So, what’s new?

Before I get into the pictures, which is probably what most everyone coming here actually wants, I want to document a few other things, primarily for me to look back at in the future.

I continue my dumpster-diving adventures, and out of the 6 dressers (or acting dressers), 3 were rescued from our dumpster, one was free from a friend, and the other two were thrifted or consignment. However, possibly the nicest piece of furniture we own is one of the dressers we “rescued”! Sorry, I’m slightly proud of free storage. 😀

I’ve decided that I am so lazy, cheap, and introverted that I am gradually becoming more and more “crunchy”. I had started noticing that my teeth were getting very sensitive and was concerned by some darkish spots and a possible crack or cavity on one of my wisdom teeth. I’m not particularly surprised by this. Oral hygiene hasn’t always made it to the top of my to-do list since motherhood. So, this past week, I got worried about it enough that I decided to try oil-pulling again. I tried it a while back and could. not. stand it! But I read a tip to add essential oils to the coconut oil. I was actually able to swish it for 10+ minutes with a couple drops of thieves added to it! So, I’ve been doing that daily, and ordered and started using THIS remineralizing toothpaste, and I made up another batch of THIS mouthwash. I’ve not been at it too long, but I’m actually really loving the results so far! I’m currently trying to think of a good recipe for coconut oil that will include immune boosters, stay solid at room temperature (preferred so I can throw it in my bag when we leave to go places, but not 100% necessary), and be something Ryan (and eventually Gloriana) will believe to be a good treat. If you’ve got something that fits that bill, shoot it over to me! 😉

And now, on to the pictures!

20170317-DSC_0430

This little miss is 9, coming up on 10 months, now, and I really just can’t believe it! She is experimenting with getting up on her knees and trying the stereotypical crawl, but her preferred method is still the army crawl. And she is getting fast!

20170317-DSC_0439

I’ve actually started suspecting that she’s trying to talk too! Still no teeth, but she’s been extremely cranky (for her) lately, so we’re hopeful that they’ll pop through before too much longer, especially since she’s finally starting to take an interest in food.

20170320-DSC_0473

This guy. Crazy and frustrating as ever, but we’re making progress, and I’m really looking forward to the weather being consistently warm enough to take him out to burn some of his excessive energy.

20170320-DSC_0486

20170320-DSC_0512

We were very happy to be outside last week!

20170327-DSC_0567

They’re relationship is so fun (and scary) to watch. Now that Gloriana is definitely mobile, I think Ryan believes she can be his wrestling buddy. We’re continually working on his understanding of “gentle”. 😛

20170327-DSC_0597

He is forever cracking us up these days! Some of his common Ryanisms:

  • My water in mine eyes
  • Feet nails
  • Mountain (amount, as in “is this ‘nough mountain?” )
  • Acident
  • My body not working! (When he’s having issues in the bathroom…)
  • “I want it be bootiful ou’side! Yeah, ih’s pretty! ih’s nice and bootiful out dere!” (When he’s trying to convince us to go for walks in the recently dreary outdoors)
  • And then the constant “Why?!” Oh yes, we’re solidly in the why stage… 😒

20170328-DSC_0638

Catch Up, in Pictures

About a month ago, we spent a while working in the guest room and fully transformed it into Ryan’s room. He’s been in there pretty consistently ever since!

Also sometime around then, we had a big snow. Ryan was thrilled, and I was excited that I’d noted the location of his snow gear when we had cleaned up his room.

She’s almost 8 months in this picture. Now she’s just a couple days away from 9!

Yeah, Ryan enjoyed it. I’m not as convinced about Levi though. 😉

The smolder… I’m 99% confident he was asking about “de boys?”

A boy and his stick.

A drooly girl and her Baymax hat!

He was setting up his soldiers into two opposing lines.

8 months old exactly here.

I feel like this one really illustrates life with these two fairly well… 😛

❤ Tired after a long day at the church building doing various things (smoking meat, cleaning, decorating, setting up) for Grace and Micah’s wedding the next day!

And she’s finally sitting up confidently on her own now. And army crawling all over the place!

And I’ll end with one from today. It’s been a busy month with far more going on than I’ve even alluded to here. Thankful for the approaching weekend, and some normalcy this week. 🙂

More Kids

Some of these are edited duplicates of ones I’ve posted before, but I wanted to go on and include them here.

20170106-dsc_0059

20170109-dsc_0071

Lol! I love this one. Still not entirely happy with the edit, but it’s such a hilarious picture!

20170109-dsc_0075

After editing this one, I will warn everyone not to stare into her eyes too long here; it starts to get almost creepy… When viewed briefly however, it’s definitely good for a laugh.

20170109-dsc_0103

20170114-dsc_0007

I’m sure I have way more pictures of this girlie than I do of Ryan, but how could I not?! She smiles, and it’s crazy ADORABLE!

20170115-dsc_0023

Also, dat hair tho…

20170115-dsc_0027

20170118-dsc_0083

These two. Oh, my word.

20170118-dsc_0125

20170119-dsc_0139

That moment when his expression just says it all…

20170119-dsc_0143

But hers just say “Do I smell bacon?!” (Disclaimer: No, the baby has not had bacon; we’re waiting for the teeth to appear – they seem to be fashionably late in this one – before introducing her to the finer things.)

20170119-dsc_0149

“Bacon?! FOOD! Outside?… Squirrel!”

20170119-dsc_0177

20170119-dsc_0189

“They said I had to go potty again! I went last night! This is totally unreasonable…”

20170124-dsc_0264

 Oh, no, that’s not trouble waiting to happen at all!

20170124-dsc_0332

20170129-dsc_0367

That tongue…!

20170129-dsc_0387

The Great Pontoon Boat Adventure of 2016

I’ve been trying to figure out how best to portray this story, and I’m still not sure I’m happy with it. However, I’ve decided I’ve got to write it out before life continues and I forget details of this epic day.

To set the story, the friends of Sam’s grandparents that live on St. George Island wanted to take us all over to Dog Island, and asked Mr. Evans to perform a burial at sea without much advance notice.

The day dawned beautifully. A little early for my vacationing preference, thanks to a cute, little missy who wanted to talk. But the sunrise was stunning. I posted a couple pictures of it in the last post. I was quite happy to be breathing in that fresh beach air, and excited to be going out on a boat! I had rather hoped we would get the opportunity to do that, and was thrilled when it worked out!

We spent the morning mostly as usual: Coffee, walk on the beach… Relaxing, and pretty much perfect. We gathered the gear we wanted to take, and headed out to the mainland to get to our boats. Finding the place was in and of itself something of an adventure, and, despite being only 15-20 minutes away, required its own bathroom stop. We eventually got there.

Now picture it. First of all, this is a relatively tourist-free part of Florida on the Gulf side. Because of that, everyone who lives there owns their boats, and no one really rents them. So, it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, though I can’t really say what I was expecting. We pulled off a 2-lane in the opposite direction of the water into a more or less dirt alley that ran next to what I thought was a dusty/sandy, abandoned gas station in a worn shade of that pinkish color Florida seems to like so much. In front, there were a couple of pontoon boats on their trailers in various stages of disrepair. It seemed pretty clear that neither were in working order, and probably hadn’t been in a while. Aside from our group’s vehicles, there was a car with Colorado plates and maybe another mostly out of my immediate field of observation. Across the street there was a large building and some sort of marina.

Several of our party went inside (the bathroom calls again!), and spoke with a very thickly-accented (Louisiana, maybe?), very tan, and well-fed man who seemed to be in charge. They heard him say something to the effect of “Only one of the boats will make it there and back,” called him on it, and he, of course, flatly denied saying that without offering a different explanation of what he HAD said. Needless to say, we were slightly on our guard.

To our relief (not the boats out front at least!), the man hopped in the Colorado car, took us down the street and over to the water. There were two pontoon boats waiting for us. Man-in-Charge and another guy, hereafter Sidekick, gave a couple of our group the run down on how to drive the boats. We split everyone between the boats, and we were off!

… Or so we thought.

The boat I was on, pulled away just fine, and was about to head out of the bay, when we noticed the other boat with the rest of our party was already shipwrecked. And again. And again. (Right about here, we found out later, Jacob more or less threw Victoria’s phone in the ocean. ;)) Ah, there. Now they’re on their way! Let’s go!

20161115-dsc_0355

20161115-dsc_0357

Everything seemed great. I was on the boat that was supposedly the better of the two. It wasn’t impressive, but I was ready to forgive the ripped cushions that fell into the compartments when you sat down in order to better have an excellent ride. Once we made it out of the no wake zone we could go fast, and get to the island!

Uh-huh. Right…

Our supposedly better, faster boat immediately started to bog, so we were constrained to a speed barely over no wake speed. The other boat, with the rest of our group, quickly passed us, nearly sideswiping us in the process.

20161115-dsc_0373

Nevertheless, we were going to have a good time! So bring out the food!

20161115-dsc_0365

That was funny. Ryan had a kid-sized life jacket on, but when he was sitting he almost couldn’t move. He kept trying to get his hand to his mouth, but would end up kind of tossing the pieces of fruit in because he couldn’t quite get there.

Despite it taking a good bit longer than we expected, our boat did eventually make it to the island, and we hiked over the squeaky sand to the other side (The power lines in the picture below show approximately the midpoint, so hiking is probably overstating a bit.), and set up for the afternoon. It was lovely.

At this point, a few of our party went back out on one of the boats for the burial at sea.  The rest of us walked up and down the island and enjoyed to view. Then, suddenly, there was a low fly-over by a couple of military jets! That was cool, but unfortunately we didn’t get any pictures.

20161115-dsc_0383

20161115-dsc_0388

After a little while, Sam noticed that it was taking them somewhat longer than expected to return. He walked over to the other side to check on things. I was laying on a blanket with Gloriana, enjoying the sun, drifting in and out of sleep, thinking Sam had Ryan. I was awakened by Ryan arguing rather loudly, and suddenly noticed he wasn’t with Sam. I didn’t know where Sam was. Eventually he and the rest of the party came back.

Turns out they had turned their boat off in order to do the service, and it wouldn’t start again when they were ready to return! So there they were, stranded out there, and all of us on the other side of the island with all of our phones left on the boats. Thankfully Sam noticed the time, and went investigating. He took the working boat out, and towed them back to the island.

We stayed there for a little while longer, but eventually it was time to head back.

20161115-dsc_0394

And the story only gets better…

Because there was now only one working boat (Oh, look! Guy-in-Charge was right!), we had to decide what to do. We were in communication with the owners, and they said someone would be along shortly to retrieve the stranded boat, and bring back some of our party. Meanwhile, there were several of us who were cold, tired, hungry, and in need of a bathroom, so we hopped in the working boat, and marooned the rest of the group on the island.

20161115-dsc_0401

Well, about half way back to the dock, we passed Sidekick in a fancier pontoon boat headed out to fetch the rest of our group. A little further along and our working boat died. Yep. Dead. So there we were, in the middle of this bay, on a rather sketchy pontoon boat, with the tide coming in. Bigger and bigger swells. It really wasn’t an ideal situation since we had Sam’s grandparents and a 5 month old. I wasn’t really too worried about anyone else, but I just wasn’t sure what to do about a baby should a swell come along that was actually strong enough to throw us out or tip us over.

We knew Sidekick would be along eventually, so we just rode it out as best we could. And then the presumed-dead boat with the rest of our group in it passed us! Thankfully quickly followed by Sidekick in the fancy boat. He and Sam swapped boats, and Sidekick tried to figure out what was wrong with our boat, eventually handing the wheel over to Jacob while he climbed around the engine. At one point he was heard to say something like, “That’s why it ain’t runnin’ right! You got a gas leak!” followed shortly by “Oh, and that plug’s on fire. Don’t worry. Just keep goin’; it’ll burn itself out.” Gas leak, fire. Fire, gas leak. I was not liking this picture. However, Jacob is thrilled to now be able to claim driving a flaming boat. His version of the story sounds something like THIS.

20161115-dsc_0409

After a little while even Sidekick gave up, and decided towing was the only way our boat was getting back. But it was a pretty ride back in!

20161115-dsc_0432

20161115-dsc_0417

20161115-dsc_0430

As we were almost to the dock, we noticed a Florida Coast Patrol (or something like that) truck up on a hill overlooking the bay.

Sure enough, he pulled up right as we docked. I, for one, was cold and tired from the somewhat stressful end of the trip, so I went and sat in the heated van while the remaining shenanigans occurred.

Sidekick was asked to locate certain safety equipment and registration papers, and questioned about a missing registration number that was supposed to be on the side of the fancy boat. Some of our party were asked to identify where and how to use certain required safety measures. Once they were unable to do that, we were all allowed to leave. And back to our comfy Sea Rose for some much needed relaxation!

It was quite a day. Thankfully everything ended just fine, and it really was a nice afternoon despite it all. However, I think next time, when it comes to renting boats, we’ll stick to the kayaks. 🙂

Thanksgiving Trip to TN

We’d just gotten back home from Florida after a very long, almost 17 hours on the road in one day. We were all SO tired of being in the car! And yet, somehow, we still decided to head back out, less than a week later, to go to Tennessee for Thanksgiving.

I’m actually really glad we did, but I can tell you we’re all still sick of the car (brought home even more by the 2 hours we drove to Andrew Peterson’s “Behold the Lamb of God” concert last night. A concert which, if you get the chance, you should try to go to; it was awesome, and the more I think about it, the more awesome it was!).

It was wonderful to see my family again, as well as to have the Thanksgiving food I grew up with. Just hadn’t quite realized how much I’d missed dressing and giblet gravy! So, naturally, after gorging ourselves on the amazing food (Oh, that smoked turkey!!!), we decided to have wood-fired pizza in the evening! I’m still not sure how we managed to eat, but that pizza was delicious, and the experience was SO. MUCH. FUN! I can’t wait to go back down and do it again!

20161124-dsc_0839

The oven was amazing!

20161124-dsc_0871

And we all spent the evening out on my family’s new deck, which is AWESOME!

20161124-dsc_0842

The pizza night wasn’t planned, so they were thrown together with random ingredients. They were so good though!

20161124-dsc_0862

Grammy Evelyn spent the night on Thanksgiving, and it was so nice to have a chance to catch up some! Also, my family now has a fire pit to make the deck even more awesome!

20161124-dsc_0868

20161124-dsc_0851

20161124-dsc_0848

So cool!

Saturday Sam and Paul constructed a box for the back of the suburban. It’s been pretty great so far!

20161126-dsc_0885

20161126-dsc_0910

And, of course, Ryan couldn’t be there without playing around on the 4-wheeler.

20161126-dsc_0893

20161126-dsc_0903


P.S. The day of adventure from our Florida trip is all written up and laid out. Just need to do a bit more editing before it gets posted. I thought I’d go on and put this one up in the meantime though.

#FirstRealEvansVacationEver2016

So, the Evans clan spent the week before Thanksgiving in Florida, on St. George Island, and it was fantastic! I really can’t wait to go back!!!

20161113-dsc_0145

There were a ton of shells the first day on the beach. Didn’t see them to quite this extent the rest of the week.

20161113-dsc_0148

Oh, yeah. He had fun. Until he came down with a fever the next to the last day there. 😦

20161113-dsc_0151

We rented a couple of kayaks, and they were so much fun! So glad we did!

20161113-dsc_0155

20161113-dsc_0160

Ryan did really well with the water. He liked it coming to about his knees, but would then run back up, and continue with his more important work of digging. I was fine with this; I didn’t have to worry about him around the water. 🙂

20161113-dsc_0178

The off-season beach life… TAKE ME BACK!

20161113-dsc_0185

Not the greatest picture, but I had to include it. I’m not sure I know anyone else who would actually take boffers to the beach. Love my family!

20161113-dsc_0190

20161113-dsc_0208

See? The WHOLE beach to ourselves. It was amazing!

20161113-dsc_0234

20161113-dsc_0243

It was chilly the first couple of days we were there, especially in the mornings, but the water was too captivating to stay in side!

20161113-dsc_0274

20161113-dsc_0306

Shot looking down from our third floor balcony.

20161114-dsc_0318

Gloriana had me up earlier than I would have liked on vacation, but I did get to see a couple of beautiful sunrises!

20161114-dsc_0321

— And here I skip a day of adventure which deserves a post of its own, and involves rather more story-telling than I have time or inspiration for at the moment. —

20161115-dsc_0443

Morning walks on the beach, coffee in hand, were one of my favorite things. One morning Sam and I saw the dolphins playing about 25 yards out. It was amazing to watch!

20161115-dsc_0448

He loved running up and down the beach as we walked slowly along behind him.

20161115-dsc_0471

A couple of the days were really still, and the water was amazingly clear. I actually braved the water (without a kayak) those days. The other days were breezy enough for me not to want to get too wet.

20161115-dsc_0472

20161115-dsc_0474

❤ my dork!

20161116-dsc_0478

20161116-dsc_0479

20161117-dsc_0546

The last full day came with the biggest swells we’d seen all week. They had a lot of fun playing in them. Sam and I were dealing with a sick moose, but we made it down to watch a couple times, and Sam went out when Ryan was napping in the afternoon.

20161117-dsc_0554

20161117-dsc_0555

20161117-dsc_0556

20161117-dsc_0568

I may have preferred the calmer, clearer days, but the wind did make for some picturesque waves!

20161117-dsc_0573

20161118-dsc_0600

Looking down to the beach from our balcony.

20161118-dsc_0609

Postcard worthy.

20161118-dsc_0613

Our lovely rental, Sea Rose.

20161118-dsc_0619

20161118-dsc_0652

I’m ready to go back. Can we please go back?!

Florida Critters

Mostly pelicans, to be totally honest.

20161113-dsc_0132

20161113-dsc_0197

20161113-dsc_0200

That’s how they land when they’re catching fish… Somehow I didn’t realize that until this trip! I was fascinated, always almost expecting them to have trouble recovering or something.

20161113-dsc_0237

I call it: “Bird on Water” in the style of the Impressionism’s great masterpiece names…

20161113-dsc_0251

20161114-dsc_0346

Yes, that’s a leaping dolphin in the background there. Sam and I saw them so much closer than that, but were too enthralled to remember pictures until they got farther away.

20161115-dsc_0384

Some friends of Sam’s grandparents live on St George Island, and they have one of the cutest dogs!

20161117-dsc_0557

20161118-dsc_0626

20161118-dsc_0629

20161118-dsc_0630

20161118-dsc_0638

20161118-dsc_0674

20161118-dsc_0675

20161118-dsc_0676

20161118-dsc_0689

20161118-dsc_0698

20161118-dsc_0734