Monday, July 20, 2009

Birthday Fun!

I just can't think of a better day to celebrate Emily's birthday than the 4th of July. It fits her perfectly. She was actually due the end of June and after early births with both Connor and Abbie, I planned on her being early as well. Not a week late! And not only that, I went into labor right after midnight on the 4th and she was born early that morning. It was meant to be that her birthdays would be a big fanfare from then on.

We started the day with her annual birthday breakfast and parade. We were especially excited about all the neighbors who came out to watch. The first couple years we didn't have many spectators, but this year there were a handful of people for the kids to throw candy to and to be cheered on by. My camera was having issues so I don't have any pics of the breakfast and parade. The highlight was Steph's decorated jeep that Emily was able to ride in. Very cool.

Emily and her loot.
And her awesome birthday cake made, of course, by Stephanie. It was a delicious red, white and blue ice cream cake.

This moment ended up being a bit traumatic. Holly couldn't control her excitement and jumped up on the table just in time to help blow out the candles. I didn't think much of it until Emily woke up crying the next morning that she didn't get to blow out all her candles. She was obviously very distraught about the whole thing. You wait all year to have a turn to blow out the candles. I can't blame her. We had to do it all over again the next day and make sure Holly wasn't nearby.
Emily talked us into going to Chuck-E-Cheese for dinner. I always dread going there but it turned out being the best thing. Most people have BBQ's that evening so the place was empty. Everyone was happy-even the adults.

And from there we headed to a small town parade and firework show in Vernonia. It was the perfect end to a perfect birthday celebration.

I thought it was the end of the world when I had made it to July and Emily still wasn't born. Now I see that it was well worth an extra week to be able to celebrate her birthday with parades and fireworks. What a lucky girl! And I feel just as lucky to have such an wonderful daughter. I love you Emily!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Summer Fun

The first day of summer break made me a bit nervous. The kids were fighting and anxious for something to do and keeping the house clean was impossible. I realized we needed a plan and since then we have all been loving our summer. The kids are great to do their jobs and we try to find lots of fun things to do to keep us busy. That's not to say they don't still have moments of boredom or fighting, but it's much less. Here are some of our highlights so far.

Heather is living with us for the summer. Truth is, we haven't seen much of her but love it when she is around. Especially when she watches the kids! Rick and I indulged in a weekend getaway while she stayed and watched the kids. We visited Bend for the first time and loved it. The camera stayed packed away most of the trip, but our bike ride around Sisters was beautiful. The few pictures that we did take were from a hike we went on. The book promised us fields of wildflowers and gorgeous views. Turns out we were a little early for the wildflowers, save for a few, and the day was way to cloudy for much of a view. Instead we enjoyed snow at the top and a very happy few days together.
Our next summer adventure was camping as a family at our favorite Fort Stevens. The campground is located close to the beach and to a lake where we spent most of our time. We ate lots of marshmellows and played in the sun when it decided to come out.
Holly wasn't very interested in the water but she spent plenty of time playing in the sand and singing songs. For those of you who don't understand her language, she is singing "Puff the Magic Dragon".
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She even found a time to take a little nap on the sand.
Our perfect weekend ended a bit rocky. Kids were carsick on the way home so we had to make lots of extra stops. Rick rode his bike home from Fort Stevens-a total of 120 miles. He also ended up sick by the end of his ride. Not enough water. If you think he looks skinny in the next picture, you should have seen him after his ride. He had lost 10 pounds because he was so dehydrated. This Saturday he plans on riding his bike 200 miles from Seattle to Portland. I think he learned his lesson about drinking plenty of water. He'll do awesome.

We also took our annual trip to Oneata Gorge. We love it there. The best part was escaping the 90+ weather to the cool gorge and the really cold water.




Rick and Abbie both took turns jumping through the waterfall.

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And of course, summer means massive amounts of berries. I just can't get enough of them. We spent a day making jam and have spent many hours picking strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Yum! There will be many more berries to pick as well as a garden to harvest.
We've also enjoyed as much free stuff as we can. This area has plenty to offer. Free lunch, free movies, free entertainment, free concerts in the park, and Steph's free swimming pool. Today is cloudy and cold. We're enjoying the break from the heat but are excited to get back to all our warm activities.

Any other ideas for summer fun?

Cousins!

I'm playing catch up here but I had some cute photos of the kids with their cousins. They came up with Grandma and Grandpa for Connor's baptism. We loved having everyone here!