For those of you who still check in here from time to time, thank you!! I have been so ABSENT here. There are just so many X's in the line next to my name, too many, really. Tia? Silence. Pencil makes an X in the little box day after day.
Avery is enjoying her ballet/tap class and will be continuing all year with that as she loves it and is quite a natural. As mentioned in a previous post, several sessions of swimming lessons for the girls have resulted in TONS of improvement and comfort in the water. By the end of the summer Julia will officially be done with lessons (even though there are two more levels she could go on to pass) as she's able to do laps back and forth the length of the pool, using a variety of swimming strokes. Julia also moved from beginning gymnastics to intermediate. Like dance for Avery, gymnastics has been a great fit for Julia and you can tell she always feels so good during her class. The girls take yoga together and are really enjoying that, too. Julia is aghast that they just lay for 10 minutes at the end of every class.
An early summer highlight was a visit from one of my college friends Fiona. She and her family came over to the mainland from Hawaii and did a road trip from San Francisco to Seattle, stopping to visit us for an evening. It was really fun to have some time together! Our kids (who are the same ages) got to meet and play at Omsi. Mine introduced hers to slugs. You're welcome, FEE!
My husband and I got away for a lovely night in Lincoln City. We stayed at The Coho Inn, owned by friends from high school. It was really nice. The weather? AMAZING! SO GORGEOUS. We took a long hike along the beach before we came home and the smiles on our faces are proof that the getaway was much needed and really restorative in all ways. Thanks, Mom!
We spent 4th of July at the cabin. It was overcast but was really great to be there. We hadn't been up since all the damage last winter from frozen pipes, etc. It looks SO GREAT! We had fireworks that needed no flame, which were fun for the kids to throw or pull. All in all such a place to be lucky about!
The weeks following the 4th of July were our family's two week vacation, which we kicked off with a trip to Wallowa lake for four nights of camping. Given the distance, I was amazed how well the kids did with the car trip. We really loved it there-it was BEAUTIFUL. We hiked atop Mt. Howard (which we reached via the tram), rented a boat and tooled around the lake, swam, explored Joseph, hiked, and enjoyed the campground. The weather was so perfect, there were NO mosquitoes, and when you wake up each morning to such a view, you feel pretty lucky and at peace.
Following the Wallowa's adventure, we spent a few nights at home. We had a bike ride on the Banks Vernonia, saw several movies (Toy Story, Despicable Me, The Last Airbender), and replenished ourselves for another adventure, a three night camping trip to Jed Smith State Park in Redwood National Park.
Though it meant another long drive, we went to a place so beautiful it was well worth it. The trees are just AMAZING in the Redwoods. There were mosquitoes there, which was quite an annoyance. We enjoyed the Smith River, hiking, trips into Crescent City to visit their parks, Aquarium, and beaches. We took place in the nightly campfire educational talks given by the local rangers. The girls will always remember two reasons not to take Turkey Vultures to a party: they poop on their feet when they get hot and they throw up when they're nervous. That campsite also had bears, so each night our goods got nice and locked up.
Over the course of the summer we've been reading and really enjoying the Little House books again. We just finished The Shores of Silver Lake and are taking a break to read Charlotte's Web. I've been waiting to read them that and it's such a gem, I'm enjoying snuggling up with them in the hammock each night before bed to read. They both participated in the Library's summer reading program, Avery just starting to learn to read and Julia taking off with all sorts of more challenging books.
We got up to the cabin again with another college friend Molly and her family. It is becoming an annual trip that we will look forward to each year. We will also be enjoying the cabin with two other families this August to round out the summer. My mom and I also had a girl's weekend there with yummy food and long canoe rides, hikes, and a trip into Olympia to the farmer's market. PEACHES AND CHERRIES-YUM!
My husband promised the girls that if the temp hit 100 he would get them a snowcone machine and a slip and slide. Sure enough as we drove through Grants Pass on our way to the Redwoods it hit 100 so when I was at the cabin with my mom he got them their goods and they were in heaven. Thankfully once summer kicked in, the weather has been PERFECT, summery without being too hot. We've been enjoying it so much!
There have been a few visits with friends here and here, too. We hit the Spray Park with one family, the neighborhood pool with others. We made some sweet tie-dyed shirts. That's been about the extent of our creative endeavors.
We hit the county fair last weekend and enjoyed that immensely. This goat was particularly hilarious standing and itching himself on the fence. The corn, oh, the corn dipped in butter, salt and lime juice, was HEAVENLY! Elephant ears were also enjoyed immensely by two girls. This year the kids met The Scrambler, and oh what a ride it gave us, twice. Can I just say I LOVE the scrambler?
Enjoy the rest of your summers!