Out for a walk the first day. Our "trick" to get Natalie to walk as much as possible was to put Dominik in the stroller, and when Natalie got too tired, switch Dominik to the baby backpack I was carrying and Natalie in the stroller. This picture is after Natalie got too tired...but Dominik decided to walk a bit, first.
Lukas and Konrad climbing a sand wall...so much fun to slide down!
There's that cute boy on a walk!
Some of the wildlife we saw: a mountain rattlesnake. Rose and I were walking at the front of our group and heard his warning.
Everyone was very interested to see the rattlesnake!
Two boys out for a walk in the woods.
Mountain tiger lilies.
Dominik showing off his pearly whites...his eighth tooth came in, on the bottom, on this trip.
Back at the cabin, Dominik is eager to help keep things clean.
One thing I learned after looking at the pictures I took and the ones Tom took: Tom takes pictures of Natalie, and I need to take more! Here he captured her looking cute.
The kids on Lukas' bed, watching a movie.
We discovered that one of the eye drops Natalie has been taking (for glaucoma) does cause drowsiness. Now we're giving that one to her right before her afternoon nap, and before bed...so she can eat breakfast without falling asleep!
This was taken on Sunday...Gary winds his clock every Sunday, and Lukas enjoyed helping.
Whenever Lukas had free time (during the kids's naps, etc) he worked on a trail behind Rose and Gary's cabin. Here he is making street signs (he named the different parts of the trail).
Rose planted some beautiful Shasta daisies, which the butterflies loved!
Here's my one-and-only! Doesn't he have a great smile?
Lukas had a hard time digging in the hard soil, to "plant" his street signs...but he was not to be deterred.
Yes, I'm biased...he's cute.
Gap model, anyone?
Another member of the wildlife population.
We saw more deer this year than we've seen before. We also heard bear twice, but didn't see them.
Another walk! We had high hopes for Natalie to walk a distance because the path was paved and she started out with such vigor!
Natalie and Konrad, her closest friend.
Now she's slowed down to examine the foliage on the side of the path...eventually she stops walking.
Konrad picking some gooseberries (stickers on the outside, so you have to squeeze the pulp out). I still have a sticker in my finger from this experiment.
One of only a few pictures with the four kids: Natalie could not be persuaded to face the camera.
Lukas and Konrad yanking on an old cable left over from the logging days.
The "purpose" of this hike was to count the rings on a sequoia tree that had been felled a hundred years ago. It would take hours to actually count every ring, so we took a sampling. Here, Gary is measuring the diameter of the stump.
Then we counted the number of rings in an inch, at three or four locations.
Konrad's posing with the fallen giant. Our estimate was more than 1,300 years, but less than 1,500 years old.
Natalie is bored with counting tree rings, can you tell?
Lukas standing on top of that same fallen giant's stump.
Dominik is seeing what I see through the camera.
Here the boys climbed another huge stump...or rather Lukas climbed it and Konrad tried and then was sad because he's not quite big enough to climb it.
Konrad showing Dominik how the loggers did it (plastic toy chain saw)...oops, no chain saws back then!
We made a trip down the mountain to check out my nephew, Darren's new home. That's him in the back left, with his brother Justin next to him (Justin's home is nearby). It's so exciting to have 20-something guys owning their own homes!
And we swam in the pool! Of course the kids couldn't get enough of that!
Lukas showing off the lettuce wraps he made for dinner.
Dominik, the watermelon eater!
Tom took Lukas and Konrad on a boys adventure one day while I stayed home with Natalie and Dominik and chatted with Rose. Here they are climbing up to the top of Buck Rock, a fire lookout.
Lukas is counting the steps.
They were greeted at the top by the ranger's dog, Kelly.
Lukas signing them in.
Oh, yeah, Tom was there too!
Lukas asked the ranger how many steps there were, and his count was slightly off, so he decided to count again going down. Lukas is covering his ears because Konrad ALSO decided to count, but he can only count to 30, so it was messing Lukas up. I'm glad Lukas didn't fall down...those are some steep stairs!
Whew! They made it down safely!
The last day, we saw the General Grant tree (2nd largest tree in the world). I was amazed that Lukas didn't remember seeing it before, or seeing this cabin nearby...it's been too long since we took that hike!
The boys and me in front of the General Grant tree.
It was a wonderful trip and we can't wait to go back. It's exciting to see the boys exploring the wilderness and loving being outside so much.