Another month has passed, and here we sit with no end of summer in sight as our schools are still negotiating contracts with the government. We've been told there may be a month yet of strikes or even longer. It makes what would have been the last week of summer feel rather weird. We haven't shopped for school supplies, and we aren't starting to get back into sleeping routines or taking those "final" trips to the beach. It is strange. We've had a lot of fun the last two weeks. We took our family vacation week in the middle of August. We hooked up the trailer and went down to Osoyoos for the first night. Then we drove over the border into the States for the first time with the kids. We drove to Coeur d'Alene where we had booked 4 nights at the Lake Coeur d'Alene Resort Campground. It was a long drive through some dry old Prairie looking towns. It was close to 40 degrees. We were happy to get to our campground which was set in the forest and stayed very cool and quiet. The next two days were spent at the Silverwood theme park, just half an hour from our campsite. We had heard about this great amusement park and figured the boys would enjoy it as much as Disneyland, so we had to check it out. The first day was spent at the waterpark side of the grounds. It was 38 degrees that day, and so we were thankful for the water. Unfortunately 50,000 other people had the same idea, and we were in lines for over an hour each time, so we hit the wave pool most of the time. The next day we went to the rides. We came early and got first in line for one of the largest wooden roller coasters! Shea (who is 7), was just tall enough, and this was his first roller coaster! Wowza, it was crazy fast! We nearly scared all of them with that first ride! So the three of them stood there in horror as "daddy" and I rode the next one, Aftershock. It was SO fun! I can't do the spinny rides anymore, but the coasters are a blast. The boys got their courage up again and tried a pile of other crazy rides. We loved it and would do it again for sure. The next two days were spent shopping in Spokane and wandering the beautiful city of Coeur d'Alene. It actually looks very similar to Salmon Arm, but the waterfront there is developed so nicely with great boardwalks, marinas, shops and beaches. Makes you wish our town could do the same! We have too many nature enthusiasts in our neck of the woods, who don't want to disturb the bird sanctuaries! Then we headed north, rather than heading back west, and crossed the border near Creston. We camped there one night and toured the Columbia Brewery the next day as our campground was right across the street. It was a fun little spontaneous adventure, and the boys felt like they were in a live episode of "How it's Made". They had lots of questions for our tour guide. It was really cool to see the cans being filled and sealed and pushed along crazy fast. Did you know that something like 98% of glass beer bottles are recycled and reused (after being sanitized) up to 15 times? We watched the part where they wash the bottles and remove the old labels with their fancy machines. Then we took two ferries and stopped in Crawford Bay on the way, to see the artisans there, such as North Woven Brooms, the place that made brooms for Harry Potter and the Bewitched movies. Also we watched glass blowing and the blacksmiths doing their amazing work. The kids were pretty impressed. We camped in downtown Nelson and wandered around the shops there for a bit. The weather was starting to get pretty wet and cold and the kids (and parents) were getting pretty tired. We decided to shorten our trip by a day and came straight home the next day through Revelstoke in the pouring rain. We didn't stop at the hotsprings as we had hoped, but aim to do it sometime in the fall when we're not so tired and wet! We came home to company as Greg's family was coming for the next week. We hosted his sister and her boys and did many fun family beach days and dinners together. We've now got 8 kids under 12 between us!
The two older girl cousins have stayed longer for an extra week with grandma, so the fun isn't over yet! Today we're hitting up the beach and the little 3 will do the waterslides tonight while the older 2 go to the movies with Greg and I. Riley and I have also decided to get in shape, so this August we started the Couch to 5K running plan. We are into our 4th week and are running about 16 min. of the half hour now. It works you up to running really gradually and we haven't hardly had any trouble. I used to do 5K's quite frequently, but Riley has never run much, so this has been great for him. We do lots of talking during the walking parts, and quite often Shea is following us on his bike or scooter. Riley and I even did one run in Creston, and one in Coeur d'Alene! It should take 9 weeks til the program is done, and you're running the 5K. So we are already over half way there! I have 60lbs of peaches sitting in my hallway, so I have my work cut out for me this weekend! I am also planning to do pickles and hopefully some salsa and corn! This morning I started my day doing the ice bucket challenge (to raise money for ALS)! Be sure to check out my video on Facebook! The boys were so happy to dump ice cold water on their mom and film it! I have photos to go with all these words, but most of them are on G's phone, so I will add them later!


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