Friday, August 29, 2014

As the Summer Sun Sets

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Today was one of those days that I cherish and that I don’t feel like I get enough of. The kind of day where you are home and in your pj’s for longer than usual. We made a big bed with blankets and pillows and the five of us laid on it and read 14 chapters of Captain Underpants and laughed our heads off before finally getting dressed and heading out for a bike ride where we rode circles around the school parking lot and screamed when we went over the speed bumps. Ah, the simple happy pleasures of summer.

As summer draws to an end I am sat to ponder on all the wonderful memories we have made in these past few weeks, beyond just the sunshine and the smiles. Because this blog is my journal I like to sometimes sit down and write about the “what else’s” of life. The things that don’t stand out at first, but that really probably are what matters most.

Like the morning when Emmett (our little early bird) got up to find me at the table reading my scriptures. After just patiently sitting there for a minute I asked him if he wanted to go pick out a book for me to read to him. He came back with his scriptures and sat down next to me. We read together.

Or the night when Jeff and I checked on kids before turning in and noticed our big, strong Braxton cuddled with his batman figurine. Made for a good belly laugh right there.

There was also the Father Son Campout that all the boys enjoyed with their dad and the girls party at Bama’s that night, including sparklers and beach combing.

There were the days that Jeff took Braxton and Emmett to work with him and paid them for their labors. Having to lower his wages only once when he figured out Braxton was more efficient than he expected.

There was the 1/2 birthday breakfast we had for Emmett, only because he honestly counts through the whole calendar, daily, awaiting his birthday.


There was the Lynden Fair that we enjoyed for a whole day full of animals, rides, curly fries, and more and more rides.


What I enjoyed the most though was watching my kids work together. There was Gage hopping up and joining Adelle while she practiced her piano. This was Adelle’s way of helping a momma out. Or the boys helping each other to unload the dishwasher before heading out for the day to ride bikes. The little bums along the back of the boat laughing and cheering as the daddy’s got whiplashed on the tube. Jeff coming home from work to the back yard full of kids and friends, only to show off and make all the kids laugh. The garden, loaded with goodies fresh for the pickin!


There was opening weekend of crabbing season and my dad and Jeff working long days all week to be able to have the day off and break records. Enjoying crab on the beach and smore’s with my 85 year old Great Mary (as the kids call her). Don’t tell her I put this picture on here Smile


There was the day trip to Lummi Island with another classmate where we met up with Adelle’s Kindergarten teacher and she hosted us for the day taking us on hikes and nature walks and to the lake to play and swim.

Not to mention Casey’s super slip n’ slide where we ran and slid only to be the fastest and go the furthest. Bar-B-Q’s and potlucks and late nights having fun. Showing our kids how to have a good time; “Now kids, you sit over there and watch while mommy and daddy see how fast they can go.”

There was the weekend Bryce and Chelsey took our 3 big kids for uncle and auntie adventures and Jeff and I got to spoil Gage and eat out as a threesome. The big kids had so much fun hiking the Chief, rock climbing, playing soccer and just hanging out with two people who love them so much. They felt so big and special and survived the whole time even without me.


There were morning smoothies where Gage would gulp down his own and then beg for whoever’s glass was still full. If the smoothie wasn’t sweet enough for the other kids they would give theirs to Gage and he would down them.

There was lots of hotdoggin’ with Umpa’s boat and the time that my mom decided to try it because it looked so easy and her and Braxton and Emmett flipped off. There was the week we spent 8 days in a row at the beach. Between my parent’s house, Lummi Shore with friends, Lake Samish with the youth, and then some of those places repeated. Phew. And then trying to braid Adelle’s hair and noticing her whole scalp is lined with sand.


There were a few park days where I would sit and watch Braxton push his sister on the tire swing, really fast, just the way she likes is and then watch as they all ran around playing tag with each other but making sure to go easy so Gage could play as well. The time that Braxton washed my car and got his sister to help.

The girl that Braxton met at the beach who became his best friend for the day and who he was so excited to tell his dad about when we got home to see him. The night we called Jeff and told him not to go home but just to come meet us at the beach.


The fun birthday party we threw for our Auntie Melissa who does so much for us and loves hanging out with our kiddos. The kids were so excited to throw a party they decorated and made homemade cards and gifts. We had lots of fun with lots of the ladies in our family and were excited to welcome home cousins who have been gone too long but managed to come back and pick up right where we left off.


And last, just having all my kids in the backseat (or the truck bed). Cooler filled with water bottles and snacks. Swim bag always packed and ready in the back of the car for those unexpected beach days. Singing along to the radio. Laughing with our windows down. Some saying they are hot, some complaining that they are cold. Some dozing off because of a fun day or late night. Asking questions about all the construction or, “what’s whiskey in my water mean mom?”

These are the days I want to remember. Some of the many gifts of summer.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Mossy Rock Camping Trip

IMG_0312 This year our Annual Camping Trip that we take with our friends just happened to fall on our 11th Anniversary. That morning we loaded up the truck, to the rim, and piled in for the road to Mossy Rock.

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Best camping trip yet I would say. Our kids were at great ages this year. Gage was happy to be with the bigger kids, doing whatever they were doing. I would often find him in the McManus’s tent, with Bryce, just hanging out. Either there or over with Casey and the bag of cheetos. Gage loved the water and swam and swam. He would fall asleep on the boat if we happened to be out during nap time. He slept soundly and was such a fun little camper.

Emmett is our little fish. He isn’t much for tubing but you put a life jacket on him at the beach and he will be in the water swimming into you pull him out. Braxton bought him a net because he was determined to catch one of the little fishes in the swimming area. One morning some of the boys went out fishing and Emmett came back with the only keeper. He was so, so happy and proud. Meanwhile Braxton was green with envy. Emmett also liked the s’mores, a lot and riding his bike. Now that he doesn’t use training wheels he thought he was such big stuff riding laps and laps around camp with the big boys. Trying tricks and wiping out I was amazed at Emmett’s confidence on that little pink bike he rides. We also got a few good games of UNO in on the trip.

Adelle was thrilled to be back with her BFF, and cousin, Kate. They traded shoes right away and wore dresses most of the trip. Adelle and Harvey also got a lot closer this trip. Both of them are growing up and branching out a bit more. Adelle loved the knee board and tubing with the boys. She was excited to snack on camping food and basically have freedom to do all day what she wanted with her little friends.

Braxton was also a bike riding machine. It was great because when we weren’t at the water or on the boat the boys would all ride bikes to keep themselves busy. Braxton rode and rode and tried some jumps and other tricks. He also tested his courage by jumping off of this one story baracade out in the water. It was pretty awesome and he was really proud. He also loved tubing and knee boarding and fishing, even though he didn’t catch a fish. Brax and his friends played some football in the swimming area, a good soccer game on the grass and bike riding the rest of the time.

Jeff and I had a happy anniversary surrounded with our kids and good friends. It was so relaxing this year and for the first time I wasn’t feeling anxious to get home. We all slept so good and everyone cooperated and was so chill. The weather was so great. The campsites were great. We got a bigger cooler this year so I felt like we actually had enough room for the food we needed and the ice to keep it good.

I love this tradition. I love camping with my family and our friends. It’s so fun to make such good memories with people who love you and love your kids. We stayed up late around the campfire and talked while the kids slept. Makes me happy that we have this sense of friendship and community in our lives to help buoy each other up.

Oh, and for the record Jeff’s wake boarding skills are getting really good and mine are getting better. Also we both showed our stuff and jumped off the same structure Braxton jumped off of. It was crazy thrilling to me. I guess I maybe need to get out more?