Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sunrise Park at Mt. Rainier

It is really uncomfortable in Yakima!
(Yes is! :))
I may have wimped out a bit since moving from Texas, but 100 + degrees is hot anywhere!
I thought we should get out of town and go somewhere cooler.
We are lucky to live near the mountains - the temps were about 25-30 degrees cooler.

We headed to Sunrise, the highest point you can drive to in Mt. Rainier Park.
We've been there before about four years ago, but its so pretty its worth seeing again!
You feel like you are nearly at the top of Mt. Rainier!
There were loads of flowers out...mostly purple lupines and magenta paintbrushes.
I think its ironic that those are so closely related to two of the most popular wildflowers that I grew up knowing in Texas...the Texas Bluebonnet and Indian Paintbrush.

We took the Sunrise Nature Trail Loop - a fairly easy hike with amazing views to the north and south.
At one point along the trail, Hannah and Jenelle were discussing whether they could see people on the mountain.
Your perspective is really thrown because you feel like you are soooo close to the summit...but really, you are still so far away.
We were at an elevation of about 6400 feet and Mt. Rainier is over 14,000 feet high.
Only close to 8000 feet left to climb!
I'm so grateful we've always made a point to take lots of "ordinary" adventures with our kids.
No doubt we love the ones that require a flight somewhere, but we've been so blessed to live in places that have amazing things to do within driving distance.
And even when we haven't gone farther than a few miles from home, over the years we've still taken advantage of getting up and getting out!
As all three of them grow older, their interests are changing - schedules are changing - life is just changing.
But when I was driving us home yesterday I was thinking about how no one ever gets home from a day away and says, "I sure wish we'd never done that!"
I can only hope that the memories and experiences...whether easily recalled or brought back by photos or stories...make a lasting and impression on them.

"...I have seen more than I remember and remember more than I have seen."
-Benjamin Disraeli

Monday, July 22, 2013

This and That

Ivan got back home from camp on Saturday and yesterday we celebrated his birthday since he was at camp when the 17th arrived.

I'll have a post for his birthday celebrations in a few days.

Jenelle was so happy when Ivan returned!
They have been such good buddies this summer...she had a hard time the day he left.
This picture was taken on the day he left for camp.
Now they're back together!
Outside it is HOT HOT HOT!
Flowers and plants don't seem to mind as long as we keep them well watered.
Jenelle and I planted these Zinnias from seed and they are so pretty at the front of the house!
The first harvest of my two large lavender plants yielded 10 bundles!
They are hanging in the basement to dry.
I'm hoping there's still time for a second wave of flowers.

Desk update: is so close to being in Hannah's room!
It's all finished and we are just letting it set in the garage this week to allow the paint to completely dry.
I would love to say how I did this all myself...buuuuut...Donald did a major amount of the work!
I'm so thankful (because it was the hardest part too)!
He sanded it completely - even taking apart some of the pieces to do a cleaner job.
He stained the top - love the look of it - and put the primer on.
I ended up painting the body of the desk and the drawers with a white color Hannah chose.
Hannah and I will chose some hardware this week and by the end of the week she'll have a gorgeous piece of furniture in her room!

And finally, Ivan has graded for his purple belt in karate! 
He hadn't planned on it because he wasn't sure he was ready, but his Sempei said he was...and he was!
Good job Ivan! 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Boulder Cave Outing

Been there.
Done that.
Doing it again.

It starts with the obligatory chipmunk that always seems to greet you at the start of the path.
"I'm so adorable!  Maybe you'll see more of my kind, so keep on going!"

This time, when we got up near the cave, we went a little further over big rocks and fallen trees to see a secret waterfall!
It's probably not that secret since there were other people looking at it, but I'd never seen it before.
Ivan led the way.
 Found it!

So pretty!
And cold!
Ivan's actually stood under the waterfall during a challenge with his karate class last year.
Graffiti - even in this beautiful place.
(but at least its kinda cute)
It was a really hot day and going into the cave felt wonderful!
We walked it twice, had lunch and headed home.
Made it just in time as a school bus full of kids had pulled up when we were finishing.
See ya later cave!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

She's 14!

14 on the 14th!
Soon to be a high school freshman!
Lots of exciting changes for Hannah!

When she woke up...she found herself behind a crepe paper door!

Her cake represented her first love right now...MUSIC!
It was a coconut cake and I mixed black sugar flakes into the coconut flakes along the sides.

Books, mugs, room decor, food (yep!) and finally...a phone!!
A sleepover with a couple of friends to follow this week...
All together it makes for a "Happy Hannah Birthday!"

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Best Fruit on Earth!

Ivan and I are in total agreement on this.
The watermelon is the most delicious fruit!
If you get a good one...nothing tastes better!
I usually cut it up into pieces for eating, but Ivan always needs a slice to eat the "old fashioned" way.
Of course you can hardly find any seeds in them anymore, so there's not a lot of spitting, but they are just as messy on your face.

This day I found Ivan under the shade tree and Pounce right there!
He's not trying to get watermelon...just attention.

Must taste good!

 And one more picture...
Because it reminded me so much of this one from three years ago!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Summer Randomness

Some days are busy...and some days aren't!
I suppose that's the way it always goes in the summer.
The kids probably like the slower days better, but I'd rather have more going on.
Hannah has finished with her week of camp, and Ivan will go next week.
Jenelle spends a lot of her time with two friends next door.
We have some more things planned...some we'll get to and some we won't!

We got to our summer list a bit later this time...but here it is!
We've done a few things so far...

Our two little blueberry bushes produced a small, but delicious crop!
Donald convenced Jenelle to try one and she actually likes them!
Work continues on a desk I bought for Hannah's room a LONG time ago!
Note to self...NEVER buy second hand furniture that has been painted black! Never!

And I am adding a few pretty things to my Etsy shop.
I had them for sale in a consignment shop in the Seattle area, but they weren't doing well, so I decided to have them back.
I'd rather stock my Etsy shop than have them laying around being handled by everyone, but not purchased by anyone.

They are the usual lavender sachet sets...
 Plus some more lavender drawer liners!
This is just a small selection...there's loads more so feel free to visit my shop!
Just click here!


Saturday, July 6, 2013


Jenelle loves her viola!
An opportunity came up for her to try out for our town's Youth Symphony group.
While Granny and Grandpa were here, she had a ten minute audition that went very well.
She was told that she would receive information in the mail in about a week.

Jenelle is not good at waiting for anything!

A week came and went and she was getting very frustrated each day that the mail came and no letter arrived.

Finally, one day, a letter addressed to Jenelle arrived...

She cautiously opened the letter...

Anxiously read the letter...

And got the answer she had hoped for!!!

Happy girl!!!

Congratulations Jenelle!
We are proud of you!