Thursday, August 30, 2007

Back to the fair

Well, we had so much fun at the fair over the weekend that we went back again last night. This time Grandma Ruth came with us.

We probably went mostly because my friend Arin told me that they had deep-fried Twinkies at the fair. I'm equally intrigued and revolted but I would like to try a bite. We didn't see them though. We did however have some other yummy fair food:

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(BTW, that is Soren's cheeeeeese face for the camera)

But we did also head back to the rides. Soren loves driving:

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We're heading to Michigan for vacation on Saturday. Rumor has it that we'll be able to catch another fair while we're there!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Soothing the savage beasts

We went to the Oregon State fair this weekend. What a blast. Soren especially loved the animal barns. It was amazing to watch him talk to the animals. Not sure if it is because they are on the same eye level, but he talked at length with many of the sheep and goats. When we got to the cow barn he said "Mom, I think cows like singing." So I told him that he should sing them a song. So from then whenever we'd come to a cow, Soren would stop and sing them the entire ABC song.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Blog tag!

Ok, so I've been tagged! Here's the deal - there's this game running rampant around the blogosphere (well, ok, I just heard of it today) it is called "blog tag". What happens is that someone list 10 things about themselves that very few people know, and then "tags" some blogging friends (not sure if it is supposed to be 3 or 5 friends) to do the same on their own blog.

My friend Arin tagged me.

So, here goes. 10 things that few people know about me:
1. I don't like walnuts. I don't mind them in baked goods, but I think they are gross on their own.
2. I won my school spelling bee when I was in 5th grade.
3. While I'm a pretty avid hiker nowadays, that wasn't always the case. The first time I EVER went hiking was a 3 week trek in the Himalayas! I literally had never gone on a walk in the mountains before that day (being from flat-land Michigan is my excuse). I guess it is a good thing that it turned out that I liked hiking, because it could have been a pretty miserable few weeks if I decided I didn't like to hike!
4. My three favorite cities that I've visited are Kathmandu, Nepal; Cusco, Peru; and Jerusalem, Israel.
5. I didn't own a car until I was 29 years old.
6. I love the song "I will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor. Is that her name? Anyway, it is an old song, but I know all the words and it is fun to belt it out as loud as possible. Actually, I'll toss in a 6b here - my definition of a good song is that I know all the words. I guess I'm not a great musical connoisseur!
7. Peter and I were robbed at knife point in Panama. Horrible experience. No one was hurt and they only got Peter's watch, but I was pretty freaked out by random groups of young men for a long time after that experience.
8. I know how to say "there is a friendly water creature hissing in the elevator" in Finnish. Comes in handy sometimes.
9. The first time I ever felt an earthquake was when I was sitting naked eating breakfast cereal in my apartment in Japan. (Not sure why I was naked and eating cereal exactly, it isn't my normal custom, so please don't count that as something new that you've learned about me.) Anyway, I noticed it was an earthquake because everything started jiggling! LOL. It was just a tiny one though (the earthquake, I mean).
10. Hm, one more? The first apartment that Peter and I ever had we nicknamed "The Pompidou" after the museum in Paris where all the pipes are on the outside. We lived in the basement of this college student's house. We didn't own any furniture for months and literally camped out with sleeping bags in the middle of the room. It was a blast! We've lived in some dives! The other most notable was the pink stucco apartment building in Seattle. Our apartment was just over a tattoo parlor. In fact, when we were out the tattoo guys used to sign for our UPS packages!

Ok, so I'm tagging Amy in South Dakota, Lyn, Amanda and Stacy! Kendell, I'd tag you too, but I see that Arin already did that!

Walk-through Safari

One of the fun things we did while at the Coast was visiting the Walk-through Wildlife Safari. It was a sort of combination regular zoo/petting zoo. There were a lot of free-roaming pygmy goats, deer and llamas that you could feed (or rather, that would stalk you if they had the slightest suspicion you might be harboring some snacks!)

The biggest feature was that you could actually touch lots of the baby animals. Soren was able to pet a 5-month old black bear (they fed the bear a bottle and while he was gorging himself you could walk up behind him and pet him). We also got to hold a baby Lynx!

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Soren got to squeeze, er, I mean hold a ferret:

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...and pet a baby opussum:

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We also got to pet two skunks (including a blonde skunk, did you know there was such a thing?) and some sort of racoon relative who's name I forget now. It was an interesting experience.

But I have to say it brought on the usual conflicted zoo feelings. While it is so awesome to see these spectacular animals it is also sad to see them locked in cages rather than roaming free. What was the most surprising though was that even Soren picked up on it. He was particularly concerned about the chimpanzee. He watched him for a long time and then said "He's sad, Mom. He needs a friend."

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Our vacation to the southern Oregon coast

We just came back from a really fun 4-day trip to the southern Oregon coast. The weather was lousy (I thought Oregon wasn't supposed to get rain in August?!) but we still had a blast.

We stayed down in Bandon. Soren really appreciated that our hotel room had a bunk bed which doubled as monkey bars.

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In spite of the rain we did get to spend some time playing at the beach:

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Especially on the first day, when we discovered a small park with a sheltered cove for swimming. Soren quickly made some friends (he has a really big shovel that all the other kids wanted to play with!)

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I'm going to try the smaller pictures in the blog now. The larger ones were hanging out of the rest of the template - let me know if you have a preference. If you'd like to see a better view of any of the photos, you can click on it for a close up.

I'll post some more photos tomorrow.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Saturday, August 11, 2007

After a day of adventures...

We had a great day today. Peter was out of town helping his mom with a few projects, so Soren and I made it a big day of small adventures. We went to a few garage sales, stopped at Starbucks for our Saturday morning routine, went to story time at the libary, went grocery shopping and spent a long time playing at a fabulous new park. It was a big day. Tonight when we got home, Soren said "I'm sleepy. I'm going to go get my binky and lay on the couch." I let him go and a few minutes later went in to spy on him to see what he'd gotten himself up to. I found him kicked back, laying on the couch...reading the newspaper!

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Monday, August 06, 2007

Camperoo at the zoo

We had a blast this weekend. We went camping at the Oregon Zoo! It was a great event. We camped on the concert lawn and took part in all sorts of behind the scenes activities. We visited the animal kitchen where Soren made some treats for the Sun Bears and had a chance to taste some monkey food (Soren asked for seconds!) I think the best part was walking around the zoo with no one else around. After the zoo closed, it was only the people who were camping and it felt like the place was totally deserted.