Saturday, June 28, 2014

This is Fro-ty

My sister-in-law, Erika, planned this great surprise party weekend for her husband, (Mark's brother) Skip.  We thought it sounded like great fun, so we road-tripped ourselves down to Gearhart, Oregon to join the fun.

It is a 6+ hour trip from our house to Skip & Erika's, so we were prepared with snacks, books, and the portable DVD player.  Jensen is at the age where he is realizing that there are no headphones or DVD screen for him and it makes him a bit angry.  Generally his sister's have their volume up too loud so he can hear the movie anyway and he leans in to watch their screens so it all works out until he gets bored or realizes he is strapped into a car seat.

Mark thought it would be interesting to try a new route since we always take I-5 down and it is HORRIBLE on Friday afternoons/evenings.  This time when we got to Olympia, we went west on the 108 to connect to the 101 and drove down the coast.  See the picture above?  NO TRAFFIC - and it was beautiful, to boot.

We stayed in a condo right across the road from the Sand Trap, the McMenamins hotel/restaurant in Gearhart where we were surprising Skip for dinner and drinks.  I volunteered to drive our children to Skip & Erika's house, where two nice baby-sitters were already watching Reagan and Liam and our other friend's son as well.  This is the thing you do when it isn't your brother having the birthday - you fore go being part of the surprise so that the baby-sitters get the correct information about your children that they've never met.  It's also a "mom" thing.

As you can see, Skip, John (childhood friend), and Mark were having a great time long before I got back!

Keri (John's wife), Erika, me, Mark, Skip, and John post-appetizers and drinks!

Tresha had the fantastic idea to create special shirts for all of the adults to wear for the party so we played around with some ideas and landed on this one.  When I asked her how she was going to get a profile picture of Skip (yes, that is his actual profile!) she said "don't worry" and then sent one to me a few minutes later. Apparently Skip is used to Tresha's strange requests for craft projects, so he took a picture of himself and sent it, no questions asked.

If you're wondering about the "Fro" theme, this is just one of Skip's many nicknames that stuck due to his curly hair.  When I first met Mark, I had heard about something called Fro-Fest, which was an annual gathering of Skip's friends and family in different areas to do different fun things and just enjoy a long weekend together. I have participated in a few - some I remember, some are a bit fuzzy - but they are always fun and there is always a t-shirt to commemorate the occasion.

Here are Erika and Skip at the Saturday barbecue held at their house.  Not to be overlooked, it was also Erika's birthday but since hers was not a "big number" year, she focused the attention on her husband and made it special for him.  Can you imagine sharing the exact same birthday with your spouse?  How random is that?

One of many awesome attempts at a group photo. As you can see, the kids were super cooperative...

Reagan and Freya and the cake.

What party would be complete without someone (Jensen) getting locked inside a fire pit by one of his relatives (Peyton)?  Typical Fro-party antics!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

captured on film

We sat for our church directory photo last month and it finally came in the mail!  Ignore the strange orange tint that Ilsa and I seem to have - it's because I took a picture of the actual print with my phone and we all know how high-tech those shots turn out.

Somehow we let the photographer talk us into a bunch of extra poses, mostly of the kids.  There were a few of just me and Mark but I didn't order any because they were completely dorky and Mark pointed out that this was why we didn't have engagement pictures taken twelve years ago.  Amen.

I had to order the 8x10 of this print because it is just so precious and I want to remember them in this particular way the next time they are screaming and hitting each other.

Wouldn't it be more fun if the church directory showed your family as they really are?  You get one take and live with it.  I will vote for that option next time around!

Monday, June 23, 2014

reporting for duty!

Seriously, someone needs to take the clippers away from me.  But he has such a cute face!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

can't let the sunny days slip away

I know everyone is experiencing the beautiful weather around the state, but it has been nearly perfect here in the valley.  Of course in about a week that will change and I'll be complaining about the sweltering 100+ degree hell that the summer turns into, but for now - perfect.

We took motor home to the property to test it out for a night while Mark helped coach at a basketball tourney in Leavenworth.  It was nice for him to only drive 15 minutes to the high school from where we were staying, plus the rest of us could spend time with Beth's family and enjoy the sunshine.

The kids liked watching Uncle Keith wash his newly acquired trailer... he turned the hose on them for not helping!


They also took full advantage of the big sprinkler in the field to cool off!


Saturday, June 14, 2014

we're glampers now!

Well folks, we have officially stepped up our camping game.  Allow me to introduce you to the new Dronen Family Motorhome!  

It was something we had talked about for a while and after having the luxury of borrowing Mark's parent's trailer off and on for trips, we knew that it was the right choice for our family of six.  Yes, I am counting Coda because she takes up as much space as a small child.

We found ours at Blue Dog RV in Idaho after visiting a bunch of other sales lots in the Spokane area one weekend.  Mark knew enough going in that the price they listed was beyond it's worth, so he wheeled and dealed them down to an amount he was happy with.  Not only that, we got to go around the outside and inside and put post-it markers on things that we wanted fixed before we went back the following week to take it home.  They even threw in a substantial service credit at their store!  My husband is a deal shark in sheep's clothing.  I should probably loan him out to any of you that want to buy something in the near future.


Back to my new baby.  It sleeps 8 people total, though we won't be using the bed above the cab anytime soon because our kids are squirrely and there is no rail to stop them from falling. Unfortunately, they all have my clumsy genes and are prone to injuries, in case you didn't know that.

We will use the couch that folds down as bed for one, the dinette that turns into a bed for someone else, and the pack and play for the special little someone who needs to be enclosed at all times.

We have tweaked a few things here and there, but nothing too major.  Whoever owned this before we did made some bad carpentry choices that Mark and Keith have since fixed.  The one thing I would like to focus on is getting rid of the heinous peach colored draperies.  They are horrible and need to go!

Until I find time for that, I'll live with it because WE HAVE A MOTOR HOME, PEOPLE!