Tuesday, September 14, 2010

School Days, Happy Days

Sumer was a *tad* longer than anticipated this summer (teeny weeny four-day strike, long since forgotten, ready to move on, yada yada), and the first day of school finally arrived. Guyan was totally ready for fourth grade, and Owen all set for first.

Guyan's teacher this year is Mr. Hall. Guyan says that it's a perfect match, he thinks Mr. Hall is awesome already. I've been impressed with Mr. Hall over the past couple years--the man seems to have high standards and expectations. Guyan and I think he'll do just fine...he's going to rock fourth grade.

After Guyan was delivered to his classroom, it was time to get Owen into his. His teacher is Mrs. Pottle. I've known her for a few years through Jazzercise and the gym I go to now. I don't know her teaching style too much (all the first grade teachers are supposed to be great at Cascadia), but I do now that she's energetic and well-loved by the kids. That's gotta be good!

So Owen let me take just a couple of pictures of him, then wanted me to leave. Pronto. So I did. As I turned around, I swear he was needing me. I rushed back "you okay? want me to stay longer?" And what did my big first grader say? "I'm fine, Mom. Fine. Now bye."
I'm thinking next year he won't let me walk him in or take pictures. Oh well...at least Guyan will humor me.
Oh! And by the way...it was not my intention to dress my kids alike on the first day of school--it was theirs, promise. We had found these shirts at Old Navy ["Cooler Than Anybody Here"] and had to have them. Both boys insisted on wearing them for their first day of school outfit. Love it! Wish they'd had the shirt in my size, too!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Three Happy Campers, One Crabby One, and One Very Happy Dog at Fort Ebey

Our first of two weekend camping trips this summer was at Fort Ebey, on Whidbey Island. This state campground is known for its old gun battery, and lots and lots of mountain biking trails. The boys will remember it for the gun battery, Sean for the trails, and me for the cold and damp weather. Guess who the crabby camper was?

Freckle was not the crabby camper. She loved being included on the family trip, and was a natural camper...that's all she ever did before she joined our family, I guess.

One crabby camper, and one happy camper, looking slightly manic.

When we first went out the the gun battery, some deer were out grazing. Guyan thought this was just great, and got as close as he could. The deer didn't even care, and even posed for the camera.

The gun battery had all sorts of historical information...used in WWII...yada yada yada. Maybe I'd remember more if I didn't wait a month to post about it.

All suited up for the bike ride! The boys and I quickly discovered that the trails were a bit beyond our comfort level. Sean did some solo riding, and got a few scrapes as souvenirs.

So the main reason I was a crabby camper was the weather. Ironically, this is probably one reason Sean was a happy camper. When it started drizzling, he put up his blue skies. So very proud of himself in this picture. I took it from the relative dryness and warmth of the tent.

Whenever we go to a nice place in nature, Tree Pose is a necessity.

This picture makes my feet cold just looking at it.
But this picture....ahhhh, peace.

Before we headed back home, we had to stop again at the bunker...

...with a few trips up and down the ladder, watched by nervous parents. It was a long way down!

Next was a trip into Coupeville. I wanted to get some Penn Cove mussels to take home as a souvenir and make for dinner. In the downtown historic part of Coupeville, I couldn't find them anywhere...except under the pier. They were ALL OVER. The boys didn't understand why we didn't just get them there. I finally did find some at a local grocery store. Mmmmmm....as long as you don't think about eating their digestive systems and all their contents, too.

This pier is so cool--so old! Coupeville is a really old town relative to other cities or towns in Washington state. Can't remember the specifics (it's been a month, folks)...Google it if you want more info :-)

On the way home, Sean had to shore up Deception Pass Bridge.

And with the sun coming out, and mussels on ice in the cooler, I was turning in to a happy camper (tree pose!).

On vacation with these guys, how could I not be a happy camper? ...I probably shouldn't answer that. My feet get cold just thinking about it, too.

Happy Campers at Diablo Lake

The camping at Diablo lake was fabulous! Located right off Highway 20 in the North Cascades Recreation Complex, you only see it for a second as you're driving through. But spend a few days camping there, and you can see a lot more.

Like clouds...we were looking at clouds.

We also used my Grandpa Black's Dutch oven. True, we only did potatoes in it, but my, they were great baked potatoes. Each trip, we'll get a bit more adventurous. But we're not going to catch squirrel to roast, like a library book suggested. Ewww.

(especially since Sean is so happy with his hot dog and beer)

Lake explorations...

...and fishing (no catching).

The boys found these leaves and wanted to keep them forever and ever and ever...how about just on the blog?

Sean taught Guyan how to fish a bit...

...and Owen how to open a can of chili in case the fishing wasn't good (which it wasn't).

And I taught them to appreciate a beautiful place with a little bit of yoga. Tree pose has become quite the family tradition.

Oh! This camping trip was also on our anniversary--twelve years of bliss! Happy Us!!!