Kittens, Volcanoes and Pirate Ships

Kids & Kittens: 

Over the past week or two we have been hanging out quite a bit with our friends, the Bird family. They just got a litter of sweet new kittens, and my kids beg me several times a day everyday to go over there and see them! I decided to post a few pics, just because kids with kittens are SO stinkin’ cute!! Gemma treats the kitties like her babies, and wraps them up in blankets and cuddles them. Braden is soooo extremely gentle {especially for a boy!} And loves them! I wish we could have a kitty!

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Mt. Rainier National Park 

Last weekend we went camping with the Bird family to La Wis Wis at Mount Rainier National Park, which is just a couple of hours away from where we live. As a geography major, I find this really interesting: Mt. Rainier is the largest mountain in the contiguous United States, and one of the most dangerous active volcanoes in the world! I have been up there a couple of times before, but this was by far the clearest I have ever seen Mt. Rainier– and it was BEAUTIFUL! We decided to take a little hike, but there was just way too much snow, and the kids were wearing sandals! My husband carried both my almost-3 year old daughter (on his back) and my son (who’s 4) on his front, up the steep snowy mountain! It was pretty impressive… but we headed back, because it was just too crazy.

The camp-site was perfect; we overlooked a gorgeous, clear, mint-green river and were surrounded by beautiful tall evergreen trees which smelt so good! There were tons of bike trails all around, so my son Braden was glued to his bike the entire weekend, and has even started picking up tricks (like riding with one hand and NO hands!) The boy is 4!! I am so impressed! There were also GORGEOUS hikes with rickety bridges and waterfalls, cute little chipmunks and big, old trees to climb, so we spent the weekend exploring the area, and had an absolute blast! I might be a girly-girl, but I LOVE outdoorsy stuff! When we came home my son Braden got really sad, and when I asked him what was wrong he said: “I want to go back!” To say the kids loved it there would have been an understatement!

P.S. I left my camera battery at home in the charger (I was SO sad!) But grateful that Bryan let me use his camera this weekend to take some pics:

Braden with his friend, Dalton:

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Braden “fishing” in the river!
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Bryan rode the rope swing, and really hurt himself!! That guy is nuts! ropeswing1

Dean carried Gemma in a backpack on every hike! gemdean1 meandbraden01waterfall1 uswaterfall1bridge1 bridge005waterfall005 deanbraden002 bradenwaterfall1 bradendalton group1Mt. Rainier
volcano mtrainier03Dean carrying Braden AND Gemma up Mt. Rainier!snow1 mtrainier mtrainier2 icecave1

Hawaii’n Chieftan Cruise 

This week a couple of ships: the Lady Washington and the Hawaii’n Chieftan came to tricities. Our friends, the Birds, were the ones who discovered this–and invited us along, and we booked just in time (because there was just one tour and one ship left!) We got to ride the Hawaii’n Chieftan which is a replica of a 19th C. Merchant trading ship. Braden, of course, loved it because it looked just like a pirate ship, and he even got a gold doubloon! What was strange about the tour is that there were NO kids on it! So the sailors let Braden help hoist the sails, and even let Braden and Gemma steer the ship for a while too! They pretty much thought it was the most awesome thing, ever!
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Me and Gemma sitting right at the very front of the ship SONY DSC

Steering the ship SONY DSC SONY DSC

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We have had a really fun, amazing week… and just to top it off, a couple of days ago we found our missing hamster, Sandy! She has been gone for a couple of weeks now, with NO sign of her anywhere! Then Braden woke up to use the bathroom at 2 a.m and she poked her little head under the door! He yelled for me, then I yelled for Dean, and together we spent the next half an hour chasing her around our house! I caught her, and she was kinda wild and rabid and kept biting and squealing at me, then we dropped her, and re-caught that naughty little critter! When we put her back in the cage with her friend, she was HALF the size of her, and drank for half an hour straight! {I don’t think she would have survived on her own much longer, because she was starving!!} P.S. She is the little one on the wheel in this pic.
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<3 Sarah