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Wenatchee River Rafting 2014

KODAK Action CamOkay, despite my recent post about Camping with Kids, I really do enjoy camping with my large family. That is, I enjoy all the parts that are not completely miserable. And that’s actually quite a few.

This annual trip is made with our Boy Scout troop and river rafting is always one of the main events. This year Chuck decided that I would go river rafting…he didn’t really ask, which was great. I love a man who takes charge and sends me on awesome  adventures! He also signed up Kalina and Enoch was already slated to go with his troop.

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As I watched my daughters struggle, persevere and work together to erect their tent, it made me think of all the ads and media exposure about girls and self-esteem. I am a firm believer that positive self-esteem comes from hard-work, overcoming obstacles and facing our fears. It is a by-product of these challenges, not something we can instill in our  children by passing out ribbons and applauding every small action.

I kind of have a blog post about that topic brewing in my head, but haven’t had a chance to sit down and articulate it.   20140629_3537 blog20140629_3456 blog large family camping

The ever-amazing and handsome Owen came wandering into our tent site. For those of you who don’t know, Owen was born dead. Yes, you read that right. Once he was revived (and crashed a few more times) the doctors recommended that his parents cease treatment. He’ll be five later this month and has his share of medical issues, but he’s also a huge blessing to his family.large family camping

And Apollo’s good buddy. These two boys have spent their formative years in and out of hospitals and had more medical treatments than most adults. Perhaps they can go to therapy together one day.large family camping

And this is Owen’s little sister Brenna. I heard she was clean before the campout…but that may just be a rumor.20140629_3437 bloglarge family camping

Apollo calls these overalls his Mario clothes. I think they’re adorable, but man they sure make him look skinny.20140629_3425 blog20140629_3430 blog

After river rafting, we headed into Leavenworth to walk around a bit. 20140629_3484 blog large family camping

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Well, that’s what Chuck and I were doing.20140629_3515 blogThe kids were actually just walking around and biding their time until we took them to the Taffy Shop.

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Once we arrived they started acting like kids in a candy store…

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And, one of the most parts of this trip….Avi turned nine years old! We haven’t had a party yet for her or Apollo. Hopefully soon…like this weekend if I ever manage to get my act together and plan something…

And you may enjoy this video I put together which includes footage Enoch took while rafting through rapids (he wedged the camera in his life jacket) and a funny story by Tucker.

You may want to read about past Wenatchee River Rafting trips. 2009 Part 1, 2009 Part 2, <— this was the year we took 13 kids camping! 2013 Part 1, 2013 Part 2 <—–BEN! was with us on our trip last year!



  1. T.W.

    I love how Avi does everything so “whole body”. Even during your stroll, she has her arms stretched to their limits.

  2. Christina

    While I certainly don’t know all the details of your family (which is wise on your part) I must say from an outsiders perspective it appears Avi sure has matured and is coming into her own in the last year or two. I commend you for recognizing the differences of all of your children and while I don’t know if public education is solely responsible for her change (it could just be natural maturity), I think it is great you realized what worked with your other kids wasn’t working for her.I am thoroughly impressed with her and your family and I wish you all the best.

  3. Stacy B

    Great pics. And tell Avi I love her hair it’s beautiful! The pic where she is at the end of the group with her arms stretched out shows how long and pretty it is.

  4. Mallory

    I have heard so many people talk about needless awards and praising “too small” actions lately but I have to disagree. I think kids can sniff out meaningless praise. We don’t give them enough credit for that. As a kid I participated in a 4th of July parade many years in a row and I was always given a participatory ribbon if I didn’t win. That ribbon was always trash to me because I knew better. One year I did win a category for creativity and I really did prize that ribbon. I suppose I’m biased because I have spent many years working with children of neglect. Most of those kids would do anything for attention, including seeking out negative attention. I WISH the worst problem those kids had was “too much praise”.

  5. Tony

    Love these videos. Your blogs and photo’s have given us a rare insight into large family life, but these videos allow us to actually ‘see’ the different personalities in the family. Tucker’s story about Kalina running away was funny. I love his accent as well.

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