Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Washington Wackos

And now...the REST of the story... We left camping Friday evening and drove 8 hours up to the Seattle area, where all of Z's immediate family except for one sister (Sari) and her family live, and hung out there for a week and a half. My oh my, we had fun! Okay. Just to prepare you in advance, I use words like "fun," "great," "blast," "awesome," etc. a lot. I feel like one of those peppy spirit girls from Jr. High, but oh well. It was a fun, great, awesome blast!

Hmmm...I don't know where to begin. Alrighty...here...We stayed at Maria and Eldon's, with their six kids: McKenna, Hunter, Rylee, Emma, Lilly, and Mia. It was so fun! The kids got to know each other and play together a lot, and I had a great time hanging out so much with Maria. We even got to help them enjoy their brand-spanking-new-beautiful-gigantic kitchen! We did a Girls' Night with his 3 sisters (Maria, Sari, Heidi), me, and his mom when Z went on that 3 day backpacking trip, and it was a riot! I wish I had taken pics then! Making swimming pool whirlpools, playing "What's Yours Like" (funny game!!) and eating PB M&Ms! What could be better?!

Sari and her two children, Mathias and Annie, drove up and stayed at her parents while we were there, and Heidi rearranged much of her work stuff so she and Preston could hang out with us. We got to spend time with Abe and Courtney (Z's bro and his wife), too, and with Z's cousin, Jeremy, his wife Shirley, and their kids, Jessica and Kyle. It was a lot of fun, and we actually had TIME to hang out. We were there longer than we usually are, which was really nice and not-so-rushed. The twins loved, loved, LOVED Grandma Buttons and Poppie, and had a blast out at their property. They have a pig, 3 or 4 of Heidi's horses, 6 chickens, 5 cats (2 of them our Finnigan and Mushi), 2 rabbits, and 2 dogs. And loads of vroomy things, like tractors and quads, etc. We went to parks and petting zoos (though Grandma's house is really a petting zoo, I guess ;) and the beach and swam and played and ate...

Man, it was so funny seeing the dynamics between Nuala and Mi'a! So Mi'a turned 2 in April, and she is just an amazing little girl. Shirley Temple curls, big brown eyes, so loving! And strong-willed. And strong. Enter Nuala. Crazy shock of super blond hair, big blue eyes, so loving! And strong-willed. And strong. They were hilarious! They'd be best buds one moment, then for no reason (okay, sometimes there were reasons) they'd be going at it! Pushing, pulling, yanking, shrieking. It was great. They both played wonderfully with the relatively easy-going boys, Bran and 2-year-old Mathias. But put both those little gals together and sparks would fly! Anyway, here are "some" pictures...

Nuala picking raspberries in Grandma's garden. It was very, very difficult to get her away from these bushes, with good reason...yummmmmy!!

Zachariah's sister, Heidi, with her little guy, Preston. He is soooo cute! He'll be one in September, and is all over the place. He's such a happy little fella, too, I just love him! Courtney is behind Heidi. I got to know her a bit better this trip, she is definitely a good addition to the Rollins' family!

Another addition: Tic Tac! Heidi's foal. Not literally her foal, which you all know, but it sounds funny. Nuala and Bran loved him, he is so darn adorable! And very handsome, too.

This cutie is Annie, Sari's baby. She's 7 months now, and is the smiliest little thing! Nuala especially was enamored with her, even now she'll call babies, "An-nie."

Nuala was determined to ride in cousin Emma's princess carriage. This method actually worked better than the jamming-your-head-inside method, which she first tried. And which was then tried over and over by Bran and cousin Mathias. Boys.

Nuala chowing down at Grandma and Poppie's with McKenna and Lilly. They had so much fun with their cousins, they're all so good with kids. And we had such great weather the whole time. No joke, it was gorgeous!

Z, Mathias, and Bran, taking the quad for an imaginary spin.

And look! This kitty sure is familiar! It's Finnigan!! Oh, how we've missed him and Mushi! They still seemed to love us, Mushi was warier of the little ones than Finnigan was. That's normal. See how patient he is with the neck-hug? He is one cool cat.

Riding on the tractor with Poppie. Bran was in heaven.

One of the sprinkler parks we played at. They were all in heaven.

Oh, man, this was FUN! Adult night out, Mongolian grill and then racing go-karts! I didn't get to go the last time everyone did this b/c I was pregnant with the twins, and it is such a blast!! Funny how vicious family can be when they don't hafta look you straight in the eye... We had a great time, though I'd like to let everyone know the truth about Eldon, our bro-in-law. Super nice guy, but I still have a faint circle on my neck from when he shot me (great aim, this guy) paintballing SEVERAL years ago, and then go-karting he totally rammed me a few times, not only giving me a slight case of whiplash, but you should have seen the huge knobby bruise on my back. Yeah, watch out for him... (you can ID Zac by his ginormous watch, haha)

Nuala riding Booger. She LOVED riding Heidi's horses. She's patting him here, and also learned to say "Whoa" and when to cluck at them. She headed straight for the barn whenever we'd get to Grandma's, it was great!

Bran, Mathias, and Nuala. And Z and Heidi. And Booger.

All 11 Rollins grandchildren, with Grandma Buttons and Poppie. If the cuteness doesn't overwhelm you, just spend 10 minutes with them. One way or another, you will be overwhelmed.

Nuala getting Grandma kisses.

Whee!! Going down the Saunders' big slide. Eldon made their huge playscape with really tall slides and Nuala had a grand old time on them.

Bran and his buddy, Hunter. He loved him from the moment we saw him at the campsite, just right away ran to him with arms up, it was so cute!

Mi'a pulling Bran and Nuala in the wagon at Grandma's. Then Bran had to do it, etc., etc. Kids and wagons! Awesome combination.

We can't wait till next year!!

**Also, we girls went and saw Mamma Mia, and WOW! So fun! Z and I saw it on Broadway, and while that was good, the movie is go-ooood. Even with Pierce Brosnan singing. Man, we were singing along, it was great! Go See It.


Carolyn said...

"Awesome." I would love to have seen Mi'a and Nula together. It is neat to see you kiddos getting so much bigger.

MarciaAnne said...

Sounds like you had a blast. Fun pictures. And happy birthday to you!

Rob and Erin said...

Oh how fun! What cute nephews and nieces you have Fiona and Zac! And Nuala and Bran too. I love the picture of Nuala riding and patting Booger. and Bran on the tractor with his Poppie! Wow, you guys have some serious fun when you get together! I also love the stairs picture with all the grandchildren! So nice!

Gary Patrick Ricker said...

ABBA (songs in Mamma Mia) is a Swedish group...just thought I'd mention that. Also, happy birthday Fiona!

Andrew said...

Man we were really busy it makes me tired just thinking of everything we did while up there!!

Cara said...

Wow! What a vacation! I LOVE pb m&m's!! they are hard to find sometimes! Nualas my kind of girl wanting to ride the horses all the time! Looks like you had tons of fun!!! And is today your B-day? Happy Birthday!!!! :) :) :)

Rochelle said...

Happy Birthday! I love the step children with the granny and poppy pic. I'm glad you all had fun!

JnR said...

What a fun reunion! Looks like you had fun (who wouldn't when you have paintballing and go carts involved).

And let me join the group of late people: Happy Birthday! Did you do anything fun? Z remembered it right? Tell us all about it...

pauline said...

this was great....I had to look at those pics more than once... Nuala must've picked most of the raspberries! The horses and tractors are wonderful... the children must've loved it so much. The 11 on the stairs with Grandma Buttons and Poppie is such a beautiful pic! Bran is having fun with Poppie on the tractor. I love the long yellow slide Eldon put on the playscape... makes for a nice long ride... & makes a lot of sense (since, usually, the ride is over b4 ya know it). How cute, little Mi'a pulling N&B in the wagon... nice wagon too... Such wonderful memories. Thanks for sharing!
Happy birthday Fiona...you were such a cute little (big) baby ... we love you all xox

Megan and Greg said...

Happy Birthday Fiona!

I have a confession to make. I have been reading your blog and not commenting! Zac told me that you use google analytics to see who is visiting your blog so I figured that I better come clean.


P.S. Great pictures! I love the one of Nuala on the slide.

Tara Milligan said...

Wow, it sounds like you had a really awesome fun blast! Very cute pictures, I'm glad to see the Finnegan remembered y'all...The three kids on Booger is so cute, and I love Nuala trying to squish herself into the princess carriage!

fiona said...

Well, it's not like we can see who's checking our blog, just general stuff like which areas, etc. Although I'm pretty sure that somehow it made an exception and was able to tell us "Greg is reading but not commenting. The bum."

And thanks for all the bday wishes!