Tuesday, July 31, 2007

That evening...

After an evening of merri-
at the Lake, we headed through the woods, back towards the camp-

This burnt-out tree was interesting.

There were more silly faces and lots of laughter.

The market closest to the camp-
ground was OK but didn't have any non-meat wiener options for me. I tried an old staple we call Honeymoon Beans.

We first had black beans, corn and green chilies, cooked over a campfire, during our family honeymoon at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The, they were spectacular but two years later, I'm a bit burned out.

Being together around the campfire was still enjoyable.

We sat up watching the coals burn and talking late into the night.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Memories of Another Lake...

Being at Lake Tahoe with Sam and Patience recently reminded me of my 30th birthday. I'd taken them to Saylorville Lake, outside of Des Moines. Their cousin, Keri was with us too.

Watching Patience spin in circles while dragging her hand through the water, spraying water every-
where, reminded me of watching Keri do the same.

They both looked graceful.

And gleeful.

If you look closely, you will see that Sam and Patience each had a stick in their mouth.

They were pretending to be dogs.

My friend, Tracey brought her daughter Jessie (and one of Jessie's friends) to meet us. They set up their tent to camp with us that night.

In the middle of the night, there was a huge thunderstorm. The kids slept soundly through it. I enjoyed the majesty.

Note: Jessie can be seen wearing a red bikini in the background of some of the pictures above and the one below but I don't have any good pictures of the two them from that night. This one is from a day we took the kids swimming at Maytag pool in Newton, Iowa.
Sam and Patience loved to play in the sand then.

And now.

They had cheesy grins and made silly faces.

They splashed and played happily together.

And on their own.

What a wonderful way to celebrate a birthday, sharing nature together with family and friends.

Thanks for the memories, everyone and for making them with me. Thanks, Cam for the new ones.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

More Time at Tahoe

Before we left the camp- ground for our first trip to the lake, I'd called Sam over to talk with him about not ignoring me if he doesn't want to do something I ask him to do but discussing it with me instead. One of my pet peeves.

Here he is laughing after giving me the, "I'm sorry, Mom." face. Hard to be frustrated with this sweet kid.

Dense, green forest surrounds the lake.

Cam's shadow reflected on the cool, clear, blue water.

Soaking it all in.

After awhile we wrapped up in towels to warm up.


Wonder and awe.










Monday, July 23, 2007

I forgot one thing.

After lunch, the kids played Bocce while Cam and I set up camp.

Thanks for packing the game, Cam.

The kids were happy with their tent.

The pine cones we saw on our walk from the campsite to the lake were amazing.

As was the view of the lake itself.

Almost there.

Cam and the kids dove right in...

And thoroughly enjoyed the water (even though it was quite cool).

At the campsite, I realized I'd managed not to pack a swim suit.

I put on a light weight pair of shorts and tried to pretend I was wearing a suit.

Sadly, I never made it into the water above my stomach. I'd have loved to have been out there in the deep water with Cam and splashing around with the kids but I just couldn't get myself to do it this time.

Patience peered into the water.

Sam found and enjoyed playing with an enormous stick.


He also found a rock that he described as leopard colored.

Patience showed Cam a frog she and Sam had found.

These tiny frogs seemed to live in the sand between the woods and the lake.

Sam made cool boats out of bark and used them to send pine cones floating.

This one seemed like it would stay afloat forever.

Patience's 11th Birthday at Lake Tahoe.

July 13th, the morning after Patience & Sam arrived in California, was Patience's actual birthday. Cam packed our camping gear and I packed clothes for myself and the kids. Before long, we were ready and on our way.

Tahoe is less than 250 miles from our house but the drive there is still tiring. We were happy when we arrived and were able to take a break from the car.

The kids went wading right after this picture was taken.

With one extra person in the car, we didn't have room for the big cooler full of food we usually bring with us on camping trips. Nice excuse to stop off for a birthday lunch.

Originally, Cam had generously given the seats with the view of the lake to the kids. In these pictures, we are in our second seating arrangement, with me going over the menu with Patience.

Soon, we realized the kids were so absorbed in their Wikki Stix creating that they weren't noticing the lake at all. We got them to trade places with us so we could get a picture of them with the lake behind them.

This spot was great because after sharing birthday cake, we were able to watch them wade around in the water from our table.

(See Cam's Flickr album from more Lake Tahoe pics.)