Thursday, September 15, 2016

First Day of School 2016

The kids were so excited to get back to school. Everyone was up VERY early. All smiles! Mr. P is off to his second year of middle school...7th grade! 


Tuba is off to his LAAAAAST year of job and skill training. I have more to write on that topic later. He was so excited to see the bus come, he screamed!!


The littles that aren't so little anymore, were also eager for the new year. George is off to 2nd, Moses off to 5th (final year of elementary), and Sis is off to 3rd. I love the bright sporty outfits!


Cam and I were very sad to see them go. We really missed all the noise and chaos. We were a little depressed. Okay, NOT!!! We were doing the whoohoo and oh-yah dance!! We went to the gym for a good workout and then headed to lunch. A lunch of peace!! God bless school!




No joke though that the dogs were sad! These two got up on my lap to cry and whine. Poor babies...maybe they can go to school too?!


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Summer's LOOOOONG

I've come to the conclusion that summer break is about 3 weeks too long. My kids were SO ready to head back to school weeks before it began. Last year we met a family from England and they were shocked to hear how many weeks American kids have off for summer. They said in England the kids have a 6 week holiday break. That about sounds perfect!

Maybe if we could afford a bunch of camps and things for the kids to attend it wouldn't seem so long. But, we can't and by the last few weeks of summer the kids were bored and quite frankly sick of being around each other all day long. They like each other but it was too much together time.

So we settled in for the long last stretch of summer. We enjoyed resting...


And we hiked...



And we bonfired...


And we visited the library...


And we had beach days and then had to soak our feet from the rocks scrapes...


And when things got really bad I turned to candy...


Tuba started to get depressed with the long wait...


I got a bit crazy and to entertain myself I began to take pics of my sleeping kids...



And you know what?! We made it! Phew! Another great summer (yet long) under my belt. And we are SOOOOOOO happy that school has arrived. Yeah!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Swimming

Our tradition at the end of vacation is to stay half way home at this fun hotel! We love the pool! 


The weather wasn't super nice but the pool was nice and warm and the kids were excited to play. 
Sis had just finished a round of swim lessons and had told me that she could swim. I wasn't sure exactly if she could really swim. 

She assured me she could do it. She had been wearing a life vest all summer but she got into the hot tub and showed me how she could swim across it. Wow! 


So I had her get into the pool and show me again. She did it! Within 30 minutes she went from swimming along the edge to swimming across the deep end.


She was so proud to be a swimmer! 


Within an hour I convinced her that she could jump in and swim to the side. She had so much fun!


Yeah for having all the kids swimming!! 





Monday, September 5, 2016

Train Ride

There is an old steamer train scenic ride that goes along the coast near the beach where we stay. We hadn't been on the train for many years....since HERE. Look how tiny those kids are!

We decided to do the train ride again this year. We had a great time.








You'll notice here that the windows open and the scenery is beautiful. The train moves really slowly so you can take in all the views. When we boarded the train the kids excitedly sat down and began to open the widow. The man in the seat behind George rudely told the boys to shut the window, that he had just closed it because he and his wife didn't want to have the wind on them. The kids were really taken aback. I had the boys keep the window down until we pulled away. I gave them the okay to open it up. My philosophy is that we paid for those seats and we can choose to have our window open. The Mama Bear in me was ready to be assertive for my kids' vacation pleasure. George was nervous that he'd be scolded again but eventually he relaxed and enjoyed the views and breeze. 


Moses too.










Friday, September 2, 2016

Cam's Birthday

Cam was lucky and got to celebrate his birthday at the coast. We went out for a fun lunch to celebrate. Cheers! 48 years young!


Then we headed to our favorite dune for our yearly climb. This year we had a new twist. Usually everyone climbs to the top and Tuba sits down about half way up. But, this year he kept trekking!! It was so cool! It's a long, steep slope and it was hard for him. Cam helped him and we all encouraged him. Go Tuba!


The trek was harder this time because the wind was blowing like crazy. There was sand flying so hard it stings your skin. 


But, small treasures were found along the way. 


And Tuba made it to the top! I wanted a victory photo and what I got was a pic of him asking for water. Ha! 

The view on the other side is beautiful. You only get to see it if you make the climb!


Victory for us too! It's only my second year going all the way to the top. 


This is what we accomplished. Tuba and I climbed up once but Cam and the other kids went up and down like billy goats. 


The best part is running down the dune. Ready, set, go!


Look at those big kids and fun hubby. I'm so lucky! 


Happy Birthday to you Cam! Thank you for being the hard working, loving, energetic, smart, funny, devoted man that you are. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wetsuits and Boogie Boards


The best part of our vacation this year was the time spent in the ocean. After last year's boogie boarding experience I knew I wanted to be ready with my own gear. Cam bought me everything to stay warm and a cool boogie board of my own. The kids also got lots of gear over the course of the year. We were set! On the OR coast you need a full wetsuit, boots and gloves to keep warm. 

Sis wasn't sure about going all the way into the waves but a wetsuit is good for keeping warm in the little surf too....and while doing cartwheels. 


I bought Cam a full hood so the top of his head and back of neck would be protected from the sun. 


It was so fun to suit up and head down to the waves as a family. Tuba was plenty happy to stand in the sand and watch us ride the waves. 


After we were done we loved the outdoor (heated) shower to rinse off.


Cam and I stayed in the water longer than the kids. I think it's the benefit of being older (and having more fat). We stayed warmer! We were addicted to the waves and loved being out there together. The kids would get cold after about an hour and bail out one at a time. They'd head up to the house to shower and Cam and I would keep going. 



George was a maniac. He is a good swimmer but it made me feel better for him to be in a life vest. He would be out in the waves with us. Considering the height difference he was so brave! The waves coming at us that were above our heads were WAY above his head. 


Look at these surfer studs! Oh my, how handsome. 


The ocean is calling to me as I write this. We miss it! The way the water feels and sounds, the color of it, the taste of salt and the smell are just magical. And the thrill of riding a wave as it propels you toward the beach. So wonderful! 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Beach Time

It's a dog's life! Nobody enjoyed our beach vacation more than our dogs. Especially Rocket! It was a joy to watch him run on the beach. He ran like a race horse all day. He chased sticks and kids and stalked seagulls. He ran through he water and played with any dogs he met along the way. 


When he wasn't running full steam on the sand he was being spoiled by the kids. 


Or napping with Kali....on the furniture. Spoiled dogs!


He was so tired at night that we didn't make him go into his kennel. He slept with Moses on the couch. 


Kali got in lots of snuggle time with all the kids. 


Nothing better than lounging around with kids. 


Kali staying alert on the beach. 


My favorite pic of Rocket from the beach. He was digging and had sand all over his nose and lips. So funny!



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