Thursday, July 28, 2011

Janae Day - Part I - Franklin Falls

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a live-in photographer?  One who followed you around on every outing, documenting all the way?  Well, wonder no more.

My wonderful college roommate, Janae, doesn't make a habit of moving in with her photography subjects, but she made an exception in my case due, of course, to my charming personality.

First stop on the Janae train, Franklin Falls.

We hiked...
... along this ...
... to get to this.
Can you see interstate 90 in the top left of the picture above?  You'd never know it while hiking, but the trail and falls are located somewhere between the east-bound and west-bound traffic.  Seeing the highway was a dose of reality that shocks you right out of the enchanted forest.

There's Janae and the rest of my crew!
This is a common scene.  It was, no doubt, followed by, "C'mon, Bethelle.  Don't pick any flowers.  Curie needs a diaper change.  Let's get back."  But look at those surroundings.  I pinch myself when I think that I live here!  Does it get any more beautiful?
When Janae found this pinecone, I thought it was a cute little anomaly.  Apparently I had not been looking at the ground for the previous hour, as it was carpeted in them.
This one should be matted and framed, don't you think?  No, even better, it should be made into a mural.  Don't laugh at me!  I'm measuring my walls right now.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

When it's been 40 years...

... there ought to be a party.

And there was.

I'm going to toot my own horn by saying how GREAT I was at getting my parents to their 40th anniversary party, dressed up and in complete ignorance of the occasion!
The event was simple and beautiful.  There were daisies at the wedding, so there were daisies at this party.
My parents are classic introverts.  They prefer the company of just a few close friends.  The assembled well-wishers have been a part of my parents' lives for so long.

I arrived with cakes and all the last-minute organizing to do, so I was so grateful that Rigby and Bethelle adopted themselves out, getting comfortable with my brothers' families.

By the time the couple arrived, I was finally "at ease."  Having the event at a restaurant really took the load off as a hostess.
My parents both turn/turned 60 this summer as well, so we added a bit of a birthday theme.
We even sang and blew out candles.  Their birthdays are two months apart, so this is probably their first joint birthday party.
Jared gave a very nice speech about the great people who raised us.  That Jared turns out to be pretty great himself.  It's such a cozy feeling to just love your family.
Don't they look happy?  They are.
Group hug!
Thank you to everyone who came and supported my parents.  What a victory to be in love for 40 years.
And thank you to Mom and Dad for your example of family, love, work, compassion, and service.  We could never show you enough appreciation, but once in a while we try.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Without Apologies

More pictures of us!  I love us!

Bethelle: she loves to please, never needs "alone time," and is constantly making something (art, food, or an experiment).

Rigby: struggling between the two worlds of being a baby and being a man, inventive, confident, and obedient.

Curie: loud, comedienne, loving, and learning.

The lovebirds!

And the main d'oeuvre.  This was so difficult to get.  You'd think that happy, older kids would look at the camera and smile.  Yeah, you'd think...
A big shout-out to Janae for the pictures!  More on my weekend with my old roommate to come!

Monday, July 11, 2011

When Cousins are Two of a Kind

They may not be identical, but these girls have oodles of cousin-love.

I took them out for this little photo shoot, and discovered that I am no photographer.  I asked them to "stand there and smile" and then I was out of tricks and ideas.

Fortunately, being pretty comes easily to these little ladies, so they found a few natural poses.

Look at that glow on her face!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Week's Worth

We've spent the last four Fourth of July weeks at Lake Chelan with my family.  We had a great time again, but there was a general feeling of finding something new to do next summer.

This year, Holly and Charlotte joined our crew for the drive.  Don't they all look chipper and ready to go?
We got there quickly and safely.  The only major event along the way was finding that Burger King kids meals are only $1.99 in Cle Elum.  That pleased everyone.

There was a lot of story time in Chelan.

Books were read by Grandpa.
Books were read by Grandma.
Books were read by the Story Time lady at the farmers' market.
And books were read by the pool.
The kids were in the water everyday, if not multiple times each day.
If they were lucky, Grandpa joined them.  Ellana had star-power, even in the pool.
Bethelle really got comfortable with the pool in San Francisco, so she put that new comfort to good use in Chelan.  You could have mistaken her for a fish.  I'm very proud.  There was a time when she was the kid in swimming lessons who was throwing a fit.
Babies and Mamas were everywhere.
The family that swims together...

No one was a better swimmer than three year-old Charlotte.  Holly is a private swim instructor, so Charlotte has been well trained.  She jumps in, swims to her mom, rolls over to take a breath, and swims again.  After some mommy-time, she swims solo to the steps, rolling over for breaths along the way.  So impressive!
Nick had a lot of work to do, so he was only there for half of the week, but everybody was happier when he was around.  Everybody.
He never misses a chance to flip or banana-boat into the pool.  Can you make out his face in this picture?

Curie was a total water-baby, but she got pretty chilly after a while, so I got some great snuggle time with her every day.

Self portrait!
Troy.  'Nuf said.
Past years, we have seen small, local parades.  None were scheduled this year, but that's no reason not to have one!
We all donned our Fourth of July best and made our own parade around the pool.  We even invited a neighbor.

Mom brought this craft project for the kids.

Grandpa forgot the visor part and put the stickers directly on his head.
Look at all those bowling shoes and bowling smiles!
Good form, Asher.
Nice, Grandma!
Who out there has not cocked there head like this while watching their ball travel down the lane?

We made a couple trips to the park.  This one is just outside our front door.
And this one was a favorite spot for para-gliders and hang-gliders to land.

Let's all pause for a moment to appreciate just how cute this picture is.  It's a miracle that I have not eaten those cheeks right off!

The lake was ice cold due to the long, cold, wet spring, but that did not affect the fun.

The petting zoo...
The house has a great deck.  Although a house across the way blocks the view of the lake, the fireworks are fantastic from here.  This year, we opted to venture our little family down to the water for the show.  Rigby and Bethelle were a little scared because the bursts seemed to be right over our heads.
Here we are before watching Cars 2 in the so-cute old-style theater.  The movie was disappointing.
We wrapped up the Fourth with a reenactment of the Revolutionary War.  Those are the Americans in the front, beating up a redcoat.  King George is standing in the back with the crown and pool noodle(?) and I'm narrating on the right.
All in all, a great week and an even better crew.
Does anyone have an idea for us for next summer?  It should be drive-able from western Washington and accommodate 20 people for a reasonable price.  I'm all ears.