Thursday, July 19, 2012

In Which I Relay the Events and Happeneing of the Week of July 8th....In Short, Our Family Vacation

Ah, for the peace of vacations...for the freedom from one's daily schedule, the ability to live life without being surrounded by technology, not to worry if the house is a mess, if you sleep in till nine, or if you should eat sugar for breakfast or not. Summed up: to not have a care in the world! This, my followers, is the story of that week of absolute peace and relaxation at the Spafford's traditional spot... Manzanita Beach.

It was a blessing to be able to catch up on some reading. And for Annie, she had at long last persuaded me that she was ready for me to start the Lord of the Rings trilogy to her, (which would be my third time through them.) So, Annie and I curled up on the couch and began "The Fellowship of the Ring".

As always, we enjoyed the wonderful treats that inevitably come from a week of vacation, but this time, we had a special addition of delicious treats sent to us from our Nana and Papa.

....But, some of us decided to make at least a small attempt at keeping their figures trim.

I guess you can say that she had an influence on all of the rest of the lazy group, and so began a series of morning runs on the beach...You would not believe the extra energy that the beach provides opposed to just running back at home :) You could almost hear the "Chariots of Fire" theme playing in the background as we ran beside the roaring waves.

"Remember ladies," Jonathon faithfully reminded us, "Pain is weakness leaving the body." And as some others have said before us, "Life is pain, and anyone who says differently is trying to sell something." So, with perseverance, and the little bit of energy that the desserts had managed to "provide", we took up running, and "Ever Stalwart" became our motto!

The vacation as always was a time of the greatest relaxation, whether it was time spent in the cabin talking (with "Kevin Kern" playing in the background), or staying up late playing rounds of "The Minister's Cat" and catch-phrase.

While we were there, we took a magnificent hike up Cape Falcon. It had spectacular views, but all around steep drop offs from every side.

As we set off on our five mile hike, we began with brand-new white tennis shoes. But, about halfway through, we realized that the color was no longer recognizable. Of course, livin' in the country like we do, and being the civilized hicks that we are, we knew that this was inevitable anyway and would have happened sooner or later.

And of course, I cannot write without giving credit to our very trusty forest guide. Someone had to be there to keep all of the giggly girls in line... (as we saw evidence of on more than one occasion)....As we were tramping along, Charae and I, being in one of our rather silly moods, broke into singing, "When the Ants go Marching In" (And what possessed us to pick such a song, I could never guess, especially now that I am in control of my sanity)....Now, why is it that whenever you attempt something that crazy, you inevitably bump into people, whereas, had you stayed quiet (and sane), you would never have passed those people once, were you to hike all day :)

And for those of you who believe that Nymphs no longer exist, I have evidence to prove otherwise.

As we prepared to hike back, Daddy had to take a picture of the view. (Meaning the scenery :)
"Well," Leisel comforted us all as we stood in front of the straight down drop-off, "at least if one of us slips, we all go down together." It put all of the uneasy minds at rest immediately.

And then there was the visit to Fort Clatsup....

....And the interesting display of New Founland dogs in memory of Lewis and Clark's dogs.



We picked up some of the puppies there and brought them home....I may be prejudiced, but I think they're the cutest :)

The highlight of every vacation is the visit to the "Wayfarer Inn" at canon beach...and to take our picture alongside this little fellow :)


"Whoaaaaaaaa!" 

When it comes to kites, the little boy in daddy comes out. And each year, he attempts to show mommy the reasons why he should purchase another one.

Though we might not have attempted the famous "death crawl" during our time at the beach, we did venture to do Wheelbarrow races down to the ocean...

Brothers are so amazingly helpful when it come to helping little girlfriends collect bucketfuls of water for their sand castle.



Ah, there is nothing to compare to that feel of the ocean water splashing against your legs, and the sand closing over your toes....or the sound of a group of giggly girls and their brother singing "Knee Deep" in a chorus of atrociously out of tune notes....

Then there was the famous campfire dinner....some of the "gang" takes their food very seriously!!!

It is this traditional fireside roast when everyone's sweatshirts collect that smokey aroma, and we wait for weeks afterwards before we are finally willing to let mom wash them.



There is no question that frisbee is a favorite sport, but their is just something extra-exhilarating about playing it on the beach as the sun sets. All of the sudden, it seems that your throw has improved, and you can catch it every time that it comes your way....Conclusion: The beach makes everything better!


And lastly, we DID finally get that elusive pyramid picture....aches and pains and all. Course, if you know my dad, he and his camera are inseparable, and all of us kids get that same feel when we pass a pretty spot , that a picture is coming. And, furthermore, that it does not take one, but ten before he finally gets one with all ten sets of eyes open, all ten heads turned his way, and all of them containing a smile. I suppose that would be another thing that you would probably have had to grow up in a big family to realize :)

And so the week ended, and all together too quickly for any of our tastes, I might add. Ania informed mother while we were there that she was quite glad that God had put her in this family as she knew that He really could have put her in any other home.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

I Used To Think That Barney Had it Bad!

     It was a lovely summer evening, as Charae and I sat swinging, taking in the weather around us. I suppose it was one of those more uneventful, lazy summer days, where it seems that nothing out of the ordinary could ever happen (But, we should have known, that is when all of the out of the ordinary happenings start occurring).
     Meanwhile, Jonathon was integrating the separate chickens from their smaller coop into the newly built wire-chicken run. Everything was perfect....Pretty soon, Charae hears her name being called. That lazy feeling was kinda tugging at her to stay back and swing, but that persistent calling made it impossible. Perhaps a more attuned ear could have detected a slight air of urgency in that voice. Finally, with a certain amount of reluctance, Charae departed from her swing, and went to see what Jonathon wanted.  Upon arriving at the coop, she could not see anything out-of-the-ordinarily spectacular. The only thing visible was a cluster of chickens surrounding the little container of water, with Jonathon inside the wired run, looking over them.
     Perhaps, to Jonathon, this was the crowning achievement of his day...to peacefully combine the earlier segregated chickens without any trouble at all. So she decided to add an impressed tone to her voice as she answered, "That's nice Jonathon." ...but, that just didn't seem like the right answer. For some reason, there was a greater picture to this small scene, not immediately visible to the ordinary eye. "Come on Charae, take a closer look." Jonathon coaxed, in a slightly more urgent voice. Yet, it was still not enough to be detected by the oblivious Charae as she moved closer to the wire run. Still, there wasn't anything visible that was impressive enough to write home about. 
     Yet again, for some reason, he wanted her to take an even closer look, as if, even now, there was some great detail that she was missing...
     Finally, in the coyist of voices, he pointed out that, were she to so desire, she was permitted to join him on the inside of the run, to get the perfect view. 
      It was at that moment, the puzzle started to piece together, the dots were connected, Charae's brain was beginning to pick up the smaller details of this picture....the ones that were, perhaps, hoped by some to be overlooked. Yes, of course! Why did she not realize it earlier? That missing piece! Jonathon had locked himself inside the coop! : )

Friday, July 6, 2012

A Day Not Soon To Be Forgotten!

Oofda! It always seems that people have just set up those stands of fireworks at every street corner, and next thing you know, they are taking them down again. So went our fourth of July...Starting at about eight in the morning (Yes, sleeping in is one of those rare pleasures for the working men in our house)

When it came to waking Bubby that morning, I guess you could say it was one of those longer and, most unsuccessful endeavors (to say the least). After my first attempt at waking him, I headed for my room to finish getting ready. Upon returning, I found that, as I had first thought, the slothful man had turned over in his bed "as a door on it's hinges", but no changes had been made to further our goal for that day. This happened about six times, till, finally I used the only tool remaining....Every girl knows that food will convince a man to do most anything, and when I proceeded to tell him that I needed him to run to Winco that morning for some luncheon meat or his lunch was in jeopardy, he,with just the smallest amount of reluctance, AT LAST arose, and Leisel, he and I headed for Winco.

Somehow, (t'was all too great a blur to remember the specifics on "how we got there", but the important thing is that we did)...anyway, somehow, we arrived at the Red Sunset park for our church picnic, Spaffordly late, as always. Of course, it is kinda' characteristic of all big families, I suppose, if I may state my hypothesis. But I don't suppose you'd know anything about that unless you had come from one. Anyway, moving on....We had a lovely time of singing and prayer, and afterwards, a couple of the kids and I headed down to the pond to feed the ducks the bits and pieces left from off of our table.... Even a duck must have its July feast!

Then there was time for sports, like volleyball and Frisbee...Jonathon once wisely stated, as, out of breath, he ran across the open field in a game of ultimate Frisbee, "Fourth of July is just a time in one's year to remind you of how out-of-shape you are before Christmas baking comes along again".

God put aside the loveliest, sunniest, weather for our 4th of July, and held back the rain (which is a very rare occurrence even in July)

After the picnic had ended, and we, feeling that we had burned a sufficient amount of calories, returned home....We found that there was still plenty of time to kill, and not being one to waste of moment of our time, *ahem*, some of the fam headed to get some more work done on the coop.

Meanwhile, "the girls" (as Leisel and I are referred to in our family), were scheming over what was the best "all American" 4th of July dinner to have that night. We settled upon hamburgers, watermelon, and chips. But of course, as is our usual "luck", we did not have the needed ingredients, and thus, we made yet another run to Winco for a very 4th of July-ish dinner. (Absurd! the idea that "Winco" is a frequented store in the Spafford family)
Leisel + Lynnae= Lethal combination


The Houston busied himself handing out the Chicken's feast, meanwhile...

Some of the fam ended up dressing a little more patriotic than the rest of us...

Finally, the night came on. Of course, we had the option of going to Fort Vancouver for their grand display of fireworks, but we opted to stay home, and enjoy the equally pleasant display provided for us in our own back yard.... 

Besides, home had something that Fort Vancouver did not have to offer....a homemade slice of cheesecake to end the rather exciting day.


Hope y'all had an equally jolly and blessed July!