Monday, July 21

California Roadtrip Recap

Last Wednesday Jack and I set out with Mormor (my mom) for a road trip to Danville, CA. Our trip was three fold : attend a wedding, visit my mom's best friend from grade school and have a great "last hooray" with just Jack before Max arrives. All three purposes were met and the trip was a blast.

We departed Covington at 1:00pm on Wednesday and dove towards a hotel/motel in Medford, OR. Jack was great in the backseat using all manner of items to entertain himself. He colored, he played transformers, he narrated scenery and we listed to the sacred family road trip item: adventures in odyssey. Come Roseburg, we got out of the car, ate dinner and "ran" the child. We arrived at our hotel/motel and Jack was beside himself excited. Having never stayed in a hotel he was beside himself. "It is so cool, everyone has little houses in one building". Thanks to a day of driving Jack (and Buzz Lightyear were asleep in no time)

We awoke early and hit the road. We knew we had another six or so hours ahead of us so we stopped in my favorite CA town, Yreka for a small town, obscenely huge breakfast at the Black Bear Diner.

Jack did a great job on day two in the car. We had lots of fun looking at all the fun scenery. He took a great nap following lunch and perfectly timed his waking up to 20 minutes before we arrived at our friends home. Our friends The Kurtz have been longtime family friends. As a kid, I visited their home a few times and we went camping with them at Yosemite when I was in Jr. high. There home is always so comfortable to be at...and for Jack it lacked no source of entertainment. We pulled into the driveway at 3:15 and here is mom and Jack at 3:20

We wasted no time hopping in the pool....and according to Jack that is why we went to California. "To swim, every time we think we want to swim" "California is great".That evening we enjoyed dinner at a great restaurant in downtown Danville. Day two was a great success.

Come 9am, well rested and ready for California life Jack could be found in the pool. He swam, swam, swam. He played loudly (surprising? no) He played quietly, He jumped from the steps and eventually from the side. He loves the water.

When Jack was not in the pool he was hanging with any number or creatures that reside at the Kurtz home. Thanks to Brynn (a freshman at UCLA in the fall) there is a friendly chicken and an adorable corgie named Chester. Jack and Chester spent a lot of time together. Thanks to dad, Fred, there is a great little tortoise named Matilida who Jack loved watching walk around the pool. I admit she was my favorite too.

Thanks to all the fun in the day Jack was in bed and asleep at 6:30. He was one tuckered kiddo. That left the evening for me to enjoy great dinner and good conversation with our hosts.

The camera never made it out of my bag on day four but fun was had none the less.We again ventured downtown for the farmers market and a walk along a trail. Jack not so much of a walking fan in California heat, but the trip ended on an up note because we visited the local train museum and had some amazing kettle corn from the market. We then went home and jack and I played in the pool. We had such a great time together. Then Jack and Brynn spent some time coloring in his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle coloring book. * Thanks Brynn for playing along. Jack thinks you are the coolest.

Later in the evening we put on our "handsome clothes" for the wedding which propelled this trip. As per family tradition we took one crazy picture and then one nice picture. The wedding was held at a beautiful vineyard. Jack loved the appetizers, drinking water out of a water goblet- "they think I am a grown up" and busting out his moves on the dance floor. The kid was a maniac. I wish I had had my camera. I was laughing so hard.

We woke up early Sunday morning, rolled Jack out of bed and into the car, gave hugs and were on our way. We had a mission: make it home in one day.

Thanks to Jack being the most amazing traveler (there must have been divine intervention because my kiddo is good, even great...but on this day he was out of this world)we drove, drove, drove, ate lunch, drove, drove, drove, ate dinner, drove, drove and drove some more. After 16 hours we pulled into the driveway at 11:00pm and climbed into our beds. It really was the most amazing, almost easy drive ever. What a great sport and what a great adventure. We had so much fun together. What a great memory.

Tuesday, July 15

Classic Jack

When Jack came out of Sunday school this week he had in his hand two crowns made out of tag board. One was elaborately decorated with sequins, glitter and GLOBS of glue. The other had mere coloring on it and the letters MAX. I praised Jack for his efforts and asked about Sunday school. " Later Mom, later" . So jump to later that evening. We sat on the front porch eating popsicles and taking about our day. We talked about Sunday school and like any good mom I asked probing questions trying to get the most accurate account of the lesson. The crowns indicated that it was about royalty:eventually I learned it was about Esther and her enabling the Jews to worship the One True God. After Jack and I had re-capped the story accurately I inquired as to why he had made two crowns. The response was classic Jack.

Jack: "Mom, one for me and one for Max"
Mom: "Oh, that is great,you guys can play kings"
Jack: "No, Max will be the king, and I will be the one true God."

Oh, so close....and yet so far away. It appears that Jack has big plans for Max, and apparently for his own self appointed holy self.

Tuesday, July 8

Summer School

The sun is finally out, the temps are high (for the seattle area) and the backyard sprinkler calls. Where is Jack you ask? He is doing self-inflicted summer school. Now Jack is one who likes to do things when he likes to do them. Don't ask where he got that trait. So it only seems natural in Jack-logic that come summer he is hounding me daily to print off school work and to give him "really hard...for real kids" work. So I do and now we have a new routine. After breakfast:a worksheet, after lunch: worksheet, while mom makes dinner: worksheet. All under his own power and his own free will. Let's see if we can keep this up come September when school really starts. I am

Saturday, July 5

Spectacular Fourth of July

Our family enjoyed a leisurely day with friends in celebration of the fourth of July.We joined our friends the Garnes family for a casual bbq, walk and pyro-technic fun.Doug and Karen live in beautiful North Bend.The kids: Dillon, Paige and Jack always have a great time together and are never at a loss for entertainment. The grown ups always enjoy good conversation, good wine and good food. After our dinner we took a walk at a near bylake.(more a tactic to settle the kids down...they were just so amped for fireworks)The lake and scenery were beautiful and kids, despite cool temps, hopped right infully clothed. When the darkness came Jack thoroughly enjoyed the fireworks. He continually applauded and kept saying "this is just so great" & " I love ourcountry". Funny Kid.

Jack and Mom lounging on the hammock...this is the life.

Dillon, Paige and Jack eating dinner in "the fort"

Awe, Sparkler fun. Do sparklers ever get old?

Wednesday, July 2

A Hiking Good Time

At our house most Sunday afternoons Jack and I find some way to entertain ourselves so that Jon can have what we call his "holy hours". The time where he gets some down time before the craziness of the work week. This last Sunday the weather was so beautiful that Jack, Mormor and I went on a hike to Franklin Falls. It was a great 3 mile hike along a river that leads up to the falls. There was still snow on the ground in some parts and the river was raging wiht all the recent snow melt. It was a great hike and Jack did a great job.

Max's Room

Last week we began painting over the teal and teal room that sits at the top of our stairs in anticipation of Max. I have had a plan and color scheme since December, but did not want to paint it or get it ready till we we were out of PGN. My parents came last thursday and knocked the majority of it out in one night. I spent a couple of days touching up and painting trim. Then yesterday thanks to my friend Nicole we set up the crib. Setting the crib was quiet a task. We were missing a few pieces but that did not detour us. We threw our small children into the van and ventured to the home depot. Then we came home, put the children in the back yard with chicken nuggets and ice cream sandwhiches. (occassionally checking on them of course) A mere 2 hours later the crib was done. It feels great to have the room complete and ready for Max. Now all we need is a kiddo!