Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Finally Summer!

This summer has been very late in coming! We didn't officially see the sun until late July. We have seen Poppie and Nonnie a lot though. They came up to work on their rentals mid July and we convinced them after 4 days of not seeing them at all (they were sleeping at the rental, on the floor) to at least spend their nights over here. When we were finally able to see the sun we spent some days preparing for our upcoming house boat trip by playing in the lake, jet skiing and tubing. Even Berg enjoyed a couple of jet ski rides!

Nonnie got creative with a paint brush taped onto the end of a pole and now we finally have a finished living room! It even inspired us to put up the remaining curtains over the stairs.

And I found a place for all those 4 month baby pictures! The family tree wall - of course! Repainting helps you see more clearly.

Poppie and Nonnie have been sleeping in the girls room, so all the kids sleep in the boys room, the girls have their own little nest beds on the floor and Berg is in his play pen. I moved the mini T.V. and the cool antique drawers that have never had a home into their room. The drawers store all our videos and the T.V. only plays videos - it's perfect. They are allowed to watch them on weekend mornings and we get to sleep in! We all love this new addition!

We've done three VBSs this summer! The first one was July 11-15 - Panda Mania at Oberlin. (Jasper's favorite) The second was July 18-22 - Hometown Nazareth that our whole family participated in at Lake City. (Eben's favorite) And the third was August 1-5 - Son Surf at Little Church on the Prairie. (Kivi's favorite) We set up a VBS shrine on the mantle so we could admire their work. VBS = a million crafts.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Kivi Turns 6!

Kivi came up with a super cool theme this year for her 6th birthday:

And she knew exactly how she wanted her cake to look too! The campfire looked so cool when we lit the candles that were in it.

We set up a s'more table, with all sorts of options, from mint chocolate or coconut marshmallows to already made in the package ones which we called "Lazy Man S'mores".

Between us and the Schocks we were able to cover our yard with four tents. We put a campfire in the middle of the yard and camp chairs all around it.

After the kids played a "get the bugs out of your tent" game, they made their own trail mix for part of their take home treat. It was all sugar cereals and dried fruit. Yum. My kind of trail mix.

Then it did what always happens when you go camping in the state of WA - it down poured! Big time rain. Good thing we had all those tents for people to go into. And Peter got tarps and covered all the cute tables previously mentioned. It looked like tarp city. Unfortunately dinner was a make your own foil wrap deal, so we all had to brave the wetness, choose our own ingredient to put in the foil and stick them into the fire. They turned out amazing despite the waiting for them to cook while we huddled under tarps.

It stopped raining long enough for us to get a group shot and then it started again.

So Peter and the guys carried the tables under the deck and we continued the party there with birthday cake, ice cream and present time while the kids decorated their own tent broom and dust pan.

We got Kivi the American Girl doll, Kirsten. It was the first American Girl series she read and she fell in love with her. I searched for her forever on ebay, because she's a retired doll and found one finally! Peter says I was obsessed and he's probably right, but Kivi loved her!

The rain let up again, so we hiked back over to the camping area for some after dessert dessert - s'mores! Most of the kids opted for the giant marshmallows.

It might have rained, but we still had a great time "camping" with our Kivi girl and our friends. And she had a great day!

We love you, Kivi Pea! You are such a delight to be around! You are always helping and serving our family. You're joyful and full of life. You are hilarious and come up with the funniest stuff. You are talkative, smart and competitive, kind and thoughtful toward others. You are definitely becoming an awesome woman of God already. We are so blessed to have you as a daughter. Happy 6th Birthday!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tide Pool Day!

On July 7th we woke up early and headed out to Salt Creek Recreation Area near Port Angeles to go see the tide pools. We had ocean week the week before and learned about many different types of sea animals. We thought it would be fun to go see some of them. Plan #1 was to go to Point Defiance Aquarium, but since we don't have a pass, it was going to cost over $100 so we nixed that plan. This was way more adventurous anyway. After sleeping on their own seats for an hour of driving, the kids woke up and sat at the little table Dada set up for a donut breakfast in the bus.
After we got there I realized I had no clue how to read tide pool charts. I followed the one from Port Angeles, only a couple miles away, only to find out we had gotten there right around this beach's highest tide of the day. Good thing the high tide for that day was still pretty low. So the kids played on the playground while Dada and Berg took a nap in the bus and waited for the tide to go down a little. After a picnic lunch we headed down to see the creatures.
Eben and Kivi looking for crabs. They got really good at flipping over rocks and trying to catch them before they scurried away.
Berg loved the little crabs, and his Dada ride. He wanted to see everything, so he kept leaning way over to the side. Peter said he felt like he was carrying him with one shoulder the whole time.

Opie going through the rock tunnel on the beach.
Finding stuff is hard work. Opal was done before the others so she and I sat by a big rock while the rest went exploring.
I think we saw more just looking really hard while we sat there than we did the whole time we were walking around. We found giant sea anemones, many types of crabs, chiton, mussels, barnacles, and little sculpin fish. Then I thought to turn over the big rock and look under it and we found four starfish!
It was a fun hands-on day of learning, family memories and a long, quiet bus ride home.

One Morning

Life is fun and relaxing right now, sometimes crazy, but mostly hilarious. On the morning of July 6th, while sitting on my porch swing overlooking the lake drinking my must drink, Oregon Chai Tea, I captured these of our silly kids.

Berg reading a magazine in his favorite swing - right next to mine. It says, "Get rich slowly, be protected instantly." He "read" it for about 30 minutes!
Of course while we swung we were entertained with what else - a show!
Oh, to be four (and a half!! as Jasper would say). A picture says a thousand words. Here's 3,000:

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Day After

It took us a really long time to clean up from the party this year. We weren't really that motivated to clean again. But we were excited to light off the rest of the little roman candles and bottle rockets that we didn't get to light the night before. Jasper was not that excited about how loud fireworks were. When we went to buy them at the firework stand they lit some off for us so we could see them and he freaked out. (During 4th he liked them as long as he covered his ears.) That's why they threw in some free lanterns! So we lit those too! Now we want to make our own. They were so fun! The kids loved them. But I'm glad we didn't release them on the 4th, we wouldn't have seen them in the dark and they probably would've gotten blow up by all the fireworks. Plus this way each kid had a chance to let their own lantern fly away by themselves. And they were the main event of the evening.

The cool-looking dead fireworks burning in the fire.

Lantern time!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Big 4th Party!

It was a beautiful day on July 4th to have lots of friends and family over to celebrate our country's independence! Peter and I were up till 2am the night before cleaning and moving all of the winter gear out from under the deck. We always need a big party to get us motivated to do deep cleaning. He and Grandpa even moved the chicken coup!

On the 4th, we had a casual cleaning and playing day until 2 when folks started coming over to swim! Opal spent her time painting everyone's nails. It's her favorite thing to do. Lately she's gotten into much mischief and is forbidden from all things polish and make-up.

The kids were drawn to the sand and ended up building a huge river and city, it took them all day.

They had great plans, and were very excited about the project.

Peter came in from riding the jet ski and the kids paused their sand play for a quick family photo!

All that sands makes for one dirty girl!

A view from the dock in between burgers and fireworks. I went crazy and spent most of my day sautéing onions and frying up bacon for the burgers. It took forever! Next year I'm going to do that stuff the day before- or buy precooked bacon. But the extra toppings sure made the burgers tasty!

The traditional 2011 4th of July sparkler picture! It had to be the most painful picture ever! We asked for good sparklers, not the cheap ones that resulted in the smoked out picture a couple years before, or one that last only a few seconds and then die. So the lady sold us some "real good" sparklers. They were "real painful" too! Especially when all of us have them going at the same time and were standing so close.

Bergie confused by the stick of fire. Actually he loved it, he just looks perplexed here.

And then the kid fireworks began! Roman candles - hurray! Jasper insisted that only Mr. Raykovitz could help him.

I love fireworks! The Woods brought an amazing amount with them and he let me light a ton of them! This huge one was called One Bad Mother-in-Law.

The lake show began, and then ended with technical difficulties. But it was okay. We had lit off a lot on our own dock from the Woods stash and everyone around the lake had lots to light off too. We still got a good show and an awesome feeling of US pride. Yay fire!

And then the kids lit off ladybugs.