Sunday, December 30, 2012

Final Full Day in Sunriver

A few shots of the happy dogs in our presence.  This was the first year that Bogey didn't come with us.  We miss that dog.  But, Travis and Steph felt like handling a baby was enough of a challenge without throwing in the needs of their beagle.  Understandable.  I had in my mind that perhaps this would be the last year of trying to take Sydney as she is quite the nightmare on long trips these days in the vehicle (she chewed through the brand new carrier we purchased on the way over), but then you see her in the snow, having the time of her life, and think there's no way we could leave her behind.

Baxter is SO cuddly....

I think Sydney is trying to make snow angels.

With every year that passes, the kids do a better and better job of packing, keeping themselves occupied and happy, - and this year they even learned how to put their dishes directly in the dishwasher!  We complained about the amount of stuff Mikayla insists on packing - such as these "school supplies" - but, when they pull them all out, you can't help but appreciate the fun of it and how much joy it brings them.  (You should have seen the girls' room though - at any given point during the week, it was ransacked with Barbies galore - and clothes and other toys covering every inch of carpet.  Needless to say, Michele and I found ourselves better off if we just didn't go upstairs to check it out...)

The hot tub was a source of fun too...I think the boys, at one point, spent two hours straight in the hot tub.  We kind of like it when they aren't there (at least as a group) when we are....they kind of disrupt the Kindle reading retreat we set ourselves up to have.

This was where John spent a good chunk of his time.  I think, at this point, he was working on next year's "Mens' Round-Up" graphics.  We had just finished watching "Men in Black 3" when this pic was taken.

A collection of the plethora of homemade cookies/treats we had waiting right outside the kitchen door for us.  While we did our best at plowing through them, we still ended up tossing out a ton.

Can you believe this pantry?  I am really very content with our little home in Eugene.  I think it is pretty ideal for our family.  But, I will admit that there's always a bit of a letdown coming home after staying at such a grand location for a week.  Between this pantry, the gourmet kitchen, the hot tub, the walk in closet in our room, the jacuzzi tub in the large bathroom, the double set of ovens, the laundry room....(I think you get my drift)...well, it takes a while to settle back in to reality upon return.

The boys, letting off a little steam and cabin fever....the dogs wanted so badly to be brought into the mix.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Happy 11th Birthday Mikayla!

ELEVEN YEARS OLD!?!  I'm sorry, but that just does not compute.  I feel like it was just yesterday I was skipping into the hospital, sending my son away with my parents, feeling like I was betraying him by adding a sister into his life.  Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined having a daughter as incredible as Mikayla - morphing into not only a beautiful young lady, inside and out, but someone I love to spend time with and can easily see the relationship shift into friendship as she reaches adulthood and my time as her "mommy" ebbs into a new role.  Of course, she's not yet a teenager - so, those of you with older daughters, please don't snicker in the knowledge of "just you wait" - but, certainly, I'm enjoying her more and more as each year goes on.  (But, golly, I wouldn't mind stopping at any point too!!!)

As is the tradition (which we are all about in Sunriver an at Christmas time), Mikayla requests caramel rolls and bacon for breakfast.  They had slushy Sunny D as well, courtesy of the jug being kept outside overnight.

Bowling is also on the docket for Mikayla's birthday, and this year we set out to be there when the place opened as it was a day full of college football bowl games, particularly the Alamo Bowl which matched up Oregon State University and Texas in the afternoon.

Our family was first to get loaded into our vehicle, prepared to make sure that "Mikayla's event" didn't cause us to be delayed in getting back to the house to watch football.  Unfortunately, the GPS on both John's phone and in John's vehicle had a different plan in mind.  Travis had clued us into a shortcut to get to "Lava Lanes" which would have had us there in about 25 minutes.  The route we went on took 90 minutes!!!!

At one point, when we had contacted Travis and confessed our disorientation, we thought we were on the right track - only to discover where the GPS had taken us - to a private rural driveway on "Lava Lane Drive".  SERIOUSLY?!!!  We were all supposed to get there at 10am (everyone else did....) - we showed up at 11am.  Fortunately, the rest of the crew were all in merry moods, not sweating the delay at all, and in fact were all laughing out loud at the text I sent reporting the above information to them along the way.

(And, for the record, our family was in pretty good spirits about it all - the scenery was gorgeous and adventure kind of comical - we just wanted to make sure we got Mikayla bowling on her birthday).

Here's a pic of "Lava Lane Drive" - based on the tracks, the rabbits like to hang out there!

Finally, we made it to the Lava Lanes that we had in mind.

Upon arriving, Whitley thought the whole thing was funny too.

Brayden's mood/attitude when he's at Sunriver is exceptional.  He's truly in his happy place - able to just chill and play to his heart's content.  Whether it was because of that, or just because he was being a very good big brother - he was especially attentive to his little sister and gave us all sorts of moments of wishing that this would be how they always got along....

That's Michele's rear end - not mine - 

Sporting the really hot shoes the bowling alley supplied.

Dressed ready to cheer on Beaver football!

A sweet father/son moment.

What a great birthday lunch, huh?  She was thrilled - that's all that counts!

Father/daughter bonding moment.

Pointing to the "11" on her ball - indicating her 11th birthday.

We got and she tore into her presents.  A new Bible, as she'd lost her other one (resulting in tears), a fun "Create-Your-Own" Daytimer (right up her alley) and American Girl volleyball clothing.

We are just about to sing "Happy Birthday" to her with candles in her requested "Peach Kuchen".  The snow is falling - a very happy day all around!


Time for Tubing

This is how Friday morning began - view from the hot tub.  Michele and I can both attest that the color was even more brilliant in person. 

We thought Friday morning would be a good choice to go to the Tubing Hill - newly established at the SHARC (Sunriver Homeowners Aquatic Recreation Center).   As we knew it would be busy, we got there soon after it opened.

This is the view of the SHARC from the top of the tubing hill.

And, our fearless kids - ready to tube down (the intertubes are provided - at this location you aren't allowed to bring your own sleds)

There was a "Bunny Hill" kind of slope and then a side by side faster ride.  It was nice, but definitely not the length or the thrill of the sometimes hazardous amphitheater location where everyone used to sled.

After our first run, there was already a line to get the tubes to go back up the hill.

We opted to call it quits after about 45 minutes.  Since the variation and "thrill aspect" of the ride was only so-so, we all felt like we'd had enough, especially considering the growing lines.  On to a few family pics...

And, just as we were about to depart - this family showed up.  Poor Whit, they had to wake her up to bring her out to pose in the snow.  Consequently, her expression was a little "out of it".

Some parting shots of the festive front entrance of the SHARC-