Tuesday, October 30, 2012

ziplining at obispo bennion's

We are blessed with so many fantastic, caring, thoughtful, warm, sincere, fun loving, and just overall amazing friends!! One of these friends (along with his awesome wife) have a very kid-friendly zip line at their home, and occasionally invite us over for a ride. This summer when they invited us to "play" another family came as well and was kind enough to take pictures and send them our direction.

Who doesn't love a good zip line ride!!?

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splashin' it up

Of course most of what makes it onto the blog are trips and out-of-the-ordinary adventures; however, what we spent most of are summer doing was sleeping in, going to swim lessons, doing lots of laundry (from all the trips and camping trips in), hanging out with friends, and spending time at the local splash parks ...

Too fun!!! Summertime is definitely THE BEST!

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weekend in seaside

Just as soon as we finished up with the award ceremony at camp, we piled back into the car and continued west toward Seaside. A sweet friend, native to the area, was actually the one who pointed out that we would be no more than an hour away from the coast. Didn't take long for me to decide that we had to go. Okay, fine, didn't HAVE to, but really really would be great to. Fortunately we were able to find a last-minute rental willing to rent for only two nights, so off we went.

I am of course from Portland (mostly, at least), and grew up visiting Seaside and the Oregon coast--it was only a couple of hours away. This however, was not the same Seaside. It's obviously been a long time. But, the changes were definitely for the better. Maybe it's just me, but as I remember it Seaside was getting just a tad bit, well, ghetto. Not now, though, there's lots of cute little shops--some oldies some newbies--,many fun restaurants, and of course the standard bikes and fudge and taffy and things that Seaside has always had.

Nothing like sleeping with giant headphones on.
Oh, and did I mention that grandma got to come?? Seaside is, after all, really her place, so that was just a must!

Our cute little rental house.

Only two blocks away from the beach. Yep, thataway.

We ended up with really nice weather. Definitely not hot, I think that's a rarity on the NW coast, but still nice.


The lack of heat may have kept me no more than knee deep in the ice-cold water, but it certainly didn't stop the kids.

They had a great time.

That is, until it was timed to get cleaned up ... That part is not fun when it's cold!

Although some didn't mind it too much.

One in particular didn't mind much of anything.

There is definitely just something about one-year-olds and sand!

I think this merry-go-round has been going around since I was a kid.

But I don't remember this little ride. Not much to remember I suppose, but Joseph sure enjoyed it.

Yummy ice cream break.

And of course, can't leave Seaside without a round of bumper cars.

It was fun to see the boys drive their own car for the first time.

This guy was kinda fun to watch.

But this was probably the entertainment of the weekend (although playing at the beach, hanging out at the arcade, eating breakfast at Pig'n Pancake, watching the Olympics on tv, etc., etc., were all fun too)!!

Entertaining in that it is crazy difficult to pedal a cart full of 8 big, small, and medium bodies all over town. Especially when most of those bodies can't reach the pedals themselves, and one of those bodies won't stay put.

We were quite the spectacle, and I'm pretty sure we could hardly pedal half the time because we were laughing so hard. It was fun, though, and we definitely got a nice workout!

Great weekend! I think it's up in the air whether or not this is going to be an annual tradition (suppose it might depend on b-ball camp); but regardless, we'll definitely have to return at least on occasion!

Oh, and as a side note, when visiting the Oregon or Washington coasts, dress warm!! Or at least in layers! This is not and will never be your toasty Californian beach.

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nw trek take II

I almost moved on without remembering that while the boys were having fun with the slip'n slide, we had a little fun of our own. Mae organized a couple of play dates--to take full advantage of the somewhat boy-free time. And on the last day before heading to Oregon, we met Auntie Jill and the cousins at NW Trek Wildlife Park.

We were all pretty busy getting ready to head different directions, but thought it would be fun to at least venture out on one little tram ride.

So this was our tram ride ...

Cute cousins.

And pretty cute animals too. Especially the babies, of which we saw a few.

Sure had fun with these guys (and my awesome sis--well, one of them anyway)!

More animals--it is to be expected.

And more cuties ... This time brothers.

And one last fun pic before saying goodbye.

Thanks for hanging out with us, guys. We sure love you!!

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

first time away from home:(

Well, they will probably not exactly love the way I'm going to put this, but ...

My babies are growing up.

Really growing up!

I had a dream last night that Porter was as tall as me. He's not quite there yet, but it won't be too long at all!

It really is a little sad:(, but at the same time, also terribly exciting!! I love watching my kids learn and develop and strengthen and do a hundred different things associated with getting older.

One of those exciting things this year was venturing off for the first time to summer camp, or more particularly basketball summer camp. We found a great program near the Oregon coast that we were really excited about.

Instead of being based in a gym for the week, seeing nothing but a polished wooden floor and rows of bleachers, the skills camp was based in a good 'ole fashioned summer camp setting.

Complete with a pool, lots of open green space, a stream with plenty of tadpoles for james to catch, and of course bunkhouses ...

a very long and quite steep slip'n slide ...

and, unlike other summer camps, lots of basketball courts.

Not to mention, lots of basketball players to go along with the courts.

And a great staff.

The boys had a hot, tiring, but also very full and fun week!

And mom and dad had a fairly typical week ... with an extra dose of anxiety at wondering how our boys were doing without us (we did get one mid-week report from grandpa who lives pretty close and made it out to visit), not to mention anticipation for pick-up day!! Considering I thought I might have a mini panic attack when we went to drop them off, I could hardly wait to have them both in arm's reach again!!

It really was a great camp, though, and a great experience, and we're very proud of our growing boys!!!!!!!!

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Dueck Family Reunion 2012

Okay, so starting out this post for the second time. Somehow what I already wrote got erased ... just a tad frustrating since there are certainly more than a dozen postings I need to catch up on. Yeah, yeah, the story of my life. Cry me a river, right?!

Anyway, don't know that I feel like repeating myself again, and not sure my permanent pregnancy brain would allow me to remember, so here's the rundown.

We love to camp!

We love to camp in this awesomely large tent ... So long as we can find a place for it.

As of this year, we love to take a u-haul trailer along to store our stuff in--especially when there are bears around!!  (yes, we saw a black bear...see farther down!). Super fantastic!

We love to camp along the river when possible (although prefer the weather not to be freezing cold and windy, as it was for our first day this year).

More love for the river ...

And more ...

We love to explore old stumps, rocks, and logs at water's edge.

We love to have mega firewood for endless blazing fires ... to keep warm, but mostly to cook s'mores! Yum!!

Oh, and we like to toss our firewood football style.

We LOVE "Grandma's Store"!

We love skipping/throwing rocks in the river.

We love lots of GIRL cousins!

We love hay rides, where we sing corny songs and chat with the sweet old man (missionary) leading the horses.

We love being with grandparents on said hayrides.

We love the ginormous slip'n slide.

And especially love when we're pretty much the only ones slip'n sliding.

We love sunny days!

And babies with water guns.

We love fishing (had to be said!!)--James' first catch on a fly-rod!

Pretty sure I'm earning brownie points for this one.

Right, Hon?  (Kevin sneaking in here..... YESIREE!!!)

Even love it in the dark.

We love when Aunt Heidi joins us for a relaxing canoe ride.

We love little boys who can't get enough of their grandpas!

We do not exactly love sharing our campground with mischievous black bears ... but spotting them from the car is pretty cool (directly in the middle behind the branches-promise it's there).

We love silly grandmas who show us awesome dance moves.

This move may just be the Freddy, but don't quote me on it.

We love good 'ole target practice.

And staying cool by the water while camp gets loaded up.

We love our favorite burger and shake stop ...

Even when we are tired and dirty.

Mostly we love being with family! Which is why family reunions are the best!!