Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer Fun: 3 Lakes (Hill and Crane Lake trails)

On another hike we decided to tackle the Crane Lake trail, which is always a favorite of ours. Short, and with a boat ride at the end. Perfect! Once we all got there, which was a bit complicated with several cars all trying to go the same place at the same time without cell phone was so early in the day that we decided to keep on hiking to the Hill Lake trail. This was something that none of us had done (perhaps ever? I can't remember) but we sort of remembered the map and figured it couldn't be that long of a hike. But we were wrong. So we ended up with an extremely long death march type hike out with many adventures and screaming babies along the way. I knew the kids were tired when they crawled up the stairs at the very end of the Hill Lake trail. Thankfully we had lots of fairly cheerful adults to keep the troops headed in the right direction and Becky passed out M&Ms along the way to keep the babies and other dispirited hikers happy as long as they held out. She also ran ahead and got cars to ferry us back to our parking spots at the very end to spare little legs those last few exhausted steps. Glad Anne will have another good story to tell about her trip to Petersburg! And now we know all about the Hill Lake trail...

Ready for the boat ride

Taking a very late and very appreciated lunch break once we finally, finally made it to Hill Lake.

Boating on Crane Lake

One of our adventures was that, as the kids were sitting on the bridge over Hill Lake, Mr. T just up and threw one of the Little Sweetie's shoes into the lake. Out of the blue. Resourceful Becky (definitely the hero of the day) used raw courage and a life jacket to fish it back out again. Hooray!

The Little Sweetie still isn't sure that the fun of a boat ride is worth the misery of being squished into a life jacket.

A pretty little bird nesting near Crane Lake that just sat and watched all our antics and let us take all sorts of photos of it.

Summer fun: hiking Ohmer Creek

While wonderful Anne Hurni was up here visiting and helping out I asked if she wanted to do a bit of hiking. She was up for it, my kids are always up for a hike, and several friends old and new were interested as well. So we embarked on a pretty ambitious plan to hit almost every trail available to our age and ability levels. Thankfully we had great weather, got fun pictures, and made some wonderful memories.


One thing we love about Ohmer Creek are the HUGE trees to climb up to, onto, and around.
Some of the hikers playing Poohsticks. Always a favorite!
O Boy, the most picture-resistant member of our family, never ceases to amaze me with little moments when he actually asks to be photographed. Here he said to me, "Mom, take a picture of me hugging these flowers." Was I ever happy to oblige! What a funny, sweet boy.

The Martin Beauties

Snack break!

Fearless "leader" Little Sweetie didn't stay in the lead long...the picture above shows some of her impatient followers cutting in line to take over the lead position.

The whole kid crew. Please note which children are steadfastly refusing to be photographed.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Silly siblings

This video features an expression that is original to the Little Sweetie. I'm sure our boys never did anything this silly. On second thought, maybe she learned it from them?

If you are reading this on FB you'll have to connect to my blog to see the video.

Bathing beauty

Sandy Beach with the Wards

Here are some fun shots from a Friday expedition we made to Sandy Beach with our good friends Nikki, E and T Ward.

Mr. T was pretty excited to have climbed all the way up onto this stump by himself! He did actually get all the way back down again too...though that took a little bit longer.
The babies just focused on the slide...
Zoom! Nikki wanted me to make sure and write that no children were harmed in the making of this picture.
Macho men
Ragamuffin baby - but happy as a clam!
"I love this mud, Mom!"
E.W. brought two floats with him that he found somewhere and he and O Boy dragged those floats all the way out to the water and back again. They were fantastic toys!

Making volcanoes

Several weeks ago we were immersed in playing with dinosaurs and the topic of volcanoes inevitably came up. So we decided to invite a few intrepid friends over and make our own volcanoes. This is a fantastic BOY project. I highly recommend it and give it 2 thumbs up for excitement potential.

Here's how we made ours:

First, the boys weighed down their paper plates with rocks since it was a very windy day. !!
Then, they taped Dixie cups into the center of each plate.
Here's our friend LD demonstrating the next few steps which, happily for the boys, involved stabbing with scissors. But it gets better.
Here, LD and his mom covered up the cup and plate with tin foil to make a mountain-y shape. Then you poke a hole through the foil just over the cup and kind of bend the edges down around the lip of the cup so that the lava can flow out and down the sides of the mountain.
Next, you dump a few scoops of baking soda into the cup and add a drop or two of red food coloring for added drama.

Finally, pour in a bunch of vinegar and stand back!

I love this picture because O Boy was so excited by Mr. T's eruption that I caught him jumping up and down when I snapped the picture.

The great thing about this project is that your volcano will just keep erupting and erupting if you keep adding vinegar and keep the chemical reaction going.
You can see that even the babies thought this was pretty fun. The Little Sweetie took a break from some serious playing in the sawdust to watch the action. She is such a younger sister of boys: pink shirt, flouncy skirt...and barefoot, covered in sawdust!
I love the Little Sweetie's baby belly in this shot. She's still so little!
And it was just as fun to try and fit almost everyone in the playhouse afterwards!

Church Picnic at Blind Slough

Jumping off the bridge at Blind Slough is sort of a teenage rite of passage up here. A bright, sunny day must make it a little bit more bearable. This is Caleb Spragg, a high schooler from our church, taking the plunge. Brave boy!
There were a few kayaks around that were either offering rides or being shared by church friends. Mr. T, always up for an adventure, jumped at the chance to take the first ride with Mr. Matt (in the red kayak).
O Boy and mom headed out to try and catch them.

O Boy got to go out with Dad too.
Some of the kids dragged a submerged canoe out of the water and it was a perfect playground for the younger kids would couldn't go out swimming. Here's Mr. T getting ready to cast off.

Sprinklers 101

Several weeks ago we got our first blast of summer sun. Since we are experienced in how to handle such short bursts of warm weather, we immediately hauled out the sprinkler, filled up the wading pool and threw on the bathing suits. The boys had no trouble living it up in and out, around and through the pool and sprinkler. The Little Sweetie was not so sure about it all.

This is my favorite picture. It seems to capture their absolute delight at being out in the sun and water just perfectly!
Sending pitchers of water down the slide was just as exciting as going down themselves! It made a big explosion of water as it hit the pool.

If this picture had a sound track, it would be the theme music for the movie Jaws. You can just see her bracing herself for the worst.
There's nothing like a sprinkler on a beautiful sunny day!
But the Little Sweetie just can't quite figure out the charm of it all; it keeps sneaking up on her when she least expects it!