Sam's 4th B-day

AHOY there  This is Sam's 4 th birthday invitation. You should be able to open it from here. It's a pirate party! P1250006 (2)  The long-awaited day of the pirate party and birthday campout! P1250024  You have to cross the runways on base to get there - makes you feel like you're going somewhere you shouldn't :) P1250001  Here we are at Hale Koa beach on base, launching the "Pirate Ships".
IMG 0279  Dennis is a military policeman - such a nice guy. He is Sam's friend Aiden's father. That's little Eva in front, and Jonah in back. Dennis has never kayaked before. I don't think the pirates had either. Luckily the waters were really calm. IMG 0284  Caliegh waving goodbye to Anneliese-pirate! IMG 0296  Here's Caliegh getting a pirate ship ride, too! P1250002  Ahoy, there, me hearties!!!
P1250003  The pirates took a friendly tour of the harbor... P1250007 (2)  That's "Pirate Cove" where the "islands" are sticking out of the water (rocks). P1250011 (2) there a pirate war going on to take over Pirate Cove? IMG 0305  Anneliese welcomes Caleigh home :)
P1250004  Giji and Rinnah - such a cute little girl pirate! Giji took many of the beautiful pictures posted here. Thank you, Giji!!! Giji is Jonah and Rinnah's mom - and our neighbor. IMG 0281  Sam was serious about his pirate duties that day. He insisted on being a "good pirate" as in he refused to fight any of the big pirates who showed up (my friend Angel's son David and his two friends who dressed the part so well!). IMG 0293 IMG 0299  Sam and Jonah...
IMG 0301 IMG 0307 IMG 0312  Rinnah found a sword :) IMG 0323
IMG 0330  Pirate parent briefing - the next event is the treasure hunt. I found cute little chests at Ben Franklin, finished them, and loaded them with treasures (rocks, rings, and other things). I made weathered maps by using tea and oil, then burned the edges. Dave wondered if I applied the oil before or after the burning...I actually don't remember. But it all worked out ok :) The pen still worked, too! I had to draw the maps in a major hurry at the party because I couldn't very well make a map until I'd buried the treasure. So while Dave-Pirate was taking wee pirates out to the Cove, I was madly burying treasure, marking it with an x (strange root-things I found at the beach) and making maps. Mom was frosting the planet cake Sam wanted - Jupiter. What a process! That cake took a week to make - two half spheres on two separate days, then frozen. All the while Ben was in my arms, making my left bicep absolutely ache. I think right here he's with mom, finally taking a nap. IMG 0332  I handed out 5-in-1 survival whistle/mirror/flint/compass things to the pirate teams to hunt for their treasure. Figured that would be a good thing to have around on the next hike anyway :) IMG 0335  Jonah was a very proficient whistler! IMG 0339  But that treasure managed to elude him for a bit! He was precious!
IMG 0343  Rinnah says "Jonah! Look for the X!" IMG 0348  Ah ha! Found it! IMG 0360  Eva contemplating treasure. Or something :) IMG 0361  Maybe mischief?
IMG 0363  Sam's friend "Aiden K" (there are two Aidens in his class). IMG 0366 IMG 0367  Making coffee with the sand? IMG 0375  Giji said Sam was making blueberry coffee for us here :) Thanks, Giji!
P1250005 P1250009 (2) P1250014 (2)  Walk the plank!!! P1250016
P1250017  The fierce grown-up boy pirates! They had bottles of "rum" too - soda! Very clever. P1250018 (2)  Aiden was fearless! P1250020 (2) P1250023 (2)
P1250024 (2)  Team Jones begins looking for their treasure as Team K looks on... P1250025 (2)  Team Galang studying their map... P1250006  Sam found his treasure barrel! P1250010  Team K found theirs, too!
P1250027  Ohhh! What's in it?! P1250028 (2)  Diamonds? P1250008 P1250009
P1250029 (2)  Success for Team Jones! They didn't know it but there was a second treasure chest for Caliegh hidden as well! P1250030 (2) P1250031 (2) P1250032 (2)  Pieces of 8!
P1250034 (2)  Angel pirate! P1250011  Getting the cake ready :) P1250012  Lighting the "candles" - real pirate kindling. Can you tell that's Jupiter? C'mon now? No?! P1250040 (2)  The kids are thinking - this is crazy? Where are the real candles?
P1250041  Ok ready to blow? P1250042 (2)  Go Sammy! IMG 0349 P1250043 (2)
IMG 0356  OK - dig in! Pirates don't use utensils. We let the kids eat like pirates and just grab handfuls of cake. It was so funny to watch their expressions. Some of them wanted forks! Sam was not bashful - he's been looking forward to this moment for some time. One of his pirate books suggests this is how pirates eat. IMG 0357  Jonah dug right in, too! Good boy! P1250047 (2)  The girls say, "do what? hands?" P1250013  Jonah shows 'em how :)
P1250048 (2)  Really? Even Aiden is not so sure! P1250014  Sam goes in again! P1250049 (2)  And the girls decide to join in the lunacy! P1250050
P1250051 (2)  Now with forks, though! P1250052 (2) P1250053 (2)  Yum! P1250054 (2)
P1250055 (2) P1250056 (2) P1250057 (2)  We did a good job demolishing the cake. P1250018
P1250058 (2) P1250060 (2) P1250019  Look at that bite! And those cheeks! P1250020
P1250023  Ben sleeping peacefully through it all. P1250061 (2)  Thanks to Gramma. Nice place to nap :) P1250062  Sweet baby boy. P1250063  The kids were wondering at first if there'd be a bouncy house at the party. They were amazed when they learned there wouldn't be one. Almost every party here has a bouncy house. The kids love them! Turns out the tent was a great place to romp. It was folding over, bulging out and bursting with fun. We had a great time at Sam's party - thank you to all who came and made it so memorable!
P1250025  The octopus hunters were out...the kids got to feel one. P1250029 P1250031  You freeze them to let the toughness soften up a bit, then boil them. I think. P1250032  Shooting out for a quick paddle.
P1250033  Strong winds and current - good workout going this way! P1250036 P1250037  It's afternoon now, Ben has napped again, and now we're playing. Mom and I camped out with the boys for two days while Dave went about life with work and school. Here Ben is drinking some water. P1250039
P1250040  Gotta love his faces! P1250042  Dave hung out with us for dinner, then went home to do school work. P1250043  Such a beautiful place to camp. P1250045
P1250046 P1250047 P1250048 P1250049
P1250051  Daddy loves his boys so much. P1250052 P1250053 P1250054  Pieces of 8 s'mores! Wow!
P1250055  Taking his balloons for a walk. P1250056 P1250057 P1250059  He did this last year with a big Thomas balloon. Just LOVED taking it for a walk. This year he had FOUR balloons :)
P1250061  Another gorgeous sunset. P1260065  The next morning we made pancakes and played in the sand. I paddle surfed some little breaks out there (you can see the white in the background). Gorgeous morning. P1260067 P1260068
P1260070 P1260062 P1260063  Apple cider! (I sneaked out to get mom and me some lattes). P1260064  Getting dressed?
photo  Shooting out for that paddle... photo3  And coming home a bit wet :) I went in once. I tried to be very conservative because the break was right over a reef - like just inches below. You do not want that 12 ft board to land on your head and bash it into a reef. I really got the feel of it but need much more practice. P1260074 P1260075  Our little campsite.
P1260076 P1260072  Clever shot, mom :) P1260077  The protected wetlands right behind us were a nice place for mosquitoes to hang out. They were not out all day, but they came out and bit the b-jeebers out of the boys at night. Somehow at least half a dozen had found their way into our tent! They didn't go for mom and me at all, but poor Ben... P1260078  Sam and I collected treasures for a preschool project that we'll work on with Aiden's mom, Michelle. She is an accomplished artist who uses found items to create her pieces.
P1260088  Helicopters doing training overhead add much interest...and noise :) P1260089  I never tire of the backdrop here. P1260090  I sneaked Ben and Sam out on a quick little ride, very close to shore in very calm water, only a foot deep in most places, lest you worry... P1260091  Sam decided he could swim from Pirate's Cove to shore, so he piled out of the kayak.
P1260092  And took to the channel! Go swimmer! He has his boogie board with him. P1260093  A little bourbon for the evening. ATT00149  Packing up after the second night - in a hurry before more rain comes in. Last night was nuts - very strong winds flapping at the tent all night. Rain. We stayed dry and for the most part, warm. Ben found his way into my bed around 3am - he got cold with all the wind swirling around despite how many layers I put on him. The little trooper was so happy to find himself in mommy's arms that he just kissed me and kissed me, right on the lips. Sam was warm under his fleece blanket. I kept checking on him, as mothers do, but he was fine. So basically I slept in two-hour snatches, but that's what camping is all about. A big adventure. You never know what you're going to get! We debated about staying the second night with 60% rain forecast, but how can one gear-test a tent unless you're in it? So mom and I decided to stay. The tent did admirably, too. We were a bit sad to leave, but also happy to get back to warm, dry environs. We had a great time! IMG 0134  That night, on Sam's actual 4th birthday, we celebrated as a family.
IMG 0131  Sam is FOUR! He woke up at the campsite this morning saying "Now am I FOUR?" I say "Yes!" And he replied, "That is a bit crazy because I still fit into THESE!" referring to his sweatpants. I think he must have thought he would grow quite large overnight! 2009-01-26SamB-DayTripHaleKoa (5) 2009-01-26SamB-DayTripHaleKoa (4)