Sunday, August 5, 2012

Play, play, play!

We have hardly had a breath between trips and visits this summer, but we have managed to squeeze in a remarkable amount of plumbing disasters.  Fortunately, we have a home warranty that is covering most of the major stuff that has broken (the main water shut off to our house, all of the shutoff valves to our sinks, the drain under our tub), but we did have a flood while Grandma and Grandpa Knight were here that we traced back to a leaky toilet, which Todd replaced with his newly acquired handyman skills. Home ownership has taught us a lot in the past six months.
We had our trees trimmed a week ago.  We had two trees removed and our two big cherry trees trimmed extensively so that they aren't threatening the house anymore.  Jared and Eloise were fascinated by the heavy equipment the tree trimmers used, especially the wood chipper.  Unfortunately the branch our swing was hanging on was a dead stump deemed hazardous by the tree trimmers, so it had to go.

When we aren't busy taking care of this high maintenance house, we play.
While we have had a remarkable amount of sunshine, this is still the Pacific Northwest.  We had a couple of days of heavy rain, so as soon as it lightened to a drizzle, we went out searching for puddles.  This was Eloise's first puddle stomping expedition.  It is possible that she is even cuter in these tiny boots than Jared was when we bought them a year ago.    
 Jared knows exactly what to do with mud puddles.  The muddier the better.  By the time we got home, both kids were soaked to their knees and muddy all over from enthusiastic stomping.
 We went down the dirt road in our neighborhood to see the horses and look for dirt road puddles.  Eloise picked some grass to feed the horses.
 Eloise added the word "puddle" to her vocabulary on this outing.  She doesn't talk about puddles without stomping her feet.
 When the rain is actually falling, we build pillow forts, read stories in them, put all of the stuffed animals in the house in them, knock them down, rebuild them, and repeat.  This activity never gets old.  We got a new couch for the basement last week, and it came with about twenty cushions and pillows that have revolutionized and changed the scale of fort potential.
 For some reason, summer brings more dirt, so baths are happening more frequently.  Eloise may not be ready for pigtails, but she can wear the punk rock soap spike in her hair just as well as her brother.
 When the weather is good, we go to the beach.  Here is Eloise at O.O. Denny park during our Pioneer Day family home evening.  She collected pebbles in her bucket while Jared learned some new swimming skills with Daddy.
 Most of the time (when Daddy can't come with us) we go to Juanita Beach Park because the water is shallow and still, so Jared can play in the water with less supervision.  Eloise is not a fan of sand.  Usually she sits on her blanket and reaches off with her shovel to touch the sand.  If any sand gets on her hands, she whines.  I managed to coax her off the blanket once.
 Here is Jared, all wet from swimming, and Eloise, all dry from not approaching the water.
 On July 26, we went to the zoo with our neighbors, Amanda and Casey.  Casey was going by "Ernie" on this trip.  The animals were out and performing like we have never seen them before in cooler weather.  This penguin wanted to be Jared's best friend.
 Once again, the sight of water made Eloise hungry for goldfish crackers.  Where did she get that enormous mouth?
 Penguin dive!
 Casey would probably have been content to watch penguins all day, but we still had to see hippos, at Jared's request. The hippos were much more lively than usual.  One of them even shook his ear.  
 We said goodbye to Casey and Amanda and stopped outside the zoo for a lunch picnic before we headed home.
 I wonder how many times I can say I love the place where we live before I start sounding like a broken record.  I'm not sure we could possibly be happier.

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