Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Monday, July 23, 2012

more on the church camping

~Good Sport~
                                           ~And we get to live here!~

 ~Daddy's pioneer dutch oven beans...incredible. Of course he made his famous pancakes too. We were spoiled.~

~Crystal Clear~

~The crew of crazy cousins...I love these kids!~


                                  ~ AbbySue & Corrine...family camp 2012~
~Corrine, Abbi, & AbbySue..family camp 2007~

We just got back from our church family camp at River Bend Park on the beautiful Santiam River just outside of Sweet Home, Oregon. We've been blessed to be a part of this camping trip for a few years now (minus the two summers we missed while out in New England.) It was a true joy to watch our kiddos play with old friends and float down the turquoise river without a parent! It was a beautiful weekend..I just can't get over how time flies. 

just go with it

Nana & Grampa invited all of us Kookies to meet up at he Renaissance Fair here in Silverton and treated us to an afternoon of medieval excitement. I have to admit, I was a a bit taken a back when the court jester greeted me with a, "Good morrow young wench!" but a certain 9 year old boy was transported back into a time of chivalry and filth. Midsummer sun drenched the jousting knights, (who by the way) impressed us all. Ben later mentioned, "You know, the jousting was great, but when they dismounted their horses are started in on the sword fighting, I thought to myself...now this is AWESOME!" 

Thank you Nana & Grampa for a wonderful day! 

playing it safe

So...Ben's room looks like this and we moved the Lego craziness up to the finished attic. It's a place that can stay messy and creative (note the family portrait painted on the wall.) Now, we can kiss our buddy goodnight without slicing a foot open on one of those tiny shards of death.

Ben calls the attic our Lego Lair.

Can't they be this age forever?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

the whole wide world

Zibby, "Mommy, what's your favorite store in the whole wide world?"

Mommy, "Hmmm, I really don't know."

Zibby, "Mine is Hi-School Pharmacy."

Mommy, "Yes, that is a very cool store."

Zibby, "What's your second favorite store?"

Mommy, "Well, I really like antique shops."

Zibby, "Ohhhh...well, mine is Rofs" (Roth's)

So, to Zibby, the "whole wide world" is Silverton and there ain't nothin' better than good old Hi-School Pharmacy (think toys, crafts, candy, and an ACE ,hardware equipped with beef jerky and fish bait.) And Roth's...a Silverton "original" grocery store where everyone wears green aprons, you can wheel around a mini shopping cart (which more often than not slams into the back of mommy's ankles or even worse an unsuspecting elderly customer), and you can still ride the well worn giddy-up pony for just 25 cents.

No wonder these are her "favorite stores"...said with the classic Zibby lisp.

(pictured above...Miss Zibby and another favorite thing in the whole wide world...making a giant cake just for fun)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Light Speed of Summertime

Life has been literally flying past at break neck speed. The only camera on hand is usually my phone which is why the photos posted lately are blurry and "instagramish". Still, these are memories captured and days treasured.

We've been working...hard. Gone are the lazy days of summer. This Old House and her 1 1/2 acres of land can pile up endless chores, especially when the days are long with sunlight. My brother and his family come every Friday and help with the garden. We have rows of corn, tons of tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, plums, pears, apples, melons, squash, pumpkins, lettuce, beans, sugar snap peas, grapes, and a rhubarb plant that has been cooked into many a pie, crisp, or jam. We honestly don't know what we are doing. It's more like trial by fire. Between the best choice of composting, to chasing, literally, herds of deer away from our food, Aaron and I are worn out. I wonder if there will be a day when I don't look dumbfounded at Wilco? My hands are cracked and lined with earth. Our backs a little more sore. But all of these hard parts evaporate like morning dew when the littlest sister and I walk up and gather berries for the perfect breakfast. The plunk of dusky purple orbs filling our buckets and a smile still wide with baby teeth make me stop and rest and wonder at all of this good. Makes it worth the work and then some.

About four days ago we set up our big tent in between the birch trees and covered it with white lights. The kids then went to work making it a home...they have an outdoor sink, clothesline, and (I'm not kidding) a nighttime potty. They say they plan to spend the rest of the summer up there...and, to my surprise, they haven't slept inside since.

AbbySue decided to share her balloon art at the Marion County Fair for 4H. She demonstrated on how to make (two volunteers from the audience) into a fairy and a viking. Chattering all the way through and throwing in some comedy along with her routine, she made us all smile and earned herself a blue and purple ribbon for her performance! Way to go Suebee!

Last week Aaron had planned a corporate dinner/get together at our Old House. I strung white lights all over the back porch and herb garden swing and set the table up next to our little waterfall. I'll admit, I'm not the best at small talk or mingling...but this dinner party turned out to be a true blessing. Not only did the people Aaron works with have the chance to meet the kids and I, we all connected on a personal level and that made what Daddy does closer to home for us all. My favorite part of the evening was just before we started eating, someone suggested that we pray. It wasn't familiar to everyone, but it was truly special to Aaron and I. I think we felt touched that another person would understand how important prayer is to our family and respecting our faith by stepping out of their comfort zone. I won't forget that.

The week before that we had a last minute worship team potluck in the backyard....there had to be close  to thirty friends here, laughing the night away. Our driveway looked like something out of Father of the Bride.

We have more busy today (cousins sleepover, Aaron's in Boston) and more on the way...Family Camp, family coming... and I can hardly catch my breath. Most of the photos will be grainy ones from my archaic phone, but it's better than nothing...right?

I'm grateful and exhausted.

Now I know why the farmer looks forward to winter.

Nana...I promise I will give you back your table...finished!
Zibby's camp out nightstand.
More tent decorations.
Legos go everywhere.
I knew she was a fairy!
Summer must haves.
Poppy field.
Backyard pajama badminton.
Getting ready for bed.
The way we cook...every night.
Garden Party.
Cherry, Rhubarb, Apple Crisp.
Go AbbySue! 

Friday, July 13, 2012

When your son is a quiet, deep thinker...

he needs:

Hard work
Mom is great...
but more of Dad.

So, Ben, in your quiet way you showed us that we needed to step it up and see the older boy that you've become. Because you've always been easy going and independent...it took us a little while to notice. Sorry about that. The growing pains of parenthood must be a trial to you at times, but we sure love you and can't wait to see the plan that God unfolds for your amazing life. Thank you for being one amazing boy...a son that brings honor to this humble family.

AbbySue has moved to youth group and you were sad to be left behind. So Wednesday nights are Guys Night Out. Last Wednesday was shooting with Dad up at Crooked Finger. You are a good shot...of course.

Lots of boys say that they want to be a lego designer when they grow up but I think that you are the kind of kid that just might do it. You talk about moving to Denmark and learning the the language. You just made a model of your chicken, Heidi. I was honestly impressed. "The entire bird articulates mom."

Yesterday you and I built a fire pit. It wasn't easy but the result was something to be proud of. I love that we did it together. You said, "Mom, this if very geometric you know."

Smarty Pants.

We love you.