Saturday, September 17, 2011

9/11/11 Family BBQ

Getting together with family the whole family is challenging these days.  Everyone has busy schedules and as kids grow older, go to college, move out, marry and live on their own, family time becomes more sporadic and precious.  As summer winds down, and before we are completely immersed into our new schedules, that include things like school, travel and less play time, a barbecue was set up at my brother Rob's and his wife Heather's house.  They have a beautiful home on the shores of Lake Whatcom in Bellingham.  Sunshine and water, meant that my sister, Krista and her husband Steve would be bringing their ski boat and there would be time to play in the water. 

In the kitchen with Heather and Rob

Here's Mom, and my baby sister, Krista
Josh with Inga and Katie
It was quite the crowd. Most of the family was able to attend.  My mom and her husband John, Krista and Steve, their son Parker, their foreign exchange student from Germany, some of their family friends, Sam and Katie (Sam's girlfriend), Josh and his friend Inga, my friend Connie, Brian and myself.  My dad came by himself, his wife was attending a funeral that day, and of course, Rob, Heather, and my nephews Riley, Randy and Rorey. 

Brian and I out on the deck.
We had a nice day visiting and catching up on all the going-ons in the family.  Steve took the kids out on the boat, to a location where they could swim and do some diving off of some trestle in the lake. 

Sam and Brian helped with the Barbecue
When they came back we stuffed ourselves with BBQ burgers, hot dogs, and an assortment of side dishes and topped it all off with dessert and a happy birthday song for Parker who turned 15.  Wow, where does the time go?  They grow up so fast. 

Me and my Dad

All in all we had a great end of the summer celebration. Thanks Rob and Heather for opening up your home. Love you.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Summer Vacations

Summer is such a wonderful time of the year. Around here we experience so much rain, and this summer has been no exception. To spend some time in the the sun, we had to pack it up and get out of town. 
We are very blessed to have friends that live in Nevada, and that have a vacation home in the Lake Tahoe area.  They were so kind in letting our family stay in their beautiful retreat this past August.  Brian took the time off of work, Tyler and Rachel came over from their new home in Spokane, Samuel was not able to join us, due to his work and band recording schedules, so Joshua brought his friend Christian. 
Here we are by the lake in Klamath Falls
Since this was going to be a Watson road trip, I wanted to make sure all passengers were comfortable, so before we left, I made everyone a "neck pillow" like the ones you buy for a long flight.  I basically just free handed the one I already own onto the fabric with a sharpie, sewed it up and then stuffed it and finished the opening.  They all turned out a little different, but they did make sleeping during the 15 hours a little more bearable. 
Tyler and Rachel excited to be on the road.
Christian still awake, but Josh was a little tired

Getting out of Washington didn't take long, and soon we were in Oregon.  Our first major stop was in Klamath Falls were we stopped for lunch and had pizza then went down to a lake to see if we could see the local waterfowl.
All you can eat salad and pizza, yum.
We made it to Lake Tahoe!
Back on the road again, and heading to Reno, then to the Lake House, a better place to be.  The trip was long, but we were glad that we tackled it in one day rather than two.  Brian did all the driving, and he was exhausted and ready for rest when we arrived.  Josh and Christian went straight to the private beach area to test the waters. 
After getting all set up with food and supplies, thanks to Walmart in Carson City, we were set for our adventure for the week.  That first day we hung out at the house and checked out Zephyr Beach Cove.

The next day we traveled out of town and went to Grover Hot Springs.  I was expecting to see a natural hot springs pool that maybe met up with a cold spring that we could all sit in and relax a little.  Well the hot springs were nothing like that.  It was basically a hot spring that fed into a man made "cement pool" where there were several senior citizens sitting and enjoying 104 degree water in 93 degree weather.  That wasn't going to be for our gang, we instead opted to go on a 3 mile hike to visit waterfalls.  It was very beautiful and a good hike.  We did have to scale some rocks, but the waterfall was worth it.  We stayed there for awhile, did some jumping and splashing in the ice cold water, Josh and Christian took turns jumping off the rocks into the pool and soon Tyler joined them.  Rachel and I also braved the jump.  It was quite refreshing.
The sign that gives all the history of the springs
Tyler and Rachel at the site of the spring in the background you can see the pool where it drains into .  The water has a greenish tinge to it. 
Up at the end of the hike, just resting awhile.

Rachel and I before we took the plunge!

Tyler taking the plunge!
So refreshing!
Here is a video of Joshua and Christian taking the plunge off the waterfall.  They had so much fun!

We spent the rest of the week close to the house, enjoying the private beach area.  In the garage was a large blow-up island that the boys used in the water.  The boulders there are huge! You could go out in the lake skipping from one to the next and then jump off some of them.  Rachel and Tyler worked on their tans, and Josh, Christian and I caught up on some homework.

We spent a day exploring the village area, that is a skiers paradise in the winter.  There was small "very expensive" shops to look at and we ate lunch at a little cafe.  There was car show going on too. It was part of Reno's Hot August Nights.  Brian loves old classic cars, so enjoyed that. 
Love the Corvette

In the Village

We decided to check out Sand Harbor Beach and took a picnic lunch to spend the whole day there. It was great!  Very sandy beach and packed full of people.  We were able to swim out to the big rocks and explore.  We rented a paddle board for an hour and we all took a turn at that with great success. 

Sand Harbor diving boulders.
Josh was a natural on the paddle board
Christian on the board
They are so sweet and so in love!
This home was my favorite

A couple of mornings after having our coffee, Brian and I went exploring with the canoe.  We just love gliding along in the water on peaceful mornings.  It's just us, the canoe, and the beauty around us.  The one morning we paddled into a harbor with such incredible homes.  They were all so beautiful and had such views of the lake and the mountains that still had snow in August!  The last full day we were in Tahoe, was full of adventure and first times. Brian decided to treat Josh and Christian to an hour of playing on a Wave Runner and for Tyler, Rachel and Brian and me, we went para sailing.  It was so fun!  I think the idea of it kinda scared Rachel at first, but she did it!  The view from up in the sky of Tahoe is incredible. After we were done with our adventure, we headed back to the house, cleaned a little, and got ready to head back to Sand Harbor for Shakespeare on the Lake.  We spent the evening watching a production of "The Twelfth Knight" all outdoors, with the beautiful Lake Tahoe in the background. Wonderful!
Off they go!

Just our feet suspended in mid air!

We can even take photos of ourselves high in the air...
Getting ready to get launched
Up in the air

Our last evening at Sand Harbor before the play.

That last day we got up extra early, cleaned up and took off for home.  It was an awesome, most needed relaxing vacation.  Our family is so blessed! Thank you, Lord. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New to blogging

I am new to blogging, and am looking forward to writing down my thoughts and special events and happenings of my life.  I am currently gearing up for my second quarter of nursing school with much anticipation.  My friend Traci, yes, that is Tracey with an"i", she does spell her name a little goofy, and I have been going through the next semester's vocab and have finished the 13 chapters of math in the demensional analysis book. I feel that we are getting a good jump on things. Nursing school is challenging and all consuming, as well as gratifying. I'm excited to be a full-time nurse and help others in the medical field.