Tuesday, September 16, 2014

big wheels

whenever the house is quiet.

you know, that eerie kind of quiet it should really never be with a toddler around.

and i can't seem to find the caleb anywhere.

he's usually escaped out to the garage, having swiped his sister's shoes (cause those are the only ones he can put on by himself), and is casually cruising around on his radio flyer.


little stinker.

Monday, September 15, 2014

baby fangs

a little photo shoot of bryan and i trying to capture on camera dallin's wicked lateral incisors.

he's such a good sport :)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

if i had instagram

these are some of the stellar (and not-at-all-blurry) pics you might see:

unky ken's birthday party at cafe mox:


caleb actually smiling:


dallin trying out the swings:


and our first night out, no kids:

Monday, September 08, 2014

k is for kindie

that's right, folks: another wheeler bites the dust!

kindergarten starts a week later here, so today was officially afton's first day of school:



at the bus stop with her big sis:



and there they go, arm in arm:



the great return:


honestly, i was holding my breath for afton today. when we went to orientation last friday, she did not seem very excited about school or friends or recess or any of it. but lo and behold, she hopped off the bus, big smile on her face, and totally rocked the big K today!

way to go, aft!

Thursday, September 04, 2014

twas the night before school starts

so monday night was our annual back to school devotional where we celebrated these two crazies and their impending new school year:


this year's family theme is "let your light so shine." we talked about contributing to classroom discussions, sharing good ideas, and adding to the positivity around them. we also discussed bullying and peer pressure, being kind and being an example to others.


we then gifted the girls a lightbulb zipper pull to help them remember to shine bright throughout the school year:


bryan gave the girls and caleb each a father's blessing, we enjoyed sprinkled rice krispie treats, and it was off to bed, while visions of skool dayz danced in their heads.


Wednesday, September 03, 2014

lift off

i'm going to go ahead and call it:

today was the day dallin first crawled. toward a plastic bag he wanted to chew on, no less.

at seven months old, that's about two months earlier than any of my others. let's hope he uses his new-found abilities responsibly.

(but if experience and the plastic bag are any indication, i'm not holding my breath...)


also of note, he can sit unassisted and is growing out of clothing like it's nobody's business: 12-18 months old already!

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

first things first

she's the realest.



i have to say, i was feeling much more emotional packing this girl's lunch up this morning than i was sending her off to kindergarten last year. half day kindergarten turned out to be nbd. i mean, i felt like she had just gotten on the bus to go to school by the time i had to turn around and pick her up.

but now, my little is gone until almost four!!

we all were a bit lonely today without her (afton, her forever partner in crime, especially). but, boy, is summer excited for a great year (and two recesses)!

she sells sea shells

by the seashore.








Monday, September 01, 2014

hood canal

our kids have never met a beach they didn't love.














one last hurrah

before school starts on tuesday, and we say our official goodbye to summertime, here's a little preview of our last weekend getaway to hood canal.

first, the ferry ride. honest to goodness, i don't think i've ever seen caleb so excited. like, ever.









summer and afton loved it, too. see summer's first ferry ride here, when she was a couple months older than dallin.

beep beep

now he's seven months old and a rarin' to go!


Sunday, August 31, 2014

the evergreen state fair

or the one where the children are almost eaten by farm animals.

caleb was not nearly as impressed at holding a brand new baby pig as we thought he would be.


here the kiddos are meeting their very first herd of (hungry) goats. you can see how the goats tower over caleb (his head is lower left corner), whose vertical inferiority he was not super excited about. you can also tell how much afton is digging the experience from her facial expression, barely visible in the upper left. 

luckily, no wheeler children were harmed in the making of this petting zoo adventure. they screamed a lot, but they were not harmed.


checking out the ducks from behind the relative safety of the fence.


lovin on (slash scarfing down) some delicious fisher fair scones. don't judge me.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Monday, August 25, 2014

young family reunion: backpacking to hyas lake

(a rare treat: text by bryan!)

We learned something very important during Ski Lesson Zero (see this post for details regarding that particular disaster): When introducing the girls to a new form of adventure, optimize purely based on the desire to repeat the activity.

Key elements of success for the girls' first backpacking excursion included:

1. The hike - It was a short two miles over gently rolling terrain. The trail crossed streams and creeks over a dozen times. When energy or focus flagged, spirits were easily revived with "I think I hear another stream!"
2. The footwear - As an adult, I went to great lengths to keep my feet dry. The kids, however, relished their freedom to walk in the water.
3. The lake - Hyas Lake has several shallow, sandy regions that made for excellent play areas.
4. The food - Ramen was the perfect trifecta: the kids love it, Emily refuses to serve it at home citing nutritional concerns, and it's easy to make in a JetBoil. Stove s'mores were popular as well.
5. The weather proof tents - Overnight, we experienced heavy rain for several hours. Fortunately, we all stayed dry, and the rain ended up being only a benefit since it muffled potential bear sounds.
6. The bear spray - Speaking of bears...the girls were somehow convinced that a bear would definitely come to our campsite sometime in the night. In fact, every hour or so, one of them would pop up in a sleep induced delirium and ask several bear related questions before going back to sleep. Most fears were assuaged by the can of bear spray in our tent as well as the bear spray I left with Uncle Matto (he solo'd the night like a boss in the awesome $10 tarp shelter I built him).
7. The sleeping bags - I wanted to get a couple of blue sleeping bags for the kids, thinking we'd be able to get more use out of them and pass them along to the boys in future years. After showing them to the girls, however, they were all ho-hum about it and convinced me to show them other colors. It just so happened that there was a lipstick pink version. Any wild guesses which color they chose? On the plus side, the girls were totally bought into the trip as soon as the pink sleeping bags arrived.
8. The company - Ski Lesson Zero put Emily in a 1:2 adult to child ratio, and zone defense is definitely sub-optimal in any new, adventurous situation. Uncle Matto and Uncle Owen evened out the ratio to 1:1 for this trip. In addition, the girls prefer to look mature in front of younger cousins, so Danton's presence provided good incentive to be tough, as well as good company for the journey.








young family reunion: cooper lake, part deux

or the one where owen and bryan get all wet.

bryan can't resist mountain lakes.


king of the hill. or tree. or log. or lake. or whatever.


afty, dant, and opa d. otherwise known as "le canoe de fun."


anna leads the way.


unky schmatt and auntie emme relaxing on the lake. 
faster, summer girl! faster!


pics courtesy of owen and anna young.