Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"I'm Fwree!!!"

At "Fwree Years Ode", some of the coolest things in the world are tractors, dump trucks, laser beams, bears, playing at the park and going through the car wash. And it just so happens that those things were all available for Ben's birthday today!
First, we made a trip to "The Bear Park" so Benbear could hang with the other cubs.

Ben is casting a pretty long shadow these days. He said, "Come on! Run, shadow puppet, run!".

It was a beautiful, 80 degree day, so we played at the park for an hour and a half .

Last Friday, the guy at Jiffy Lube accidentally opened the door on Ben's cheek bone, so he looks pretty tough. Poor Ben. Poor Mr. Jiffy-Lube Guy; he felt awful about it too. However, Ben is still made of rubber. He reminded me of that again today as he bounced around at the park.

If you have never experienced Benjamin's scary super-guy laser, consider yourself zapped! There is a secret spaceman laser button in the bend of Benjamin's arm, you see. Just like Buzz Lightyear, Ben is a space ranger.

Then, as luck would have it, there was road construction going on right next to park! We went to the sidewalk and watched them pave part of the road. There were dump truck loads dumped, pavement strips laid, and steam roller tracks run. It was super duper exciting! Ben waved vigorously at the workers every time they drove by him.

When it was time to leave, Ben made a point of roaring loudly at the bears. Perhaps he was saying good-bye. He did it to just about every one of them.

We got a roll of quarters at the bank so we could ride the bus... a lot. The nice lady at the bank threw in a blue lollipop and a stack o' stickers. Ben said, "Thank you" and then struggled in the back seat to hold up 3 fingers as his second response to her question about how old he was. On our way home, we went through the car wash; he loves to do that. He doesn't seem to think it matters whether or not the car is actually dirty. It is just fun to do.

As the grand finale of our outings, we happen to drive by a demolition site! Ben was uber excited! We sat in the car on the opposite side of the road and watched. There was a house there, initially. The scoop came down over the chimney and chomped it right off. Ben kept saying, "Mama! What's is that tractor doing?" He was so impressed! What great timing we had. Nap time dreams were probably pretty wild today!

Happy 3rd Birthday Benjamin Jon!

It is official! Benjamin Jon is three years old!
Ben loves to sing and to count things. He also loves to hop around in his frog boots. That is why the Five Little Speckled Frogs song inspired his birthday cake this year.

Ben's 5 Little Speckled Frogs Cake has no candles because he insisted, "I don't wa-wanna birthday candles! I don't!". When he was much younger, he got startled at a birthday party by some candle flames in the dark followed by the eruption of loud cheering and clapping. He hasn't been okay with it since. We will just have to introduce that tradition slowly and gently at a later date.
Ben helped bake his own cake, so it was only fair that he got to try a little cake a day early. We will post more pictures after we cut into the real thing.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Oyster Party, Part II; Fun, Games and Music!

The stage was set, the oysters were chilled, and the guests where arriving with yummy potluck dishes. It was a beautiful day and it was time to PAR-TAY! The annual Oyster Party in Hope is the biggest, most eagerly awaited, event of our summer. We are finally unpacked and unloading pictures. I didn't get as many pictures as I would have liked. However, I will try to relay the fun that was had with the few glimpses below.
Leslie won the pinata. Boy, was she excited!
Rylee ran in the relay race faster than ever before!

Shiny Ellie shot us her super-star smile all day!

There was something for every age group but, really, you never get too old for balloons and Tootsie Pops.

An excited crowd gathered as the Cougar Creek Band began to play.

It was time to dance!

 There was great music in the air on Spring Creek Hill!

They had worked up a really fun song list too!

It is amazing to me that so many talented people ended up here and found each other on this hill.
The musicians may look pretty serious sometimes while they are playing, but they are really having a blast together.
Our college student got to lay down a few licks with the band before heading off to Fall Semester classes.

It is tradition to sing "The House Of The Rising Sun" as a finale at Burkhart parties. It is always a crowd sing-a-long. This is also a great chance for parents to embarrass their children; a pay-back time, if you will.
This is my rendition of David's childhood home, "The House Of The Rising Sun". There were Oyster Party T-shirts printed up with this familiar scene on them. Hopefully, they remind everyone of the good times they had on the hill again this year. One thing is certain; whether the sun is rising or setting, Hope Idaho is the most beautiful place on earth and definitely a reason to celebrate.

Oyster Party, Part I; Happy Birthday Grandpa Jon!

It was no use telling everyone that he didn't want a cake or any birthday fuss.

That really just fanned the fire!

With hoses and extinguishers ready, the crowd prepared to sing!

He beheld the scene.

He assessed the situation and quickly developed ... a lesson plan.

He gathered a team of kids and rallied them into action.

The wildfire was 100% contained in no time.

Once a teacher; always a teacher!

What do ya get the guy who already has everything?

Well, if "everything" includes a well-placed game camera....
.... and you happen to have access to a gorilla suit...

...then he gets his very own Sasquatch!

The Spring Creek Hill Sasquatch is a real party animal! (Click Here for more proof)

So who was this unexpected guest who came to the party claiming to be the Spring Creek Hill Sasquatch?

Scary Dave!

However, these kids know he isn't the REAL Spring Creek Hill Sasquatch.
BEWARE; the real Sasquatch still roams the woods!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Sasquatch on Spring Creek Hill

 I followed this crazy monster heading down the Shale Pit road, early in the morning last Friday!
It lumbered through the woods as if it were drunk!
I climbed the bank and watched it crash around!
Mosquitoes swarmed me. I held as still as I could so I could capture this chest-beating and other apparent mating-season behavior.

I was startled by the growling, howling display!

It carried on dramatically, back and forth, as if it were searching for something.
Finally, it crossed the creek, headed up through the meadow, and trudged out of sight.
However, it was also captured on the game camera of a famous scientist out of Sandpoint Idaho! Everyone on the hill has been rubbing their eyes, taking a second look, scratching their heads and hiding their cats!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Basking in the Glow of his own Ingenuity!

Dylan built himself a new computer for college!
For the occasion, he wore a lovely blue bracelet to match the delightful blue light emitting diodes (oh, yes, and to eliminate static)
He saved himself a lot of money doing this himself. This is good; because, he may have the hands of a surgeon but, he has the budget of a dill farmer.
He had the help, support, and humor of his dear ol' Dad to get him through it.
One evening and he is up and running! With a little additional software installation, he'll be ready for college! Way to go Dylan!