Wednesday, August 26, 2015

First Grader

Today was Sora's first day of school! She had a 1.5 hr orientation yesterday, but today was her official first day. 
This year, I am working in the after school care at Sora's school. I'll be working 8-3:30, which means I can bring Sora to school and pick her up every day. We are both excited about this change.
So, this was kind of a first day for both of us. I've been working for a week or so, but today was my first day with kids. It's going to be an awesome school year!

Sunday, August 16, 2015


Last summer, we bought our house, but the garden was already in full bloom for the season. This spring we were super excited to plan and plant a garden of our own. Living in WI for the past few years and being gone every summer, we haven't gotten to garden for a long time. We are lucky to have automatic sprinklers to keep our plants alive when we're up at camp and a wonderfully sunny and hot backyard to open us up to plants we could never grow in Seattle! Let me show you my favorite additions to our garden (the berries and trees that the house came with are awesome too, although it's been a little too hot for them and we haven't been the best pest-controllers of our trees, so much of the fruit is infested... we're learning!).

 Banana peppers:
 The whole watermelon plant (which we're hoping will produce a LOT of watermelon):
 Our tangle of tomatoes (there are 4-5 different varieties in this mess):
 Sunflower (Mother's day present from Sora's school that is now HUGE):
 Hops (Kyle is the most excited about this one):
We still have a lot of our growing season left, so it will be fun to see what ripens before the fall. Last year, the tomatoes stayed green, but I don't know when they were planted. I still have high hopes for the cucumbers and watermelons that were pretty late additions to our garden.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Mt. Rainier

Even though I've lived in Washington the huge majority of my life, I have never been to Mt. Rainier National Park before. I decided that Sora should not live with that same stigma, so we took a trip to the mountain. We had planned a three day trip which turned into a two day trip.

The first day, we explored Paradise:

 We camped at Cougar Rock Campground, where there were no cougars. I'd also like to point out our 13+ year old backpacking tent. That's the best part of camping with just Sora - I get to use this beauty!
 We also explored the Trail of Shadows by Logmire:
 And went on some other random hikes:

We went to the Jr. Ranger talk at the campground which Sora was only mildly interested in. We also met some very nice co-campers who let Sora chase after their bikes and gave us cake and propane. They were Canadian, of course.

The next day, we went on some more hikes to see some beautiful waterfalls:
 And explored Box Canyon:

 We went up to Tipsoo Lake.
 And Sora cried on some of the steep hikes (reenacted here):
 We went backpacking and hiked .4 miles down to Deer Creek Camp. It was a beautiful site next to a creek with a bear pole and a bathroom. The only downside was that it was a pretty steep trail. Oh, and after we ate dinner Sora vomited. She had been complaining of her stomach hurting all day, but since it's such a common complaint I ignored her. Anyway, after the vomiting episode, we decided to pack up camp and head home.

 Sora vomited twice more on the drive back to camp and again in the middle of the night, so we made the right call by cutting the trip short. Here are some pictures that commemorate how we felt about the trip. The first is for the vomit and the steep trails:
 This one is for the waterfalls and campgrounds:
I'm hoping to make this an annual trip, and also hopeful that next year we won't be stopped by vomit!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Boulder Caves

Sora and I joined some friends on a trip to the caves. We had never been before, so I was super excited. Kyle is an avid spelunker, so I'm sure we'll be going again soon.

We got to the park-n-ride an hour early, so we entertained ourselves with Sora's new kite.

 We also did some window drawing.

 Finally, our friends came and we got to see what all the hype was about.
 There was a small pool to play in near the waterfall, which Sora also climbed behind.
 The caves were dark (so no pictures), but afterwards, the kids played in the nearby river.
 I think we could have easily spent all day here, but we had to get back to camp. Sora can't wait to go back with Kyle later this summer!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Impressive Lineage

Sora and I went north to visit my parents for an extended weekend. On the way, we stopped to enjoy the gorgeous view of Mt. Rainier.

We also stopped to visit my uncle, aunt and cousin at a park for a playdate. We were too busy for pictures, of course.

Sora loves my parents house: they have more toys than she does, a horse to ride, and a puppy to play with!

On Saturday, we headed to the annual Old Settler's Picnic. My dad is very proud that his great aunt's husband's once removed cousin is an original old settler in the county and he makes sure everyone knows it (okay, so really it's his great-great grandma, but that doesn't sound as silly).

We got to enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride before our BBQ lunch.
There was a scavenger hunt around the old cabins. They have an impressive 12+ old cabins from around the county which have all been relocated to Pioneer Park. Sora went to all of them and documented their original date and had to find a hidden clue and answer a question about all of them. She was super into it!
 This was the upstairs of one of the cabins. We had to take a picture for Kyle, whose camp name is Moose.
 Sora also got to go digging through hay. At first she asked what the kids were looking for and I said, "Nothing." She answered, "Sounds fun, can I do it?" They were, of course, looking for hidden candy which made it even more exciting.

While at grandma's, Sora also got to climb through the doggy door (she was a big fan).
 And make friends with the mannequins (her cousin is a big fan). It reminds me of that amazing movie Mannequin (and the sequel Mannequin 2).

On the way home, we stopped by a park in North Bend with a sweet climbing rock!