Where Do You Live? Seattle?

The waterfront welcomes us to downtown Seattle!

The waterfront welcomes us to downtown Seattle!

This is a pretty typical exchange that happens when I travel out of state:

Stranger: Where are you from?
Me: Washington.
Stranger: Nice, I love D.C. So much history!
Me: No, Washington State.
Stranger: Oh, gotcha. Seattle?
Me: [Considering whether to explain there are other cities in Washington besides Seattle. Like the capital, Olympia. Or the whole eastern side of the state.] Sure.

Pike's Place was next.

Pike’s Place was next.

Or this:

Family member introducing me to friends: This is my daughter/sister/niece. She lives in Seattle.
Me: Actually I live an hour south of Seattle, closer to Tacoma really.
Family member: [smiles to friend] We love Seattle.
Random Friend: Does it rain all the time in Seattle?
Me: I don’t live in Seattle, and no, it doesn’t rain all the time.
Family member and Friend: Nod knowingly.

Finally:

Me (out of town) introducing myself to strangers: Hi, I’m Kathy. I’m from [pause, pause] Seattle.
Friends: How nice.

Since this also happens to Rachel and Joshua all the time at school in Tennessee (really, it’s just easier to say we’re from Seattle), Rachel was determined to make sure we went to Seattle at least once during her summer home. As our days together are rapidly (SOB!!) coming to an end, we picked today to go.

I love these three so much!

I love these three so much!

It was a GORGEOUS day! All sunshine and blue skies with lots of warmth thrown into the mix. The streets were crowded with people, and we had a real challenge finding parking (circling the same three block four times is normal, right?). After three failed attempts (one spot too small to get out of the van, another lot turned out to be only free on weekends, and one parking garage took us all the way to the fourth level with NO empty spaces), we ended up on a quiet side street with two hour parking for only $7.

Off we went to complete some Must-Do Seattle activities from Rachel’s list. Last summer David and I went to Seattle with some out of town friends. That time we bought city passes (which I highly recommend) and had an incredible time exploring some of the best attractions in Seattle.

Today was the budget version – we paid for parking, a Mexican plate lunch, and coffee.

Sarah adds her gum to the wall.

Sarah adds her gum to the wall.


Best buddies.

Best buddies.

We went to Pike’s Place and walked through the market.
We found the Starbucks flagship store.
We went to the famous gum wall in Post Alley and added our gum to the collection.

There was a tour group of 2nd graders heading to the gum wall when we left.  Um, okay.  LOL.

There was a tour group of 2nd graders heading to the gum wall when we left. Um, okay. LOL.


We tried the coffee at the Storyville Coffee shop (yum).

Delicious coffee!

Delicious coffee!

We drove over to Alki Beach, took off our shoes, burned our feet on the hot sand and dipped our toes in the cold water.
We got some Starbucks for the ride home.

Sarah, Rachel and David are the BEST traveling team - they are thankful, generous, and up for any and all adventures.

Sarah, Rachel and David are the BEST traveling team – they are thankful, generous, and up for any and all adventures.

We missed having Tim, Daniel and Joshua with us, but we had a great time being Seattle Adventurers. Rachel kept saying, “We’re not tourists because we LIVE in Seattle.” At least now we’re ready to take friends to Seattle and give them an official tour.

Beach time.

Beach time.

The sand was hot and the water cold.  The perfect mix!

The sand was hot and the water cold. The perfect mix!

Grab some gum and come visit us!

Got gum, will travel.

Got gum, will travel.

Project 365 – Day 211
Kathy

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Another Dave & Rach Adventure – (Previously Titled, Kayak Day)

Today David and I decided to go on an adventure.

As best friends, David and I try to spend as much time together as we can. Or at least when both our schedules allow. (As a former yogurteer/barista and landscaper, we are in high demand.) It was a beautiful day, so David and I thought we should do something outside. After deliberation and consideration, we borrowed a friend’s kayaks and headed for the ocean.

My Right Hand Man

My Right Hand Man

We had a blast accidentally ramming each other, racing, admiring Washington’s beauty, and talking about life.

Siblings that paddle together stay together

Siblings that paddle together stay together

We also took turns taking cool photos.

RachelKayak2

An example of a cool photo.

An example of a cool photo.

Off he goes

Off he goes

Many thanks to Shari who not only loaned us her kayaks and her car, but also taught and helped us to correctly load them so we wouldn’t crash. Thanks Shari! You’re the best. :)

xoxo,
Rach

Project 365 – Day 210

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How We Track Days in our P365

When I was several weeks into our Project 365, I realized I wouldn’t be able to keep track of what day was what number of the year. January was easy – January 1st was Project 365 Day 1. But, um, going into February and March was going to require actual adding and calculations.

It’s not that I’m afraid of adding or subtracting (heck, I’m going on my 5th time teaching Algebra this year), but I often blog LATE at night and that is a time notorious for math mistakes.

Cleaning and sorting and laundry/dishes I can do with no problem at midnight (or beyond). Math? Not so much. Tim doesn’t have the same trouble keeping track of the calendar days. Something to do with his programmer mind, I think (or maybe he just looks at my post from the day before and adds 1).

Needless to say, I KNEW there had to be a calendar of some sort online that I could use to keep track of our Project 365. I found one that needed some modification (black and white? Seriously? We need some color!)

July 2015 016A

Bottom half

Calendar of Numbered Days

Click here to grab the Excel file:

Project 365 Calendar

This has been a tremendous help in keeping track of my blogging days. I can find the month, the day, and then know exactly what numbered day of the year it is. A simple thing, but crucial as I try to stay in sync with the days.

Swing Set Poses

Swing Set Poses from Day 178

My phone organizes pictures according to day (another huge help), but downloading them to my computer (from phone or digital camera) requires a little more labeling and sorting. It’s very satisfying work, and I’m amazed and pleased that in 2015 we have already blogged more than we did in all of 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. I’m thankful for my college kids who bugged inspired and encouraged us to blog more faithfully this year.

Project 365 – Day 178 (June 25)
Kathy

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Beautiful Friends

We had the opportunity to attend a wedding this June. There is something so alive and hopeful in watching two people come together to pledge their love and devotion. The bride and her bridesmaids are beautiful in their wedding colors. The groom and his attendants are handsome and dashing looking. The family – big or small – work at making the day special. Sometimes solemn, sometimes playful, every wedding is unique and special. This particular wedding was no exception. There were tears, laughter, scene stealing little ones, and the breath-taking glimpse of God’s redemption in the midst of it all.

I am constantly amazed at how the Lord takes our weakness and reveals His strength, transforms our ugliness into a thing of beauty, and shines His love through a broken, flawed people.

Tomorrow's hope and future.

Tomorrow’s hope and future.

I never did get a picture of the bride and groom. I was too busy celebrating with friends and delighting in the sweetness of the day. Oh, and I also managed to take some silly pictures with my oldest daughter.

Sassy time with my girl

Sassy time with my girl

Smile pretty, girls.

Smile pretty, girls.

Tim and David were out of town, but the rest of us dressed up and joined other dear friends to attend the wedding.

AWANA Commander Jim and Daniel

AWANA Commander Jim and Daniel

Niki and Tony are beautiful inside and out.

Niki and Tony are beautiful inside and out.

What a good looking couple!

Chris and Kirstin – another incredible couple!

I somehow lost the “Mom Picture,” but I did find this one. Love these two women. They bring joy, laughter and true friendship into my life on a daily basis.

The sunshine and a moving ceremony brings out extra silliness in some people.

The sunshine and a moving ceremony brings out extra playfulness in some people.

We were honored to be included in this day, and I can’t help but cast my eye toward December when my baby will wed his love in Tennessee. Joyous times indeed.

Project 365 – Day 171 (June 20th)
Kathy

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Train Trip to Portland

Every year our homeschool co-op organizes a field trip to Portland. The field trip coordinator (who is amazing!) secures for us an educational discount, and we can take the 2 hour train trip to Portland and back for only $15! Our group gets 2 full train cars all to ourselves. It’s a fabulous deal and one of our favorite events of the spring. This year we went in June rather than May, and Rachel was home from college and could join us. We also invited some other dear friends (NOT homeschoolers, shhhh, don’t tell) to come along.

We got up early and drove to the train station. David was in California with Tim, so he wasn’t with us. We missed him the whole day. Felt strange not to have him there. Daniel took off work from Chick-Fil-A and was able to come. The train ride is a good part of the fun – roaming the cars with friends, eating in the dining car, reading books, playing games, being silly.

Goofy kids

Goofy kids

Rachel was smart and brought a book.

Rachel was smart and brought a book.

We’ve been on this trip several times. It’s always an adventure exploring Portland on foot. This year we were treated to a private tour of the Lan Su Chinese gardens in the center of town. Fascinating information, beautiful gardens, and great setting for pictures.

Our garden tour group.

Our garden tour group.

My beautiful college girl - LOVE, LOVE, LOVE having her home this summer.

My beautiful college girl – LOVE, LOVE, LOVE having her home this summer.

Nancy and I tried to keep track of all these teens.

Nancy and I tried to keep track of all these teens.

And, of course, we had to go to Powell’s Book Store. How could a bunch of avid readers and homeschoolers skip the largest used and new bookstore in the world?? Powell’s occupies an entire city block, and claims to stock over a million new and used books.

I wish I could have given each child $100 to spend on books while we were there. That would have been an amazing surprise and treat for the day. Ah, well, not in my budget.

Powell's Book store

Powell’s Book store

After all that book shopping, we definitely needed some sugar to sustain us. Time for some donuts.

People argue whether our very own Lakewood House of Donuts BEAT Portland's famous Voodoo Donuts.

People argue whether our very own Lakewood House of Donuts actually BEATS Portland’s famous Voodoo Donuts.

And, of course, nothing goes as well with donuts as some coffee. Off to Starbucks.

I don't know where all this silliness comes from.

I don’t know where all this silliness comes from.

Friends who photo bomb are the best!

Friends who photo bomb are the best!

This beautiful friend is an absolute joy and treasure in my life!

This beautiful friend is an absolute joy and treasure in my life!

I think we logged in miles of walking throughout the day. We enjoyed Thai food at the food trucks. Saw friends from our group as we walked around the city. And were so thankful for the gorgeous, sunny day.

A last look at the water before heading back to the train.

A last look at the water before heading back to the train.

Daniel spent the day with James and other friends, so I didn’t get any pictures of him. Funny what you realize you did or didn’t capture throughout the day on your camera.

All in all it was a lovely day. Friends, coffee, books, donuts, walking, gardens, laughter, train rides, water. Thank you, ACTS Co-Op, for providing a great family adventure for us. Thank you, Tung and Debbie, for letting Angie and Zach come with us. Thank you, Nancy, Julia and Daniel for being our Portland buddies for the day.

Project 365 – Day 168 (June 17th)
Kathy

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The musings and ravings of a bloggart family