We love getting together with friends in a relaxed setting – typically at our home. We enjoyed a nice, (relatively) quiet evening with our friends, Andrew and Gretchen and their five kids. All the kids enjoyed themselves, and I think all the parents appreciated a bit of relative down time. We took a few pictures; click on the one shown to see some more. Sary-Jo especially enjoyed having some little girls in the house for a while.
The boys’ annual birthday party / fundraiser was held at Bradley Lake Park. What amazing weather! It was a beautiful day and many friends joined us for the event. As usual, the kids spent the bulk of the time playing soccer and other active games, while the parents visited with each other and enjoyed the food. We continued the tradition of inviting our family and friends to honor Daniel and David by contributing to the Adoption Ministry campaign. Funds used go to support the orphanage in Ethiopia. We are extremely grateful for the outpouring of love and support, with the financial contribution exceeding $1,500! Thank you.
The party did experience one mishap, with Andrew on the receiving end of a large bump from a collision with David. The size of the bump gave us serious concern for a while, but he recovered nicely.
Click on the picture to see more.
Last year, Daniel was unable to run in the Haunted Hustle because he got sick. So, David had to come in first in the 17-and-under category. As a result of his first-place finish, he was able to compete for free this year. In the 2013 race, they were both healthy and ran well. Daniel finished in about 19 minutes (a little under because he didn’t start at the front of the pack). David finished in less than 21 minutes. Daniel gets to run for free next year, but David’s name was drawn for a free pair of running shoes! What a day.
Here’s video of both boys finishing. And there are plenty of pictures – click on the one showing to see more.
Summer flew by and, right on schedule, the new school year started! This year promises to bring much excitement and many challenges for Daniel as he begins Junior High. Adjusting to a routine with six classes per day is of particular concern to his parents. On the other hand, Aylen Junior High has a great staff and also brings opportunities for new sports adventures. David is in 5th grade at Karshner Elementary and he will have many leadership opportunities this year. We are very excited for both boys!
This summer, the boys’ friend Michael and his parents invited them to join them on a camping trip to explore the Ape Caves in Southwest Washington. They stayed in the motor home and enjoyed their first camping experience. (Note: Sary-Jo and I gave up camping long ago.) The incredible darkness inside the caves impressed them. They enjoyed every minute of the experience, including campground games and the food and time spent with friends. Thank you so much, Rich and Stacey, for giving them this opportunity.
One of the things we have wanted to do with Daniel & David is to take them on a Ferry. We essentially needed two things to come together – great weather and time on the calendar. Despite popular perception, the weather around here cooperates quite often; our family schedule, on the other hand… not so much.
We finally got the opportunity and drove to Bremerton so we could ride to Seattle. Approaching Seattle from the water is such a beautiful experience. The boys enjoyed it too. Click on the picture so see a few others.
For the 6th (I think) consecutive year, the Lakins have opened their beautiful home and property for the reunion of Edgewood Community Church family members. It was another great gathering of old friends. The kids had a blast hiking down by the creek (and vaulting across it at various points). Click the picture to see more (almost all of them are just our kids).
We had an exchange student this summer. We had taken a few years off from that practice, but we thought the boys would be ready to learn from this experience. Naoto came from Japan. As with many other Japanese boys, he loves baseball as much as Daniel and David love soccer. At 13, he was our youngest exchange student ever. He did not have a lot of experience with English before his arrival, and it caused him to have to work very hard to communicate. While he was here, we visited Joe & Karla, had the Edgewood Reunion, went to a Mariners game, and generally lived life in our normal way. We’re glad he stayed with us, and I’m sure we’ll host more students in the future.
Click the photo to see more.
We started the day by taking Ryan and Janel to the airport (sad), and then spent the rest of the day in Waikiki before catching our own flight home late at night. The boys wanted to surf again so we rented boards. Unfortunately, the waves were not particularly cooperative and they did not spend much time actually surfing. Still, it’s tough to complain when you’re hanging out in Waikiki on a beautiful day. What a vacation!
We hope to return again next year and maybe all the “kids” will be able to join us!