Joshua Dale Crawford Aug. 26, 1989 - Apr. 21, 2010

Friday, October 19, 2007

Portland Zoo

At the end of September Jason had his 10 year High School Reunion. We decided that we would attend, and we ultimately had an alright time, but my favorite part of the weekend had nothing to do with the reunion at all. To facilitate the weekend trip to Longview, Jason took that Friday off and we headed down to his parents house Thursday night after he got off work. Reunion activities didn’t start until Friday night, so we decided to get up early on Friday and take the boys down to the Portland Zoo. After all, Jason’s parents were both at work and his siblings were off at school so we’d have been hanging out at their house alone all day anyway.

So off we trooped to the zoo. It was a typical Pacific Northwest day weather wise – overcast and slightly drizzling. This was actually our second trip to the Portland Zoo and we love it because of their Sea Lion exhibit. You ever notice how each zoo seems to have their own specialty exhibit? To me the Seattle Zoo’s Bear and Otter exhibit can’t be beat. Tacoma is definitely the Beluga Whale. Salt Lake has a relatively new and terrific Elephant exhibit. You just have to go to them all to see the different animals and habitats. At any rate, Portland excels with their Sea Lions which are just enormous. They swim laps around their habitat and always swim right in front of the huge underwater glass. You can see Austin (red hood) standing in front of one of the sea lions as it passes.

We also met a very nice Sea Otter family while we were there.

Here's Sea Otter Mom

Sea Otter Austin

And Sea Otter Lucas

Sea Otter Dad was taking the pics and for whatever reason we didn’t think to switch places and get a picture of him so I’ll throw in one of him and Austin by the bears at the front gate.

And just to wrap things up, later that weekend, Jason’s brother, James, brought several pumpkins he’d received free of charge to his parents house. We brought 2 of the smaller ones home, but there was one gigantic pumpkin that was for Grandma Crawford’s Kindergarten classroom. It was so big we just had to get some pics of Luke standing by it. Luke is 9 ½ months old in this picture and just a head taller than this 70 pound behemoth. Thanks for the pumpkins James!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Ward Campout 2007

We participated in our Ward Campout in August of this year held at Ensign Ranch. It’s a church owned facility located in or around Cle Elum, WA which is only about an hour drive from our home. I know it’s been a couple months since then, but we just got our pics developed so I thought I’d share. I swear we’re the only family in the civilized world without a digital camera!

Jason took Friday off so we could head up early. That’s because 2 years ago, while members of the Renton Stake Tiffany Park Ward, we also went to Ensign Ranch for the Ward Campout. Austin was less than a year old at that time, my how the time flies. At any rate, that year we didn’t leave until after Jason got home from work. We realized we’d made a critical mistake about halfway through setting up our tent in the dark. Then we relaxed by sitting in camp chairs around the cooler inside the tent eating tuna fish sandwiches by the romantic glow of our flashlights, once we found them that is. I remember that what Austin loved most about that trip was being inside the tent crawling around on the air mattress. He thought that was so neat and loved it whenever Jason or I would bounce him on it.

Austin’s been camping a couple times since, but this trip was Luke’s first adventure into the great outdoors. Not surprisingly, he too loved being in the tent crawling around on the air mattress. Only this time Jason and I weren’t the ones doing the bouncing. Austin was bouncing enough for all of us, and Luke couldn’t get enough of it. Hard to tell him to stop jumping when they’re both just cackling with laughter.

On Saturday we signed up to take the paddleboat out on the lake. We all got our life jackets on and waited our turn. Austin was scared at first to get in, so we were going to leave him with some ward members on the shore. As soon as we started pulling away he realized he’d rather be in the boat with us than on the shore without us. So we went back and picked him up and off we went. It was quite windy that day and the paddleboat had a canopy on it so we simply got ourselves out into the middle of the lake and let the wind push us for a while. After about 15 minutes we decided to head back and quickly realized the mistake we’d made. Remember the wind and the canopy that had been so great to push us down the lake? Now we were fighting against that wind trying to make our way back. And we had nothing but Mom and Dad leg power to do it with, and I was holding Luke on my lap the whole time. We quickly remembered how old and out of shape we are. We eventually made it back to shore, docked the boat, and collapsed to the ground! Austin didn’t know what was wrong, he wasn’t tired at all.

Our favorite adventure though was when Jason and Austin went exploring and found their way down to a river that runs through the ranch. We sat out there by the side of the river for hours while Austin threw rocks, sand, grass, and whatever he could get his hands on into the water. We all had our feet in the water just cooling off and relaxing. The weather was amazing by Washington standards and we all had a great time. I guess we may have more camping adventures in our future.