Friday, August 14, 2009

[day 226 ... aug 14]

At each Skyhawks camp, the kids get an "award" for participating in the camp. We've got quite a stack of them now!

Poor Niall had to miss the first two days of camp this week due to a terrible cold, ear infection, and - just to top it off - pink eye. But eyedrops and antibiotics helped quickly so he was able to join camp for the final three days.

[day 225 ... aug 13]

Sports camp this week for Cory, at Marymoor again. One of his coaches is the same as last time he was at Marymoor (Coach Alex) so he was happy about that.

This group had the most girls I've ever seen at a Skyhawks camp. At least half the camp was girls! I think a bunch of them knew each other and signed up together, but partly must be just chance.

[day 224 ... aug 12]

I liked this view of the boys' bikes side-by-side in the driveway. Seems like a good metaphor for how they will go through life, I guess, and just a reminder that they are growing up (both riding bikes now, no more trikes for them!) but still in those middle years. The next phase will be upon us before we know it, so I'd better enjoy the "little boys" stage while I can.

[day 223 ... aug 11]

My mom has this clipping posted on her bathroom mirror so I saw it every morning last week. It's titled "Be Happier." I love the sentiments: that happiness isn't some kind of permanent state to aspire to, that we make our own bits of happiness along the way, day by day. Certainly a good message for me to keep in mind right now.

Even better, the column has tips for creating more happiness in your life by doing little things, as simple as always carrying a book with you for those inevitable times when you're stuck waiting unexpectedly and might get grumpy over the lost time.

I like these kinds of practical, simple, uplifting ideas. Much more appealing to me than grand sweeping pronouncements that can be generally inspiring but are ultimately too broad and general to be meaningful in the nitty gritty of life.

[day 222 ... aug 10]

This was another casualty while I was gone. We got this little truck walker for Kellen when he was first learning to stand and walk. It picks up little toys as it goes with a turning sweeper under the hood.

Eventually it migrated outside and has been used with great glee to "clean up" pinecones and other driveway debris. Of course, it gets clogged and someone (read: Mom) has to clear it out so it can go back to being zipped around the driveway gathering cones.

But it finally gave up the ghost, after nearly 19 years. RIP little truck. You made a lot of fun possible for a lot of little boys.

[day 221 ... aug 9]

The boys found a (air-propelled) rocket launcher in the garage while I was gone and have been loving sending the foam rockets waaaaay up in the air. They stay up an amazingly long time - 5-10 seconds at least. Just when you think a tree branch has captured the rocket, down it plummets.

This is Niall looking up to see if he can tell where the rocket is. Not easy to tell, with all the tree branches in the way.

Inevitably the rocket eventually does get stuck on a branch and the fun is over until the wind blows it down again. I guess that's part of the excitement: it's risky!

[day 220 ... aug 8]

Homecoming went well, and in the late morning, we headed down to Bellevue to pick blueberries at the Mercer Slough. The berries are a bit thin now, with the very early season due to the hot weather, but we enjoyed picking a bunch. It's the first time the little ones have been berry picking, and Tynor hasn't been since he was little.

Unfortunately, it didn't end up being very appealing for Cory because he doesn't like blueberries (I didn't either at his age - maybe he'll come around eventually). And unbeknownst to me at the time, Niall was coming down with a rip-roaring cold, starting with congestion and chills. But other than that, it was a fun outing and great to get all those fresh berries!

[day 219 ... aug 7]

The pastel contrast of the open window and frame on Mom's cottage caught my eye. It reminded me of the "When a door closes, a window opens" saying (though I don't think of it with the usual religious implications).

I looked out over the peaceful river this evening and enjoyed the reflections, the birds swooping, the occasional chatter of people passing by on the trail across the way. This has been a restful getaway, desperately needed.

[day 218 ... aug 6]

I invited Tynor over for dinner this evening. I miss him! And I wanted to reassure him that I was feeling better.

We got takeout burgers and shakes from the Ranch Drive-In. First time I've been there in many years, though we used to go pretty regularly back when Kellen and Tynor were young.

We ate out on the deck and took a few photos by the water afterwards. One of the resident herons was perched on the bank directly across from us! Of course, as soon as we got out our cameras, it lazily flew off. I captured a nice blur, but Tynor got a better shot. At least one of us got it!

[day 217 ... aug 5]

My home-away-from-home this week: my mom's mobile home along the Sammamish Slough. The front rooms inside are all knotty pine (just like my mom's childhood bedroom), with a shelf that runs around the top on three sides for books, dolls, baskets, and other items.

That's my laptop over by the window, looking out onto the water. And my bags on the floor, just beginning to gather things up to get ready to return home. I think I'll be ready by Friday. I hope so, anyway. I could use a month of peace and time to myself, but a week was enough to bring me back from the brink. At least for now.

[day 216 ... aug 4]

I enjoyed taking some photos along the waterfront at Mom's place this evening. Just seeing what struck my fancy and playing with the composition and lighting. These pics were my favorites.