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Sunday, July 28, 2013


Lon was so excited last night he had a hard time sleeping. TY was on a plane coming all the way from China! Ty was coming to see HIM!   Lon even got up early. Just as I put the coffee on, they pulled up!  Lon was so thrilled!
It did not take very long at all to break out the legos!
They both got taller. They even both chose camo to wear today
Playing together like they had never been separated for two years!
We had been invited to go to Uncle Chong and Auntie Michelle's house for dinner. I had asked earlier if Ty could come too. That was not a problem at all.
As we drove down there at 3pm, Ty was asleep almost before we left our driveway. He slept through the whole visit.  He so wanted to wake up when we came in. He really really tried to play with Lon and Brian, but he just could not.  He layed down on the couch and was out till we left about 7pm.  He was able to walk back up to our house and into the bed, and he is sleeping now. I am sure he will be up around 4am if not earlier.  We will have a nice quiet time in the early morning together.
Dinner at Chong and Michelle's was WONDERFUL. She made my very favorite Korean scallion pancakes. She made three and I think I ate two. They were plate size. They were so good. Then we had bulgogi, and rice, shrimp and kimchee, and bean sprouts and radish. It was wonderful. Meagan and Gernot joined us too.
Lon was very good the whole time, letting Lon sleep and playing with Brian and Kayla
The cake I made for dessert
Princess Kayla!  All the kids, well, everyone, was enjoying the watermelon before we had cake.
It was a fun day,  thank you for the wonderful dinner !

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Happy Birthday, Meagan!

Today we spent a lovely afternoon at Omi's celebrating Meagan's birthday! 
Lon wanted to dig for lake clams first thing! Digging is great fun!

Come on, Dad! It's kayak time! 
Out on the water, having a wonderful time
Time for a little swimming. Lon was out there, swimming in his life vest! 
Hi, Mom. I think I am going to stay in the water some more
maybe a cuddle with Daddy...
Having a snack in the sun. Being in the water all afternoon makes you hungry!
Back to the water! 
Lon had a great time as we all did! 
Happy Birthday, Meagan! 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mt. Rainier !

Today we thought we would get another Jr. Ranger Badge. It has been a very long time since I went to Mt. Rainier.  No, it really has not changed, still amazingly beautiful.
Blurry, but it was the best I could do driving down the freeway. We were on our way to pick up Cousin Drew !! It was going to be an even better day!
The Nisqually entrance. I had not been down this way before.  It was very pretty
We stopped at the Kautz Creek picnic, rest area.
The boys needed a bit of a leg stretch. There was a long detour since part of Highway 7 was washed out.
Worth the stop for this view.
Reading the signs. Learning about the mountain
Even if the bathrooms were not pleasant, it was very much worth the stop
Lunch at Longmire.  We went to the Ranger Station and picked up Lon and Drew's Jr. Ranger badge pamphlets.   We were starting to get hungry about this time.  The Inn looked nice. I was expecting a HUGE price for lunch.  It was SO very reasonable. The kid's menu was 6.50 for lunch and a drink.  WOW.  The food was good too.
We went to the gift shop, but they did not have what we wanted. I wanted to get Drew a National Parks Passport and a Jr. Ranger hat.  We will find them !!
The boys worked on their pamphlets during lunch.  This was one of the easiest Jr Ranger book we have done yet! It was still a good amount of learning
Driving to Paradise.  The lights were flashing, saying the parking lot is FULL. We decided to give it a try anyway.
We did find parking, a long way down the street.  The upside is the boys found a patch of snow to play in.  This was at the Lakes Trail. I tried to walk it, but the snow made it hard for me to walk on. I was concerned that would make it hard for the boys to get their Jr. Ranger badge. Part of the requirement is a hike.
More Mountain
We went into the Visitor's Center. The wonderful Ranger counted our walk up from where we parked the car as our hike.  The boys needed to watch the movie that started in 15 minutes, but they got to skip the Ranger talk since the one starting at 2 was 75 minutes of walking. I could not keep up. sorry boys. The next Ranger talk was at 4pm, so she let us skip that step. THANK YOU
The movie was very informative and the boys both liked it. No squirming or talking. It was great!
Taking the oath of the Jr. Ranger. Drew was so proud of himself for getting his first Jr. Ranger badge!

Newly minted Mt Rainier Jr. Rangers
Tiny flowers. I took some pictures while the boys played in the snow on the way back to the car
I think if I would have let them, they would have played there for the rest of the afternoon!
It was after three and we needed to get going. I told the boys we were not going to stop again til we get back to Tacoma
Then we saw HIM
Of course we stopped.  He was just wondering around, munching on grass. He seemingly did not notice any of us way above him
The boys showing off the bear. He was very far away from us. Still so cool to see.  Someone slowed down, and I could see their windows open so I said, it's a bear down there. They pulled over really fast. They even said Thank you.  It is rare to see a bear !
Bye Bye Mountain. We had a blast.
This time we did not stop till we got to Tacoma. We met up with Aunt Janet at a wonderful place called Social.  Wonderful food, and even better company
It is right next to the Glass Museum.  It was a lovely evening.

Last Pictures of Our House Hunting Trip

We went to the Summerville Dorchester Musuem. What a great little place. The director is full of enthusiasm!  It is a little place but I think it will be growing soon.  Lon and Mark are looking for fossils
I think we might see if this still is happening!  Looks like fun
A local soda, that is really good! Cherry spiced soda.
Mr. K's Piggly Wiggly ! It will be where we shop most days
Checking out the local peaches in a farmer's market.  Yummy!
Seeing the new house, and some Canadian Geese.
Our last day, for now, in Summerville, was a good one !! Looking forward to moving into our new house.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

House Hunting Trip

Yes, it is true! We are moving to South Carolina. As soon as August 12. We are now on a house hunting adventure.  Lon has been a real trooper this whole time, as we look at a mind numbing amount of houses, make notes and phone calls and all the other things that go with looking for a new house for our little family.
So far we have not seen the dreaded palmetto bug (giant roaches with wings). Our first bug was this lucky little fellow!
We stopped in for lunch (Monday, July 8) at Perfectly Franks. It was featured on Diner Drive Ins and Dives. I had never been to a place featured on a TV show before) They have a mural with Guy (can's spell his last name now) picture on it.  Lon had a hot dog with a Cheerwine. Yummy stuff that cherry soda!) Mark ordered the fish taco. Well, they gave him the wrong ones, they gave him the grouper taco with the mango salsa that was amazingly good. Halfway through his tacos, they brought him the ones he really ordered and said they were sorry for the mix up, the right ones were on the house. Well, there was no amazing salsa on these ones, but the fish was a little tastier. Mark did end up eating all four.  We will be going back there, it was a fast, fun and yummy place for lunch
A house we looked at was under construction still. This was the only thing I liked from that house
A closet in a house we all really liked. Yes, this is just the closet in a regular room, not a master bedroom.  Lon thinks he might be able to fit his legos in here. maybe, just barely.
Lon and Daddy goofing off when we went to dinner. We went to an Italian place called Alessandra's.  The food was so good. Lon ate half an adult size pizza margarita. He could not get basil on the kids pizza. The waitress asked him how he likes his pizza and when he said like they make it in Italy, she said the kid's pizza was not for him.  We brought the rest back to the room. It was gone the next afternoon.
Driving to meet our realtor. Another day to look at houses.  Trying to keep them all straight.
We had dinner at a downtown Greek place called Continental Corner. It was decent, but Lon did not like the oregano on his chicken. It was a bit strong. Ice cream for dinner it was!  I had the gyro plate, which I liked, and rice pudding.
Mark was not as impressed with his meal.
It is almost next door to the quilt shop, across the street (almost) from the downtown Y. I have a feeling some of my days are going to be, working out, getting fabric and a tasty lunch!
Wednesday, we were waiting to see if the offer we put in on a house was accepted.  We could not go too far away. We walked around downtown Summerville. We had a hot dog lunch at the oldest pharmacy in town. Lon ate his dog, so he got an ice cream cone. They make them big here.
Looks like they accepted our offer!  Standing on the front porch of our new house!!  It looks like Lon's mint chocolate chip ice cream!  This is the house with the giant lego closet.
After we visited the front of our soon to be new house it was time to have some dinner. We tried a Mexican place called Margaritas. It was good. No beans with the rice.  But a small salad in a taco cup. Another place I would not mind coming back to.
We found a gas station called Hess. Lon found out they sell trucks. This was something so incredibly cool that Lon could not resist. We got him the miniature truck. The lady behind the counter informed Lon that they sell big trucks at Christmas time.  Lon now has that on his Christmas list.
Back to the house the next morning to do a blue tape walk through. This is where you put a piece of blue painters tape on any slight defect you find. Paint chip, not painted, missing a big, a nail pop, whatever you think is not perfect about your NEW house. Yes, that is right, we are buying a new new new house. No one has ever lived in it before. It was built this year.  The top porch is off the master bedroom. That is going to be amazing, coffee out there in the morning.
Lon and Daddy hauling in the for sale signs.  We put them in the garage.
Part of my kitchen. Looking into the family room. They have a spot above the fire place to hang a flat screen tv, but I think we are just going to put a painting over that and put the TV upstairs in the second family room area.  This house is HUGE. It is wonderful
Lon wanted to help, so he put a dot of blue tape on every scuff mark gong up the stairs. I am thinking of making a pretty stencil to go on the white part of the stairs, adding a pop of color there. Not sure what yet. If we end up hating it or want to change it, it is only paint. The arch way leads to a first floor master bedroom. Large room, walk in closet, giant dual sink  bathroom. Shower, huge separate tub, small room for just the commode.  I think this will be the guest room. Upstairs there are four bedrooms, one will be Lon's, the upstairs master with the balcony is mine and Mark's. One room will be a guest room/storage/whatever room and I will have a dedicated sewing room. That one has two large windows, also with a walk in closet.  Upstairs there is the family room area. It has wiring to plug in your mp3 player to the speakers that are in the upstairs master, and the family room areas. I am not sure if it is all over the house, I just saw the speakers in the ceiling in those rooms. They look like can lights.  Can you tell I really love this house?
After that bit of fun, we went to Boeing South Carolina! We could only go into the visitor's center. Not too much there. Mark will report there on his first day of work.
These are the sinks in the lady's room. They are pretty interesting looking. Even the soap dispenser is automatic.
Leaving the Boeing Visitor's Center.
We went to the nearby outlet mall. I had gotten a hole in my pants. We did get the pants, and while I was trying on pants, Mark was looking at luggage. We have a grown up house, we should have more grownup suitcase, Mark thought I would like it. I said I did and it came home with us, well, it is coming home with us. Yep, that is King Tut. Mark spent the way home trying to remember the Steve Martin King Tut song so he could teach it to Lon.  He did not get very far.  I have to look it up on You-tube later, much, much later.
Crossing the Ashley River.  We wanted to come home a different way.   We want to learn our way around.

The Ashley River Road is so beautiful. It is like a movie set. The huge live oaks, draped with Spanish moss.  There are many plantation homes still on this road that are open for tours. Yes, we will be doing that.
We checked out three grocery stores, the Publix, the Bi-Lo and the Piggly Wiggly.  Mark made the comment that these are small stores. Smaller than our old Albertsons.  We thought about it, we are moving to a much smaller place, so maybe they do not have super sized grocery stores like they do in Kirkland.  So far, the best grocery store produce is at Piggly Wiggly.  It is almost all locally grown.  The Publix peaches were from California. (there is nothing wrong with that, I have eaten many Cali peaches before, but they do grow that crop here too)  So far, we like the Pig best.
Our dinner tonight was the Thai place. Well, it was horrible food. I asked for one star. I got 4. I could not eat it. My face was red, my lips were all weird due too too much chili paste.  Lon could not eat his tempura either.  We ended up having ice cream for dinner at Ye Old Fashioned Ice Cream Shop. That was good.  So far that is the only bad meal we had here in South Carolina.
Tomorrow is the last day of our house hunting adventure.