Sunday, July 24, 2011

Justin, Mary, and Greyson here!

The CCs are here! They flew in from Denver on Wednesday afternoon, and Mariposa and I picked them up from airport. Here they are the next morning, enjoying the new deck:

Greyson loves his cousin! And we all love Greyson--he is the cutesy baby ever.

After a fun day in Portland on Thursday, we stayed close to home. Mary and I made some red velvet whoopie pies, yum.

Too cute!

Finally a hot summer day, perfect for water balloons in the back yard.

Ta da!

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Summer days

The kids play on the playground every day. Here's Gemma swinging with me:

With all the rain, the garden is going crazy. James is standing next to 2 of my ~smaller~ tomato plants, with potatoes in front or him. We have a yellow pear tomato plant that is already 5 feet tall. The crazy onions are from last year. I consider them "garden art". Behind him are dahlias and sunflowers.

We are getting ready for the CCs visit. Meghan let us borrow this Bumbo, and Gemma tried it out right away. Too bad she can easily get put of it.

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Makin' whoopie (pies)

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The great Erica and Carter adventure!

Last week we had the supreme pleasure of hosting my sister Erica and her boyfriend, Carter. The following posts will chronicle our adventures over the long weekend. I decided to post them all at once, and in backwards-blog fashion (that is, the next post you see below this one will be the START of their visit, not the end of their visit, as it would be if I did a regular blog style). I hope this makes it easier to follow. We had a fantastic time and I think we did a really good job packing in a lot of fun in just a 3 1/2 days. See for yourself! (tip...when you get to the bottom of this page, be sure to check out the "older posts". There were so many posts, they wouldn't fit on just one page!)

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Saturday adventures

We started the weekend off with a bang! First a visit to the Saturday market for some groceries and other necessities like candy and pastries.

Then off to go geocaching. We mixed it up by choosing some new sites, and revisiting some of our favorites. This one is in the rose garden on 5th, and we had already found this one in February, so we let Erica and Carter go for it....

They found it! It was a fake sprinkler box!

Lunch at Burgerville for their Walla Walla onion rings and a fresh strawberry shake (and burgers and fries of course):

Our last geocaching attempt was at Rood Bridge park. This was a complicated one: we had to find some waypoints to gather clues before we could figure out the final coordinates.

We made it! The cache was hidden under a fallen log:

A detour on the way back to the car.

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Later Saturday evening

After all our fun Saturday morning and afternoon, we went to evening Mass in Newberg then came home for a late dinner and some outdoor fun.

All the kids had fun, and all the kids love Erica and Carter...but Gemma in particular took a liking to Carter. :o). And for all the times she went to Carter for a hug, he never turned her down; that's just the kind of guy he is. Thanks for being so wonderful to my kids, Carter!

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Sunday morning--race day

Erica and Carter signed up to run a half-marathon! Never mind that Erica had never run that much in her life! And this was a really really hard course, with tons of hills (apparently--I wouldn't know--although we did ~drive~ some of the course and yes it was very hilly). We were there to cheer them on:

Carter wore all red, so he was easy to spot!

Last hill!

The kids and I had to run through a short cut to get to the finish line. We barely made it, which is why this picture is blurry. But there is no missing Carter's red shirt!

Was this the reason Erica chose this particular race?

Enjoying the weather:

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Sunday afternoon: Mary Poppins

After the race, I took the kids into the big city to see the Broadway show "Mary Poppins". (we won the tickets at the St. Matthew auction)

No trip to downtown is complete without a drink from the Benson Bubblers:

It was fantastic! Really, I was surprised how much I liked it. The actors were great, especially Mary Poppins and Bert, so that's always a good thing when the leads are spot-on. Our seats were awesome--second row! so we really felt like we were part of the action. The kids loved the familiar songs and the great dance numbers, especially the tap dancing.

A bonus--beautiful weather. What a great time!

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Sunday evening--relaxing outside

Erica helped me with some hoeing in the garden:

Carter and Marcus had a fire building contest. I don't know who won, really; Marcus' fire did a good job, but Carter's had less smoke.

Mariposa's version of a s'more:

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Monday morning--Gemma and Carter

As Erica said on her blog: BFFs

Keep going! Check out "older posts" to see many more pictures!

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Monday--Forest Center

The long road to the beach included a few pit stops, like this one. We had never been to this forestry center, and let me tell you, it was a real treat. This will be a homeschool field trip for sure, maybe in the fall. With the hands-on museum, activities, and miles of trails, we better be sure to bring a lunch and block of the whole day for this gem. On this day, we just did a quick stop but it was still nice to look around and stretch our legs a bit before continuing on our way.

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Here we are, continuing on our way. A stop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory...

On the factory tour, or more like the viewing area. It never gets old! It's fun to see the cheese whizzing (get it? Cheese Whiz?) by and getting weighed and wrapped.

The real reason we were there:

And, the other reason:

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