Welcome to YAAK Adventures


Live Richly, Live Free. Embrace All The Blessings From Our Creator and Marvel in His Creation.

Monday, August 29, 2011

My "SparkOmatic" EXTRAordinary 20th Wedding Anniversary EXTRAVAGANZA!!

The Most Wonderful, Most Romantic and Memorable Get Away EVER!!

Relaxing on remote beaches to sleep in the sand under the starry skies in the eveings....

He read me Patrick McManus and I read him Bill Johnson.

Refreshing Mornings.......

"Where do you want to go?" "I don't know - where do you want to go?"

Me diving off the rocks...

Hiking and exploring above a remote beach....


On Sunday, we met up with the kids. As you can see, they were ready for fun!!

- Super Catman -

Catman and ArtDog

Miss Moonbeamer "yikes the beach"

The Girls

Miss Moonbeam waiting while the older kids are cliff jumping and diving....

My husband, Sock Fashion Expert and Archer doing a big jump together....

We missed the kids, but had a super fun time ALONE together!! I was glad to see my babies though....

ALL the kids love the boat!! SFE's perpetual smile....

Miss Moonbeam wasn't all that sure about going out in the water, but she loves her Daddy....

The Boys pretty much FROLICKED, wrestled and played all day!!

Smiling ArtDog

Miss Moonbeam "yikes the boat and yikes to drive"

Hard at play with The Fam

Me Diving off the rocky cliffs....

Archer Diving......

My husband encourages me as I "do it afraid"......

My amazing Son "swims his camera" over to the cliffs for these crazy jumping and diving pics!!

Miss Moonbeam played all afternoon with the cooking dishes we found along with her "sand purse"

Remote, Sandy Beaches, Big Clumps o' Clay for playing, Pristine Waters, Ninety Degree Sunshine, What More Could A Person Ask For?

Back around tax return time, I reminded my dear husband rather bluntly that it was our 20th wedding anniversary this year. He responded with "let me worry about that" and proceeded to pay off our debts and spend the money, "harrumph" rather wisely. Me, well I would have spent it going some exotic place......

Month by month, day by day, I worried the anniversary like a dog on a bone. "Uh, by the way, what do you think we should do for that big anniversary?" I'd hint subtly with the nonchalance of a neurotic baboon. The more I badgered him about it the less he was willing to discuss it and the more I began dreading the big day's arrival. I had this gnawing fear that I would be home doing nothing other than drowning in a mosquito infested swamp of self pity.

Finally, about 2 days before our anniversary, my husband said out of the blue. "What would you think about buying a boat?" "What?!?!" I asked, rather shocked. He'd been looking at houseboats, like we'd done for our 15th and he decided that it would make more sense just to buy a boat than throw a lot of money away renting one for a few days. He's just one of those practical minded people who can't stand to waste money. After thinking about it, I knew it was a great idea. Whats not to like about buying a boat? I'd been asking for us to buy one for as long as we've been married. It seemed like something he could peacefully spend money on and something that would satisfy a deep craving for romance that I'd been longing for.

Then he showed me an awesome one on Craigs list in a far away city. It was perfect. The next day, we embarked on the adventure. Turns out, it was a super nice family man who owned it and took care of it like a child. He was such a great guy that he threw in anchors, safety stuff, a pile of life jackets and even some oil and other assorted doo dads. My husband was real pleased and I could hardly contain my excitement.

It was well past lunch, but I couldn't possibly imagine eating once that boat was in our possession. I didn't want to do anything but try it out!! He was rather pleased that I had lost interest in the idea of eating in the big city. In the end, we took it out on Ponderay and had so much fun!! Then we docked her and ate at a restaurant not far from the lake. The novelty of docking a boat to go eat was just too much fun ;-)

That week, the official "anniversary get away" plans were full in motion. My husband worked like crazy getting stuff ready. By Friday morning, he was exhausted. Luckily, as he was leaving he happened to find he'd almost walked out the door without the keys to the boat!! Yikes!! With Archer and Sock Fashion Expert in charge, we left confident that they could handle anything that might arise. We also had a cell phone along just in case. I could hardly contain the excitement!!

After an hours drive, we were out on Lake Koocanusa in no time and embarking on our adventure!! "What do you want to do?" "I don't know what do you want to do?" "Where do you want to go?" "I don't know, where do you want to go?" We sounded just like newbie daters ;-) It ws so exciting!! First we anchored at a remote cove so my husband could take a well deserved nap. I didn't last long with those beatiful, remote sandy beaches and beckoning green waters calling my name. I had to dive out and swim for shore so I could go exploring along the beach. Drift wood everywhere, powdery fine sand, big globs of clay. Could this not be an exotic paradise after all?! It was as close to heaven on earth that I could possibly imagine. Suddenly, flashbacks came from dreams I'd had as a little girl and I knew I'd walked this beach before. This was my destiny, realized, and this was the man, all along that God had intended just for me......

After swimming back to the boat, with a little persuasion, my husband woke up and swam the cove with me to explore paradise. It was probably 90 degrees and the waters were just perfect. We ran and played along the beach together like it was some kind of honeymoon paradise. It was like living out the most romantic movie ever..... After a good long while, we swam back to the boat. Some people had pulled ashore, but they were off in the distance and we never talked to them.

Next, we found a private cove to camp in. It was a beautiful place, and I couldn't imagine wanting to sleep in tent. He built a fire, and I warmed up some food on our camp stove. While sitting around the fire, he read me Patrick McManus stories and I read him Bill Johnson. It was idyllic. Then we snuggled up in our zipped together bags under the stars. Its the stuff dreams are made of :-)

In the morning we didn't have to go anywhere in a hurry and planned our our next days adventure. It was incredible fun just playing in the sand and water!! He found some cliffs and tied the boat up a ways off. After sunning a while, I couldn't imagine not playing on the rocks, so I swam over and dove off a few while he took pictures. He even gave me a foot massage. I felt so pamered!!! Everything about the whole weekend made me feel so blessed and pampered. It was like God just smiled down on us and gave us the perfect weather, and the most ideal everything. Later on he swam over to the cliffs with me and encouraged me up them higher. For a while, I sat paralyzed with fear on one, but he coaxed me off. After a while, I realized that the fear was never going to leave. I just had to "jump afraid". Then I felt like once I'd conquored fear, there were no limits anymore and anything was possible. Shaking and afraid, I did it again, but higher :-)

That afternoon, he took it out to choppy waters in another part of the lake and let the boat rock like crazy just for fun. I turned the radio on an old rock channel and as if on cue, the "Bad Company" song he dedicated to me and recorded for me when I was 16 came on. Again, it was like God just smiled on us and made everything passionate, romantic and euphorically wonderful.

Camping and exploring that evening was much the same, except that it was more like a dream than a reality. The stars were bright above us and the world was a wonderful place. We even saw some crazy ufos, though he makes fun of what I see when I don't have my glasses on ;-) In the morning, the kids woke us up at 7am sharp to tell us they were leaving. We laughed at how prompt they were. The kids were to meet us at the docks Sunday morning so they could spend the last day of the trip with us.

All of it would have been pulled off wonderfully except for the small inconvenience that the key somehow got bumped to the "on" positon and the battery was stone dead. Fortunately, the boat came with an extra little motor, and we trolled our way back. My smart man switched batteries with the car the kids drove so he could take them out for the day.

As you can see from the pics, the kids had a wonderful time too. We took them all over, showed them the cliffs and the remote beaches and let them play in the beautiful pristine waters all day long. It was another scorcher of a day and perfect for water play of all types. As if on cue, a little pink bag was left on one remote beach with toy cooking dishes perfect for Miss Moonbeam. She entitled it her "sand purse" and played all day with the dishes in the sand. Another beach had a crazy looking face on a ball one of the boys claimed. All day long the kids never stopped smiling. The Sock Fashion Expert had spend THE ENTIRE DAY before making all kinds of things from scratch for the day. She made 3 kinds of home made crackers, bean dip from dried beans, casadias and home made grahm crackers for s'mores. She'd thought of everything. Whan an amazing girl!! All in all, I can't possibly tell how wonderful the weekend was. All I can say is that it was the BEST ANNIVERSARY GET AWAY EVER!! And some of the best days of my life :-)

Monday, August 22, 2011

My Cousins Wedding

"You may kiss the bride"


The Romantic Wedding Dance...

The Bride and Groom with her parents

My Uncle was a real party animal!

"Biana" dances with her Dad

My Uncle with "The Sock Fashion Expert"

Super Catman drove a hard bargain - I had to agree to doing TWO of his dishes turns in exchange for ONE dance with him ;-) It was worth it, though, when the dancers grabbed him and started flipping him around - lol!

Moonbeam was also a well sought out dance partner ;-)

My Cousin, "Biana" escorted by her parents during the wedding march.

Super Catman shows my cousin a snake he has found (they are pointing for him to take it away!!)

The most incredible wedding dinner I have EVER eaten!!

Us girls with my cousin, the bride!!

It was so romantic!!

And he did dance with me!! To "I can't help falling in love with you". Oh it was time stopping!!

Life is crazy busy as usual, but that's no surprise. As I sit here at the computer, relaxing after a crazy weekend, my 20 year old's instructional video on how to use his new tree stand is blaring in the background as my son and boys watch with rapt attention. I can just see where this is going (on another adventure). Life is just crazy, funny and crazy some more. Amazingly we got to go to my cousin, Biana's wedding in Bellingham, WA, which is the post I'm currently working on. All except the two eldest boys, that is, they managed the homefront in our absence :-)

It was only a week or two before the big day when my husband cleared us for the drive. In that time frame, all the campgrounds were booked solid within a hundred mile radius with the exception of spending almost $100 at a koa. That seemed pretty ridiculous, so we began looking into hotels. When we saw what lousy deals those were, I started to panic, but slowly felt this assurance that God was going to give us the best. With that, I eventually checked out somebodies suggestion to look on Craigslist. There were great places on there, all of which were as you may have guessed... booked. I got excited about the ones over looking Bellingham Bay, but my husband said "no" to anything we'd have to share with strangers. In my frustration, I stumbled over an odd sounding ad. It caught my attention, though, because it was nearby. Turns out upon further investigation it was none other than....( scary music please) .....

Giggles The Clown Family Fun Park. Yes, you read right. If you will remember, clowns freak me out. Ever since that horrible clown and shoe picture on the hall wall across from my childhood bedroom I've never liked them. One night my aunt brought the picture to my attention "see that clown with the shoe, dear?" she asked sweetly. "Well that shoe is all that is left of a little child who was eaten by that very clown!!" Then she laughed fiendishly and said "sweet dreams, good night dear". My grandmother eventually burned the picture because it was so disturbing for me to go to sleep having that be the last thing I saw.

Anyhow, Giggles The Clown seemed to be our best bet. The drive was very taxing and hot with no air conditioning. At one point I had a meltdown and my husband stopped at a creek so we could jump in. At long last, after 12 hours, we arrived in Bellingham. My husband, who is extremely gifted with navigation, found the place right away. Well, kind of.....

Not being all there after the hot, sweltering ride, I inadvertently stumbled upon a deck which was supposed to have a key hidden. I knocked on all the doors. I looked in all the windows. The place was horribly filthy and nasty. I eventually got a door open and walked around, appalled, inside. Whoever the last people to stay were, it hadn't been cleaned from. Then I heard my husband calling me. It was then that I discovered, I was in the wrong house!

Turns out Giggles, The Clown's Place was immaculate and everything fun imaginable for kids. The second my little ones got there, they never wanted to leave. Wonderful boxes of toys were in the big, roomy kitchen. Fun pictures were everywhere. A lush grassy park with tons of toys, driving cars, play house, horses, everything imaginable was there. My kids were so so happy!! There was a bedroom for me and one for the kids that was part of a cool, comfortable basement apartment. It was perfect. I couldn't have possibly asked for better. God knew what the kids needed and this was the place. Despite my checkered past with clowns, Giggles was all right. Really, she was really really sweet. She even provided us later with a donut breakfast and suckers for each child as big as their heads.

Hurridly, we got ready for the pre-wedding dinner that my cousin was serving. The Google map said it was only 2.7 miles so we decided to walk. Though we enjoyed the walk after 12 hours in the car, it made us a little late, not to mention hot, sweaty, dusty, and with a few wild blackberry stains not to mention Moonbeam taking a plunge out of her stroller. The blackberries grow wild all over the place and they were such a novelty for us!! Anyhow, we arrived by foot, looking like The Beverly Hillbillies. There was my cousin at this incredible garden party with distinguished looking guests sipping wine I had no idea how to pronounce. For a few short minutes I wasn't sure doing this was such a good idea. Then everybody smiled and nobody seemed to care about our crazy entrance. They were all friendly and genuinely glad to see us. Everybody loved the kids. My cousin's home was an exquisite 5 acres with pond, horses, gardens, and lush everything. The house almost made me gasp it was so beautiful. She served incredible food and for dessert there were luscious chocolate and vanilla cheese cakes. They were all too afraid of letting us walk back because of the traffic and insisted on driving us divided up into two cars.

The next day we bummed around the Bay area, picked wild black berries and did a little shopping. The kids, however, wanted to stay at Giggles place. Every chance they got, all they wanted to was play with her toys and enjoy her big park area. As I browsed around Giggles Park, I happened to walk by the neighbors place, and a grumpy looking woman smoking a cigarette frowned back at me. I smiled, waved and said "hi". In turn, she said in a rather hostile manner, "**** you!!" Gingerly, I crept away, giggling that it was a good thing this horrid woman wasn't home when I was walking around inside her house the day before ;-)

When it was time to go, everybody dressed in beautiful attire and took the car to the wedding.... uh not exactly. Actually my husband had lint on his shirt and in a panic, I found myself at Wal mart buying tape to try pulling it off with. I forgot to shave my arm pits. My jewelry didn't seem to be right. I got my period. I could go on an on to make you laugh, but the best thing was, I just decided that hairy pits or not, I was bound and determined to enjoy this wedding and that is just what I did.

The pictures are probably enough and worth thousands of words. I hope you enjoy them :-)