Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Oregon Adventures X

We had a lovely picnic with Salem Mennonite church, which we visited once before (and went to their camp).  It was at a gorgeous farm halfway to the coast from Salem (about 45 min.).  

They had meditative activities to choose from such as coloring, writing out Scripture, a drum circle, and feeding the baby goats and sheep. After lunch we went on a hayride together to visit a Christmas tree farm and Christmas tree SEED farm.  I learned a lot about the reproduction of conifer trees.  It was a lovely day and we were smitten by the people and the scenery.

 That week, we had orientation for Classical Conversations, meeting more people we will be spending the school year with.  We went to drama time at Gilbert House Children's Museum, which the kids loved!  Also, I went to a homeschool planning night with other moms where they were making chore charts, laminating things, creating spiral bound books of work for each semester and plotting out their school year.  It was fun!  

That weekend, since the last of our equipment had arrived, I finished the lyrics to the geography songs and we dived into recording 12 geography songs and 12 science songs (which my Ohio friend, Susanne, wrote).  All contain the memory work our kids will need to memorize in Classical Conversations.  If I can figure out how to share any of the music with you all I will!  We have them in .wav and .mp3 formats, but neither are easy to put on a blog.

Like our setup to absorb sound waves?  Ben said it sounded like we were in a bathroom, and so put blankets everywhere.


We busted out 24 songs in two days!  I am so happy we got it done!  Now to do the other 24 before Christmas so we can have the second semester covered.  Ben and I love singing and recording together.  We may have to start making our own kids music CDs just to have an excuse to sing together.  I love that man'o'mine!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Oregon Adventures IX

I love water pad pictures.  They are so happy!

Tuesday, we went peach picking with our friends, the Linds.  I had never heard of Veteran peaches, guess we're not veteran peach pickers yet!  They were very good, similar to our favorite Contenders.  For those thinking of peach picking who haven't, it goes really quick.  Like ten minutes to get almost 20 pounds.  They're big and heavy compared to berries and before you know it, it's over.  We paid $1/pound.

There is a road near us that we take as a quick route to most places.  It has a train tracks going down them, and once in a while, there's a train on them!  Ben had seen it a few times, I hadn't and of course I took a picture when I did finally get to drive along side a train down the road. 

Saturday, we decided to do something much calmer than last weekend.  Ben's words were, "Let's visit something beautiful."  We ended up choosing Silver Falls State Park in Sublimity, OR.  There are ten water falls in a 7 mile hike.  You can walk behind three of the falls. 
It was very lovely, see for yourself!

It was about an hour away from our rental home in Keizer, Oregon.  We took Ben's '67 Plymouth Fury and I wore a scarf in my hair to look the part.

There were black fields around us and the odd smell of beef jerky looming around us.  It dawned on us that the fields were burnt!  Locals later informed us that this is  common practice in this area to purge unwanted insects and weeds from a field as well as provide nutrition to the soil.

 We did a shorter hike circuit of about 2.6 miles rather than seven and saw two water falls instead of ten.

Evidently, during a drought, the waterfall doesn't splash you in the face as much when you walk behind it.  We were told by some that it might do that.  I think this waterfall is far from it's normal splendor right now, but still lovely.

Finding treasures along the way!

The second fall we saw.

Phoebe wants you all to know about her favorite edible weed: wood-sorrel.  It tastes like lemon!  Make sure the leaves are heart shaped.  We have never seen them so large as at this state park!

Well, this took me some time to get posted, but here it is!  Lots more to catch you all up on!  We closed on our house Friday, but don't get the keys till today.  We are excited about it!  Anybody free this Saturday?  We appreciate any help moving and are providing lunch and dinner to helpers!  Let me know, if so! :-)

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Oregon Adventures VIII

Our eighth week here was lovely, though I have no pictures to prove of our time at a church camp that was a community outreach for the local area we live in.  I got to know some wonderful people at Salem Mennonite church and many from the community.  

Saturday, we decided to head to Portland for two reasons.  #1. Portland's Saturday Market!

This is a local brand of kombucha that is super healthy for you.  Some brands are better than others for you.  They sell this one at our local health food store in Salem.

See anything wrong with his head?

Ezra had to try too.  I'm more disturbed by his choice of clothes, how did I not notice this pairing when we left the house?!

Within about 20 feet there was a magician, a guitarist playing music and a hoola-hoop performer.  I saw lots of great artsy things I would love to buy for Christmas, but it was too crowded for lingering with the kids.  There was about another block of market that we didn't even get to see.

There were people everywhere.  This has been consistent everytime I have gone to Portland (4 times now?).  Tons and tons of people.  It is one of the most crowded places I have ever been.  I liken it to New York, only the buildings are shorter.

There were even interesting people doing interesting things for free, no money being requested.  Just in the middle of space.

#2. The other reason we came to Portland was for FLUGTAG.  Translated, it means Flying Day, in German.  It is sponsored by Red Bull and is a race to see who can build a silly flying machine and get it to fly the furthest after they push it off a platform over the water.  These boats are lining up to watch the action from the water.

It was a really hot day, mid 90s and did I mention there were a lot of people there?  As we walked to find a spot to watch, we walked through the "hangar" where all the aircraft and their owners were.

We saw the Beach Bums

The Flying Squirrels

The Purple Unicorns?

Australian TinkerBell?  Bang-a-Rang

The Bowling Spartans?

Mr. Tumnus?

I give up.

See the Red Bull runway?  It ends over the water.  There are thousands of people on the lawn between us and the water.


Phoebe was crying because she was hungry and since everybody stood up in front of us when it started, the kids had to take turns being held up to see the action.  So, there was always one or more upset. We saw a few flying machines take off and plop into the water, but decided to go when the crowd behind us started pushing and crushing us. We found out later, that the whole thing was shut down early by the coast guard because The Portland Spirit couldn't get through the FlugTag boat traffic. (photo below from KOIN.com)  We were long gone before the masses were disappointed by the news of their fun ending early.
A twitter picture shows the Portland Spirit among smaller boats watching the Red Bull Flugtag, August 1, 2015 (@mbrawley1)

We didn't end up missing as much of FlugTag as we thought!  We took all of Sunday to recuperate from our Portland trip. It was whoa whoa.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Tid Bit

Saturday, July 18th, even though we were all still pooped from a big week, we didn't want to miss seeing Salem's Art Fair and Festival.  We got to look at amazing art (maybe a fourth of what there was to see) for 20 minutes, then had to find the kid activities, then sit and eat sno-cones with squirrels at the park (this is Bush's park again).

This is where I got uncomfortable with the squirrel invading my personal space (read: I jumped back scared).  I had no food, just my cell phone, but he/she had to sniff it to make sure it wasn't edible.  In our part of Ohio, we had gray and beguiling black squirrels.  Here we see gray and speckled.  Fearless speckled.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Oregon Adventures VII

Our seventh week began with a short return to the Gilbert Hall Children's museum.  With a membership, we figure it's our duty to try and go once a week in the Summer and perhaps every other week in the school year.  Ezra is not hitting Phoebe on the head as this optical illusion suggests.  

Phoebe and Juni had their intake appointments at our new doctor's office.  

Tuesday, we had an adventure trip to visit a friend in Dayton, Oregon who attended LeTourneau University the same time we did and also married their college sweetheart.  On they way (25 minute drive in a new direction -NW), we passed these interesting fields, miles of them.  Clusters of what looked like grapes hung down around them and they were almost as tall as a telephone pole.  See answer at bottom of what it is.  My friend had to tell me when we arrived what these were.

Then we saw an eagle's nest, which was pretty exciting.  
THEN, we were surprised when the road ended.  
The sign said $2 for ferry ride across.  You would have thought we had gone to Cedar Point Amusement Park.  We were all excited and nervous at the same time.

It was just a wee ferry.  You can ride it for free as a pedestrian, so we could go back and forth all day if we wanted.  {{Memory Lane trip next - skip if you like}}  Once upon a time (May 1998), Ben and I visited my parents in England while they were living there.   We did a tour of Scotland to honor Ben's ancestry visiting Wigtown, Scotland, which, if you say with a good Scottish accent comes out, "Wigton".  Another place we stopped in Scotland was Inchmahome Priory. To get to it, you stand on a dock and turn a sign and wait.  Eventually, a very old man arrives in a little boat.  For 50 pence he'll give you a lift to the priory which is surrounded by the only lake in Scotland (not a loch): Lake of Menteith.  No cars, but very similar otherwise.  Our trip to Dayton reminded me of this fun memory.  Somewhere I have cheesy pictures of Ben and I kissing at the Inchmahome ruins.  OK, back to 2015.

The sweetest family ever: The Sweets!  Jeannette Sweet and I were in the women's dormitory together at LeTourneau at the same time.  She also homeschools her kids, so we had lots to talk about (while Phoebe stuck stickers to me).

Later in the week, we visited the "O-port" according to Phoebe.  She's been working on it and it sometimes get corrected to "Orport" or "Airpert".  Ezra and Juni are determined to teach her the proper pronunciation.  He showed us the newest toy: a remote control helicopter lift.  Here's a video of it in action, if anyone is curious.

Daddy's desk. When he comes home from work, I noticed the kids say, "How was Garmin?" rather than work.  It's almost like they think he's visited an old friend all day!

Saturday morning, we did pottery at home, as promised to a certain almost 7 year old.

Phoebe's showed a lot of character.

That afternoon, we went to Salem's public library to read to animals, wasn't that nice of us?!  It may be our new ministry. :-)

Not shown was us being home the rest of the week.  We enjoyed it very much!

ANSWER: Hops! See it leaping up to the sky?