Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Floating on Trillium Lake




 
 Notice the heart cloud above Mt Hood?

 These photos are from a late summer trip to Trillium Lake to take the boat out. I just don't feel like summer can end until we take our boat out at least once. This was the weekend before Labor Day weekend and it was still so crowded! In the photo above with the kids you can see all the people crammed along the shore. I like to go out in nature get away from the crowds and the city so it was a little annoying. At one point there was a lady in a mermaid tail riding a giant inflatable swan out in the middle of the lake. It was pretty funny, although I am looking forward to the "off" season and to finding a little more quiet. I am a nature hoarder I guess.

Oh, and p.s. My photo of Little Crater Lake from the previous post made it as a finalist for an Oregon Live Photo contest! I will find out tomorrow 9/11/14 if I win or not. Yippie! Oh and if you want to see it(or vote to help me win) here is the link. My photo is entitled, "A jewel in the mountains".

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Summer Beach Trip

Okay, I am back. Here to bore you with more photos of our summer "trapped"in Oregon. 
I just entered one of my Little Crater Lake photos from the previous post into a photo contest last night so, wish me luck!
Here are some fun pictures from a weekend down in Newport,Oregon.

We spotted the Weinermobile!

Drove a pirate ship.

 Went down this slide a million times.

Ben finally built me the house of my dreams....and right on the beach. ;)
We played on the beach in the sand where a little creek came out to meet the ocean. The creek water was so warm the kids had a blast playing in it and I didn't have to worry about waves carrying them out to sea. 

Also, when you have a creek meeting the ocean you also have a good rock hunting spot. I found a ton of fossils that day. I finally had to throw out my old Minnetonkas after wearing them in the ocean and then shrinking them in the hot sun. It is okay, they were worn through and beyond rotten carcasses at that point.


We  also did a lot of sunset kite flying.


 It was a nice little trip. I prefer the off season so I don't have to share the beach combing with as many people. I dream of some day getting an Airstream and retiring along the coast, beach camping and rock hunting all day long. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Our Summer Adventures from 2014...(part1)

With the death (or coma rather) of my laptop I haven't had the opportunity to blog this summer. The kids went back to school today and I decided it would be fun to get caught up and get back into the rhythm of blogging again. Summer is officially over now, thank goodness. The last week of summer was horridly stressful for SO many reasons, so I am happy to let it go. I am excited for my kids and the fresh start to another school year. I miss being the kid and having a fresh start at the beginning of every new school year, and the hope that anything is possible. This mama could use a fresh start that is for sure.
Our summer involved a lot of running around to camps and classes and didn't feel much like a vacation at all. We took a few day trips and an overnight to the beach, but other than they we were stuck close to home. Due to lack of funds our end of the summer trip was called off. I was really hoping for a break before the school year began, but no such luck, oh well. 
It is a good thing we live in a beautiful state where we don't have to go far to get lost in the beauty of nature.  Just a short drive from the city and we can get lost in the woods,swim in a mountain lake, find agates along a wild river or fly kites on an ocean beach.

This summer we discovered a few new places we had never been within a few hours from home.
My favorite was Little Crater Lake near Timothy Lake Campground on Mt Hood.
I have never seen water that beautiful in my life. I could have sat and stared into it for hours. So amazingly beautiful. It is more the size of a pond than a lake, but so worth visiting. I loved listening to the other hikers gasp as they came out of the woods when they saw this:





Another place we visited for the first time was Mount St Helens. It was lovely and I am not sure why It had taken us so long when it is only about 70 miles from Portland. I think I was afraid it would be sad and depressing, but it was so amazing. My pictures do not do it any justice.

Solomon spotting the volcano behind the clouds.



                                                   
                                                   We stopped at the Bigfoot Museum along the way just for fun.  I always loved the idea of Bigfoot when I was a kid. I made a film called, "The Urban Sasquatch" when I was in art school. I should find a way to upload it and share it here!


 

We celebrated holidays with friends, and went to outdoor parties...




 

I even got a teeny little bit of kid free fun this summer at the Oregon Country Fair...




And I made pickles for the first time...
They were refrigerator pickles and they turned out great. I found a recipe here and added jalapeno and onion to one of the batches as my friend suggested. I never knew it was so easy. I look forward to making them again some day. 
I thought I could catch up the whole summer in one post but that isn't going to happen...
 Looking back on it from this point of view our summer looked pretty fun. Of course, these were the good moments. That is why blogging is good in a way, to focus on the good times. That is why I am giving it another go rather than abandoning blogging all together.

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...

026

026

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.

 026


026

   
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. 

087

026

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

026

026


026

 026

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.

026

026

 

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.