There is this anxious excitement that comes with our yearly visit with our Colorado grandchildren. We are so excited to be with them again, yet anxious to fill their days with happy memories because we know time is precious and limited. Is it really possible to miss cheerios on the floor, fights over available Popsicle flavors and what movie we get to watch with grandpa and one more chapter please? Yes, it is a reality that chaos and noise take on a type of nostalgic bliss when viewed in the dead quiet of an empty home. How do people not have children? And how can it be that I didn't have my camera ready at every minute? I have so many pictures in my head of things that happened during their visit; maybe Heather caught a few of "my head pictures"... It was such a great visit!
Heather, Eliza, Liam and Afton arrived at the airport on Sunday, Father's Day, at about midnight. Katie, Tim and I met them there and it was a great reunion. My favorite head pix is of Liam dropping his back pack and running into Grandpa's arms (and having two pieces of luggage lost). Katie made signs to welcome them even. The kids did great in spite of the late hour and the long trip. I still had a week or so of work, but Katie was home to play with everyone their first days here. They visited the beach and got reacquainted with the local sights.
First Saturday they were home we had to go try out the new-to-us canoe!
We thought that Buck Lake would be a nice safe place to play!
We all crammed into the Previa with the canoe on top and spent the afternoon paddling with each of the kids in the lake until they were bored and tummies hungry. Marc and Jesica were house sitting nearby and stopped by. Look at Heather's blog to get to see the fun photos of our time there. I didn't remember that I had my camera in my pocket until the end of it all!
I can't remember exactly when this photo was taken, but I do remember that I had been french braiding Eliza's hair and it had been taken out the next morning. While she was watching cartoons, she gave herself pigtails and was very proud of her new style. When we went shopping that day, she was very pleased that she had fixed her hair herself. She really liked it when I gave her french braids after that; she liked how it crimped her hair.
On one Monday night I decided it would be fun for the kids to make their own pizzas. I made the pizza dough and everyone shaped their individual pies and added toppings just as they wanted them to be.
Liam concentrated very hard on adding just the right ingredients, with just the correct amount of cheese. (Sorry it is blurry...)
Much to Tim's consternation, he had to make his own pizza too. That is a sarcastic smile. In the back ground you can view how much cheese Eliza thought appropriate for her pie...
What would a visit to Grammy and Grandpa's house be without some camping? The weather was being obstinate (surprize) but we packed up and went to Fort Flaggler on Marrow Stone Island-- a place close to home incase we got too wet!
There were some big trees in our spot and the kids really enjoyed climbing them and swinging in the hammock that Grandpa put up.!
It was a bit windy the first day we were there-- the Thursday before July 4th. Our group was small, just Tim and I, Heather and the kids. Katie had to work, but came out on Friday, Marc and Jesica didn't come because Jes was pregnant AND had Shingles (and still house sitting and caring for animals)! The sun would not be a good idea for her. We made the most of it however!
Eliza on the beach facing Port Townsend. Someone had built a classic fort out of the logs. The day began on the cold side, but the sun came out and fried us pretty good! We had lots of good food. Heather, again, took some fun pictures, I hope she will share with us. We didn't get a group shot of all of us out there...I am not sure why, but we did get one later before they went home.
Sunday evening the 3rd, Zac came for the evening from Puyallup for dinner and we all attended the fireworks in Poulsbo. Monday the 4th of July we piled into the van and went to the Kingston Parade! Wow, it lasted about 1 1/2 hours and the kids made a halloween-type haul of candy tossed from the parade participants. I swear it looked like all of Kitsap County turned out for the event! We even knew people in the parade! Heather ran home after the parade to get in her exercise for the day...amazing! It was a nice long celebration of the freedoms that we enjoy! Time off, camping, pyromania and parades with candy and warmth! Oh and Marc and Jes BBQed some great burgers for us too! Wow!
We had some real NW weather mix days while everyone visited. Some days were wet and several were nicely warm; nothing like the triple digits the Bratts left behind! Fortunately for the warm days, Grammy had some mondo popsicles for the kids. Afton really liked hers.
There was no mercy from Grandpa, or any of the boys when it came to water fights. Poor Eliza had to learn how to be a good sport with the rambunctious boys. If she squirted someone once, she got fired upon multiple times in return, regardless of tears and loud protests to NOT GET HER WET!
During their epic battles, Liam would get mad then fight back. It was hilarious to watch the wheels in his mind try to figure out how to get grandpa wet! Once he even squirted grandpa while grandpa was reloading at the hose...yup, the hose got involved...and so did Uncle Marc. Marc didn't have a water gun so he took to using the hose on people. The neighbors probably thought we were beating the kids!
Heather and I waxed creative too; we decided to make pretty pillowcases for her bed, we also added trim to the top of the flat sheet to match. I liked her choice a lot!
I think on one Saturday we took the kids to McD's for happy meals then we went to Battle Point Park on Bainbridge Island with its spectacular park so the kids could play and burn up some energy. The morning started out cool, but by the time we got to the park it was sunny and nice! Yeah! Eliza was really happy with her happy meal toy...
Liam loved his fries, inhalled his burger AND delighted in his light saber toy; it was the hit of the play ground. (I need to get that mailed to Colorado...I found it!)
Eliza in the sand pit. The park has buckets and shovels there for the kids to use and plastic adirondack chairs for the adults to sit in; no need to bring your own...
Afton really enjoyed just hanging out in the shade with us. She wandered a bit and really liked the giant Xylophone that was in the middle.
Each year when we go on the family camping trip I try to bring a sweat shirt or a t-shirt or beach towels or something, for everyone. This year I decided we would tie-dye shirts! We ran out of get-it-done energy while camping so on the 4th(?), we all got together and dyed the shirts. Heather will have the cool shots of the family all together, but my shots will give you an idea of how they turned out. It was a fun project...I would do it again; my lawn will take a while for the spilled dye to grow out and I WILL remember gloves next time....but I would do it again!
We needed a group shot and it was almost time to go home again for the Bratts so we made the trek down to Indianola Beach for some photo opportunities in our new shirts during magic hour. Grampa and Eliza...
Katie was going to teach Afton to spit this year--instead she taught her to throw rocks--thank goodness...what a mess.
AT this point they discovered someone had an indian style tee-pee in their backyard. We had been reading Indian in the Cupboard so they really wanted to figure a way through the marsh land to go pay a visit.
Afton decided to climb into a boat up by someone's boathouse on the beach. Thankfully no one was around to mind much. Cute though!
Katie wants pictures but refuses to pose for them most of the time!
A few days later the kids climbed in the car with grandpa, Heather climbed in the Green's suburban with me (the people Marc and Jes house sat for were coming home from Rhode Island and needed transportation home from the airport) and we traveled very early in the morning to the airport for the long trip back to their home in Lamar. I feel like we did way more than this (like spending a day at Indianola Beach and a day at Point No Point and trips to the library and a day in downtown Poulsbo and...), but I didn't take any pictures. (Hopefully Heather did..)
We miss our Colorado kids very much. The house is way too quiet, but I have mopped long enough and need to get on with life with out them--at least until I devise another visit! Thank you Ethan for sharing your family with us! They missed you very much!