Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Peninsula, Day Four

Sunday morning was a little cool and rainy, so we had a bit of a lazy morning. We also had home church together and read from Genesis 1 and I John 1. The rain quit, so we tried taking some pictures outside, but I was having a little trouble with the focus and the light. (After seeing the pictures later, however, I was pretty happy with them. Not my best, but not horrible.) Then we headed to Sol Duc, intending to go to the hot springs. However, when we got there it was really crowded and it wasn’t what we had imagined. We had a more natural environment in mind, but it was just a big pool and 3 large hot tubs. We elected not to spend the $50, even though we were all disappointed and our day was not off to a good start.

We ended up stopping at a Vista Point (a place where salmon apparently make their way back upstream at the right time of year)along the Sol Duc River, which turned out to be an awesome adventure! Lots of bouldering, exploring, throwing rocks, wading, and picture-taking turned a bad morning upside down!

Later we stopped back in Forks for a bite to eat at a Mexican place (which wasn’t very good) and then the candy shop for a beach treat. We drove out towards La Push for some tide-pooling and beach fun at Second Beach.

As was par for the course this day, we took the wrong hike at first and ended up at…where else? First Beach. It was a long detour, but at least we found a decent bathroom! After hiking back to the van and then taking the correct hike through the woods, we were greeted by what is quite possibly the most beautiful Washington beach. Driftwood logs, sand, tide pools, sea stacks, and the forest made an incredible setting. What a creative God!

We spent a couple fun hours there exploring the rocks and logs and just generally enjoying each other and the magnificent creation. We ate our candy and watched the sunset. We quickly packed up and hiked back because we didn’t want to be on the trail in the woods in the dark. Then we drove back to First Beach to check out the sunset and the beach there and also saw a beautiful full moon! It was late when we got home, and the day had been a bit frustrating at times, but we had great adventures, anyway!

Peninsula, Day Four

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Peninsula, Day Three

Saturday was an absolutely glorious day! It started off a bit cloudy, but we began with a hike to Sol Duc Falls, which was beautiful and stunning and fun! By the time we were done with that hike, it was warm and the sun was shining. We skipped the Hot Springs (which had been the original plan) and headed to Lake Crescent Lodge. What a wonderful place! It felt like we had stepped back in time or into a completely different world. An old-feel lodge with cabins right on the lake. To top it off, Adirondack chairs & benches lined the beach along the lake.

Lake Crescent itself is huge and deep, and after lunch at the lodge restaurant, we spent a few hours sitting, swimming, kayaking, and relaxing on the shores of Lake Crescent. It was a total blast and we enjoyed every minute hanging out together. The highlight for me was watching the girls jump off the dock all together!

Ed & Sarah made it their mission to kayak all the way to the other side of the lake. While they were out there, the wind picked up and the waves on the lake got to be pretty wild. We even had some park rangers watching them through their binoculars because that part of the lake can be pretty dangerous when the waves pick up! But Ed & Sarah made it back safely, having navigated the waves in exactly the right manner, much to the satisfaction of the park rangers, and my parents’ kayak was also safe.

After a dinner of chips & salsa with grilled ham and cheese, I made the girls some hot cocoa as a special bedtime treat!

Peninsula, Day Three

Happy Birthday, Grandpa Freeman!

Today is the birthday of another favorite guy – my father-in-law, Erik. We haven’t seen him in over a year, but we know he’s working hard on his property and we hope to visit him there someday. We love getting his email updates on what he’s doing and all the girls love seeing his property and imagining what it would be like to explore in his woods and creek bed. One of my favorite things that he’s done is build is his own fire pit from the rocks he’s unearthed from the gulley. Here’s a picture of that fire pit in the snow this past winter.


We love you and miss you, Erik, and hope we get to see you soon!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dad & Elias!

Today is a special day because two of my favorite guys are having a birthday! Let me tell you, it was quite a day, two years ago, when I called my dad (on the first day of school, no less) to tell him “Happy 60th Birthday”, heard the down-in-the-dumps-attitude in his voice. I said, “What’s the matter? Are you sad about being 60 or is it because the baby’s not here yet?” He said, “Both!” Little did we know, that my nephew Elias was on his way and was born just hours later! How special to share a birthday!

IMG_5453 My parents recently visited Elias and they celebrated their birthdays together there.

Elias is an amazing kid. He’s a super-smart, swift talker who knows what is going on. His curls and his eyes melt my heart and I love the way he is mesmerized by all things new. When I had the opportunity to visit with him and his parents in April, I begged his parents to get out their violins and play. They consented and we all loved the entertainment, especially Elias! He is a very special little two-year-old and I can’t wait to spend time with him at Christmas! Happy Birthday, Elias! We love you!

My dad is also pretty amazing. His tender heart makes him a loving husband, father, and grandpa. His common sense makes him a clear thinker, good packer, and attentive listener. His creativity makes him fun, a good handy-man, and excellent worship-leader. Happy Birthday, Dad! We love you, too!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Peninsula, Day Two

Our first full day on the peninsula dawned sunny and beautiful. By 10 am we were on our way to the Hoh Rainforest where we spent about 90 minutes hiking the Hall of Mosses Trail, which was beautiful and fun. Laden with moss, of course, large Sitka Spruce, Western hemlock, banana slugs (of which we only saw one), nurse logs, and ferns, we truly enjoyed the sunshine in the rainforest!! While driving in, we had admired the Hoh river, so after leaving the trail, we parked alongside the road and foraged a path down to the river. We spent a good hour there throwing rocks, wading, exploring, and getting wet. Definitely a trip highlight!

Lunch at the “Hard Rain Cafe” was a fun and relaxing break from all our walking and exploring. We even picked some roadside blackberries while eating our burgers outside in the sun!

After a quick stop at the Hoh House and for gas, we were off for our second main adventure: Rialto Beach! “Low” tide was at 4:00 pm and we arrived about 3:30. However, it was a two mile hike to the tide pool area and “Hole in the Wall”. We booked and got the two miles done in about 40 minutes. We were able to see some sea creatures, but because it wasn’t a very low tide, we didn’t see a ton. We were so proud we made it there, though!

On the walk back, the girls took off their shoes and got wet and sandy playing chicken in the waves. After baths and showers back at the Hoh House, we ate more frozen pizza and watched the Heffalump movie together. Very relaxing!

Peninsula, Day Two Web Album

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Juan de Fuca Strait

Have you ever seen the Strait of Juan de Fuca? It’s the body of water between Vancouver Island and the Olympic Peninsula. It was of course discovered by some explorer who was looking for the Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific, which is how most rivers and channels and bodies of water were discovered way back when.

Anyway, I forgot to post this picture of the waves at Dungeness Spit and to mention that Dungeness Spit goes out into the Strait of Juan de Fuca.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Peninsula, Day One

Thanks to my friend, Tamara, I learned the concept of a “Scrapbook on the Road” and quickly threw one together before we left on our trip last Thursday. And thanks to me doing that, my blog entries are basically completed, as is the journaling for the scrapbook of our trip!  I journaled every evening while on our trip and loved doing that. Enjoy!

We were so excited to go on our 5-day vacation to the Olympic Peninsula, but our trip got off to a rough start when Elise threw up only 45 minutes into the trip! Yuck! After getting her cleaned up at a gas station, we made it to Deception Pass without incident.

It was really fun to walk across Deception Pass and walk around. We haven’t had much chance to share our memories of that place with the girls.

We were able to walk around on the beach by the ferry terminal before loading on to the Keystone-Port Townsend ferry. We ended up at the front of the ferry, so we could see everything right from the van. We did walk around a bit, but it was cold and a bit rainy. We had a little snack, but that might have been a mistake. Elise threw up again in Port Angeles. We gave her a Dramamine and headed on. We didn’t really think it was car sickness, as she’s never had that before, but we figured it wouldn’t hurt.

Lunch at the Hwy 101 Diner in Sequim was a downer and Becca was not feeling good. We gave her some Dramamine and headed to Dungeness Spit.

Dungeness Spit was awesome! Ed had to carry Elise since she had fallen asleep. We took the half mile hike down to the beach and spent some time soaking in the sun as it broke through the clouds, chasing and watching waves, and playing in the sand. Elise woke up, but Becca was feeling tired from the Dramamine. We left Dungeness and headed for the Hoh House! We arrived and loved it. Nothing fancy, but peaceful, and comfy, and in a beautiful setting. Everyone was feeling better so we had pizza for dinner, played games, and I even got to watch HGTV!

Peninsula, Day One Web Album

We’re home!

We had a great time on our Olympic Peninsula trip and of course there will be many more photos forthcoming, but, for now, one of my favorites:


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Favorite Fair Fotos

6 entry tickets to the fair + 5 carnival wristbands + lunch at the LC booth + milkshakes + baked potato dinner + funnel cakes + 4 single ride tickets to Mom could join the family on the ferris wheel = $192

_MG_5963Bethany losing her tooth within 30 minutes of arriving at the fair +

_MG_5989  This glee +

_MG_6061Sarah being the best big sister ever +

_MG_6093  The giggling +

_MG_6161 Going on rides with Dad =


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Samish Overlook

On our way down south for some back-to-school shopping, we stopped at Samish Overlook for a picnic and to see a spectacular view! Actually, it wasn’t really “on our way” – it was off the freeway and up Blanchard Mountain about 5 miles on a dirt road – but it was totally worth the dust, the bumping, and every minute.

_MG_5893 Looking south from the parking area. If you can make this picture bigger, you can just barely make out Mt. Ranier in the distance on the right half of the photo.

_MG_5894 More south view

_MG_5900 Starting to look to the west, but still somewhat south. Are those the Olympics back there?

_MG_5902 I wonder what she’s wondering about.

_MG_5903 And I wonder what those two are talking about. It can’t be good.

IMG_5910Thanks for taking our photo, Sarah! And thanks Ed for remembering to have our photo taken!!

_MG_5911 Looking down at the marsh. This is zoomed all the way back with my zoom lens.

_MG_5912 Same shot. Zoomed in. That’s a very sunk boat.

_MG_5915 Looking to the west

_MG_5916 My beauties

_MG_5924 She was not happy. She had gotten a scratch and it was bleeding. She was waiting for Daddy to get back from the van with a bandaid.

_MG_5926 But she was happy and beautiful!

_MG_5930 This child informed me the other night that she knows she is the cutest because everybody always tells her she is the cutest.

Perhaps it’s time to stop.

_MG_5933 Ah. Sweetness with light bubbles.

_MG_5937 To the west



Having our picnic

Monday, August 16, 2010

A perfect picnic

A week or so ago, on a hot day, we managed to meet some dear friends, whom we don’t see often enough, for a picnic at a park by the water. Our kids have been friends since before they were born, and even though my friend has 3 boys and only one girl, our kids play together perfectly, like cousins. I was gonna say like siblings, but they don’t fight like siblings would; it’s really more like cousins. We actually do in fact consider them to be our girls’ “local cousins” since all of the girls’ real cousins live in other states. The two oldest don’t seem to care that each other is the opposite sex, even at the ages of 12 and 13. They just goof off together. He throws seaweed at her and she throws it right back. The second two, both girls, are best buddies, even when it’s been a long time since they’ve seen each other. The third two, my Becca and my friend’s 7-year-old-boy play like normal little first and second graders would. Becca’s tough and girlie all rolled into one and I think that little boy rather likes that about her. Now, my youngest and her youngest are the farthest apart in age and don’t really play together, but both found themselves occupied with one pair or the other for most of the afternoon. And then my friend and I get to catch up, compare parenting notes, talk about home projects, paint swatches, cameras, and extra-curricular activities, all while making sure none of the kids got too wet while wading around in the rocks at the beach. It was fun and easy with them at our recent picnic, as it always is.

_MG_5689 The second two

_MG_5697 Typical

_MG_5698We told her to do the “Karate Kid”, but of course she didn’t know what that was, so we had to demonstrate. She thought we were a little crazy.

_MG_5700Then she almost fell off her perch. The Master (or whatever he was called in “The Karate Kid”) would have made her keep trying.

_MG_5716 Eight is enough

_MG_5721My friend and I. I love how you can see reflections in our sunglasses of all our kids playing on the beach.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Pool Friends

(Alternative Title: Tricks By Elise)

_MG_5875_MG_5883 _MG_5888 _MG_5876 _MG_5877 _MG_5886

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Bethany’s Birch Bay Birthday

What a great day we had out at the Birch Bay Waterslides! Bethany & her friend Emily (with a little coaxing from their mothers) decided to have a combined birthday party with a bunch of friends out at the waterslides. I have never taken my girls to the waterslides before, even though I grew up going at least once a year. For some reason I didn’t think it would be fun to take kids to the waterslides. I was wrong. We had a total blast. Of course, I didn’t have the little girls, who would have made me worry all the time, and I didn’t have Ed, who would have constantly bombarded me with “Do you have enough sunscreen on?” and “I’m gonna go sit in the shade” and “This sun is torture” (even though it was not a hot day), and I had 2 friends and 13 tween girls sharing the day with me. Let me just say, tween girls at the waterslides totally rock. They love everything. They love each other. They don’t complain. And they giggle. Continually. All the way down every single waterslide. (Unless they’re screaming). Cracks. Me. Up.

_MG_5783 _MG_5800 _MG_5806 _MG_5812 _MG_5814 The birthday party gang

_MG_5819 Sarah and her friend that we invited along

The next set of pictures is not for the weak of heart. You must be strong and know before you read this that Sarah was not hurt during the taking of these pictures. She was not coerced to participate in these activities. The mother was the one was objected.

I firmly said, “If you go down that slide, I don’t want to know.”

_MG_5822 What is that, like six stories high?


Never in a million years did I think she would do it.

Okay, that’s not true. I was pretty sure she would do it. I’m the one that would never do it.

I just didn’t think that afterwards, she would coming running to find me, jumping up and down, and laughing with glee. “I did it, Mom! I totally went down the Chute! I’m gonna do it again!”

Okay. So, now that she had done it once and lived, I figured I could probably watch and take a picture to document the event. I should have taken video. I’m pretty sure there was screaming.

_MG_5826 There she is. Ready to go.

_MG_5830There she goes!

As she went down, my stomach went into my throat.

_MG_5831 As she got closer to the ground, however, my stomach settled right back down.

_MG_5833 Viola! She’s alive! And smiling! And she did it again later on in the day.

Now, next to this “Chute” is a very fun ride called “The Black Hole” which sounds way more ominous and deadly than it is. Essentially it’s a river raft ride in complete darkness. And it’s fast. And tween girls scream ALL the way down. I giggled. I promise. I did not scream. I giggled. Like a tween. It was totally fun.

_MG_5840 See the screaming? So funny.

_MG_5873 Here – just cuteness.

_MG_5858 And the birthday party gang once again. Lots of giggling trying to take this picture. I have about 17 shots, but this is the only one where everyone is mostly looking in the right direction and everyone’s eyes are mostly open. They’re so tween.

In fact, these girls fit so well into the tween “cliche” that 8 of the girls shopped at Justice for the gifts. This is a store that knows tweens. And none of those gifts from Justice were duplicates. And Bethany loves all of them. Thanks for a great day, everyone!