Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August 3.0 - Final Days of Freedom

August got away from me on the blog but not in real life. We've been liven' it up in anticipation of Grace starting kindergarten. Kindergarten these days is serious business. All day. Every day. Life will never be the same once she enters those doors.

But before we cross over to the realm of living our lives based on the school year calendar, let's take a look back at August.

We hit the pool with our cousins as often as possible! 

Charlotte continues to practice writing her name. 

I love how she "squares" her "C!" 

Grace is super excited to learn to read and has been devouring #1 level books. We cleaned out the library on this particular occasion and have recently moved on to a few #2s!

Mid-month we had to head to Seattle for some doctor appointments. Court wasn't able to join us so it was a total girls' trip. And it is true what Cyndi Lauper says…girls just wanna have fun!

And fun we did have!

We hit our favorite park near Lake Washington. 

We danced in the waves

and splurged on sweet treats!

This is how much Grace loves Seattle!

I don't blame her…especially during the month of August. There is no place better!

We met Auntie Molly and Kevin for dinner. Charlotte accessorized herself. 

We discovered - quite by accident - a wooded park. It even had a "trail!" We "hiked" it in anticipation of some real hiking to come later in the month. 

Day 2 in Seattle and Charlotte collapsed. 

Grace on the other hand was energized and couldn't fall asleep. 
So I gave her a sewing project to keep her busy…and quiet. 

The next day, we met up with our favorite Seattle friends for a day at the beach! 
This was seriously SO MUCH fun! This is definitely on repeat for next year.

The tide was out upon our arrival which made for great digging and exploring. 

You could tell we were from out of town because all the Seattle kids were clothed while my two rocked their swimsuits. Not exactly Hawaii weather - or beaches for that matter - but it didn't seem to slow them down!

We squeezed in another park meeting with a sorority sister and her three children but a minor accident shortly into our playdate caused them to leave early. Thus, no pictures. Which is really too bad! Note to self: Take photos first. Hang out second. 

And as quick as it came, it was time to leave Seattle. I was REALLY sad to go. I had SO much fun being with just Grace and Charlotte for a few days! They were so, so, so good! We went out for every meal. We left each morning at 8 in the morning and got home about 8 pm. We soaked up every moment and it is a little trip I'll never forget. Especially, since my time with Grace is about to drastically change. 

Home from Seattle, but not for long, we headed to Idaho for some R&R with Court and his parents. 

The weather was amazing. 

So we hit up the playground...

and a cool art fair. They even had a free hat-making class for kids!

The hast were custom fit to each of their heads...

and then they each got to decorate their hat!

Lunch at our favorite joint. Grace drew a picture for their wall. 

It's a moose!

Court packed a picnic and we listened to the symphony perform while we stuffed our faces with
salami, cheese and pate. My kind of picnic!

We harassed some ducks...

but the ducks were onto us. 

Sunsets in the mountains are spectacular.

We took the girls on their first hike (that didn't involve a back pack or some sort of carrying contraption). 

It went well and we were encouraged to do another one before our trip ended!

But first, we needed to jump on this thing!
By "we" I mean Grace and Charlotte. My heart drops into the pit of my stomach on a swing set. 

My phone ran out of batteries so I wasn't able to get any video but talk about LOVE!!
They LOVED this!

We celebrated Court's birthday by going out to dinner. 

Apparently, eating outside on a glorious evening and having to entertain yourself with a sticker book is exhausting. Oh to be a kid again!

Back to the playground. Upon arrival, there was a group of boys playing with a skateboard with no wheels. Grace and Charlotte were fascinated. 

They slowly crept closer. 

Over the course of twenty minutes, they ended up standing right next to the boys just waiting to be acknowledged. In true form, the boys completely ignored them! ha ha!

Dark clouds started moving in so we quickly fed the horses...

The heavens unloaded with lightning, thunder and rain shortly thereafter. Power was knocked out. 

Mountain storms are pretty too.

We snuck in one more hike. 

It was so pretty and it was fun because a lot of the streams and creeks had to be crossed by walking over rocks or a fallen tree. 

They got tired before we hit the "turn around" point.

But they sang and walked the whole thing themselves!

OH!! At lunch, a woman carried this orange purse and I REALLY REALLY REALLY like it! I've been trying to track it like a blood hound but with no luck! If you know who makes it, please let me know!!

Time to head home. 

Grace tends to pack like me - the opposite of light!

A picture out my kitchen window…yes, that's a tornado! 
Like "we aren't in Kansas anymore" tornado. 
Umm…scary. I thought the only "natural" disasters we had around here were fires and Hanford blowing up. Now I have to worry about tornadoes!

I knew they were close…but apparently even closer than I realized!

The girls were excited to attend Cousin Zachary birthday party!

Everybody got two smacks on the piƱata! So perfect!

Once again, they turned the slide into a water slide. 
BIG HIT with the kids!

We got to hang out and swim with our Seattle cousins who we don't get to see nearly enough!
Uncle Greg's roller coaster pool ride was Grace's favorite…much to Greg's chagrin!

Canon balling the kids!

Real mature!

Triple canon balling?!?!
No words!

It's no secret the kitchen isn't my happy place.
But it seems it might be for Charlotte. So it looks like I'll be hanging out there more…with her!

Back to school hair cuts!

Don't tell Charlotte, but her hair cut got totally messed up. Nothing like how I wanted. But what she doesn't know will keep the peace!

I don't think she can take a photo these days without spitting out her tongue. 

Dreading taking the big dogs to the vet. To wear everyone out, I ran them ALL right before we had to go and it worked like a charm! Best vet visit ever!!

The grapes are coming right along! Harvest won't be long now!

Back to Seattle! This time with my side of the family! We hit the locks and longed to be in one of the boats instead of watching from the sidelines. We did get to see the salmon going up the fish ladder though. Almost as cool as being on a boat! ha!

Grace finally found a tree she could climb!

Naturally, Charlotte was in hot pursuit. 

Shopping, eating and splurging on dessert sums up our trip nicely!

Grace "hates" cake! 

Three generations in Seattle. Court and my brother were able to join us for a very special birthday celebration for my dad but of course I got no pictures! I never manage to get pictures on birthdays. It couldn't possibly be the celebratory champagne, could it?!

Home again ready to buckle down for school. By the end of this week, we'll have officially closed one book of the parenting journey and opened another. Hard to believe. *sigh*

Hope you are enjoying these last few days of freedom summer!