Sunday, November 29, 2015

Oregon Adventures XIX

This is our November from beginning to end.

We surprised her with a horse ride for her birthday.  She loved it!                                                                                                                                

 This note was accompanied by a raspberry plant.  It reads, "Here's hoping that you take root in our church family. The Smiths".  We love all these new people at our church already and we're just getting to know them.

Two birds have hit our big sliding door window that leads to our porch.  This one, a black capped junco, sat stunned for a half hour afterwards then flew off.  The second one didn't make it.  

THIS is why we have to have flood insurance.  There's a lovely creek in the nature preserve behind our house.  Whenever the kids get antsy, Ben takes them to feed oats to the ducks.  Evidently, bread isn't good for them.  Gluten free ducks.  

The Canada geese are plentiful this time of year, they live here for the winter and return to Alaska in the Spring.  There is a wildlife refuge ten minutes away where most of them stay, but a few like the nature preserve behind our house.  Thousands of them fly overhead several times a day and can be heard even with all the doors and windows closed.  They are skittish, not mean, so I don't mind them, but worry about them pooping on our heads when we're out.  (That happened to me  during a visit to England when I was 8 and I have goose poo PTSD now.)

Ezra has a weekly chess date with his Great Grandpa Jennings.  Grandpa is teaching Ezra all the moves and some strategy.  It's the best he focuses on anything!

A few weeks ago, we unpacked the last of the boxes, sat in all the packing paper and made "snow angels" to celebrate being done.  It was bitter-sweet for me.  It made the permanency of our move very real to finish unpacking (read: I felt like throwing up that whole day and cried a lot).

The Riverfront Carousel in Salem was a hit.

We went with Ezra's new friend, Abel, and his family.  His mom and I are friends.

The Oregon Zoo in Portland was lovely.  We went with my friend, Bonnie, and her out-of-town family.

We finished recording the CD for the kid's school.  My friend, Susanne, and I put all their memory work for two subjects to music.  Ben and I recorded guitar, drum and vocal tracks for 24 more songs for the second half of the school year.

Drum roll, please!  This is before...

...and this is now!  The tooth fairy brought her a dollar.  Isn't she sweet with all her blue stripes and toothlessness?

Then there is this one.  This photo was her request and her choice of pose.  She has said a few things, I have to share...

While looking at a picture of the Quaker Oats guy, she asks, "Why is George Bushington on here?"  

Recently, while explaining that my cousin who came for Thanksgiving was our flower girl in our wedding, she asked, "What does a flower girl do?"  
"They take flower petals and drop them on the floor for the bride to walk on as she comes down the aisle."
Longingly she looked at me, and said, "Oh, I would like to be a flower girl, but I am being a vet when I grow up." Atta girl, don't be tempted to be a professional flower girl, they get paid way less than ring bearers anyway.

Then, there was the day she said, "Daddy, I have a Chinese name.  It's Scream Scream."  Oh look, there's Sceam Scream now, photobombing her sister.

Ezra had a couple of doozies too.  He came into the kitchen, where I was, and did this pose for 20 seconds and said, "Mom, what is missing?"  Hint: It's the same thing that he has been wanting for Christmas (a football).  His silly way of reminding me what to get him made me chuckle.
Also, on the Christmas topic, Ezra knows our tradition of giving each child only one gift at Christmas to represent God's gift to the world and had a good question.  He asked me why it was that they only receive one present from us for Christmas, when God is, in fact, three persons?  Shouldn't they receive THREE gifts? Nice try, Ez.

Our flower girl came to see us!  My cousin, Lauren, lives in Washington and came down to join us for Thanksgiving.  She's all grown up now, a photographer in the Navy, and is as sweet as sugar.

Guess who we visited after dinner?  The ducks!

Moving across country is a big change, but one that we have always had peace about.  I still don't know where to find awesome olive oil, like I had in Ohio, or bulk flour.  I still use a GPS to get to all but four places I go.  We still don't know anybody we'd just leave all our kids with without feeling like we're imposing (unless we pay them).  We are still enamored by the mountains and ocean.  We haven't been overwhelmed by rain...yet.  Ben still loves his job.  We have yet to see the full picture of our lives here, but are optimistic, and nostalgic.  Thanks for reading.

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