Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Jetty

One of the reasons we love Rockaway Beach so much is that it's 7 miles of unobstructed beach. At the end is a jetty. Every year we go to see all the driftwood that piles up on the beach. It's amazing to see how drastically the landscape changes from year to year. 

The kids love to explore all the big logs. Someone had used charred wood to write on the log....a perfect photo op!

There are lots of neat structures built on the beach out of driftwood. No, I don't let the kids go inside most of them. 

It's a fun time to make the kids sit for a photo. 

They always sit nicely and smile politely. Ha!

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Ocean

The ocean is beautiful to look at and listen to. The color as it changes throughout the day is stunning. The motion of the water is mesmerizing. The sound of the waves is so relaxing....except at night when I fret a bit about a tsunami. Otherwise, so soothing.

The water temp is WAY too cold for me to even put my toes in. However the kids run and splash and play. The big boys (Cam and Mr. P) love to boogie board. We bought Mr. P a wetsuit this year and it made a big difference....he didn't get hypothermia again.

As the tide goes out it leaves the beach a little different each day. One day there were these huge tide pools left on the beach. We went on a long family walk and came across the pools. Sis thought they were great! She ran and ran and ran through them. She was soaked! 

And so happy.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Deck Time

The house we rented is the same house we stayed in two years ago. It has the BEST deck. There is plenty of room for all of us. There are amazing Adirondack chairs which I love to sit in. I spend a lot of time on the deck reading and enjoying the view.

If it's windy I just bundle up and wrap up in blankets. I love it! Hot tea, a magazine, my favorite people (and dog) and the view! Pure relaxation.

I did something new this year on vacation!! I worked out EVERY SINGLE DAY!! It was great. I walked on the beach for 45 minutes and then did my weights, lunges, squats and abs on the deck. It was so refreshing to be out in the sun and wind. Cam worked out too....but that's nothing new.

Just off of the deck there is a fire pit. So fun! Tuba of course loved the fire!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Vacation Highlights

I never know quite how to post about our vacation. We wait all year long for this special week at the coast. We all LOVE the OR coast...the ocean...the beach house....the time together.

I take a lot of photos and of course I don't know where to start or what to share or how much to post. This year I'll group them into categories of things we love about the beach.

Those things we love are....

The View
Deck Time
The Jetty
The Ocean
The Sand

....and I'm sure I'll think of some more.

Today I'll share The View. Enjoy. It brings my pulse down and makes me calm just to look at these photos. Ahhhhh.

Sunset is our favorite time to sit and look at the view and watch the sun sink into the sea.

Miles of sand and sea are my favorite place to walk and take in the view. 

Each day watching the tide come in and out is so soothing. 

Tuba loves sunset. He will sit and watch the whole time. He likes to call everyone to come and see it with him.

This one is just after sunset. The stars come out and they are amazing. Cam always has us come stand on the deck to see the stars. 

It's a magical place and we love it!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Vacation Bonus

Now, I'm on to vacation! I'll get this blog caught up one of these days! 

We decided this year to add a day to our annual beach trip. We booked a hotel with an outdoor pool (I don't like indoor pools). The trip would be much less driving all at once and we could extend the fun! Win-win!

It was so much fun that we plan to do it every year. We checked in early, had snacks (I packed a bag of things and a cooler), and headed to the pool. 

The temperature was perfect! Cam and I hung out on lounge chairs sipping some yummy drinks and watching the kids play. THAT my friends is my favorite thing to do! 

The hot tub was a big hit. The kids went back and forth between the two all day.

Snuggle time in the tub.

Tuba loved the hot tub and just stayed put. 

At dinner time we headed to our room....showered and got ready for dinner out.

The next morning we ate breakfast at the hotel. It was so good! The big hit was Mr. P's bacon pancakes (a strip of bacon inside a pancake). Yum!

After checkin out we packed the car up and headed to the pool again. We swam and sat in the sun for a couple of hours and then headed for the beach house. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Paddle boarding again

I got a second chance this summer to try paddle boarding. I was very excited to try it again. I learned a few things this time around. The size/shape/quality of the board make a HUGE difference! The board I rented was not as easy to balance....not easy at all. Now, add choppy waves and boats zooming around creating wakes. It was REALLY hard. 

I paddled around a bit on my knees to get used to the board. Mr. P stayed on for about 5 minutes and then I had to boot him off so I could try to stand up. 

It was super wobbly and it took me several minutes to ease into standing. Once up I had to grip with all my might to stay up and not fall. 

It was a very good workout!

I talked Cam into trying too. I'm a bad wife because I've never laughed so hard at him trying to stand up. He didn't give up....even after falling multiple times. It really was hilarious....huge wobble and big splash....repeat. I love you Cam. 

I've never been better than Cam at anything physical! Ever! I have to admit I was a little thrilled. Truthfully it must have something to do with my lower center of gravity.

The kids tried the kayak and loved it. 

We got to spend our annual day at the water slides with the grandparents and auntie and cousins. So fun! 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Hike

One of the things on my summer bucket list was a hike. I picked out this great one....not too long...beautiful scenery and got the fam on board. The trail featured a series of three waterfalls. The total hike is around 5 miles round trip. But, you can turn around after the 1st or 2nd waterfall. I figured we would see how far we could go. 

I thought of the hike like a little jaunt in the woods. Cam took it far more seriously. He packed water for each of us, and had the kids get their backpacks ready. The TKD boys packed there Bo Staff....aka ...a stick. Ummmm....I didn't plan to encounter bears or the boogieman but I guess we could error on the side of safety. 

I packed a picnic. Food, my first priority. We ate at a nice picnic table before heading to the trail. 

The weather was hot and we were glad for all the water Cam packed. As soon as the trail entered the woods it got cooler in the shade. The scenery was beautiful. 

The grade of the trail was fine for everyone except that there were large rocks and tree roots in the path. It was VERY VERY hard for Tuba to traverse all of this. He worked hard but his depth perception is really bad and it was tough. We plugged along helping him over the obstacles. 

After about an hour we still had not reached the first of the falls. Tuba was really tired and we were scared that if he fell and hurt himself that we wouldn't be able to get him out. So, Cam took him and turned around with Moses in tow. I took the other kids and pushed on. I was determined to see the falls. After about another 15 minutes my littlest two kids tuckered out. We turned around and headed back. We soon caught up with Tuba.

We had a lovely couple of hours enjoying the view and each other's company. We will try the trail again...maybe just Cam and I. Hiking date!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


One thing I've learned in my life as a mom is that my expectations play a huge role in how a situation turns out.

I put a lot of thought and detail into planning things. Whether it's a vacation, a special meal, or an outing I plan away. Some of the logistics of having a big family demand a lot of planning...especially if we need things to go smoothly. Also, I do like the planning and I get an idea in my head of how things should go. But, sometimes things don't go as I planned and I get frustrated/annoyed/disappointed.

Taking kids to appointments is one of those things that are not easy. I either have to schedule an appointment for the 2.5 hour time slot I have during the school year when EVERYONE is in school.....OR I have to take everyone along. This brings me to summer. I plan a lot of the check-ups for summer and get them all done.

Sometimes all goes smoothly and sometimes not so much. And like I said my expectations can determine whether I roll with it or melt.

Conn had an appointment in the city for a teeth cleaning. He goes to the local Children's Hospital for a specialist dentist. I had to take all the kiddos with me for this appointment. I was feeling frazzled and unsure how the day would go. The kids had been bickering and driving me nuts. On top of it all I had to drive our HUGE 12 passenger van INTO THE CITY.....AND PARK!! Have I told you before that I stink at parking....especially the bus!

Okay, so I rushed around the house getting everyone ready and out the door. Then...Ugh, BAD traffic. I was sweating. I was freaking out. I HATE being late. After getting off the freeway I called the clinic to let them know I might be a few minutes late for check in. The nice receptionist informed me that I wouldn't be late since my appointment wasn't for another hour. Oh!!!

I laughed. I chilled. I decided to relax and just go with it.

We arrived with LOTS of time. So we hit the cafeteria for snacks. There was a beautiful garden alongside the outdoor eating area. We looked at all of the veggies growing. We sat in the sun.

Then it worked out for me to check the other kids into the sibling playroom while I took Conn to his cleaning. Amazing! You can't book the playroom ahead of time so I was lucky and thrilled!

Conn did great at his cleaning, I picked up the kids and we had such a great drive home that I decided on a whim (I don't do whims) to stop at the Nordstrom sale to get the kids new shoes. After trying to park in several too small spots, sweating bullets, crying, and having my 11 year old tell me that I should just go home because I'd never be able to park......I found one spot big enough.....and it was only a couple of miles from the store. Success.

I've had some brutal shoe shopping experiences with the kids. Mostly because I had a plan (everyone find a shoe that I like/can afford/and you will wear...and we aren't going home until it's accomplished. Not this day. I figured we could look around and just see if they could find something. Amazingly they each found a pair and we were in and out in less than an hour.

Yeah! I was so thrilled!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Dog Days of Summer

We had SO much fun this summer. Not a dull moment....EVER!! I decided one hot sunny day to get out the water color paints...and let the kids paint themselves.

It was fun! We sat in the yard near our little pool of water so we could rinse off easily.

The kids had a ball. The boys painted some underarm hair and chest hair for themselves. Ha!! And a mustache too!

Sis loved this activity! She did a beautiful job with her make-up.

Oh....one more thing. It doesn't wash off....completely. Stained skin, lesson learned!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Cam's Birthday!

Summer has sped by a warp speed and now we are a week into our new school year. Whoa! I'm so behind that I'm not sure where to begin. I'll be playing catch up for a while!

I'll start with Big Daddy's birthday. Cam turned 46....about a month ago.

We spent a fun day going on a ferry ride and then to the beach at Cam's favorite Fort. The day was gorgeous!!

Cam and the kids LOVE the local forts. Me? I love the beach and the view.

Cam loves to give the kids a history lesson along the way.

We packed a fabulous picnic for the beach. Big deli style sandwiches, fruit, chips, and ice tea. 
This pic cracks me up. Cam is all covered up and me...sorry but I do love the sun and a bit of a tan. 
Cam's had melanoma so he is extra careful in the sun.

The kids played in the water.

The fav part of our lunch. Ice tea. These cans are big enough for a few of us to share but we bought each kid their own can! I must have been in a really good mood....or distracted....or overruled. 

Cam and the kids love to go explore the underground tunnels and bunkers. Me? I love the beach.

After a great day we headed home and out to dinner. We didn't have time to go home and change so we just went in our sandy, sunblock, swimsuit attire.

We love this place and we had SO much fun!! We laughed and snuggled. We had such a good meal and everyone was in such a great mood. Sunshine + family time.

We had a ball! Perhaps letting the kids have Roy Rogers/Shirley Temples on top of the giant ice teas was a bit reckless. But hey, it was Cam's birthday and he said it was okay. 

Happy Birthday Cam!! You are a wonderful husband and dad! You make things so fun and are always up for an adventure. You work so hard but you play hard too! You are truly my better half. You calm me when I need to be soothed. You inspire me when I need to be fired up. And...you always say yes to giant ice tea! You're the best! We love you. XO


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