Monday, August 4, 2014

Hello, it has been a while.....

Hello friends and family who are still checking in on my blog,
My laptop has a virus and has not been working for several months. I have been using my husbands computer and have not been downloading photos onto it at all this summer so I have been way behind in my posts. There is so much to catch up on and so many beautiful photos of Oregon that I want to share. Maybe I can just do a huge summer highlight post? I hope you are all enjoying summer. I can not believe it is August already! I have spent most of the summer trying to keep my kids busy with fun classes and lessons, I am looking forward to our unscheduled end of August and maybe a little summer vacation before the kids head back to school.
What have you all been up to this summer?

Friday, June 6, 2014

An 13th Anniversary Adventure...

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After visiting Crater Lake on our way down to Ashland we camped at a great family campground in the Joseph H. Stewart State Recreation Area. This campground is great for kids because it is open with lots of room for them to run and play but also easy to keep and eye on them. There are trees and shade but they are widely spaced. This is not the campground to come to for seclusion and privacy.
We chose this campground after reading this review for Portland Monthly calling the park one of the best state parks for families.
We checked in right before dark, so we basically put up our tent,made a fire and some Smores and called it a night. It would have to say with three kids this was a pretty successful tent camping experience. The kids got along well, better than any other camping I can remember. I pretty sure this had to do with having the ipod along. There were several other families camping and there were moments of children screaming(not mine for once) and a loud out of key praise song some mystery camper kept singing but it quieted down before too horribly late and the crickets songs were amazing to fall asleep to.

 The next morning we packed up our camp early and headed out for Ashland.
We all really liked Ashland a lot, it was a beautiful little town. We spent most of our time exploring Lithia Park that is right outside the downtown area. What a lovely little park with a creek running though it and several ponds. The kids loved splashing around in the creek and trying to catch the tiny fish that were swimming about. We didn't do any shopping downtown but enjoyed walking around. Nalah is at such a hard age to travel with, shopping and dining out are not really an option for us at this time. I look forward to visiting again when she is a little older.

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Then we took a crazy mountain drive up to our cabin. A winding highway on the edge of a gorgeous abyss. I drove up, sweaty palmed hunch shouldered. It was a little freaky. On the way up I hit a butterfly that smashed onto the window and got stuck in the windshield wiper. I was so sad and thought that was not a good way to start our 13 year of marriage, a bad omen. I flicked on the wipers on to try and get it off, no luck. I just watched the beautiful wings crumple in the wind. When we stopped at the lodge to check in Ben jumped out and I waited out in the van with the kids, after a moment I noticed movement on the windshield. The butterfly was still alive, it shook itself out and straightened out its wings and just sat there a moment. When Ben came out I showed him it as alive and when he reached out to it it flew off. It was a good omen after all! When you feel all hope is lost there is a flicker of hope. I have been been feeling hopeless a lot these past few years, not in my marriage, but for other reasons. I am really hoping that resurrected butterfly is a sign of good things to come for our family. 

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The kids loved the hot tub, even our teenager had a good time!

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Here is the cute little cabin. It was sort of like a manufactured home or a trailer but really nice and cozy inside. The kitchen was so well stocked, they even had a food processor. We were worried it wouldn't have the pots we needed to cook dinner, Ha! The big kids loved the loft beds and our littlest tried to climb the stairs all night long to get up there too. 
I noticed it was for sale, if anyone is interested.

Cheers to 13 years of marriage! Maybe someday we will get to have an anniversary date alone together, or maybe even that honeymoon we keep wishing for.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Crater Lake Detour






We were a little iffy about going to Crater Lake on our way down to Ashland for our Anniversary. It seemed a little early in the season and I wasn't sure what that roads would be like up there. We would be closer than ever before to the lake and it seemed a shame not to finally visit. I am so glad we did. It was warm and sunny and quite late in the day(about 5 pm)  not a bit of snow was on the road despite 25ft drifts on the shoulder in some areas.
 We took the highway along the North Umpqua River heading east from Roseburg. It was a stunning drive, the river was amazing, I have never seen water that color before. Sadly I didn't get a picture of it because I was driving, but I will be back up this way sooner than later.
The kids loved playing in the snow at the rim of the lake. Solomon was regretting his choice in shoes, but still ventured out a while in his flip flops.  
This  year has been a record low snow level up at Crater Lake. Most of the roads were open along the lake several weeks ahead of schedule although we could not drive all the way around because the snow is still high and roads impassible on the east side of the lake.
I am so glad we finally made it for a visit after living in Oregon for 12 years. It was stunning. I highly recommend it.