Monday, August 31, 2009

Secret Birthday Present - by Linz

This morning after breakfast Elliott asked if he could play computer...as usual. I said yes and he started walking toward the stairs. I started picking up the after breakfast mess and then he came back around the corner into the kitchen and gave me a HUGE hug. It was the heart melting kind! I asked what that was for, and he said, "I just love you."

Later on in the afternoon I was checking email and Elliott came up and said, "I have a secret birthday present." I was intrigued and asked if dad helped him with it. "NO" Then I asked when he had time to get it ready. "I'm working on it right now," he said, "with Wesley and Spencer too." I must have looked confused. "I'll just tell you....it's being good." The sweet boy talked with his brothers and they all agreed to be extra good for my birthday! What a thoughtful young man I have for a son. It was just what I needed.

After a nice dinner out, with well behaved boys. We had ice cream and all of the boys sang happy birthday. Spencer sang, "Happy birthday to ma-ma" for every line. It was about the cutest thing ever to hear all three boys singing to me!

Lincoln City '09 - by Brad

This was our fourth year in a row we went to Lincoln City with the Bunches. Our vacation started immediately after church last Sunday. I may have confused some of the timeline here, but this is how I remember it.


Sunday:

7.5 hour drive.



Monday:

Canoeing in shallow water... interesting. Saw sea lions while canoeing in Siletz Bay, but Lindsey wouldn't let me crash into them with the canoe.










Mike and I went golfing in the afternoon and then took the boys to fly kites in the evening, but there was no wind (very unusual for Lincoln City) so they played in the water. Mike and I picked some blackberries and made plans for some blackberry cobbler.


Tuesday:

Lazy morning for Mike and I while the girls went shopping at the outlets. In the evening we all went back down to the beach and successfully flew some kites.





Spencer and Jack became great buddies this trip. Whenever Jack was sad, he would cry out for Spencer... and in return, Spencer would playfully kick, elbow, and shove Jack around. Most of the time, they played together wonderfully.



This is probably one of the best pictures of Wesley we have got in a lot time...



While we were at the beach, there was an interesting phenomenon occurring on the beach. Between the crashing waves and a large pool of water on the beach, a canal through the sand was created. The power of the waves made the canal rather dangerous, but it didn't prevent Mike and I from playing around it.


As the tide went out, the canal became less dangerous to play around. Just enough water was running through it that it was fun to feel the power of the water rushing around your feet. I took Elliott out by the canal and several other people were playing around it as well when all of a sudden, a large wave came crashing through. There was a boy who was about 12 years old standing right in front of the wave. The two adults who were with him ran away from the water, and as I picked up Elliott, I semi-angrily shouted at them to get their kid. Luckily, Mike was out there also, and as the kid was pounded and covered up by the wave, Mike quickly ran toward him to make sure he didn't get sucked back out by the riptide. The boy was okay, but he was certainly shaken up. That put a damper on any further activity in the canal.


Wednesday:

Mike and did a little more golfing in the morning and the girls met us in Newport for some time on the beach. We went out for Mexican food and then to a small aquarium. In the evening, we finally got around to using the blackberries to make a cobbler. My mom sent me my grandmother's recipe and it turned out pretty good. It was a little tart, but I think that was mostly because the blackberries were a little tart.

Fun with seaweed...





Fun with sand...





Fun with friends...



Thursday:

Packed up, stopped at the outlets in Woodburn for a little shopping, and got back to Wenatchee around 10:00 PM. Can't wait 'til next summer!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Lake Chelan - by Brad

Last week, the Anderson's took us up to one of several campsites on Lake Chelan that is only accessible by boat. Since it was windy, the lake was pretty rough and we didn't get to do as many water sports as we had hoped, but we still had a good time playing in the lake, hiking, and eating. Elliott received his first bee sting, behind his knee. At least we know he isn't allergic! There was also a lot of lizard chasing and climbing rocks.

The kids playing in the fire pit... from left to right: Spencer, Wesley, Hailey, Garrett, Elliott, Ellie...



Afternoon swim in a cold lake...



Preparing the steak and mash potato dinner... I could go for that right about now... well, I guess I could go for that anytime. I assume the kids were supposed to make crazy faces in this picture...



Hailey helping out with dishes after dinner...



Spencer playing in the dish water...



Brushing teeth before bed...



Taking in the scenery...



Playing the drums...



Shortly before we left, the water calmed down enough that we were able to head out in the boat. It still wasn't calm enough for skiing, but we did jump out of the boat and swim around...



Six kids, four adults (if you include me as an adult) - made for a busy vacation, but with enjoyable company!

Next vacation... Sunday. Headed to Lincoln City with the Bunches for 4 nights!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pearrygin '09 - by Brad

We spent the first week of this month at Lake Pearrygin. This was the third year we met my parents up there. My parents always get a campsite for their trailer and like a parasite, we invade their space and setup our tent.

The weather was not as hot as we hoped, but since there had been 100+ temperatures the week before, the lake was warmer than usual. We spent a lot of time floating in the lake. Elliott let me bury him a little in the sand...



Lindsey did some "relaxing" on the beach (with three boys climbing all over her). You can see quiet and calm written on her face...



Although not pictured, my dad and I did a little rattlesnake hunting after one of his friends stumbled across a few rattlesnakes. Wouldn't you know it, one person could run into four rattlesnakes in two days without trying to find them, but when we deliberately hunted for them we didn't see a single one! We didn't get any pictures of our fruitless rattlesnake hunting. We will have to try again next year.

We also tried crawdad (crayfish) hunting at night. We took Elliott and Wesley out in the raft after dark, shined flashlights in the water, and scooped up crawdads with nets off the sand where the water was 4 or 5 feet deep. We actually got a couple decent crawdads - the largest one was probably about six inches from head to tail. We boiled them up and ate them at breakfast the next morning. I was impressed that Elliott even tried one. The meat is a dry meat and tastes like a mild crab meat (not that I have eaten many crab). Unfortunately, we didn't get any pictures of that either. Maybe next year.

Elliott did a little bike riding (with a bribe from his grandpa) and ended up getting a pretty good feel for riding without training wheels...



Me and my boys...



While we were swimming a lightning storm started. Like the good un-cautious parent I am, the boys and I watched the lightning while we floated in the lake. We finally got out when it seemed like it was getting closer. Apparently a fire was started on a hill very close to the lake. Within 30 minutes, there was a helicopter dipping water out of the lake and they put out the fire very quickly. It made for some good entertainment...



The next day after the fire excitement, we took the older boys to the Smoke Jumper's Base. This is a base for firefighters who parachute into the middle of fires to get into remote areas where other firefighters cannot go. The boys enjoyed looking around in the airplanes. Elliott decided he wouldn't like to be a smoke jumper, but Wesley is ready to make that his career...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Emiliana Torrini Concert - by Brad

Lindsey and I left the boys with my parents (thank you!) Monday afternoon and headed to Seattle for an Emiliana Torrini concert at The Crocodile. We aren't regular concert-goers, so we really didn't know what to expect. We got there early and had dinner at the pizzaria next door. We were there early enough to be some of the first people in the ticket line.

After we picked up our tickets, we stood in line waiting to get in. While we waited in a growing line, a drugged out rasta-type fellow was hitting up a captive audience for spare change. Not that I want to admit this, but as the man slowly and loudly worked his way down the line toward us, I was increasingly hoping the doors would open to let us in the building.

Pretty soon the man, shouting words I could not understand, came up to me and gave me a big hug. Hmm. He smelled like pot, and/or body odor, and/or... who knows what. While he was latched on to me, Lindsey says she saw him kiss the collar of my shirt. Although my first instinct was to shove the guy off me, he was so wasted that he probably would have hurt himself pretty bad. So as I awkwardly tried to weasel my way out of his man-hug, I heard him shout something about "rasta"-something, or "one love"-something and then he asked me for spare change. I replied that I didn't have any cash on me. This was the truth. I never carry cash anymore. Honestly, if I had any cash, I would have given it to him just to stop him from hugging me.

After I wrangled out of his grip, he turned his inebriated attention to Lindsey, said something like "sister" and apologized for something... maybe for hugging her husband. Although I allowed him to hug (and apparently kiss) me, I was not about to let him do the same to Lindsey. I blocked him from being able to reach Lindsey and luckily he didn't make a move on her. Rather, he held out his hand and asked for change again. As he stared at the ground, I think he fell asleep, or passed out or something. There was silence for about 60 seconds as I stood there not quite knowing what to do with this catatonic transient standing next to me. He eventually snapped out of his trance, and once more I said, "Sorry man, I don't have any change on me, good luck." As soon as he moved onto the next person in line, the doors opened and we headed in.

The concert itself was pretty good. We were the fifth and sixth people into The Crocodile, so we headed straight to the balcony and grabbed one of the few tables in the whole place. The view from the balcony was great, but apparently the sound quality was much better from the floor. The first performer was Anya Marina, who simply played guitar and used an iPod Nano as her backup drums. At first we felt bad for her because everyone lifelessly stared at her through her first song. However, after that, she really worked the crowd, and a couple songs in everyone was laughing at her jokes about having to use her nano in place of a band and enjoying her music.


Emiliana Torrini was the reason we went there. She is an Icelandic folk/pop singer. It turns out that her voice is as good in concert as it is recorded and her band was very creative. Maybe I haven't paid much attention before, but I had never seen a drummer use a violin bow on his cymbals. On certain songs he would play the edge of the cymbal like a violin and when he released, it would make a ringing bell sound. Emiliana's presence between songs comes across as insecure and nervous, but she appears to be a perfectionist and led the tempo on every song.

Our hotel was on the other side of the block from the venue. When we got there around midnight, there were three police officers unsuccessfully trying to get into the hotel for an unknown reason. Nobody was at the front desk and the only way to get into the hotel at night was to use a hotel key. So we let the police officers in, and they searched the lobby to find someone to talk to. We still aren't sure why they were there.

It was a great concert in a questionable part of town.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Silver Falls - by Brad

A couple weekends ago we took the boys on a hike at Silver Falls up past Entiat. We hadn't been there before and it turned out to be pretty nice, with stone steps in many places and several areas to play in the creek and falls. It wasn't as hot as we hoped, so we didn't end up getting into the water.

Here are some of the falls...



Elliott posing...



Wesley posing (he chose this pose himself), then really posing, and then goofing...



Us boys...



And Spencer guzzling my Diet Coke...



Tomorrow morning we head off to Pearrygin Lake. This will be our third year in a row meeting my parents up there.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Spencer - John 3:16ish - by Brad

Lindsey has been teaching Spencer John 3:16 lately. I think all three boys have great minds for memorization like their Mom. Spencer has a little more work to do, but he is certainly getting there...

Post-Bath Spence - by Brad

A couple pictures of Spencer that Lindsey took after his bath. These were some rare natural smiles, so I thought I would post them. He looks much older here than he does in real life...