Thursday, December 28, 2017

Jared's birthday eclipse!

Jared has the best timed birthday.  Every year awesome things happen on and around his birthday, but this year was absolutely the best August 21st of the last eight years.  First of all, Jared turned eight.  In our church, this is a HUGE deal, because at the age of eight, kids can choose to be baptized. 
 This is probably the best picture I have ever taken of Jared.  Look how genuine his smile is! 

 Of course he liked the waterfall picture better, so that is the one he gave out with is invitations to his baptism.  We will have more about the baptism later. 
 On August 20 after church we got in the car for a long drive to Oregon.  Normally Portland is around three and a half hours from Seattle.  On this day, there was a great southward migration into the area of eclipse totality, so it took a bit longer. 
 We met the Christensens at Cambell's uncle's Christmas tree farm, where we camped in the yard. 
 There was the usual Knight-Christensen chaos, but I feel like the kids slept in a tent better than they ever have before.  That isn't saying much.  My expectations are very low. 
 In the morning, we broke camp, packed up the car, and drove south.  We were camped less than half an hour from the eclipse path of totality.  We ended up in Willamette Mission State Park. Oregon waived all state park fees for the eclipse, and park rangers and volunteers walked around handing out eclipse glasses and stickers.  Lots of extra bathrooms were set up.  We couldn't really have been more comfortable. 
 This is how Jared turned eight! 
 When the little guys got tired of watching the shadow move slowly across the sun, they dug some major holes in the park turf. 
 Look how dark it got!  This moment was worth all of the extra hours we spent in traffic to see it.  It was amazing.  The flowers closed up, the sky got dark, the air got cold, the sun dimmed, and then the moment passed and it was a hot, sunny day again.  It was incredible. 
 After the eclipse, Jared opened presents, and we had cupcakes.  This pie face game was a huge hit.  I think Jared may have found it a little bit stressful. 

 B was disappointed if he had a turn where he didn't get hit by whipped cream. 
 We stayed in Oregon long enough to let the roads get good and congested.  We saw a lot of accidents on the way home.  The drive home was L-O-N-G. People trickled down to Oregon to see the eclipse, and then they all headed home at the same time, so it took us until after bedtime to get home.  We were happy to take a few long breaks. 
 We even ran into the Carvers randomly at one of our rest stops. 
 There were a few tense moments, but we really had a good time. 
 Happy birthday, eight year old! 
In case the eclipse wasn't enough, the next day was our annual Caspar Babypants concert at Juanita Beach park. 
And the day after that the program at St. Ed's was a raptor program, where we got to see a lot of birds of prey up close. Best birthday ever. 

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