Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Labor Day

We had a modge-podge of events for Labor Day this year. Some of our plans suddenly changed, so we went with it and had a great long weekend as a family.
We went to Kumari-con, an anime/sci-fi/geek convention for teenagers who have nothing better to do with their time. It takes place every year and we just happened upon it a few years ago. Now we go to see the outlandish costumes and awkward teenager-ness. Baelor did not want to get down from daddy's shoulders as his eyes were scanning the strangeness with mouth gaping open. He just didn't know what to make of it.

Ezio from Assassin's Creed stalking his next victim (Paul!)
Here are some of our favorite costumes:

Peter pan and his shadow and a Moogle from the Final Fantasy video game series (Paul's favorite game growing up)
I had just been whining that we didn't get to go to the beach this summer as we usually do. Well, plans changed and we managed to get a day in at the beach! The weather couldn't have been better! We went to Pacific City and just let the sand and water determine our fun.


Uncle Teem brought his boogie board so we had a blast taking turns riding down the sand dune. The hill is so huge that we only used a portion of it to go up and down...very tiring! Luukas won for the longest run with a massive tumble at the end. After seeing his fall, I let him keep his win.

We made it, sweatily and all, to the top of the sand dune
Reina, of course, couldn't get enough of her cousin Miia.

Baelor was inventive when he decided it was easier to bring the water to the sand castle via boogie board.

First, Baelor ponders what to do (he ponders with his tongue sticking out). Then he yells at the waves and laughs when they crash.

Our bellies were full after Uncle Teem cooked the crab claws they caught the previous day. Yum!

The last day of the weekend we went to our first ever Renaissance Festival. Paul has always wanted to go to one. We originally were planning on dressing up in Medieval clothing, but Paul wasn't sure what the normal attire is to one of these events. I totally would have but seeing that the weather was nearly 90 degrees I gave in and went comfy. Reina was the only one who arrived in costume.

 Reina was impressed with the random fairies that gave her magical tokens, but she was not very impressed with the "realistic" mermaids who were obviously not real. There was no fooling her.

Sadly, most everything cost extra money on top of the entrance fee to do anything. Reina really wanted to do the one ride there- a man-powered swing. The smile was worth the $3.

The jousting event was hot. I don't think that the terrible English accents helped, or the staged "winner" of the joust. I think the most enjoyable part were the snacks I packed while watching. Wah-wah. (low trumpet sound)

Rather than buying over-priced snacks there, we drove through the McDonald's drive thru and got some sundaes and sodas to cool down. I have this need to feel accomplished so I got home and canned a box of pears someone at church gave me.

Okay, so the Renaissance Festival was not what we envisioned, but there were some cool shops to look at and random entertainment. Let's just say it was not like jumping into a Medieval-themed movie set. Really a great weekend we enjoyed together before Reina's first day of school!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Odds and Ends of Summer Fun

Now that school is starting, I shall quickly reminisce about the smaller memories that soaked up our summer fun.

Trampoline games
Paul's brother Matt and their family came to visit for a few weeks this summer. Reina of course enjoyed playing nearly every day with cousin Madeleine who is the same age. I only managed to get one picture of all of them together out back eating ice cream!?!

 We had some really hot weather this summer...easy 90-100 degree days which called for lots of water fun.

Esther Short Park Splash Pad

Jaden's Birthday way back in June when the weather was still slightly chilly

Cottonwood beach is a 15 minute drive to the "beach" (Columbia River). It's great when you want to get away but only have a couple of hours AND the water is much warmer than the coast.

Yes, that's Reina leaping over a fire pit. NO fire.
As a reward for passing off her box of Bob reading books, Reina got to choose what that reward would be. She chose to do the trampoline thing at the mall she's been eyeing and go to Dizzy Castle.

Baelor got another hair cut...I was snapping the picture while Paul was cleaning him up. I promise those are not my hairy arms. I can't cut all the super blonde hair off though- too precious!

I cooked some Kokane salmon and Rainbow trout that Paul had caught in eastern Washington. Some of the best fish I have ever had! Wish I could remember the exact marinade I threw together!

Reina and I took a day for just the two of us to go to the Clark County Fair. It was the first day with my new Galaxy s5 phone so I had fun figuring out how to use it :/

She still reminds me how much fun it was. And it was.

Since our first real hikes with the kids in the Olympic National Forest and Mt. St. Helens went so well, we thought it would be fun to take them to one of our favorite hikes in the Columbia Gorge called Oneonta Falls. It is a very short, but sketchy hike. I say sketchy because it is not the most ideal with kids. You have to climb over a huge pile of fallen logs and to get to the waterfall at the end you have to nearly swim in the ice cold mountain water. Eh, we were up for the challenge! Paul was in charge of Baelor (i.e. keep him safe in the backpack) while I was in charge of every careful step Reina took.

The logs definitely made me a little uneasy seeing that if Reina slipped and I wasn't right there with perfect footing to catch her she could slip down 10 feet. I really don't panic in situations during them, just realize how risky things are AFTER. The hike was just as pretty as we remember, except now people have added little rock sculptures. So cute!

Remember how I said that you have to nearly swim at one point to get to the end? Well, I couldn't hold the backpack (to keep the camera dry) and Reina. Daddy was such a daddy to take both of them and trudge along probably making him stay longer in the water than if he did it alone. I couldn't help but take a picture.

We made it to the end! The kids LOVED it. Even Baelor would laugh when the freezing cold water crept up the hiking backpack.