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.

Friday, August 08, 2014

duvall farmer's market

past famous george's bakery donuts as big as your head here and here.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

golden girl

so this past thursday, july 31st, was my golden birthday.
(you know, that's when you turn the age of the date of your birth.)

thirty-one, baby!

bryan, bringing home from work a smattering of golden gifts.

birthday milkshakes at blue moon burgers. 
a special shout out to my mom, who also gets to celebrate the day i was born.
(and look how much dally woo wants a slurp of that delicious shake.)

later, we celebrated with s'mores and games:

lower right would be marshmallows of the homemade variety. 
lots of people don't know you can do that, but you can. and it's easy, so you should.

it's going to be a great year.