Friday, August 29, 2008

Just a cool photo...

If you can't tell ~ I love to play with my camera! Loads to learn, so little time!

Holly handed me this and said "Mama, this is a wish just for you!" How sweet is that!

The Garden is Growing... or is it?

We planted a vegetable garden for the second time. Last year we had pretty good success for newbies - lot's of corn, tons & tons of tomatoes, green beans, lettuce, radishes, basil and carrots. This year... not much of anything has grown! It is quiet a dissapointment really! Just a few tomatoes over all, our zuccini keeps dying off, no strawberries to speak of, the green beans are gone - I even planted them again for a second attempt, no radishes, no carrots and we'll see about the corn. It is kinda cute though, we have some straggler tomatoes that grew from last year scattered about our garden area in odd places -- pretty hearty little guys!

We didn't do anything differently, except a small layout change due to planth growth - a learning curve. But, the weather isn't great this time around with a late frost season, little sun and colder temps. Also, the bees... they are just not around. It's quiet sad actually, as we do have lot's of bees around our area - we even have two neighbors with hives. But, not many around to do the job of polinating. Even our cherry trees were pretty dismal this season. Our apples though... are crazy this year!

We'll give next year another attempt and hope for better results, but this season - we are pretty bummed! Oh well, live & learn.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Soccer Fun

Holly will be starting a tot-soccer program in a few weeks with a dear friend of hers and she is just exstatic about it!!! Sometimes she talks about soccer, sits and thinks about soccer and ask many questions on the subject of soccer.... to a mom who has never played soccer a day in her life! I have a lot to learn!

But, to capture that full enthusiasm we are breaking her in with a new soccer ball, shoes and some soccer fun in the yard. Today we played for a long time together kicking the ball around and she *loved* every moment of it!!! It really wore her out too... the best part! The worst part she had so much fun today that she asked if we start soccer tomorrow ~ nope, not until the end of September. What to do till then?
Here are some cute shots of her playing with her new ball & shoes:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sweet Photo

This was one I just caught...................... & love!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Introducing... Kayak #2

In 2004 we purchased our kayak kits (Pygmy Arctic Terns)... it took us until 2005 to finish building our first kayak due to the arrival of little Holly. The second kit sat and sat. Hawk (Bryan's Dad) then started building the second boat... with the intent he would use it. He did a beautiful job building it and I think he had fun too! After he was about done he informed us that he in fact did not want to use it for kayaking as it was of no interest to him. He passed the kayak back on to us... this weekend!!! THANK YOU HAWK!

I still can't believe we now have both kayak's back in our little world and that we will actually get to kayak TOGETHER!!! For so long we have taken turns in our little trips out & about until yesterday! Sunday August 23rd we set out on our first joint kayak excursion after a fun little boat christening. Bryan & I finally were able to enjoy one of our hobbies *together*!

This weekend was spent getting outfitted for our second kayak with new pfd's, a new paddle, car mount rack and more... all of that took a lot of time to gather the right stuff! Then we headed on over to see the finished kayak, admire it, photograph the boat more than necessary and welcome it to the water! When we finished out original boat we had not done this becuase we orignally wanted to wait for both, so yesterday we took care of that! Here are some great shots of our kayaks... they are beautiful!!!
Hawk & the kayak he built!

All loaded and heading over to the lake!

Aren't they pretty?

Something to welcome them with & toast with... note "Liberty Ale", Bryan's choice.

Hawk with his beautifully built boat! After a good speech!

We too welcome our beautiful boat to the water!

And.... off we go! A long time in the making - but, oh so worth it!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Yes, Camping Can Be DIRTY

We had a fun group night where everyone came down to our site and we had a big fish dinner together! Amazing meal ~ Thanks Tex & Annette! During this fun night the kids all had a blast!!!! They were playing - hard - and were covered from head to toe in dirt... no joke! After a hard day of camping we caved and gave Holly a *bath* in a rubbermaid container. She thinks it was fun, the kids thought it was odd... I thought it was a necessity! Anyhow, our night also included a night parade around the campground with neon glowing bracelets, necklaces and sticks! Fun for all!

All of this play.....

Boils down to this kind of bath.....

Now that we are much cleaner... let's enjoy a parade!

Ohanapecosh Hot Springs

At Ohanapecosh they have some natural hot springs. Years ago, as in the 20's, there were cabins and a retreat like lodge built up there for folks to come and enjoy these hot springs. This all eventlually closed due to lack of funding. In the 60's they removed all the cabins and lodge and are now in the process of restoring them.

This was my first time seeing a hot spring. They were kind of cool and incredibly natural - not sure what I was expecting, but these were much more 'natural' than I was imagining. The colors from all the iron, minerals and such were actually quiet pretty.
We took this little walk back with the Gratzer family. The kids had a great time! They discovered a big rock to climb & slide on, did lot's or running ahead to be the 'leader' of our walk and dipped their fingers in the hot springs... which are just as warm as their baths! :)

Mount Rainier & Reflection Lake

We took a drive up to Mount Rainier while camping, a drive I do not ever remember taking! This drive had some breath taking views of Mount Rainier, amazing side stops and amazing washouts and slides from recent storms that caused serious damage in the park.

I have always wanted to go to Reflection Lake, but for some reason have thought it was a hike into this lake... and a long, hard one at that! So, as we were heading up the mountain imagine my enormous suprise when we pulled up on Reflection Lake!!! I was so excited!!! We took some photos of the lake with everyone, enjoyed the scenery and headed out to enjoy more of Mount Rainier.

Grove of the Patriarchs

While camping this week we all loaded up for a day up at Mount Rainier, a hot day! Our first stop was the Grove of the Patriarchs trail. This trail heads along the Ohanapecosh river back to a small island of old growth trees, some amazing trees at that! This was an easy, fun trail with many neat views, fallen trees and a fun cable bridge. I highly recommend this trail if you are ever in the area!
This is not everyone we camped with, just everyone who made it to this little hike.


It has been a busy week or two -- getting ready for a long camping trip, finishing up errands, fulfilling our already busy schedule and then finally... relaxing while camping at Ohanapecosh! This was our first time ever camping here and we liked it so much I think we plan to return next year - if not for the long trip with everyone, then for a long trip by ourselves at least!

Each year we do a 5 day camping trip with lot's of folks - family & family friends. We invite all those we would enjoy camping with and then spend the week exploring the forest, swimming, playing and visiting. It has become a favorite little tradition of ours, one I really look forward to each year.
Ohanapecosh is located in Mount Rainier National Park, the south eastern entrance. It is a beautiful forest, clean camp facilities and wonderful nature programs to enjoy.

I of course, took a *ton* of photos... and I mean a ton! I will break them up into a few different posts for ease of loading and reading. I'll start with our camp ground area. Our particular site overlooked the Ohanapecosh river and an amazing natural landside that literally wiped out the side of the hill down into the river and the adjacent camping loop. It may not look like much in the photos - but really, it was quiet amazing! (Interestingly enough, I never took an actualy photo of just the slide... what was I thinking?) What a neat view. I think at some point we all tried imagining what it might have sounded like, looked like and felt like when it happened. I can't even imagine!
One morning Bryan, Holly & I got up a bit early and headed out on a trail to see Silver Falls. This was Holly's longest hike to date - a bit over 2.5 miles long.... and a lot of this was up hill so probably very up hill to her! She did wonderful and had a lot of fun! We encountered lots of small streams, mini falls, deer scat but no deer and watched some woodpeckers in the forest canopy.
A very nice time!!!
Look how itty bitty Holly looks in the forest... so small! Silver Falls

Monday, August 11, 2008

Lesson in Lucky Charms

We had a special treat of Lucky Charms cereal at home this week -- Holly's first time really getting to enjoy these treats! She of course loved them! The first time or two she had a bowl I noticed how she intently chose to eat all the marshmallows out first. This took a lot of work on her part. By the final time she had some Lucky Charms she again worked hard to get all those sweet marshmallows out and then sighed about how she had no more left, asking for more.

This was a great little lesson, one I am sure we have all encountered, but we talked about spreading the marshmallow love throughout your whole cereal experience. Not to pick them all out first and then trudge your way through the remaining oat cereal. A lesson in patience.

She thought for a bit after our talk and then later told me... "I shouldn't eat Lucky Charms". I asked her why and she said, "It's too hard to not eat all the marshmallows first! I have no patience!" LOL!!! What a lesson!!! Such a grown up statement from a small little kiddo - one that sometimes we all need to apply to life. Even though the marshmallows are wonderful and she wanted to eat them all up, she recognized that she isn't ready! Wow!

Hmm.... what can *I* apply this too now?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Daddy's Girl

Daddy!!! It's been a long time coming in Bryan's eyes I am sure... when will she be a Daddy's Girl? Well, I would officially declare that time has arrived. The sun rises and sets in Daddy's eyes now. When he is home she wants to play with him or be with him non stop, even if it just a trip to the ol' Home Depot. When he leaves for work she gives him some good love & advice about his day... every day! "Have a good day Daddy. Be careful Daddy. Drive Safely. I love you!" It is rather cute!

During the day it is also all about Daddy! She mentions several time a day how much she misses Daddy and then tells me "I really miss my Daddy. Don't you Mommy?" As well, he is pretend playing with us a lot now, we talk about him a lot and she even plans out what she 'wants' to do wtih Daddy when he gets home.

So, Daddy... I think your day has come! She is a Daddy's Girl! Enjoy it, savor it and soak up those tender & fun moments - they are going to go fast! Slow down and let each day just offer up what it will offer you & Holly, have no regrets and cherish it!