Saturday, August 31, 2013

Mirror Lake

We decided for Labor Day weekend, we would spend the weekend enjoying Portland and the outdoors.  We spent Saturday hiking up to Mirror Lake, near Mt. Hood.  The drive was funny because Kate was in one of her hilarious moods - we saw a few airplanes preparing to land, and she got really excited, and would flap her arms and say, "Lamm, lamm, lamm."  That became the running joke for the hike.

The kids were good little hikers.  We got to hear all about who knows what from Kate and Liam the entire way up.  Jacob wanted elevation updates, so Jared estimated over and over.

Once we were up at the lake, Claire and Kate were afraid of the dragonflies, and Kate chose to eat her lunch sitting in her hiking backpack.

Here's a panorama of the view from lunch - in front of us is Tom, Dick, and Harry mountain.

The view of Mt. Hood was spectacular!

Here's another panorama of the view of Mt. Hood.  When the lake is still, the reflection is beautiful!

Jared parked up the road a ways, so he had to run to the car, so Dani and the kids waited at a picnic bench near the parking lot.  It was a good time to get some pictures of the crew.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dress up

Kate and Liam have been playing dress up sometimes.  They find some interesting combinations of outfits. 


Sometimes, Liam sits still for a few minutes.  It's rare, but it made for a cute picture.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A 90th Birthday Party for Hope

Grandma Hope had a big birthday and we decided it needed a big celebration.  Dani did a lot of planning with her sister and her mom and it turned out to be a fun celebration of 90 years.  We collected pictures from all throughout her life and compiled them into a slide show.  Dani also interviewed her and typed up a brief life history and family tree.  For a gift Kaci compiled memories from her children and grandchildren and put them in a book with all their family pictures for Grandma Hope to have and read.  Dani was able to fly to help pull off the celebration and be there to celebrate the big milestone with Grandma Hope.  It was fun to have both Aunt Nancy and Uncle Rob come out so all three of her kids could be there. Dani's cousins Stewart and Scott also came and she had not seen them in almost 20 years.  Grandma had several friends and family members there to celebrate.  We had the party outside and for awhile we were unsure that the weather would cooperate, but in the end it was perfect weather for the party and people enjoyed visiting and eating while watching pictures of Grandma's life.  All of the family members got a copy of her life history and the pictures.  Since Grandma grew up on a farm we went with an old farm theme decorating with burlap and ladders and milk cans with wild sunfowers and old mason jars. It turned out great! It was so fun for Dani to be able to plan this celebration with her mom and sister and to learn so much about her Grandma through the process.  She also really enjoyed her time with family members that she sees so rarely.  Happy Birthday Grandma Hope!!!!

A noble attempt

While Dani was in Wyoming, I had the kids for church on Sunday.  I took the easy way out with the girls hair, but I do have to say that all the kids looked pretty good and we got to church on time (though I started preparing myself and the kids for church right after breakfast ended at 9:30... 3 hours before our 12:30 church!).

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Gone Camping

While Dani was in in Cody, I decided to join the Schaffers and a bunch of others camping at Silver Falls State Park.  

The kids spent quite a bit of time running around inside the tent - it was funny watching the lumps in the sides of the tent as they ran from end to end and back again.

The kids all played a bunch of different games, including SPUD and ghosts in the graveyard.  Liam was definitely part of the game as well.  Everyone would run away from the tree with all the big kids, then would run back toward the tree with all the big kids.

We had bratwursts and pasta salad for dinner and made banana boats for dessert... mmm!  At one point, I realized I hadn't seen Liam for a couple minutes, so I looked for him for a few minutes, and wound up finding him in the neighboring camp site (just a couple feet from ours) playing with a friendly, but very big, black dog.  The woman that was with the dog was quite enamored with this friendly little boy!

The sunset was pretty to watch through the trees.  It was pretty to watch the sun setting and the moon rising through such thick green trees.

One of my co-workers, Justin, brought his camera and got some great night shots.  I love this picture (of me... Kate, not so much!)

We also played pictionary with an open-exposure camera and a small light.  There were some great drawings!  I didn't realize that the canvas was as big as it was, so my house was pretty small.  There were some very creative people!!!

When it came time for bed, Liam wanted none of it.  I put the babies in the tent first and hoped they would fall asleep.  They didn't, so I put the kiddos in there with them.  A few times I went back to put them back in their sleeping bags.  Once, I was met with Liam, who had opened the door but not the screen, and his forehead pressed out against the screen.  It was pretty cute, but I knew that my adult time was pretty much over at that point.

I finally did get people to sleep, and we slept pretty well that night, though Liam was convinced that my mattress pad was actually his mattress pad.

Claire and Jacob were a little chilly, so they kept close to one another to try to keep warm in the morning.

We had a pretty fancy pancake breakfast in the morning, complete with berry pancakes, different syrup options, and whip cream.  Yum!

In the morning, we went for a hike to see some waterfalls.  There were lots of kids!!!

I had a lot of helpers.  In the end, I went further than I planned, so I definitely needed the help!  There were a few very steep areas that I wouldn't have been able to carry 2 babies up!

Kate and Liam were pretty enamored with one bridge we came across.

We came back a little dirty!  It left quite a ring in the tub!

It was a very busy time, but it was well worth it!