Monday, December 22, 2014

three and counting!

This little cutie turned 3 this (of course that means last) year! As is typically the custom with us, we celebrated at home with the family.
 
He enjoyed his balloons ...  
 
 
grandparents ...  

(really liked those balloons!)

family (and soda) ...
 
more family ...

siblings and cute homemade gifts ...
 
 presents of course ... 


oh, and can't forget cake!



Happy day, Joe. Thanks for bringing so much joy to the entire family!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Linda Loo Weekend Meets Ensign Ranch (2013)

Warning: There are a TON of pictures in this post. All in collages granted, but still a lot. For Linda Loo weekend 2013 we took the extended fam to one of our favorite family gathering spots in the Pacific NW--Ensign Ranch.

We had such a fun time hanging out by the river (riding log horses, skipping tons of rocks, finding snakes, fishing, and randomly meeting up with cousins-my cousins-who just happened to be visiting the ranch as well) ...
 
Aunt J couldn't resist her many photo shoots...

Car fun (run boys, run!) ...

Horse back riding (poor g-ma could hardly walk for a week after this escapade--what a good sport for doing the trail ride with the older grandkids!) ...

M and G dancing and posing as always:-) ...

M photo shoot ...

Random fun ...

Group photo shoot ...

Silly pics ...

Slip n' slide fun ...

Family impromptu talent show (our tradition!) ...

Get's a little crazy out there ...

More craziness ...

But so much fun!!  
 

And, a family wagon ride (even talked cousins L and K--and their boy--into joining us).  Don't think it could get any better than that!

Cable Line Training

Yep, it's another hiking post! Surprised?

So I'm going to keep this post mega brief, because it's actually a pre-cursor to a post that's coming up very soon.

K took the boys and their good buddy out for a Cable Line run, in order to get them prepped for their 2013 "High Adventure" to Mildred. Cable Line is a hike that I may have posted about before. There are no switch backs on this trail, just straight up hiking--in fact 2,000 feet of straight up hiking in only 1.5 miles.  I did it recently and felt sick the whole way up:/. Granted I haven't been working out lately, but still, it's tough. Even tougher, when your dad makes you carry weighted packs.

That's alright they're still smiling.


Mostly, anyway.

Pictures definitely don't do the incline justice!

What's not to smile about at the top?!!

Great work guys! Mildred, here they come.





Kon'nichiwa!

I have two sisters. Both incredible, inspiring women. My oldest lives nearby which is fantastic!! The one just older than me lives far away. As in really far away. At the time of this post in Japan (hence the title), and now in Germany. But, once a year she comes to visit which is also fantastic!! I will admit, I am reasonably embarrassed at this post--it is in her honor, yet she only appears in one picture, and her hubby in zero. Oops! I don't know what happened, other than I'm in a hurry to catch up and really should have asked my oldest sister (the family picture taker) for her stash. I figure it's okay, though. What matters is the celebration/gathering that took place in her honor. Right?? And that is what these pictures reflect.

G-ma Loo and her lil' bud!


    Pool fun!!

Grandkids--missing a few:(

Sidewalk art contest

Me and my Sis.

J and J (cousins)--Little handy helpers

Bringin' the Wives;)

Does it seem like I do a lot of hiking posts (particularly in the summer)? Hmm, why could that be? Oh, yes, it's because in our family we hike. A lot. But then I think I've already established that fact so I'll try to stop rambling about it and move on. 
 
I think it's safe to say that this trip was an absolute dream come true for K and his good buddy D. I'm not exaggerating. To have their wives trek along with them to one of their favorite places on earth (Mildred Lakes in the Olympic Peninsula) was pretty much as good as it gets. Probably their idea of heaven. Seriously. I'm still not exactly sure how they talked us into it--pretty certain it involved chocolate, promises of childfree outings, and probably a little manipulation:-). No matter, though. Somehow we committed, and next thing you know, we're loading our packs and saying goodbye to the kids.  
 
After stopping at a delicious taco truck, we were on our way, scrambling up and down root ladders, trying to avoid ground-level beehives, catching a quick night's sleep at Huckleberry Creek, and enjoying some beautiful sights--ultimately a lake-side view of the largest of Mildred's offerings.
 
The guys did some fishing, we all washed off/swam in the frosty mountain lake, us girls hung out in hammocks, we stayed another night, survived a slight downpour of rain, us girls continued to relax in the hammocks, and we ate yummy fish! Wait, did I mention the hammocks??

It was a beautiful, relaxing, enjoyable trip, finished off by an amazing night under the vibrant stars (even caught a nice glimpse of a shooting star). Before we knew it, we were on our way back out, enjoying some beautiful views, taking a somewhat questionable "short cut", scrambling up and down root ladders, trying to avoid ground-level beehives, and shocker, finishing up our weekend with burgers, fries, and shakes.
We are so fortunate to have such fantastic friends with whom to share life and life's many crazy adventures!! Love them.

Pasayten Wilderness High Adventure

Okay, so I'm going to be a bad wife. A very bad wife. My big crime? Not giving this amazing camping, hiking, fishing post the time it deserves. Might not seem like a big deal, right? Well, sure, not unless your husband lives and breathes these types of expeditions.

This was a serious 50+ miler that K helped to plan and participate in. The guys (two leaders and three teens from our church's youth program) all traveled up North to the Pasayten Wilderness where the hike was to take place.
They geared up and set out ...

Saw some breathtaking sites ...

Set up camp at night and took it down in the morning, just to do the same thing again the next day at a new spot (all while trying not to get eaten by mosquitos) ... 

Hiked, and hiked, and kept hiking (other than for brief stops/naps) ...

Did a little fishing (if I remember right, fishing wasn't the best but they collectively caught a few) ...

Had a great, exhausting, life-changing time, and celebrated with burgers, fries, and shakes ...


And that's all she wrote;).

14th Anniversary

I really thought I already posted this one, so sorry if this is a repeat, but wanted to make sure I included a pic from the anniversary dinner we barely managed to squeeze in amidst our early-July craziness. Seems almost impossible that it's already been 14 (actually now 15) years. Must mean we're starting to get OLD, which is okay because I guess that means we're getting wiser too. Right? Either that or just crazier, but I suppose I'm good with either.  After all, it has certainly been a wonderful, adventurous, ever-changing, and crazy 14 years.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Camp Thunderbird

 
Okay, so I'll apologize ahead of time for the upcoming rushed posts. I think I'm at the point where it's either rush, or give up altogether, and I'm not quite ready to quit. Not yet anyway.
 
So, here's Porter at 11-year-old Scout Camp (another sad reminder of how far behind I've let myself get with this blog since he's now 13). Anyway, I won't go into any real detail, but here's a little glimpse of what 11-year-olds might do at Scout Camp.
 
A little rowing ...


A little archery ...

A little rifle shooting ...


A little ... actually I'm not exactly sure what's going on here ... tying knots while drinking hot chocolate??


And a little service ... What could be better!?