July 28, 2008

A Little Art

Sometimes the best thing you can do when you hit a roadblock is blast your way through it. I can't remember the last time I completed a layout, needless to say it's been quite a while. I was feeling blocked, so I just sat down and made myself create. Guess what? It worked and my mojo is on its way back.

Ben snuggling with Sagwa earlier this spring. He's such a lover.

Claire admiring the beauty of a pheasant that met with the shotgun last winter. She's not too keen on Mark killing them, but she loves to hold them and stroke their colorful feathers. At nine she's contemplating her career choices; a veterinarian, an artist, a bug scientist, or a nurse. I can certainly see her comfortable in any of those occupations, curious with a heart of gold.

July 22, 2008

Bad, Bad Blogger, but Look How Cute I Am!

The dance of a day is at the very least challenging when there are two children home all day with, as they would say "nothing to do." To keep my sanity, I think about being on the beach during this lovely vacation to the coast. There's so much zen in walking along, your eyes cast downward for the perfect shells and rocks, the constant roar of the ocean drowning out the insignificant thoughts in your head.

Heading down the beach with backpacks on, looking for the perfect camp site.

My family ahead of me on the beach. This picture is the epitomie of the Washington Coast to me. Old growth forests leading down to a rocky shoreline, primitive and magnificent.

Mark and Claire scoured the beach for some rope and a perfect piece of wood to make this swing. It hung from some old logs that had been beached up high. I love the delicious look on Claire's face; you can tell she's relishing the experience.

Ben worked for hours to dam the creek. Did I mention there were no plastic toys accompanying us on this trip!

The one bummer of the trip was that I woke up with a raging bladder infection and had to hike back to the car and drive to town for antibiotics. While I was gone, Mark and the kids built this throne for me in our campsite. Of course, the kids really wanted it for themselves and I didn't spend a whole lot of time in it, but it's the thought that counts.

Our last morning at camp before the hike out and the long drive home. Our kids are such fun and adventurous little people and we enjoyed this quiet family time. Mark and I are so grateful to be sharing with Claire and Ben all the things that are important to us. And what's even better is that they are receptive to it. We're going to work our hardest to keep cultivating that connection.

Next up is a visit from my sister Callie, who will be joining us on the Jones Family Camp Out to Mt. Rainier. Mark is traveling to Banff for a scientific conference next week; he'll be able to connect with some old friends he hasn't seen for many years and get a little "spark" for his science. He's also preparing for a rigorous backpacking trip to Yellowstone with his cousin Chris and some local friends. I feel a scrapbooking retreat may be looming in my future!! If you don't hear from us for a while take heart knowing we're having a great time. It's summer and the living is fine.

July 11, 2008

Westward Journey Part I

Since we started our journey in the Tri-Cities, we decided to head over White Pass to see Mt. St. Helen's up close and personal. The kids had never been and it has been a long while since Mark and I visited. Ben was a little concerned that we were taking him to a volcano, and was it going to explode and could we please go now?

It was hot, hot, hot in our state's capital, but the good people of Olympia have this awesome downtown water park/fountain where everyone goes to cool off. It was by far the kid's favorite city sight and after getting heated up at the farmer's market we spent quite a bit of time romping in the water.

Our good friends Chery, Allan and Caden sharing their lovely backyard with us. It was so good to see them and there was an abundance of fun and laughter and good food. We even hired the little gal across the street to babysit all three kids so we could go out for dinner, adult style. Thanks Sullivan family for your wonderful hospitality!

Early Monday morning we headed up Highway 101 to Forks and Rialto Beach for the first-ever Wildung family backpack extravaganza.

July 7, 2008

My Birthday Boy

My baby turned six yesterday. Any parent will understand when I say I just can't believe he's six already. The time flies and it seems that such a very short time ago we were laughing because after taking his very first breath he proceeded to pee on the delivery nurse! And he continues to like a good joke. He is such a sweet and gentle boy, and oh so very smart. I think I'll keep him!

Papa Ray and Grammie gave him some practical joke props, and he really enjoyed the snake that pops out of the can of peanuts.

Of course a birthday for Ben would not be complete without a new transformer. He plays with other things too, but he seems to have a special affinity for these robots and returns to them again and again.

Ben did not want a birthday cake, but instead requested a pan of brownies for his celebration. No one in our family objected; in fact we really liked that idea. With vanilla ice cream.

July 5, 2008


Mark's sister and her family and Ray and Marilyn joined us this year for our 4th of July festivities. The night of July 3rd was filled with our own backyard light show, thanks to Jennifer (the provider) and Mark (the pyrotech). Last night we drove in to partake of the little party our town throws each year, complete with live music for dancing and an amazing fireworks display. As Brian so eloquently put it, "it's a teeny town with a big heart!"

Hope your 4th was dazzling as well. Stay tuned for vacation photos.