Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Camping trip - Day 3- La Push

Since we moved back to Washington (11 years ago) I have wanted to take the kids and Shane to the coast. Shane hails from California, so he is used to some fantastic beaches, so I knew he'd love La Push. I, myself, have only been once as a child with my own family. Seeing as we were just 45 minutes from La Push, we decided to spend our third day there.

It was a perfect day for the beach. Sunny, clear and a soft breeze. On the way to La Push, we stopped to get gas. For those of you that do not know the Forks area, it is in the sticks. Heaven knows why Stephanie Meyer chose this little town for her Twilight series saga. I grew up visiting Forks for church events. Less than 5, but I remember. Hicks to the extreme. So..back to the gas station. It was as back woods as you can get. I walked in to the owner/teller giving fellow customer ( Bart) a hard time for not quitting smoking. Another customer came in and said hello to them both and then joined in. Everyone knows everyone. After paying for our gas, I asked for directions to La Push. All three gave us the most confusing directions I have ever heard, BUT....love that they ALL followed us out to the gas pump to show us how it works if you jiggle the pump cord and push the red start button a certain way. Definitely made my day. I love people like that. So full of character and sense of themselves.
We were advised by the three men to stop at a little cafe on the way to the beach. I can't remember the name of it, but it was spotted quickly and then collective groans were heard all around. It was a Twilight themed cafe. Ugh. My kids can't stand Twilight or anything to do with it. I enjoyed the films, but not the books. Anyhow....the food was INCREDIBLE and very cheap.
Nevermind that the entire place was filled with Twilight paraphernalia and weird blood type menu concoctions. I loved it. Not enough to take a photo, but it was great.
We hit the beach and had a great time. As you can see in the photos, Shane was right at home.
Fat and happy....that's us!

Watch the video to get a little taste of La Push. Make sure you watch until the end, there is a funny little something in there for ya!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Lake Crescent Camping Trip Day Two

Above photo- Vietnamese friends

So we woke up bright and early in our last minute camp spot on Saturday morning. We immediately went scouting for a closer to the water spot. Within minutes, we landed a prime spot right on the water. We moved our tent (without taking it down) to our new spot and finished setting up. Then, we headed into Port Angeles.
We had a boat on our minds. We hit the thrift shops first so we could find some water shoes, lifejackets and extra plates and cutlery. Done, done and done.
We found a great hardware shop called "Swains" in Port Angeles and purchased an inflatable boat that holds 600lbs and an oar. We wanted to buy two, but at the end of summer, we were SOL.
After stopping at a few more thrift stores and Albertsons to get groceries,...we headed back to the lake. How we ever camped without a water spot and a boat is beyond me. It was glorious.
We all took turns on the boat and had a lovely time. We swam and boated the entire day and at the end of the day, enjoyed a dutch oven stew and smores. A little down the way, another group of campers were being pretty loud. I, of course, went down to talk to them. They ended up inviting us over and served us the most AMAZING vietnamese dishes I have ever eaten.
The first....Bahn Bot Loc.....shrimp and pork dumplings with chili oil and onions
and chicken bbq'd in vietnamese spices. YUM!
Then...full of the amazing food and lively conversation, I took a night boating and swim.
So much fun, albeit a little creepy. Stay tuned for tomorrows post. La Push!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Summer Camp Trip 2010 DAY ONE

With summer not making much of an appearance and Shane not getting much of a vacation, we decided to take off for 5 days on a camping adventure.
You may remember our last trip to Lake Crescent on our moms trip, where Mae unexpectedly fell ill and we had to leave early. Well, we just didn't have camping out of our system and decided to head up after work on Friday.
We had planned to leave Sat. morning, but when I get something in my head...well....read on.
We got home at 6pm and gave ourselves 30 minutes to get our entire van packed for a 5 day adventure.
We left the house at 7pm. We arrived at Lake Crescent around 10:20 stopping briefly at Taco Bell and the gas station.
Wouldn't you know it....we couldn't find a camp site and it was dark. After spending 20+ minutes looking around, we approached the park ranger on his nightly rounds. He let us know that there were NO sites available. I put on my best sad face and let him know how very far we had just driven and that all 5 of my kids were fast asleep inside our van. What did he expect us to do? Well...he expected us to drive up a secluded road (his suggestion), 10 miles up the road and park at the bottom. There we would be able to sleep in our van legally.
Well.....those of you that know me know that I am a world class pray-er. I have faith that can move mountains. I said a very heartfelt, sincere, 30 second prayer and asked Shane to pull around one more time through the first loop. Wouldn't you know it.....the second spot up was open. Prayer answered. We set up within 20 minutes and were out (zzzz)within 30.
Stay tuned for day #2. It gets much better!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Beautiful wonderful trip

I am still too tired to blog about our incredible 5 day camping trip. Until I feel up to it...enjoy these photos.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Point No Point

For the first time this summer, we were able to join our friends like we do every year,( 9 years now for us!) at Point No Point. I remember my own mom, taking all of us to meet our close friends. It would be fun to find a picture of my mom, Denise G, Karen K, Rehders...etc. Anyhow...It was a beautiful day and the Knights brought their boat and inner tubish...4 seater floaty/death ride mobile.

All the kids clamored for their turns. When it finally came to my turn (with Rylan, Julia and Sophie), large waves appeared as if from no where. They were taller than I was and knocked me over once. I had just put Rylan on the inner tube when they started and didn't have a chance to get his lifejacket on. I was panic stricken as each large wave nearly knocked him into the water. It was horrifying. I may be a bit dramatic, but Rylan can't swim and I feared that each wave could have potentially sucked him under, to be lost forever if he fell....
Yes, this is how I think and yes...this is precisely the reason I have panic attacks.
Anyhow...thanks to Grace's smart and quick "pulling in" techniques..she rescued the very scared Rylan and pulled him into the boat.
The rest of the day, Rylan was heard to be saying " That was like a tsunami"!!!
We had a great boat ride though, even though I wimped out half way through and claimed that "Rylan" was scared.

It was a great day and we stayed well into the evening. It's great to hang with friends, but even greater to enjoy it with just my little "brood".

Happy Summer everyone!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Katie and the no good,horrible, very bad day

Don't let the photos fool you. I was insistent on taking photos so I could blog about Nathans wonderful trip to the orthodontist to finally get his braces. I had it all set up in my mind. A before and after shot...then an impromptu trip to the zoo....gush. I "pictured" taking memorable/but candid shots of the kids smelling flowers, touching butterflies and feeding animals. Well....it never really goes that way does it? Remember my post about camping and our sudden change of plans thank to Mae? Yeah...motherhood was one heck of a witch today.
But, let's start at the beginning.

7:59am- Wake up to the phone ringing instead of the alarm that was set for 7am.
Scream oh S%&t, grab the nearest clothes I can find, throw mismatched clothes on the kids and haul booty to get dad to work, drop Myron off at the store (he is working today with two of his good friends (bad idea) ), and rush to catch the ferry.

9:15- MISS ferry...wait for 9:40. That's alright, his apt. is at 10:30, so I should get to Seattle at 10:15 and still have 15 minutes to get to North Seattle...(wishful thinking)

Get off ferry and drive like mad woman to get Nathan to apt. by 10:30

10:45. Arrive at orthodontist....(traffic jams at 10:20???) Apparently people are getting a late start today as well

Hm...interestingly enough, my apt. was for 10am, not 10:30. Woops. Now they can only do the top part of Nathans mouth and I have to make yet another apt. to get the rest of his mouth done.
Myron calls from store. Phone is down (switching BACK from Vonage and they choose during my business hours to do it), credit card wont work, internet. etc. GREAT!

11- Head to mall to get kids something to eat. In the rush, they didn't get to eat a proper breakfast. Hit some cute shops, but a few things, head to the food ALL the way at the other end of the mall. A full mile I would guess! At least it seemed like it.

11:45- After finally sitting down to eat, Nathan calls and says he is ready for me to pick him up.
Tell Mae and Ry that we need to take our food with us and walk the 3 miles (that's what it felt like about this time) back to our van. Mae threw the best fit I have ever seen a 3 year old throw. Instead of praising her for this, I grabbed her by her hand and started walking for the door. Nope. She turned into a noodle and I ended up carrying her the whole 5 miles (yup) to the van. I was squeezing her and getting upset with her the whole time. I think I even nibbled her ear out of anger as I was telling her "NO, you are not getting a TREAT"!!

12:00 ( I hustled) Sweating, angry and frustrated we arrive back at the orthodontist. Mae is surprisingly sweet and calm at this point. WHAT?! Anyways....pick up Nathan. Wow, he looks and sounds like a different boy! At this point, I am trying to salvage this trip and suggest the zoo. WHY? Dunno. Head to zoo, find parking, pay for parking, pay to get in. Get in to zoo, head to ice cream place to get something to cool me off and make the kids happy. I know what you're thinking. Reward them?! Listen....you've been there. Give me a break.
Go to pay for said goodies and pull out my credit card...."declined maam". WHAT?!
Then I remember....woops, didn't transfer $$$ from my savings to my checking, so can't use card.
CALL bank to transfer. WOOPS, using Myrons phone and it just went out of minutes. Try to add minutes, but cannot without doing it online....SH%&!.
Leave Nathan with kids , get in van and drive to find my bank to transfer funds.
Done....heading back but what's that noise?
OH....that's right....the van is vibrating, making a funny noise and smell. Yup.
Forget that, get to zoo.
1pm.... rush back to zoo, pay for ANOTHER parking spot and get kids.
Start looking at the animals, get lost....
Deal with Mae needing to be seatbelted EVERYtime she gets back in the stroller. She gets out at each stop by the way. She also screams everytime Rylan sits in her spot which seems to be whatever spot Rylan tries to sit in.
Get lost in the zoo....it's HUGE!
4:30pm Go home...get stuck in rush hour traffic.
5:35 Make it to the ferry....miss the ferry.....next ferry 30 minutes late.
7:25Yay...home at last.
Pick up Shane and Myron, head home.
Hm....van is vibrating worse at about Day Rd. Now it's smoking, what's that loud snap?
Oh....that's right....it's our Serpentine belt that just snapped.
Luckily (for the first time today) it was near our home and we coasted home.
Now it needs to be towed and fixed in the am.
So you see......it was a no good, horrible, very bad day.
BUT.....we made it home and now I have some photos that can help me focus on the positives.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Photos from Myrons Colorado trip with Grandpa W

These photos are incredible. I am really happy Myron was able to experience this with my dad.
Are my dad and I on speaking terms now? We'll see. I did write him a short but sweet letter in hopes of reconciling our differences. All I know...is that this was hopefully a first step.
Don't mind my 54 year old hickish looking dad in the below photo. Seriously....come on now dad.

So absolutely gorgeous!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Silly girls.....crazy about Myron!

Myrons good friends, Leigh and Hallie wanted to come with me to pick Myron up at the airport tonight. They are such sweet girls. We had such a fun time. I am so happy that Myron has such fun, innocent, genuinely good girls as friends. He was so surprised and happy to see them at the airport. Thanks girls!

Myrons best girl friends wanted to come with me


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Whats up?

Cute girl Mae up above....she's what's up. Cutie PA TOOTIE!

After being away from my shop for so long, I took a photo to remind me just how much I LOVE my store. AND.....Nathan is finally home from his bike trip. He ended up biking 235 miles and was the first to finish. Ahead by 5 minutes. Go Nathan! He was in the lead the entire time and they formed a dream team of four kids. They plan on going out together again, soon.
We got Zoe back. We did a one week trial a month or so ago, but the owner wasn't ready to let her go. She is very well trained, sweet and awesome with kids. The kids like to get in her kennel. Don't ask me why. Shane and I have fun locking them in....yes, we are bored.

Myron, this one is for you. Myron is online right now down at my dads. Mae misses him terribly. He comes home on Tuesday and we are so excited. I hope the boys dont mind that we are planning a camping trip for this weekend. School starts soon!
That's it for now. Happy Sunday....we are all in jammies today, still trying to get over the bug that has infiltrated our home and immune systems.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The many faces of sickness

Good thing we came home when we did because now Mae, Rylan, Brennan, me AND daddy are sick. Daddy ended up staying home from work and was very relieved (or was he?) that we were coming home.
Mae seems okay as long as she can watch Dora (oh yes) and eat countless otter pops.
Brennan thinks he is fine, but is burning up. Rylan...poor guy is just sleeping the day away.
Luckily Myron and Nathan are away during all of this. I am missing them so terribly that this is my only consolation. They are healthy and having fun. Myron calls from Colorado every day. I ask him every day..."are you ready to come home"? He replies "nope". He is having a great time.
I can't check in on Nathan, but I know he is in his element. He is an avid bike rider now and was just asked to join an adult team here on the Island. I can't wait to tell him when he gets back!
As for me...I slept well last night. Even with the little sickos getting up here and there, I was happy to be back in my own bed with my fan a goin and the breeze from the window gently blowing my hot head...