June Twenty Sixteen

June happened. I think. I have pictures. Although, no June happening would be nice. It’s the start of summer and I’ve never much liked the season. And I say this as a Native Californian… one who is supposed to (stereotypically) love the sun and warmth. Give me weather under 72 degrees—preferably cold, overcast, and maybe even some rain—and sunset by 6pm, then summer would be alright in my book. Basically, make summer like winter and it’s all good. And then there is the whole everywhere is busy thing. I’m always excited for school kids to be on summer break… I remember how much I loved the feeling of school ending and summer starting. Then I feel bad because I really want kids (not mine) back in school so places aren’t so busy. I avoid most places in the summer. I’m not a fan of being around crowds. The zoo on a Friday in summer? No. The zoo on a Tuesday in December? Yes.

Reliving June which felt like eons ago (it’s August), in pictures:

Duvall Days Parade. Laine was asked to ride in the parade with the group she takes riding lessons from. Bad parents on our part, we hadn’t ever taken them to a parade before. Not only was she in her first parade, she had no idea what to expect. She had a blast and wants to be in more parades. On a horse of course (of course… there’s a reference from long ago).


Laine and Rambo.


Saige and Vaile ready to get their parade on.


The group walking to the start of the parade.


Saiger’s first ever lollipop.


Testing it out.


We have a lollipop fan.


Laine and Rambo after the parade.

Family walk. We have been taking family walks. Actually, we were taking family walks (slacker mode these days). Living close to the trail is great. It’s a flat walk to the trail and there are no busy streets to cross (the complete opposite of living off the trail in Issaquah). I’m not sure I’ve mentioned how much I LOVE living in Carnation (haha). I absolutely love the walkability here, and it’s a beautiful place to walk. And on top of all the things to love, there are ample geocaches. Our new thing. Last year at the Redmond Watershed, the kiddos accidentally found a geocache. They were snacking on a bench and found a box with a notebook and pen to write their names. Ever since, they always look behind benches. And ever since, I’ve been meaning to start going regularly with the kiddos. I installed an app on my phone and we occasionally remember to look when we’re places. Laine suggested we look and see if there were any geocatches (as Laine calls them) on our walk. There are several.


Treasure catcher.


Treasures caught.


Deer crossing!


Rock throwing.


Rock throwers.


Looking for skipping rocks.


Rock throwing from the bridge (with his pants falling down!).






Blaise’s turn.


Laine’s turn.


Geocacher Blaise.


Putting it back for the next person.

The last day of Blaise and Laine’s preschool career. After two years at Tiny Treks Outdoor Preschool, the kiddos are moving on. I guess they’re technically kindergarteners even though we’ll be homeschooling. Either way, they are no longer preschoolers. I have nothing but wonderful things to say about the preschool program. They were outside 100% of time and learning was incorporated with play. It’s a beautiful thing seeing your kiddos thrive in an environment that puts their best interests at heart. I’m sad they’re moving on and happy at the same time. Their last day included a wienie roast/potluck lunch for all the families. It was a nice end to the year and their preschool career. Onward and upward.


Last day of preschool, ever!


Attempt at getting real smiles… still a little cheese there.


Roasting wienies.


Wienie roast Vaile.


Food, eh. Umbrellas, awesome.


Last preschool performance.


Tree horse rider.


Upside down Laine.


Tree climber Blaise.


Tree climber Laine.

Strawberry picking. Brian took a vacation day the Friday after the big kiddos’ last day of school. We went strawberry picking before Brian’s dad and Tara arrived for the weekend. Living in the country, berry picking farms are all within minutes of our house. Saige and Vaile (by default) didn’t last long, and Blaise and Laine lasted long enough to fill the bottom of a box. The berries weren’t the best… we only were able to use half within two days before they all went bad. It was about the experience more than the fruit usability so mission complete.


Strawberry picker Laine.


Strawberry picker Blaise.


How Saige picks strawberries…


Pick and eat…


And eat…


Make a random face…


And another random face…


Pick and eat more…


Start to get concerned about being messy…


Wonder what to do about messy hands…


Show mom messy hands…


Hope mom will clean them…


Accept that mom has no wipes.


Strawberry harvesters.


A picture that’s basically the same as the one above.


The end result.

A visit from Brian’s dad and Tara. Bob and Tara flew up for the weekend; the big kiddos had their dance recital Saturday. When we were homeless in California while our house was being built, the kiddos were gifted fishing poles from Bob and Tara. The plan was for Papa to take them fishing when he came to visit. Like with most things kiddos, they watched while Brian and Bob prepped the fishing gear. They set out the next morning for fishing… which lasted about 20 minutes. The warden across the river used a loudspeaker to tell them there were emergency regulations in place and fishing wasn’t allowed that day.


Watching Papa prep the fishing poles.


Fisherman Blaise.


Fisherwoman Laine.


Laine and Papa (Blaise had given up fishing already… after a few minutes, that’s my kid!).


Sticks > Fishing


Rocks > Fishing


No fish but they caught some Starbucks on the way home.

Picnic art. Tara brought art projects for the kiddos. They took an interest in the wood picnic set right away and started painting them. Now they use them to go on pretend picnics. Nice little art set.


Picnic painter Laine.


Pineapple Laine.


Picnic painter Blaise.

Wasp nest. Blaise found a wasp nest at the top point of our back patio. We thought it was abandoned because we hadn’t seen any action. A few weeks later, Brian knocked it down and the kiddos dissected the sucker. Turns out wasp nests are filled with little eggs waiting to hatch. Sorry, little wasps.


Wasp nest Blaise.


Wasp nest Laine.


Not a dormant nest…

Riding lesson. Another Sunday, another riding lesson. Hershey is the oldest horse at the stable and Laine is the youngest rider. They make a great team. She’ll be riding him a few more weeks and then rumor has it she’ll be moving on to Rambo (whom she rode in the parade). Kid loves horses! Apparently she’s a hit at the stable too… her riding instructor’s dad likes to come just to watch Laine ride. He said she’s a natural and that he hasn’t seen another kid in all of his years pick up as quickly as Laine has. Nice compliments!


Laine and Hershey.

Laine also canters now (and I’m learning horse terms).

Outside! We’re loving the backyard. The kiddos have always spent summers mostly outside, it’s just now we have a fence to keep them contained. Bonus! There are some days I send them outside and they’re out for hours. Melvin likes to hang outside some days, too… when he’s not busy being my shadow.


Hanging with Melvin.


Strawberry Blaise.

Rice Krispies Treats. Blaise and Laine had been asking to make Rice Krispies treats. So we did. They even had special Fourth of July colored cereal so we went the fancy route. I’m fairly certain the entire pan was demolished by that evening. Brian was the culprit, which was unusual since he’s not a sweets guy… over 20 years with someone and I’m still learning things about the guy. Maybe because this was my first time ever making these suckers.


Marshmallow Laine.


My first ever batch.

Painter Saige. Tara brought several art supplies when she and Bob were here. We have a ridiculous amount of paint now. I gave some to Saige so she could go to town on paper towel rolls.


Silly Saige.


Actually painting something other than herself or the table.



A trip to the ER. Man, I’ve never been to a hospital more than I have in the last few years. I’m not even a take my kid to the doctor for any little thing mom. I take them once a year for their annual checkup and call it good. I’m a wait things out person after assessing the situation. If nothing is broken or bleeding uncontrollably, no rush. Blaise, Laine, and now Saige have had the pleasure of going to the ER. Actually, me too… how could I forget the blur of last year?! Saige and I were in the backyard. It was time to head in so I picked her up (she runs away otherwise) and we were walking toward the back door. I stepped up from the grass to the patio and tripped (my pants legs were too long, damn short legs). As I tripped and fell toward the patio, I instinctively put my hand down to stop my fall… dropping Saige. WTF, Lora?! I dropped her about six inches from the patio, right smack-dab on her chin. Her mouth started bleeding and her chin had a massive cut from rough, rocky cement. Poor kid. She rarely cries. She let it all out. I was able to assess her mouth and all of her teeth were good. I stopped the bleeding and calmed her down. I cleaned her chin cut and stopped it from bleeding, too. We had a friend and her kiddos coming over; they arrived about 10 minutes after the injury. Saige was still crying, which is unlike her. I debated about taking her in thinking she probably needed stitches. I always lean toward, “Nah, it’s fine,” so I emailed Brian a picture for his opinion. He decided Saige needed to be seen. He came home and I took Saige to the ER. What a trooper. She did a great job there. She only needed glue. Thank goodness because if she had needed stitches I would have wanted a plastic surgeon and dealing with ER staff isn’t something I was up for. All was well by evening.


The culprit.


ER Saige.


ER Saige.


Workbook kiddos while Saige went to the ER.


And, science.


More science.


Not sure what concoction they made… although all the dish soap was gone.

Laine dropping her training wheels. Laine is a hard worker. When she sets her mind to doing something, she practices until she can. Sunday morning she asked me to take her training wheels off. Sunday afternoon she was riding a bike. Bad parenting on our part, the kiddos hadn’t been on bikes since last July before we left for our homeless stint in California. Blaise says he’ll take the training wheels off when he’s six (everything is when he’s six these days). I’m pretty sure Saige will be riding on two wheels before he does.


Two-wheel Laine.

Hot days. Man, it was hot. Hot for Washington standards. Somewhere in the high 80s and low 90s. The kiddos go no matter what the temperature. The day was spent bike riding, Otter Popping, and ended with some Slipping ‘n Sliding. These kiddos have the life.


Otter Pop Blaise.


Otter Pop kiddos.


Sliping ‘n sliding.


Vaile hanging in the grass.



Brian installed a ceiling fan. Let me say that again, Brian installed a ceiling fan. We opted against air conditioning when we built the house. And it’s been fine not having air conditioning. The way our house is positioned with the hill behind us, we don’t get much direct sunlight… only a little in the evening through our front door window. Inside stays pretty cool; the highest I’ve seen the indoor temperature has been 76 degrees. And now with the fan, it keeps the family room even cooler. We bought a second one for our bedroom… it’s been on Brian’s to do list for weeks to install the sucker. Eventually. Probably in winter.



Butterfly growing. We grew butterflies. I bought the thing last year and never got around to growing them. I remembered this year and ordered caterpillars. A few weeks later we had butterflies. That was a fun process to watch.


Getting ready to release the butterflies.


Laine’s turn.


Saige’s turn.


And, Blaise’s turn.

Ice cream truck. We have a neighborhood ice cream truck. For a while he was only coming after 8pm. Not cool for our kiddos who are in bed by 7pm. We happened to be walking one night when we heard him. We flagged him down and the kiddos scored some ice cream. Vaile missed out.


Yeah, sure, there was an ice cream truck.


Ice cream!

Indoor skiing lessons. Brian was adamant about Blaise and Laine learning how to ski. He bought them season passes for winter and plans on taking them regularly. The indoor skiing place is pretty cool… they learn on a conveyor belt carpet thing that simulates skiing. They’ve both picked it up quickly and are off the leash and the skis aren’t tied together anymore. And Brian has since signed them up for a six-week class on the actual snow come January.


Skier Laine.


Skier Blaise.

Park picnic. After their first indoor skiing lesson, I took them to the park for a picnic. Laine had been asking to picnic and since their lesson was at noon, I had to feed them after anyway. I packed lunches before we left home and there you go.


Picnic skiers.


Picnic Saige.


Picnic Vaile.


Swinging Vaile.

Farrel-McWhirter: Round Two. Our former go-to park, usually at least three times a week. Saige and Vaile haven’t experienced it much since we rarely go to parks anymore. I took them one morning while the kiddos were in their first ever summer camp (at their former preschool). It was fun being back, and brought back several memories. Good times!



Laine in a tree. High up there.


Tree climber Laine.

Making play-doh. Saige thought we were baking and ate some. She then proceeded to realize it was disgusting and played with it instead.


The focus!


Serious focus.

More indoor skiing lessons. Screwing around on the snowboard while the other has a ski lesson.


Belly boarder Laine.


Boarder Blaise.

Construction Blaise. Brian took the big guy on an evening walk to have some time together. With all the construction in the neighborhood, Blaise was able to check out some machinery.


Construction Blaise.

A visit from the kiddos’ Georgia cousins, Shane and Aubry. Brian’s sister’s kiddos flew out to stay with us for five days. Brian and I had both met Shane; Brian had met Aubry; Jean lived them for a few years; and our kiddos had never met them, aside from a few FaceTimes stints. It was really nice having them here.


Hungry kiddos.


Jumping kiddos.


Art gals.


LEGO guys.


Slip ‘n slid cousins.


Ignore the messy backyard.


Ice cream cousins.

Saige sleeping in her big girl bed. Finally. It took her long enough to realize she could climb out of the crib. Both Blaise and Laine were out of the crib around a year, sleeping in twin beds not long after their first birthdays.Not that it matters… as long as my kiddos sleep, I don’t care where. I bought a twin for Saige back in February somewhat expecting her to be sleeping in it by then. She preferred the crib… until the last week in June when she started climbing out. That was that. She now sleeps in a twin bed. It took a few days of adjusting to the excitment of being able to roam in her room. Now she just lies down and goes to sleep. Three down, one to go. Talking to you, Vaile.


Big girl bed Saige.

That was June. July happened already. I’ll get to that before December, haha.

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