Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Fun at the State Fair!

Every year the same routine--end of August brings the Oregon State Fair!!!

This year we went on a Wednesday since Marcus had to work a 24-hour shift on Monday (our usual day for the fair).

Of course we still followed our usual routine: first, the farm animals.  Then chickens, parks + rec exhibit, and hot, fresh scones.  This year we went to the 4-H barn next, and then we had an early picnic dinner.  Quilts were next before heading to the rides.  (Man, they are expensive!)  Little kids rode first, then big kids, and finally we ended our evening with a giant elephant ear and a few more exhibits.

Grandpa would like the pig exhibits.
So excited to see the chickens!!!
Boo, the chicken exhibits were gone, and the cavies were in.
Luckily we found a FEW chickens and ducks
tucked away along a back wall.

Picnic dinner!  Fresh sandwiches, New Seasons
salads, Pringles (a special treat), and fruit.
This is one of my friend Ann Marie's quilts.
She won a blue ribbon!  I need to ask her what
the symbolism is.
The detail was a-MA-zing!!  The WHOLE quilt
was row upon row of tiny hand-stitched lines.
And the "material" for the numbers was from
tags, I think from her hiking equipment.  A lady
nearby called it "The REI quilt" because you can
see a little peak of an REI tag....
Little kid rides!  Cellie loved the carousel.
Seddie REALLY wanted to ride a roller-coaster
jungle gym

Big-kid rides next

Bye-bye big kids!  I was off with the littles
for a visit to Familyville and Jesustown.  ;o)
Gemma REALLY wanted an inflatable hammer.
Big kids had fun.
We met up again, and I got a ride on the Ferris wheel!!

(there we are!)

Yummy elephant ears.
Alaskan Racing Pigs on the way out.

Posa's pig Bob didn't win, but she got a ribbon anyway.
A visit to our friend's goats before heading for home.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

this is real life, folks

So many blogs (professional ones) are just about the good stuff.  The pictures are beautiful, the food is always delish, the house is always perfect.  I love those blogs.  It's eye candy for me.  

But this is not one of those blogs.  

Here's a glimpse of "a day in the life."  It doesn't show everything, but it does show a series of unfortunate events:

The garage is really getting to me, so looks like it's time to
clean it out!
All this stuff in the middle of the 2nd bay?  It needs to be relocated.
And the play area needs some TLC.
And while I have an awesome school-storage system (thanks dad!)
I still have some books to sort.  Just a few.  :oP

This was a day when Marcus was traveling.  Whenever I try to tackle a project when he is traveling, it never ends well.  Really, taking care of these kids is a full-time job!  They can't be left unattended for a minute!!

Someone thought she had dry skin.
 That night was a rough one for about 20 minutes there.  I was about to put Sedric to bed when I realized his freshly-cleaned sheets were not yet ON the bed (he had had a little accident at nap time, bless his heart).  While I was struggling with the sheets, Bunny came running in saying, "The giant mice are eating Speckle!  The giant mice are eating Speckle!"  This can't be good.  

I told her, "Send up James to take care of Celeste, and I'll go down to the barn with you!"  So James bounded up and found Cellie in the bathroom.  Still working on the sheets, I heard James exclaim, "Noooo, no, no no, this is bad, no, this is really bad...."  The above picture shows how we found her.  So I had to scrub Cellie with soap to get the greasy cream off, the dash downstairs to put my boots on to go to the barn and take care of a poultry crime scene.

Turns out the giant mice did not KILL Speckle...but they were willing participants in her burial process. I decided at that moment that barn or not, country or not, mice were NOT welcome!  Anyway, Bunny and I set to work to bury poor Speckle (who likely died of natural, not rodent, causes).

I think it was about 9pm at this time.
I wondered what the neighbors thought.

And I still had work to do inside:

When I am alone, I usually leave dinner dishes
until AFTER I put the kids to bed.  Blah.
 The kids, however, were not traumatized by the evening's events, and decided to do some star-gazing.  (They did show me Saturn's rings.  That was pretty cool.)

Marcus came home right about this time, much to all of our delight.  I'm sure he was bummed he missed all the action of the previous 30 minutes.  But he was glad to have a project the next day (buying and setting mouse traps).  There's nothing like being needed and staying active! :o)

Thursday, September 8, 2016

dinner with friends

It's not often someone is willing to take on a family of EIGHT healthy eaters and invite them to a home-cooked dinner...but that is exactly what my friend Fanny did!

homemade focaccia with onions--YUMMMMM!
Fanny made a fresh salad and pesto pasta along with the focaccia
(Fanny is from Italy BTW).  I've known Fanny for 15 years now,
since she was pregnant with her 3rd child.  :o)
Fanny's daughter Irena made DELICIOUS
chicken and salmon skewers--seriously, they
were amazing!  She is only in 9th grade and she
has a big interest in the culinary arts.  The drinks
she made for the kids were fantastic as well!
The L-Z family has a beautiful old home in
Forest Grove, with a perfect back yard.
showing--and learning--card tricks (Veronika is in James' grade)

Marcus with Krystof 
Seddy and Veronika
We all had a FABULOUS time and are so grateful for friends like Fanny and her family!  We were totally spoiled and the L-Z girls were very patient and energetic with Seddy and Gemma especially.  :o)  Next it's their turn to come to OUR house!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

end of August random happenings

Just scanning through pics from the last few weeks, and here's what I came up with:

First, I got the random notion that I wanted to go to the Street of Dreams this year.  I figured Marcus wouldn't want to go with me so I asked my friend Lisa if she wanted to go the next evening.  Turns out Marcus DID want to go, so we spontaneously went on a date that very night!  It was so much fun: the houses were GORGEOUS and the setting was beautiful, overlooking vineyards and with a mountain view.  We didn't necessarily get any ideas that we can bring back to our own house (glass floor looking down into your wine cellar, anyone?) but it was great fun getting a peek at these multi-million dollar homes.

Like my stylish booties? :oP
(the room on the very right is a 2-story game room with a
$600,000 brass and glass garage-style door)

I haven't been out in the garden much--I am a terrible harvester--but I did manage to put a few garden veggies on the menu to force myself to shop my own store.  Celeste and I went out to pick potatoes one Sunday afternoon:

2 kinds of potatoes, and 2 kinds of beets, from our garden

We've been spending most every evening outside.  Installing a sport court 4 years ago was the BEST decision we have made for our property!  The kids are out there every day, and usually Marcus too.  ;o)  I think it has held up very well over these few years, and it gives the kids a large, safe, flat surface to do all kinds of activities.  Sometimes my husband knows what doing when he comes up with crazy ideas (good job, hon!).

My feeble attempt at a panoramic shot from our front porch

Bunny is continuing to have horse lessons but now that Marcus' travel has increased, I often need to take ALL the kids.  James is not quite old enough to babysit.  So what we do is we drop Bunny off, drive 15 minutes to the nearest McDonald's play land, spend 30 minutes there (free wifi!), and drive 15 minutes back to pick her up before driving 30 minutes home.  Whew.  But it is worth it for Bunny, and the younger kids really like these fun evenings as well.

And a couple of bonus pics:

(me trying to fill the ground-mouse holes under our apple trees)