Friday, August 30, 2013

{Summer: That's a wrap!}

Phew! Finally made my way through the summer pics!  Here's a few of the fun things we did during the time we actually stayed in town. It was a gorgeous summer in the Seattle. One of the best we've ever had.  We enjoyed being outside and squeezed in a ton! 

Now that Rylan is riding his 2 wheel bike with training wheels pretty well, we ventured out on several Saturday/Sunday family bike rides.  

Our garden did fairly well. Awesome tomatoes and yellow squash.   Bean and peas, not so much.  But our strawberry patch never disappoints.  We made a couple dozen jars of freezer jam and ate these for several weeks in June/early July.  
Carson had a couple 11 year old scout campouts.  Trevor got an additional calling as an 11 year old scout leader. I love sending my boys off together for scouts. They both love it.  

We did a round of private swimming lessons at the high school pool. Addy gets most improved over the summer.  I don't have to worry about her *as* much in the deep end.  Ry still doesn't like getting water in his eyes.  

Our slip and slide was on it's last leg, but we managed to get it duct taped up enough for one afternoon before putting it in the trash.  

We did a lemonade stand with friends.  

We invited several families over for a homemade ice cream night and lit and set off these awesome paper lanterns.  

We fit in a Mariner's game with some extended fam.  We recycled Addy's "Puyallup Peaches" uniform from a birthday party last year and borrowed one for her cousin.  They looked so darling!  

We played outside as much as we could for my calling in Activity Days including a day hike and super-sized slip and slide at the stake center.  

Major yard projects included bringing more crushed rock for the paths in the back and pressure washing and staining the fence (we still have a couple sections to go). Finished product looks like a brand new fence.  Oh man, time consuming project.  

We checked out a few outdoor pools close by. Outdoor pools are hard to come by, so these ones were pretty busy...but we got there early to stake out good chairs and played until they kicked you out.  

We bought a snow cone maker and made our own snow cones!

And our last hurrah before the start of school was a mom and kids date up to Seattle to go to the Great Wheel and Pike Place.  The kids absolutely loved this giant ferris wheel.  

In Pike Place you can't skip over the gum wall.   

Or the pig.   

Or the gorgeous market flowers.

Oh, these pictures make me sad it is all over.  Now we're deep into routine and sport practices, piano and church commitments too.  We loved the lazy days of summer!  

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

{Mount Rainier Camping}

It's hard to believe that we have lived here for 9 years and haven't yet camped on Mount Rainier.  We have gone up during the summer for some hiking and in the winder for some sledding a few different times over the years...but hello, it is one of the most gorgeous parks in the United States...I was determined to camp there!  We had to get reservations about 9 months in advance. I knew I wanted to go mid-August during peak wild flower season.  The park is gorgeous year round, but it is extraordinary in August.  A photographer's dream. It reminds me a of Yellowstone in terms of the traffic, variety of people and languages spoken, etc....It is a must-do!  

We convinced Trevor's mom and stepdad to join us...all the more fun when Grandma and Grandpa are around!  
We pulled in late Friday night...set up in the dark at the Cougar Rock campground on Mount Rainier. Typical Dalley style right there.  And we spent all day on Saturday up at Paradise (that's the literal name of the section of the park we stayed in...and quite fitting, actually!).  

We ended up on about a 5 mile loop (intended to go only about 2....but so worth all those switch backs for the view at the top!)  The kids did great. Mild complaining from the older two. And Rylan was a champ, he practically ran the entire thing.  

The wild flowers did not disappoint.  I think we missed the 'peak' by about a week...but they were still unbelievably gorgeous.  

We even found some snow!  It was perfect hiking weather...upper 60s...but not warm enough to melt these small glaciers.  

Notice our awesome hiking footwear.  Remember it was supposed to be a short hike?!

 Truly paradise!

Back at camp we played some dominoes and made an easy dinner.  
 Grandma Judy brought this yellow watermelon and the kids thought it was crazy!  It tasted just as good as a red one!

It's definitely on our list of places to return to.  Can't beat that scenery only 1.5 hours from home!

Monday, August 05, 2013

{Ensign Ranch Campout with Friends}

A few families in our ward got together for a fun camping weekend just 5 days after we returned from rest allowed during summer!  We plowed through the laundry and loaded up the trailer to head up to this LDS church facility that is about an hour away. They use this camp for girls camps and other youth activities so it is only open to families on the weekends.  SUCH a fun place with so much to do!  

We barely managed to get our trailer into the's mostly tent camping so typically big rigs aren't maneuvering through that loop, but we made it!  We were the last ones to arrive (typical...ha!) and met up with the Kerrs, the Poyfairs, the Dyers, the Radimaks, and the Karabas.  An awesome group with a zillion kids running around and everyone had a friend our two to pal up with.  

First up was checking out the water-slide   It was a beautiful and hot weekend, so it was perfect water-slide weather.  

Trevor did several rounds of canoe rides. Miles just loved it.  

The dads and the big kids had a blast on the rope swing.

The little kids got  20 minutes each on a horse.  

And Carson and Trevor got an hour long horseback riding trip...which helped Carson overcome his fear of horses (?!)...and now he totally loves it.  Yes, I am one of those moms that forces their kids to do certain things in hopes that they will discover it isn't so bad. This time it worked.  

We enjoyed late nights around the campfire and I discovered I really am a night owl when the rest of the crew called it quits at 10pm...what?!  

Addy made jiffy pop popcorn over the fire.  We have to make due when we don't have a microwave (no hook-ups for the trailer).  Sacrifices.  

Here's the only semi-group picture I got which includes about half the people.  So fun camping with such a big group!  We all have committed for round two next year!  

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My little blog is a family journal. I include things on here I want to remember years and years from now. So when I post a zillion is because I want to have it for my posterity. So please forgive the often posted-picture overload.

Currently I am trying to focus on my photography skills...reading, reading, reading, and taking pictures when I can. Then edit, read, read, read some more. I finally feel like I have a basic understanding of exposure...hooray! I updated my blog template so I can display larger photos because...aren't pictures better than anything I have to say anyway?

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