Oregon

Family Drive Through the Colombia River Gorge

Needing to go pick up Caleb today we decided to make the day of it.  After getting to visit for a while with Aunt Vicki and Uncle John this morning we picked up Grandma Owens, stopped at Starbucks, then headed toward The Dalles.  It is so so gorgeous this time of year!  We didn’t stop on the way through the gorge, on the way back was a different story.  After getting to visit with my mom and dad in The Dalles we headed back home.  We took the scenic route, then due to the sheer number of visitors flocking Multnomah Falls we opted to skip it this time and stop instead at Rooster rock.  First though, we did a short hike at Latourell Falls.

  
  
  
  
  
Then back on the road…I was not prepared for how gorgeous the view would be!!!!

  
  
  
  
  Then we took the craziest route ever to Tualatin, hey it was way faster than taking 205.   Pieology and Cabelas with grandpa and daddy to finish up the day.  It is very good to have Caleb home such a fun scenic day with awesome company.

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Seaman Day Pictures

 This photo was taken just as the park opened. Many more Newfs came and went over the days time.

http://www.dailyastorian.com/Local_News/20150709/on-seamans-day-there-is-historical-drama-and-drool (the news artical written about the event!
Pictures sent by the ranger in charge of hosting Seaman’s Day.

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Seaman’s Day, Lewis and Clark National Historic Park 

Seaman Day? What is that?

Every year on the second Wednesday of July Fort Clatsop (where the Corp of Discovery wintered 1805-1806 on the Oregon coast) hosts a full day of events and activities for adults and children focused solely on the 34th member of the Lewis and Clark expedition, Seaman, Meriwether Lewis’ dog.  Seaman was a Newfoundland, and Seaman Day allows kids, and adults, to meet and touch dogs like him.  Today our job was to be throughout the park so if someone wanted to see a Newfoundland they would and if they didn’t like dogs/afraid they would not feel threatened or like they couldn’t see the park.  They had us sign up for a few of the different events and activities, we were signed up for the 1100 River walk, the Kid’s Corp, the 1430 Meet a Newf and a Seaman Stories at 1530.  I was nervous about how Myra would do since she is great with people but pulls terribly and wants to play with every dog she sees and there would be a lot of dogs.

We set our alarms for 0430, took our showers the night before getting to bed kind of late but before midnight.  Eve woke up pretty happy. Stephanie and Cyrus joined us as well and by the time we were to Portland area all three of our backseat passengers were checking for holes in their eyelids, no snoring included.

We made good time and had plenty of time to stop and eat breakfast at Safeway in Seaside.  We were the first ones there by maybe two minutes and before 15 minutes had passed there were at least 5 more.  We have a Newf but had really never seen or hung out with any other Newfoundland other than Myra and two brief visits with her parents when we met her and picked her up from the breeder.  She was born from two family dog Newfs not a reputable breeder and Newfoundland owners and breeders can be a bit snobbish about where you got your Newf and linage/bloodline. Would they be excepting of Myra, would there be any other Newfoundlands as small as Myra?  Would she get along with the other dogs her size? Would that much personal touch by strangers and kids climbing over her be taken in her usual low key stride? Time would soon tell.

The good news was all the other Newfs were as low key as Myra or lower key and as long as she had a chance to meet them after that she no longer pulled toward them and after the first half hour or so she didn’t really pull even for new dogs she did growl two times at a bigger dog throughout the day but it was short with no teeth or anything just a holy cow this a big dog and I don’t know what to think about a dog bigger than me.  She liked all the events, but I think the Kid’s Corp was her favorite….the cool indoors with kids petting her all over while she sacked out on the floor.  The other Newfoundland parents were all very friendly and not at all judge mental.  It is funny how I remember all the dogs names and only a couple of the handlers names.  They may all have the sameish colors and similar markings, but between personality, size and head shape they were very distinctly different.  If we had let them all loose in a gym it would be easy to tell who is who.

With Uncle Jayson picking up Hannah from camp we didn’t have any time constraints, but everyone was done long about 1530.  Eve and Cyrus were starting to misbehave, Myra was ready to not be bothered (mostly because Eve was misbehaving and poking her nose with sharp sticks which she did get in trouble for) but also she has never in her life been handled that much and she was starting to turn in towards us instead of reaching out with her nose to lick every new person who came with in reach.  Instead of making it a bad experience we quit while we were ahead. Myra and I went out of the park and sat in the shade out front of the visitor’s center.  Aunt Stephanie, Eve and Cyrus watched a few movies in the visitor center and Chad stayed to help one of the other Newf handlers finish the Seaman Stories presentation.  We left as soon at the presentation was over as did Brogen (another Newfoundland, the best looking one I have ever seen in person) with us two being the last to leave the park of the doggy volunteers for Seaman’s Day at 4:30PM.

The kids were asleep within 10 minutes and stayed asleep most of the way home.  It was a very good day!  That only could have been made better by leaving about an hour earlier…we are taking note to remember that for next year.

 Eve was giving Myra a volunteer hat to wear.

  The flag raising ceremony.  The period flag had 15 stars and 15 stripes.  I never knew about flags with more than 13 stripes.  Eventually they went back to thirteen because let’s face it 50 stars and 50 stripes would be a super complex flag.  Shortly after this time period they decided to go back to thirteen for the original colonies and only add a new star for each state.

  The replica fort is super awesome.  I think we could live in a complex like this. 
  Check out this HUGE slug!
The family above has 4 Newfoundlands!!! I think one is plenty, I don’t know how they do it!

  
  
  
  
  Kid’s Corp
    Below is Brogen in the Seaman Stories presentation.
  
   A new must try in Seaside. Fish and chips made out of tuna.

I can’t wait to get the group photo I will add it when it comes.

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Battery Charging Kind of Day

Kidless this morning, Chad and I both still got up before 7:00am.  Chad had plans to work with his dad for the day and I needed to pick up Eve from grandma’s house and take Myra to the groomer.  We headed out a little early so we could take the car by the mechanic shop because we had some concerns about how it had been acting lately.  It was a good thing we did. The car did fine until it warmed up.  We made it to Japanese Connection just fine but the last five blocks from the mechanic to the shop (Chad’s parents business base) was rough.  We couldn’t get it out of first and the clutch was sticking.  We are hoping it is the master cylinder.  Needless to say once we parked the car in the shop we knew we would not be able to move it too far.  It will stay there until it’s “doctor” appointment on Thursday.  Donna saved the day by coming and picking me up and taking me back to her house, since we are a one car family we are kind of high and dry when our car misbehaves.  Chuck and Donna have let us borrow one of their cars for the next two days to get us by.  They are continually such a blessing to us I don’t know what we would do without them.   Eve and I then took Myra to the groomer and rode with Aunt Steph and Cyrus to check out the toy section of Fred Meyer running into a church friend there. Back at home Eve and Cyrus were playing well together and Steph offered to keep an eye on Eve so I headed to Silverton Hospital Family Birth Center!!!! Seriously I can’t stay away from that place.  It was 11:00 and I guess I picked the perfect day to visit.  The census allowed for me to have the opportunity to say hi and catch up with each of the nurses, CNA, tech, and unit clerk with out interfering in their work.  I was on the unit for about an hour then headed to the cafeteria for lunch with the management team.  The weather was perfect for sitting outside and we caught up, as Hawaiians would say “we talked story” mixed with a little business.  I love Silverton so much!  Whenever I am there I come away wishing that I could take everyone with me to each assignment.  Then we could see the United States without ever having to be away from our friends, doesn’t that sound perfect?  I got home from the hospital around 1:30pm Stephanie was in the front yard talking to our neighbor who is also a good friend, we talked for quite a while before we decided that it was getting hot enough we should move to the shade.  Ice tea, lawn chairs, and the shade with the company of a fellow mother/neighbor it doesn’t get much better than that.  Steph had headed out for coffee with a friend so Hosanna and I visited and watched the kids play for a few more hours.  Steph came home from coffee and took Eve and Cyrus to swimming lessons and I got ready for a bridal shower.  Mary Beth came over and we headed out to go shopping, then we picked up Myra and took her home just in time to sneak in a sit down pizza dinner and make it to the bridal shower.  We had some good laughs, it was one of our best visits.  It was so wonderful to see so many friends at the shower too.  It really has been, besides the car acting up, the most wonderful and relaxing/recharging day we have had.  I am just starting to feel like maybe I can face starting back to work again.  It is an awfully good thing since my next contract starts Monday.

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And Then There Was None

One of our littles (Caleb) stayed with Grandma and Grandpa Sherman for the week.  Hannah got all packed up when we got home last night and headed out to camp early this morning.

   She was so excited, I hope she has a life changing good time, many of my favorite childhood memories were made at church camp.

 Eve and I half-heartedly worked on organizing the garage, Chad and Jayson took a few things to the dump and we got ready for lunch at Keizer Station with Grandma and Grandpa Owens.  Chad went on to work with his dad, and Eve decided that an afternoon with grandma would be much better than returning home with me.

   So just like that I was kidless and husbandless…that hasn’t happened besides sleep (daytime sleep after a night shift if you are worried about why I would be husbandless at night 😋) in a long time.  A nap might have been good, but a cute 4.5 year old boy wanted a playmate and I didn’t bring his cousin (Eve) home with me.  I’m not sure how we got around to trying to ride a big boy bike with out training wheels but before I had been home 40 min. he was peddling like a champ and giggling when I had to run to keep up with him.

 I guess Cyrus was in need of some Aunt Sarah attention so I stayed outside with him and sorted some stored clothes and watched him practice starting and stopping until it was time for dinner.  Steph and Jayson headed out for an anniversary date night and Cyrus and I headed to Grandma and Grandpa’s house for dinner taking along his bike and helmet so we could show grandma, grandpa, and Uncle Chad his new skills.

    Eve and Grandma had gone to the store. Grandma let Eve plan and make dinner, she chose meat balls, cheese balls, melon balls, blueberries and Cheetos.  She was having a “ball” planning a meal and preparing it with grandma.
 Cyrus and Eve played for a while after dinner then Cyrus had everyone come out side to see him ride his bike.  We said goodbye and came home with Eve staying for a sleepover.  It was a pretty productive, fun day and overall relaxing.

Also my “Big Island” earrings came in the mail they are bigger than I thought they would be but they are light and I love them.  I will be thinking of our four months in Hawaii everytime I wear them, all the amazing people we met and the metamorphosis that occurs each assignment in our hearts as we trust in God, trying to obey and be a blessing to those around us only to be humbled at how he has provided key relationships and situations that have stretched and grown us, providing for our needs before we even knew we had them.

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Independence Day and Eve’s Birthday

Our 4th of July began with this PVC pipe brigade humming a long and hamming it up!  Elijah’s smile cracks me up!  We took the morning slowly, Chad and I made breakfast burritos from the random things we found in the fridge for the whole group as the kids were all awake and Suzanne was no where to be found.  (She had snuck out before 6 😳 to help tear down a shed we just didn’t know it until she showed back up around 8:00 or 9:00.)  The Pendleton Independence Day parade was to start at 10:00.  It was HOT already, but we were able to procure a spot in the shade out in front of Suzanne’s office.  There was a couple other cute old couples there.  It was definitely not crowded.
  
  
  
  
   
 The kids got so much candy that they filled a backpack and supplied the other couples near us with handfuls of candy as well.  It was very fun.


 After the parade we walked to the park that is next to the Roundup grounds where there was a small community garage sale and street fair.  Not being in the market for anything I enjoyed people watching in the shade.  These cousins are pretty fond of eachother.

  Then it was back to Aunt Suzanne’s house for more slip and slide….hours and hours more slipping and sliding!
 Mid afternoon we brought out Eve’s birthday cake (her birthday is the 5th but we wanted to celebrate when everyone was together since we would be driving home on the 5th).  She was not impressed with the suprise cake making it’s appearance a day early.  She warmed up to it though.  She would only show me four fingers because technically she was not yet.  I hope she is always this bent on being honest and holding to her convictions!


    At bedtime grandma and grandpa headed home with the four older grandkids Caleb, Hannah, Eve, and Hadassah for a movie and sleepover while is grownups headed to the PBR (Professional Bull Riding) event for a date night!
  
 The sunset was amazing!  It was one of those moments when you have to stop and take a reality check.  Yes, this is life right now!  For sure we are blessed way beyond what we deserve.  May we never get used to things as easy, may we never forget the giver of all good things, may we praise God in the storm, but also when everything is going right, when we are in the promised land and are stomachs are full with it’s bounty.


First thing this morning Chad and I got up and headed to grandma and grandpa’s house about 45 min. away to help them get their four little charges ready for church and their in time for Sunday School.  Chad headed back to get Suzanne who couldn’t come until after church but whose car was at mom and dad’s. When we got there they were partying it up with waffles and Eve gladly showed me all five fingers when asked because I like these age pictures for later when I am trying to remember back which birthday pictures we are looking at.

 After church we raided grandpa’s garden for corn, beans, and onions.  This guy has the most beautiful delicious onions ever!


    Guess what was for lunch…fresh picked corn on the cob that’s what!
 The kids played in the sprinklers to cool off and then back to grandpa’s pile of dirt.  The kids had to be hosed off when it was time to leave.


 An age progression picture from birth to five years!  I’m not ready to not have any little ones at home, all three kids are school aged now and there isn’t anything I can do about it besides enjoying every minute of their school aged lives now.  Kids are such a blessing!


 I hope these cousins are always close!  Thank you mom and dad, Suzanne and Jeremy fort he fun Fourth of July weekend. We love you guys!

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“The Best 3rd Of July Ever!” (2015)

Since our 4th of July really started on the 3rd, we must be making a habit of early celebrations.  The 4th of July was always a big family day growing up and one of the few holidays we make a point of celebrating with my family on the right day (ish) not a week later or early as is the case with Thanksgiving or Christmas.  So, we headed not quite directly from the Kite Festival last weekend to Hermiston then Pendleton area this weekend to be all together for Independence Day.  The 2nd after Caleb’s fifth grade state testing we headed to Irrigon, just out side of Hermiston on the Columbia River.  Getting in around dinner time, plenty early enough to enjoy mom and dad’s 106 degree heat.  It really wasn’t that bad on the back porch with the sprinklers going to water the yard, and by 10:30 it had cooled down enough to alow for sleep given a fan and light sheet were available.  The third started early for the kids and grandma and grandpa.  I’m not even sure how early they woke up, but they were already elbow deep in a brick cutting project for the front yard when Chad and I woke up at 8:00AM.  Showers, oatmeal, and packing up the car came next followed by the last leg of the drive into Pendleton.  We had popcorn and blackberry smoothie drinks for lunch at Suzanne’s and then headed to the Pendleton Reservation.  For the free first Fridays at the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute.  They had a traveling exhibit on Alcatraz (I didn’t know of the connection between Alcatraz and the Native American people until now) as well and many more exhibits on the local tribes.
 We were not allowed to take pictures in the museum.

   I love this new magnet we got for the fridge.  It is hard to battle the attitude of entitlement that is so pervasive in our society right now, so it sets our children up for unhappy, unsatisfied lives.
Next we stopped off at the Pendleton Woolen Mill, they were having a sale for the holidays and had a ton of really beautiful blankets.  Hard to resist the temptation until you think, seriously, we don’t have room for stuff.  The bare minimum, and nothing else….there is something freeing about that.

  
 After the woolen mill we decided DQ for dinner would have to work, it was kind of hot for cooking anything and the BBQ food was for Saturday besides that Grandpa Sherman had been given a gift card for DQ and was eager to treat all the little ones to ice cream.  As it was we ended up eating our dinner and getting two boxes of dilly bars, gifted by grandpa, to go and eat while testing our Aunt Suzanne’s ginormous slip and slide!!!

  
  
  
  
 We closed down the slip and slide and got dressed in our PJs in time for the Pendleton Fire Works.  I love love love fireworks and for me the closer the better.  You should feel the vibration and hear the crackles.  I was kind of disappointed when we found ourselves up on the side of the hill not all that close to the action.  Especially since I worked the last Fourth of July and completely missed the fireworks.  But all that was alleviated when the fireworks started. Pendleton is shaped like a bowl with the fire works being let off at the bottom.  We could still hear them just fine.

  
  
As Chris, Uncle Jeremy’s brother said to the kids as we were watching the fireworks, “This is the best 3rd of July ever!”

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Newport Housing

I have no idea why housing on the Oregon beach has been such a bear!  Using Craigslist for our main resource we have put out emails,  texts and phone  calls with very few responses. Those that have responded have said, ”We don’t want to consider anything less than a six month lease.”  It is hard not to get frustrated…  We maybe thinking outside the box a bit on this one.   Maybe tent it for a while and a hotel when we can’t get site, I’m not sure I’m ready for that unsettled of a lifestyle.  I think I’m doing a fairly good job not stressing out since our next assignment starts in < two weeks we would love this all to resolve soon. We know the right thing will come along, and would love your prayers on this matter.

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Feeling the Pressure

It is so good to be home in our own house and in the last couple of days we have visited with couples from our Sunday school class and family’s from our homeschool group.  My agency has been sending me things that have to be done for the next assignment and I feel the pressure of all that mounting.  As glad as we are to take a few weeks off it doesn’t feel like it will be enough.

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Lincoln City Kite Festival

I  don’t know if we have been going to the kite festival for 11 years or 7 years but, every year since Hannah’s first birthday and maybe a few before she was born we have spent the last weekend of June at the kite festival.  (Last year I was in New Mexico but the rest of the family still went with out me.)  It just so happens to be always Hannah’s birthday weekend, Suzanne’s too with only two days between them, so we have made it a family tradition to celebrate at the kite festival.  Most of this post will be pictures.  We had great weather and a beautiful fun weekend.

    There was too much of a breeze to get the candles to stay lit so eventually we just had Hannah pretend to blow out the candles.

   

  There was not enough wind to get the kites up until around 2:00pm but it was so beautiful ,and the temperature and sun were just right!

                Myra is having her Starbucks (water).   

        We headed back to camp around 4:15-4:30 just in time to enjoy roasting up some hot dogs for dinner.  Eve took a pre-dinner nap.  The guys played a board game, and the rest of the kids ran and ran and ran until nearly dark playing in the central field in our campground loop.

          My mommy must love me…we have some good chocolate to go with our marshmallows.      Elijah was showing off his muscles playing with this ball that was bigger than him.

                   We shared a fun camping dessert we learned with Michael and Kristen Sherman last fall when we visited Indiana, cresant roll wrapped around your marshmallow then roasted.  We even added some chocolate to the inside and it was a hit.  We are thinking it needs just the tiniest pinch of kosher salt and it would be perfect.

 For two nights in a row I got to snuggle this little bug.  It did this aunties heart good since I have missed so much of his life so far, experiencing it through FaceBook and facetime isn’t quite the same.

 A thunderstorm and sprinkles ushered in the day.  It was transient and light for the most part allowing us to get everything packed up with out getting too soaked.

                    Elijah playing kickball with Caleb.   We headed out south toward Newport to take a first glimps of our new hospital…its tiny.

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