Friday, August 10, 2012

The Oregon Trail

How much did you love seeing this screen as a child, huh??  Much better than "You have died of Dysentery." 

Be prepared for a slew of pictures from my kids and my most recent tour of the Pacific Northwest.

For starters, I'm so glad I went to the reunion.  They divided it into two events: an adults-only dinner and a family picnic the next day.  Both were blasts. 
Here are the Papermaker girls all grown up. Love them.
 My kids mostly just played in dirt at the park on the family day... I love this picture of Ben. Mostly because it looks like the picture of my big brother, Scott, getting caught eating the gingerbread house at about the same age.  (Megan - I could have sworn that picture was on your blog somewhere but I couldn't find it... can you send it to me so we can compare?)  We always joke about how Ben looks like Amy Walker and Scott Lee had a baby.  Don't think about it too hard, though... that's just weird.
Kaiya and Cambria Morgan.  Her mom, Crystal, and I were BFFs and we're bound and determined to make our daughters BFFs too :) Too bad they live like three states away from each other.
Another park date with Cambria... my daughter rarely cooperates for pictures, and here's the proof.
Ben, however, is always cheesing for the camera.  This picture was taken just a few minutes before one of the scariest episodes of my life.  I'm still really emotional about it - but the short version of the story is that I lost Ben at the park.  A park that is sandwiched between a lake, woods, and a highway.  I have never been more panicked.  Crystal found him and I will forever be in her and our Heavenly Father's debt.  Prayer works.  I am very, very blessed.
My mom was patient enough to go back to school shopping with me at Clackamas Mall.
Kaiya is sitting alone on the ferris wheel because Ben screamed like a Banshee for three revolutions until we made the worker stop the ride and get him down.
 The merry-go-round was much merrier.
 My dad brought home a bucket truck one afternoon so that the kids could take rides. Kaiya thought she was so cool.

A Portland trip is not a Portland trip without a coast day.  Here we are seeing the sea lions in Astoria.
And hanging out at Cannon Beach with Matt.

 So... Ben is obsessed with cars and trains lately, and we thought it would be fun to ride the Mt. Hood Railroad.  It's cute - you ride in an old dining car and the view is beautiful.  The kids were so excited and it started out super fun.

Ben spent the first twenty minutes mimicking the sound of the train whistle.
 The train made two stops: the first is a fruit orchard where we bought some amazing cherries and plums.

 Ben was done and ready for a nap after the orchard.
 Too bad we still had one more stop up the mountain and the whole ride down to go...So, FOUR HOURS and still no nap later we determined that my kids are too young for the Mt. Hood Railroad. Maybe in another few years.

We took the boat out Friday afternoon.  The weather in Camas was in the high nineties - unheard of - so the lake filled up pretty fast.  We didn't bring suits so we just hung out in the boat while Matt wakeboarded. I don't know why Kaiya is calling me a "loser" in this picture.

 This is her "pirate smile"
This is her "princess smile"
 This is Ben's new scowl.  Endearing, isn't it?

We came home Saturday just in time for Brad and I to celebrate our seventh anniversary.  That is just crazy to me.  We're celebrating tonight by going to see Wicked.  I can't wait!

Family. Friends. Fun.

The end of June marked the third biannual Lee Family Reunion.  This year was super special because we welcomed home this guy...
My baby brother,Matty, is home from his two year mission in Montana! He is still as stellar as ever and will be returning to BYU Idaho this fall.  And Isabel and Kaiya (aka: Laurel and I) spent way too long coloring that sign.
Alicia documented the whole event on her blog a month ago.  I'm perpetually playing catch up.  Here's a highlight from the "talent" show.

And the most recent family photo. Good choice on the colors, Mom!
Moving on...
Clint and Jen hosted a ginormous Fourth of July party.  Here's Boston and Kaiya in the three legged foot race.  I love how annoyed he looks by her presence.
Of course Ben spent most of the evening bugging and attempting to communicate with the puppy. I'm never going to buy you a dog, Ben.  I'm serious. 
Pretty Kaiya a midst the chaos.
The night was a blast.  Good food. Great fireworks. Jen even gave quite a stirring speech reciting the Declaration of Independence :)  I like to tease her about her nerdiness, but it was actually really cute.

Sometime in the middle of the month, I left my kids outside for 30 seconds and Ben managed to push Kaiya (in the stroller) down the driveway and into a tree.  Is it bad that I laughed a little at the image of all her limbs protruding from the branches?  Anyway, her forehead was pretty scraped up; luckily she heals fast.

 Let's see... what else did we do in July?? Brad had a birthday. Kaiya had swimming lessons. I read some books.  Sweet baby Ben turned into a tempter tantrum-laden toddler.  And then we went to Portland.  More on that later.