Friday, November 25, 2011

Daily dose of vitamin D on Black Friday

I can't stand crowds, so rather than brave the masses the kids and I went for a walk. We are having some sunshine, which is a very welcome break!

Nothing much new here from yesterday, aside from the nice weather.

There is a nice trail nearby that leads to the local park/playground that the kids just love. I took about every opportunity available to snap some photos.

I was wearing my Packers hat, and Leah stole it! Possibly the cutest little Packers fan in the world...

Ian had to get in on the action - quite the handsome boy!

At the end of playtime, while up on the elevated portion, Ian and Leah both wanted their photo taken while looking down at me.

Have a wonderful day everybody - we are!


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

The Skinner family in Washington hopes you've all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We have soooooo much to be thankful for this season, most of all that we are together.

We've had a nice quiet Thanksgiving, capped off by a nice glass of wine and a warm fire in the fireplace while the kids play nicely upstairs. Hard to get any better...

We've been busy as ever, with Leah having a bit of a recital, of sorts, at school. I've posted just one song, which Ian loves to hear before he goes to sleep. 

Here is a photo of Leah taken at the school shortly after the recital. She was so glad that I had the day off and could come see her at school - but then again so was I.

The big surprise here was a last minute opening to see a dress rehearsal of the Nutcracker in Seattle. It was my first foray into the ballet, and of course Leah was beside herself. She would have much rather been dancing than watching, but all in all both Ian and Leah had a great time. We may have to look into other shows playing there, turns out culture is pretty nice!

After the show Ian and Leah wanted their picture taken in the lobby with the Nutcracker guy. Glad we brought our cameras!

Happy Thanksgiving, hopefully you've all had a great one!


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Veteran's Day Weekend

We've been enjoying a nice long weekend here in Washington. I had Thursday and Friday off from work, and did some sightseeing both days. Thursday was a (rare) beautiful blue-sky kind of day. I hadn't planned on making a trip to Mt. St. Helens, but since loads of snow was forecasted for the mountains starting Friday, I figured I'd head out for one last hurrah.

I went to the northeast side of the park. There is one road in that is closed in the winter, which I'm guessing closed literally the day after I was there. I made my way to the end of the road with some great views of Spirit Lake and Mt. St. Helens (not to mention the other volcanoes nearby - Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, and Mt. Rainier).

The whole point of this trip was to make my way to Norway Pass - which was going to involve some hiking, but only about 2-2.5 miles one way with less than 1000 ft. of elevation gain their. I was surprised by the snow, but wasn't completely unprepared. Luckily there was only about 6 inches at elevation. This shot below was taken only about 5-10 minutes up the trail from the parking lot looking west.

And here is the stunning Norway Pass. I'll definitely make my way back here come next summer - June or July by the time all the snow melts. It has phenomenal views of Mt. St. Helens towering over Spirit Lake looking south, and then turn around and look at Mt. Rainier to the north. I was pushing my luck as far as the timing goes. I waited until just a bit before sunset to take my photos, then I had to pack my gear up in a hurry and high-tail it out of their before it got too dark. Luckily it was mostly downhill the whole way, and I made good time.

Friday, since the kids had the day off from school, we made our way to Seattle for a bit of sightseeing. The Space Needle was high on our priority list, with Ian most keen to go there. The view was nice, the weather not so much. As part of the ticket to the top, they take your picture in front of a green screen and drop in this background. It wasn't like this at all on Friday!

After taking in the Space Needle, a museum, and then walking around a bit around the Seattle Center, we drove to Kerry Park. It has a beautiful overlook of the entire city, and if the weather cooperates, Mt. Rainer (I'm pretty sure the backdrop from the photo above was taken at Kerry Park). The weather wasn't cooperating, but it was still a beautiful view over both Seattle and Puget Sound.

Finally, my own obligatory panoramic-style photo of Seattle. This is another place I'll be coming back to in the future. Most likely next summer when the chances for clear skies are much more likely.

I hope everyone enjoyed their Veteran's Day! We did.



Sunday, November 6, 2011

Another walk at the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge Area

After church this morning we came back home. Since the sun was shining I originally thought about heading to Mt. St. Helens to do some exploring - but it was already almost 1 o'clock which didn't leave a ton of time, so we decided to head to the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge for the afternoon again.

It was a chilly day, but the sun made it pleasant. We went further out on the boardwalk than last time, and saw a ton of geese.

On our way out, we saw a bald eagle sitting on the top of this tree, however I wasn't able to get my camera up in time before he took off for somewhere else.

Gratuitous shot of the two kids together!!!

Have a good day everyone. Later!


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Local walkabout

Okay, so nothing newsworthy happening here. But I did get the camera out and get some photos of the kids, which is really what this blog post is all about. Ian and Leah!

For some reason, Leah has taken to sticking her tongue out a bit when she forces a smile.

Ian is his usual happy self...

So after the photos at home I took Ian and Leah for a walk on a path through a local woods. Leah and Ian brought their camera that they were given for Christmas. Here is Leah's handiwork:

And here is Ian's handiwork:

Both of those photos had only minor cropping applied - what you see is very close to what they put into the camera. They're already outdoing their old man! I don't know why, but this last one makes me think "album cover".

Have a wonderful day - we're looking forward to the extra hour of sleeping in...

That, or having the kids wake up at 5 am tomorrow morning. Either way, should be a good one.



Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ian's Cub Scout Uniform

The title pretty much says it all. Ian has joined a local Cub Scout Den/Pack. We've been to a couple of Den meetings and a Pack meeting. So far, so good. Ian really enjoys having fun with the other boys.

My handsome boy...

Have a wonderful day everyone!