Saturday, July 28, 2012

Families Supporting Adoption Beach Day

 When we decided to adopt we joined a support group through LDS Family Services called Families Supporting Adoption (FSA.)  After Emma was born, they asked us to be part of the board, which we have served on over the last three years. Being part of this organization has taught us much about the world of adoption and brought us together with many wonderful people who have also adopted children.

Today we attended an FSA Activity at Taft Beach in Lincoln City.  We had never been to Taft Beach before, and we loved it. It is a great beach for families with young kids.  It is on the bay, so we were sitting on a flat part of the beach with water that was shallow for a good section of area.  Great for the kids to play in without large waves coming in and getting really deep.  I loved it.

 We had a mixed blessing in that this activity was not well attended.  There were only two families in attendance, the Thompson's and ourselves. Emma loved playing with their two older kids, Harmony and Kimball.  They also have a cute baby named Treygen.
 Here is Traygen playing next to his Mommy.
 The family next to us had a raft and many children.  Here is a photo of them burying their brother in sand (in the raft) and turning him into a Mermaid.  He was such a good sport.  They also let our kids join them.  You can just see Harmony's head above one of the girls.
 The oldest girl cam over and asked us if she could give our kids rides in the boat.  She was so good with them, and they loved being pulled around int he raft.  You can just see Emma's head in front.
 Here is Bambi taking Treygan for a walk.  He so wanted to follow the bigger kids.
 Emma was so good about keeping her sunglasses on all day.  I had done a pretty good job with the sunscreen, but missed down the opening of her shirt.  Lucky for us it was a very mild burn on her chest, which went away after a day.  Not so lucky for glenn, who missed his neck and got a 2nd degree burn at the crease.  He was in pain for a week or more with it.
Emma and Harmony spent much time carting water back and forth to pour on the sand.  They played together so well.

Glenn and I have not been great about attending FSA Activites, but this one reminds us that we need to do more.  We loved spending the day talking with Troy and Bambi, and Emma had so much fun with the kids.  Especially as she gets older, it will be good for her to have friends that are also adopted that she can share with.  Thanks Thompson Family for a great day.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Adventures of Traveling

 We rented an RV this year for our camping trip.  It was wonderful to be in an RV, and we love the company we use as they have been very helpful and accommodating to us in the past. This year was no exception.
 We also wanted our van while we were camping, so Emma and I drove the van while Glenn did the RV.  Emma and I were about 20 minutes from home when Glenn called my phone to tell me he had a flat. He was about 30 minutes behind me by the time he called.  He had already made several phone calls by this time, and was now in wait mode.
 Glenn first called AAA, only to find out that our AAA plan did not included RV service. So next he called RV Northwest, from whom we had rented. They were wonderful, and called Les Schwab to do the service, then called Glenn back to let him know they were on their way.
 So the advantage of a flat with an RV is that Glenn was set with snacks and a comfortable place to sit and read.  He had about an hour wait, then the guy appeared to fix the tire.  All in all it added about 2 1/2 hours to Glenn's commute home.
So once again Les Schwab and RV Northwest showed excellent customer service and great business sense.  One of the best parts is that all the expense was covered by them, and there were no costs but time for us.  I love companies who take care of their customers.

Historic Site: Fort Stevens

 This day we decided to visit the Historic Site at Fort Stevens with my Sister-in-law Meredith and her two boys Pirate Cousin and Army Man.  They rode their bikes there, but we drove with a stop at the KOA Coffee shop to use the internet.  We needed to purchase our tickets for the Halloween Party at Disneyland for our trip in October. Besides, Glenn gets the twitches if he is separated from technology for too long! lol

 While Glenn spent money, Emma and I enjoyed some ice cream!
 The Historic Site at Fort Stevens has a small museum about Fort Stevens and the Army's residence there.  It also includes the story of when the Japanese attacked there in WWII.  No one was hurt, and the shells only hit the beach, but it is significant because it is the only place on the continental United States to see any action during the war.

 Our first stop was this Jeep.  All the kids had to take a turn driving.  Army Man was first of course.  Emma had her chance next.
 And finally Pirate Cousin took his shot. This is where I started to notice that Pirate Cousin is not looking like a boy anymore as much as he is a Pre-teen.  He is growing up too fast!

 At least the boys are still boys when it is fun enough.  Here are Pirate Cousin and Army Man all excited because they were able to climb to the highest spot.
 Here is Emma watching her cousins.  She is so in love with them.  She wanted to climb with them, but was too small to make it up herself.
 Emma and Army Man visited the memorial rose garden to look at the flowers.
 Emma and Pirate Cousin decided to look down the barrel of a large gun.
 Emma followed Mommy up, but didn't like it.  She has a healthy respect for heights, and likes to be safe.
Emma decided we were done and started to take off on her own.  She had fun, but when she is done, she is done!

Family Time

 One cool morning while camping, we decided to take a break from all the extended family and do a Seaside tour.  We found our parking spot and hit Pig N Pancake for Lunch.  Emma was excited to have her pancakes.
 After eating, we walked down the strip to the beach, stopping anywhere that looked fun.  Of course, when we passed the arcade, Emma saw the car and train to ride, and had to take a spin.  She is a little obsessed these days with driving the toy cars.  If we do not stop, we have a very upset little girl (note that this includes the grocery carts that look like cars for kids!)
 Another important stop at the beach is the candy store.  Emma loves lollypops, so this all day sucker was a must.  She was so excited, that we let her open it up when we hit the beach.
 Here is Glenn holding Murphy.  Glenn picked him up on a business trip for Emma, and they have been inseparable since. She entrusted him to Daddy while she worked on her sucker.
 I just love the faces she makes!
On the way back to the car, we stopped at the carrousel mall for a ride.  Emma knew just what she wanted to ride, and led Mommy away from the horses and other animals for this seat.  Have to admit I was surprised by her choice, but it was fun.  She loved this ride and wanted to do it again.  We didn't as it was too expensive, but when we are at Disneyland, we will be sure to ride that one a few times.

Camping with Cousins

 We had great weather for most of our annual camping trip this year.  Since all the little ones spent most of their time digging, I was grateful for the dry ground.

Here is cousin Savanna and Pirate Cousin playing with a rake, shovel and bucket. Pirate Cousin is so good with the little ones!  He is going to make a great Daddy some day.

It didn't matter to Savanna that the bucket was so big, she was determined to fill it like the other cousins did.

Cousin Shaylee enjoyed taking her Grandma's dog Leo for a walk.

Emma and Army Man spent hours digging holes...
 And getting dirty...
And just being together.  She really loves her cousins.

Learning to Ride a Bike

 On July 4th, we purchased Emma's first bike.  Glenn finally had time to put it together when we were camping at Fort Stevens this month.  Emma was so excited to ride her bike and join all the other kids.
 So Glenn and I started trying to teach Emma how to use the pedals when all the other kids were off on a bike ride. Glenn would kick the back of the pedal to push it around.  I tried actually pushing on her feet and showing her how it went around.  After about 30 minutes of this we had no progress.
 Emma decided to get off her bike and visit, when a few minutes later...
 Emma's cousin Shaylee came riding by.  Shaylee is just a few weeks younger then Emma, and Emma was riveted by watching her ride. She spent lots of time just watching her feet, and then...
 Emma started riding her bike all by her self.  She just climbed back on and took off.  It was slow going, but she was so proud of herself.
 Emma then followed Shaylee around the area and begged us to take her around the loop while riding.

Cousin Audry was also a big help.  Even though Emma had started working the pedals on her own, Audry spent about 15 minutes walking along side her and working the handle bars for her. 

So here Glenn and I had spent half an hour with no success, and then her young cousins teach her in 15 minutes!  This seems to be a pattern with our little one.  She likes to learn from other kids her age by watching them first and then trying herself. Another good reason to let her play with kids her age! :)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Escaping the Heat

 This summer we have discovered how much we love living only an hour away from the coast.  This is the second time we have decided to pack up after church and drive to the beach for a picnic dinner.  Today it was hot (close to 90) at home, so we thought we would be cooler at the coast, and we would be more comfortable.  Little did we guess that it would be almost 30 degrees cooler there.

So first lesson learned today: Always bring a change of clothes for colder weather for Emma.  We arrived, and she was dressed in a little pair of shorts and tee shirt for 80 degrees.  I always pack our sweatshirts, so that helped.  I just wish I had grabbed pants for her as well.  She didn't seem to notice until we were on our way home, but by then we were able to turn on the heat, until we got back to the hot weather at home.

 So Emma loves the beach.  She was all excited to gather rocks and dig in the sand.  We sat close to a father with his three boys, and they had a nice hole already going that Emma joined them with.

  Glenn had also brought our kite, and she loved this.  Emma has been asking to fly a kite, so this was her first time.  She was so excited to help Daddy put it up, and she took care of the tail.  She held it up until the kite got too high for her to keep it in her hand.  Then she ran to Daddy so that she could hold the string. She did such a good job, and I loved watching Glenn teach her this.

We sat right in front of this rock pile, and Emma couldn't be more pleased.  She kept finding more rocks to stack and add to the pile.  Rocks are an important part of the beach experience with our little one.