Boden’s 8th Birthday Camping Party

Boden’s 8th birthday was a blast.   There were 20 of Boden’s best buddies and their parents arrived at our home for the Splatoon themed party.  We spent most of the evening on the slip and slide, throwing water balloons and on the trampoline.  We had some ‘Olympic Games”…with basketball skills challenge, trampoline skills and water balloon race.  Everyone was a winner!

The kids had pizza and the adults pulled pork sliders and salads for dinner.  After was  ice cream and cake, opening the presents and then we set up a ‘drive in’ movie for the kids…complete with juice boxes and pop corn.  We watched Coco from Disney.    12 tents were set up and by 10 pm, all the kids went to bed.  Boden shared a tent with his buddy Aven and Hutson shared a tent with dad and Dylan.  The gift of the year had to be Lazer Tag game.  The kids played with it for hours!

Summer Vacation 2018

We spent our summer 2018 vacation touring the national parks in Wyoming and Southern Utah.  What a fantastic adventure we had.  The Cain Family, a rented RV, 2300 miles, six national parks, hikes, wild animals and Las Vegas.  What more could you ask for!!!

Our tour started in Salt Lake City where we picked up a 30 ft. RV which would be our home for the next 16 days.  Our first destination was  the Grand Tetons.  What a beautiful park.  Our first stop was near Jenny Lake for a morning hike.  There was a surprise at the trail head of Lupine Meadows hike…a grizzly bear.  And we didn’t have our bear spray!  After the bear moved on, we hiked into the foothills of the mountains.  Next, after buying some bear spray,  we took a short boat ride across Jenny Lake and hiked up inspiration point.  We had great views and some beautiful waterfalls.  We hiked back to the RV, a 4 mile hike.  The next day, we took a float trip down the Snake River.  We saw a moose family and Hutson’s top front tooth fell out!  What an exciting trip!

The next day, we drove on to Yellowstone.  We started in the southeast side and saw the upper/lower falls of the yellowstone and the mud geyser.  While walking on the boardwalk, we ran across a dozing bison.  Maybe 25-30 ft. away.  It was quite intimidating.  July 4th, we spent the day hiking, exploring Mammoth Hot Springs and the Norris geyser.  After our first hike, we saw an elk run across the road right in front of us followed by a black bear chasing the elk.  Not sure if he caught his meal.   July 5th we had a close encounter with some bison early in the morning.  We were driving down on our way to grand prismatic and old faithful and came across three bison walking down the middle of the road.  The boys were anxious to see old faithful but after waiting for 15 minutes in the heat, they had enough…until the eruption.  We then visited the Old Faithful Lodge which was fantastic.  Our last day in Yellowstone was spent hiking Mt. Washburn.  This was a five mile hike with over 2k ft. in elevation.  Both Boden and Hutson crushed the hike.  About  3/4 of the way down, Hutson slipped and cut his knee.  Luckily, a hiking group lead by REI employees were on their way down and gave Hutson’s first aid.  Dad gave Huts a piggy back down the final mile of the hike.  We luckily found some ice cream to make the injury feel better.

We arrived in Moab, UT late July 7 after a long drive from Yellowstone.  Our campsite was next to another family from Oregon.  They were friends with our neighbor Samira.  Small world.  We spent the next day in Arches NP, home to over 2000 natural sandstone arches.  Our first hike was to Landscape Arch.  The boys hiked, scrambled and jumped along the trail.  We also visited Windows Arches.  Due to the heat, we were back at the camp site around 2pm and spend the rest of the day in the pool.  Boden also loved the giant chess board.   The next day, we hiked Delicate Arch.  A three mile hike/scramble round trip.  The rest of the day, we took a scenic drive up the Colorado river.

Canyonlands National Park was the agenda on July 10.  Grand View Point Overlook was our first hike.  A beautiful hike along the rim of the north side of the canyon.  The boys, especially Hutson was very adventurous.  He would lead the hikes and be the first to scramble up and out on the ledge.

Next was Bryce Canyon.  Arrived early for the dramatic sunrise at sunrise point and then hiked Navajo and Queens Garden Loop.  A 5 mile hike with a bit of elevation.  The boys crushed the hike.  We then drove to Zion NP but unfortunately we were washed out so were not able to explore.  The rains washed out the trails and many of the roads.

Vegas was our final adventure.   We stayed on the strip at Treasure Island.  They had a great pool and in the afternoon, a DJ rocked  and Boden and Hutson danced and swam while Dabbing and Flossing.  They also drove go-carts.  Boden had a good run but Hutson wasn’t able to finish.  He crashed the go-cart and hurt his knee.  After he recovered, he wanted to try again.  That night, we saw a magician Mat Franco.  The boys were delighted by the show.  Towards the end, Mat Franco walked into the crowd looking for a volunteer.  Boden really wanted to be picked and jumped up on his chair.  Mat walked to Boden and said…”Hello, what is your name.”  Boden froze and didn’t answer.  Just like we all would have.  He felt bad about not responding.

The last night in vegas, we went to a Circe De Sole show.  Hutson was fascinated by the clowns and theatrics.

The boys proved they are great hikers on this trip with excellent attitudes and will power.  We averaged about 5 miles per day.  They were strong and had great endurance.  Especially at the elevations in the parks.


Happy New Year 2018

In October, the boys finished their soccer season.  Both had great seasons and improved their skills.  Boden is a hard worker and plays with intensity.  Huston plays with flair and dribbling skills.  Both scored regularly and had fun teammates.  Boden received the “tries the hardest” award.

We were a Star Wars family for Halloween.  Dad was Darth Vader, Mom was Rey, Boden was a stormtrooper and Hutson was a Jedi.  We had fun carving pumpkins with Samira…who said it was the first time she had ever carved a pumpkin.  Everyone was creative but no one wanted to clean the ‘guts’.   That’s so gross!  Halloween night, both the boys filled their buckets full of candy.  The neighborhood kids all went trick or treating together as usual.

We spent Thanksgiving in California.  Five days in Palm Springs.  The weather was great and we spend a lot of time at the pool.  On Thanksgiving, Boden and Hutson played flag football.  Boden had a nice catch and run while nobody scored on Hutson.   At dinner one night, Mom ordered octopus and when the waiter brought it out,..Hutson said to the waiter… “So, you killed the Octopus!”  The waiter chuckled and said, well not me!.   One fun activity was riding the Aerial Tram.  We took a nice hike at the top but Hutson was afraid we would get lost if it got too dark.  Thankfully, we all made it back safely.

On the way to Disneyland, we stopped off at Huntington Beach for an afternoon in the sun and surf.  Hutson made a friend and they smashed and played for an hour.  We buried Boden in the sand all the way up to his neck.  The last two nights we spent at Disneyland.  Boden was fearless as usual and Hutson enjoyed the more conservative rides.    The hotel we stayed at had great waterpark.

Before Christmas break, we had parent teacher conferences.  Boden was very positive.  Boden is a joy to have in class and he is a hard worker and team builder.  He is strong in math but needs to work on his reading.  They mentioned that he shows signs of  Dyslexia.

Hutson’s was also positive.  He plays well with all the kids and is very verbal and has been enjoying his outside work and art.  Besides his tussle with Ethan in the first month of classes, he’s gotten along great in the classroom.

The boys are now part of the Meadows Race Team.  They will ski every Saturday till the end of March.  It took a few runs for the boys to get their ski legs back.  Hutson departed the lift and ran right into his team.  He was frustrated in the morning but found his groove in the afternoon and was back skiing the pizza and french fry like a pro.

Boden picked up where he left off last season and was crushing it.

Mom and dad were going to a holiday party and when we came down, Hutson said…”mom, you look handsome.   Dad, you look like a musician”.

Boden started to question the existence of Santa Clause.  “Dad, is Santa real?”  or “Dad, how does Santa visit everyone?”  He finally said, I don’t believe in Santa…and Hutson said…”then how do we get the gifts in our stockings?”  We said, if you don’t believe, Santa will not bring the gifts for you…and that seemed to change his mind.

We had a white christmas this year.  The boys helped cut and decorate the tree.  We had snow on christmas eve and carried over to Christmas.  The boys woke up early around 6.30 and opened gifts from Santa first.  They received a Kindle with some books and apps loaded.  Battleship the game, a digital watch and some legos.  From mom, they received clothes.  After opening two packages of pajamas…he opened a third and he fell in despair…”Awe…..More Pajamas?!?”  They also received Skis and ski boots.

We drove over to Bend to spend Christmas evening with Narda and Dave.  While there, the neighbors came over and their 4 yr old daughter tagged along.  When Hutson saw her, he said…”who is that pretty girl?”  Such a sweetie!

We skied two days.  On the second day, Boden’s instructor said “Boden has a natural gift for skiing”.  While visiting Narda and Dave, the boys and mom caught the flu.  Bummer as they were having a great time playing with Dash and Levi.

Hutson lost his first tooth in December.   It was the bottom right center tooth.  He was very excited to meet the tooth ferry.  He lost his second in January but unfortunately, he swallowed it.




Boden and Hutson are back to school.  Boden is in the Montessori equivalent of 1st grade and Hutson in kindergarten. Both are excited and happy to be back in school.  Hutson looked forward to seeing Ethan, Maddy and Benjamin.  Boden wasn’t sure who would be in his class.

The second week of school, I received a call from Hutson’s teacher…Nora.  She said Hutson was in a bit of a tussle with Ethan.  Ethan pushed Hutson and Hutson retaliated.  By the time Nora broke them up, they were wrestling on the ground.  Both lost their outside privilege and were quite upset.  Later that night, I asked how his day was and he said…”I got in BIG TROUBLE”.  He detailed what happened.  He said Ethan pushed him and wouldn’t leave him alone.  Hutson said stop but finally snapped and pushed Ethan back.

Boden and Hutson have been playing with Yee Yee quite a bit lately.  She is the 3 year old girl from China that lives next door.  She doesn’t speak English yet.  Boden said “dad…she doesn’t speak English very well.  But she laughs in English”.

Both the boys started soccer.  Both give it their all.  Boden is on the Forest Heights Eagles. His team is undefeated.  Boden is one of the top players.  He is engaged and hustles on both sides.  He needs to work on his celebrations after he scores though!

Hutson is one of the bigger kids on his team.  He also hustles and laughs during the drills and the game.  He is one of the best players on the team and dominates the ball, scoring a lot of goals.


Summer of Camps

July was the month of camps…including a weekend of camping.

They started at the adidas soccer camp.  This was an all day camp at mom’s work.  They boys played soccer on the turf and when it got too hot, inside in the gymnasium.  The fun part was eating lunch with mom.  Both boys excelled.  On Friday, there was a parents vs kids game.  Both boys almost scored and most importantly, they tried their best and had a good time.  Boden was a little disappointed he was not named the camper of the week…but it was a close vote.

The next camp was the outdoor camp called Trackers.  Boden was in the Forest Ninja’s program and Hutson was part of the Forest Ferries, Dragons and Elves.  Both enjoyed building forts, shooting bow and arrows, hiking in the forest and playing in some creeks and lakes.  Both were completely dirty and tired at the end of the day!

The following weekend, we went camping at Frog Lake near Mt. Hood.  This lake was aptly named as the boys found thousands of tiny frogs around the camp site and the lake.  We went with Boden and Hutson’s friend Aven and his family.  We had a great time hiking around the lake and then, when it was warm enough, jumping in!  We spent the whole day in the water.  Hutson met and started a “gang” of other five year olds.  They were exploring, checking out the frogs and running all over the camp site.  Hutson was definitely the leader and would explain the rules of the games.  One boy finally told Hutson, “look…stop talking and let’s start playing”.   The next day, we went to summer ski bowl and rode the alpine slide, the maze, go karts and some of the other rides.

I’m not sure if I mentioned this in the last post, but Boden lost his third tooth.  Top right middle tooth.

For Boden’s birthday, we went to the American Ninja training center in Tigard and trained with some of the ninjas.  The group climbed “the wall”, did some rock climbing, slid on the suspended rings, jumped on the trampoline and some other ninja training exercises.  Boden received a new bicycle and has been racing all over the neighborhood.  The birthday theme was emojis and mom baked another brilliant cake with cupcakes.  The cupcakes were the pile of poo emoji.

4th of July

The boys had their mid year gymnastics performance on June 24th and they put on a show.  They performed a floor routine, parallel bars, rings and the spring board.   All four were great.  They were very proud when they marched out with their team to begin and then at the end when they received their trophy.

Over the fourth of July holiday, we traveled to Sunriver and had a blast.  The first day, we rode the Big Eddy white water rapids.  Boden and Hutson were very brave riding the class 3 waves.  Boden “rode the bull”…which is sitting on the nose of the raft while going thru the rapids.  Then both the boys jumped on the sides of the boat for the rodeo.  They stood on the edge of the boat while the rest of us paddled trying to knock them off.  They didn’t last very long but had a great time getting soaked.

The second day, we joined a fat tire bicycle tour.  This was a six mile ride…mostly down hill, stopping occasionally at a river to swim.  Boden rode his own bicycle while Hutson rode a tandem bicycle with mom.  At the first stop, we hiked down to a small waterfall and an area where we could jump in to the pool from the rocks just beside the falls.  Hutson was the first to jump with mom and then Boden and dad jumped.  The water was so cold we all lost our breath for a moment while we swam to the river bank.  After everyone jumped, Boden and Hutson wanted to jump again and this time from the higher rock…about 5-7 feet above the pool.

The next ride was another mile down the trail and the stop was at a natural waterslide.  Boden, Hutson and mom all slid down the 15 ft. slide into a pool of cold river water.   The final ride was a windy 3 mile trail and Boden rocked it.  Meanwhile, Hutson was mom’s co-pilot, directing her when she was going too fast or slow.

On the 4th of July, we went to Dash’s house and had a bbq, lit some fireworks and watched the City of Bend’s 4th of July show.  The boys had a great time playing with Dash and Levi, lighting some sparklers and watching the bigger kids shoot off some of the bigger fireworks.

Boden lost his third tooth, the top right tooth on Friday July 7th.


The Cain family celebrated a family reunion…mostly grandma and grandpa’s 51st wedding anniversary.  The boys met their some of their cousins for the first time…Logan and Abbey.  They had a blast together.  Logan took the boys on a couple hikes around the cabin, looking for tracks and ‘animal skat’.

While there, we saw some deer tracks.  Uncle Andy said, why don’t we get our bows and arrows ready and we can shoot the deer.  Hutson responds…”No, we should just hug the deer because deer are nice.”

On Tuesday, we visited Purgatory Resort.  The boys rode the alpine race course.  Hutson rode with mom and Boden drove himself.  He was thrilled that a six year old could drive alone.  That night, we had dinner at the Bar D Chuck Wagon.  The boys were able to pan for gold and met real cowboys.  After dinner, one of the cowboys asked Hutson if he wanted to sing some country songs.  Hutson responded…”No, I like good music”.

The next day, we visited Mesa Verde.  They boys loved visiting the cliff dwellings.  Boden even gave Nana and Bapa a summary of the ranger’s presentation on why they lived there, what they ate, the fires they made and when they left.

They also played a lot of ping pong.  Boden also went white water river rafting along the Animas river.Boden was riding in the front center and was soaked on the first rapid!  He also had fun paddling and even jumped into the river and rode the river while hanging on the ‘chicken wire’.

Today, Boden is interested in earning money and getting a real job.  “like you and mommy”.   We offered things like vacuuming or washing the cars.  But he wants serious money.  I want to earn $100 so I can buy a new car for mom and dad.