Monday, May 1, 2017

Sping break part 2

Vacation part two starts.  And it started with the Monterey aquarium.  We borrowed some guest passed from some friends because that place is so darn expensive.  I could not believe what they were charging to get into that place.
When we were eating out behind the aquarium Matt dropped some of his sandwich on the ground.  At home we have a 5 second rule and he thought the same would apply at the aquarium as well.  When he put the sandwich up to his mouth and took a bite, I could see a foot long black hair hanging off the sandwich and in his mouth.  I almost lost my lunch.  Kids.  Matt of course could not care less.
Off to Myron and Andrea's and more fun with kiddos.  James really loved playing with Jacob and Myer. 
Although it was crazy with all of those kids all of the time, there was some small lull's each and every night when the kids would settle down and act cute.
We had promised the boys that we would go mini golfing sometime at the beginning to the trip.  Now was the time.  At the end of the golfing you have a chance to get a hole in one and if you do, you get a and Icee.  well, out of our group, we had 3 and all of the kids loved it.
Then it was time for some go kart for kids.  Even four year old kids get to drive their own carts.  The cars go so slow it is not dangerous in the least, but they had a fun time as well.  After karts, we did adult karts and then inside to the video games.  On one game where you whack a ball James must have hit it just right and won the 500 ticket jackpot.  It was quite a day.
Look at all those kids ready to go.
On final picture before we headed off for the final destination of the trip.
Back into Ripon for a night and a big celebration of my grandmas 90th birthday.  Sierra also got to hang out with Tyler...she was out weighed by quite a few with this matchup.  That kid is a tank.
My grandma is doing great for 90.  I think it was quite the day for here and it was nice to catch up with all of my uncles and cousins.  After the party it was time to head back to Spokane.  We thought it through and decided t leave at 7pm and drive through the night.  What a better way to travel with kids.  We only had to stop 4 times and 3 of those were for gas and the other was out of bathroom necessity.  The rest of the time the kids were sleeping.  If we had drove during the day, we would have had to stop at least 8 or 9 times and a couple of those would have disciplinary stops.  I was so glad to travel at night.
Back in Spokane we were just in time for our annual Easter egg hunt.
There were too many eggs and in so many directions.  It was an ADHD kids dream.
I always hide a couple in a really hard spot and James spotted it.  He really had to work for that one.
Kids in the bath.  They are so excited and so much fun together.
We received a bubble machine for friends that were up here visiting and man can that thing make bubbles.  It saves all of the hard work of blowing.
Lastly we will end with the amazing and talented Sierra.  I think she will be ready in no time.  Maybe we will wait till she is at least 2.  Matt rode solo when he was 2 and women mature faster then men, so stands to reason she should be ready to go by next year, but 1 may be a little young.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

CA or bust- Spring break 2017

So it was time for spring break and boy did we need it.  This winter has had the most precipitation on record for the inland northwest and I for one was sick of it.  Sure I like the snow and rain, but my jobsite is a mess and trying to burn soils at 900F when it is pissing rain all day every day makes it all the more harder and more expensive.  I needed a break and really wanted to get time to just hang out with the fam.  That meant it was time head south for our bi-annual trip to see friends and family in California.
 
I see a trip to California as severing two purposes.  One is to get out and see some sunshine and enjoy the weather, the other is to remind me why I moved to Washington and make me thankful I don't have to line in California.  I know Cali is great, it has great weather and some good people, but man is it full of crazies, traffic, exorbitant pricing, and of course taxes.  With all the taxes you would expect exceptional government services right...of course not.  But that is the price you pay to live where it has only two seasons instead of four.
Loaded up and ready to go.  We decided on the way down that we would stay the night halfway and it was a good thing. Driving with kids is tough.  I was able to find out I can drive and reach back and grab one by the throat though and that is something new.  And you thought driving while texting was tough, try driving while parenting.
 
we stopped at the Froese's and Brenda's old school to see some friends and the kids had a great time.  The boys love to wear shorts anyway, so California was great for them. 
We had to hit up the Santa Cruz boardwalk for some rides and ice cream.  James tried to get into the Giant Dipper, but got turned back.  Brenda went with Karen later on and said it was a good he got turned away because she would have been freaking out with him on it next to her.  I am sure he also would have hated it, but wanted to see his reaction anyway.
After the beach we were off to the Schenk's.  They have access to a house in Monterey and they were able to get it for the weekend.  It has plenty of room for both of our families and was very fun, plus it was free.  If you know me, that is a price I don't mind paying.
Of course we headed out to the see all of the sites.
We were able to have a kid take a picture of us.  As usual or dads (or at least me), this is about the only picture I am in for the whole vacation. 
The weather on day 1 was so nice we headed off to the beach.  I think it was about 75 and barely any wind.  perfect for catching a few waves.  I brought my wetsuit so I headed out as well and was able to catch a few waves.  I really enjoy the water.
I don't think that Matt had a plan on what we was doing except that he wanted to see what would happen when he poured water into a hole.  Kids need to explore and find things out on their own and it is way more fun that way anyway.
I think he may have been a little cold after running into the 50 degree water.
Photo bombing kiddos in the background and the boys, well, acting like normal.  When you take a picture and tell a kid to act normal...you then remember what normal is, and normal is not really what you wanted.
Sierra also had a great time.  I think we were seeing sand in her diaper for 3 days after the beach, but I have probably said to much about that already.
Hudson and James had a great time out back of the house.  James was not sure how to play Hudson's game and Hudson did not know what game James was trying to play, but they figured it out eventually.
I guess it is a thing to go see this bagpiper play at the golf course, so we did it.  We me up with some of San Jose CRC friends as well.  There is a restaurant there that the corking fee on a bottle of wine is $25.  It is a dream of mine to have enough disposable income that I bring my own wine to that restaurant and pay that fee, and they uncork some 2 buck chuck for me.  I think it would class that place up a bit.
The last day at the house we headed to the tide pools for some fun.  I was a little worried Sierra would forget how to walk since the Schenk kids carried her everywhere, but she remembered and all was well.
Matt showing off his starfish.
James and Brookie also found a few things they were not scarred to touch
Next installment of this will chronicle the trip to the aquarium, central valley, and my Grandma's 90th birthday...and the trip back home.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Chiefs game and Sierra is Walking!!!!

These two boys amaze me each and every day I see them interact.  They are so different in just the right way.  I know they can fight and don't always get along, but when they do get along it is amazing to watch and give you hopes that they will continue to play nicely and become lifelong friends.
Coloring on the table.  Of course anything they do has to be near an adult and they have a hard time staying in their own space, but these days are so precious.
 
As a Life Group we went to a Spokane Chiefs game again this year.  One guy in our groups works for the chiefs and I texted him during the game that we needed Boomer in our section.  He did not disappoint and while Matt was watching the game Boomer came and sat right next to him.  Seeing his face light up was so much fun.  James is a little hesitant with people in costumes, but Matt was mesmerized and loved very minute of it.
Look at the excitement on his face.
When I walk through the door at the end of a long day there is no telling what I am going to see.  Superheros, legos, and of course some wacko trying to cut me with a saw.  I love to be greeted at the door no matter what they are dressed up as or what they are acting like.  There is only a few years when you are greeted like this from your kids and I want to take advantage of every day.
Sierra is right on her way to walking.  it seems that in the last week she went from hesitant to confident and is walking all over the place now.  Brenda says she is taking a lot of naps as well and I can only assume it is because the is covering so many miles in a day on those two little legs.
Brenda and I got a night out the other weekend.  Now the Brenda's parents live so close (they moved only 1 miles down the road), we are starting to take advantage of the free babysitting.  There is nothing like a little bluegrass to make your feet stomp and give you hope for the future.  Every time I see bluegrass musicians, I really wish I knew how to play the mandolin.  There is nothing like the sound of live music...having a good looking woman sitting next to you is icing on the cake.
Here is proof that our youngest has reached the ever important walking milestone.  Next up is riding the dirt bike, but Brenda thinks I am jumping too far ahead.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Part 2 and Birthdays

Below are the boys in uniform as regularly seen around our house.  I thought I would start the off as competitors and rivals although that may not be a good thing in the end.  There is nothing like a little competition to get the blood pumping.  James likes the Seachickens and it is most likely because I don't like them.  He can be very contrary and regularly says he loves whatever I don't.  I have not found out how to use this to my advantage and am just trying to break him of that habit.
These two are the best two boys you could ask for.
James made me a coupon book for Christmas.  Brenda says it was all his idea, but I wonder where he came up with it.  He actually does give pretty good backrubs and I plan on cashing in on "get you a drink" and "shovel the driveway" very soon.
Now for the crowning jewel of Christmas....The Turducken.  I boned the duck and turkey and had some duck from this years hunting left over so I thought I would give the turducken a try.  It turned out great and gave us lots of food for all our friends that came over.
Jim got James and Matthew some coin collecting books and James had a hoot.  Looking at all the dates and finding the shiny coins kept him busy for a few hours and also kept Jim pretty busy.
There was a break in the weather and a little warming trend that made the snow just right for making a snowman.  He ended up being 7' tall and they boys loved to make it.
I took some time off over Christmas and Brenda thought it would be a good idea to go roller-skating.  I thought that was a good idea as well, but I should have known that they would not have my size skates.  I pulled daddy duty (also known as parenting) and watched Sierra while Matthew, James and Brenda tore it up on the rink.
The kids love the bath time. 
Opened a few late Christmas gift of super hero masks and capes.  Masks and capes or costumes are standard attire any time of day at our house.  They are also considered PJ's at times.
Matthew turned 4 recently and he wanted to go to the train place and have a party.  It is more of an older guy and nerd clubhouse so I don't think parties are really available for parties, but we did go to the train place and brought some cupcakes for the members of the model railroad club.  Notice the birthday ribbon he wore and of course he was in full costume.
Both of these boys could spend a lot of time at the clubhouse and it is really detailed.  I see something new every time I go there.
Then it was time to go back home and eat more cupcakes.
Sierra is so much like her mother it is scary.
We went away that weekend to Helena for a work training thing and was able to stop in a see a few friends.  It is amazing how fast kids make friends and get used to their new surroundings.
Then it was off to grandma and grandpas house in Bozeman for the weekend and celebration of Sierra's birthday.  There is only so much you can do with a 1 year old, but we tried all the same.  We went to a Manhattan Christian B-ball game and saw them invoke the 40 point rule because they were beating their opponents so badly.
She was pretty good at getting most of the cake in her mouth, but really concentrated on the frosting.  Who can blame her.
Look at that cutie.