My brother Jonah and his wife Aja are uniquely wonderful. They don't buy stuff. They trade stuff and grow stuff and do without a lot of the frills that really don't matter. They drive cars that run on used vegetable oil (and make a nice little income from buying old diesel Mercedes, converting them to greasels and selling them). They live in a simple but quite lovely little house that they paid for outright and remodeled with ingenuity and almost no money. It was so fun and educational to jump into their life for a couple days. To read more about the lifestyle they've chosen, check out this great blog post by Aja.
We had so much fun exploring the beautiful area where Jonah and Aja live (the Washington coast – almost all the way to Canada). We reveled in the amazing greenness of everything and loved hiking in the Olympic National Park with them – and seeing the gorgeous Olympia Mountains right out their window. We loved heading out on Jonah's boat to exlore a beautiful old lighthouse across the bay near their house (and had some exciting adventures when the tide went out very quickly and we had to push the boat through some frigid water for a bit!). The kids loved camping out in their yard for a fun sleep-over, riding their four-wheeler, shooting clay pigeons with Jonah's guns, hunting for eggs (every day's an Easter egg hunt around their house) and getting to know their lambs, chickens and horse a bit (my neice Ana has always loved horses with all her heart and she earned every penny to buy her own horse a few months back). The kids LOVED getting to know their new cousin, Poem who was born right there in their living room and adored the chance to be with their super cool aunt and uncle and play with some beloved cousins (we used to live by them in St George so they've really felt the lack since our families went our separate ways a couple years ago).
We love Jo and Aja so much. They showed us a fabulous time and we're so priviledged to know them. Here are some photos of our time together:
|Learning about gun safety and shooting clay pigeons was a big highlight for Ashton and Isaac|
|Learning about chickens - very friendly and pretty chickens|
|Headed across the bay to see an old lighthouse on Jonah's little fishing boat. |
See the lovely Olympic mountains in the background?
They live in such a pretty area.
|(yes, I was cold)|
The kids loved collecting shells and rocks and bits of crabs and we saw all these crabs scuttling around under the water.
At Crescent Lake in Olympic National Park
Ana and Isaac were born just a month apart. So fun to have them together again!
|the twins and best buddy Camden were so excited about the waterfall they found that went right under a tree!|
|Serious rain forest on a hike to Mary Mere waterfall - green covering everything - so gorgeous!|
|Finding awesome hide-outs with super cute Elsie|
|Huge old growth redwood trees - amazing|
|Those are some BIG trees!|
|At Mary Mere Falls in Olympic National Park - GORGEOUS hike and waterfall!|