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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Me & Harry at Midnight

The house is quiet and I'm reading Harry Potter. Earlier today Rick brought home the recently released Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows for me to read.
I can't wait to get to the end of this book! And, I get to enjoy it myself. Although Rick is a middle school teacher and Tatum is the perfect age and enjoys reading, neither are big HP fans.
Speaking of good reading, magic and dragons, I often wonder what has become of Saphira in the third and final book of the Inheritance Trilogy by Christopher Paolini. It was nearly a year ago they teased fans with an excerpt. Eragon was a fantastic story, Eldest wasn't quite as good. I must admit, a generous portion of my admiration for these books was the fact that the author was 15 and just out of high school when he wrote Eragon and 21YO when Eldest was published. I admire over-achievers.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Watery Wednesday

I suprised the kids with an afternoon at the aquatic center. As the sun heated the day to 100+ degrees, the water was quite inviting. The kids were busy for hours swimming, jumping and diving.
Rikard decided to stop one of the geysers at the entrance to the wading area.
He didn't move out of the way quite quickly enough on his first few attempts and got hit with the water stream. He finally got his timing worked out perfectly and was able to jump away from the water at lightening speed!
All the excitement of the day really wore Keeli out. She took a tiny cat nap on her towel.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Back at the Beach

Sand, surf and sunshine are always a good combination to keep the kids entertained.

Tatum was overwhelmed by a wave while searching for sand dollars.
Keeli played it safe all day and waded in the tiny waves.
Lisa and Rikard got a little crazy dancing and jumping over the waves while Tatum searched again for sand dollars and Justin and Collin waited for another big wave.
After a while all the waves are the same and the sand gets more interesting. Collin and Austin started to bury one another at the beach.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Clam Digging

Morning dawns cool and cloudy on the Pacific coast. The mist was rolling out when we got to the beach in the dig clams.

Digging wasn't as difficult or uncomfortable as I imagined. Rick and Cindy were expert at using the clam gun. The clam gun is a fancy little contraption made of PVC tubing and handles which costs about $15. It sure beats digging them with a shovel!

We each went home with our full limit. We had 90 clams to clean. There is a lot of chowder in our future.

While walking around in the surf alternately snapping photos and digging clams, I found two sand dollars. Tatum was thrilled when I returned to the campground.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Catch o'the Day

Friday started early.

The alarm went off at 4 a.m. and Rick was gone by 5 a.m. He went to dig clams with his uncle, aunt and cousin. I stayed in bed under the guise of having to stay and watch the kids, but secretly enjoying the comfort of the cabin and snuggling with the kids in the early morning.

The brought back 75 clams! We spent the morning making great plans for chowder and fried clams for dinner. I avoided learning to clean them - this time.

Randy taught us to catch crabs with a folding net that attaches to the end of a fishing line...
and with a crab net or bucket. Rick got pretty good at throwing it in and pulling it up.

We brought home 14 crabs, that was enough to fill a 5 gallon bucket. Dinner was great!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Little Farmers

Goat rustlin' apparently isn't enough for Tatum and Rikard. They want to learn the asparagus business and when given the opportunity they jumped in with enthusiasm.
Once upon a scortching Saturday we visited the asparagus patch at Papa Charlie's house. With the sun beating down on the hot, sandy soil the kids worked up a sweat helping bring in the crop.Rikard, who just completed Kindergarten, was in charge of stacking and counting the boxes collected along the rows. He was really starting to build up a "farmer attitude" near the end of this process - if you know what I mean. He knew everything about how to do this job and no one could propose another, possibly better way.
This was the kids' view from the trailer as it cruised along the rows to the next grouping of full boxes ready to be picked up. I enjoy the composition of the photo with the row lines, and how Charlie kind of looks like an upward or forward arrow going along the rows with his red cap leading the way.

This is my favorite view of asparagus - the finished project. Pickled asapargus is one of my favorite treats and it isn't just asapargus that tastes like plain old pickles. I've been experimenting with several different recipes over the past couple of years. Rick's grandpa has a fantastic recipe that has a nice little bite from garlic and hot red Chinese peppers.
This particular batch was made from an adapted recipe found in the book The Joy of Pickling. The original recipe calls for short jelly jars. I prefer the longer stalk of aspargus rather than just the tops as you get when you cut them down to fit the shorter jars. The spices you see at the bottom of the jar include minced garlic, allspice berries, peppercorns, coriander seeds, nutmeg pieces, hot pepper flakes, all swimming in a brine made from white wine vinegar. Yum, yum, yummy.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Hot Dancer

The Rockin' B Cloggers had a quick performance at noon on the 4th of July at the Othello Sunfest.
Tatum is on the right. Her groups' dance lasts about 3.5 minutes and is very upbeat, but quick. We're not sure we like the hat part of this costume as it makes keeping her hair neat a real chore.

The heat and sun were so intense only a handful of parents braved the area in front of the stage, most were huddled with the rest of the crowd in the shade afforded by two small trees.

Beach Bummies!

We have spent a few hours a day each of the past few days cooling off at the beach. As the next couple of days are supposed to be 100+ degrees we will probably find ourselves there at least a few more times.

Keeli kept herself entertained for several hours with an 88-cent beach ball.
She can throw it fairly high into the air. Her catching abilities aren't quite as developed and she was forced to then chase it as it rolled along the hillside toward the beach.
After retrieving the ball from the water's edge, it was time to try and throw it uphill.
Rikard spent his afternoon building a waterfall in the sand. The water could only run as fast as he could run back from gathering more in his little bucket.
Daredevil Tatum attempted the unthinkable - jumping into the lake without her life jacket. While the photo and her description of doing this may sound thrilling, she was jumping into about 3-inches of water.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Saturday's Adventure

Rick is gone this week. He has the responsibility of scoring the science portion of the Washington Assessment of Student Learning - our state's answer to the standardized test. We decided that Saturday was a good day to visit him and build in an afternoon with Auntie Paulette and her family.

Along the way we stopped to see the Columbia River. Often times we drive along this river or cross it on our way to somewhere else, but rarely if ever get to stop and enjoy it. The kids had a good time throwing rocks into the water and wading a bit. The photo below is taken at the boat launch near the Vangate Bridge. Keeli was have a non-photogenic moment.Finally, by late afternnon we made it over the mountains to Lacey to visit Auntie Paulette. She had a barbecue dinner nearly ready and waiting for us. Rick drove down and enjoyed some family time away from the science teacher networking center.

After sitting in the car half the day the kids were ready to play. Luckily, there is a huge park with a view of Mt. Rainier across the street from Auntie Paulette's house. The kids rolled down the hillsides, slid down slides and used all the swings available.

I tried to get a photo of them with Mt. Rainier in the background, however Keeli had an acute case of camera phobia.