Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Tappana Times: Outdoors in July Part Two

Well we couldn't let July pass without hitting up a lake or two. We visited Rattlesnake Lake with some friends and I fell in love with it all over again.

I remember visiting as a teenager and dragging my younger brother from stump to stump in the water so we could climb and jump over and over again. This time I was able to share that fun with my kids and sister, Kayleen.

I bundled the kids up in floaties and life jackets, and then became the engine to propel them across the lake to stumps hidden under the water that we stood on, and then to a large rock on the edge that we took turns jumping off of. I was proud of the kids because the rock was pretty high up, but they did it all the same. Some other teenagers were watching, afraid it was unsafe, and then when they saw me cannonball off, they decided that since I "weigh much more" than them (hmmph!) they would be safe. Chickens.

We had such a blast swimming and playing, and it was good work out for me pulling and pushing the kids across the lake.

Rattlesnake Lake is not only fun, with trees and rocks and stumps, but it is also gorgeous. The views are hard to get on a phone camera, but it feels like a little bit of paradise. We've been meaning to go back and bring Brigham, but summer has gotten away from us.

We went on a hike with my aunt, brother, and cousins.

Skookum falls was a nice, flat hike along the White River...until the last three-hundered feet, that is. Then it was straight up a mountain.

It was worth the climb, however, as the falls were very pretty.

We took shifts so that someone could stay below with the baby, as no one wanted to attempt the steep, treachorous climb wearing Kendrick in the backpack.

We ate lunch enjoying the views of Mount Ranier National Forest.

Lydia lost a tooth and accidentally dropped it down the drain when she was trying to wash it off. Kayleen told her to write the toothfairy a note explaining, and this is what the note said:

"Dear Tooth Fairy,
I'm really sorry about dropping my tooth down the drain. I hope you forgive me. Please give me at least a penny. I really have been enjoying finding money from you. I'm sad that I made that mistake, but at least I learned my lesson. I hope you understand.
Your friend,

I know she learned about persuasive essays in second grade, and man did she take it to heart. This is one of the most persuasive notes I've ever read. I wanted to laugh out loud when she begs to be left just a penny, and cry when she takes about making a mistake and learning a lesson. She is so mature and so sweet. How did she get this big? Of course, the toothfairy left her something more than a penny and left a nice note in return. How could she not?

The final weekend of July, I was able to run an inflatable race when one of my friends wasn't able to attend and gave me her registration. I ran with a group of friends from the ward and it was fun! We ran and climbed through many giant inflatables throughout the course.

I actually ran the course almost twice. The group I was with wanted to walk, but I'm pretty competitive so I wanted to actually run the race. I finished way ahead of them, couldn't find Brigham and the kids at the playground, and was feeling rather lonely, so I decided to run backwards through the race and find my group so that I could finish the rest of the way with them. I made it almost back to the beginning when I realized I had missed them somewhere along the way so I ran back through the course, skipping some parts, and I still couldn't find them! I ended up waiting at the finish line inflatable until I spotted them. Hey, double the work out right?

The best part was, after finishing, we called Brigham and the kids to come over and we were able to play on some of the inflatables at the end of the race.

As you can see, this was an incredibly hard one to get across. Bouncing from ball to ball was pretty much impossible for everyone. Brigham was sure that he could do it.

And sure enough he did! Everyone cheered for him and he was the only adult to get across that day. He's got skillz.

We also did quite a few rounds of sparring and Ammon would have kept going all day. Maybe if we didn't let him win half the time, he wouldn't have found it so exciting.

Oh, it was a fun time. Brigham even agreed to run this inflatable race with me next year! Score!

The final activity we fit in during July was our annual two weeks of swimming lessons. The kids like them; they are torture for me. It's a half hour drive for a half hour lesson and then a half hour drive back. Not to mention, it's in the middle of lunch/naptime for Kendrick so he is a nightmare. But they need to learn how to swim and the price is right a half hour away, so off we go! The kids are improving each year so it is nice to see them progress.

And that's July! Busy, fun, outdoors, exhausting, and as summery as you can get!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Tappana Times: Outdoors in July Part One

Currently, Washington just broke records for the most consecutive days without rain. This is the longest stretch since the 1800's. All of our grass is dead, but it's allowed us to play play play outside and we have been soaking it up. Coming after the winter where we broke the record for the most consecutive days WITH rain, we're loving it.

Unfortunately, despite not having any rain this Fourth of July we couldn't enjoy our fireworks because the city of Maple Valley banned them. So un-American.

We decided to light some small fireworks consisting of smoke-bombs, parachutes, snappers, and sparklers. Of course, just as we were enjoying watching the kids dance through the colored smoke, a police officer walked by and told us that nothing using open flame was allowed. I was peeved.

So, feeling rebellious, I decided to light my new birthday candle (courtesy of my bestie, Brittany) and let it sit out in the road. Ha! What would they say now? Open flame out in the streets!

After feeling rebellious and defiant for a bit, we ended up going into the backyard to finish lighting off our stash. Later, after the neighbors got busted for their giant fireworks, we found out we could have been given felony charges! Seems a bit extreme. As Lydia said, "A big part of Independence Day is the fireworks. Taking away fireworks is like taking presents away at Christmas!" Sure, Independence Day isn't just about fireworks, but they sure make it something special.

My birthday is on the Fourth of July and I was spoiled by my family. My mom gave me my new "Made in 'Merica" shirt, I got TWO candy bar posters, and a steam mop and more.

My dad cooked a delicious dinner and I spent time playing games and laughing with family and a couple close friends. Turning thirty was pretty great.

We all looked good in our red, white, and blue.

I sorta adored Kendrick's stars and stripes outfit.

I had to include Kendrick's picture with Elmo because he loves Elmo so much.

Besides the Fourth, we also spent time with friends at one of our favorite beaches on the Cedar River ten minutes from our house.

Kendrick mostly sat in the dirt with his feet dangling in the water while he dug with his shovel.

Ammon preferred building waterfalls with his bucket and shovel.

The girls enjoyed floating the river. I don't know how they stand it because that water was like an ice bath!

I was happy that when Kendrick absolutely lost it because it was his naptime, we could hurry and head home without very far to go.

During one of Kendrick's naptimes, I had my sister come over and watch my kids so that I could go hike Poo Poo Point with Brittany. It's a popular hike in the area, and neither of us had done it, so we figured it was about time!

Don't be thrown by the name, this hike is straight up a mountain. But when you're walking and talking with your friend you barely notice the time go by. And the views were incredible.

Poo Poo Point is a popular spot for paragliders and Brittany and I watched them for a bit, terrified for them.

This guy had a little trouble getting off and we seriously thought he was going to die. But he didn't and we actually chatted with him for a bit at the bottom. He landed right as we finished the hike. Hiking with such a good friend without kids was like pure bliss. That is my happy place.

Another weekend Brigham and Lydia and Ammon walked in the Covington Days parade because of Ammon's participation in flag football. Kendrick and I were spectators with Kayleen and Aunt Sandy.

After they were done in the parade, we took part of the many festivities at Covington Days.

Face Painting:

I LOVED how Ammon's shark turned out. So cool!

Animal petting:

They had some different animals, which was fun. We were able to pet wallabies, goats, bunnies, chickens, and more.

Kendrick LOVED the animals, and Ammon was great at helping Kendrick reach.

Kendrick fake fished,

and then we did bouncy houses, lunch at Costco, balloons, and more.

The next week we were spoiled by Aunt when she took my kids, my sister, and I to Great Wolf Lodge, which is basically a huge indoor water park, arcade, hotel, and more. We stayed for one night and it was kid mania for the day and a half that we were there.

We swam and did waterslides for hours. My aunt also bought the kids pup passes so they were able to get all this free stuff and do all these bonus activities. Like mining for rocks,

and picking out stuffed animals to fill and keep,

and shirts and pillowcases to pick out and color. We My Aunt spent lots of money for our hours of enjoyment at the arcade and the kids picked out so many junky prizes with all the tickets they won. Kendrick was in toddler heaven as he ran around and pressed every flashing button in front of him without getting in trouble.

We ate at the buffet twice and basically exhausted ourselves silly as we filled cups full of jelly beans and did fun kid activity after fun kid activity - all this AFTER we were done swimming. Phew!

This basically represents our summer. Crazy, exhausting fun. So much so, that I'm going to need a whole other post to wrap up July!