Archive for Outside

















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Parkour at the park

(posted from the iPod, apologies if you can’t see the video)

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Two weeks ago, it was still summer. So on a Tuesday afternoon when our swimming lesson was cancelled because the instructor was sick, we headed to the beach instead.

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We started out mostly playing in the sand, with driftwood, and paddling in the shallow water.

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But pretty soon there was splashing and sitting and reaching down and falling in. And the t-shirts came off.

The weather was warm, the water not so much. But the kids didn’t care. (I suppose it wasn’t too cold, really. If you’re 4.)

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Ben was running and JUMPING into the water. He was getting soaked and making big splashes and having a great time.

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Timothy was stomping around, investigating what was on the bottom. Picking up sand and rocks (YOCK!) and dropping them. Conducting very important scientific experiments, you know.


It was a great alternative to a swim lesson!

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Hot weather…

… means we get the pool out.

And the boys, of course, get naked, dump sand in it, and start driving trucks and planes around the edges.

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Why, what else would you do in a pool of water?

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Birthday Day

Ben has wanted to ride a bus for a long time, so on Monday, his birthday, he and Timothy and I took a bus trip into Langley. He was cute. Looking around in wonder, asking what everything was for, and thoroughly enjoying himself.


We went to the thrift store (he loves playing in the toy area), the library, and then we got ice cream cones. Cones are a newly discovered treat for him, usually we’ve just done bowls. He manages pretty well really, not too messy.


Timothy, on the other hand, does not quite grasp the purpose of the cone. Yes, there are bites out of the side of it and he’s trying to eat the bottom.


Then we went for a walk on the beach in town.


Looks beautiful, huh? Idyllic, even?


Yeah. What you can’t see is that that sand sinks. When you step on it.

It wasn’t quite so dramatic for the boys, being lighter than me, but when they started getting too far out there towards the water and I had to go after them for peace of mind, I started sinking up to my knees in the sand. My knees.

At that point, I got a little freaked out and we left. Got up into town and sat down to read library books for a few minutes while mama’s heart calmed down, then went to buy new balloons to replace some that flew away at the birthday party.

Then we went home (Daddy picked us up, I wasn’t quite willing to ride the bus home too, what with balloons and library books and other errands, and a once-every-two-hours schedule) and he got his choice of dinner — curry. Because with curry comes raita, and raita is really yogurt, and the boy could eat yogurt for every meal if it was allowed.

I think it was a good birthday.

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Family Fun Day – Summer!

We’ve been working hard in our yard for the last few months, so we decided that with predicted hot weather (finally!) this last weekend, we needed to go do something fun, especially for the kids.

My plan was to find a U-pick strawberry farm, but that didn’t quite work out. When we eventually found one, most of the way to the north end of the island, we were one day early for the season. Still, they had strawberries for sale from their own, non-U-pick fields, so we bought a bunch to make jam. Then, since we were nearly there anyway, we headed on up to Deception Pass for our picnic.

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It was glorious at the beach, but thank goodness we were early! As we were leaving, there was a constant stream of cars entering the park and I’m sure it was getting to be really crowded.

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The next part of the plan worked out much, much better! I recently discovered that there is a public, outdoor pool a little south of Coupeville. Next to the water, with views of the mountains and the passing ships.

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It wasn’t crowded and one of the pools has an even depth of 3ft, which is perfect for Ben to bounce around with his head above water. He had a blast. Even Timothy warmed up to it pretty quickly.

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After an hour in the pool, the only way we could get Ben to leave was with the promise of strawberries in the car and that we’d come back soon.


And then…. barbeque. We’d been to the farmer’s market on Saturday and had loads of little artichokes to grill. Along with our standards of mushrooms, potatoes and tofu. And also, a few tiny onions that had been “liberated” from our garden by a certain one year old.


Ben thought he’d try some wine. (It was empty.)


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Summer, Briefly

Last weekend the weather was glorious. In the 70s, sunny, perfect. Today it was snowing/hailing/raining and it’s supposed to freeze tonight. Our poor seedlings.

We really took advantage of the mini-heatwave, though. Spent all day Saturday outside, even ate lunch and dinner at the picnic table.

We worked in the yard….



Put up a hammock….



and had a wonderful time enjoying our outdoors. This is going to be a wonderful place in the summer. (If it ever gets here.)



A tractor:



A bike:


A trike:



Dirt + Truck = Happy Boys

What could make boys happier?

Ben loves to help unload the truck when we get a load of compost from the city. He has his own shovel and his own wheelbarrow and he actually gets to do exactly the same work as Daddy. This is important to him.

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So is just standing in the truck and watching Daddy.


Timothy even got in on the action this time. First of all just standing around looking at his new surroundings, then, since he didn’t have a shovel of his own, he just started grabbing and throwing handfuls of dirt. Every little bit helps, right?

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Friday Walk in the Woods

Despite waking up to rain, we went for our walk in the woods this morning anyway. I’m trying to make it a weekly habit, right? Yeah. Didn’t work so well today.

Timothy was not interested in walking very far. He kept just stopping and glaring at me. I ended up carrying him for most of it. The second photo’s pretty blurry, but it really illustrates his look of “I am not amused by this” very effectively.

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Ben, on the other hand, was having a blast jumping in mud puddles because we actually put his welly boots on today instead of hiking boots. Welly boots mean you can jump and splash to your heart’s content, and boy did he! Once we got past all the fun mud puddles, though, he was tired of walking and just wanted to be back at the car.

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By the time we got to the car, Timothy was asleep again in the vest-carrier that I made when he was a baby (it’s still the easiest in/out and least bulky carrier I have!). (Photo by Ben.)


And Ben was muddy. Thank goodness for the rainpants!


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