Tuesday, August 30, 2011

~Ending of August Hours~

Full day ahead: Curriculum planning for younger child and middle school schedule pick up and orientation for older child (gulp!) My mind is divided between summer days and back to school, and while the calendar says September is nearly hear, my mind is in denial- we can't possibly be that close! Didn't summer begin a week ago or so? Surely we have time for a bit of puttering about! And our living area needs a good going over- all that planning can wait awhile . . . 

So the work apron is tied on, and a bit of puttering occurs . . . -sorry curriculum, I can't hear you over the roar of the vacuum! School supplies, open houses, a.s.b. and p.t.s.a. fees- not yet, it's still summer! Or at least the house says summer can linger on . . .

I sit awhile, breathe in these last few moments . . . the light is pale and quiet; calm. May that calm remain as we wave good bye to summer and welcome in all that is to come . . .


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Seattle Summertime~ Part Two

A continuation of our family's vacation adventures~

Monday~ Downtown

The following morning after our evening at Matthew's Beach, we headed down to Seattle's waterfront to meet some friends coming over from the ferry.

After all the hugs and hellos, our two families went exploring.
We started with 'Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe'- a favorite of mine from when I was a youngster. And there was certainly plenty there to keep us curious!

There are all sorts of oddities, but the kids really loved all the wacky 'games' that took a quarter to work. Like a fortune-telling cowboy. And a creepy drunken sailor.

Oldest son was especially enthusiastic over the 'love meter'- you can see his excitement over the rating of 'wild'!!!

After exploring the Pier, we headed up the never-ending stairs to take in Pike Place Market . . .

Happy, happy flowers!

And a rather jolly light fixture, too!

And here is a certain happy family in front of the 'gum wall'- but can you guess why they are so happy?
(hint: it has to do with our next stop!)

Yes- the required pilgrimage to the very first Starbucks was quite necessary by this time. Though I admit this was not our first time to visit. We were more 'guides' to navigate our friends to the coffee mecca. It was tough, but we suffered through some iced coffees for their sake! And we had some entertainment too-

Do you see this guy? After this, I say no one has musical talent unless they can play the guitar and harmonica while simultaneously spinning and balancing another guitar from their chin all while hoola-hooping with- not one, but two hoola-hoops! He did some singing, too.

We had lunch, did some walking/shopping and ended the afternoon with ice cream on the pier. Then hugs all around once again, and we saw our friends off at the ferry terminal.

It was late afternoon and pretty hot by this point so we stopped by the Seattle Center for some cooling off.

Whoops! Keep those shorts up, son!

We played, we dried off, and we went to dinner- where I had the most delicious 'adult' iced tea with fresh raspberries and mint. I only wish I could remember what it was called, it was the perfect 

It was a nice way to end our day, and a nice day in general- I think younger agrees!

It's been so fun getting to share bits of our trip- thank you for coming along! :)
Now to start preparing for the next adventure~ back to school!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Seattle Summertime~ Part One

(Edited to add: Totally laughing at myself while reading below. I'm finally publishing this over a week after I started it- that's what I get for even thinking I'm on top of anything!)

It's only a little after noon here and already I've stretched, had some 'quiet time' while petting a purring feline, watered and weeded in the garden, looked at blogs, showered/dressed, wiped down the bath, sent some needed emails, cleaned the kitchen and scoured the sink, and now the crock pot is happily simmering away with tonight's dinner. Doing well today, and I say it more for proof to myself that once in awhile I'm actually on top of things- for a bit.

And now I finally have a smidgen of time to share some moments of our Seattle trip until I head out to have the oil changed in my car. So . . .

Seattle Hightlights in Pictures:

Saturday- Family Reunion
The family reunion was on Camano Island; my mother-in-laws' side of the family. Patty (Husband's mom) is the youngest of eight children, so you can imagine the amount of people there that were perfect strangers to us. Here is older son putting together some lawn games.

Here's Husband and younger son 'passing the pig skin' so to speak.

And once the football came out, some who had earlier been strangers became teammates.

And who is this? Why this is W.C.N. (World's Cutest Niece)- and I can say that loud and proud since she's the only niece/nephew I have! The highlight of the whole reunion for this Auntie, was getting to spend time with this little girl. She lives in Seattle and I only get to see her about three times a year. :( But it is such fun when we do see her. She absolutely adores her Uncle and crazy cousins. And they adore her.

Here she is 'capturing' her cousin.

And being her goofy sweet self!

Look at that precious face!! Okay- forgive me; with no little girls of my own, this is as close as I get.
We had a good time together taking pictures of people at the reunion- here's one of Husband and his Dad. Can we say 'like father, like son"?

And after some practice, I let her take the camera all by herself. She had a terrific time snapping shots every which way; and evidently she even got one of me.

So then . . . moving on to
Sunday- Matthew's Beach
Sunday was perhaps my favorite part of our trip. Hung around my grandparents' house, went 'junking' with my Grammie (I'll share those goodies later) and spent the evening at my most favorite park ever- Matthews' Beach.

Matthew's Beach is on Lake Washington and it has always had a special place in my heart. And the reason why?- I spent two years as a very little one living right across the street. In fact I dragged my family over across the little bridge that takes you from 'inside' to 'outside' the park, just to say hello to the ducks that still gather in the creek there and point out the little house my parents once rented. But of course, it looks nothing like it once did. And I didn't even take a picture of it. I want it to remain as what is in my memory over the added on and modernized version it is now.

As we crossed back into the park for some Frisbee, I reminisced over the brief time I had lived there. Memories of the little house with only two small bedrooms; wood paneling on the walls; a cozy kitchen in which I 'helped' with the dishes; the little laundry area between the kitchen and my parents' room. I remembered once having jumped out of my window when I locked myself in my bedroom- remembering to use an open umbrella so I could simply drift down (Mary Poppins, right?)

And the yard! It was a magical little yard with the creek running through it. I would play in the creek and swing for ages on the swing that hung from the tree out in the back. I told the mice that lived in that tree all sorts of stories. I would swing and talk, swing and talk- either there at home, or on the swings at the playground across the street at Matthew's Beach. Those swings would go so high and I would watch as the lake in front went up and down, up and down.

Such wonderful memories, and reliving them with my family by my side was quite simply, a gift. Being there with Husband and Sons gave me contentment beyond words.

However, our time there wasn't full only of past memories- we ended up making some (funny!) memories of our own- like my Husband deciding he was only twelve years old and jumping off the swings-
There he goes!
And there he lands!
And like the great wife I am, I was there to take pictures of it all- laughing hysterically the whole time. The other parents present are standing there looking at me like, "Uh, what's wrong with you? Aren't you going to see if he's hurt?"
What you can't see from this shot is that he's cracking up- he was totally fine other than the injured pride. In fact, once he composed himself, he just went for it again. That time was successful- and really does prove that he is twelve years old!

All in all, we had a great evening together.

The rest is to come- until then: Cheers!