Sunday, March 27, 2016

Celebrating Easter

Our dentist, Travis and Rick Evans, hosted their patients and families for a huge Easter egg hunt by their office, around the lake at Tualatin Commons. We thought it was great that the dentist office was giving lots of candy - seemed like a good strategy to drum up new business!

The kids had a fun time looking for eggs in the back yard. they emptied them out to see what candies they had and immediately started trading.

Torin was definitely not left out of finding eggs!

Kate decided it would be faster if she just stuck her head straight through the handle of her Easter basket as she ran around looking for eggs. While it may not have been a lot more effective, it was pretty humorous!

Dani got a picture of our cute kids after church. We love these bright smiles in these bright outfits!

We also got some cute individual pictures. Everyone wanted an individual picture (except Torin, of course), and we got some good pictures of their different personalities!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A trip to the coast - Spring Break part 2

Part 2 of our spring break trip was a trip to the coast to Rockaway Beach. We got a beautiful home right on the coast. It was perfect for our family!

The house had lots of extra room. There was a lot of Foosball, board games, and puzzle building throughout the week. We also had a movie night and watched ET. It was almost as much fun for Jared and Dani to watch the kids watch the movie as it was to watch the movie itself! 

We took a number of walks on the beach throughout the week. Down the beach, out a few hundred yards into the ocean, sit Twin Rocks. The kids liked collecting unique looking rocks as we made our way down the beach.

One day, we decided to take a trip to Tillamook. On the way, we stopped by the Tillamook Smoker factory outlet for some big beef jerky and pepperoni sticks. Afterwards, we went to Tillamook to get some lunch (grilled cheese, of course), cheese, and ice cream. Yum! We also took a trip by the Blue Heron Cheese Company. They have a big petting zoo, and a woman who was feeding some of the sheep and goats gave our kids a few slices of bread, and they got to feed the animals.

A number of times, we went outside to start building a sand castle or flying kites. It seemed that every time we decided to go out and dig in the sand, the rain started to fall. One time, Jared decided it was going to pass, and Jared, Claire, Kate, and Torin all stayed out to put the finishing touches on the castle. The rain started picking up, and by the time they came in, it was pouring! Everyone dried off, changed, put their wet clothes in the dryer and looked outside and it was sunny again, of course!

Torin loved playing on the beach, carrying buckets of sand and rocks and gathering rocks. Even though a number of times it was raining outside, Torin wanted to stay outside the entire time!

We had a few forays into the hot tub. The first time, Dani and 3 of the kids went out first and after a few minutes in the hot tub, it started to hail! Dani and the kids thought that was pretty funny.
Later, when Jared joined, he challenged everyone to a polar bear swim. Kate and Claire were the takers, though because of a mild cough, Kate was kept back in the warmth of the hot tub. Claire and Jared ran all the way out to the water, jumped in, and ran back as fast as possible!

We had one night with a campfire. The fire pit was teetering on the edge of the beach. It looked like, over the past winter, nearly 20 feet of beachfront had washed away due to some large storms, so the hot tub had to be moved towards the house and the fire pit was super close to the edge. We had tinfoil dinners and s'mores and enjoyed the warmth of the fire as the sun went down.

Because our house was being painted and we didn't want to get home too early, we decided to take a different route home, stopping by the Cape Mears light house and the Octopus Tree

After Cape Mears, we went to Canon City. We went into Ecola State Park. It was a slow, windy drive up to the viewpoint, and by the time we got there, there was a steady rain and wind of probably 30-40 miles per hour! Jared and Claire took a run out to a shelter, while being pelted with rain!

We spent a little while in Canon City, walking through toy stores and into candy shops. After we made it home, the painting was all done! It looks so much better!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Skiing with the kids

While the kids were out for pre-Spring Break (they get out early the Wednesday before the week of Spring Break and then have Thursday and Friday off!), we decided we should take the oldest 4 skiing. We decided to go to Summit Ski Area, a tiny, 1-lift ski area in Government Camp. It was the first time on skis for Kate and Liam, and they were pretty excited!

They started with a 1-hour lesson, getting them upright on the skis and comfortable while Dani and Jared skiied with Jacob and Claire. It was funny to arrive down at the lift and watch Kate and Liam skiing and talking with the ski instructor. They had lots to say, for sure!

Jacob and Claire then got a lesson after a couple runs with the parents. They had a good experience in their lesson and came out full of confidence. Their ski instructor basically told them that if they would look out for one another (and if it was okay with mom and dad), they were certainly capable! As a result, they skiied whereever they wanted the rest of the day. Sad to say, but we don't even have a picture of Jacob and Claire skiing!

During Jacob and Claire's lesson, Dani and I were with Kate and Liam. They had somewhat decided they were done (Kate especially, who was in dire need of a snack). We convinced them to ski downhill a few hundred feet as we walked/jogged down with them, then we put them on our backs and hauled them back up. It was probably a few hundred feet... but it felt like a few hundred yards! They started getting more and more confident, and by lunchtime, they were ready for the ski lifts!

For some of the trail, they rode between our legs. At certain spots, we would let them go and let them cruise a little ways. It was a lot of work for the parents, but we all had a lot of fun!

Earlier in the day, on Claire's first run, on some pretty crusty snow, she was a little overwhelmed and didn't think she would be able to do it. Jared coaxed her across the hill, then into another turn and an across-the-hill slowdown again to the bottom of the slope. Claire realized a little life lesson, and shared with Jared on the way up the ski lift for her next run - that if looking all the way to the bottom is intimidating and scary, focus just a little in front where she knew she could do it. It was a sweet pearl of wisdom.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Little shopping buddy

When Kate and Liam are at Preschool, Torin and Dani get to run errands. Sometimes, it is a sad experience for Torin because the thing that he's been so dutifully safeguarding needs to be put onto the checkout register.

Sometimes, Torin gets exactly what he wants and gets to sit on top of the new picnic table box and to ride around Costco.