Noah's improving on his lawn mowing skills. Ava and Grant come right out and tell our friends they should hire Noah to mow their lawns. Ha! He still needs a little more practice.
My sweet mother sent me apricot nectar in the mail, and the dry ice wasn't evaporated yet, so the kids had a fun few minutes playing with it (they put some in the pool too).
Added soap to the dry ice.
We were on a s'mores kick for awhile and this was my favorite combination (graham cracker, nutella, roasted marshmallow and Costco vanilla ice cream). OH MY!!! Of course we use the gas burners in the house to roast our marshmallows.
This dove was being extra friendly one afternoon. It sat on the fence like that for probably an hour. Even when we got close it wouldn't fly away. Finally it got annoyed and flew to the neighbors roof.
I started (this is about as far as I got all summer) tearing out my garden boxes this summer (I am going to rebuild them and have them go the opposite direction and have more of them, but smaller), so the kids have commandeered the dirt as their play spot. They were making marble runs with pipe. Love when they get creative outside with each other.
Spent every free moment working on the cabin. Mainly pouring EVERY counter-top with cement. We did pour-in-place counter-tops, so I hand troweled them all. Adam did all the mixing and dumping (except the one above, I did that all by myself because Adam was gone - insert crazy woman emoji) and I did all the finish work. I'm really happy with how they turned out.
Adam was rafting with his Priest group, so I decided to take the kids to the cabin so I could pour more cement. Well, when we arrived the power was off and during the night all the fire alarms went off (you can read more about it on the cabin blog). I didn't want to deal with anything else at the cabin, so we decided to pack up and head home. We figured we had all day, so we took a LONG detour and explored that area of the state a little more. Man, it's beautiful up there. First, we stopped in Mt. Shasta city and went to the head waters of the upper Sacramento river. This is the spot where the water begins for the Sacramento river. It's quite fascinating. You can read a little about it HERE. The water coming out now, is from snow that fell on Mt. Shasta about 50 years ago! Crazy - it takes that long for the melted snow to creep thru the huge mountain and eventually out. People come and go all day filling jugs and water bottles directly from the stream. Supposedly it's the freshest water you can get. The kids were having fun slurping up water right from the stream.
There are cool paths and bridges that wind thru the streams and forests, so we did a little exploring.
The headwaters are in a park, so we found a playground (and lot's of high hippies) too.
We continued on the road for about 20 minutes and made it to the first McCloud fall.
The water is pretty cold, but crystal clear.
Quite a few fishermen there. It was fun to watch them fish, because you can see the bate and the fish eating it right in front of you.
Drove another 5 minutes to the second McCloud fall. This is the prettiest of them all. We were above the falls and did the hike to the 3rd fall. We found the way to the bottom, but the kids were starving, so we didn't do the hike to the bottom. Next time!
The 3rd McCloud fall. We didn't hike down to this one either. The trail keeps you on top and follows the river the whole way. Beautiful area!!
Above the 3rd fall.
Found a safe spot for the kids to get in the water above the 3rd fall, but it was FREEZING (I'm guessing in the low 40's). Grant and Noah jumped in just to say they did it and got right back out.
Got back to the car and headed to Burney falls (about 45 minutes from McCloud).
Stopped at the visitor center first and then luckily found some food at the little store in the park.
All the waterfalls we saw that day were right off the road. No long hikes required, but each one had hiking along the river if you're up for hiking.
Burney falls - incredible. There are some awesome photographs of this waterfall online that do it way more justice than my pathetic photography skills.
We hiked down to the bottom. The falls are so powerful, there is a constant mist at the bottom and it's pretty loud.
Grant was feeding this squirrel. Probably not legal to feed the animals potato chips.
Now that the kids had food in their bellies, they felt up to a hike, so we did the loop hike around the falls.
Above the falls were pretty too. The kids played in the water here for a few minutes.
Trying to find the snake Noah saw.
I see it!
Noah is my sign reader. He likes to stop and read all the information signs. He and grandpa Bruce can go to museums together. :) After Burney falls we headed home. We went right past Mt. Lassen N.P., but it was getting late and we still had 3 hours of driving to do, so we decided to save that for another day. We saw SO MANY amazing places in one day. We need to do it all again so Adam can see all these places. Who wants to join us?
One morning I could hear Ava and Grant in the garage messing around, and when I came out to see what was going on, I saw this scene. Ava was putting on a 'concert' for our neighbor. She had on a 4th of July skirt, a black shirt and pink flannel on top, Grant's baseball cap and cowgirl boots. She had a bucket and cooler and sticks and was pounding them, along with hitting Grant's helmet as a symbol. Oh man, that girl cracks me up sometimes. Of course, Doug and Linda loved the early morning entertainment.
One of our adventure days - went to a nature preserve. The hiking trails lead to the American river, so naturally, we found the water and had to get in. Do you see a recurring theme with this family?......if there is water, we will find it and get in it.
One of our trips to work on the cabin. We found a fun place for cliff jumping. Grant joined this time.
Grant learned after this jump to put his arms down before hitting the water. :)
Noah dunking his dad.
Successful day of playing.
School started middle of August - BOOHOO. Luckily, they had enough 'appropriate' (no holes, stains, etc.) clothes in their closets that I didn't do any school shopping again. They all got a new pair of shoes though.
Same backpacks as last year. Yeah! They all needed haircuts, but they begged me not to cut their hair until after school started. Not sure of their reasoning.
They all got great teachers again, so it should be a great school year.
Much needed haircuts for everyone. I think this happened after Seattle though.
Mt. Rainer from the plane. We took the kids out of school for a few days (right after they started) and went to Seattle for Adam's 20th high school reunion. He's old! I was kind of surprised he wanted to go, because he didn't even graduate with this class (he graduated the year before, because his family was moving to Utah). I think he mainly wanted an excuse to see his old stomping grounds and hopefully see some friends he hadn't seen in years.
We were spending the weekend with Adam's friend, Jens, so on our way to Cle Elum we stopped at Snoqualmie Falls near Issaquah Washington.
Did the hike to the bottom of the falls.
Of course, the kids immediately started playing in the water.
Had lunch in a tiny town at a greasy dairy freeze.
We stayed at some 'cabins' (they were amazing and HUGE 10k+ sqft.) in Cle Elum with the Jensen family. The houses were on the golf course, so the boys were practicing their swings. :) They have 5 kids and all about the same age as mine, so the kids hit it off right away. They had a blast with the Jensen family for a few days.
Came back to Seattle for the reunion festivities. They did a family activity and tour of the school during the day and then an evening thing at a country club. After a few awkward hello's to people we didn't know, Emily (Jen's wife) and I sat down and just ate the food and people watched. The Duce's (Moose and Connie's friends and Adam's old stake president) watched our kids for us the night of the reunion. They were super nice and spoiled the kids.
I told Adam it was probably a good thing I didn't know him in high school, because I probably would have thought he was a weirdo. Adam's old choir room.
Jens and Adam. These two had a great time catching up and reminiscing for a few days.
Where Adam was on the diving team.
Class of '96 time capsule.
Hit up Ivar's a couple times. Best fish and chips and clam chowder for pretty cheap. Win-Win.
Really didn't take too many pictures this trip. Surprise. Quite by accident, the hotel we stayed at was right next door to one of the furniture stores where Adam (and Moose) used to work. Now it's something entirely different.
Tried to find Adam's eagle project at the Mukilteo pier. Not successful at finding it.
Went to Adam's old ward on Sunday. Almost everyone he knew has moved. Ida and Vern Peterson (Adam has told me a lot about them over the years) wanted to have us over for dinner after church. We told her it would be a lot of kids and it's like having a circus around, so she said she would just do something simple and run with the circus theme. That lady is amazing. She had her back deck and kitchen all decorated like the circus. She made hot dogs and hamburgers and TONS of sides to go with it. Adam told me she used to do this all the time for the youth in the ward (even when her kids weren't at home anymore) when he was growing up. He told me about one time she told him and his friends to come over for a little dinner. When they showed up, she had the whole evening planned around a murder mystery dinner/event.
Ava found their cat, of course. It's a Bengal cat, so it looks like a tiger.
Adam and Ida having fun playing duets together.
Ida had all 8 kids hypnotized by the player piano.
Jens, Ida, Adam and Vern
All of us at the Petersons. Jens and Emily had to get back home, so we had to say good-bye and then went back to the hotel. We really enjoyed spending a few days with these guys. Such a good family.
Monday we went exploring around Whidbey Island. Foggy fairy ride over, but it cleared up later.
We drove up the island to Fort Casey and explored there for awhile.
Played at the beach for awhile. I wanted ALL that driftwood.
We still had a few hours to kill before our flight, so we went to the Space Needle Park for awhile.
The kids went crazy at this park for awhile and then we flew back to California. Adam had to work in the Bay the next morning, so the kids and I took an Uber home, and he drove to the Bay. Adam was in Boston the whole week before we went to Seattle too. So, it was a busy end to August for Adam.