Saturday, September 27, 2014

Wyatt's Birthday Party in the Woods

To celebrate Wyatt's birthday with the rest of the family who could make it, we decided to have a little evening party in the woods. It's just more fun in the woods, assuming you don't mind really long gravel roads into the middle of nowhere and no bathroom facilities.
Knowing I didn't have enough time to do all the things I wanted to, I asked my friend, Kelly, to make a batch of cake pops (her specialty) for me. I told her my plan and that I was thinking camo or something woodsy and she suggested a s'mores theme. Perfect! Because we were going to have s'mores and a campfire anyway! :) They turned out awesome and were perfect for our party in the woods. I really can't wait until our house is out there! ....someday...Lord willing...

Wyatt thought his party in the woods was super and told me he felt really special, which was the whole point!



Friday, September 26, 2014

Wyatt::9 Years Old

Wyatt's birthday always creeps up on me since it follows Brendan's so closely but so much changes between the two birthdays. Brendan's is still in the height of summer and Wyatt's is well after the start of the school year. Brendan is also much more vocal about his upcoming birthday and all the things he may want or want to do. Wyatt is less so and I feel less pressure for his birthday. For these reasons it feels like Brendan's birthday has been made a bigger deal than Wyatt's for several years in a row. I know it is impossible to do everything equal for each kid, but I really wanted to make sure Wyatt felt special this year (without too much pressure on myself....I really don't like throwing huge kid, invite all your friends, parties).
Similarly to Brendan, we decided to do something special for his actual birthday, just us and then have an extended family birthday party a few days later.  We had made secret plans but the day before got offered some free tickets to the WA State Fair. We decided to do that instead.

The fair was a total blast. We didn't get up there until about 2 and we stayed until 10:00pm when they closed. We could have stayed the whole day there was so much to do. It's been a while since we've been to a fair and all 4 kids had sooo much fun going on the scariest rides they were tall enough to ride!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Brendan::11 Years Old

Well darn it all. I apparently have too high of expectations for myself. It is September 2 and Brendan's birthday was nearly a month ago. Slow down world!!!

Brendan is 11. sigh

We had Grandpa Mike with us and actually had to take him back to the airport on Brendan's actual birthday. Sad. But we tried to make it fun and managed to pull Rand away from work early that day (I think it was a Thursday). We made our airport run and then took the kids to a surprise dinner at Rainforest Cafe in Seattle. I swear they had been there before, but no one really remembered it. It was hilarious because they were all just a little freaked by all the mechanical animals, noises, fake thunder and lightening and rainstorms. Some of the pictures I got there were hilarious! It was really fun and we gave Brendan some gifts and then went to a movie after.

We had an extended family party the next Monday when everyone was free from work.
Brendan is officially in the 6th grade now which technically makes him a Middle Schooler. So weird. I'm happy to have him home becoming more and more aware of how quickly it all goes and how soon he will just up and fly away. His own life just around the corner.

Brendan continues to be a good helper. Full of interest in many things and bordering on obsession with whatever it is that he happens to be into. It has been many things. Today it is fishing and learning piano. If you run into him, no doubt he will tell you about one or both of those things!

We love you Brennie!!!

I'm an awesome mom and got my new 11 year old his own manly soap and deodorant. :)

Look how freaked they are about the sparkler on top of the cake!!!
 "not so sure about this, Mom" (these pics crack me up!)
Tackle Box!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

My Summer (so far) Through iPhone Pics

So it turns out moving, having long term house guests, and having 2 computers die is a very bad combination with blogging! I haven't even used my real camera since baseball. Ugh! It's pictures and moments I can't get back. BUT, thank you Lord for the iPhone!!! All the photos in the post are from my phone. Some straight from the phone, others edited in Instagram. So it's a crap-shoot but Rachel promised she would send me all the pictures from her camera that I forgot to snag before she left.

We have been crazy busy since May! Before summer even started, before school was even out, we took advantage of a sunny Monday (we took Mondays off all year and worked on a 4 day school week. It helped big time with my sanity since I tend to work on the weekends) and drove up to Skokomish Park on Lake Cushman to scope out a potential camping area for the summer. It was stunningly beautiful and the lake was so cold! But the kids swam, of course.

See how cold?
Easton got buried in the volleyball pit. (Dr. Dirt. Ever heard of "earthing"? I think Easton's body knows how to do it naturally) :)
After this day trip, we reserved 2 RV sites (one for Rachel's RV and one for my Dad's) and 1 tent site (for everyone else) for the end of the time Rachel was supposed to be with us visiting for the summer.

And then we just counted down the days until we moved, and had our summertime guests!

Rachel and the kiddos arrived with their RV on the last day of June (I think), just 2 weeks after we moved all of our possessions from the little house in the woods in Olympia, to a much bigger house in Shelton. Totally hadn't even finished unpacking before they arrived! 

This is the only picture I took of the move, but it was the very last time I pulled out of that driveway.

I can barely remember the order of events of the next 3 weeks, but looking back through the pics I realized we really did a lot of fun things.

Right away we had about 3 parties in a row. 3rd of July we had a get together and watched fireworks out at my Mom's house at Alderbrook. And best part was getting to meet my cousins new baby, Ava. 

If you know my cousin, Travis, at all, you know what a big deal this picture is. And that if he knew I posted it here, he may come and try and kill me. In fact, I'm sure I would have never been able to snap it if he hadn't been holding a baby. But I think he will probably never see it. :) Right, Nancy?? Well I think this picture is the cutest!! red+red=red :) 
And this.... normal 4th of July attire if you ask me.

After the third of July, I hosted a 4th of July party at my house. The norm, BBQ, campfire, fireworks. Then the next night (as if we hadn't had enough of the partying) I had a painting class to teach and all my siblings joined me there. We then went out to dinner (late, mind you) and continued our "sibling night" at Joanna's house until LITERALLY the sun came up. Good grief! How old do I think I am?! There was loud music involved, a lot of dancing and yelling, headstands and something called a Pickleback. It took me days to recover.
There are NO other pictures (or possibly videos) that will EVER be posted publically
 Whew. Moving on.

We acquired a pool. A little bigger than the tiny baby pool the kids dipped in last year. It was almost free and required just a few patches here and there from some winter happenings, but it's holding water. And bestly, it's keeping kids entertained and cool. Both Easton and Annabel have gone from terrified to little fishies in just a matter of weeks.


Rachel and I (still recovering from Sibling Night and the previous 2 nights before that, spent those next few days just sitting by the pool life guarding. Then we went off in the evening and visited with a good childhood friend who was up visiting family. We sat by the fire and the water and enjoyed the view and the breather from the crazy (CRAZY) kids!

Summer's here are pretty unbeatable and we have had fantastic weather this summer. It's bordered on almost too hot, but when you've lived in Phoenix, you really can't say that about Western Washington. Ever.
So maybe the next day or maybe a couple days later, who knows, we took the kids to Twanoh State Park for an evening swim at high tide. Evening high tides are the best because the water comes in over hot rocks and warms up significantly. It helped that it was virtually windless. We took Rachel's kayaks and had another nearly perfect summer day.
 Easton (4) and Willow (5) Best Buddies

After several evening outings we decided to take a couple day trips. One day we went up to our property here in Shelton. It's a 40 acre family lot that have been subdivided into four 10 acre parcels. Rand and I are hoping to build there in the future (sooner than later) and especially now that we live in town, find ourselves going up there just to run through the woods. The property was a Christmas Tree farm which you might notice from the perfect rows of trees in some of the pictures.

On our way to the woods!
 

And THEN.....Kansas people can't come all this way and not go to the beach, so off to the beach we went. Us Wagners take a BUNCH of crap with us to the beach. Body boards, wood for a fire, chairs, kites, swim suits AND warm clothes, buckets and shovels, the dog, etc. So we tend to go to the beach where we can drive the car right onto the beach. Rather than park a mile away and have to trudge all the gear across deep sand. We got there and set up everything (including our clothes line) and realized it looked like our cars threw up and we were staying for a week!

See how busy we have been? Crazy

For the last 5 days Rachel got to be with us, we went camping up at Skokomish Park. She has a big RV which was basically like our portable pantry and kitchen. We cooked and ate at her spot and then hung out and had the campfires at our little tent city just a few spots down. It was awesome. My dad camped, my mom camped, Joanna and Jon camped. Even Uncle Jordan camped for part of the time. The weather was decent, but definitely could have been better. But because we were there long enough we had weather for everything. There was swimming, kayaking, LOTS of fishing, riding bikes, watching movies (in Rachel's trailer). So on our last night all the other tent campers decided to go home. Joanna and Jon had to work and my mom did too. So tent city that night was a little more quiet, but nice. At 4:30am it started to downpour. I got up and gathered a few things and got back in the tent hoping it was just a fast moving cloud and it would be sunny when I had to get up. Rand left for work around 7:00am and I got up at 8:00 ish. And it was still down-pouring. I am talking mud on EVERYTHING. Inside the tent, warm and cozy. Outside the tent, disaster zone. I look out the tent door and see my dad and sister tromping down the river, er, I mean road, with their rubber boots and rain hats on. Hilarious. I have no pictures because it was nuts trying to pack everything up in the those conditions, but I managed! Rachel took all my kids up to her trailer for food and movies while we gathered everything in the muck. Again, it took me days to recover. Hosing down chairs and tents and tarps and hanging them to dry in the yard and then repacking everything.
It was awesome. I would totally do it again. Things are so much easier without a baby in the house! :)

From the campground Rachel hooked up and pulled her trailer down to her in-laws in Kelso where they met up with Royal and stayed for a couple weeks there. Now they are heading back to Kansas and another summer has flown by. I couldn't move on with summer and a birthday and the rest without getting the post done and documenting one of the things we look forward to most every year. These summers with Rachel and the kids are just the absolute best. If only we didn't have to say goodbye. :(