Saturday, September 25, 2010

on the phone with Grandma

Here's Jackson on the phone with you, Grandma. This blogpost is just for you.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I Smell Fall

I've been anticipating the first day of Fall for a few weeks now. As much as I love summer in Washington, there's just something special about the change in the air when Fall comes. I love the vibrant colors of the leaves, the crispness of the air, the scents of pumpkin pie and spices, the corn mazes, hayrides, and the bouquets of newly sharpened pencils. Okay, so maybe I've just watched You've Got Mail too many times because I couldn't care less about pencils but all the other things I said are true.

In true Fall tradition, I invited my girlfriends and their little ones to join me for what I affectionately like to call "Pumpkin Day." In honor of the first day of Fall, I dressed Jackson in his little pumpkin outfit from Grandma Tyckoson. We met up with the rest of the crew and headed to Starbucks for our first Pumpkin Spice Lattes of the season. It was so worth the wait! And mine was free, thanks to my Starbucks rewards card. (A healthy coffee addiction does have some perks at least.)Next stop was Swans Trail Farm in nearby, rural Snohomish. The idea was to pick out a pumpkin from their pumpkin patch but we were a little too early. The farm doesn't open officially to the public until next week for hayrides, corn maze fun, and seasonal plenty. Their pumpkins are still a little green this week and have yet to be cut from their vines. Whoops.
Thankfully, the farm crew had pity on us and let us hang out for awhile. It was the perfect day to hang out on the farm. Blue skies, warm sunshine, and a cool breeze were God's gift to us all. The kids had a blast playing in the puddles, throwing pebbles (well until we saw the "please leave rocks in place" sign...oops!), and running in the muddy field.Next stop for Jackson and me was the grocery store for a pumpkin since we'd had no luck at the farm. Jackson of course got to pick out a tiny pumpkin of his own. He seems pretty fond of it.
That evening we enjoyed yummy pumpkin spice cupcakes at our women's Bible study, thanks to Martha Stewart's magical recipe. They were "a good thing."
Yep, I smell Fall!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

summer is slippin' away

The summer is quickly coming to an end and it's hard to believe that Fall is just a few short days away. We've definitely had an eventful summer here at the Blankenship household. Even with a brand new baby on the scene, we were determined not to miss out on all of the gorgeous weather Washington offers during this beautiful season.
We've enjoyed BBQ dinners, days at the park or waterfront with friends, and all of the usual summer traditions including time at the beach.
We finished off July with a picnic dinner a ferry ride away in Kingston with our home group from church. With our growing posse of kids in tow, we drew quite a bit of attention from the other park patrons. With 12 kids (9 pictured) and 2 more on the way, our group is growing at record pace. Here's the 2010 baby line-up. (Of course Jackson is the one with the short sleeves and sun tan.)It was a beautiful evening and our ferry ride home featured an unbelievable sunset.
August included a Blankenship family reunion at cousins Erik & Sue's cabin in Skykomish. The entire family wasn't able to make it, but there were quite a few of us there to represent and we enjoyed some food, fishing, and fellowship by the river.
We got the hook ups through a friend to go on a tour of a Navy battleship that was visiting the Seattle harbor. Jackson's first military exposure was on board the USS Green Bay and he enjoyed his time in the captain's chair.The beautiful weather of course allowed for plenty of golf for Dan. Jackson and I joined him for an evening of golf at Dupont's Home Course (my favorite because of its view of Rainier). Jackson wore his "Daddy's Caddy" outfit for the special occasion.Here's some video from the course.

We also managed to make a quick day trip to Canada for Jackson's first international experience. We met up with my cousin Heather who works for a cruise line that was docked in Vancouver for the day. Since we only had a few hours with Heather, we took her to Stanley Park for a picnic. It was Jackson's first time meeting his cousin and she won his heart with some very special Alaskan toys and her beautiful smile.Also in August, our friend Ashley came for a visit from Florida and we were able to meet up with her and visit the downtown location of our church, Mars Hill. Ashley and I did a year-long online Bible study with friends Keri in Atlanta and Melissa in Ireland. Keri and her husband were also visiting Seattle and it was my first time to meet her in person so that was a real treat!We were blessed through Dan's work with tickets to the Boeing Classic and took Mom & Dad Blankenship with us to walk the beautiful course and hob-nob with the pros. Jackson attracted more than a few golfer's attention on his 3 month birthday.
Of course the summer would be incomplete without a visit to the Evergreen State Fair. We went in search of prize-winning poultry, greasy fair food, and dizzying rides along with friends from our home group.

Another highlight of the summer was that we left Jackson with a babysitter for the first time since he was born. The best part was that his babysitter was Bethany Greene, who I used to babysit as a kid in Orlando. Thanks to sweet Bethany, Dan and I were able to enjoy a care-free evening as our friends Dustin and Lisa were married in a beautiful lakeside ceremony in Bellevue. Meanwhile, Jackson enjoyed playing and watching Madagascar with Bethany.Also noteworthy this summer was the Sunday that we dedicated Jackson at church. Dan and I were able to dedicate him alongside his buddies Gabriel and Savannah from our home group.
Here he is all dressed up for his dedication.
We're sad to say goodbye to iced tea and suntan weather, but are looking forward to the brisk Fall air and the pumpkin patches, vibrant fall leaves, and corn mazes in the season ahead of us. I'm waiting for that first official day of Fall to get my pumpkin spice latte!