Sunday, September 29, 2013

Oregon Part 1: Water, water everywhere!

We recently spent a week or so in Oregon with my parents. As usual, I have procrastinated on posting pictures from the trip simply because there are so many to go through that it becomes a major project to sit down and do! Such a fun trip though and I suppose the plethora of pictures I have is just proof of that. We usually do a trip in September and this year was no different in that regard. However, my dad, Nathan, and both my brothers-in-law were all able to take the entire week off of work this year, so that no one was obligated to do anything other than relax and have fun together (usually my dad and Tyler are working while we're up). Such fun.

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, 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 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!

 We spent time on the river...




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!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Three Things

Three Things about:

1. Just started a pre-kindergarten class at preschool. So far he loves his teachers and the fact that his buddy Noah is in his class.
Pumped and ready to go! August 19, 2013

Making name tags and meeting classmates. I don't think Drew will ever have an issue being dropped off in a new classroom. He love, love, loves all things social.

2. Now does this smirk when you ask him to smile for a photo. We call it "The Elvis Lip" because at times, it almost does look like he's trying to impersonate Elvis while doing it. Makes for some lovely pictures. ;)

3. Loves a good dance party. We crack up at his dancing these days because he does it with this face...a face that lets you know he just thinks he is the coolest. I clearly remember being little and doing things and thinking, "I must look so cool right now" (and then looking back later and being semi-horrified). Drew's dance parties are his "so cool". However, I happen to delight in these "so cool" dance parties, so just keep on rockin' there hot stuff. ;)

1. Big on asking "Why?". This causes endless circles of conversations in our house (It's tricky to come up with answers that don't lead to a "Why?" response!).

2. Loooves animals. My parents have a kitten named Momo at their house and Coll could find her anywhere...earning him the title of "kitty catcher" for the week.


Auntie Jenn and Uncle Burkie's Pug Norman

3. Loves tomatoes...and I do mean loves. We recently got back from a trip to Oregon (more on that later), where my parents have grown a huge garden filled with tomato plants. Collin would go out to help Lala pick each evening and would just sit out there and eat tomatoes the entire time!

The thing around Collin's neck is supposed to be a bug catching jar, but as you can see, Collin used his to catch tomatoes instead of bugs.

1. Loves mud...might as well tack on that he loves eating the mud as well here.

2. Is almost walking. He confidently walks all along our furniture or pushing something, but isn't quite yet confident enough to let go and walk on his own (although I think he could at this point).

3. Flaps his legs and kicks while you're holding him if something makes him happy. These "happy feet", as we've come to call them, are in response to things like Daddy popping around a corner when he's been at work all day, or seeing a toy on the ground that he loves, or one of his brothers being silly and making faces at get the idea. I love his happy feet!

I don't have a picture of happy feet, so instead you just get a picture of happy Tan Tan

4. Points at everything
This was from a hike we took in Oregon and he spent the entire hike leaned back and pointing like this.

Aaaaaaand, one last fun one of sweet baby Emmie....just because. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

San Diego

We recently took a quick trip to San Diego for a family party. We drove down Saturday morning and drove back home Sunday night. Traffic was horrendous and we spent hours in the car, but it was so worth it! We rarely see my Dad's side of the family as an entire bunch, but my cousin who lives in Nashville and just had a baby was going to be in town. We were all invited to come meet sweet baby Ella and since my dad is one of eight kids, the party for Ella quickly turned into a reunion of sorts as well. It was so, so fun to see all of my cousins and their kids and to spend time with Aunts and Uncles I haven't seen in a while!

Unfortunately, I forgot my actual camera on the night of the party, so cell phone pictures it is! These are only a few of my cousins with their kids/spouses. Eight kids in my dad's family made for a lot of cousins and I love it! We're probably missing about twenty people in this photo!

My aunt brought these silly glasses for all the kiddos on the night of the party. Big hit!

On Sunday, we spent the morning visiting with Poppa John (my mom's side of the family also lives in San Diego) and playing at a park on the bay. I loved the cool weather! It was a much needed break from our summer heat. 

The boys and Poppa John also walked out to the pier to check out the fishermen

After breakfast and the park, we headed downtown to catch the ferry to Coronado. Poppi and Lala had mentioned the day before that the boys could ride the ferry while we were in town and of course, they woke up asking about it first thing the next morning.

Tan Tan holding on for dear life with Lala's crazy driving ;)

Poppi love.

My sister Christi came down to San Diego with us too. My other sisters weren't able to make it, but since Christi was down from Oregon visiting brand new baby Emmie, she made the trip to see all the cousins with us as well. We teased the entire ride down that "Nanny Christi" had joined us since she sat in back and catered to the boys' every I-need-a-new-movie-I-want-more-juice-are-we-there-yet?-whim. Really though, I loved having there for me and the extra time I got to spend with her while she was in town.

And since it was a prime picture spot, figured I may as well get a family picture in there as well :)

Ok, so this boat (Yacht?). We walked past it on the way to our ferry and saw that it was named "Lady Christine". It quickly became "Christi's yacht", as we sent a picture to her hubby Ty Ty who wasn't with us, and joked that it had been added to Christi's wish list for Christmas...complete with the personal helicopter that was parked on top. Yeah. No joke. It had a helicopter.

Anyway, our more humble little boat (yep, that's it behind Drew), was parked just to the right of Lady Christine. 

I loved that in all of these pictures Drew was saluting. ...Because that's what the captains on boats do, don't you know?

Coronado bridge from the ferry

Once over in Coronado, we spent the rest of the day wandering around and enjoying. We even managed to have lunch at Peohe's, the restaurant where my great-grandma Gwennie used to take me and my sister Jenn to learn manners. Fortunately, their patio is fairly casual, so we were able to sit and enjoy a fantastic lunch while the boys popped up and down to look at the water. I have so many fun memories at Peohe's and it was fun to share it with the boys. 

Later, it was ice cream...

...and the beach!

The very first thing Collin did was run straight into the water, which resulted in him tumbling head first into the water. He was soaking wet, with no change of clothes and of course, didn't care.

Tan Tan loved the sand! 

He thought it was tasty ;)

Like I said, a really quick trip. I wish I had more pictures from our night with my Dad's family, but it was great to see everyone and so fun to meet baby Ella. She is precious!