Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Leaving Vashon

Another great year, hundreds more great memories.

Here are two shots from our ferry ride off the island and on to the rest of our vacation.

(Are there really more photos to go through?)

This is one of my new favorite shots of Claire. She loves riding on the ferry.

And this picture gives just a taste of the tranquility that we experience during our time there.
Until next year...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Puget Sound TUBING!

Uncle Harold brings his boat every year and takes the kids on WILD innertube rides!

Here are the first Yeah...they're smiling now...
I won't post the "after" picture - it just wasn't pretty.

This guy had some fun - check out the air he caught!

Claire got to go for a ride with one of her aunties. Too bad they didn't have any fun. :) Someone wipe those grins off their faces!

She got REALLY brave with Daddy. "Look, Mommy! NO HANDS!!"

Next year...wakeboarding? Counting the days...

Sunday, November 1, 2009


This is Winslow.

One of my favorite things about Winslow is that his little pink tongue is ALWAYS hanging out.


The funniest thing I saw this summer was a tired Winslow walking slowly on the beach with his head so close to the ground that his tongue was dragging through the sand.

It doesn't make him look like the sharpest tool in the dog shed, but it certainly puts him a few notches higher on the cute meter.

It's important to know about his tongue habit, because otherwise you might think he's being choked to death by a little too much love here.

It is kinda hard to tell whether he appreciates all of the love or not...

O.K...that's probably enough love for one day. Time to let Winslow breathe again.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fun at the Beach

The calm Puget Sound makes our little beach PERFECT for the kids to play and explore without fear of waves and riptides (well...until a big freighter goes by and brings a few "waves" to shore). Here are some fun pictures of kids at the beach.

This is a view of the house from the beach. We are so lucky to have the beach just a short walk away.

The weather was so warm this year that the kids actually played IN the water, not just NEAR it. Some years, it's pretty chilly to think about braving that frigid NW saltwater!

And look at what Claire found in the water - a seaweed hat! Who woulda thought?

The sand provides hours of entertainment creating sculptures and digging holes.

Up in the dry sand (where most of the grown-ups hang out), there are other fun things to do like...

play in an exersaucer that's a leeeetle bit too small for you,

chomp down on some juicy watermelon,

and roast the perfect marshmallow to make the perfect s'more.

That s'more is really SO perfect that we need to see it just a little bit closer.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Kids, kids, KIDS!

Every year we seem to have at least 2 new little ones when we all get together. Don't know how it works out this way, but our babies seem to come in twos. We were tied - boys to girls - until my sister-in-law announced that she was breaking the tie with another...BOY!

Here's her first. If her baby-to-be is HALF as cute as this one, it will be just too much to handle.

The girls! Our babies also seem to follow gender patterns. Each family (with more than one child) has either all girls or all far. Here are the girls from 3 families (including mine). The two cuties in light pink welcomed their little sister to the family shortly after we all returned home.

This little guy wanted to show off his muscles.

The youngest this year was loved by all (maybe a little too much - he doesn't look so sure...)

There's a smile!

Since he IS the youngest, he gets the most pictures. Take that. (And anyway, who WOULDN'T want to see more pictures of this little face??)

This is proud big brother. You can see that CUTE certainly runs in the family.

Hangin' out.

After-dinner games.

And this little doll...

...took this picture. I think I see a future career in photography, yes?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Vashon Treasures

Vashon is one of the most perfect playgrounds for kids. They spend HOURS on the beach, digging in the sand, splashing in the water, and looking under rocks for crabs. Some treasures are there every year, and others are fun surprises. Here are some treasures that we found this year.

At low-tide, we love to walk down to the tide pools and look at all of the starfish, sea anemones, and tiny crabs. Here was one that was found under a rock.

The kids soon learn that the tiny ones can't pinch, so they love to let them crawl around on their hands.

Another treasure that we always look forward to (as long as we're there in August) is BLACKBERRIES! This year we even made blackberry ice cream, which was Y-U-M-M-Y!

My nephew thought he found a treasure in the smooth rocks on the beach, but I'm not sure his mom liked them in his mouth as much as he did!

Our surprise treasure this year was discovering this nest with two beautiful eggs inside. The nest was built on the ledge of a basement window, right next to the door leading into the basement. We never saw any birds, so we're pretty sure it was abandoned, but it was sure pretty to look at every time we went downstairs.

Looking forward to next year's treasure hunt!

Sunday, October 11, 2009


I have trouble finishing things.

I start off with a bang and get pre-e-e-t-t-ty far down the road, but then something happens - I catch a cold, I can't figure the next step out, or...most often...I get overwhelmed with the task I've created for myself and I just STOP.

I can't tell you how many times I've started a regular workout routine, only to get sick two weeks later and then stop completely. (Soooooo many times...)

I have about 4 or 5 unfinished quilts folded neatly in a drawer.

My house...oh, my house... (let's not talk about that right now.)

So, this blog. I think I did pretty good in the beginning and was pretty sure I could keep up with it, and then ROAD TRIP PICTURES happened. Now that I've discovered Photoshop, my photo editing time has pretty much quadrupled. No more quick red-eye fixes and easy crops - now I'm looking at just the right contrast, color correction, and blemish removal (and on and on and on...) It's worth it in the end, but my mountain of pictures was just too much to handle once school started and we got back into our normal crazy routine.

But the guilt over not finishing yet another project is getting to me more than the urge to procrastinate, so I'm pledging to at least catch up over the next couple of weeks. If I say it here, maybe I'll really do it.

Here's hoping.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Vashon Dunes

Every year we gather on Vashon Island to celebrate a family reunion with Erik's extended family. His great-aunt (she's 97!) still lives in the farmhouse where she was born, and she graciously allows 20+ adults, an ever-growing number of kids (this year there were 11 with more on the way) and a handful of dogs to invade her usually quiet home. We eat, take naps, play on the beach, eat, pick blackberries, fish for flounder and dogfish, eat, read the latest novels, go for walks, eat, I think I gained 6 pounds and took 500 pictures while we were there this year, so it has been quite a chore trying to work off that weight AND get those photos all organized, but I thought I'd start with these. (The exercise can wait, right?)

When Erik was a kid, one of his favorite things to do at Vashon was go with his cousins down the beach to the sand dunes. They would spend HOURS running up and down the sandy hill. Now the cousins are passing along the dunes tradition to the next generation.

I had to back up quite a way to show just how high up they were. It's no little hill...

What do you do on a huge hill made of sand?

Jump down, of course!

Here's Erik in action:

His cousin...

And then this young punk showed us how to REALLY do it.

Yep, he definitely took it up a notch. Let's see that mid-air shot again...


Saturday, August 22, 2009

From Colorado to Vashon

We drove from Colorado to Washington caravan-style with Erik's parents. On our three day journey, we tried to cover 400-500 miles each day and camped at night in their RV. At one rest stop, we looked out into an open area and saw a bunch of little prairie dogs sticking their heads up out of the ground.

Claire and I crept forward s-l-o-w-l-y to get a better shot...

...but we didn't really need to worry because they were obviously used to people with cameras. This guy practically posed for me. "Alright, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up."
Right after I took that picture, another prairie dog started coming right toward us, and almost touched our toes! I was too freaked out about a wild animal coming so close to our flip-flopped feet to snap a photo.

Our second day of driving was Gramma's birthday, so Claire decorated a cake for her that night. Remember the extra batter from the dump truck cake that went into the regular loaf pan? We found a great use for it!
It's a little hard to see in the picture, but she wrote "Gramma" in black frosting and then used the star tips to decorate all around the top and sides in yellow and blue.

We stayed in Baker City, OR on the 2nd night, so we decided to visit the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center the next morning. We both felt that we had gained a pretty good knowledge of life on the trail from the computer game (smile), but thought we owed it to ourselves to at least check it out.

These were models of the covered wagons. I was surprised at how small they were. No "Little House on the Prairie"-sized wagons here.

This was the view from outside the museum. Inside, there was an observation window that showed the same view, but with a map next to it showing the location of the actual Oregon Trail.

Thought this moss on the rocks looked kind of cool.

Inside were displays of "lifelike" people and animals with pre-recorded voices playing as you walked by. Claire liked this one of the shepherd.

She also liked the buffalo.

Erik liked the buffalo too -- in the computer game. While everyone else was wasting their time trying to shoot rabbits, he could shoot one buffalo and be set for food for a LONG time. Yes, I think we learned all we needed to learn from that game...