Monday, August 23, 2010

Oregon trip: camping with Wilson family

Now that the Wilson siblings are fairly spread out, it is harder and harder to get us all together in once place for long enough to connect and make special memories together. So my parents concocted a plan for us to all go camping together. I think their reasoning was that people who are all dirty and sleep deprived tend to have more fun together.
Despite the fact that we lost Mr. T for a heart-stopping several minutes (he very logically wandered off to watch some guys play Frisbee), we had a really wonderful few days playing hard during the days and trying to get kids to sleep at night. I won't soon forget hearing the little peeps from our tent coming from the Little Sweetie at 10:30pm, "Hi Mommy! Hi Daddy! Hi Mommy! Hi Daddy!" A HUGE thanks goes out to Alex and Amy who lent us their mansion tent which made camping a much more livable experience than when we attempted it with all 3 kids in our 4 man tent...But that's another story.

Here's O Boy trying to avoid another one of Papa's photos. While we were camping he announced that he finally was a "bike rider!" This was because he was able to coast/pedal the big wheels trike Mimi and Papa got on Craig's List down a short slope at the campground. We were happy that he was at least making the tiniest bit of progress toward bike riding. This was the first interest either boy had shown in any form of bike riding. So hooray for coasting down hills! Mr. T, on the other hand, avoided the trike (too much work) and much preferred zipping around in a bike seat behind Papa's bike as they zoomed around the campground. And who could blame him?

This was actually taken after we packed up the site to go home. Check out the fine packing job and the proud packer!

Making foil dinners the first night. Always a delicious campground favorite!

Uncle John only stirs up the silliness in this crew.

Breakfast chefs Uncle Brian and Cousin Drew

Early morning snuggle with Mommy and the Little Sweetie (and her darling "night-night" pacifier).

Putting up the old faithful Army Surplus tent from a bygone era.

O Boy and the ever-present Sheepie help Papa tighten down the load. Anytime bungie cords are involved, O Boy is a willing helper.

Crazy cousins Sam and Little Sweetie

They sure are enthusiastic about packing up the campsite!

On Saturday while we were camping we spent the day down the road at Uncle Sam and Aunt Vicki's lake house. While the moms all celebrated Aunt Julie and soon-to-be born baby boy Salwasser inside with a shower, the dads and kids played and played and played outside. They went canoeing, fishing, rode on the tube behind Uncle Sam's boat, got burnt to a crisp, and had so much fun. Thanks Uncle Sam and Auntie Vicki for hosting such a large crew (and how many dogs?) on this day!

O Boy gets to try his hand at fishing

They survived the tube of death!

Bike rides with Papa are always a highlight of our trips south. He's going to be sad when our kids are all too big to ride behind him and they zoom along in front of him instead! Good thing Baby Boy Salwasser is coming soon to take his place on the back of Papa's bike!

Little Sweetie of course had to try out the trike since her brothers were riding it.

One of the highlights of our time was watching all the shows that Sam cooked up and performed with her cousins (and her dad). Here she is showing off one of her trademark moves.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Oregon trip: fishing day with Trevor and Papa

Last year while we were down in Oregon we heard about a fun fishing day created just for kids with special needs. For a combination of reasons we just couldn't participate last year but we remembered it for this summer. Since it was something that only Mr. T could really participate in, we decided to send him off with Papa (and a camera of course!) to see what it was all about. O Boy got to go to Fort Vancouver with Daddy to see a real soldier's bivouac with men all dressed up in period clothing, watch cannons fire, and tour the fort (with no camera). Both boys had very special days but I have the photo record of Trevor's memory-making day with Papa...

Here's the picture that sums up the day: the happy fishermen holding up some of their catch. I absolutely love Mr. T's expression in this picture. It is totally hilarious, as if he is not surprised that he caught 5 steelhead at all.

These next 2 photos were taken by a local newspaper photographer who seemed to really love taking pictures of Mr. Excited. Apparently my dad reported that Mr. T kept saying over and over again, "I so 'cited! I so 'cited!" every time he'd get a bite.

Apparently because of Mr. T's charisma and charm (which any of you know him can probably imagine), he collected quite an entourage of followers, photographers, watchers, cheerleaders, and helpers. He had several of the experienced fishermen/volunteers jostling to help him catch "the big ones." And they did!

Mr. T actually caught so many that they gave 1 or 2 away to one of the other children who wasn't catching very many.

Reeling in another big one

Thanks to everyone at the Lake Merwyn Fish Hatchery who made this such an incredible day for one small boy (and his proud Papa). Each child got a t-shirt, fishing pole, tackle box, free lunch, and the best gift of all: the chance to tell others, "I caught 5 big fish!!" They had a storyteller there, free lunch for all participants, and many other kid-friendly activities. It was truly a special day for special kids. Thanks to my dad to taking Mr. T (though I think he had JUST AS MUCH FUN as Mr. T did!).