Here are some left-over pictures from our trip. First off, the Spokane temple.
And these are some really awesome pictures taken with my phone.
I took the kids to Krispy Kreme donuts for snack one afternoon.
We hung out with Blair and Simon a bit too. They showed us some parks.
This is how Ryan and I spent an hour or so of our evenings after we got the kids to bed. We really know how to live it up- drag pillows or chairs into the bathroom to watch movies on Netflix. (It's kind of a tradition for us.)
It was harder for me to get excited to go swimming with the rain and 60 degree weather. But, there was a pool (outdoor though it may be), and the kids were insistent that they get to swim. So one day, in between rain storms, I took the kids swimming for an hour, before insisting I was waaaay too cold to go any longer.
Luckily Ryan is a little hardier than me. He took the kids swimming a 2nd time on another evening, and was able to stay in longer than their poor, cold mother. (This way I could take pictures.)
Wednesday afternoon (after a stop at McDonalds for lunch and potty break for everyone) we drove over to Manito Park in Spokane. The park is beautiful, and free to enter.
Although, seriously, this was the greenest water I have ever seen anywhere. But we saw a couple of turtles, and the kids loved watching the turtles swim and dodge the ducks.
We wandered by the lilac garden, which was a little past its prime, and then found the rose garden.
(One of those rare, "Look! Mom's in a picture" moments.)
I thought a collage of some of my favorite flowers would be better than a zillion individual pictures.
Next up was the perennial garden.
The kids kind of ran out of steam at that point, so we didn't see the rest of Manito Park. Maybe next time we make it to Spokane we will. But we found this stone fireplace on the way back to the car. ("Hey, Mom! Take my picture here!")
We went with Ryan to his Ag Teacher conference in Spokane. Sleeping 6 people in one room is preferable to me staying home with the kids all week. We were a little worried that we wouldn't even have a room when we arrived bright and early Monday morning. Ryan went to see if a room was available for us to check into yet, only to be told his purchase order from the school district never arrived. His conference had already started, and he couldn't even go. So we waited in Rick's room (it's great having more than one Ag Teacher in the family) for an hour and a half while Ryan tried to call the school district and get everything straightened out.
The weather was rather dreary for the end of June, so we didn't spend as much time outside as we otherwise might have.
Both Ryan and Rick decided to forgo the Wednesday tours, as nothing caught their eye. So the girls and I had lots of company, with Megan, Amy, Ryan, and Rick.
In the morning, we went to Post Falls to see the dam and throw rocks in the river.
I took some pictures of our gargantuan garden of 2013.
(Two varieties of raspberries, thorn-less blackberries, and blueberries)
The rest of the garden:
Zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, beets, onions, leeks, cucumbers, beans, corn, pumpkin, potatoes are all in this section of the garden. There are more rows of corn, and beans of the drying variety growing elsewhere.
Ryan is pretty proud of his potato plants. The plants are the biggest ones he's grown yet.
This is Willie- full name is Willie B. Eaton. Emma is raising him for 4-H.
Yesterday Ryan and I had the opportunity to go to the temple. Ryan's youngest sister Brynne was going through for the first time, so we dropped off all of our children with our friends James and Tiffany (to whom I owe a very big thanks!) and we took a short-ish road trip to Bellevue. We left after lunch time, so we were able to go at a leisurely pace. We stopped at a fruit stand/antique place in Thorp and then again at the outlet mall at Mt. Si. My goal at the outlet mall was to get Ryan to look for new black dress shoes. (It takes him months to find something he likes at a price he's willing to pay. And it's not like he enjoys shopping, so... it just takes a while.) Well, we walked into the first store, he tried on a pair of shoes and bought them. Just like that. We were in and out in 10 minutes. Amazing.
We arrived in Bellevue, ate dinner, went for a walk and shimmied into our dress clothes in the back of the minivan before joining most of Ryan's family in the temple for the 6:30 session.
Afterwards we took some pictures outside (I guess to get us all in the mood for all those wedding pictures in a couple of weeks) and then got some ice cream at DQ before leaving to drive back home again.
After spending a week at Drama Camp, the kids were ready for their performance. The twins and I found Ryan (as he was at the high school anyway and could go this year), and went into the auditorium to watch.
We picked the right seats this year. Both girls were on our side of the stage and we had really close seats.
Emma and friend Kaylee (above) and Elizabeth (below). Emma was part of the 5th and 6th grade group who were the coconut trees, and Elizabeth was in the 3rd grade group being the monkeys.
Elizabeth, for some reason, does not look happy in this picture:
(I think maybe it has something to do with trying to remember the dance.) But when it was time for the finale number, she was very animated. She sang and boogied her own dance. She's so funny to watch.
On a side note, it's funny to think that in real life Mowgli and Shere Khan are sisters here.
Our little "farm" has plenty of projects to keep us busy. Ryan really, REALLY wanted to get irrigation water to our property this year. Where we live, pretty much everyone pays a fee for their water rights every year, whether or not you actually have access to the water. At our last house (which was in town), we paid $72-$85 (inflation got us during those 5 years) every year for water we didn't and couldn't use. But here at this house, the water box was at the end of our driveway, and by golly, we were going to use that water we pay for.
To use the water, we (ok, mostly Ryan) had to dig trenches for water pipes, and pipes for electrical wire. Ryan originally thought he could dig them.... But then he realized the month of all weeknights and weekends it would take was worth a trencher rental.
There he goes.
He picked up the trencher after work one Friday afternoon, and worked past dark. (Note to self- don't attempt to do any but a right angle trench, or the trenches collapse and you lose the trencher. Between me, Ryan, and Ryan's little truck, we eventually got the silly machine out again.) The trencher was unloaded at the rental place when it opened Saturday morning so we could take advantage of a half day rate.
Cutting through our lawn to get the electrical wires out to the pump from the house was a low point for us.
Here's the trench I dug.
Elizabeth and her strong muscles helped bring the pipes to her dad.
Running the wires through the glued pipes was HARD. Next learning curve was- under no circumstances should your wires run through an elbow. Run your wires through the straight line, and then turn and go through the next straight line. It's ridiculously hard otherwise, and the rope you are pulling with will break.
We glued pipe, and glued pipe, and glued more pipe.
Finally, the sprinkler heads were attached.
Water! (If you look closely, on the left there is water squirting from the orange sprinkler head.) Ryan was stoked. It took about a month to finish.
Since that picture was taken, all of the trenches have been filled in, and half of the field has been mowed and roto-tilled. We now have sweet corn and pumpkins planted out there. I really need to take pictures of our enormous garden.
Speaking of which, here's some of our other plant life:
This one below was a hanging basket from the FFA plant sale that I transplanted into one of the 5 boxes Ryan built.
I have two "herb garden" planters out the kitchen door that I haven't managed to kill yet.