Sunday, September 22, 2019

Great Summer Road Trip 2019 Part II

While we were in Utah, Anni turned 30, so we celebrated.  Here Ryan holds Pickle (also known as Jack, but I hope the Pickle nickname Maren gave him sticks) and Faith has Izzy in their 4th of July outfits from Grandma Jill.  
 Todd came!  Doesn't he look sweet with tiny Izzy? 
 Grandpa Michael was in town, so he stopped by to say happy birthday to Anni, and get a picture with all of his grandchildren.
 Grandma Jill had to get her picture, too. 
 Andrew came out for the same week we were there.  He brought a tool and taught me how to get the staple out of Sammy's head.  Apparently removing staples himself is beneath his pay grade now that he is a fully qualified nurse practitioner. 
 We managed to fit in another trip to the splash pad.  B got wet for a minute, but he prefers to dig in the sand near the splash pad.  He is the only Knight child not completely enamored with water. 
 We read some bedtime stories in the tent.  Tent sleeping is hard when it is fully light outside at bedtime. 
 On Sunday we had to say goodbye and leave for the next stretch of our trip.  We stopped in Murray to see Grandma Richards.  I'm not sure she was entirely clear on who we are, but she was delighted to be surrounded by children.  She wanted Eloise to tell her all about second grade, since she used to be a second grade teacher. 
 I was worried that the kids would be nervous with her, but Sammy went right up to her and kissed her on the cheek, and when the other kids saw how happy that made her, they all wanted to kiss her, too. 
 It was a really special visit. 
 We drove down to Page, AZ.  We were on our way to our Knight family reunion. 
 The swimming pool at our hotel was frigid.  It was a short swim. 
We were looking forward to seeing the rest of the cousins in a few hours!

Great Summer Road Trip 2019 Part I

The week after school got out, the adventures began.  Our very last farewell with friends was a birthday party for Price.  One of his guests brought a big bucket of snakes she had collected to the party.  Sammy LOVES holding creepy crawly things.  He spent almost all of the party carrying a snake around.  
 B was also a fan of the snakes. 
 Happy birthday Pricey!  I can't believe the little guy is six!
 And then we were off on our great summer road trip. The kids and I left Todd behind to work while we drove to Utah.  It was rough, but we made it all in one day.  Here we are at a rest stop. 
 We had to go to Utah because Cheyenne was there for a couple of months to help with Anni's kids while she ran camps all summer. Faith also came from New York with her little Isabelle, who we had not met yet.  This was the week Jared went to Engineering Camp, and the rest of us tagged along with Cheyenne and ALL of the rest of the kids (eleven altogether) adventuring around Ogden. 
 Eloise was in heaven with all of the babies. Here she is with baby Pickle (eleven months old). 
 Anni's neighborhood has a great splash pad.  All injuries were superficial. 
 I love this Toady girl. 
 Eloise and Toady had matching Frozen jammies.  As you might imagine, Anni and Ryan's house was bursting at the seams with so many people.  The kids and I slept in a pop-up tent trailer in the driveway until Thursday, when Uncle Paul needed his trailer back for a trip.  Then we moved to a tent in the back yard.  We got the outdoor accommodations because we are the only family without a baby. 
 Isabelle!  We love her cute little face. 
 We went to the giant DI near Anni's house to look for a couple of things.  These are not the things we were looking for.  B was very excited about the hat with a crab on it that said "Washington" on the back.  Nothing is funnier than leaving Washington to go to Utah where you buy a Washington souvenir.
 Eloise wants to know if she is ready to babysit.  Izzy loved her.  She's probably ready. 
 We went on a few long, hot hikes.  B and Sammy were good sports because they heard that there would be some broken cars at the end of this hike. 
 We found one.  It was really hot, so we didn't go all the way to the car graveyard we had heard about. 
 We did some excavating at this cool dinosaur park. 
 It was great to have lots of Grandma Jill time.  During lunch James and Sammy let themselves out of the park through a one way gate.  Sammy wasn't wearing shoes at the time, so that was awesome.  They had to go all the way back to the entrance with Cheyenne while Faith, Grandma, and I played musical babies with the little guys. 
 Look out for the world's most dangerous creature! One of these kids does not belong to us. 
 Pickle got a little tired.  This was an awesome place to run around and see a lot of cool dinosaurs. 
 Jared had a full, exhausting week at Astro Camp.  He came back looking a little dazed from sleep deprivation (they are up until ten and then activities start at seven every morning, so at best two hours less sleep than Jared is accustomed to), but he absolutely wants to go back to the exact same camp next year. 
Our great summer adventure was off to a busy start. 

Sunday, September 1, 2019

End of School Year Shenanigans

The day after we went to Wild Waves we met up with B's buddy Noah, and his dad, Jason, and his little sister, Ava, to go for a kayaking/canoeing adventure.  As you can see from this picture, we were a little split on our expectations for the weather.  Eloise may have been slightly warm in her thick long sleeved dress, but I think the boys were not too cold in their swim trunks, either.  
I know I did NOT want to go for a swim.  It was not warm enough. 
We paddled down from Bothell Landing Park to Rhododendron Park, and then we paddled back.  Sometimes the kids "helped" with their paddles. 
Todd definitely had the easier job paddling the kayak than I had in the canoe. 
This was really fun. I kept expecting that the kids would get tired of it, but it was a huge hit.  We should definitely get a kayak and do this all the time. 
Some of our neighbors, who we don't know very well, put a pool in their back yard last year.  They have been meaning to have us over so our kids could enjoy it, but they are really busy, and their only child is a college student.  They finally invited us to play, and the kids took full advantage.  The pool is lovely and heated, but we came on the year's first 90 degree day, so it would have been perfect either way. 
Two days later it was definitely not 90 degrees when we met up with some friends at Bellevue Downtown Park during school hours, but the boys were ready to be wet anyway. 
One advantage of being in school well into June is that the kids make great Fathers' Day gifts at school.  Eloise brought home a book of her observations about her dad.  This was our favorite page.  I wonder if her teachers looked at it before she brought it home.  I should have asked.  I bet they would have died laughing like we did. 
Our Sunday walk tradition continues in the magical woods. 
Someone 3D printed a bunch of slugs and hid them all over the woods. We adopted a few. 
Ever since we started shopping at the cheap grocery store down south where all the good ethnic food is, B has been asking to have a piñata.  I thought this would be a good chance for us to have a fun art project.  B liked it for a little while, but Sammy did NOT like getting his hands all messy in the paper mache. 
This is the end result. We made this little guy for our end of school year party. 
It was party time at the schools, too.  We went to see Eloise's end of year presentation. Thanks for sending all the cool stuff from Georgia, Warnock family!
We stayed to crash the second grade party. 
Eloise and Ari were good sports about having B and Sammy as tagalongs.  We stayed until I caught one of the boys, who is definitely old enough to know better, peeing on a tree on the school grounds in the middle of the second grade party.  *Sigh*  Maybe I will be able to take them places in ten years or so. 
Jared got up on the last day of school and wrote a message on the black board. 
The end of the school year was bittersweet for Jared and Eloise.  They both really got to love their classes and their teachers this year. 
We invited all of our friends over for a party/cookout/piñata that evening. 
Unfortunately, we had bout ten kids on the trampoline and no one remembered to zip the net closed, so Sammy got bounced off the trampoline and landed headfirst on a paving stone.  Those things are his downfall.  Blood was gushing everywhere.  Ari's grandma, who is a nurse, was there with her.  She helped me mop Sammy up, then we agreed that he should go to the hospital for a stitch or two. 
We left Rebecca in charge of keeping the party going, and Todd dropped me and Sammy off at the emergency room. 
When we walked into the emergency room, I was cradling Sammy in my arms and putting pressure on his head.  From the front he looked like any other sick kid, but he had been bleeding down the back of my shirt since the fall.  I was standing in line for triage, trying not to drop Sammy (he's getting kind of huge), when a nurse walked out and came around behind me to do something.  All of a sudden she came rushing over to check on us.  When I took my shirt off later, it looked like I had been through the zombie apocalypse, with blood from my collar down to my waist.  There was blood in my hair, too, but not as much as Sammy had. 
After a few minutes in the hospital, Sammy was over the injury and mad that he was missing the party.  He ended up with one staple to put his head back together, and big bruises on his forehead and down the back of his head.  What a way to start summer!
The party did, indeed, go on without us.  It went on with much stricter trampoline rules and supervision.  Thanks for coming, friends!  Sorry we missed most of the fun. 
Todd kept the fire going so Sammy could still have a little party when he got home. 
Sherrie stayed past eight with her kids because she knew how upset Sammy would be if he missed everything.  These are true friends. 
So this is summer vacation.  We had never had one before, since this was our first school year ever actually in school. 
Our friends wanted to celebrate the end of the school year with a 5K on the Cross Kirkland Corridor the next day.  It was a hot day for running.  Sammy had to go in the stroller because he couldn't put his helmet on his tender head.
We saved the piñata from the party, since Sammy had been so excited about it, and brought it to the run. 
This was our last big event before people started scattering for the summer.  It was so fun to be there with the Carvers, Christensens, Blackwelders, and Ashmans.  Todd even came out of his office in that big white building behind us to take someone to the bathroom, so that was convenient. 
I managed to make a piñata that would actually break, so not everyone got a chance to hit it, but everyone got some candy.  Happy end of school year! This feels like the end of an era.