Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Amazing

"What made your weekend amazing?"
That question came on the radio today, and I didn't have to stop long to think of all the great happenings of my past week. But what made it amazing, is the people I was with during the time.
Last week was Sports Camp. All five of the kids were involved; the 3 older ones volunteered, and the 2 younger ones attended (and loved it!) So every morning for 3 hours I had no children at home.
This has never before occurred in my life.
And I thoroughly enjoyed the mini-vacation. Each day I was so thankful for all the workers and volunteers at Sports Camp - without them, my much-needed break would never have happened.

 This past weekend I was able to spend time with relatives and friends. On Saturday the Mr. and I got to watch our two girls in their swim meet while my sister took the other 3 to a parade (at which they bagged a ton of candy). Even though my husband had to work the rest of the day, the 2 girls and I made it - late - to the party at my aunt and uncle's home. We were able to visit with some people we only see once a year.
Once again - people made the time worthwhile.
 On Sunday, after a great sermon from our pastor, the family went on an outing to escape the heat. We headed out to a place called Mill Creek; we found a place to wade and frolic. Despite the heat and bugs, we had a fun time. In the evening we made it home just as more family showed up.

We got to spend 24 hours loving on these cuties. My older kids really stepped up to the plate and helped me immensely in taking care of the two youngest ones - the 2 yr old nephew just loves his big cousin. The little 6 month old is such a happy little guy, we had so much fun just making him smile. Even though there were 9 kids in the house, and I was really tired, it was so great.
 
What made my week amazing? These people.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Harvest

The Mr. has been in the middle of combining for weeks now. But I am just starting to reap the bounty of the gardens. Today we got peaches!
These came from our tree in our own front yard. We planted it a few years ago, and it usualy gave out one, maybe two, peaches each summer. We rarely got to eat them.
Today Little K and I picked a bowl full!
 16 peaches ready to eat.
And just as exciting - there are dozens more on the tree waiting to be picked in a couple of days. I don't know that I will have enough to can from our little tree, but we will be enjoying the fresh sweetness this week.

Blue Ribbon Day

"It wouldn't be a fair without a horse ride."
That pretty much summed up one daughter's trip to the county fair.
I took all 5 kids down to the fair last Friday; it was the first time for all of us to be at this fair (we usually go to one closer to us). But because my daughter, the Chef, had her 4-H entries in this fair we had to go and see how she did. And boy were we pleased!
This was her first year in the 4-H program, and I am so thankful our friend put this all together. She entered cookies, biscuits, a short story and a skit. With the the edible entries, she also had an interview she had to do for the judges. We hadn't prepared for that, but I think she did ok. Her cookies were marked "Excellent" and got a blue ribbon. Her story was marked interesting, and got a blue ribbon. Her skit, which she did with 3 friends (also in 4-H) got a blue ribbon. And her biscuits!! Well, if this was 100 hundred years ago, we would probably already have her engaged. Her biscuits won a blue ribbon and a purple Champion ribbon! They were selected to go on to the State Fair! I think I might have been more excited than she was ... or maybe she just doesn't show it as much.
After touring the 4-H building, we went on to the animals. Of course Little K loved to see them all (I do too!) and we sure wished we could pet the soft little bunnies in their cages, or the pretty horses in the stalls. Alas, we just looked from outside and wished we could have one.
Then it was on to the rides. The older 3 did not find any carnival rides that they wanted to spend their money on. But Little K and Ham-N-Cheese decided they wanted a pony ride. So they did. And then I spied the Camels. I can't/don't go on carnival rides anymore, so I really wanted to do something special, just for me. I splurged and got a camel ride for me and Little K. The Chef and Ham-N-Cheese also decided a camel ride sounded fun too. And it was! I felt  little like falling off, and I would definitely choose a horse over a camel ride anytime. But it was too unique to pass up this time.
Overall, we weren't super impressed with this country fair, but we still had a nice time.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Independence

I know, I know, it was last week that we celebrated Independence Day around here. Life has been busy. Maybe I should re-title my blog to that phrase!
Well, this year we celebrated the 4th a little differently than usual. We didn't go on the annual family camping trip; which was a little bit of a bummer, but not too much because the weather was SO dang hot and I enjoyed being able to cool off inside my house instead of sweltering in a tent. The Mr. had to work also (he did get to stay home Sunday thankfully) so I didn't feel up to camping without his calming influence and strong tent-setting muscles.
Instead, I took the younger girls to a parade. We sat at the end of the parade route (because we decided a little late to go to it) and we sat. And we sat. And we waited.
Nearly an hour on the curbside (because why would we come prepared with chairs?!) and my backside was pretty sore. I managed to get up and buy the three of them some ice cream right before the parade came down our part of the route.
It was a fun parade; maybe next year we will make out to the beginning of the route and see more of it. The parade seemed kind of sparse, and I wonder if it had to do with the heat, and the length of the walk.
 


Later in the afternoon, once the Mr had gotten home and relaxed, he took some of the kids down to buy fireworks - the legal kind. But we didn't have our own fireworks show until Sunday night. On Sat night we joined a bunch of friends out in Mt. Angel to watch the special fireworks show there. Our friend plays in the community band and so we got to listen to some great patriotic music before the show started.
They were selling ice cream and strawberries, so we also had a fun dessert while we visited with friends and waited for the sun to go down.
  The boys threw the football. The girls ate snacks and danced to the music.

It was a late night by the time we got home, but such a fun way to celebrate our country's freedom.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Heat

Now we're cookin';
It is in the 90s around town here, and even though I grew up in hotter summers, I have kind of gotten used to the milder summers of northern Oregon. Until this week.
So we planned a minor escape for the day. We took a trip to my happy place - the beach - anticipating a lovely sunny, cooler, afternoon.
Oh, it was cooler alright! I remembered to bring sweatshirts for everyone. It is the Oregon coast after all. I ended up wearing mine and my son's, and wrapping a blanket around my legs. That wind was cold!
The kids didn't seem to mind too much. They spent a long time working together (happy sigh!) on building a big pit in the sand. (Right next to the waves, so it should fill in sooner rather than later ... I don't think there is a safety risk there.)
 
 My sister and I sat, wrapped up like two grannies, and watched them work. Every so often the little one would come and grab a bite to eat and run back to the group. We also watched a group of para-surfers. That was quite interesting. A couple of times the surfers would be launched UP in the air, and flipped around. It was fascinating. I was pretty sure my daughter (the Girl Who Swims) didn't see them, thankfully, because then she would be wanting to do it too. She's a bit of a daredevil. (Ever since she was little, she has been the climber, unafraid of most things, and ready to take the risk. She's the one who broke her shoulder by falling off the shed, in the middle of a snowfall. But that's a story for another day.)
A beautiful beach day needs ice cream. Of course. So when Ham-N-Cheese came over to me shivering, and said she was cold, I knew it was time to pack up and go. We headed straight for our favorite little ice cream shop, where the single scoop looks more like a double.
And then we headed home, back into the heat. But by then it didn't feel so bad, since my goosebumps were finally gone.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

One Third

I was suppose to be a part of a Google Hangout tonight. But my technologically challenged brain could not figure it out. So instead I get to entertain you.
My son informed me that we are one third of the way through summer vacation. That makes me sad because there is so much more I want to do and the time is flying by. Before I know it, the kids will be back in school and I will be wandering around wondering what to do with myself.
OK, maybe not. I am pretty sure I will be rushing around in September, just like I am now, trying to figure out how to get it all done.

Yesterday I took a couple of minutes to snap a few photos of our morning at the farm. The Boy got the task of discing the field for his grandpa while I pulled weeds, and his sisters picked peas. Grandpa, meanwhile, sat in the shade and slept. ha! No, if you know my dad, that wouldn't happen. He was on the other tractor, planting.

Later in the day I took a few more minutes out of my 'busy-ness' to take the girls down to a local splash pad. They loved it. It took Little K a few minutes, but she finally got in there, and eventually even got wet.
 It was a good way to celebrate the end of the first third of the vacation.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Catch Up - May

June is almost over and I still have so much to say about the month of May!

The month brought a lot of projects for the older two kids at away-school. The Girl has to make a Rube-Goldberg like contraption for her science class, utilizing different tools. She did a great job, all on her own, to make the marble(s) roll through the different parts without stopping.
Mother's Day. It seems like a long time ago. It was a great day of relaxing and doing nothing! It seems like we are always on the GO, so a day without any responsibility or place to be is a perfect day for me.
 The Mr. and the kids also finished the drainage project in May. I hauled a couple of loads of gravel, and they filled in the hole. Now we can get back to some basketball.
 And we helped out Grandpa with some of the planting at the farm. Of course, by now this scene looks different (I'll have to get an updated photo when we go out this week), but the little fingers in our household helped put in some of these seeds.

 We also took a family bike ride at a local park that has oodles of paved trails. This was the first time Little K rode her own bike the whole way. She has outgrown the kid seat that was attached to my bicycle, so we decided to try and see how far she could go. And wow did she go! We biked at least 3 miles, and she kept going the entire way without complaint.


 To wrap up the month of May, the Boy made it to the state level in track! So of course we trekked down to Eugene to watch his races. He placed 8th in one of them; and although his team didn't place in their relay, he still ran a really great race.
And there is a quick synopsis of our month.