Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Kyla’s Birthday Party…the 1st

In written form, it seems that Kyla’s birthday went on forever.  But in real time, it felt very sweet.


A few days before her birthday, Kyla invited 3 other girls to tea at an adorable, local tea shop.  The girls came to our house, I drove us all over, sat the girls together at a reserved table, and then went to the opposite end to quietly enjoy my newspaper, tea (in a cozy!), and scone.  The girls all ordered a proper tea, liked most of it, and had a chance to behave like the young ladies they are. 


I paid the bill and got to wholly enjoy the experience.  I just had to find a time that worked for 3 girls, call the tea room ahead of time, and remember to bring something to read.  I hope to duplicate this in the future (I prefer pragmatism over creativity when it comes to birthdays!). 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Annual Pt Defiance Day

The reason I like Pt. Defiance Zoo so much is that it is the one summer day I take the kids and meet up with one of my favorite friends.  I can’t prove that she and her niece where there, as I seem to only have camera eyes for my own children, but I promise Kristin was there!

Here’s my new marching song.  Thanks, ants!

There was lots of playing and very little animal watching, per usual with my kids.WP_20160825_11_05_37_ProWP_20160825_11_24_05_Pro

Long after my kids outgrow it, I will insist we see the noon showing at the Animal Amphitheater.  There’s a good chance I won’t outgrow the animal show ever.



Kristin had to leave for naptime, claiming it was for her niece, but I have my suspicions of who really needed the nap.


I showed my ducklings the beach down at Point Defiance, where they happily played among the rocks, seaweed, and, ahem, crisp sea water before we went to hunt down dinner on the Tacoma waterfront.  Not only was there dinner and gelato, but we also found the new splash park and playground.  We could have used another day down in T-Town, but those summer days stretch long and then snap shut quickly.


We’ll be back next summer, Kristin!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Legos: World of Bricks


We had to make it to the “Art of Bricks” exhibit at the Pacific Science Center before it closed in mid-September, so I packed up my 3 +2 and headed to Seattle for the day!

We all found something to love about the exhibit.  There were many famous pieces of art faithfully recreated with plastic blocks, and then some extremely creative pieces which led to really good conversation about what “meta” means, at least between Kyla and me.  I was pleased that Wesley didn’t break any of the pieces.





It may also not be surprising that Wes is the only kid not wanting to imitate The Thinker (or at least, The Thinker’s kid brother).


All in good fun! Thanks, kids, I had a great day playing in Seattle!


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Hometown Festival!

I love our hometown.  Our parade used to be the Saturday closest to April 1st, but two years ago, it was moved to August.  Any local knows why this is generally a good idea.  This year, though, proved to be one of our hotter days. 

The heat didn’t stop us from eating our weight in pancakes and sausage at the fire house though!  It’s a great start to our day, though my favorite is running into 4 families I know as soon as we walk in.

Behind the station, there were sheriff and police vehicles for kids to climb in and out of, including this helicopter.


It was so cool to watch it take off, dust and debris notwithstanding.


Like the Maxwelton 4th of July parade, it’s very local, again, with lots of people I know from the community.


Piper beat the heat by camping out under her own tent.


Kyla burned out, so she and Dwayne walked home, and I stayed for the festival with the other two.  They made crafts, jumped in bouncy houses, befriended ponies and generally lived it up. 



I love our home town!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Our First Covered Bridge!

We came across historic roadside attraction outside of Newport, Or.  After a fun family dinner of terrible pizza and excellent root beer, I pulled the Mama Card and decided we were going to find this bridge. 


The only thing I remember about the romantic novel Bridges of Madison Country are the bridges, and this struck a romantic chord with me. 


Until the kids posed.  Then it banged my funny bone.


We also hit one more viewpoint, for which Wesley refused to get out of the car.

But the girls and the sunset were happy to hang out!




Sunday, August 14, 2016

Happy Birthday, Amber!

Admittedly, I have strong competition, but I am working hard to win the title of Amber’s Favorite Aunt.  I don’t have a strategy yet, but I will start by showing off pictures of this beautiful girl’s 1st birthday.

I love this shot of Grandma, me, my girls, and the birthday girl. 


To balance out all the girls, let’s take a look at my favorite boys.


Wesley has the biggest snaggletooth (I yanked out both teeth not long after this).


Here’s the birthday girl.  It turns out that if you really want to show love, you buy them a carrot cake from a particular Oregon bakery.  It was sooooo yummy!


Here’s some of my competition.  Even her name, Joy, gives her a leg up.  Short, cute, easy to say, invokes deep happiness.  I’m aunt “feminized, bastardized version of drunken god Dionysius”.  I need a good nickname, STAT!  And sadly, Joy is as wonderful as her name implies.


Here’s the rest of my competition.  Again, the very name “Aunt Julie” sounds like gems. And, clearly, she gets all the style points.


Here’s my claim to fame—I’m the first person to dunk Amber in her wading pool—fully clothed, of course.  I’m good for adventures that you will come back either filthy, soaked, or both.


So many pictures I want to frame—love this one of Grandpa and Kyla!


The kids were well entertained with Amber’s new pool!



Sandi and Brian threw a great party, and it was wonderful to have the family all together!


And if you’d like to read a more Amber-centric account of her birthday (I do realize I made her party all about me), you should check this out.