Daddy’s latest adventures

On the summit of Mt. Hood 11,249ft.

What are you willing to lose a night’s sleep over? When Pen, Marshall, and I were trying to figure out how best to climb Mt. Hood AND not miss much time away from our families, we decided the best idea was to simply forget about the whole sleeping thing. So we met up around 9pm on Sunday, arrived at Mt. Hood at around 1:30AM and were on the trail by 2AM. After consuming quite a number of energy drinks, candy bars, and caffeinated beverages on the drive south, we must have been pretty amped up because we covered the first 3,000ft. of elevation gain in only 2 hours. We kept up the speedy pace until we reached the Hogsback a ridge formation 500ft shy of the summit. After a small break, we donned the helmets, ditched our trekking poles, and began to use our ice axes as we ascended about 500ft. of icy 45-50 degree slope. Once we reached the summit, we still needed to remove the crampons and scramble up the knife edge summit to the true summit where we enjoyed a bit of hackey-sack, took some pictures, and were amazed at how much smoke was in the air from all of the forrest fires we have been having. Five hours of climbing was certainly worth hanging out on the summit for about 45 minutes. We put all our gear back on and headed down the mountain to return to the car by 10:45. Five hours up, three hours down, and 9 hours total in the car. All in all it was great company, a fun climb, and believe it or not, Marshall was the only one to fall asleep on the way home.

-Chris

Happy 2nd Birthday Kyler

July 6th was Kyler’s birthday and it turned out to be a great day.  The weather was sunny and clear which made the planned day at the beach especially enjoyable.  We headed up to Edmonds to the ferry dock for some beach combing fun.  Karissa had discovered that this year was having some reccord low tides so we figured it would be a good time for discovering sea life.  So after lunch, the tide was going out so we went discovering.  Between our rock turning over expert Auntie Stephie and our adventurous neighbors we found some pretty amazing things.  Whether it was giant costco cupcakes, gladiator crabs, anenomies, starfish, or just hanging out with our dear friends, there was much fun to be had.  Here is a sampling of the day:

Kyler had a great time, especially with the cupcakes.  At the end of the day I looked over at Karissa and said, it feels like Kyler has been two for a long time.  He is such a joy to have around, he lights up the room bringing laughter and smiles wherever he goes.  We love you Kyler!

-Chris

Fires and other firsts

Tonight we had our first fire in our side yard to celebrate the fact that we finally have completed the project (well almost…we’re still missing the top of the arbor).  We added the new fence, finished the fort/slide, added a climbing wall, brought in 6 yards of pea gravel, and built a small outdoor fireplace.  So, Karissa headed off to the store to grab some necessities (marshmallows and roasting sticks) and we roasted the night away.  I was completely impressed with the roasting skills.  Both Rylee and Caleb were doing a tremendous job making mouthwatering nicely browned mallows.  Kyler would put the marshmallow near the flames for about 1 second and bring it back to his mouth, take a bite and repeat step 1.  The big projects are over for now…we are looking forward to many summer nights spent outside with the fire pit.  Any takers?

In other news, Audrey is smiling now.  For the last five days or so she has been responding to her mama and daddy, and I think Dee Dee with the cutest little Audie smiles.  Another first for Audie is that she slept for 6 hours straight, ate, and then went right back to sleep for another 3 (two days in a row now).  I had forgotten what a good night’s rest looks like.  Also, Rylee now puts Audrey to sleep by holding her and gently bouncing up an down on one of our inflatible balls.  It is quite handy having a sweet little girl who adores her little sister.

In the “I’m thirty now” news, it appears that although I am still capable of running a quick 4.5 miles on a whim, my legs hate me for the next three days straight.  Add that to the list.

-Chris

A Big Thank You!

I owe my beautiful bride a HUGE thank you for a wonderful Father’s Day. She gave me a wonderful day from the beginning to the end. I woke up and soon found a new pair of jeans and a couple nice short sleeve shirts waiting for me. It was sunny, we went to church for worship, we fed the whole family at Ivar’s for only $18, and spent the rest of the day playing outside with our family (and toss in a little Tiger Woods every now and then).  All in all I could not have asked for a better Father’s Day.  Here are some attempts at a family picture, some seriously fun ring around the posey, and Audrey’s gift to her Daddy…falling asleep on his chest at the end of a beautiful day.  Thank you Jesus.

-Chris

Projects for Everyone

If you have young kids you need to know about the kids programs that they have at Home Depot. I have been truly impressed each week at the Everett location. Each Saturday morning from 8-9 the store provides an employee (a wonderful lady named Chris in Everett) and free material to build a project. The first Saturday of each month they provide a new project. I am not sure that every store does this, but the one in Everett allows you to come and bring the kids every week and work on a project that they have done in the past if you have already built the current month’s project. Here is the catamaran they built Saturday. In addition they have also built planter box’s, pencil holders, football stools, Nascar racing cars and a castle. So far I just take Rylee and Caleb, however last week we brought two of our neighbors. The kids get their own personalized Home Depot apron to wear and receive a coordinating pin for each project they complete. We usually finish up around 8:40 and head off to our favorite coffee shop – The Spotted Cow – for some hot cocoa. This is becoming a wonderful Saturday morning tradition. 

Daddy’s project this last weekend was fencing in our side yard. Thanks to Nana and Papa, our friends Erik and Kris, and my neighbor Brian, here is what went up on Saturday. I still need to finish off the top of the lattice with a decorative arbor.  The project continues as we are hoping to put down weed barrier and pea gravel and finally finish the play fort with slide and climbing wall. Ambitious, but necessary for our sanity this summer.

Our school project involves teaching Rylee to read. She is chomping at the bit and last night was demanding to read some books by sounding the letters out. She did great. She is a great learner and excited to be able to read. She is doing great already reading 3 or 4 four pages of “mat sat.” and “sam sat.”

On the Audrey front we have two more members of the AFC: our friends Kris and Bekki.  It was so great to see you guys on Saturday!  By the way, make sure you note the big smile Kris is getting from Audrey. All in all it was a great weekend.

-Chris

A Surprise Visit

A few days ago, Karissa’s sister had her baby shower.  We can’t wait to meet this little one!  Karissa got a call from her mother saying that things were not ready at the house and that she could really use her help to get things set before the shower.  After throwing it into high gear as only a mother of four can, Karissa, Rylee, and Audrey piled in the car and headed down quite early to the shower.  Little did Karissa know that the house was all set and that her mother had fibbed just a bit to hide the fact that Karissa’s other sister Stephanie was home on a whirlwind surprise visit from college for the shower.  It was a great gift for Danielle and the rest of the family.  We didn’t think we were going to get to see her until July sometime.

On Monday, Stephanie came over to spend the day with our little crew.  It was a nice day so they decided to break out the sidewalk chalk that Caleb got from his Auntie in Alabama (Thanks Auntie Carissa!).  At one point during the bedlam, Caleb poured several different colors of sidewalk paint into one jar to make some brownish goo and said “I think it looks like poop…or melted ice cream.”  I am pretty sure that we have never eaten any ice cream that looked like poop, but you know, it’s fun to say poop whenever you get the chance.

-Chris

Bugs, Bath, and Back to Work

I am back to work today but wishing I was at home.  We gave Audrey her first bath today, she was a champ.  Rylee of course has been a huge help with everything Audrey.

 

Here is the team

 

 

A little helping hand from her sister
The finished product...a clean Audrey!

 

 

 

 

 

Rylee words

Even with all of her efforts at taking care of Audrey, she still has time to learn to write.  Here are a few of her recent words: 

 

He has had better days...

 

Unfortunately Kyler got some bug the other day and woke up with a nose full of the junk.  Here he is looking a bit out of sorts.

 

-Chris