Me: "Who has the best seat in the house, me or daddy?"

Adam: "Well, Daddy's is nice, but yours is best. Your's is squishier."

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Summer Photo Album

Isn't Summer wonderful? 
 So wonderful, in fact, that I have been living it and not documenting it much.  I haven't even had a running blog-commentary going through my head lately.  Frankly, it's liberating.

 But, it is also important to me to get it all down, so here is our Summer in pictures; for my children to remember that we are not that lame, for me to remember that I am not that bad of a mom, and for our loved ones afar off to know why we are horrible at returning phone calls (Sorry, Julean!).

 Girl time

 Lots of free bowling
("Do you think if I lean to the right the ball will too?")

" We don't know what the score is, we will tell you in 3 minutes 
when the ball finally reaches the end of the lane."

Our new favorite space, the outdoor room.  


 Second cousins ...

 in Bodega Bay

 Long lost friends...

 Come again, McKays!

 Brotherly love

 And real smiles
 (bet you didn't know Ethan had actual teeth, did you?)

 I'd like a nibble of that belly, too, please.


Oh, my goodness... what a cutie.

Robin (still waiting, as we speak for baby to make his debut) 
with belly art by yours truly.

 My very cool hunny and his annual ice cream social for his class.  
This is such a cool thing... he sets up blenders with special adaptive switches so that even the most severely disabled of his students can make milk shakes.  He really goes all out, and I love that he does that.


Now, for the real fun...

 A weekend away to Mendocino with Kathy and Bishop.

 Speak of the devils!

 70's and gorgeous.

 Looking for beach glass at Glass Beach
 (is there an echo in here?)

 Tall, dark and handsome.
Well, dark and handsome, anyway.

 What is a romantic weekend get away without your favorite toddler?
Yep, I'm still nursing.  Get over it.

 We stayed at the Pine Beach Inn, 11 acres of beautiful property with a private beach, simple but cozy rooms and a patio to breakfast on (no, we didn't eat the patio.  Duh.  That's just what happens when you dangle your participles).

 The Joker on the left is mine.

(Waiting for our yummy Thai food)


Then no sooner had we unpacked our bags, than we were off to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom.  
The kids earned free tickets through homeschool by reading.
 Stingrays - sans sting.

 My favorite part of the day... touching Berttie.  
She was huge and beautiful.

 We drug Tyler along to keep Ethan happy
 and to go on the big vomit-inducing rides.  
They acted like a pair of old ladies and by 2PM they were "tired and wanted to go home".  No way, girls!  
Mom and Dad have just gotten started.



Back at home (for just a day) I harvested my peach tree...

 It was a bountiful crop and reminded me to be grateful.  
The last two years we only got a peach or two.


Pack up, everyone!  We're going CAMPIN'!

 I wish I could say it was uneventful, but in the first hour Tessa got
 a bloody nose and Ellie puked on her.  And that was just the ride there.  Oh, and they were in Kathy and Bishop's van.  Uh, sorry guys.  Can we still be friends?
(we also brought buddies for the big boys... next to Adam are Eloy and Tyler.  
Ducking out of the frame is Ethan.  He is really good at that)

 The "meat bees" (like yellow jackets) were terrible, but the site hosts taught us this cool trick... a bee trap:
Water bottle with a hole in the side, meat hung in the top, water in the bottom.  We caught nearly 1000 bees over the 3 days, and that is no exaggeration.

 I also realized that I don't really like s'mores...
It's the graham crackers.  Not a big fan of flat, dry crackers.  
So who says you have to use graham crackers???
Yumm-o with homemade choco-chip cookies!

 Feeding 14 people?  No problem...
Oh, wait.  Yeah, there is a problem.  Laine forgot the forks.  Oh, and the spoons.
"Uh, Kathy... can we eat in shifts with yours?"

When in need, whittle.
OK, so you can't eat rice with it, but it worked for pancakes!

 Ladies and Gentlemen, it's a race to the finish, 
but who will be the victor of the cocoa pour-off?

 Teenagers doin' dishes, baby.
Now that's what I'm talkin' about!

 "The Lake".  
For some reason that is what every one of the kids called the creek.
City folk.  Sheesh.


 Why, yes it was.

 Makes me want to get out my paints.

 "And after you cut those limes, young man, you can chop some cilantro! 
This ain't no summer camp boy!  
Oh, wait.  Yes, it is.
  Ok, go play."

 The "Hand Washing Station" where Jonah spent the majority of his time for the whole 3 days.  
Yes, he is drinking the nasty water.  So far, he has not died or developed cholera, but his breath smells like dial soap.  Is that normal?

Um, yah, I have no idea.  

 OK, so this here was my proudest moment, and I think completely absolves me of the fork and spoon debockle.  Carnitas, baby, slow roasted over open coals in a dutch oven.  5 hours, but totally worth it.

 Braised then simmered then shredded then reduced then roasted.

 He he.  
The one and only time Jonah had a clean face.

 Super helpful Tessa.

 I love the example that is set for little ones as they watch the grown-ups work.  
Soon littler ones are following in the footsteps of the bigger sibs.
I have really nice kids sometimes.

 One last dip

Then time to go home.


I am still doing laundry, and we are all still scratching bug bites, but it was so worth it.
I am grateful to Kathy for her excellent planning skills and to my hubby, master-packer extraordinaire.  I am also grateful to my Father in Heaven for my special family, good friends, and the beauty we were blessed to experience. 

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