Can you tell how anxious we were to get home for the summer? Lynn had to stay back in London for a couple weeks to finish out the quarter, so once again – I was flying solo with this bunch. Thank heavens for 10 hours of in-flight entertainment. There’s no hope they’ll fall asleep at all, so I’ve given up trying. Makes for a real fun adjustment, let me tell you!
With only two months to fit everything in, we knew it was going to be jam packed, but we’re so excited to see everyone and get summer started a little earlier than usual.
It’s strange living in two worlds simultaneously. We love London and all our travels, but coming home is the best. Everyone was so happy!
First order of business — reuniting with Lily! To say they’ve missed her would be an understatement. Cade was so happy she hadn’t forgotten him. We are so grateful for our sweet friends who took such great care of her. She was well loved.
Ahh…back to the beautiful, green Pacific Northwest. Nearly every morning, Lily would have a stand off with a group of deer in the woods behind our yard. She’s becoming quite protective!
Within days, Tyler was off to Utah for his second year of EFY. He got to spend Father’s Day weekend with his Grandpa Smith and tons of cousins. It was extra special to see his two cousins right before they left for their missions. He had another fantastic year and came home all smiles.
Coming home and being able to finally hug my dad after his major health ordeals was such a relief. He’s the absolute best dad a girl could ever ask for and each day I’m thankful for the blessing he is in my life.
It wouldn’t have been a true Father’s Day without bringing him his favorite homemade lemon meringue pie. It felt really strange not having Lynn home for the occasion. First year we’ve been apart on both Mother and Father’s Day.
Cade enjoyed being the man of the house for the week.
Yogurtland, Mod Pizza, movies, Mexican food, New York Cupcakes and time with friends and family were what we’ve been looking forward to most.
It’s funny how familiar scenes can look alive and new when you’ve been away a while. I’ve forgotten how exquisite the drive is out to Lake Chelan, even though we’ve been a hundred times. The kids were so anxious to get back to their favorite summer spot. Stopping at Cafe Rio on the way made for a perfect day.
We’ve been looking forward to 4th of July week all year – and it’s especially exciting this year with all 5 of my siblings and their kids coming! Coordinating summer schedules for 33 people is pretty crazy, but I’m so glad this year worked out for the gang to be together. It was quite the party – I love family time!
The kids were dying to get out on the lake. Cade helped Grandpa detail the boats and clean the beach of all the washed-up wood. Every year they find a keeper. He likes to volunteer to clean the beach just so he can drive the 4-wheeler.
These guys are ready to take out the new Sea Doos.
Another new addition was the tetherball, which the kids loved and the floating dock which has turned into the ultimate “King of the Hill.”
Put a pair of swim goggles on this boy and he turns into a fish.
Jace became a little obsessed with playing frisbee. He’s gotten quite good for his age.
We can’t keep the kids out of the hot tub.
Always a boatload of kids.
Cade’s getting pretty good on the wakeboard. We’re happy to hand over the reigns of water sports to the kids these days.
Smore’s are always a favorite. Whoever keeps buying the jumbo marshmallows needs to stop. However, making them with Lu Little Schoolboy Chocolate Cookies is the best, though we save them just for the adults!
There’s never a lack of delicious food. Ryan kept the smoker going with his awesome Texas barbeque.
This year we had a little homemade ice cream competition. Nutella, banana, lavender, raspberry, Mexican chocolate and more…yum! I think Nutella won, but they were all delicious and I hope this becomes a family tradition.
Instead of taking the daily boat ride out to get snow cones, we’ve opened our own stand – whip cream topped and all.
Peach/Amaretto and cream – the best!
Grandma got a little carried away with her idea of “Grandma’s store” to reward the kids who help out and keep things clean and organized. Nathan was obsessed with earning his “bands” to cash in that we actually had to tell him it was time to play!
The girls slipped away for our favorite breakfast out at Blueberry Hills. Hot chocolate and blintzes are worth the drive (and calories)!
4th of July
We love celebrating Independence Day up here. After a day on the water and activities for the kids, we finish up with a delicious barbecue and fireworks out on the lake.
We all fought over holding the babies. Cade wants a baby sister so bad! Not going to happen, but he can enjoy his cousins all he wants. She is too cute and so happy.
It must have been the local fires, but the sunsets this season were so incredible! It’s been devastating to hear the damage the fires have caused to so many people’s lives.
Boys and their toys – Jace loved having his boy cousins join him in the sand.
The new competition is diving through various sized floating rings off the end of the dock. Tyler’s got a little stuck. Ha ha!
Another tradition – lighting off rockets over the lake
All 19 cousins – such a cute bunch of kids! They all got along great – it was so fun to watch them interact all week.
It was great to have some running buddies for Chelan Man this year, though they left me in the dust! Time to get back to training after nearly a year off.
Grandpa, Mark, Sara and Everly joined us at Remlinger Farms for a country-fun day of rides and animals.
Meanwhile, Cade was on the coast for his first scout camp.
Tyler turns 15
It’s been a few years since Tyler’s been home on his birthday – he’s usually camping out somewhere with the scouts. So this year we let him plan his perfect day. His grandparents took him to his favorite burger place for lunch, Tipsy Cow. He wanted to spend the day in Seattle and specifically at EMP – the boy loves his music. That night he had a fancy seafood dinner out with just his parents at Sea Star. We finished up with his request of cheesecake and he was thrilled when his new guitar arrived. It was a great day!
Nathan had another successful year at Cub Scout camp. He was so proud to get a bulls eye in archery and rifles.
We celebrated our anniversary at one of our favorite waterfront restaurants with the best seafood to share. Can’t believe it’s been 19 years already!
More Family Visits
Lynn’s youngest sister came up to Washington and the kids were so excited to see their cousins!
Tyler’s Peru Experience
Tyler spent two weeks in Peru on a humanitarian expedition with a group of youth. With limited contact, we were anxious to have him return home – to hear all about his adventures of helping farmers, planting gardens, visiting orphanages, playing with school children, eating unusual things and hiking up Machu Picchu, among many other things. He was so excited to give his brothers souvenirs which included the creepiest looking stuffed squirrels you’ve ever seen!