September 14, 2013

Road Trip

Our family trip to Bend this summer was fabulous.  We're always so busy at home with work, school, and kids activities, so it was wonderful to have a few days to just be together without all the usual interruptions

We spent some time just hanging out at the house.  The rental was equipped with toys for toddlers which ended up being a huge help because we didn't bring much of anything to occupy Asher's time.  

The kids read everyday.  I still find it adorable that Asher will pick one of the big kids to sit with and read his book.  What a great thing for him to mimic. 

 The back yard of our place bordered nature trails and trees.  It was so peaceful.  
The hot tub was a nice perk for everyone too.


 We rode bikes from our house to explore the forest.  The kids can go for mile upon mile.


 There was river exploring, rock climbing....good fun.

  


 Asher tried to follow the big kids up this hill and boulders.  My adventurous little dude.





We drove to the Mt. Bachelor area one day and hiked Mt. Tumalo.  The kids rocked the mountain.  It was a big elevation gain and only a couple miles up.  The view was well worth it.

Mt. Bachelor in the back as we climbed higher.

One of many views at the top of the mountain.  We all had lunch and hung out for awhile.
 

 The view of South Sister peak.  Just awesome.


The kids enjoy trick pictures right now. Here Haven is eating a mountain and Sage is so strong he can hold up the peaks with his hands.




 Another day we visited the lava fields and walked around a caldera.

 Asher wanted to get out of his pack and hike on his own.  I spent a lot of time making sure he didn't walk off the ledges.


Paul with the kiddos.

Walking through the lava field our kids certainly made an impression on spectators as the kids posed for photos. 


We decided to journey into a mile long lava cave.  Surprisingly this was one of the kids favorite activities and they wanted to go all the way to the end.  It was 40 degrees in the cave and when we walked out if felt so nice and warm.


 Our last day of traveling we went to Smith Rock, a rock climbing mecca.  It seemed so out of place compared to the surroundings.  We started our adventure at the top and worked our way down into the valley...


The kids loved exploring and watching all the rock climbers.  
It was a great last hike before we headed home.

 

September 7, 2013

Goodbye Summertime

We had a lot of fun this summer spending time together.  After such a long year it's hard to say goodbye but it will be a good year for everyone.  We have a lot we're looking forward to.


Berry Picking...and eating.  Yummmmmmm!!!

Watering and eating strawberries from our yard.
 
Kids helping with house projects.

 
Sage's birthday party with his best buds.  Happy 10th!!!

Xavier learning how to mow the lawn on his own.

Asher on our nature trail.

Celebrating Father's Day with tasty food all day long.

Track Meets - All three big kids placed first in their age group.  Yahooooo!!!!

 Since the surgery I had in the spring, I've had to do some exercises and stretches to repair myself.  Asher normally joins me and tries to copy me the best he can.  It's so cute.

Haven in theater camp.  She loves drama and it's fun to watch her performances.
 
Bike riding for miles in the trees and along a river.
Of course the kids wanted to stop and play in the water.

 The San Juan Islands.  A day in the field for my work....not bad at all.

The research boat.

Asher's idea of a swimming pool.  He loved this all summer long.

Exploring the Cascades.

 Our destination hike.  A roaring surprise at the end.


Climbing on rocks and rock digging can occupy the kids or hours.

Asher took off all his clothes to play in the freezing mountain water.

  Coming Soon...
We were able to travel to California and Oregon this summer.  Stayed tuned for more pix.


July 7, 2013

Freedom At Last

The last nine months were very challenging because Paul has been working on upgrading a  certification for teaching.  There were many nights and weekends where he'd lock himself in the office to get his homework done while the rest of the family would go about our days.  Finally he's done with everything and we're loving the family time together, feeling free to make plans and enjoy each others company again.  We're hoping to embrace the summer over the next few weeks.
We celebrated the 4th of July by having a small bbq at our house.  The kids loved having food, desserts, games, fireworks, family and friends around.

 Water balloon launching was a hit on a warm summer day.  This launcher shoots over 100 feet.


Paul's parents visited the family for a week over Xavier's birthday and the 4th of Julyt.  We managed to make time get a family photo.  The kids love it when they're grandparents visit.
  
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 Something fun Paul's parents were able to see is how much Asher likes music.  He actually asks for it in the car or at home.  He'll run over to the I-Pod and sing part of a song he'd like to hear.  Not kid songs....pop songs or songs the family listens to.  Right now two of his favorite songs are hip hop...by Maclamore.  He'll dance with the big kids for a long time and try and copy their moves.  Asher is officially 1 1/2 years old.  He's a full blown toddler and has such a large vocabulary we can't keep track anymore.  He says new words almost every day and has seemed to run faster just in the last week.


Xavier celebrated his 12th birthday and got a big boy gift.  He got his first I-Pod and has had the birthday glow for over a week now.  I told him as a right of passage, going from elementary school to middle school, he has to give his mama bear a piggy back ride.  He was actually able to do it.  I can't believe he's so big now.  I feel so young to have a 6th grader.  Paul had other ideas of how to celebrate.  Big...embarrassing kisses!
  
 

 

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For Xavier's birthday we went to a trampoline fun zone.  What a great idea for the rainy northwest.  There were six trampoline rooms to choose from with floors and walls to bounce off of.  Out of all the trampoline rooms, Xavier's favorite was the dodgeball room.  Him and Sage couldn't stay out of there.  I love my boys.  Give them a ball and something to throw it at and their happy.

At the end of May Asher took a plane ride with me for a very quick trip to California.  We both flew down with my sister to surprise my mom for her birthday.  She had no clue we were coming and it was a fun filled family weekend.  Asher was elated at the airport to see all the airplanes.
Lauren was a life saver on the plane.  She downloaded some apps for kids and Asher was in heaven talking to Elmo and making trucks and other vehicles make noises.  He's a great little traveler. 



 Happy birthday mom!  Surprise!!!!
 


It was Asher's first time in California.  He now calls my dad Pop Pop because of a playful noise my dad kept making while playing with him.



Beach....beach....and more beach....Aside from family, it's the thing we miss most about living in California so when we visit we try and get a good fill.


 Asher loves his Pop Pop...playing in the truck before we leave for Washington.

Before we left we were able to visit my grandfather Hoho.  He was awake for a few minutes so we were able to say hellos and send our love.  Hoho doesn't remember much these days but having Asher there brightened his spirits.  I love you Hoho!