Saturday, June 26, 2010

Two Weeks of Adventure

Yes, it has been two weeks since my last post.
There is a reason for that....we've been busy!
So, I'll do my best to break it down for you...of course you know that means LOTS of pictures.
Just what has been going on the past two weeks?

Well, to start with I got to have a girls night out with these lovely ladies:

Michelle and Tasha and I went out to eat at Olive Garden and had a great time.
The reason for our outing was kind of a "Farewell Tasha" night. Remember, I've told you before...people come and go here like crazy and I've had to get used to saying goodbye. Tasha's husband came back from Afghanistan and they are headed to North Carolina now. We are going to miss Tasha and her sweet little boy Michael.

We've had visitors! You know how we love for people to come visit us!! I do hope that my posting pics of all the fun things we do with people who come to see us will encourage more of you to head out west to see us...wink, wink.
Okay, you are dying to know who came, right?
New friends of ours, the Thompsons....

We met Greg last month when he came out to check out the possibility of starting yet another church in the South Puget Sound area. He really feels that God wants them to head out here so he brought his wife and two children out for a visit. We met Karla, Kayla and Connor for the first time when they showed up at our house to stay for a week.
And we had a great time having them here with us.
One of the first things they saw while staying with us was this:

A momma deer and her twin fawns just trotting down the street in front of our house.
Too sweet.

We did let them venture out on their own for a bit to get a feel for the area and try to figure out just where they think God wants them to start a new church. And while they were out we did some other things around the house.
Like put together a new picnic table for the boys...

The boys did a great job helping out Daddy.
And the finished product...

is quite wonderful!

One night we left the boys with a babysitter and met our new friends down in Olympia for dinner. Just look at this view from the restaurant:


We girls just had to get outside on the deck to take some pictures.
This was only the second day of knowing these people and we all agreed that we felt like we had known each other for years.

We also celebrated Father's Day. The whole day I was wishing that I could do a special Father's Day post in honor of all the amazing Dads in our lives but that never did pan out. So now you just get to look at pictures of our crazy Father's Day events.

One of Kyle's packages just came shipped to REI in a plain cardboard box so instead of wrapping it I just let the boys color it. Can you tell that Ryne thought that was a fun idea?

And that Kade was taking his work seriously?

They could hardly wait for Daddy to get downstairs that morning to give him his special package.
Inside he found....

A new laptop back back to use when he rides his bike to the coffee shop to work.

He wears it well!
And gift number two was a really big hit...

An Air-soft Pistol!

Ryne even wanted to check it out.
I will show you in just a bit exactly why we chose this gift for him.
I tried all day to get a picture of Kyle and the boys in something other than pajamas but it never did work out.
So I thought maybe after Life Church I could get one. We showed up to find Kade like this:

Wearing his Peter Pan costume that D and Lissa got for him and carrying this pink bike and barbie doll. I had to laugh!

And Kyle agreed to just take a picture of him like he was to keep from upsetting his fun.

Ryne, on the other hand, was more than happy to have his picture made with his Daddy...

This is Ryne saying "CHEEEEEEESE".

And did you catch a look at that pink barbie doll Kade was playing with?
Well, Alissa told me later that Kade had been calling that Barbie doll "C.G." (that is is grandmother) and kept flying her in on the pink bicycle to "save the day".
After I heard that I had to go take a better picture of "C.G."
Here she is:

Come on, Mom, you know that has to make you smile! I'm loving that outfit!

Oh, remember how I told you that I'd show you why we chose an air-soft pistol as a gift for Kyle? Well, here it is:

This crazy raccoon is in our backyard all the time. In the middle of the day! And most of the time he is not in the tree. Why is that a problem, you ask?

Well, look what is just below this tree...that's where my boys like to play. And we just aren't so sure that they wouldn't attempt to play with Mr. Raccoon if he happened into the yard while they were out there. SCARY! So the pistol is to try and scare Mr. Raccoon away from our yard without really hurting him. And yes, we have used it already and it seems that he is starting to be a little spooked by it. Yeah!

I'm sure you are expecting pictures of this:

Mt. Rainier! Of course we had to take the Thompsons to the mountain...umm, volcano, that is....while they were here.

And Derek and Alissa made the trip with us this time.

And so did Mark and Tifaney!

It was an absolutely perfect day to be at Mt. Rainier.

Can you tell that they are loving it?

Just look how clear it was:

I told Kyle that I feel silly because we have SO many pictures of Mt. Rainier and all the same places like this waterfall...

But he agreed that they it is all just so beautiful that it is hard to be there and not take pictures....even if you already have 42 of the same shot from the previous 42 visits.
Kind of like taking pictures of my boys....

I just can't help it. Kade was excited that he got to walk on this trail to the waterfall holding Kyle's hand instead of being in the back pack.
And then he had to get packed up for this next hike...

And yet more pictures of the same waterfall that we have seen MANY times but never get tired of it. This day was especially nice because the rainbow showed up nicely.

Can you see it?

Oh, and I must mention that I got to enjoy this hike as a single person because Greg was my hero and packed Ryne down the trail for me.

Ryne was loving it!
And he was hilarious because he waved just like this picture to everyone he saw and told them each "HIIIII!"

Love this picture of all the Thompson and Lewallen boys.

And I also really like this picture of Connor.
Connor is 11 and he became Kade's best friend! Kade didn't even want go downstairs in the mornings until Connor woke up to go downstairs.
Oh, and Ryne liked Connor a lot too....

Can't you tell?

We did a little picnicking in the sunshine...

and I love Kade all engrossed in eating his Oreo cookie while staring out at the mountain.

He was just imagining how much fun playing in the snow was going to be.
And it was....

There was a pretty serious snowball fight that broke out!
And everyone's fingers got cold and it was time to head home.

Okay, I had to put one more pic of Ryne in his shades on here because it just makes me smile. Maybe you, too?
On our way out of the park, we went by reflection lake since it was such a clear day, thinking that we would get some cool pictures of Mt. Rainier reflecting in the water.

Not so much, it was still all iced up. Maybe if we try August instead of late June??? I promise it is summer in Washington, you guys!

After a long day at the mountain, we weren't up for cooking much so we headed out to eat.
And I have two really cute pictures to show you from our night out to eat with an overly tired year and a half old (he will not be one of the cute pictures).
First cute pic...

Kade and Kayla! I told you that Kade was best friends with Connor but he also really took a liking to 16 year old Kayla. In fact, I'm not sure who he ended up liking more in the end. But he acted all shy and cute with Kayla and it made us laugh.

Cute pic number 2....

This is the smile that beamed from Connor's face when he ordered his ribs and was given the go ahead from his mom and dad to say "whole rack". This boy was excited about his whole rack of ribs. And from then on we would just get him to say "whole rack" just to see the grin.

The week passed quickly. Connor and my boys learned to share the couch and watch t.v. for hours...

This was their last morning of t.v. time and I had to catch a pic just for the memories.

Ryne tried out Connor's shoes to see if he wanted to hide them in his closet before Connor packed up. They were a bit too big so he gave them back.

Kade spent some quality time with Kayla on their last night at our house.

And Kayla made him a friendship bracelet that he is wearing with pride, and checking on constantly to make sure that it is still okay on his wrist.
I can't tell you how much my boys enjoyed have Kayla and Connor at our house for the week. I tried to talk Greg and Karla into just leaving them behind because my boys were so much easier while they were here. I'm excited to know I've got a great new babysitter heading my way in the next few months!

For our last day together we headed to Seattle to hang out.
Kyle and I actually got a sitter for the boys so that we could just go up in one vehicle and enjoy the day toddler-free. It was nice~ we love our kiddos and take them most places, but sometimes it is nice to have time away, for sanity's sake.
So our day of sanity included :

A stop at Alki beach for a picnic.

Check out the salmon burger that Kyle had. It was delicious!

Got some fun pics of the city from across the sound...

Connor was either really liking the view or really tired....maybe both.

Then you know we took them here:

Pike Place Market is one of our favorite stops in Seattle.
But this time I was introduced to something I've never seen there:

The gum wall!

Thousands upon thousands of wads of gum.

Gross and spectacular all at the same time.

We walked down to look at a different view of the city.

And of course stopped at the original Starbucks.

Kyle and I had cheese cake to go with our coffee. We've never stopped at the Cheesecake place before and man was it YUMMY!!!

Then we went down to the water front to take some pictures.

A sailboat coming in
lots of flowers....

Our last stop with the Thompsons was the Space Needle.
Since we didn't have Kade with us and since Kyle and I have been up several times and since our passes were expired...we just took advantage of the time together and walked around to explore...

Found this cool park and took a seat.
Played around with taking pics of the Needle with the amazing blue skies as a background...

Here is Kyle relaxing!

And our self portrait while we were relaxing.

And my new Facebook Profile Picture!
It was an amazing day in Seattle.

AND THEN we had another treat.
When we dropped off the Thompson's at their hotel for the night we met up with our friends Eric and Rachel.

They were in town for a baseball game and we got to meet up with them for dinner after the game. Got to try a new place that we've been wanting to go.

I think Kyle has been wanting to visit the Crab Pot just to wear the bib and yield the mallet.

And of course to eat this yummy food.
It was good.
And we brought Eric and Rachel back to stay with us in DuPont for the night. Played some cards and had some fun times.
Now we are back to normal and not quite sure what to do with ourselves.
Any ideas? Cleaning house is not so much fun!