Since there are so many pictures, I'm going to spare you the one big, long, never ending post and just post pictures in bunches. First up? The River.
I know I mentioned last year that my parents recently moved out to a piece of property on the river. Because September brings beautiful weather to a usually rainy area, much of our summer trip is spent out on it. In the winter, the river runs all the way up to my parents' stairs that go down to the beach, but in the summer, the water recedes and they are left with a beautiful little stretch of private beach. It's heaven. Seriously, I feel spoiled when we visit and enjoy it. We sit out there at all hours of the day and night. This year we saw the river otter family, deer, ducks...you name it. God is so amazing in what He has created. The river is just one place that I look around and see the beauty and feel humbled that the God who created all that also created and loves me.
The boys have all sorts of fishing gear that stays at my parents' house. The nets were new this year, and although I think my parents had originally intended them for bugs, they most definitely were deemed as fish nets by the boys.
Baby Emmie even joined in on the river fun
...as did baby Emmie's minions, Chuck and Norm.
Drew and Coll spent much of their river time either in the water or close to it. Tanny Banany on the other hand, spent much of his time digging, eating, and playing in the sand on the beach.
Digging with Auntie Kell
He loves Baby Emmie and this picture was such a perfect summary of that (It was his first reaction when my sis put Emmie down close so we could take a picture of the two of them)!
Not to be left out of the fun The Littles were having, the big boys also found plenty of fun down on the water:
Burkie has this GoPro camera that follows him on pretty much any adventure. It can attach to the helmet or that pole that he's holding and will record video in almost any extreme situation (underwater, high speeds, etc). This trip, the boys had tied a rope swing on one of the trees and used the camera to film themselves flying in (although Uncle Burkie ended up being the only one brave enough to actually go in the water--it was cold!).
They would start a good portion of the way up the tree and then jump off and swing down over the water.
I know Burke's hard to see in this (look closely), but he wasn't the point of this picture anyway. The point was Drew...and that giant water gun he is holding. The Littles got a kick out of shooting the water guns and making sure all who swung out on that swing got wet, whether or not you actually dropped into the water.
Funny story though. This super attractive gear is actually what saved one of the fishing poles the big boys dropped when they flipped over carrying them while fishing and kayaking down the river. Did you catch all of that? It was kind of a mouthful. Go back, read it again. Got it? Anyway, yes. One of the days we were there, Nathan, Burke, Ty Ty, and my Dad drove the kayaks up river and then rode the "rapids" for an hour back down to the house. Somehow in this, one of them flipped and lost a fishing pole that had been in the kayak. Well, the next day they paddled past the place they tipped, with said super attractive camera in the water, came back to the house, watched the video, saw the missing pole, and then went back down to the river and essentially fished it back out. We call that super attractive winning, folks! *grin*
The Littles wear life jackets when they're down at the river; not because they can't swim, but because the water can move fast and is cold. Always better safe than sorry. At this point, it has become routine for Drew and Collin to put one on when they head down to the water. They barely think twice about having them on, but Tanner...
...Tanner's another story. Because he is so little, his vest still has the huge back that would keep his head out of the water were he to fall in. Because of this, his little chunky cheeks get squished while he's wearing it. Christi thought this was hilarious and couldn't stop laughing (every. single. time. the poor kid put it on). Good thing Tanner thought it was pretty funny too!
and towing The Littles (Go Uncle Ty Ty!)
But vast majority of the time at the river for the big boys (and the little boys come to think of it!) was spent fishing. They began and ended just about everyday we were there fishing on the river.
Coll and Daddy
Ty Ty, Burke, Nathan (in the river), Drew and my Dad
Collin's happy place
And in all that fishing? A fish! The fish if you were to ask Nathan. This was hands down, bar none, his favorite part of the trip. He woke up early one morning, and headed down to the river. My mom and I were the next ones up in the house and were sitting at the dining room table talking over tea when I looked up and saw Nathan trotting (for lack of a better word for that giddy run) through the trees and back up to the house. At first I thought something might be wrong, but he popped around the front trees and back onto the lawn in front of the house and there stood Drew. Yep, Drew. The glee/pride that was on Nathan's face was verbatim Drew when he catches a fish. So funny and so cute!
In his defense, it was a huge fish! 32 inch long wild Steelhead...
...that was just about as big as Collin.
The river made up a huge portion of the fun and time we spent in Oregon this past trip. My parents' beach is seasonal, so we take advantage and enjoy it to the fullest for the few summer months it appears. This year, we must have enjoyed the very tail end of it because my Dad called yesterday to tell us that the river had already risen from the recent storm they had and a good portion of their beach is back in the water. It was so enjoyed while it was there though, and we're already looking forward to the beach's return next year!