This entire month of July has been Insanity.
Blissy, Adventurous Insanity.....but Cah-razy Town, nonetheless.
Rock jumping at Smalls' Falls
Since the 4th of July, we have literally been living out of our suitcases, and I do declare that when we arrived home just the other day, I could write my name on every surface of every room.
Evenings with Ransom while the big boys fished...
But...oh goodness, me.... these days have been amazing.
We kicked off the month with our annual family vacation to my father-in-law's itty bitty slice of Heaven that resides on this itty bitty slice of island... and we called this place Home for one solid week.

Bliss, Baby.
Closest thing to Heaven on Earth, in my book.

I mean, seriously.... this is our "view" for the week:
Oh....and sometimes this:
Both, equally delicious....

We are so SO thankful for this place of retreat where we can literally go offline and just "be" for a few days.
And offline I did indeed go when on Day #1, I dropped my phone and smashed its' screen all to peices.  Texts still merrily made their way across the sound waves with a happy little "ding" to notify me that I had a message waiting...however, there was nary a thing that I could do about it for the entire week of our stay!  That drove me just a wee bit bonkers, but there honestly is some freedom and peace that comes with completely checking out for a few days. ...  Even if it wasn't entirely by choice!
The "Height of Land."
Each year out here, the look of our vacation takes on a different flavor.  Last year we had a newborn, which came with its own set of challenges, but she was at least completely immobile.  This year, we had a toddler on our hands who was a fearless whirling dervish of a water baby.  I looked forward to naptimes with eager anticipation of being able to let my guard down and not have to worry about near drownings every five minutes.
An early evening Bog adventure
This girl, she loves her water.
But, she's not a fan of her life jacket.
And she is completely mobile now, yet she walks like a raging drunkard, so she is as tipsy as all getout.
So, to keep us all sane and happy - if she wasn't in her swing or her exersaucer and completely contained, I would simply bring the lake to her....

Seriously, how cute is this?
The old metal tub.
Used for crayfish, frogs, chubs, and minnows.
Also good for bathing wee baby girls and for giving them their very own "pool."
It's all good.
Redneck roughing it....

This year, there were also three little boys who share varying degrees of whatever-the-word-is-that-makes-them-not-be-able-to-think-about-anything-else, love with their Daddy when it comes to all things fishing. Pretty much, no matter what we did, it always and without question involved bringing a fishing pole.  Or ten.
Big Daddy Chub.
We ate a lot of fish that week.
And all four of my boys were in Fishy Heaven.
Trouties from Cascade Stream.
And I said that I was going to hide all of the poles when we got home.
Coos Canyon.  A wee bit treacherous for London.
And London said that when she gets older she and I are going to stay back at camp and sit on the dock.

But we were Troopers and went along for the ride.
Because we like our boys.
Big Daddy Trout.
And often it involved an iced coffee.  Or an ice cream.
But I still think that I deserve a reward.
A salmon....with his half eaten lunch.
 There. Was. A. Lot. of. Fishing.
Smalls' Falls.
But, there was also a lot of Beauty wherever we went.
And scenery that allowed for lots of deep, cleansing breathes.
And just a whole lot of at-one-ness with Creation and its' Creator.
This, I love.

And I love that while the boys can lap the entire island in the span of two minutes, they are never, ever bored.  They never once ask for video game time or mention that they're missing their Saturday morning cartoons.

They are peaceful, and they are at their happiest.

They wake up with the sun, and they sleep like puppies at night.  They swim, they fish, they lay on the dock and skip rocks.  They catch frogs and canoe. They build fires, and they play.  They bathe in the lake, and they live in their swim trunks.

And the sweet, simple loves of my childhood are once again re-lived in my children.
It is indeed the happiest week of our Summer.

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