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.