Sunday, April 19, 2015


April is birthday month around here. Within our little family there are 3 we celebrate, and the extended family includes 7 more, and then there are a number of good friends with April birthdays.
We start out with this man:
The Mr and little K goofing around

He makes me laugh. He knows my strengths and weaknesses. He knows when he needs to make me laugh, and when to be quiet. After almost 20 years together, he has that figured out.
We had birthday pie, instead of cake, made by our girl
 along with other presents from me and the kids.
 We celebrated the 12 year-old's birthday this weekend. She had a sleepover and scavenger hunt with her friends who share birthdays this week, and then we had a little family gathering in the yard
The weather is actually beautiful for an Oregon springtime, so we are taking advantage of the outdoors while we can.

Monday, April 6, 2015

This Holiday

The things about Easter in Oregon is you never know what kind of weather you will have. Will we be wearing raincoats or sweaters to hunt for eggs this year? Trying to find a pretty dress for each of my girls has been an endeavor of patience every year. Why, oh why, do stores in Oregon sell pretty spring dresses WITHOUT sleeves?????? We found racks of dresses with spaghetti straps, or thin straps, but very few with sleeves - and they are all short short sleeves. If I knew how to sew I might start a business in Oregon selling long-sleeve spring dresses!
But we girls managed to find something new to wear - one of the few traditions we have for this holiday. And I managed to eventually get a good family photo of these silly kids.

After church we drove to my sister's house for a family dinner.
And the egg hunt. Notice the jackets? It was cold and wet outside! We managed to hide and find the plastic eggs in between rain showers.

 Even the older kids searched - although originally they said they weren't going to.

And now, it's time to clean out the snack cupboard, do away with any lingering Halloween candy, and organize the goodies from yesterday.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Our Spring Break

It's the first day after spring break. The older kids are back at school. The youngest has been falling apart all day. I didn't get enough sleep last night. And the other girls only had a very light day of schoolwork today (another nice benefit to homeschool!) But the fun of spring break and the memories made are worth it.
We made a plan this year to actually do something over the break. I made up a calendar with a list next to it of things we wanted to do, and then we plugged activities into the dates.
So it started with skating for one girl and her friends; and I took the other girls to the new movie "Cinderella". We all really really liked it!
There was the requisite trip to the library to stock up on books for free time.
And the cousins came for a three day visit - which included a fun time at the carousel.
After they went home we joined some friends for a trip to the Oregon Trail museum in Oregon City. It was interesting to see the size of the wagons pioneers used to travel.
Little K and her friend spent some time "packing" up their wagon.
The Boy and his buddies goofed around a bit ...
This buggy fascinated me. It is an actual one that came on the trail in the 19th century. The seats are so skinny - I don't think my husband and I could fit together on one bench.
After touring the museum we had lunch outside; the boys just couldn't get away from the technology. While the girls ate and ran around, the boys huddled over a device.
One of the cool activities the kids got to do at the museum is make their own candle by dipping a wick in to hot wax, then cool water; back and forth until a candle stick was formed.
A bit of shopping during the week, and then we were off to the beach. We happened to pick the day that was cold and windy. But it was the day the Mr. had off, so we went. It didn't rain on us until we were leaving to go home. My sister pointed us to a new-to-us beach, which was basically deserted. We had a fun time running and walking along the shore, finding treasures. We picked up numerous shells and even whole (!) sand dollars

There were rocks to climb and pools to wade in (even though the water was freezing!!)
Here are a few of the treasures we found:

We ended our week with a birthday party for a friend, and having some relatives over for supper.
And a nap.
It was a lovely break from school; and a fun time to spend with family.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

One Secret of a Happily Married Wife

The Mr. works more at a computer now than he did earlier in his career. He used to be out in the fields a lot more. And because he and the team he works with all plant their seats in a seat most of the day, the boss sprang for FitBits for all of them. He wants to keep his workers healthy! He also added in some friendly competition.
The Mr. - being the competitive type - eagerly took to the task. He was already in the process of getting back to running; he had several months off to let his Achilles heal (pun intended!) This FitBit was just an extra push. So because there are points not only for time but also for steps, we have been taking more walks together. It gives us uninterrupted time to talk and listen to each other. The last couple of months feel like some of the best since we got married.
The Mr. also had a chance to do some hiking on his day off last week. Ever since I have known him, he has been a climber - answering the call of the mountains. He was in Central Oregon last week and planned a day to hike partway up North and Middle Sister. It was a gorgeous day, and he was sending me updates and photos over his phone. I must say I was a little envious. He got in a lot of steps that day, along with some terrific pictures.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The First Adventure of 2015

We've had some adventures these past few summers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
We're trying to soak up the precious remaining time with our kids. In 2 years the oldest could be out of the house. Not that I see it happening that soon, but it could.

So we decided to get an early start this year. The sunshine beckoned, and despite the cooler temps, we packed up and headed out to the woods.
This trip we drove out to Opal Creek. What I thought was going to be an easy afternoon hike, say, 3 miles or so, actually ended up being 8 miles.
And the kids were such troopers through it all!
Especially the youngest. She walked most of it, with four of us taking turns carrying her occasionally. We walked along a rough road/trail that had plenty to see next to it. We saw waterfalls of different sizes, a creek, plenty of forest, bridges to cross (both scary and not-so-scary kinds).
There is an old mining area there that has equipment laying around, parts that once belonged to the USS Oregon. Eventually we made it up to Jawbone Flats, an old mining town that has been converted to a camp of sorts. We didn't stay long, because the sun was going down, we were cold, (and the camera batteries were dead).

We capped it off with a quick meal at Dairy Queen, which really helped stem the letdown and whining that can accompany the end of an outing when we're all tired and worn.
It was a great start to the adventures of 2015.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


 Many dream of candlelight dinners and fancy chocolates for St. Valentines' Day. I've always been a little different. There was that one Valentines when my brand-new husband of 9 months took me to a shooting range for a treat. This year we had a family holiday.
 We took the kids to an OSU women's basketball game. The team is nationally ranked - 7th! - and they are so fun to watch! Little K decided to stay at my sister and brother-in-laws house with my other sister; the rest of us went to see the Beavs crush the Wildcats. And it was a crush. 73-48 final score.
 I'm not so good at taking selfies, but my girl is pretty cute.
And we saw Abe Lincoln there - good to know he is an OSU fan.
 It was a lovely day, with family; the first hot dogs and burgers of the year, along with potato salad at lunchtime. And then a 3 mile walk with my Mr (without kids!) It was a great way to 'celebrate' this holiday.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

In my corner

In my corner of the world this past week:
The Mr. found a new car. I don't know if it will fit all 7 of us

Little K has been a big helper around here. She is nearing 5 yrs old and growing in leaps lately - here is what she wrote (with help!) to her daddy

(I will miss you daddy)
 She helped make jam this week

And she demonstrated her awesome coaching strategies on the whiteboard

I've been reading a new author - David Rosenfeldt; good mysteries and not so scary that I can't sleep at night.

Basketball season is winding down. The Boy has one game left (sob) and the girls have about 3 each to go; so I get my fix a little longer.