{this moment}

Monday had us back at co-op this week.  The four year old joined the ranks of having a class (he got to build a nest and was a crow, so it was awesome).  We are slowly (oh so slowly) getting into a rhythm that will work for everyone.  We will get there, we will look back and laugh at our craziness and it will be okay.

We tried to make our own hot air balloon- it was too heavy, but everyone enjoyed trying.

Someone decided the trailer bike was okay (earlier in the summer we were in tears because we were too scared, now look at him…).

He also went to a nature class while the big boys were at Wilderness School.  We were searching for bugs.

And my view these days, he is EVERYWHERE!

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{this moment}

What a week!  It was a rough one, we did a lot and now we need a vacation…

Henry competed in his first triathlon.  He did great!  It was fun to watch and he wants to do more- success!

Bennett and Rory both started swim lessons.  Henry started swim team.  Piano started back up AND Bennett and Henry started Wilderness school.  Oh, and we started school as well (with a homemade hot air balloons).

I’ll be honest, it was a long week.  Things did not go smoothly, we are exhausted and some of us are getting over colds.  But, then, there were highlights too.  My Benny went to Wilderness School, was nervous but did it and when he came home he declared, “It was Awesome!” and him loving all the meets (oh Benny).  I got to spend the day with Rory and Thacker and while the baby napped we rode bikes and painted and made cocoa- it was lovely.  And the newest walker in the house made things interesting too.  But man, I hope next week goes a little better…

{this moment}

We spent part of Labor Day weekend up at Cama Beach State Park.  We were really dragging ourselves to get out the door.  We felt that we had just got home from our last trip and then we were starting to pack up and leave again.  I am glad we did it.  It was so good.  Beach + sun + boy time + family time = last hurrah of summer!

The rest of the week we spent doing laundry, staying inside due to smoky air, visiting a trampoline gym and taking part of free museum day (while the older two boys are not at wilderness school).  We are starting to wind down and getting ready for things to start up next week.

 

a lost {this moment}

From last month, found this, not sure why it wasn’t ever published- but here go, a blast from the not so past…

Two weeks have passed, we haven’t been doing much, but busy at the same time.  We have been swimming at the neighbors pool, took an adventure to Jetty Island (where I took not a single photo, but was very fun), rode bikes, ate ice cream and tried to get Thacker on a nap schedule (ha!).  Someone did take their first steps this week, we are all a little too excited about it, we may be scaring him, but everyday he goes a little bit farther.  Pretty cool!

So many things to love about the photos below.  For starters- Rory, such a daredevil in real life, was so cautious in the pool at the beginning of the summer.  Well, not anymore.  Also, his photo grin.  Gosh I love him.

And my eldest boys, who find my phone and then leave me treasures.  Stinkers.

And the baby, always crossing his feet when he eats, wants to feed himself and is also just such a stinker.  A cute stinker, but still a stinker.  Loves the pool and will stay until his lips turn blue and we pull him out.

We are braving the roads this weekend and heading down to Oregon for the eclipse.  Early tomorrow we hit the road- snacks are in abundance and hopefully our

 

 

{this moment}

After a week gone we have spent three days this week not leaving the house.   We had our cousin over for those three days, so there was a lot of boys playing- running from inside to outside, a few arguments- but mostly fun.  Mama caught up on boring administrative stuff while also trying to get things organized for the start of school (it is not going well… need! more! time!).

A picture from our eclipse trip- all the kiddos prepared:

To say that we have the best neighbors is an understatement.  They let us use their pool whenever we want, even when they aren’t there.  This has been a life safer for the late afternoon summer days.  Everyone loves the pool!

And this is what I am talking about- I just put all those books organized by subject on those shelves…  My helper…

Oatmeal and bathing in the morning has become a habit.  Someone loves to eat oatmeal.  But must do it himself (with feet crossed.  Always with the feet crossed).  Obviously…

Cousins and playing:

I suggested to the boys that we should map out our trip and label rivers we swam in and places we visited.  One boy was very eager to start this, the other ran away… Can you guess?

Oregon eclipse 2017

Four AM, Saturday before the eclipse, a family of six left their home hoping to avoid the apocalyptic traffic that was forecasted to occur.  Well, there was NO TRAFFIC, none.  We made it to our campsite outside of Bend, OR in record time.   We hit no apocalypse- we were able to get gas, groceries and explore the area- all things we were told would be impossible.  We were able to hike to a waterfall, cliff jump (just Dada, don’t worry), play with friends, watch a friend bungee jump, feed alpacas, float down rivers and witness the eclipse in one of the most beautiful places we have ever been, Smith Rock.

To say everything worked out great would be an understatement.  After learning that where we were staying was not in the path of totality- we decided to get up early (apparently the hour of four in the morning was appealing to us on this trip) and head the few miles north so we could get a spot at the state park (they were only letting in 300 cars).  Well, we got in, we had a fabulous parking lot breakfast and coffee, hiked around and witnessed one of the most amazing sights ever.  So worth the early mornings, so worth the long drive, so worth the crabby kiddos that afternoon- it was amazing.  I must admit, I did not understand the importance of being able to see the eclipse in totality.  Words can not express- both Chris and I got a little misty eyed, Rory was terrified by the howling (by people, not wolves) when it got dark but we hope it will be something the boys remember (not the terrifying part, but the really, really cool part).  We celebrated with parking lot mimosas and good friends.  It was perfect.

The rest of our trip did not go as planned… We cancelled continuing on to Crater Lake due to wild fires and spent an extra day in Bend where the boys floated down the Deschutes River while Thacker and I hung out in the car (while he napped) and under the shade of a tree.  The boys were both scared and delighted by the experience.  Although I heard it was cold.  I think this was to make me feel better as I was very jealous and stated that next time I will be the one floating down the river and the rest can wait for me under a tree.  Kidding, they can come too.

We then headed northwest to LL. Stubs State Park, which we were lucky to find a few camp spots.  As we were cruising through the smoky Deschutes National Forest, we shredded a camper tire and spent a good hour finding a wrench that would take the bolts off wheel (the one we had did not fit the camper wheels, just the van).  We made it to Salem, OR for a picnic lunch and then we separated from our friends for a few hours- they went shopping,  we went to Les Schwab (not all bad, they  have free popcorn and you can walk up and down the aisles hitting tires…).  Chris maintained his cool more than I could have ever expected ( I thanked our friends, I think if it was just us, he would have been a lot more cranky…) and we left Salem with two brand new camper tires and a few hundred less dollars.

We made it to our campground around dinnertime and set up camp.  We spent two days at LL Stub and it will not be our last time there.  The campsite was great.  They had an awesome Jr. Ranger program where we got to go on an orienteering adventure.  We had a great hike and only regretted a few times that we did not bring our bikes (adults, kiddos had there’s) as there was a great bike path.  Next time!

 We then headed to the other side of Portland and visited our last stop, Cascade Locks.  We explored Marina Park and Thunder Island before heading to our campground.   Let’s just say we had been spoiled with campsites for the first part of the trip, this place was a bit to be desired (think giant dirt pit… and children…).  We were entertained by the firefighting planes that were filling up at the Columbia River and fighting a fire just over the ridge of where we were staying.  It was very cool to watch.

The next morning we toured the Bonneville Dam, said good-bye to our friends, ate at Burgerville (because, when in Oregon…), tried to hike around Multnomah Falls (someone, who is my first born, was hot… and tired… and panting like a dog), ended up at the beach (much more our thing anyway) and ended the evening with a nice dinner overlooking the river and watching the fire planes again.

It was bittersweet to see our trip come to an end.  We were all ready to be home and showered and in our own beds.  But on the other hand our vacation was over.  It was a fantastic trip- we had whining and laughter, fun and grumpiness.  We are in denial that summer is coming to an end, so we are going to soak up these last few weeks of no obligations.  I do so love adventuring with these boys of mine.  I am so proud of them all- they went with the flow, even when we didn’t know where that flow was leading us.  They got up early and stayed up late.  Honestly, two days home and we are still recovering.  Can’t wait to see what our next adventure brings.

our week

Last week we finished up our swim season, team for Henry and lessons for Bennett.  We are all looking forward to a more relaxed few weeks before we head on our Oregon adventure.

We got hair cuts, visited the creek, were backed into in a parking lot (we are all okay, van is hurt, but will be fixed) had friends visiting and staying with us, celebrated Mama’s birthday- which meant we ate a lot of cake.  It was a good week.

Before:

And After, so handsome