Jul 18, 2016

Summer Time

Our summers are always full of trips and weekends away and we stay pretty busy with that. However, we do enjoy the laid back days of summer where we are free to do whatever we want.  Here are a few things we have been doing this summer during our free time.

The boys and I have been participating in the summer reading program at the library.  Their first prize was a free meal at a local restaurant!  

We've taken advantage of the $1 movies.  We saw The Iron Giant which we had not seen before.  By chance, we saw Colson's best friend, Preston there so they got to sit by each other!  Both Cannon and Colson enjoyed the movie.  (I slept through most of it!)

The park is always a great place to run around.  We met friends here on this day.  The kids played for quite some time and were sweating by the time we left.  It was a great day for a trip to the park. 

The boys helped me paint one of the sheds.  They were a big help!  I really dislike painting so painting they did, while it wasn't perfect, did help cut down on the time I had to paint.  

Reluctantly, Cannon agreed to sign up for a rock climbing class at the YMCA.  He was quite nervous but after the first class, all of that anxiety went away.  He has been loving it!  He's learned a lot about different holds and other climbing techniques.  He really enjoys climbing to the top!  

The library always has many different activities throughout the summer that the kids can participate in.  We learned about gold and how to pan for gold.  Both Cannon and Colson got to try their hand at panning for gold.  Cannon was very meticulous.  It was a great experience.  

We also went to see a puppet show.  There were two short shows:  Anansi the Spider and Ferdinand.  

Cannon wanted a drone and he saved him money to buy one.  He's learning to fly it and figure out some of the specific details about it.  He's taken some pictures and is trying to get the video to work. It's crashed a few times and we've already had to order more replacement blades!  

Bowling!  We've signed up for the "Kids Bowl Free" program for the last few summers.  It's always fun and this year, both boys are enjoying it.  They are both learning some of the scoring and it's great math for Colson!   

Summer's are the best!
Enjoying every moment!

Jul 17, 2016

To the Ocean (Day 2)

Sunday we woke up to blue skies!  It was a great day to be at the ocean.  We all ate breakfast together and then we headed back into town to check out the boats, walk up to the lookout and check out some other shops.  We got to town driving on the beach part of the way.

More funny hats!

Lots of kites out for the Kite Festival.  There were a lot of huge kites.  The boys were in awe of how big some of them were.  They each picked out their favorite one.  It was great to see them so excited, hanging out the window looking up at the kites with huge smiles on their faces!  Love that.

The boys flying their kites that Dan and Claire bought them!  They loved it.  Colson's was a green kite with a dinosaur.  Cannon's was an orange and black kite with a tiger on it.  Too much fun!

Sunset on the beach.  So pretty!

We also were able to take a few good bike rides around the campground and Chris and I did some walking, too.  So glad we were able to enjoy the entire day.  Lots of memories made!

Enjoying every moment.

Jul 14, 2016

To the Ocean We Go! (Day 1)

This past weekend we spent 3 days in Grayland, WA at the state park.  It had been a couple of years since we have been to the ocean and MANY, MANY years since we've been to the Grayland - Westport area.   We were meeting up with 6 other families, most from our Mayfield Lake group.

Our trip on Friday was uneventful and we arrived about 2:30 pm.  That gave us a lot of time to explore the camp ground and walk to the beach.

Saturday, it started to rain later in the morning.  It sprinkled and rained lightly for quite awhile.  Then later, it really poured!  Even with the rain, we still enjoyed a great day.  Cannon and I made it to the beach for a walk before the rains hit.

We spent a couple of hours in Westport combing through the stores and being tourists.  The boys loved the hats and the fun toys.  We also stopped for ice cream, which is always a hit!  (and BEFORE lunch, too!) Then we had lunch at a great BBQ restaurant in town.  It was so yummy....pulled port and delicious corn bread muffins.

The rain let up before dinner and a bunch of us made another trip the beach.  The boys ended up in the water, fully clothed.  They were soaked up past their waists!  But they had so much fun and weren't shivering.  (How they weren't cold, I don't know!)  They were definitely the entertainment for all of  us!  It was wonderful to watch them and hear their laughter!

Soaked through and boots FULL of water.  I'm sure they are still drying out!

We finished the day with a wonderful dinner shared by everyone.  There was so much great food.  We always eat well!

Enjoying every moment.

Random Photos From Bend

We sure enjoyed our first trip to Bend.  It's a great place to stay with a lot of things to do for everyone.  A trip back is a must!

Next to and behind our camp spots were big, grassy areas.  The kids had fun playing catch, soccer and just running around.

We found one lave tube close by where we were staying.  It was pretty much in the middle of nothing and you can go explore on your own.  It wasn't nearly as big as the mile + tube we went in, but it was still amazing being in a cave.

We took a short hike and the kids had fun climbing rocks.  It was a beautiful day out!

LaRae and Stacie have a dog and our boys loved her.  They gave her a lot of attention!

A snapshot of Colson from our trip to Sisters.  It's not often he likes to pose for pictures.  This was a cute one!

We played a lot of games on our trip!  Cooper and Andee had Battleship and our boys hadn't seen that before!  (why not!?)  They were intrigued.  I think this may be a good Christmas gift!  We also played a lot of UNO, a little Monopoly and Colson's newest game, Sorry.

They found one of the Harry Potter movies in the clubhouse so the four kids were entertained watching that!

Cousins:  Cannon, Colson, Cooper, Andee.

Enjoying every moment.

Jul 7, 2016

Mount Newberry

Another wonderful day spent scoping out the area around Bend.  On our way south to Medford, we stopped at Newberry National Volcanic Monument.  Mount Newberry is a shield volcano.  There are a number of campgrounds, hiking trails and other things to do in the Newberry Caldera.  We drove up the one lane road to Paulina Peak, which has breathtaking views of the two lakes, the enormous lava flow and the mountains in the distance.  We hiked around a short distance, checking out the views from all directions.  Cannon and Chris found some old snow partway down a hill and threw snowballs at Colson and I!

After Paulina Peak we drove to Big Obsedian, a lava flow from about 1300 years ago.  It is about 90% pumice and 10% obsidian.  There is a trail along the 1.1 square mile flow and it was just amazing walking it.  The areas with obsidian were fantastic...such a beautiful rock.  We stopped at one area with a bench for some snacks, and then continued on.

A huge area of obsidian.  It's hard to see in the picture.  You must go in person!

Cannon is carrying a snowball!  We found another area where there is still old snow and Cannon carried that snowball the entire hike.  However, it was much, much smaller by the end!

This was a great learning experience for all of us.  So many good memories made!
Enjoying every moment!

Jul 5, 2016

Lava Lands

We spent two more days exploring around Bend.  There really is so much to do in the surrounding areas.  We definitely need to go back!

One day we drove a short distance from where we were camping to Lava Lands Visitor Center.  We listened to a Ranger talk and then went on a 45 minute hike with him through a lava flow from a cinder cone.  There are numerous cinder cones formed from the volcano, Mount Newberry.  We also took the shuttle up to the top of  Lava Butte (the cinder cone).

After we were finished at Lava Butte, we drove a short distance north to the hike in the longest lava tube in Oregon.  We could hike about a mile in before the tube got too small for anyone to continue on.  It was very dark and very cold!  We all had sweatshirts but my legs were pretty cold and we were all happy to feel the warmth of the sun.  It was very interesting in the tube and amazing that we were able to walk in it.

This was when we were starting out.  There are stairs and a walkway down to it, then the rest was just hiking/walking on rocks and the ground.  At first there were some tricky parts and I thought how the hike was going to be very challenging.  But the ground evened out and the other 'tricky parts' lasted only a short time.

Pretty amazing day seeing some awesome sights!

Enjoying every moment!

My Birthday Adventures

For our birthday's we took a family trip to Bend, Oregon to camp with LaRae, Stacie and their kids. We'd never been to Bend before and were looking forward to exploring the area.

On my birthday, after walking through the Bend Farmer's Market, we took a trip to Sisters, Oregon, a small town just 20 minutes away from Bend.  We loved it there!  (Well, Chris and I did!)  We enjoyed lunch first, and then strolled the town.  There are many great shops to explore.  I would have loved to take another couple of hours scoping them all out.  But we had the boys, who were good, but not into shopping around!

We headed up the mountain a bit to the fish hatchery and had fun walking around the grounds and feeding the fish.  It was amazing seeing all of the fish together and we were entertained for quite some time, just watching them eat.

On the way back to Sisters, we stopped to take a short walk to the Head of the Metolius River.  The river literally begins as springs coming from the middle of Black Butte mountain.  It's hard to see the exact, specific spot that the water comes from because of all the foliage, but the walk was pretty!  

Of course, we headed back to Sisters for ice cream!  It was yummy!

It was a great birthday!

Enjoying every moment!