Saturday, June 30, 2007

Last full day at the Lake, 2007

Jacob and Astrid enjoying time on the bow of the boat. It was pretty bumpy today, but they held strong and had a great time getting bumped around.
We boated over to Indian Creek campground today because they have a great beach. The campground got hit very hard by the storm last night. They had over 40 trees that fell down on some trailers and tents. Some people went to the hospital, but no one was seriously hurt. We were very lucky to have been in the condo. There were enormous trees splintered in two like this one near a play area. Locals say this was one of the worst summer storms in years with all of the trees down and how fast it came upon everyone.

Jacob and Astrid having some talk time with their stuffed animals. They sat out on the grass for an hour just talking and having some good cousin time. By the way, all the other cousins were already down at the beach, so they weren't interrupted.

All I can say is that a picture is worth a thousands words. A normal picture of a three year old sitting in a box eating an oreo that he may have taken without asking. I thought this was great. We drove to Spokane tonight, and are leaving in the morning to come back home. The kids are exhausted and so am I. Good night everyone.

"The Storm"

Scott and Lara left on Friday and the day was pretty good with the weather. There were scattered clouds and they said some afternoon thunder storms on the way, but nothing big. We boated around and the kids played at Elkins beach. At around 4, we started ferrying people back to the condo. The clouds were getting darker, so we hurried. Mike got a call from his administrative assistant that Spokane had seen 50 m.p.h. winds and lightening, knocking power out. She said it was heading out way and that it was going to be bad. Well, we ran around pulling the water trampoline out of the water, and tied up the boat. We had to collect all of our outside toys up and we went inside as the storm swept across the lake. We all gathered int he upstairs condo to watch. First the power went out even before the storm arrived. Then it arrived with a vengeance. Wow, the winds were pretty bad and the lightening was amazing. Tom got creative on the barbecue with out dinner and the kids didn't know what to do with themselves with the power out. Within an hour, it had passed and the sun was starting to come out. What we didn't know was that trees were down everywhere and they are now saying power could be out for a week or so. Thank goodness we are at the end of the vacation. We did have a great meal, thanks to Tom, and then Rebecca and Andrea were heading off for Spokane. Rebecca is going to her Sensaria convention in Seattle, so Andrea was driving her back to Spokane and she is flying back to Seattle tomorrow morning. She didn't want to leave, but it overlapped at the end of the vacation. We have been taking a lot of good pictures for her. The night was dark and long. All of the kids went to sleep quickly, but they each up throughout the night saying that it was too dark. What a day we have had. It never seems to lack chaos, but there are a lot of good memories. Jacob was very interested/scared of the lightening and thunder during the storm and was worried that the condo was going to be hit. Thank goodness no one got hurt.

Fun picture of all the kids sitting on the couch watching the storm.


S'mores and skeleton's

For those of you who know Jacob well, seeing him eating a s'more, or anything for that matter, is a big deal. We had the camp fire and children running around with lit marsh mallows. Graham crackers flying and never enough chocolate. Eli, 5, was searching for a stick to roast his marsh mallow and he yelled, "I found a skeleton." This is never a good thing to hear. And, yes, he did find a skeleton. Look in the picture below in the left hand corner and there it is all propped up. Well you can just imagine what all of the kids did. We decided that it was a deer. It never seems to be boring at family events. Jacob ended up eating 7 s'mores, which we didn't find out until later. He was a happy camper that night.
This was Scott and Lara's last night and everyone had a great time. Sorry to see them leave, but so grateful they made the great trek across the country. They got up early the next morning and headed home to get Nate to camp in time in North Carolina.

Friday, June 29, 2007

More fun in the sun and family pictures!

We had one of Andrea's goof friend's, who is a photographer, come and take on the task of family pictures for he whole group of 22. It really worked out well considering that it was at the end of the day, before dinner. They all turned out great. These are our version with our own camera. Afterwards we had a big barbecue and before you knew it, the boat was going out on runs again at 8:00 at night. The kids have been running themselves into the ground. They have had so much fun this week. We hardly see Jonah and Jacob as they are running with the older kids, on the water trampoline, or in and out of the boat. Noah fits right in and in fact is the least fearful of the boat and water sports. He has been jumping at the chance to being pulled by the boat and wants it full throttle. Dana and Hannah have been going with him and been getting a kick out of his excitement.
We ended up bribing all of the kids with peanut m and m's to get them through all of the pictures, but they did great. It is a montley crew. Jonah has been involved in every kind of game this week from football to baseball. He has been very serious about the "playoff" games wanting to sell tickets to his cousins on the sidelines to come and cheer for his team. Jonah has run himself into the ground most evenings where he goes from outside to bed and is asleep within minutes. It has been fun for Reba and I this year because the kids are so much more self-sufficient and are off doing their own thing. All the adults camp out around the compound from the lake to the pool and the kids run in between. The jacuzzi has been a big pull for all the kids this year once they get out of the lake. We had to shut it down though due to the amount of sand and dirt deposited.

Today, Scott/Lara and their family left this morning to get back to Charleston. We will miss them and had a great time with all of them. Tonight, Reba goes to Spokane and fies out for Seattle tomorrow morning for her Sensaria convention. The kids and I stay until Sunday when we make the long drive back in one day. We have two more days of fun. Until the next group of pictures.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

There is so much to do, so little time

There is nothing like a great picture that says "vacation". We had a great time today at the beach, on the boat, and playing in the sand. The kids are now still in the pool at 6 p.m. because dinner is still being made and it is precious time that can't be wasted. They are all having a great time and Priest Lake in the sun is like no other. The biggest decision of the day is what we are eating and how long can we go without re-applying sun screen on the children. Two weeks would be nice to stay next year.

It seems like the kids have been going non-stop since they arrived. All the kids are at such a great age and seem to have more than enough on their plates each day. This morning, while we waited to jump in the lake, we had a family game of baseball. We had a great time, and Noah seemed to be the slugger of the group, along with grandma Karen. We played for an hour and had a great time.

At any chance they can get, the kids are pealing off the jacuzzi cover and jumping in to "relax". they think they are at camp. We haven't had to have too many "planned activities" because they are pretty self-sustained these days. We don't know how they are all making it to the end of the day, but when they hit the pillow, they are gone. That is usually when we all drop and pull out the beer and wine.

The other morning, when it was cloudy and we needed a diversion from the water, Andrea pulled out the BINGO game and they played until everyone got prizes. Thank God for games that accomodate 12 kids at a time.

The end of another day. Tired, happy, and content. Tomorrow, the focus will be a big family picture, more boating, and a lot more ice cream. The great memory of the day is Dana and Noah on the back of the floatation device with Noah saying, "go faster, go faster." He had a great time and keeps on going without naps this week. He can sure keep up with the big fishes.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Arriving at Priest Lake

We spent a quick day and night in Spokane. We did grocery shopping for the group dinners, etc. And, we took Astrid (9), and Hannah (12) with our kids to see Evan Almighty, which was fun and a great diversion from the have-to's to get ready.

When we arrived, then began the task of separating the food for each meal into all of the refrigerators. Do you think the kids helped? Noooo. They just hopped out of the car and started playing with their cousins. They love it!

Hannah rode with us to Priest Lake, which was fun for the kids. She brought (and shared) her Ipod.

Pictures of Moses Lake

Here are some pictures of our stop in Moses Lake. The first one is at dinner...what a lovely environment. Our waiters kept the kids occupied with Chinese translation as neither of them spoke English very well. Then are the pictures of the water park. Very fun!

This is Jonah peeing off the side of the van into a McDonald's cup. I know I did not sign up for this, and the only reason I got stuck with the duty is because Robb was driving and claimed that he could not open the car door on the freeway side of the car. I think it would have been worth the risk...

This is Jonah and Noah in the car on the way to Moses Lake--"Are we there yet?"

Sunday, June 24, 2007

First Day of Vacation-eventful!

Sometimes getting out of the house for the start of a vacation can be an easy task. Not for us. We had planned on leaving the house around 9:30, picking Jacob up from school, and driving to Moses Lake to end the day at a water park. Sounds easy enough, huh? Well, Jacob got off to school which left us time to pack the car. Things were going well. We thought we would even leave early to go by the bank etc prior to picking Jacob up. We went out to the car, got in, and when we tried to start the car, it wouldn't turn over. We both looked at each other, shoulders sunk low, exhausted already. Long story short, I ran off to get a new battery after 20 minutes of trying to jump start the car. Rebecca decided to make cookies and boil a couple eggs so that we could bring them with us. I got back, put the battery in, and we were ready to go. Rebecca thought she had turned off the stove, as we had one more errand to run before picking up Jacob from school 2 hours later than we had thought. When we got in the car the second time and we tried to turn on the radio, it wouldn't work because we had unhooked the battery. This may not be a crisis, but in order for the kids to watch a DVD later in the car, the radio has to work. We had to have a code, which we didn't know.
We ran one more errand and when we came home, Rebecca's Grandma was in our driveway looking at our newly painted house. Rebecca was talking to her while I ran up into the house to look the code for the stereo in the "file". When I opened up the door, smoke pured out. I thought, "the eggs on the stove". I ran in and grabbed the burning eggs off the stove and opened up all the windows. One egg had exploded, the rest were burned beyond all recognition. Thank God that the house didn't burn down. Rebecca was down at the bottom of the driveway talking to GG (great grandma) and she saw smoke pouring out of the front door and knew she had left the stove on. She walked in and said, "Do you think we just aren't supposed to leave today?" We cleaned up the egg and opened up all the windows, and now we really had to leave in order to pick up Jacob from school on time.
We did pick up Jacob, and made our way to Moses Lake and we had a great time at the water-park. It was 85 degrees and the kids just ran from one slide and diving board to another soaking up summer. We let the kids pick where we went for dinner so we all dined at the China Buffett. Not my first choice, but it at least wasn't McDonald's either. The kids said it was the best restaurant they had ever been to. They had a great time. We all were asleep in the hotel by 9:30 we were so tired. But we had a great first day of vacation, once we got started. Tomorrow we are off to Spokane to see my brother's family and shop for Priest Lake. The kids can't wait to see their cousins. I think we may all go to the movie, Evan Almighty. Until tomorrow.

Robb ( I will try and post pictures later)

Friday, June 15, 2007

May 12th, 2007 Sarah and Josh

Sarah and Josh got married on May 12th, 2007. Our whole family got to come which the children were very excited about. Sarah and Josh sent each one of the boys an invitation, so they each got to send back their response. They all felt very grown up that day and their behavior was incredible. They all three sat in the front row with GG (Great-Grandma) and that's it. Now if you are a parent of three boys under the age of seven, you know that this combination can be a recipe for disaster, especially at a wedding. Sibling fighting doesn't recognize the rules of a wedding, funeral, or otherwise. Well, all three kids sat quietly in the front row watching intently the entire time. Rebecca and I sat in the row behind them and not once did we have to "give the look" or flick an ear. We were quite amazed. Of course, this was a day in history that we owned up to have three small boys with such great behavior. Everyone was saying, " who are the parents connected to those three angles?" From across the room, we made our presence known and owned up to those three miracles. They were all so excited to see Sarah in her dress and Josh wearing a suit. They thought Josh would have been more comfortable in shorts and a tee shirt, but wouldn't we all. Right after the wedding, I took the kids over to my sister's house so they could play with their cousins during the reception. They felt like they had a great day with a short wedding and playing with cousins.
The reception was very nice and the food was wonderful. Rebecca and I were thrilled to sit and talk with other adults and eat delicious food. It was a smaller wedding, about 50 people, which made it so easy for them to talk with everyone and actually enjoy their meal. They left later on that afternoon via limo and headed to the airport to find themselves in Fiji some 24 hours later. They had a great time relaxing. We really Like josh and it seems like he has been part of the family a long time. Our kids think he is the best thing ever, exactly what an uncle should be.
R n R

Oh that's right, Easter!

I had forgotten that in the midst of our April, we did celebrate Jesus's birthday! Kind of an important Holiday. We ended up having both sides of the family over to our house and it was fun to pack it full. Everyone brought food, but as you can see, Rebecca made sure everything tasted good. We did the traditional Easter egg hunt after lunch right before there was a down pour which lasted the rest of the evening. Good timing. It is great to have a home where we can fit our family and have gatherings like this. Even though our kids know the reason why we celebrate Easter, it seems like the candy is a little more tangible at this age. In our house, the kids talk it up big that they are going to eat all of their candy on the same day, but months later, most of the candy is up in the cupboard, forgotten......well maybe not by their parents or the occasional grandparent that comes over and grabs from the stash.
Happy Easter everyone (even though it is matter)

Rebecca would kill me, and probably will once she sees this, but I think it speaks to her hard work ethic, and my great camera skills. If you know Rebecca well, you know she doesn't wait around her husband to get home to start a project. She figures it out on her own and has accomplished quite a bit around the house. We pulled out all of the bushes in front of the house and had to rototill the front. She jumped in and started. I think it gave her a sense of power. Last summer, we remodeled the inside of the house, so this year, alot of our time has been spent planting, tearing out, painting the house, putting up shingles, etc. I will get some pictures later once I get more organized. All to say, spring time has been spent taking a lot of advil and talking about our aches and pains. It is all worth it. The picture of the kids in the hot tub is from when we went up to Leavenworth for the weekend to celebrate my birthday. We had a great time. both sets of parents and three dogs came up and we had a great time. By the way, March was the month I welcomed in the age of 35--no big deal!! So for my birthday, Reba allowed me to buy a forest green jeep Wrangler, which I love. It is fun to drive, and hey, i needed a different car anyway. So driving to work now is spent giving the two finger wave to all those other Jeep Wrangler owners out there. Didn't know there was a separate underground society of Jeep owners. I have really enjoyed the car. Until next time.

Two months since last post! It's Reba's fault

No excuses, I know, but for crying out loud, blogging can take a long time with life happening around all of us. Well, so i guess we will start back in the end of April. No judgement, just be happy that there is some sort of activity on this site. the major event for April was Reba working her tail off for her Sensaria incentive trip to Maui. She put a lot of time in that month, but it did pay off. She earned the trip, not just for one, but for two people. Now I know that some of you are thinking that I pushed Reba to the brink of exhaustion with a trip for two to Hawaii looming, but it was all her. I, of course, told her that if she only made the trip for one, I was proud of her and that would be the end of it. As it turned out though, she pushed through and now we both get to enjoy the Hawaiian water at the Marriott in Maui for 6 days in October. Because she worked so hard that month, the kids and I gave her a surprise Luau party at the house where we decorated and made an attempt at Hawaiian cuisine. We had a great time, the kids dressed up in their bathing suits and flip flops (not thongs, but flip-flops), and we played Hawaiian music. We had a great time. The kids thought they were going on the trip too at first, but were re-directed soon after. Once May hit, the kids thought we would be leaving for Hawaii and wondered why it was taking so long. We explained the concept of delayed gratification. So, we will be boarding the plane October 4th for six days of relaxation--Reba really deserves this. Even though April was a busy month, the kids still were in swimming lessons twice a week, and Jacob and Jonah were playing baseball. Noah was the typical third child who played in the dirt at the games and ran around with a pack of other children. It has been really fun watching them learn the ins and outs of baseball. They have their playoff game this next Monday and Tuesday, June 18th and 19th. They have played for two months now so we are passed the point of telling them where 1st base is, not to hold and ball and run with it, and finally, when to stop doing cart wheels in the outfield. It has been a blast to watch, and they have had a lot of great support from their grandparents and aunts and uncles the past couple months. Until next time, over and out!