Tuesday, August 30, 2011

When Dad is also Mom

I recently scored a few days off from my normal life to do something much easier.  A spa retreat?  A Caribbean cruise?  No.  A backpacking trip with my dad and brothers.  More on that adventure soon.

Nick took a day off work and spent three solid days as both the dad and the mom.  He even took pictures everywhere they went.  If he had only blogged about it before I got home, his maternal coverage would have been complete.

They played at parks.

They caught reclining frogs.

They went out to eat.

They washed both of our cars.

They prepared for soccer season.
They played fetch with a random dog at a pond.

And they topped it all off at church.
Nice work, Daddy.  Let's do it again some time.  Some time soon!

Slip Slidin' Away

Thanks for the relief from the rare moments of heat, Grandma!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Staycation 2011 - Chinook Pass

Driving out to the pass, I took a little nap to recover from the 3 am games the night before.  When I opened my eyes, this was the first thing I saw.
Definitely time to wake up!  Check out the other scenes I captured as we drove.
See?  I told you we were driving.

Trees.  I know they'll never love me back, but I just can't help it!
This one does love me back, so it's all good.  Not the mountain; the silhouette.
Does it look like we went to the beach up in the pass?
Nope.  Not the beach.  Have you ever been in the hot August snow?
You might not know it, but this was the hottest day of our summer so far.  Rolling around in that snow seemed like it might be a good idea.
Sorry, Pabby, you're not to the top yet.
Trisha and family, looking good as usual.
The greens were even greener in person.  And the blues...  Oh, the blues!
Nick's 'rents and brother, Kyle.  This whole outing was the brain-child of Patsy.  Sweet idea, Grandma!
I'd want to live here if I was that pretty, too.
Rigby, looking a bit like Paul Bunyan next to that tree.  For the first and last time.

Somebody told us that this part of the trail was "totally do-able" for the kids.  That person has never met a kid.  Curie rode in a pack on my back and basically screamed whenever I was on the snow.  I think she felt the mortality of her life and her complete helplessness all in one.
But the hike was well worth these views.  Seriously, don't you want to go?
I couldn't quite get the mountain to show up in the pictures, but it was incredible.
See how the mountain disappears?  It's actually in that blank area between the trees.  Oh well, the people are incredible, too.
Kyle, looking good.  Who wants to bet that this will be his facebook profile pic in the next 24 hours?
Hiking up was tricky, but hiking down was impossible.  Fortunately, the way out had already been blazed.  I wasn't sure what Curie would think of our path, but when she saw the first person slide down, she exchanged the screams for, "I try?  I try?"

Bethelle ran back up for a second go.
Grandmas can have fun too!
That's a picture of elation.  Rigby has never been able to hide his.

At last, a picture of the whole crew.

Story Time with Darth

(Spoiler alert.  Then again, if you don't know what happens in Star Wars, you probably don't get out enough to be reading my blog.)
Nick puts the kids to bed.  It's the rule.  If Daddy is home, Mommy stays out of bedtime.

The kids like it because it's their special time with him and because he's just better at it anyway.

For the last week and a half, their bedtime story has been a thorough retelling of Star Wars, episodes 4, 5, and 6.  Rigby has completely enjoyed the story, but Bethelle has eaten up every word out of Nick's mouth. Her life has been consumed by the characters.  All day long, she asks me questions that I just cannot answer.  In the evening or in the car, she begs Nick for the next installment.
Two nights ago, Nick finally told them the big finish.  Bethelle cried when Darth Vader turned good and then the tears picked up the pace when he killed the Emperor and died.  I love her pretty little heart.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Staycation 2011 - Green River Gorge

Staycations are becoming a regular family tradition around here.  Maybe you remember last year's posts on Ocean Shores and the Seattle Center?

The tricks to a staycation are to block the time out completely (no jumping ship for a quick meeting or doctor appointment) and to do something that you would never do on a normal weekend.  With these rules in mind, last Friday found our extended family at the Green River Gorge.  Isn't it gorgeous?

We munched and played and swam in the river with cousins.
You really should click on this next picture to fully appreciate the cuteness of that face!
Cousin Allie on the rocks...
Pabby and his boys...
Nick and his brother, Kyle, with our girlies.
The river was expectedly cold at first, but ultimately felt great on the hot day.

Sending a big, "Thank you!" to Trish for sitting on the river bank with the littlest babies while I got to swim across and explore the other side with the three-and-up crowd.  The rocks over there were pretty tough on my feet, but we found crawfish and a rope swing (semi-functional) and more than enough empty beer cans.  ;(
Even drying off to head home can be cute.

This picture is missing someone.  Next year, Case!
The whole crew then headed to our house, where we put four kids in one room for the night (good luck!) and then played a couple intense rounds of our favorite game, Bang!.  These games may or may not have lasted until after 3 am.  Warning: do not try this game if you value your sleep.