Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Last Loon Lake Trip?

Loon Lake has been an annual family event for 7 years now! Wow! We've started with just a few kids and now it has grown to 14 and one in the oven (my sister Sanni). Situations have made us rethink our destination next year i.e.: outgrowing the place and serious allergies to the owner's cats.

Before we even arrived to Loon Lake, we stayed at my brother's house a couple nights and enjoyed a really great bike ride along Lake Coeur d'Alene. This was twelve miles round trip. It was very hot! But the halfway mark was a local lake resort where we enjoyed swimming and a cute little ice cream shop. The kids chose crazy blue and pink cotton candy and bubble gum flavors. I enjoyed some black licorice ice cream. I think us Finns really enjoy black licorice anything!

On the ride back from swimming, my brother and I couldn't help but pick buckets full of black cherries that were just aching to be picked on the side of the bike trail. I wish I would have gotten pictures of how heavily hung the branches were. Imagine a dairy cow about to burst in need of a good milking. Nursing mothers know what I mean when you've gone too long.

Hand picked, pitted, and made cherry pie! Phew, that was quite laborous!

Reina rode on the back of Paul's bike on a tandem bike trailer. Wow did it make the bike ride so pleasant and FAST! Baelor fell fast asleep on the ride back as his head kept jogging on my tush for many miles.

Before we headed out to Loon Lake, the boys (including Baelor) went to motocross. I was nervous it would be too loud for his little ears, but I've never gone so I have to trust that it wasn't.
We also got to see the finished project that my brother has been very attentive to. An idea came to him one day and this was the idea:

Hawaiian Lion Shave Ice

Not only is it a fun little side-job, it helps employ kids in the ward! It took him many hours of hard work to get it looking so nice and new. I just wish it wasn't so dark when I took the pictures.

Loon Lake was filled with the norm: a family picture, lots of swimming in some 100 degree days, fishing, tubing and knee/wake boarding, eating and games.

I always try to stay active when we go to Loon Lake. I really only run on trails when I am either at Loon Lake or in Coeur d'Alene. I'm hoping my ipod was correct with my slightly over 8 minute mile. Not bad for never running? Of course us girls did Zumba some mornings on the back patio.

Best Buds (Cousin Karter and Baelor)
One evening after dinner we had a really great lighting and thunder storm displayed across the lake!

This year the guys had their annual fishing trip and they did a day of mountain biking. We girls decided to do something a little more daring for our day this year. Instead of watching a Twilight movie, Emily signed up herself, Tarja and me for a Mud Run! It was a blast! And kinda stinky! In fact, I kept smelling something like poop when putting Reina to bed that night. I hunted and hunted to find where the smell was coming from...yeah, it was me. I guess washing in the lake didn't do any good! We had a great time doing the short (5k) obstacle race complete with huge mud pits, inflatable slides and high walls to climb over. Sanni couldn't participate, her being pregnant and all, but she and my Mom did come to cheer us on.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Remembering Mount Saint Helens

It has been a while since I've been able to post anything; our hard drive on our computer was quitting. Luckily Paul saved our stuff and got it transferred over to a new one. Phew! It's always been a fear of mine. Anyway, we started July with a wonderful Independence Day camping trip with my sister Sanni's family and their friends, the Rafns that we've also known for years up near Mt. St. Helens.


The weather was just perfect for a nice camping weekend at Seaquest State Park. The kids had a fun time playing near the campsite and at a little park, and just exploring the surroundings of the campground. Even cousin Karter came to hang out with Baelor for a few hours

It has been YEARS since I have really visited Mt. St. Helens from the side that the eruption happened. I think last time I was five? Just the ride to the viewpoint was beyond amazing and I couldn't stop taking pictures from the car. So if these pictures look good with a snapshot camera in a moving car, imagine how the view was in person! I think our Heavenly Father spent a little extra time creating the Pacific Northwest.

My sister has the same car so this is what we look like driving through St. Helens

We watched a presentation from a ranger who remembers the day this happened as a girl.

Of course we went on a nice hike and enjoyed the view of the mountain and flowers. I heard zero complaints from any of the kids- all little outdoor adventurers.

We feel blessed to be so close to beauty and so close to family. Couldn't ask for much more than this!