Saturday, July 25, 2009

Camping Memories

We had so much fun last weekend at River Bend State Park. Our church has had Family Camp there for the past three years so it is becoming a place full of special memories to us and our kids. This year my parents brought Kaeleigh, Micah, & Lily, so the cousins played together in the river, in the woods, and riding their bikes from dawn until way past dusk. It was the first year we let the kids sleep in their own tents. The girls (except for Zibby of course) in one and the boys in the other. Unfortunately, Micah and Ben were telling "scary" stories to each other so, needless to say, I found Ben back in our trailer 2 out of the 4 nights. It is still weird to me that the kids are growing old enough to ride their bikes together (without us), explore a river together (with life jackets on of course!), and sleep in their own tent apart from us. Each day they are becoming more independent. It is hard not to worry over them. I struggle from wanting to hold them back and keep them safe from any danger. It kinda reminds me of that part in "Finding Nemo" when Marlin, Nemo's dad, is in the whale's mouth, with Dory, and he tells her that he is afraid of letting anything happen to Nemo, and Dory wisely says, "Well, if you don't let anything happen to him, then nothing ever will....not too much fun for little Harpo (Nemo)" So true! Knowing when to hold them close and when to let go is part of the balancing act of parenting. I'm sure that it will be a challenge for me for many years to come.
We are looking forward to camping a few more times before the summer ends. Aaron and I decided that it beats a vacation in the Bahamas any day of the week.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Silver Falls State Park

My mom and I decided to take the cousins all (except for Barrett & Audrey...sniffle :( up to Silver Falls last friday. It is one of the most beautiful areas I have ever been to and it's just 20 minutes away! The park has about a dozen falls in all, but is the most famous for South Falls. The best part about this one in particular is that you can hike a trail that leads you behind the waterfall. It is wonderful. I loved watching the kids enjoy God's handiwork and gaze in awe of His creation. There are little caves everywhere, covered in moss and dripping with water that saturates the surrounding rocks. The trail winds down the side of the mountain and along side a creek, where we decided to eat lunch and catch crawdads. We sat and watched the kids climb, dig, slip and laugh in the warm sunshine. They won't be this young much longer. I will always treasure this day in my heart.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Fourth of July in Silverton

live just next to the gardens and invited us to watch the sky from their yard. I popped a bunch of popcorn and we headed out for the
show. It was so much fun watching the kids lay back on the big blanket and gaze in wonder at the power of pyrotechnics.
The next morning I decided to take Abby Sue to the annual "Old Stuff on Main Street", which is an antique fair that Silverton does each year on the 4th of July. I loved walking with my little daughter, admiring the old houses and gardens together on our way to town. She has grown so independent lately, with likes and dislikes of her own. Daddy gave her $2 to spend on whatever she could find and that money was no doubt burning a hole in pint sized pocket. I was curious to see what she would choose. We admired so many old trinkets and treasures together. I found two adorable owl pillows that a talented lady here in town created and bought them for the girls. Abby Sue found a japanese pink paper parasol for just $1 and decided to spend her extra $1 on a Krispy Kreme donut being sold by the Young Life youth. But, the best find of the day was an old pair of binoculars & case that we found for Ben. We both imagined how much he would love playing Indiana Jones with them. After we bought them and opened up the leather case we saw a name handwritten on the inside of the red felt, it said, "Jones". We were couldn't believe our eyes! What a coincidence! Of course Ben loved everything about the binoculars, but asked Aaron later, "Why would Indiana Jones sell these? They seem very important." So sweet!
The rest of the day was perfectly relaxing... family visiting and eating together all afternoon under the shady grape arbor, watching the kids enjoy the sunshine and company, and later enjoying our own fireworks show in the driveway under the night sky. It really doesn't get any better than that!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Summer Days

The kids have loved every moment of these long summer days...and up here in Oregon they are long! The sun begins to light up the sky a bit before 5:00am and still leaves some light in the sky after 10:00 pm. I guess you could say that we are making up for lost time.
The kids have been a challenge to keep up with. I find myself running out of energy (and patience) way before they do. Still, I can see them making some very special memories together..camping out in the backyard, picking raspberries in our generous neighbors yard, cake decorating challenge, and busy in their make believe worlds where I find myself a contented onlooker. The other day Abby Sue and Ben decided to cover Zibby with red polka dot stickers and pretend that she was deathly ill with the chicken pocks. She was happy to lay on the couch and let them nurse her back to health with "medicine" and ice packs. She kept sticking out her tongue, saying," bleh!" It was so funny.