Tuesday, October 7, 2014


I know I have said this before, but Myles goes to an awesome school.  They converted an entire wall of their gym to a rock climbing wall.  Yesterday, 22 kindergartners got to test out their climbing skills.  Three hours later, they were all professionals.  His school knows the importance of using your body as well as your mind. 
Myles class

Look at this little guy.  He loved the challenge

His teacher told me this pic is of him planning his route.

How annoyed does this kid look.  Myles was probably giving him unwanted climbing lessons.

Learning how to use their legs

Stretching out

Look at Myles go

Isn't this the coolest?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mimi

We were so lucky to have Mimi here on her 21st birthday.  Well ok, maybe there are a few more years but it's all about how you feel.  Mimi still acts like a 7 year old and the boys adore her for it.  They made her a special cake.  Of course she said it was "the best cake ever".  We were so glad we could celebrate with her.
Creating the work of art

The final product, complete with flower candles

They were pretty proud of themselves

Singing happy birthday

Happy birthday, Mimi.  We love you!!!

Grandad's Apples

Mimi came to visit just in time for apple picking season.  We went out to our favorite apple orchard, Grandad's.  We picked 3 bags of apples (two of which are already devoured).  It was a beautiful day and we took advantage of all the orchard had to offer. 

The boys with their picks

E wasn't sure about the massive gorrilla.

My three pumpkins

Doen't Myles look thrilled.  Grady, on the otherhand, thinks he's a male model

The cow train

Josh took one for the team and rode the cows with Em.

Good thing he was wearing cowboy boots.....always prepaired

I have the same pic from last year.  They have grown so much

Mountain State Fair 2014

I can't believe it is that time of year again.  Time for the Mountain State Fair.  It was the coolest fair we have ever been to.  By cool, I mean it was in the low 70's.  Usually this fair is unbelievably HOT.  We took advantage of the weather and stayed at the fair for most of the day.  I didn't take too many pictures this year.  I think chasing E slowed me down from snapping photos. 
The boys had to ride in the Forest Service helicopter.

Myles was really into flying

Catching some fish at the NC Wildlife tent

Of course we did some rides

We met up with some friends.  Boys will be boys and a wrestling match ensued.
While I don't have any pics of Em at the fair, here she is passed out.

The fair zonked her out

Monday, September 8, 2014

2nd Grade and Kindergarten

It's school time again!! Grady is an old pro, going into 2nd grade.  Needless to say, this summer time boy was not excited for school to start.  Myles was excited but hid it very well because his big bro kept saying that he didn't want to go back.  Grady got a wonderful teacher this year.  He won teacher of the year for the county.  I think its great for Grady to have a male teacher and one that makes learning fun. 
Myles has a cute, sweet kindergarten teacher.  I'm sure they will both have good experiences this year.
Heading off to school. 

Anika and Myles getting in the car for the first big day.

Walking to school

Myles and Anika were lucky enough to get into Evergreen Charter School.  It is by far, the best school in the county.  There were over 200 applicants for Kindergarten and they only had 13 spots.  It is done on a lottery system and both of our kids got in.  It was totally amazing.

Evergreen is a school based on Expeditionary Learning with a heavy emphasis on environmental education and consciousness.  To this environmental educator mama, this means everything to me.  Kids need to be outside, experimenting and exploring.  All subjects can be taught this way....and should.

Myles sat down and went to work right away.  He didn't even want to say goodbye.  Look how serious he is. He was ready for Kindergarten. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Lake Summit 2014

Three days after I got back from my trip to the Pac Northwest, we packed up and went to the lake.  This year was the 10th year that Josh and I have vacationed at Lake Summit. 
All packed and ready to roll

At the lake, ready for it to warm up so she could swim

This was not at the lake but I had to squeeze it in somewhere.  E is the most amazing climber.  If you can't find her, chances are she is up on something.  Look at this pose when I told her to get down.

Back to the lake.  The three amigos

Our friends came out to enjoy the lake

Lilyanne giving Grady a push

The boys spent a lot of time fishing

Baby doll enjoyed the sun

A lake summit bath

Until next year

Pacific Northwest {part 2}

We left Kalaloch and headed into the Hoh Rainforest. 

We made a stop at Crescent Lake.  It was the most beautiful lake I have ever seen.  Created by glaciers, it was so clear you could see the bottom.

We arrived at the Hoh Rainforest and hiked through the old growth forest

An Elk paid us a visit in our campground

Checking out the Sitka Spruce

Next we headed to the Hoh River for some white water rafting.  Just look at the majestic RV gleaming in the background.

On the river

What professionals

The gang

Back into the Hoh for another magical hike

We continued on to Mt Rainier National Park and my teaching days

Doing a historical hike

The mountains made me dance

and jump

The wildflowers were amazing

Hiking to Panorama Point

No we didn't hit a marmot, it chose to nap under our RV

"the mountains are calling and I must go"

Adios, Mt Rainier
Our next stop was Mt St Helens.  We stayed at this awesome science and learning center.  It faced the mountain and offered amazing views

We camped out in this big room

We attempted to sleep out under the stars on the deck.  The mosquitoes had the same idea.

Mt St Helens

Listening to our dear prof

Amazing wildflowers

We were trying to figure out what bird we saw

Our final adventure at Mt St. Helens was a helicopter ride.  If you know me at all, you know I am terrified of flying.  The thought of getting into a helicopter and flying into the crater of a volcano is pretty much my worst nightmare.

Yes, i was crying here but I put on my big girl pants and did it.  I didn't want to explain to the boys that their mom was too scared to take this opportunity.

off we went

Inside the crater of the volcano

Totally scared out of my mind.

These trees are still in the lake from the 1980 eruption

Heading back to the LZ

In the valley we saw herds of elk

This trip was not all fun and games.  We were learning and studying from sun up to sun down.  Here we are at 11pm taking a test on Mt St Helens

Our last stop (and my least favorite) was the High Desert in Bend, OR.  I had no idea that most of Oregon was a desert.  This is not a landscape that I am particularly fond of.

The desert culture was interesting.  I enjoyed the Native American aspect of Bend

After the High Desert we turned around and headed back to Seattle.  It was an amazing two weeks but I was ready to see my family again.  Definitely a once in a life time trip. 
Look what was waiting for me when I got home.  My very own "welcome home" party.  Boy, was I happy to be home.