Daddy time

One of the hardest adjustments, even two years into the ‘new’ job, is the change in flexibility, length of work days and the loss of the 4 weeks of vacation a year.  However grateful we are for steady work, as with all things, there are challenges.  One of the greatest has been still maintaining family time and carving out the individual time each of our kids needs with us.  Lately I’ve been hearing a lot more of “When’s my time with dad?” and “I can’t wait for the daddy daughter dance” (which incidentally isn’t till next fall!).  So despite being a very weary 9 months pregnant, it was clear this needed to be pulled to the front burner right away.

Caleb and his dad spent Saturday afternoon discovering the adventure of letter-boxing.  It proved a tremendously fun activity for them both.  And the girls spent a long while getting dressed up and doing their hair for a nice dinner out with their daddy.  They were beaming as they took off with him and came home with their little love tanks quite filled up.  I’m so worn out from the weekend that we’re having to take the day off school and I’ve not moved from the couch nearly all morning (and I might still be in my pj’s)…but it was worth it!

Why Daddy is our oak tree

Tuesday was Father’s Dad here since I was so sick this weekend…I think it was worth waiting for.  We spent the day working on it and we had a lot of fun.  In the morning we went to the huge flower store and found an oak tree.  That was the heart of our gift.  The only ones they carried were about 10 feet tall.  Uncle Buzz came with his truck and brought it home for us.  Then we set to work making a wall sized mural of an oak tree.  I cut out a bunch of little acorns and after the kids finished drawing the tree and bark and deep roots that are characteristic of oaks, they decorated acorns and glued them to the paper tree.  We all wrote cards too.  Each acorn on the tree had different traits of Daddy that each of us loves….like “Daddy is mighty”  or “Daddy does good work”.

The painting was Kyler’s favorite part

The watching was Audrey’s favorite part

Daddy reading his tree

Showing dad the tree

Our little oak!

Daddy reading cards

Made with love

If you can’t be honest on a blog where can you be?  So here it is – I (Christopher) can’t cook.

Well, there are a few things that I could put together, but nothing fancy and not much beyond breakfast, BBQ, and mac n’ cheese.  So, this morning, Karissa left to spend the better portion of the day with some of her friends.  It was 7:30am and everyone was hungry, so what did we do?  Everyone (except Audrey) got to make something.  Rylee went to work on preparing the coffee, Kyler started cooking up the sausage patties, Caleb put the toaster to work on the eggo-like things I found in the freezer, and I scrambled up some eggs.  I love having a big family where everyone gets to pitch in and make stuff for each other.  Especially when the reality is that they could probably do as good or better than me at putting this stuff together.

We laughed, and we danced around to Rylee’s fav song right now – TobyMacy “Made to Love” as we all made our breakfast with love. We took some time to talk about what the words of the song means to us and got ready for the day.  It is going to be a adventurous day with dad involving the park, the fire pit, bb guns, and hopefully some nutrition along the way.

A weekend at the Nooksack

This last weekend was supposed to be a trip to Mt. Baker, to spend time together as a family with Nana, Papa, Auntie Stephie, Dee Dee, Buzz, and little Isaac…however, plans change.  As it turned out, I got to take the three big kids to Mt. Baker while Karissa and Audrey stayed home to rest and to work on other projects (blog post to come I am sure).

With Nana and Papa sharing their time share at Mt. Baker with the rest of the aforementioned family members, we were looking forward to some quality time staying right off the Mt. Baker Highway near the Nooksack River.  Karissa and I found a reasonably priced place to stay since our growing family no longer fits in the condo.  I was lucky enough to get off work early on Friday night, came home, packed up the van with our little family minus the two and headed North.

We got to our rustic cabin, moved in, and got ready for bed because we had a tremendous day ahead of us.  We were off to some breakfast with the family and then to hit up the Skyline Divide trail. This was an ambitious undertaking for our three little hikers, but they were up to the task, well, mostly anyway.  From the trail head, it is a two mile, 2150 ft elevation gain (steep for those counting at home) to a most beautiful North Cascades meadow with stunning views of the surrounding Cascades and Mt. Baker looming nearby enticing all climbers.  Our little group was not about to go one step further, so we enjoyed lunch in the glorious meadow resplendent with wildflowers.

You might be wondering why I was not wearing a shirt for some of those pictures.  It was not because I was trying to show off my manly physique, nor was it because I was too hot (it was a delightful temp), it had everything to do with the fact that Kyler had decided that a good way to thank his Daddy for carrying him all the way up the two mile trek on his back was to pee on him.  Yep, Kyler was in a ergo backpack, meaning that the only thing between me and him was his pants and my shirt.  So that wetness on my back that I thought was sweat, it turned out to be urine.  Nice.  So off went the shirt.  Of course both boys wanted to get in on the shirtless action.

A few other highlights were Nana singing “Climb every mountain” from the Sound of Music and of course Auntie Stephie getting knocked off the trail, down the hill, and onto a tree by a little horse fly.  You might want to ask her about that.  Once we figured out she was okay, we all shared a bit of a laugh.

Of course the hiking was Daddy’s highlight, but the highlight for the kiddos was the pool.  They just loved jumping in from the side, “swimming” over to the stairs to do it all over again.  Kyler must have jumped into my arms 200 times during the three times we went to the pool.  Time with their Auntie’s, Uncle, and cousin was treasured as well.  One of Caleb’s most treasured activities is throwing large things into the river.  Pictured above you can see him holding up quite a large tree that he found and proceeded to toss into the river.  It wound up getting stuck on rocks, but between throwing rocks at it, Papa going wading out in the water, and some enthusiastic cheers, that tree made it down the river (at least around the bend).

We missed Mama and Audrey, but we had a great weekend away.  We are so grateful that Nana and Papa have a little spot that is not too far away, perfect for a weekend getaway.  Much fun was had by all, and plenty of memories were made.

You know you’re getting old when…

…after some talking, some prayers, a kiss good night, and a short snuggle with your 6 year old daughter you wake up to her saying “Daddy, can I have some of the covers back?”  You stumble out of bed and thinking that you must have barely fallen asleep, you realize that it is 2:30 in the morning and it has been five hours since you tucked her in for the night.