Sunday, August 24, 2008

Philip and the Waves

Despite the fact that the first half hour of the first day we were out on the beach Philip, crushed by a wave, managed to swallow enough water to make himself vomit, his favorite place to be the whole week was out in the waves. He enjoyed riding the boogie boards with his big brother and burying his feet with his sister, but he was happiest being tossed about by crashing waves. Most of Philip's week was consumed by jumping, diving, crouching and tempting every wave he could find with few mishaps after the first half hour. (He's a quick study!)

Philip also really enjoyed our visit to the USS North Carolina and asked almost every day if we could go back. We'll definitely have to make another trip there in the future. Like his older sibling, Philip spent his fair share of time splashing about in the pool during the hottest hours, when we tried to stay out of the sun. His favorite pool activity involved figuring out new and different crazy jumps into the pool.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Elizabeth at the Beach

Elizabeth largely preferred the pool over the beach during vacation this time. She didn't take too kindly to having her eyes, nose and mouth assaulted by salt water. Each trip down to the beach resulted, at some point, in an aggressive wave pushing Elizabeth to just stay on the shore and bury her feet or build sand hills with Finn. Finn even got to the point that he would wander the beach calling "Sissa!", knowing she was a safe distance from those crazy waves. She was very patient with his sand and water throwing, even filling the watering can for him to pour quite a few times.

The pool appealed more to her as a less salty, more predictable environment. She also enjoyed playing shark, the color dunk game, and flipping in the water with mom's assistance.

Paul and the Board

The first few days we were at the beach, Paul spent making friends with every kid on the beach that had a borrowable boogie board. After a couple of days, we noticed a trend and thought maybe renting a boogie board for him would be a good idea. Every moment he had a board, he spent either riding a wave in or running out to catch the next one. (I suppose the fact that he ate more last week than I've ever seen him eat should not have been surprising.) Also unsurprising was his list of favorite things we did at the beach: number one, riding the boogie board. Following the boogie board in the list of his favorites was playing shark at the pool, which also didn't surprise me considering the convincing shark I make when hunting down small children in the shallow end of the pool.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Beach

So, we just returned from an extended weekend at the NC coast, hence the break in blog posts, and it turned out to be a costlier vacation than we anticipated. Not only did my poor hubby manage to crush Finn's backpack carrier in the trunk to the point of unuse, but our dear Canon which takes all my blog post pics, somehow bit the dust (literally I'm afraid) at the beach and is now only taking half-pictures, which might be an art form in and of itself, but frankly, I don't have the time to figure out what kind of cool shots it might make. A visit to the camera shop is in order, I suppose to see if it is at all salvagable, but we aren't holding our breath too deeply.

On the brighter side, everyone in the family had fun, and although I'll probably break the details of the trip into several posts, I just wanted to share my favorite pictures of each of the kids from the trip (before the camera broke...sigh...)

The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach.
- Henry Beston

Thursday, August 14, 2008

King Finn

Elizabeth's friend, Hailey, that lives down the street, came over to play the other day. She brought Finn a crown that was left over from a recent yard sale her family had. Our older kids left behind the dress-up phase a while ago so Finn wasn't quite sure what was happening. After placing the crown on his head numerous times in the effort to convince him to wear it, he finally relented and allowed her to use him as her life-size dress-up doll. Of course, after he agreed to wear the crown, he needed a robe made from his favorite fuzzy blanket. She might have been on to something; he WAS awfully cute in his kingly garb, even with tomato soup leftovers on his face.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Final Day of Camp

After what turned out to be a very LONG week of waiting for updates and pictures of the kids at camp, we finally ventured over to Asheville on Saturday to the stay the night so we could pick up the kids bright and early Sunday morning from camp. Elizabeth's counsellor was the first to greet us, with the information that Elizabeth apparently developed a cold and cough on their cabin campout Thursday night. When we saw Elizabeth, she looked no worse for the wear; although she didn't seem to feel that great, she immediately launched into narration of her favorite camp experiences including the creation of a small pink unicorn, a friendship bracelet given to a friend, and the rice krispy mountain already eaten. She also introduced us to her favorite new friend, one of her cabinmates, named Taylor.

After saying hello and giving hugs to Elizabeth, we made our way to Paulie's cabin where he was, in all his coolness, hanging out with newly-made friends. He was, of course, most excited to see Finn and immediately, they were hanging all over each other while we clamored for information about his week. After he and Finn had sufficiently hugged and goofed off, Paulie showed us the bow he made for archery, the toolbox he made in woodshop and the pole he made for fishing. Despite the fact he appeared to wear the same swimtrunks and t-shirt all week, the mountain air and camping atmosphere definitely seemed to agree with him.

In short order all the bags, trunks, and pillows were piled into the back of the car, the money they didn't realize they had was spent at canteen getting new tribe t-shirts, and Finn's knee was torn up on the gravel trying to chase his siblings. Time to go. Until next year.

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you... while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.
~ John Muir

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Big Shoes to Fill

Finn has taken to trying on other people's shoes lately, but nothing has been more amusing than watching him try to walk in Paul's flip-flops. Shuffling and sliding, he did manage to go about 15 feet, with the flip-flops on the wrong feet no less. I remember Elizabeth trying similar stunts when she was that age. I'm trying to enjoy his silly antics now. I know he'll soon move on to figuring out to putting on his own shoes, then he'll head off to grade school, then college. **sigh**

Monday, August 11, 2008

Babe in the Water

Paul and I took advantage of Finn's only child status, even if just for a week, and took him to the pool one evening. The local YMCA has a small waterpark in the back which is perfect for an on-the-go toddler who hasn't quite mastered the art (or height) of handling the big pool. Finn had such a blast running through the spraying water, and it was a treat to be able to concentrate on him and his joy for a night.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


As a birthday present, Paul bought me a Fused Glass Bowl class at the Sawtooth Center. The actual class was a couple of weeks ago, but the final firing was finished on Monday. I was extremely please with the final result. The theme was sort of planned around a piece of dichroic glass that was acid brushed to remove the coating everywhere except where the leaf was placed. I'm so ready for fall to get here that after deciding on the leaf, an autumnal theme was easy to compose.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


We first heard it last Saturday morning when Finn woke up at the crack of dawn. After Finn nursed for a few minutes, Paul told him to stay right there while he went to get a clean diaper. Finn said, "Okay, Daddy". Since then, possibly because of the frequent laughter it draws, Finn has been saying "okay" to nearly everything that is said to him. Here's a clip from dinner Saturday evening before the kids left for camp:

Monday, August 4, 2008

A-camping we will go...

On Sunday, we dropped Paul and Elizabeth off at Eagle's Nest Camp in the mountains just south of Asheville. They were thrilled to be embarking on their first sleepaway camp experience! We were able to snap a few pictures of the dropoff before we hit the road to let them have a bit of independence in a fantastic arts and nature oriented environment.

The sign on Elizabeth's cabin:

Unpacking her trunk:

Elizabeth's bunk all made up:

Elizabeth's getting ready to join her cabinmates in making signs for their beds:

The completed sign:

Mommy and Finn, walking around camp:

Paul in his newly made bed:

Paul at the tree in front of his cabin:

Paul's waving goodbye to Dad and Finn:

The last place we saw Paul, in the woods above his cabin:

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Family Game Night

Every other month or so on a Friday night, we put Finn to bed and the rest of the family stays up an extra hour for family game night. Keeping the lights down low for a intimate nighttime event is tougher in the summer, so we closed all the blinds and lit the candles anyway. We decided that last night was the perfect night for a family game night since Philip is leaving today to stay at his grandparents house for a week, and Paul and Elizabeth are leaving tomorrow for a week of camp. A last hurrah before parting ways for a while.

We all ate popcorn and watched Elizabeth's Gobblet strategy rule the table; Elizabeth, Paulie and I learned Cranium Conga while Paul and Philip caused Trouble. Then Paul, Philip and I climbed and slid through Chutes and Ladders while Paulie and Elizabeth competitively matched Memory cards. We all agree that family game night is one of our favorite ways to spend an evening.

Friday, August 1, 2008


What more perfect food of summer? We bought a giant, juicy watermelon at the farmer's market the other day. Elizabeth, becoming quite the watermelon aficionado, has been eating her weight in watermelon lately. She was finishing up the last eighth, literally tunneling her way through.