Friday, August 27, 2010

Summer Winding Down - by Brad

Summer has been winding down for us since the week at Pearrygin Lake. We have stayed busy since then, and now we are trying to cram in some last minute summer fun before school starts next week.

We worked on a project on one side of our house that has been bugging us for several years now. We needed to dig up some dirt and weeds, lay down weed barrier, and then haul a couple truck loads of basalt rock to dump on top of it. Thankfully it only took a couple evening because I had the help of my dad in hauling about 40 wheel barrow loads of rock up our front steps. Now we have the other side of the house to do... but we are waiting on a little more concrete before we finish that part.

It was election day around last Tuesday, and I was signed up at work to close the ballot drop box in Leavenworth at 8:00, so Lindsey and I made a date night out of it. We dropped the boys off at her parents house and she made a picnic dinner for us to eat at the waterfront park.

Last weekend Lindsey went shopping in Seattle with her sisters, so my brother-in-law brought his two daughters over and stayed the weekend with me and the boys. We headed up past Leavenworth on the Wenatchee River and saw the spawning salmon. It gets a little stinky up there because when the salmon spawn, they die. The kids were excited to play with the dead fish washing up on shore. I had told the boys they could bring their knives with them - assuming they would carve sticks or something. Nonetheless, the knives were used to desecrate the dead salmon.

I got to go golfing a couple times in the last couple weeks. I played rather poorly, but it was still fun.

Feeling that our summer was slipping away, Lindsey and I took Elliott up to the water slides in Lake Chelan. The younger boys aren't adventurous enough yet to go on the water slides, so they had a fun time at the river with Grandma and Aunt Gail. Elliott got his nerve up and decided to try the most advanced slide in the park. A skinny tube that is pitch black inside so you don't know when you get water in your face. Since it is skinny, you have to lay down, which makes you go faster. He loved it and wanted to keep going down it.

After the water slides, we picked up the other two boys and then we prepared to head to the drive-in movie theatre to watch Toy Story 3. Apparently the drive-in theatre in Wenatchee is one of the only remaining drive-ins operating in Washington, and it sounds like it is going to close this year, so we though we should probably take the boys. A short conversation took place that evening in the car...

Lindsey: Are you boys excited to go to the drive-in?!?!
Wesley: Yes.
Elliott: No you're not
Wesley: Yes I am
Elliott: No you're not
Wesley: Yes I am
Elliott: No you're not, your eyes aren't big enough.

This coming from the boy who is a expressionless as his father.

At the drive-in we indulged in snacks while we waited for it to get dark enough. We had borrowed Lindsey's dad's truck, and were all snuggled up in the back. The only problem was that they broadcast the sound over the airwaves and we couldn't hear the radio very well from the back of the truck. The kids still enjoyed it and it brought back some good memories for Lindsey and me.

School starts next week! Elliott is starting 2nd grade and Wesley is a kindergartner! We had a school orientation last night and they are both excited to start. Lindsey now gets to spend time with just Spencer. They are growing up.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pearrygin '10 - by Brad

This was the fourth year in a row that we have vacationed at Pearrygin Lake. In the past years we have gone with my parents and pitched a tent on their campsite. This year, we borrowed Lindsey's parent's trailer and got our own site. Our friends, the Andersons, brought their boat up and stayed with us.

With a boat on the lake, we got to do a few things we hadn't done in the past. We went tubing and tried wake boarding. Lindsey did great wake boarding... I couldn't even get up. After trying several times and drinking half the lake up my nostrils, I decided that tubing was all that I was talented enough to accomplish.

On our last morning at the lake, we got in some of the most active fishing we had ever seen. Aaron and I had the six kids in his boat and had two fishing poles going. After three hours of fishing, we had let the kids reel in about 40 fish. Every time we would cast our the bait we would have a bite within 30 seconds. This was the perfect conditions for the kids to be able to reel in as many fish as they wanted. We let many fish go so we only had to walk away with nine rainbow trout.

Since we caught a few crawdads last year we made a couple traps to set out. However, with two crawdad pots over 4 nights, we only caught two crawdads. This prompted Aaron and I to take a late night raft trip on the lake armed with nets and flashlights. We had really good luck catching them this way. The only problem was that we forgot to bring a bucket with us. We ran out of space in the pouch of the raft and the crawdads kept getting out and pinching on Aaron.

They turn from a brown color to bright reddish-orange when boiled. We shelled them and dipped them in butter and seasoning.

The kids did a lot of bike riding, so it was common that they kept their helmets on...

In Winthrop, my dad treated all of us to ice cream and mini golf...

We took the Andersons out to the smoke jumpers base for the tour. Of course the best part of the tour was getting to play around on the airplanes...

Aaron was a great entertainer for all the kids. He came up with a "most interesting rock" contest when we had some down time...

Even though we couldn't have a campfire at our site, Aaron found a way to cook the smores. He setup the portable grill and we made smores over the propane fire...