Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Get to Know Me From A to Z!

While visiting Olson's Travels I got to know her a bit better by reading a list of 27 interesting tidbits using the letter of the alphabet and I thought, why not do it myself!

So here goes. Getting to know me, from A to Z...

A. Attached or Single? Attached, I am married to the love of my life, Joel.
B. Best Friend? Anna My-Birch, she might live an hour and a half away, but we stay close.
C. Cake or Pie? PIE! I love a slice of warm pie with a scoop of ice cream... oh so good! 
D. Day of Choice? Saturday. It is usually the day that I get to do something fun with some fun people.
E. Essential Item? I hate to admit it but probably my phone. I would be lost without my calendar or the ability to google things when ever I think of a question.
F. Favorite Color? PURPLE! Hands down.
G. Gummy bears or worms? I don't really have a preference, but the last time I had a gummi, I think it was bears.
H. Hometown? Lynden, Washington - Home of Dairies and Berries!
I. Favorite Indulgence? Oh there are just too many; pasta, trash TV, any dessert, beer...
J. January or July? July. Although I do love a good New Year's Party...
K. Kids? Nope. Just two adorable nephews and one amazing niece.
L. Life isn't complete without? Well, if we don't count the obvious answer of my better half, then I would have to say, a good story. I heart books!
M. Marriage Date: Joel and I were married on October 10, 2009. (No, we did not want to wait a year and get married on 10-10-10... but we were married 99 years to the date after my great-grandmother was married...)
N. Number of Brothers and Sisters? I have three wonderful sisters (one older and two younger) and one terrific sister-in-law, who I much prefer to call my fourth sister.
O. Oranges or Apples? Apples. But only cut up into slices. I just can't make myself eat an apple down to the core. Gross.
P. Phobias? Drowning (I really don't want to go out that way...), Being entrapped (small spaces, crowded places... I always need an exit), anything creepy crawly (snakes, spiders, moths) and birds.
Q. Quotes? "Don't ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive." - Gil Bailie
R. Reasons to Smile? I have the best family and some wonderful friends who all make life so fun!
S. Season of Choice? Fall. I love Indian summers; when the leaves turn colors, boots and sweaters.
T. Tag 5 people: Here are five of my favorite blogs to follow: Sarah over at Life as Always, Kristine over at Living Barefoot and Crazy, Kathleen over at Something 'bout A Truck, Brittin over at Olson's Travels, and Kath over at Kath Eats Real Food
U. Unknown Fact about Me: I hate my knees. A strange thing to dislike about yourself, I know, but I don't like my knees.
V. Vegetable? Right now, I am loving garlic tops. Mix with a bit of evoo, salt and pepper, throw them on the grill for a bit and enjoy! So good!
W. Worst Habit? I have a quick temper. If I am frustrated or overwhelmed, then I am really quick to loose my cool. I should learn to relax a bit. Probably.
X. X-Ray or Ultrasound? I don't really mind either. I have had more x-rays in my life than ultrasounds, so I guess ultrasounds, to even things up?
Y. Your favorite food? A food that has been on my "favorite food" list for the longest is grits. I love them. I don't eat them very often, but I savor them when I do.
Z. Zodiac Sign? Leo

Monday, July 29, 2013

Sunday, July 28, 2013

James Family Camping Trip

This was the third year the James family gathered for a James Family Camping trip and this was the second year we gathered at Bay View State Park for a weekend of campfires, s'mores, hot dogs, and fun in the sun. Joel and I didn't get to the campsite until nearly 9:00 pm on Friday night, but Jackie and Chris were really nice to us and they brought our tent up earlier in the day with them and set it up for us! So when we arrived, we didn't have much to do aside from getting out our camp chairs and joining the fun around the campfire. We decided to play charades around the campfire and it was pretty fun.

Could you guess that I was a starfish?
Moriah and I were having an intense conversation...
...which included this!
I forget what she was acting out, but Sidney is just adorable!
Jackie was going big!
So Moriah and I had to go big, too!  (Mike looks like he isn't sure what to make to this...)
Riley needed to help us go bigger!
After a really fun night around the campfire, we decided we better get some sleep and headed to bed. In the morning we enjoyed a delicious breakfast which included Joel's fancy breakfast burritos, before we joined the rest of the group in the grassy field over by the campers. The big open area that we called the field, is perfect for lounging around in the sun, playing some Frisbee, and just hanging out together.

Joel going for the catch while playing some Frisbee in the field.
Chris is making a run for it while playing Frisbee with Joel and Mike.
Another amazing play by my husband, the Frisbee fanatic.
Mike and Chris having a good time playing Frisbee.
Chris, Mike, Sean and Joel, playing Frisbee in the field.
Maddie and Sidney, enjoying the sunshine.
Sidney invented a great way to stay cool in the warm sun!
Beautiful James Ladies - Moriah, Jaisha and Julie, plus Riley in the background!

After hanging out in the sun together for most of the morning we decided to head back to our campsites, eat some lunch and then meet up down at the beach for some bocce ball and beach time. I enjoyed a delicious Waldorf-style salad with some chicken while Joel, Chris and Jackie ate some very tasty hot dogs.

Time for some bocce ball!

After our game of bocce ball, Riley taught us all how to make a friendship bracelet.
My wonderful cousin, Maddie!
Everyone joined in on the fun of making friendship bracelets at the breezy beach!
I eventually taped it to my leg to have more control over the strings... what a frustrating fun project!
Moriah and Leann went crazy went for a dip in the bay. 
Here is the video footage of the plunge!

They said the water was lovely... except for the seaweed. Um gross.
It was refreshing to wade in the bay, though!
Jackie and Kaleb

Kaleb and Sidney dug a pool a mud hole on the beach.
Then made a mud cake for all to enjoy!
Joel organized yet another game of Frisbee.

Sidney photo bombed my Frisbee pictures... so cute!

We all noticed that we were snacking a lot and when we figured out it was already 6:00pm, we figured it was time to pack it up and head up to camp for dinner. We all went our separate ways to eat our dinners after making plans to meet up later for a game of kick ball. We had so much playing kickball at our Fifth of July celebration that we were excited for a rematch.

Kickball time!
Dad was our umpire and there were a lot of "discussions" about calls made.
Making the play at second.

Going for third!

Notice the little kid sitting near second base... not sure where he came from, but there were all kinds of distractions during our game; bicycles in center field, small children near second, and a large group of teenagers in right field.

Mom played left field and she made a huge catch - she couldn't believe she did it! Go Mom!

Someone kicked it way out in center field, I had to chase it down through the middle of a group of kids playing a game of touch football. I was too focused on getting the out, that I just ran through the center of it yelling, "Coming through, watch out!"
Maybe you remember what happened during our Fifth of July celebration... here is Dave committing to the game again...
Don't worry, he's fine!

We had some random kids ask to join our game.
I think by the end of the night we had picked up six kids from the campgrounds.

Our wedding favors were these Frisbees... we still have a million in our garage, so we brought a bunch with us to serve as our bases during kick ball. As you can see, we take kickball so serious that our "bases" didn't make it through the game in one peice.
We all played kickball until the sun went down and it was too dark to see the ball. We had so much fun! I love our games! The rest of night was spent gathered around our campfire, telling stories and playing games. In the morning, we had to pack up and get ready to head home. Of course we still had time for a game of four square and Riley taught us how to play Spoons.

Before everyone started to head home we all meet up in the field one last time for a group picture. Mom wanted to try out a picture she saw on line, where everyone put their feet in a circle. We tried our best! And of course, this was the third year that we made the James Family Pyramid of Cousins.

From the Top: Ben, Laura, Karen, Mike, Julie, Sean, Leann, Riley, Moriah, Maddie, Sidney, Joel, Me, Jackie, Jaisha, Kaleb, Tonna, and Mom. (Missing Steve and Dad)
Bottom Row: Mom, Maddie, Jaisha, Julie, Jackie, Me, Karen
Middle Row: Moriah, Leann, Tonna
Top Row: Sidney, Kaleb, Riley
I don't know what it is about my family, but we are amazing. There are so many of us and we are all so different, yet we can have so much fun when we all get together. It was hard to see the short weekend come to an end, but I was ready to sleep in my own bed. After a short stop at the Berry Barn for some fresh fruit and a scoop of ice cream, Joel and I headed back home.

I wasn't able to finish my friendship bracelet during the trip, but as soon as I got home, I made sure to finish it.
Thanks for teaching me, Riley!

I can't wait until next year!

Special thank you to Aunt Karen and Laura who took pictures for me!
How was your weekend?