Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Weekend of Celebrations

On Saturday Gary and I photographed a great wedding of an old student of ours.  It was awesome and so fun to run into so many people that I haven't seen in so long. 

Today we skipped church and went to the Honeybee Centre first thing for their festival.  I'm glad we went right when it opened.  The kids could all play the games without waiting!  They won tickets which they could cash in for prizes (honey sticks, pencils etc).  It was a great event for our kids, aged 2-8.

We've explored the Honeybee Centre before so we didn't go to the shows or look around too much inside but we did enjoy that last time that we went.

They also had a bouncy castle which Nya is always a huge fan of.

And Mac's was there with free Froster's (slurpees).

Then, we had a caricature done of the kids.  I never usually indulge in these things (not free) but he was a very cool guy and I like his work!  

I totally see Kai and Koen but don't really recognize Nya's face.  

Then, we went out to Abbotsford for my niece, Grace's, first birthday.

Jack, above, is such a mini Kai.

The kids had a great time with the bouncy castle, bubble machine, wading pools and frisbee.

Grace wasn't so sure about the whole `Happy birthday' and cake thing at first but once she got a taste of it, she was much happier!

Our kids finally got to meet little Lucy.  She is 3 weeks old now.  When she was born, they had a cold so I don't want them around her.  Nya is so in love with her.  `I hold her' `I take her home, mommy'.

I miss the feeling of falling in love with your child.   However, I don't miss all the other stuff that goes with it.  We are VERY happy with our family of 5 and the fact that we all sleep through the night about 6 out of 7 nights a week.

It was a great weekend!  Now to get to all of those wedding photos and prepare for our two Korean students coming tomorrow.


Friday, July 25, 2014

Nehalem Bay State Park

Three years ago we went to Nehalem Bay State Park in Oregon and loved it. I blogged about it here and I love looking back to see how little Koen was.  This year we invited both of our families to join and two of my sisters (and their families) came as well as one of their friends.  Maria and Kris took their 4 girls, Jan and Doug came with their 2 kids and Maria and Kris's friends Ben and Julie came with their 3 kids.  We all had sites alongside each other which was great.

It's a long drive (8-9 hours) as it's about 1/2 hour south of Cannon Beach but it's worth it!  We did stay in Tacoma on our way down but then drove back in one day.  Oh how I wish it was closer.  Long road trips are tough when our kids are normally used to (and require!) a whole lot of physical activity.

The campground is right on that sandy beach.  Beautiful, right?

I remember last time wishing we had a photographer along.  I know Gary and I are both able but with very few hands free, it sure would be nice! 

Fortunately it was much warmer this time around!

Once again, the Junior Ranger program was a huge hit!  They do a really great job of it there.  

Gary bought this hammock at Costco before we left and it was great.  I think it was under $40 and I would recommend it for sure! 

We all got together for s'mores around the fire and then once the kids were all in bed the adults could hang out a bit.

The walk to the beach is just over a sand dune.  Beautiful, right?

One day we drove 20 minutes to Short Sand Beach.  We went to the caves and tide pools. It was good to visit another area nearby!

Maria, Kris and their 4 girls.  Georgie didn't want to touch the sand.  Made things a bit trickier being on the Oregon Coast :)

There were a lot of Sea Anenomes in the tide pools which was cool.  If you go to this beach (Short Sands) you definitely want to go at low tide.

Maria and Georgia. The Ergo's were great for carrying the littles over the dunes. Although, Nya climbed it on her own on the last day.  That girl has some willpower :)

Nya's `I cold' face.

Koen LOVED jumping in the waves.  Even though he was pulled under numerous times (we only allowed him to go up to his waist) he kept going back for more.

The campsite (B11) had a perfect amount of sun and shade.  We all slept in the tent again but this time we brought a heater which was key.  There is electrical hook up so we stayed nice and toasty warm at night.  Next time we will put the boys in a separate tent because getting Nya to sleep was a bit of an ordeal but I think we now have it down.  The boys may have gotten in a bit of trouble for waking her up on the last night when they went to bed.

Small friends Leah, Lisa and Lauren were road tripping down to California and ended up staying at Nehalam Bay one of the same nights as us!

One of the cool things about this campground is that it has an air strip.  You know what this means!  My dad flew in on the second day (just a 2.5 hour flight).  There is a paved 3km bike path that goes around the air strip and we did it several times.  So fun to have our bikes along this time.

Here's his aerial view of the campground.

And an aerial view of the coast.

Gary and I got to get away for 20 minutes to enjoy the sunset.  We took a few HDR photos (that's where you combine three photos-underexposed to overexposed and combine them). 

On Wednesday, the rain came.  This was unfortunate because we still had one more day there.  Our tent's vestibule, where we store all of our suitcases etc, was turning into a giant puddle.  I just didn't want to risk the kids tracking a ton of mud into the tent and spending the day all wet.  We decided to pack up a day early (so gross packing up wet stuff!) and head down to the Tillamook Cheese Factory before heading home.  The rest of the families were in tent trailers and a trailer so they were pretty nice and dry.  Gary and I are considering buying a small RV.  Considering....must convince a sister or two to buy in with us :)

Nya got to use her `new' rainsuit!

My dad slept in his plane.  He got rained in so had to stay an extra day.  His `bedroom' had such an amazing view!  The elk were just roaming around on the runway and I wish I had my zoom lens!  I'm hoping he got a few pictures.  The one right behind the plane was enormous.

It's a half hour drive to the Tillamook Cheese Factory and a great way to spend a wet day.

It was fun for the kids to see how cheese is made and also to sample a bunch!

We bought some pepporoni and cheese and then had grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch before heading home.  Wow, I look as tired as I felt :)  (We had a wedding on Saturday night, got home at midnight, uploaded all the photos, got up early on Sunday, I culled and backed up photos and finally we were on our way around 1:30 pm.  So, it was a tiring start to our trip but I needed to make sure that we had all of our photos backed up in several locations just in case).

I don't know why we didn't get a group shot of us all (oh wait, maybe it was the 12 young kids amongst us as we were always off in different directions) but here are a bunch of us!

It was a long drive home and we didn't get home until 8:30 pm.  Thankful for safe travels, but man, road tripping is exhausting!

It was really fun to camp with family and I hope we can do it again (although possibly closer next time!).  I love Nehalem Bay State Park.  It's incredibly gorgeous, clean, affordable and there are NO MOSQUITOES!   If you've never been to the Oregon Coast before, I do highly recommend it.  It's breathtaking and so worth it.

Hope you had a great week!


PS Here is a short little video Gary put together (2 minutes) from our camping trip.