Monday, September 28, 2015

Happy Birthday Dallin!

Dallin had a birthday back in July. There are definitely some perks to having a summer birthday, like no school, swim parties, and shave ice.

He requested a fedora and aviator sunglasses. This was right before we headed out to a pack meeting, so he's wearing his scout shirt. He looks like a policeman in this picture!

11 candles! We had a super delicious chocolate sheet cake, because apparently he doesn't like thick cake. Who knew?

He earned his Webelos badge and Arrow of Light, just in the nick of time. We literally finished all the requirements 4 hours before his birthday. 

It's a good thing he was off school so we could get it done! It was a tad crazy!!

There's a reason they give us moms pins! Now on to Boy Scouts.

One of my favorite birthday traditions is taking my kids out to lunch, just the two of us. We went to a new Philadelphia Cheesesteak place in town, and it was super yummy!

Dallin had a friend party this year, which worked out great because some of his cousins were visiting from Utah. We had just signed up for a membership at a pool, and we had free guest passes for the whole month. Easy, free, and fun - perfect!

 Afterwards everyone came to our house for pizza and shave ice.

  After dinner they watched Jumanji in our theater room and opened presents. It was a fun party!

So what is Dallin like these days? He just started 6th grade (middle school), and he really likes it. He also started running cross country, and he's one of the fastest on the team!  He plays the trumpet in band and still plays piano. He is funny, strong, creative and out-going. 

He likes to swim, rock climb, boogie board, ride his bike, and everything else his big brothers do. But it usually takes a little bit of effort to talk him into doing these things because he would often rather stay home and relax. He's a huge help to me, cleaning, doing laundry, and playing with the little kids. He still loves baking cookies!

He loves to make videos and narrate everything. He was thrilled when he found an old camcorder (the kind that rests on your shoulder) from D.I. to use as a prop while pretending to be a news reporter.  He has recently overcome his fear of roller coasters, and he still loves public speaking. What a character! We love this kid!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

60 mile kayak trip

Two days after we got back from scout camp, Dave and Spencer left on a 60 mile kayak trip with the older scouts. Just like their 50 mile backpacking trip last summer, they had a bunch of shake-down trips beforehand. They were super prepared and so excited!

The nice thing about the trip was that it was close to home, so Dave was able to help out on certain days and not have to take the whole week off work. They went down the coast, from Hearst Beach to Grover Beach, camping along the way.  

They took the GoPro, so I was able to get some snapshots from that.

I drove Tyler down Monday night so he could kayak with them on Tuesday. They were camping at San Simeon State park, playing games and eating spaghetti. 

It was a short day, so they weren't too tired yet.

After we dropped off Tyler, we drove over to Moonstone Beach. It seemed a waste to drive all that way and not stop to see the beach! It was a beautiful evening!

Although the trip was just for the older boys, Tyler was able to go as long as Dave was there; so he went Tuesday and Thursday. Those happened to be the 2 longest days (15-17 miles each), but Dave said he did great! They shared a 2-man kayak, and he rowed the whole time. This is them taking a break, waiting for people to catch up.

They stopped at little secluded beaches along the shore for lunch breaks. Dave's not a fan of raw apples, so I had to take a picture of this. He must have been hungry!

There are a lot of places you can only get to by kayak. What a great experience for these boys! 

Spencer said this trip really helped him see how all our beaches fit together. We take lots of different roads to get to different beaches, and now he can picture where they all are.  

They learned excellent rowing technique. After one of the longer shakedowns, Dave's wrists were sore for a few days. He talked to Dan (the one in charge who has done this a few times) about it, and he said he was rowing with his wrists too much. They're supposed to row with just their shoulders. 

Even with good rowing technique, they were tired and sore after the first long day!

One boy had his phone on him to take pictures. He had it in a waterproof case, but on the second to last day, a big swell bumped it out of his hands and into the water. They looked and looked for it, but it was gone. That was sad - kind of put a damper on the trip. And then, 3 days later, they got a call from a lady who found it sticking out of the sand at Avila Beach! Pretty amazing.

 They saw tons of sea life - jellyfish, dolphins, wales, sea lions, etc.

 During the lunch break on Thursday, they explored some tide pools.

They got really good at counting waves to know the best time to go out. My boys didn't capsize once!

Seal rock -it was loud!

I'll end with a few of Spencer's snapchats/instagram pics:  

"Ha! Joke's on us! It ended up being 20"

"When you kayak 60 miles on the ocean for a week, salt begins to collect everywhere."