We are so dependant on our mobile devices that it was a welcome change of pace to not be able to get into FaceBook or answer text messages. We did head out of camp and into town three different times throughout the week long enough for me to upload some pictures and check FaceBook while we enjoyed an Italian soda in Chester. Now we will see if I can get a few photos up to share over this next week.
Posts Tagged With: Extended Family
We are headed to family camp! Maybe we should be more organized and have our meals planned but we like to celebrate small victories and not stress about the rest so we are celebrating getting on the road! The first leg of our journey is a coming together. Chad, me and the kids with Stephanie and Cyrus and Suzanne, Jeremy and their kids. We had decided on a meeting place of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument with a plan to head south from there. The GPS said 4 hours 20 minutes. We were up at 6:30AM taking showers, getting dressed and loading the car took a little while and some motivating YouTube Tetris music. Finally deciding we would have to leave the kayaks behind seeing no way to fit everything. Stephanie and I had seen a few blow up “kayak”s that hold two people and were on sale at Fred Meyers so she went and got two of them as well as a quick breakfast that the kids could eat at the shop while we hooked up the trailer. We left the house at 8:30 thinking that was pretty good time. We had a few hiccups hooking up the trailer and were still feeling like we were making good time leaving Salem at 9:30. I put in our destination to google maps giving us a 2:30 ETA. With lunch and traffic we were not making the kind of time we wanted to. Heading first after following a sign to the painted hills section of the park we backtracked and were relieved to finally make it to the paleontology center at 4:00PM. Stephanie and Jayson met us in the parking lot as Jayson headed back home to hold down the fort. We also got to see a few faces from our past! George and Jerry Lunsford (high school teacher and youth pastor from our past lives in Cambridge Idaho) now they may regret making a special stop at the national monument, but we sure did enjoy catching up with them.
John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is know for its vast range of fossils of both plants and animals as well as number of fossils that are still being found there. All this is fun and interesting making me eager to learn the real truth behind the Grand Canyon, the continental drift, and now 15,000 feet of fossil layers in the middle of eastern Oregon. I am guessing that the answer to many of my questions will have to wait until the other side of the pearly gates as I do not buy into evolution and millions of years. After the main visitor center we enjoyed the farm house for a little while before heading to John Day.
I think we might have a plan now, I’m not sure if it is plan G or plan J but it is far from plan A or plan C. We packed quickly this morning. Less planning is needed when your only going two hours drive away, but still there were a few things we could not afford to forget. Attending church at our own church was amazing as always. Getting to see Aunt Bonnie and Great Grandma Brown was a special treat as well as trying out a new Sunday school class since our old newlywed and young couple class that we attended for 14 years has morphed into a much different class in the last year and a half. We attened a new class with our old classmates that is currently on a parenting series. I hope we will be able to attend enough to follow the current study. We sat in our “normal” (if you can call it that anymore) spot in hopes that we would get to sit by Dr. Dan and Robyn so I was super excited when Roby came up from behind us and slid into the chair next to me!!! Yay! It was so good to see them (our Sunday school teachers since the day after we got engaged in 2001, they came up to us at church and said, “We are starting a young married’s class. We would love to have you join us.” We have hundreds of fond memories made together.) A few hugs, and minutes to catch up is all we had before service started. We had time to make temporary dinner plans for next week I can’t wait to catch up for real. After church we rushed off to our lunch date with Grandma and Grandpa Owens and Red Robin. Their current coloring pages are the United States we counted up that we have visited 22 states so far on our “trip”
looks like at the end of this assignment we need to head south then East as we have not yet seen most of the south east states. After lunch Caleb headed out with Grandpa to get a card for a party they were headed to. A little one on one time while Grandma works the off to camp in the morning.
I love that he has so many strong godly and manly mentors in his life. In the last week alone he has had the oportunity to work beside my dad one on one and now quality time with Chad’s dad. I couldn’t have dreamed that we would be so blessed, I hope there is a day when Caleb recognizes just how blessed he is.
The rest of us buckled in and headed west.
She is just so darn cute. We made it to Newport, checked into our hotel and then headed out to drive around. Plan G like we talked about earlier is us borrowing a trailer from Chuck and Donna (Chad’s parents) and finding a campground that allows long term campers with a monthly rate. We will still need a lot of things to fall into place but right now that is where we are at.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
I don’t know that I truly realize how fast this faze of having small children is going to pass, but on birthdays the realization is front and center. Hannah is growing up, eight years old is pretty much half grown in my book. Our primary reason for coming home when we did from Hawaii was because the girls asked if they could be home for their birthdays (Eve has since changed her mind back to Hawaii but has been told she is out of luck). We slept our first night at home on the 25th then woke up to this birthday girl.
Aunt Stephanie, Grandpa and Jayson went to pick blue berries early, so to make the day special and because we just can’t do a lot of stuff, we headed to creative nails for Mani/pedis because neither one of us had ever done that before and it was a fun girly thing to do. If you know Hannah she loves all things girly. We headed out of the house at 0900 and found out it didn’t open until the 1000 so we tried Learning Palace and Hancock Fabrocs which were not yet open as well. We decided Oregonians are sleepy heads….everything is open so much earlier in Hawaii.
I didn’t get very many pictures because my hands were in use. Hannah was so serious the whole time, watching not saying a word. There was another little girl there for her seventh birthday too. It was hard to understand the Vietnamese accent of the ladies there, though you would think we would be used to that. We got out of there a little later than we expected for our 11:00am lunch date at Red Robin.
Hannah was so looking forward to being sung to. She had never done that before. After lunch Hannah, Caleb and Eve headed out to camping with Grandma and Grandpa Owens and the rest of us headed to Rest Lawn for another baby funeral…seriously there has been too many of these in the last five years. I don’t know if any of you can imagine the hole the loss of 5 babies and a miscarriage would leave in a mother and fathers heart.
Galuchies for dinner!
Yesterday, we came home from spending the night up at Great Wolf Lodge. It was awesome. we had so much fun. We went up there with Sarah’s family (Paul, Debbie, Jeremy, Suzanne, Jayson, and Stephanie) along with our whole family. We went up Thursday night and were able to stay and play at the park till late Friday night. It was our last time to really get together and spend time as a family before we take off on our trip. Thank you to everyone for the great time.