Saturday, July 13, 2019

Sasha, James and the boys came for a visit in June.  They were on their way to WA so it was a short stop with us, but they stayed a couple nights and we sure were happy they made time to play with us a bit!  We went downtown to a slide that had just opened up and found out there was another one behind it.  The curly slide was really long but the other slide we discovered was even scarier; it was really steep.
Each of us made it down the curly slide, but some of us (myself included) didn't have the nerve to try the other one.  
We all had fun exploring the webbed playground once we got to the bottom.  Aspen's friend Sidney came with us, to balance out the boy to girl ratio :) . Sasha took some really cute photos of the kids.


 And got some of Eric and me too.  Why didn't I think to get one of Sasha and her family??




This is the steep slide.  Birch wanted to go down it so badly, but each time he looked down from the top he just couldn't do it.  He started sobbing.  "I don't know what to do!  I want to go down but I don't!"  This went on for at least 5 minutes, maybe longer.  "I want to go down the slide, but I don't!  I don't know what to do!  I want to go down it but I don't know what to do!"  I talked with him about it, how this wasn't a big decision and that he didn't have to go down the slide, only if he wanted to.  "I want to though but I don't!"  I told him I would go down if he did.  Then I got to the top and looked down.  Then I turned around and told Birch that I would not be going down the slide.  Somehow after a few more minutes he calmed down, poor guy.

 More pics from Sasha.  Love these!
 We had a great time with the Egglis.  Come back soon guys!
The following weekend was pretty crazy for us.  Eric, Aspen and I were going up to Cascade for our church congregation's youth camp.  Eric and Aspen headed up on Thursday, but that was Oakley's scout day camp day and I was helping out with it.  So we dropped B off with Eric's parents, and went our separate ways.  Aspen loved youth camp; the focus was on the scriptures, so they spent several hours each day studying the Old Testament, then the New, then the Book of Mormon.  They were put into small groups for the trip and Roo's group was the tigers.  She had fun making their flag.
Meanwhile O and I spent the day at scout camp learning about some really cool things.  They made a model of the Wright brothers' biplane, created a circuit, had an olympics competition, shot bb guns and also bow and arrows.  I was sad the moms didn't get to participate! :( . Still, it was a lot of fun.

That night O and I headed up to Cascade.  The youth camp was really close to the cabin, so we stayed there during camp.  Eric's parents came up that night with Birch, and the next day I met Eric and Roo at the camp.  Eric taught a mini class about the tabernacle in the Old Testament.  It was really interesting and he did a great job!
 The kids made carvings out of olive wood keychains from Jerusalem to remind them of Christ's atonement for us.
 ...checking out other peoples' designs.
Pete brought up his boat for the youth camp, and while Eric drove the boat for the kids Birch and Oakley kayaked around.
 Birch held this up and said something like, "Look at my fish Mom!"
 playing games during downtime
It was so fun to see Aspen interact with the other youth at camp; she was probably the youngest one there, and made some new friends.  I'm so glad she got to go.
On Father's Day one thing we did was go for a bike ride to a park next to a little creek.  When we got there Eric and I went and chatted under a tree while the kids "looked at the ducks in the creek".  After about 15 minutes we went to grab the kids and they were in the water up to their knees; Aspen was in up to her waist.  Eric and I chuckled and remarked that when water's involved, we have to assume the kids are going to jump right in.
I saw this photo of Eric recently and couldn't believe how much he looked like Oakley!  His chin especially.
Eric mountain biking with his friend Brando.  They are doing a challenge to ride all the trails (I think) in the foothills.
The kids each took a class at the Y in June; Roo took a theater class and on the last day we got to see her performance of Aladdin.  She was Iago and she stole the show!  She did a great impression of him.  Oakley and Birch took an engineering class.
 Aspen and the friend she made at camp, Anastasia.
 puppy love!
We love camping each summer with our friends Matt and Leslie, and this year decided to go up to Silvercreek, though we could only go for one night instead of our usual two.  I'm glad it was just one though, because boy was it cold up there!  I had one long, sleepless night.  I was awake until about 4:00, and slept until about 7:00.  My feet were cold, my face was cold, and when we got up there was frost on the ground.  We came home and Eric bought me a smaller sleeping bag.  I think I may get so cold because mine's too big for me.


Silvercreek has a hot spring, and it sure felt good to jump in it the next day!  We stayed in for a good 2 hours before getting out and going home.




I just have to tell a story about camping out that Friday night.  Eric and I got into our sleeping bags around midnight.  No cell service.  Closest town about 40 minutes away.  Just as Eric's head was about to hit the pillow he let out a big sigh and told me he didn't remember setting our cabin's lock code for the guests that were checking in earlier that day (the cabin has a smart lock, so Eric just programs it for each new guest to use).  He thought a minute with panic on his face.  He couldn't check the lock to make sure because we didn't have internet access, and he couldn't message the guests either.  "I'm going to drive to town," he said, and left in the car.  I waited.  We felt so bad; our poor guests!  If they couldn't get into the cabin they would have to find another place to stay, even though they booked with us!  Would they give us a one star rating?  Or no stars??  We had a good rating at this point and I was worried.  I waited about 90 minutes, and when Eric got back he told me that he had in fact forgotten to set the code, and that the guests and messaged him and eventually told him they would stay in a hotel that night.  Eric set the code, messaged him and apologized, and told him their entire stay (4 nights) was on us, plus any other time they'd like to return.  When we got cell service the next day our guests had messaged us back and were so floored by Eric's generosity that they didn't seem to mind at all about the previous night.  They booked again with us in September and at the end of their stay gave us a 5 star review.  Just goes to show what sincere sympathy and understanding (plus compensation!) can get you!  I still can't believe how well things turned out!
I just read this book to the boys; the tale of the real Robinson Crusoe.  All about Alexander Selkirk, who was marooned on an Island for four years in the early 18th century.  Told in story form with some quotes from Selkirk.  We couldn't put it down and were so amazed with how he survived on his own for so long.  He was very ingenuitive and also blessed with many small miracles.  A great read.
 At the park with friends

On June 29th there was a race up at Bogus.  I heard about it through the YMCA; it was a trail run, something I've always wanted to do.  The timing was right and it sounded fun (up in the mountains, cooler temps) so I signed up.  When the race started I had the impression I wouldn't do it again, because I couldn't just gun it like usual.  I was running on gravel, and when going downhill had to be careful and slow down.  I didn't have trail running shoes like the other runners.  So I really ran hard on the climbs instead.  After a mile or so it was really fun.  When I was almost at the end I saw Eric on the side of the road cheering me on, and showing me three fingers.  I thought he must mean I had three other climbs.  I asked him what he meant and he said "You're in 3rd place!"  I was so shocked; I was only running the race to see what it was like; there aren't many hills in Meridian so I don't climb much.  And I wasn't wearing trail shoes.  But I had trained on the only hill in town several times before the race so I guess it paid off!  I ended up finishing third for women, first for my age group and 7th overall.  It wasn't like there were a ton of people but I was still proud of myself.

Boy things have been busy lately!  After my race we headed up to Cascade/McCall.  Eric's brother Danny and his wife Shelby were in town and wanted to be up in the mountains.  Some boating was done...(Danny, Eric and Annie)
 as was exploring of a nearby garden...


 so pretty!


Birch and Ellie
While we were at the cabin in McCall Eric attached some steps that were found on the property to the front deck.  Then he added a brick/stone landing.

Eric and I were talking a while back about the fact that we've never taken the kids mountain biking.  They've biked on dirt in a bike park, but that's as close as they'd gotten.  Since we had our bikes with us (we were taking them up to Coeur d'Alene when we left McCall) we went out for a ride.  It was at Bear Basin, where we went snowshoeing with the kids in the winter; very pretty trails.  They were nice and shaded, and not too technical.  We all had a great time and the kids did really well on the trails.  Oakley was riding over every hill he could find, and though Aspen yelped when she came to a rock or root, she biked over them just fine!


We borrowed a tagalong from our friends for B to use, and he sure loved being on it with Eric.
At the end of the trails was a small bike park so we ended our ride with a few laps.
Some friends of ours happened to be in McCall while we were there, and they came over to see the cabin and chat for a bit.  There is a small creek in the back, and all the kids had a great time building bridges and other structures.  Aspen got the dirtiest; she's never been afraid of getting muddy (she seems drawn to the mud!).  We had a great time with the Waites; we went for a walk down to the beach while the kids played.
Before we left McCall we said goodbye to Danny and Shelby (they spent a day at the lake with us before we split up) and headed up to Coeur d'Alene.  We were meeting Ian, Kaylene and kids there over the 4th of July holiday to do some biking and playing at a theme park up there called Silverwood.  We arrived a few hours before Ian though, so we walked along Lake Coeur d'Alene and onto the boardwalk, where tickets were being sold for a lake cruise.  It was such a beautiful day and we jumped at the chance to see the area from the boat.

Our tour guide told us lots of fun facts about the area; its history and about some of the cabins and an island we cruised by as well.  Then we met up for dinner with Ian and Kaylene, checked into our hotel, and got ready for the next day; the 4th of July!
That morning we went to a parade held downtown.  Lots of fun.  Then we headed up to the Hiawatha trail about 40 minutes away.
We rode the Hiawatha with Eric's family years ago when Aspen was just a baby.  I pulled her along in her trailer and she slept most of the time.  I remember stopping at this place (above) and nursing her there beside the waterfall.  Not a bad place to stop.  Now she was riding on her own!  And definitely no nursing happened ;)
With Kimmie.  These two really love each other.  They're the sisters they never had, except they live too far apart.
The weather was much cooler along the trail; there were 10 tunnels we would be riding through, and the first one was 1.5 miles long.  Doesn't sound that bad but it took us 35 minutes to get through it!  And it was something like 40 degrees inside, which wouldn't be bad if you weren't wearing capris and sandals!


We went on several suspension bridges with amazing views!  The whole trail is 15 miles, and easy because it's slightly downhill the whole way.

No complaining from the kids!  They all loved it; we weren't sure how the day would go but everybody loved the trail.  It was originally a railroad line but when the train stopped running they decided to make it a bike path.









At one point Ian said something like, "This is awesome.  Overcast and cool, amazing views and there's no one else around!"

I think the whole trail took us 2 hours, and then we took a shuttle back to the first tunnel we went through.
Eric wanted to ride his bike back and meet us at the shuttle drop off.  So he took off and we waited for the shuttle to leave.  The kids found a chipmunk that wanted their snacks and they thought that was just the best thing.  They chased it and fed it for a long time until we left.  
I snapped this photo above because at the shuttle station there were snacks for purchase.  I had told the kids to get something healthy, and all the boys wanted were seaweed snacks.  I thought they were joking but they assured me they'd had them before and thought they were delicious.  They shared with Kimmie who said they were delicious too.  Who knew?
At the end.  We were the last ones through the long tunnel, and as we went through we sang, made coyote sounds...the acoustics were fabulous ;) . Then in the middle of the tunnel we all stopped and turned off our bike lights.  You could see each end of the tunnel just a little, but even so it was so dark you couldn't see your hand in front of your face.  Pretty cool!
After dinner Kaylene found an amazing spot downtown to watch the fireworks.  We sat in a huge park overlooking the lake...a great end to a great day.
The next 2 days we spent at Silverwood theme park.  We'd never been there before, and didn't know what to expect.  It was a busy time to go unfortunately, so we did run into some long lines.  But it was a charming park!  Lots of trees and tons of flowers everywhere.

The park has two parts; theme park and water park.  We spent the first day doing rides.



The older kids and dads wanted to go on the fast paced rollercoasters, so we split up and Kaylene and I stayed took Birch and Foster to the kiddie ride area.  There were zero lines and Birch wanted to do all the rides with his cousin.  Foster hadn't gone on a ride like these before but loved them!
There were some crazy roller coaster there; I went on one with Eric and the kids and it was so intense; I had a headache all day.  So I ended up just ferrying people from place to place, although I did enjoy the kiddie rides with the boys ;)



B loved spraying people with water on the bumper boats!


...exhausted....

 Hello from Silverwood



The first day we were all famished by 4:00; we thought we'd meet for an early dinner.  By the time we finally gathered everyone together it was almost 6:00 and we were dying for some food!  We found an all-you-can-eat bbq restaurant in the park and it was delicious!  Really hit the spot and the kids talked about it into the next day and even requested to go back.


The next day we went to the water park.  It had a lot of slides and two wave pools, plus a lazy river.  The downside though was that the temperature was only about 74 degrees and it was super breezy, so the kids were all freezing, unless they were in the pools, which lasted about 3 hours or so.  We left the swim park around 3:00 and headed back to the theme park until the end of the day.
Ian and Kaylene decided to head home just before dinner, so we said our goodbyes.  It was sad; meeting them in Northern Idaho was such a great idea and we won't see them until Christmas.  But we have plans to meet up there again and explore some more of what Coeur d'Alene has to offer.

We did a few more rides before dinner and heading back to the hotel.
O and Eric did some rides together while Roo and B did some kiddie rides.  Aspen realized how fun the kiddie rides were, and...no lines!

We headed home the next day, wishing we had more time to play.
The boys' lego creations at the library
On Monday the kids and I went to WinCo for groceries.  I was grabbing some pork chops, and Oakley saw this sign.  He looked at me and asked, "Mom, is that real lion meat??"