for company, since J is never around.

ps. sorry this took forever getting out. This is my third attempt. for some reason I would lose the post right as I was finishing. grrrr......

Sunday, July 19, 2009

rip John

A guy in our branch passed away last week. I think I heard when the call went out...for a natural, which means someone was found already gone (I think of natural causes but not sure about that). I hear those calls periodically and when I heard that one I thought, I know quite a few people in town, with work and school and church. Soon I will know someone, and then it will mean more than just a call.
I didn't know this man very well. He just recently started coming back to church. well, maybe for about a year or so. I don't know if he was getting reactivated, or moved back. I know he was familiar with some of the 'old timers' in the branch. He was a pretty quiet guy, not super involved with things. Didn't seem totally at home in the church. But he was there, and had been for awhile. He wore a ponytail. mid 50's or so....too young to be found dead. I know he was a grandpa to at least a beautiful baby boy. So, that means he was a father. He will be missed. I am just grateful he was in the right place, at the right time last sunday morning. I am grateful I know he has a much better new home than he had. He is in a good place. We never know when our time is up. I am certain last week he didn't expect it was going to be his last Sabbath. Or that he would be found, dead by some loved one later in the week.
I am amazed that I don't know more of the calls that go out. Sometimes, because people are 'regulars' I recognize the address or the illness or whatever. But, we live in a small town. When I hear especially scares me. A rare few times I will recognize an address as a friend... and know I need to make a phone call.
I love that J's job is taking care of people at some of their worst moments. Sometimes, helping someone survive a bit longer, or being one of the last they will see in this earth. He has a calm about him that is incredible. He has a tender heart. I know he is the last person I will want to see when I go, or the first when I am there, depending on who goes first.
I hope this man met someone he loved and missed. RIP, John.

Last leg of our journey

I think I already mentioned we went back to Carrie and Lori's for the night, before heading home. Kas and I made cute, little necklaces with Lori....I dropped off Judd and Sherrie's wedding gift...and afghan I made.....
We picked up Cole, and then said our goodbyes!

Very bittersweet. We'd been on vacation for a few weeks already and I think we were all ready to get home, but I love hanging out with my family. I know living close together causes drama sometimes, but they are all so awesome, and have wonderful families, and I know I miss out on a lot....but we have chosen to live on the edge of the we go! ;)
After a few discussions at the firehall, J decided he wanted to check out Jennie Lake in the Teton park. So, we decided to take the scenic route home. Which means we would not be going through Caldwell on our way home. We would be going through country we had never seen, or only been through in the dark, and part of it was on the bun burner we were game.

I decided I really like parts of Wyoming. I think I could live there. I really miss the mountains.
I usually read while we travel or sleep, but I was too enthralled with the beautiful scenery. and cute little towns we drove through.As I drove through various towns or valleys thinking "I could live here" I figured this must be how the tourists who come into Ocean Shores on the rare sunshiney, warm day say the same thing, and then want to move after their first rain infested winter! or summer for that matter! So, I decided I would just appreciate the scenery and feel happy for the people living there. and know if I ever did need to move to Wyoming, I might be able to find a place I would love. ;)
Our first night destination:We discovered that Wyomingites really like their antlers. There were quite a few times we were chasing storms. We got soo many shots of incredible cloud arrangements, and rain falling. We saw lots of lightening, and heard thunder. It was thrilling. I guess we are all adventurers, cause we loved riding into the storms. And seeing stuff like this:
And this:

Don't you just want to drive into that and maybe camp there?!
Here's another amazing shot! And another!

The kids were cozy in the motorhome.
As mentioned earlier, we wanted to camp at Jennie Lake the first night. When we arrived, we found out the site was full...later we realized it was tent camping only there anyways, so that wouldn't have worked. We had to continue on another 20 miles further to find an available site. We didn't even get to see Jennie Lake. Oh well. What we were seeing was quite incredible.
We made it to Coulter Bay campground right at dark. While we were getting ready for bed, Kaleb and I decided to give Teaka a walk around the camp. On the second loop, Elijah joined us and found this not so little critter.....
The next morning we went to the visitors center, checked out the museum there, which was very nice, and took a hike over to some smaller lakes. It was very nice.

I'd used my REI rebate to get a day pack the day before, so was trying it out on the hike. (Elijah also tried it out). Our family+ Cole. Loving the view!
Taking a little rest. We thought those were swans in the water, but after further inspection, realized they were pelicans. they are beautiful though!

Did I mention, I LOVE the mountains?
We went through Yellowstone...only stopping at the a gift shop for a shot glass...and at these bears. A few years ago, we were in Yellowstone and pretty much saw all the animals, except the bears. well, here we saw 2 bears together. We stopped and watched them play for quite awhile. It was quite exciting for us. We saw most everything this time except the moose!

Drive by shot....

Leaving Yellowstone.
Quick trip through but still fun. This is about the time we are realizing that we way underestimated our time. It is probably about 6pm and we still have much to far to drive to get home. We decide to keep going and end up sleeping in a rest stop for the night instead of finding a camp spot. We continued to enjoy the scenery through Montana. By the next morning we were all anxious to get home. J continued to trailer his bike, which was a huge act of love for me...he knows I don't love driving the motorhome, and I know how much he loves to ride his bike..So he won a lot of points on this drive! I am a lucky lady!
I mostly took this shot to show J's scruffiness. He really hates to shave but has to keep a clean beard while he is on his mask will he takes advantage of not shaving while he is on vacation!

Finally after almost 3 weeks on the road, we are home! We had a wonderful trip. The kids were so helpful and it was great seeing soo many people. Still many we didn't have time to see, but hopefully we will soon.
I am so grateful for opportunities like this. We are very blessed, and live in a beautiful country. I am so glad our kids enjoy nature as much as we do. and that we have wonderful family and friends we can call ours!
Next....4th of JULY