Sunday, October 28, 2012

My First Horsey Ride

Family is a wonderful thing! This past summer my sister Tarja and her three children, Reagan, Kamryn, and Ethan visited. They love coming up north from California to enjoy the "woodsie" Pacific Northwest. One of the activities on their "to do" list while visiting was to go horseback riding. Luckily Paul's brother, Bryan and his family live on a nice little farm rather close. Yay! This was a first for Reina, and I think all of the kids!

The kids were anticipating their rides so I took a quick picture of what appear like "naturals" at farm life. Cousins Logan and Lauren (Bryan and Wendy's girls) are naturals of course.

Kamryn brushing the horse

Aunt Wendy grew up on a farm in Nevada and was basically raised on a horse. She was involved in farming, 4H, and barrel racing. She showed ya'll the basics of horse care. Ok, I just wanted to say ya'll, even if it wasn't following the laws of grammar.

Reagan looked as though she had been riding for years. Very comfortable. You could see the drive in her eyes.

Ethan enjoyed the horses, until Reina's older cousins Brecken and Degan came home and started playing video games


Reina wasn't scared of the horse at all! I expected she would be for a few minutes at least, but she was a brave little 3 year old!

I think my sister, Tarja was the most excited for this adventure as she literally squealed with delight when I broke her the news that we would go horse-back riding.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Loon Lake 2012

Reina age 3 1/2, Baelor age 6 3/4 months

Yes, this post is months past due! I've been so crazy busy since our Loon Lake family trip that I am finally getting around to choosing photos and posting my favorites. It was hard to pick so sorry for the picture-heavy post. I feel like pictures are a great window to the experiences had.

We started off our annual Loon Lake trip the last week of July to my brother, Teem and his wife Emily and their children's house. It's great that their home is roomy enough for ALL of us, with plenty of fun things to do like picking raspberries and strawberries, basketball, hiking the mountain literally across the street, jumping on the trampoline, adoring the gorgeous garden, eating Emily's always scrumptious meals, or other lawn sports. 

Can you tell that we all enjoy Honda Odysseys? This was definitely the most popular color for this edition. We were hoping for a different color but you get what you get and don't throw a fit.

We were among the first to arrive, so Reina was thrilled to spend a day in Miia's walk-in closet that was literally full of nothing but princess costumes that they thoroughly enjoyed! By the end of Day 1 just about every Disney princess was tried and trampled on the floor.

Before we headed out of Coeur d'Alene to Loon Lake, we took advantage of the hot evening weather and went to Lake Coeur d'Alene for a sunset dip and cliff jumping. The older kids went off some high jumps and Teem, Richard, Gabe, Emily and myself went off a rather huge cliff that I couldn't get a picture of. I debate whether I was going to go off it since it was out of my comfort zone, but a large party boat driving by cheered me on, so of course I couldn't wuss out. After that initial jump I did a couple more before it was completely dark outside. Kinda felt like high school!

One of the activities that is always a must at Loon Lake is fishing. It was a hit among the boys, big and small...even the girls got in on it (well, not the mommies so much). Reina even hooked her first sun fish!

The guys went on an all-day fishing trip to a different lake in the area. They also took an overnighter on the boat doing "night fishing" to catch different fish that are more active at night. This requires special lights, bate and sweaters :) We just got to enjoy the fruits protein of their labor.

Reina with cousin Heleena
 The weather was gorgeous so we had lots of time to spend in the sun and on my brother's powerful boat! This year I wasn't pregnant so I got to really ride "hard" on the tube and even tried knee-boarding! I loved how I was able to do it right away and even tried a few tricks.

Gabe and Teem against Paul and Richard
 Reina couldn't get enough of tubing! She had an open-mouth laugh the whole time she was on the tube. In fact, when I would watch her from the boat she kept scaring me because everytime she went over a bump she would tap the person sitting next to her and laugh. I just wanted her to hold on with both hands and not go overboard! Luckily she never did...although both mommy and daddy did. I was videoing the guys on the tubes for a while as they were trying to knock each other off and since nothing special was really happening I turned it off. I turned it off just before Paul flies like 10 feet in the air landing in the water. It would have been replayed over and over on the camera. darn. I'm actually a bit of a dare-devil myself and would jump from one tube to the other while being towed.

Richard and Sanni "against" Teem and Aliisa
Ashton, Aunt Tarja, Heleena, Miia, Aunt Emily w/ Finn, Reina

Baelor even got a ride on the boat...I don't think he really had any opinion of the matter.

Why is a naked baby bottom so cute?

Fun in the sun with cousins: Reina, Miia, Kordell, Luukas, Riley, Kaija, Ethan, Kamryn, Reagan

Snuggling in daddy's cot

With growing families we are really starting to outgrow the lake house. So most of the guys have been kicked out of the house to sleep in cots on the spacious covered porch....or if you are allergic to cats in the RV.

  The dock near the shore got lots of use for jumping and casting fishing poles.

On the count of three! Kaija, Reagan and Kamryn

Cousin Reagan could not get enough of Baelor! It was really nice to have a babysitter to entertain him while I was busy...relaxing.

My brother brought a crazy homemade tennis ball launcher that shot hundreds of feet into the water. Whoever could catch a tennis ball first won a Magnum ice cream bar. I think Gabe (family friend) was the winner.

We even managed to get a purdy family picture, thanks Sanni! We look forward to yet another great trip next year!