Friday, September 28, 2012

The places we swam this summer

You know how I said it was a lazy summer?  Basically all we did was swim.  Here in Spokane, you can swim for about 2.5 months and so my motto was “If I can do it (museum, hike, nap, clean, read, make dinner) October through June, then I’m bagging it in favor of swimming.”  And that’s just what we did.

A few of our favorite spots:

The Taylor’s pool (fabulous ward members who open their pool at designated time for anyone who wants to come)


Whitworth Aquatic center (for a triathlon!)



Natural Bridges Beach in Santa Cruz (unbelievably fun…possibly my favorite day of the whole summer)


Swimming at Girls Camp!



Grandma Nut’s pool for the the last time (sob!)


Doug and Marcy’s pool!


Boulder Beach at Silverwood:



The Daines Lake Cabin (my kids love it here so much they’ve written essays naming it their favorite place on earth.  Seriously.)


The Sheneman’s backyard lakefront (they are so generous with their home and beach):


Every ounce of sunscreen, load of beach towels, messed up hair-do was worth it.  We sucked the life out of our warm Spokane summer!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

We all have our gifts

Rescued this little gem from the trash yesterday:


(Yes, #5 does say “partying”.) 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Camps we went to this summer

As I’ve stated previously, I was all about the low-key summer.  About 2 weeks into it, I started worrying that I hadn’t signed my kids up for any camps, forgetting that between church and scout camps, we would have plenty of chances for the Summer Camp Experience.

Jane was first with her Activity Girls Day Camp.  It’s a church sponsored camp for girls 8-12 years old and every year it blows me away with it’s darling-ness.  The theme was Ever Remember, using the theme of an Emergency Room/Medical/Hospital throughout the whole thing.  It was lovely.  I volunteered the first day and loved watching Jane play games, craft, hang out with friends, learn Gospel truths.  So great.


Gabe went next.  This year was a Mega-Scouting event that resulted in a multi-stake, thousands of boys scout camp.  Because Gabe was a few weeks away from turning 12, he was able to participate.  They had TONS of activities (obstacle courses, merit badge opportunities, sports, swimming) and they had some good devotional and spiritual challenges to meet during the week as well.  They’ve been featured in a few local newspapers (Gabe is actually in some pictures) and everyone is pretty excited they got to be a part of the whole thing.  Ryan was able to volunteer for 2-3 days as well. 





Emma and I went to Young Women’s Camp again this year and again, we loved it.  I was a Level Leader and, while it was more work than I’ve ever done in the past, I’m always so grateful for the joy I feel as I serve.  I’m also amazed at how mentally/emotionally restful it is to just worry about ONE THING (the 3rd level girls), rather than FORTY-TWO THINGS (bills, visiting teaching, discipline, cooking, cleaning, book club, blogs, volunteering, etc. etc.).  It’s a lovely break for me. 

My level:



Emma at scripture time:



Ryan came up for bishop’s night and we had to do this little skit:Girlscamp3

Mom and Emma (bishop’s night, when the girls get silly):



The camp is so phenomenally organized and we had a such a gorgeous location, that Emma also had a great time.  She loved the crafts and the swimming and got certified in all of her camp stuff.  It’s fun to pass her and get a hug throughout the day and watch her interact with the girls. 

We LOVE Young Women’s Camp!


All of this happened in the first two weeks of August, which was crazy, but we all enjoyed our time away and felt enriched by our experiences.  (That was the most cliché-d sentence ever.  This is the problem with trying to blog a whole summer in a month.  You forget all the interesting, funny details and are left with the lovely, slightly white-washed memories.  Too bad.)


Friday, September 21, 2012

Haircuts we got this summer

Okay, there’s really only one haircut to discuss:  Emma’s.

For a few months prior, Emma had been talking about getting a pixie cut.  I’m all in favor of women changing their looks--not thinking that they are only pretty because they have LONG hair--but I thought it was a pretty drastic thing for a middle-schooler to do.  So I thought I’d let her really think it out and initiate it if she really wanted it. 

She didn’t stop bringing it up and, the day before school got out for the summer, my very talented friend/hairdresser Melissa cut it off.  She was going for the Keira Knightley pixie look (link here) and I think they got very close:


She loves it and has done a good job making it look cute.  She gets lots of compliments and I basically think it’s super brave and confident of her to cut her hair off at an age when most girls equate Long hair with Prettiness.  (She definitely got some slightly negative feedback, from males old and young, but she didn’t seem to let it bother her.)

She’s not sure how long she’ll keep it like this, but we, of course, think she’d darling no matter what.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Visitors we had this summer


See?  I came back.  Took me a few more days than I planned, but I am doing this…

So…when you live in one of the corners of the continental United States, you tend to not get very many visitors.  (When we lived in Utah, I think we had people in our guest room every 3 weeks.  Seriously.)  But this year we LUCKED out.  We had so many different people head our way and it was such a treat!

Visitors #1:  The Seeley family

My uncle Cade and his wife Stacy and kids were so nice to take a little detour on their way to Canada at the end of June.  (We impose on their hospitality quite a bit when we travel to Utah, so I was so happy to repay them.)

Unfortunately June weather in Spokane in crazy and we went from 80 and sunny to 50s and rainy in one day and then back to 80s.  We had to be creative and flexible as we rearranged our plans to match the weather.  See if you can guess which activities were Rainy Day and which were Sunny Day?

Local farm team baseball game:

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Games--both families are big board-gamers:

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Coeur d’alene’s famous restaurants (Hudsons for their yummy simple burgers and the huge Gooeys at Dockside for dessert):

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Cade and Stacy1


The movie, Brave:

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Riverfront park:

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Cade and Stacy2

Thanks for taking a few days to visit the lovely….

Cade and Stacy4


Visitors #2: The Johnson Family

Ryan’s sister and brother-in-law drove all the way from Oklahoma to hang out with us!  We see those southwestern relatives so rarely that we think it’s such a treat to spend a few days with them.  Brooke and Spencer are so easy to talk to and so enthusiastic and positive.  It was fun to share our life with them for a few days.  The weather was unbeatable…Spokane in late July is truly the best place in the country.  We went on some runs and bike rides and did a lot of the same things we always do with visitors:

Hikes (a new loooong one):

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Visits to the lakehouse on Hayden Lake:

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Riverfront park (again!):

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Swimming at Doug and Marcy’s:

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I was teary when they drove away.  Anyone know of an optometry school in the Northwest where Spencer can teach?


Visitors #3:  The Greg Romney Family

This one is hilarious because Greg and Christy live in Texas.  Friday morning we get a call—“Hey what are you guys doing this weekend?”  We told him what our plans were, and he says “Well, we’ll be there tonight!”  Compete surprise and everyone was cheering.  Heather (Ryan’s sister) secured her family’s lake cabins and we all stayed together about 30 minutes away on a gorgeous lake for 4 days.  It was the most fun, little mini vacation.

It included LOTS of tubing, volleyball, Gabe and Seth’s birthday celebrations and so much fun cousin time:

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Visitors #4:  Grandpa Mike and Grandma Genie

Gabe was ordained to the Melchezidek priesthood the weekend the Greg and Christy came and my dad and Genie were already planning a visit to be a part of it.  Luckily, our families are very interconnected after originating in the same ward and town many, many years ago and so no one felt awkward (I hope?) when Mike and Genie joined the Lake House Party. 

I’m so grateful that they came to participate in the special ordinance and that we had such a fun opportunity to play at Hayden while he was here. He was SO FUN about swimming and joining in the tubing.  My kids have a good Grandpa and I have a good Dad.



Visitors #5:  Grandma Dorrie and Bekah

We were so glad that they squeezed in a trip over Labor Day weekend.  The kids are heaven while they are here and they are always up for anything.  We conscripted them to be judges on our Amazing Race birthday party for Gabe and took them on our new favorite hike and they even ate at Golden Corral as part of Gabe’s birthday celebration.  My favorite part was temple baptisms for the first time with Gabe and with much of our extended family.

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Romney Family Bike Ride

Spokane Hike

Temple Baptisms

See?  See how much fun we had?  We were so lucky this summer!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Things We Didn’t Do This Summer

(Look at me!  I’m here!  I’m blogging again!  I hope people actually check and see that: I’m blogging again!)

So.  I had these grand ideas about my Summer Schedule.  It was going to look a lot like previous years, with Summer Bingo and a calendar of planned events and daily themes.  I was going to start…just as soon as school got out.  And then I was going to start just as soon as we got back from our trip.  Wait, no, I’ll start as soon as we have a new week.  Or maybe I’ll start in August.  Yes!  August…month of Summer Schedules. 

And it never happened.  And it was Oh! So Lovely.  AND! I didn’t go crazy and no one’s brain turned to mush and we kept busy and happy!  We swam a lot and played with friends a lot and went to the lake a lot and went to camps and hosted visitors and had birthdays and rode bikes and napped and read.  (And fought with our siblings and had a messy messy house and gained too much weight and lost our tempers because our kids were in our faces a lot.  I mean, come on! That’s a lot of time with a lot of kids.)

I miss it already.  And I’m planning on reliving it here on the blog over the next few (7-8?) posts.  Here are some sneak peaks:


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