Thursday, September 8, 2016

Summer in Review.

This summer has completely deprived me of the motivation to keep this blog up to date.  We have had four weeks of visitors at the house with a week in between each, but that has consumed my time and lets all face it, the weather has been great and that makes me want to hang out outside instead of updating a blog.
As a consolation, I have prepped the longest blog post in the history of this blog and have included lots of photos of the fun and excitement this summer. 
The Froese family visited the inland NW and hung out at the house for a few days.  We had so much fun catching up with friends that we don't talk to all that much, but still feel like close friends.  The kids had a ball playing together and running all over the yard.  Of course we had to go to the beach, hit up downtown, and then kick back and enjoy the wonderful company.
Amy was nice enough to take a couple of photos of the family as a thank you gift for our hospitality.  They turned out very nice and we got to enjoy wonderful picture of the kids and the family that we will look back at in 20yrs and laugh at.
Those kids can be so adorable.  On of my pet peeves is when I post a photo like this on Facebook, the comment saying "what a perfect family" is typically thrown out there.  Well....that could not be farther from the truth.  All of us as parents know what it takes to look like this in a photo and usually threats are thrown out there and some not so proud parent moments as well.
 My Family came out for a week of fun during the heat of the summer.  I have been gathering bikes for a couple of weeks off of craigslist for $20 or $30 and that gave us enough where we could get just about everyone out on a bike and go along the centennial trail.  It appeared as if everyone had a good time.
We went out and hit the links for a day as well.  Liberty Lake is pretty reasonable and I was able to get clos to par once.  I think that is pretty good for a guy who has only golfed twice in the past 6 years.
Of course the summer heat allowed us to get the kiddos out in the yard and let them enjoy the "pool".  We had a blast with my family and it was nice to have my parents bring up their RV so we all could have some more space in the house.
Soon after guests left, we had our house broken into in the middle of the day.  The thief took Brenda jewelry and our sense of privacy.  We found some evidence that would likely lead to figuring out who stole the stuff, but the Sheriffs office is pretty busy and since they did not steal and guns, they seemed less than interested in solving this caper.  Next time I may have to let them know I am missing my collection of AR's and then they may be more interested in figuring it out.
We had a couple of days in between guests, so I thought we should go out camping.  I was going to just take the boys, but after the robbery, Brenda did not want to be home alone and who can blame her.  We headed north and explored a local state park cavern tour and samped at a great little lake.
James love to whittle with his jackknife whenever he is camping, and I just love watching him and seeing him "build things".
That next week we had Brenda's family over.  Once again it was time to load up the bikes and head for the trailhead so we could go on a ride.
Lots of people means lots of food and eating almost exclusively outside.  Lets face it, when there are a lot of people, you need to do anything you cant to reduce the cleaning you will need to do, so outside it is.  The weather was conducive to it and we even had breakfast outside sometimes.
The kids enjoyed each other.
And they loved to pick stuff from the garden.  They even picked beans and snapped them all because "it is fun".  They can come over anytime if they think that is fun.
Swimming in the summer is so much fun.  Sierra is such a cutie.  She like the water and is pretty fearless.
You also get naps in the summer.  Since I took quite a bit of time off, I was able to see how cute Sierra is on a daily basis during her nap time.  I wish I could be a fox and get to snuggle with her when she sleeps.
While family was over, we also invited 40 of our closest friends for the 3rd annual DeJong Square Dance.  Of course a lot of fun was had and the kids were able to join in and have a blast.  Matt Likes to wear his "Don't Mess with Texas" shirt given to him by Jim and Jan.
Look at all those square dancing experts.
Fun in the summer means fun on the motorcycle.  Matt can now ride on his own and is actually really good at it, but he has a had time stopping.  He cannot touch the ground so every time he stops, the bike tips over and he gets trapped under it.  Not a great system, but he ill grow bigger soon an that should take care of that problem.
I know she looks a little scarred here but she is really laughing the contagious laugh only a baby can do.
Every time I go into the garage the boys want to build something.  They nail scraps of wood together all day and try to build boats, or planes, or crosses.
Summer eggs and zucchini.  Summer time is the best for hanging outside and taking the shirt of and running around.
I recently brought a projector home and we were able to watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang out on the deck.  The kids enjoyed it although we did fast forward through one of the "Child Catcher" scenes.  I did not want to give the nightmares like I had the first time I watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Last week I took a few days off and did three sections of the IDBDR from Wallace down to Elk City.  It was fun to get out on the bike, but I did miss he kiddos and wife back at home.
Once I got home I was able to take the boys on a camping trip to Roman Nose Lakes.  The huckleberries were ripe and pickers were everywhere.  We had and blast and I cant wait to go up there again.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Schenks in Spokane

A couple of weeks ago the Schenks decided to bless the inland northwest with their presence and I am finally getting around to posting a few picture of all the misadventures we had with them.  It is so rare to have friends you really connect with and can start back up right where you left off.
First things first, which means getting the motorcycle out and showing off.  Yes, I realize now that I had my 3 year old out on the bike riding without a helmet and that is totally irresponsible, but man can he ride.

The weather was very mild when they were here, but we got over to Coeur d'Alene all the same and got a chance to hike Tubbs Hill.
Crazy kid picture
Normal  Kid picture
And finally, the picture you end up with when you ask a kid to take your picture.

Nothing like gathering around right before bed and listening to a old man spin a wild  yarn where all of the kids ge to add aspects to the story.  This man has a way of piling the "stories" up higher than is widely acceptable....he must be Canadian.
Thee kids were mesmerized.
Ethan and I had a chance to get dropped off at the top of a high hill and then ride all of the way down.  Nice view from the top and a pretty fast ride down.
Notice that Kevin is in proper riding attire as well.  There was only one minor fence and bike incident all weekend.
The crew exploring the Downtown of Spokane...nothing short of a fabulous visit.  We had way more fun than I can talk about here and took far too many pictures.  We are so glad they took time to visit the NW and see what our lives are like up here.
Sierra was dedicated the other week as well and here she is in her mothers baptismal outfit.  Such a cutie.
Matthew loves to type on a old computer and "do his homework".  I cant remember a time when I liked homework, but I am sure it is a phase all kids go through.  I am confident he will grow out of this love of school, but I hope not.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Snyder Cabin rental for a Birthday weekend

If a swing in a willow tree in the front yard is not the symbol of summer, I don't know what is.  We have been loving the outdoors and planted the garden and now are watching it grow.  

The boys love to hang out and see if I can push them high enough to hit the branches.
Matthew likes to ride it by himself so he can keep a good grip and not fall off.
We were on our way for a long weekend a while ago and I had the last minute thought to stop in at the Bird museum.  this is a weird out of the way museum that has alot of aviation memorabilia along with a lot of Mr. Bird inventions.  Bird invented the ventilator used in hospitals today and was also a pilot in the military.  The site is also a research portion of the property you are not allowed to visit since some of thee technology they are developing is "secret".  Kind of an interesting place and worth a visit is you are in the area.  It is free, so that is good.
The boys loved looking at the scale models of tanks, planes, and boats.

I rented the Snyder Guard station, which is a building and grounds that are on the national historic register.  It is a old forest service building and enough good things cannot be said about it or the time we had while we were there.  We were right on thee Moyie River and had the whole place to ourselves.  That means the kids could be let loose and we did not have to worry about cars running  them over while they were biking around.
The perfect white picket fence around the entire cabin.  It is a great place to visit.  Running water, electricity, and no cell service, what more could you want.
A short walk one morning brought us to this amazing waterfall.  On day 2 we went for a 6 mile hike and the boys walked the entire way. 
Sierra also had a great time.  It may not seem like she is enjoying the headlock she is in, but I assure you she is.
Jim and Jan came up with us and hung out for two nights.  I was very glad they brought ladder golf so we could have a little friendly competition.
Onsite at the cabin, there is a full time caretaker.  He was such a nice guy and cleans the place amazingly.  He also set up the fire pit so all we needed was too drop a match on it and we had a fire going.
One of the reasons we rented the cabin was because it was James birthday weekend.  We now have a five year old on our hands.  There are so many priceless moments when you kids are small.  At least a dozen times a day I hear the kids say something or have a facial expression that I try to burn into my memory and cherish it for all time.
Sierra also had a great time at the party.  She is a precious addition to any party.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

First BMX Race

We found that there is a BMX park in Coeur d'Alene where you can ride the track for free and races are held every aturday during the summer.  James was pretty brave when we found it and he even started ffrom the top with some encouragement.  The guy at the track mentioned that James should enter into the race on Saturday and that was all the encouragement that kid needed.  Every day from then on he asked when it was going to be his racce day.
He is a pretty good rider for a 4 year old.
Summertime means fun with the hose in the backyard, and this spring feels like summer so it has started early.
Two lovey ladies on mothers day.
Sierra is starting to smile and laugh alot more than she used to and it is so much fun to hold her and make her smile.
I have many many pictures of her just laughing and smiling.

I have been at work again in St, Maries and have stayed down there a couple of times this year already.  My coworker and I regularly fish after work and I caught this 27" sucker.
Not a bad way to end a day of work.

Last weekend we went to Prairie Home Companion downtown Spokane.  It was lots of fun to watch a 2 hour live radio show.

Nothing like wrestling with your brother to give you your first bloody nose.  He loved every minute of it.
I was out working the other week and dragged the kids and the wife along with me so they could ride the trail as I worked on it.
They had a ball.
Sierra also had a great time.
Nothing like a bike ride to tucker some kids out.  The silence of a car ride with kids sleeping is priceless. 

So, the weekend finally arrived where James entered into his first BMX race.  He had only rode the track about 5 times prior to the first race, but when I asked him if he was ready, I got a snarl look from him and intense eyes meaning it was go time.
Here is James doing some practice runs.
After three races James locked up second place overall.  He was quite amazing for a 4 year old.
Smiles were all around and this was one proud papa.  Good thing I had sunglasses on, so no one could see me tearing up.  It was a day for the ages.

Matthew was equally amazed at the trophy when we got home.

In all my infinite wisdom, I thought it was a great idea to go to the races that night.
As always, smiles were all around and we had a blast.
I think the boys like the headphones most of all.  They loved to see the kids division which races cars that go about 60 mph and the ages run from about 7-15 yrs old.  All in all we had a blast and we had some tired kiddos that fell asleep right away on the ride home.  That is the sign of a good fast asleep in the