Thursday, August 21, 2014

Whidbey Island

After being in Spokane for a couple of weeks, we decided to drive out west to Whidbey Island to drop off my sister, and to see the beautiful home she and her husband just bought. Of course Whidbey is gorgeous. It's a small island about 2 hours west of Seattle. It is green, luscious, and obviously surrounded by the beautiful Pacific. Abby's home is a dream. It overlooks the San Juan Islands, and Canada. Their home is also surrounded by acres and acres of trees, and hundreds of edible berry bushes. I couldn't imagine a more ideal home for Abby.

 The second day we were there, we got a couple of babysitters to watch all of the kids, so the sisters could go out exploring. We enjoyed the day in Coupeville. A tiny town, with adorable shops, beautiful views, and delicious food. 

(Sorry Abby)

The kid's morning ritual consisted of going outside to collect slugs, and making little habitats using every mason jar, and cup that Abby had in the house. I especially loved to hear the clever names they came up with.


I couldn't get over the insane amount of berries that we picked, thimble berries, huckleberries, and blackberries to name a few. Walking through the bushes and trees with Abby brought me back to My childhood. When I was little,  Abby and I would pretend to be little orphan children living off the land. This is one of my most cherished memories of my childhood. 

We took a morning to go and see the tide pools. I have yet to find "real" tide pools in Jacksonville, so I was excited to see how Sam would react to all the ocean critters. I think the freezing water was a little aggravating for him. This was something he wasn't used to...

(Love the Red boots)

Evolution Roll?

My friend Melanie and her fiance live on Whidbey Island, which is ironic. So I was so excited they were able to come join us for dinner and a enjoy an evening bonfire. I think we altered any ideas of them having kids in the near future. 9 kids can do that.

Our trip was short lived, but lovely. My mom mentioned this is a once in a life time trip for us. I realized how right she was. It is so rare for a group of 4 sisters and their kids, who all live in different parts of the country, to go on a road trip together. NOT that it wasn't stressful! Having all those kids with no husbands to help wasn't easy, but it was one trip I will never forget. Thank you Abby for being such a great host, even though you were dealing with morning sickness the entire time! Love you!

(Coming into Spokane)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Spokane Part 1

This was one of my favorite summers back home in a long time. Of course every summer is incredible, but this was the first year that I felt Samuel really was old enough to run wild, without me having to worry constantly. It was also the first.time.ever. that our ENTIRE family was all together. And when I mean our entire family, I mean including spouses. Even at Wayne's and my wedding, 2 of my brother in laws were missing. And our last family photo we took where we were "all" there, my sister cropped Wayne's head in. So this trip was a big deal... 
I have 9 nieces and nephews, and they played so well together. My sister's and I would start feeling guilty since we hadn't seen our children for hours. But we were reassured by their consistent laughter and dirty hands, faces and feet. That always was a true indication that they were having the trip of a life time, and us mother's needn't worry. Sam and his cousin's days were spent outside, riding the jeep, golf cart, and the plethora of other riding contraptions. They also loved jumping on the trampoline, getting soaked in the water fall, swinging on the swings, and just running for hours. Even when all the other kids were inside wiped out, I'd find Sam outside by himself. He NEVER wanted to be inside. He was so content, even alone. 

Home Sweet Home
(View from our back deck)

My sister took the older kids on a golf cart ride around our area, when the 
firemen at the local firestation told them to come on in and
 play on the firetruck, barefoot and all. 

During nap time, Lydia and Thomas would get a little antsy since they had to
 stay "quiet" so we snuck off to Dairy Queen for a small treat. 
The mess however, was not so small. 

To say all the cousins love their uncle Zac is an understatement. Every time he came up to the house, he had all sorts of surprises for the kids. Four wheelers, fireworks, and delicious treats to name a few.

Every year we have the tradition of watching a movie outside under the stars. As it gets later and later, the adults sneak off to have a quiet bonfire to themselves...

My parents boat of course is always a highlight of the trip. We were lucky we could all fit at once. Sam was so brave and loved to ride on the tube. When his older cousins, were pointing their thumbs down to go slower, he was pointing his up to go faster! 

Sam super cool driving the boat.

Action photo of Wayne flying off the tube, and Shane soon to follow...

My mom with most of the grand kids. Missing Paige and Lexi.

My Dad, and Mom

The entire crew

Wayne and Greg went on a little man date together. They both bought a new hat, 
then went and shared a dozen donuts. How romantic. 
Okay, they may have brought us some too.

All the brother in laws went on a bonding golfing trip.

We did our Nordstrom's annual Liverpool Rummy game. Needless to say,
 Wayne and Shane, or "Shwayne" took home the trophy. 

My dad and Wayne watched the game with much enthusiasm 
Got enough pillows?

The day after Wayne went back home, Sam was playing with a small hand shovel and accidentally hit himself in the mouth. With our luck, he needed stitches. This happened once before two summers prior, in Spokane,except the stitches were on his bottom lip. So to the emergency room we had to go again. I will only say this, getting the stitches put in, Sam was an Angel. Hence the picture below, he was smiling during it, but getting the stitches out was a whole other story. NEVER AGAIN! Devil Sam.
He was all smiles afterwards.