Monday, June 28, 2010

Camping at Big Lake

Last weekend we went up to Big Lake campground in the Oregon Cascades where we managed to nab what be the most beautiful campsite on the entire planet.

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And it got even more beautiful with the setting sun and the rising full moon.


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Even breakfast was accompanied with an impressive view of Mt. Washington.

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Soren was initiated into the no-matter-where-you-sit-the-campfire-smoke-will-follow-you club.

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But ice cream makes up for any of the challenges that campfires may present.

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What a glorious, warm, sunny day we were blessed with...not always a given at the higher elevations.

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So he didn't waste any time in building something with the sand and logs he could find.

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Heck, with our awesome campsite he was up playing in the sand before he even changed out of his jammies!

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Oh how we love camping!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Pizza 'n' Park

Remember my plan to have more frequent, but simpler family outings? This is how Soren feels about it:

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Though his feelings might have more to do with the piles of pepperoni than the actual family outing.

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After dinner we went to our favorite local park and were thrilled to hear the ice cream truck come rolling by! Isn't that ice cream truck music the perfect sound of summer? (For now we'll ignore the fact that I have taught my child to run excitedly waving a dollar at strange men driving by in a music-playing van...)

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Because the tasty treats are a perfect ending to a family mini-outing.

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{Slurp. Slurp. Slurp.}

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bouquets of Broccoli

At our house, the bouquet you are most likely to get right now is a bouquet of broccoli.

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Yum.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Fort

It was only a matter of time, really. We have enough property and tall trees that we knew that eventually Soren would claim some portion of it as his own.

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It happened this month. He and the neighbor girls built a fort. Never mind that there is actually no "fort" at the fort. There is just a really huge Oak tree with a great area for goofing around.

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Peter and the neighbor Dad built them a swing there.

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Which has only served to clinch its fortness.

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And its fun-ness.

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

The End: Memorial Day Weekend at the Oregon Coast

I normally try to string my photos together into one coherent story when I post. (And that actually isn't much of a challenge since I tend to photo-document every single moment of our our experiences.)

But sometimes it doesn't work out like that. For example, when you have a bunch of left over shots of random moments from a fun weekend.

Like this one which makes me smile. Don't you think they just look like two old men out for their morning stroll? Or Pete and Repeat? I'm not sure what it is exactly, but it cracks me up.

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Or this, which shows one of the many dead creatures that Soren insisted on bringing home from the beach.

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Or this, because, well, we like diners. (In this photo Soren has just turned his head from looking out the window. I had forced him to keep all the dead beach flotsam outide in the restaurant flower pot. He was just checking to be sure no one had taken his crab carcass.)

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This shot shows our great joy at hiking 7 miles up the steep mountain to get the best view ever of the Oregon Coast. (Actually, we drove, but that reality doesn't quite caption the photo.)

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And that sums up our awesome Memorial Day weekend at the Oregon Coast. We're pretty lucky to live here.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Part II: Memorial Day Weekend at the Oregon Coast

Have I mentioned that I feel overwhelmed at posting all the details of our Memorial Day weekend at the Oregon Coast?

We spent a few hours exploring the trails and tide pools at Cape Perpetua.

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Here's a close-up of what Peter and Soren are standing on!

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The tidepools were so full of life!

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Wow, have you ever seen a starfish like this? It was totally cruising along the bottom of the tidepool.

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I've never seen any place in the world that has starfish that can rival the starfish of the Pacific Northwest. (And, yes, you can take that as a challenge...our starfish can kick your starfish's butt!)

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Of course this was a "hands-on" sort of day.

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So much fun just walking around.

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Soren found a tide pool crawling with tadpoles.

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And once he learned to use his scooping hand instead of pincher fingers...

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He got pretty good at catching them!

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Here's the proof:

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend at the Oregon Coast, Part I

I have to admit that I've put off posting this. Nothing embarrassing or anything that I'm reluctant to admit. Quite the opposite actually. We had such a good time at the Oregon Coast Memorial Day weekend the I feel kind of overwhelmed at posting all my favorite photos. But here goes...

Memorial Day in Oregon seems to always bring rain. We didn't plan a camping trip because the odds were so high that it was going to rain. But when the time rolled around and the forecast looked sunny and warm...well, I was hankerin' for a good camping trip! And when I found a small cabin with a last minute cancelation in Waldport on the Oregon Coast available...it pretty much just felt like destiny.

Peter and I apparently have different philosophies on beach attire. Peter lets Soren play and run wild wearing whatever he showed up wearing.

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And then when it comes time to leave and go to a restaurant he improvises. Which is why, no lie, Soren has gone out for dinner wearing only Peter's sweatshirt.

I, on the other hand, am of the mind that all awkward dressing should happen at the beach. Which is why, when I'm in charge, you'll see Soren more like this...

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But then, I must point out, he'll be warm and dry and in his own clothes when we get to the restaurant.

Sure, I've heard rumors that someone might actually make clothes to cover small boys while they play at the beach. But we can never seem to get it together to have those clothes, the small boy, and the beach in one location at the same time.

But regardless of whose philosophy wins on a particular day, the beach is fun.

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So much fun it makes you want to jump for joy.

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Or try your hand (or feet) at outrunning the waves.

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And its always fun to gather the flotsam and jetsam to carry it back to Dad who is diligently building a sandcastle with all you've found.

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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Some More S'mores Please!

We went camping Memorial Day weekend.

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I must confess to a secret that I've kept for ages now.

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My deep dark secret is that while I might claim I love camping for the family time, the back to nature fun, the relaxation, the calm and quiet...

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...the true secret is that I just really, really love s'mores.

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Really love them. Love to make them. Love to eat them.

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And it looks like I'm not alone.

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No sir, I'm definitely not alone on that one.

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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Love Notes

I was in Sweden for work last week. Soren dictated an email to me.
_____________

I hope you come home after I wake up. Super please come home right this single minute.

I got the last piece of peach crisp, and I liked it so much I ate it all up.

I love you. Very much. Even more than infiinity.

Good night,

Soren

_____________

{Smile.}

Sunday, June 06, 2010

The Man Drawer

The other day I noticed that Soren's fingernails were long and filthy. (As an aside, am I the only mother with a child who has fingernails that exist in only two forms: either just trimmed, or long and gross? I swear there is never a time where they are just a little long and still clean. Every time I see his gross nails I wonder what his teacher thinks of our home hygiene.) Anyway...

I told him to go get the nail clippers so I could trim them. We keep clippers in a few locations. First place to check is the bathroom drawer, and if you strike out there you go to Dad's Magical Man Drawer.

I noticed that Soren had been gone quite awhile, so I went to check on him.

I found him in the office kind of silently staring at all the manly bounty before him. He looked up at me and held out Peter's wisdom tooth...

"Mom, what's this?"

"Oh, that is your Dad's tooth. You should ask him about that."

So he carried the tooth into the kitchen and asked Peter about it. And here's where I knew that I was watching one of those fatherpassing-great-knowledge-about-manliness-down-son moments.

Peter told Soren about having his wisdom teeth removed and how he actually managed to sneak the teeth out of the dentist office. Well, wait, that was the real story. Peter told Soren something far more embelished, manly, and interesting.

After a suitable period being awe-struck at his Dad's great manliness, Soren slipped out of the room only to return with a big knife from the Man Drawer.

"Dad, what's this?"

And again, it didn't just end at "a knife" but had an elaborate explanation that including freeing himself in the jungle, and bears, and a lot of other high adventure.

The Man Drawer. I think we might need to rename it The Great Story Drawer.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Mount Saint Helens

The eruption of Mt. Saint Helens celebrated its 30th anniversary on May 18. I love visiting Mt Saint Helens, and hearing all the coverage inspired us to take a quick weekend trip up there.

It was great.

We rented a small cabin in the woods, the nearest lodge facilities to the mountain. It had some lovely hiking trails to explore on the property.

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My sweet boy coming back to deliver a great walking stick that he found.

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There really wasn't a shortage of great walking sticks.

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Some of us may have found it a challenge to keep our feet dry with all the possiblities for exploration. But fortunately our cabin had a toasty heater for warming up soggy toes (and drying out soggy pants and shoes.)

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A porch swing makes a pretty good place for bedtime stories.

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Especially when you can get all bundled up in a quilt.

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And while it was still fairly light when he went to bed, Soren insisted that he couldn't see very well in the cabin...which meant he got to play with the candle lantern.

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The road up to Mt Saint Helens has 4, count 'em, four visitor centers.

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But we are totally suckers for visitor centers and so we stopped at each one. So much fascinating history there. And spectacular views.

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And fun stuff to do, like fly your helicopter over the forests.

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Or see how you measure up to a bear!

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Or an what it feels like to have an eagle's grip.

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Even though it was late May, there was snow as we drove higher. Hm, what could he be plotting?

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I guess we could have seen this coming, eh?

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Hiking, sticks, lanterns, cabins, and snow...it would be hard to beat a weekend trip to Mount Saint Helens.

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