Monday, July 7, 2014

Summer fun

I have a lot of pictures of a random assortment of fun things we have done this summer.  
We have been making and eating popsicles as often as the sun comes out.  
 We finally finished repainting Eloise's bed, and set it up for Jared and Eloise to share.
 Todd helped me replace the broken bearings in the wheel of my stroller, so it is back in use!  This stroller is so much easier to push than our other one.
 We took a trip to the Seattle Museum of Flight near Boeing Field in the southern part of Seattle.
 This was really fun, but the kids could have used some more hands on exhibits.

 Most of the children's area was closed for school groups while we were there.

 We got to tour a Concorde and an old Air Force One, which was really cool.
 I think they had fun.
 We went to the movie theater to see "How to Train Your Dragon 2."  Grant, Max, and Price sat and watched the movie like champs.  I think Jared changed seats about 18 times, and spent the rest of the time talking at the top of his lungs.  I was surprised at how restless he was. B was his usual self, which means that I heard about three minutes of movie.  Afterwards we ran around the fountain for a little while to burn off all of the energy the Christensens had stored while they were sitting still.
 We do lots of tromping through the woods.  Jared is always so classy.  We have found a bunch of geocaches near our house.  Who doesn't love a treasure hunt?
 Jared finished his soccer season.  It was a lot of fun.

 We have our weekly trip to the library, and lots of swimming in the Christensens' apartment pool.  I don't have any pictures of that, though, because I am always in the water.
 We checked out a kit of pirate books from the library, and Jared and Eloise decided to make their own Jolly Roger flags. Jared drew a skeleton with a huge sword stabbing a hand and a heart. This is both of them making their scariest pirate faces.  I think Eloise's scary face needs a little work.
 One warm but overcast day, we met up at Juanita Beach Park to swim.  Rebecca rescued this turtle from the middle of the road and released it in the wetlands portion of the park.
 The ducks came and found the trail of cracker crumbs Eloise was leaving behind.
Jared has just started piano lessons with a young man in our ward, and he is doing well.  Every free moment is spent on the trampoline or playing with neighbors.  Next week Grandma Knight is coming for the week while I go to girls' camp, and summer is underway.

Oh What do you do in the Summertime?

Can berries, of course!
So far this year we have done cherries and strawberries.  Here are some pictures that Jared got of Rebecca processing cherries.

 This was the end product of all of that pitting.  This, three gallon bags of frozen cherries, a lot of stained fingernails, and some sore hands.
 We picked our own strawberries, even though the strawberry season was short this year.  I was so frantic about getting as many strawberries as possible that I didn't take any pictures of the kids picking strawberries/getting really dirty/running amok in the fields.  Here they are eating sandwiches on the way home, though.
 With the help of a friend, we ended up with about 25 lbs. of strawberries, so we made jam with half of them, and froze the other half.
Soon it will be time for blueberries, and then peaches, pears, and blackberries.  

Independence Day Week

Here are some things we did last week to celebrate our nation's birthday, and the beautiful summer weather that is coming and going every day.  

Eloise climbed higher than she has ever gone at the playground.  
 I needed a plaid shirt for girls' camp, and we stumbled upon half price day at the thrift store, so Eloise got one, too.
 My young women went on a hike.  Jared and Eloise played at a friend's house,
 and B came with me.  He is so stinking adorable.
Can I get an "Awwwwwww"?
The heat made me lazy, so we ate out a couple of times.  We took one restaurant dinner to St. Edward State Park as a picnic.  
 We ate at McDonald's on another day. *Gag*  B discovered ketchup, and his fries and hamburger were forgotten.
 On the fourth of July, we went to O.O. Denny Park in the morning for our ward's pancake breakfast.  When the sun finally made it over the trees, we waded.
 Shadow chased sticks in the water until she found a photo shoot in the park more interesting, had to be leashed, and moped for the rest of the time.
 Grandpa Michael was in town for a couple of days.  B held his hand.  This is not a small thing for him right now.  Maybe it is a sign that his shy phase is passing.
 This is what fireworks looked like:
 For some reason, lots of people were setting off fireworks in the park that we chose as our fireworks watching point.  This was illegal, and very stressful to Shadow, who we brought along.  A firework set off less than a hundred yards from us scared a very tired Eloise, and we decided to go home before the sun even set.  It was raining intermittently anyway.

On the fifth of July, we took a picnic and drove to Point Defiance Park in Tacoma.  Jared loved seeing his grandpa point out landmarks from his childhood.  As soon as we reached the park, we realized that the entrance to the park is right next to the Vashon Island Ferry.
 We walked on for the short crossing to the island and then back to the peninsula for a picnic.
 Grandpa loves ferries as much as these children do.
After all of the ferry fun, B napped during the picnic, and Eloise slept all of the way home.  It was a fun outing.

In the evening, Todd and I met some friends at Benaroya Hall in Seattle (where the Seattle Philharmonic Symphony performs) to hear the Ensign Chorus and Symphony performing patriotic music with Alex Boye.  It was a great concert AND all three kids were good for the babysitter.  It was kind of a fourth of July miracle.

Our Walk

Every day I walk the children. I take them out for their airing in rain or shine so that they don't turn into little child monsters. Usually we also bring the dog.  Since this is a completely ordinary event for us, I don't usually think to document it, but it might be nice to remember.  Here is what I usually see.  
 Eloise has recently mastered steering her bike well enough to take it off our block.  B still runs out into the road to greet every passing car, though, so he gets to be strapped to my person most of the time.
 We have some regular stops as we walk around our neighborhood.  We stop to see the horses.  Today we arrived right after breakfast, so they weren't interested in coming over to see if we had any food.  B kept a safe distance from the fence, just in case they approached.
 Jared harasses Shadow.  Don't worry, dog lovers.  Shadow nipped Jared's nose a second after this picture was taken.
 Next we visit the little gnome who is standing outside of his tiny door.  Jared always moves him so that the people who live here will think that he was playing while they were gone.
 Occasionally we detour onto one of the many trail heads that branch off of the neighborhood roads.
 We never stroll around our neighborhood without a visit to the bears.  They are decked out in costumes for every holiday, and the Superbowl, if it happens to involve a Seattle team.
 "Who's that trip trapping over my bridge?"
 Someone built a little library for the neighborhood.  The only rule is that if you take a book, you have to also leave a book.  We always stop and check for children's books.  There weren't any children's books today,
 but Jared did stumble upon this little gem: Three Year Old: Friend or Enemy? 
He really, really wanted to bring it home.  "We need it, Mommy.  Eloise is three, and there is even a section on potty training."
Is this three year old a friend or an enemy?  Let me check the guide in this book.
 Then we are off down the road again.
 Until B starts to do this:
 And this:
And we know that it is time to go home for a nap.