Saturday, July 21, 2012

Berry Pickin'

Summer flies by fast enough as it is, and when you don't get the summer off with your kids, it goes by even faster.  With work Monday-Friday and church on Sundays, if you really break it down I have a grand total of about 14 full days to really do things with the kids and make some memories.  I realized a few weeks ago that if we were going to accomplish everything we want to this summer, I needed to start making some concrete plans and get activities on the calendar that couldn't just be done spur of the moment or after work. 

One of my best friends is Jennifer, someone I first met when we moved to Salem 5 years ago, and she has been a dear friend ever since.  She is very much like me, a full time working mom who is still hell bent on creating a well spring of great memories for her kids.  She is creative and energetic, is trying to raise her kids "old school" like we are, and is always down for an adventure.  She also loves Marionberries nearly as much as I do, and when I put berry picking on the calendar I knew there was no one better to ask along.  I also knew she would be game for loading up a mini-van with 5 kids under the age of 9, giving them buckets, and letting them have at a berry bush.   

This was our result:
 Believe it or not, there is another completely full bowl the size of the white one that didn't make it into the picture.  25 pounds of berries in all!  I couldn't have been more proud of all 5 of our kiddos, who picked like little farm workers without a complaint, and had such a great time.  
They cannot, however, all take a good picture at the same time....  

(Leah's shirt should have been weighed along with the rest of the berries, for all the juice that's on it..... )

The fruit of our efforts...  11 jars of Marionberry freezer jam, canned with the help of my 8 year old.

 Plenty left over for my favorite summer treat, berries over vanilla ice cream!


Random fun photos...  

Think my kids and their dad love each other?  Hmmm....
 Waiting for pizza at Pietros, before dinner and a mad game of mini-golf


Part of my journery of living more intentionally includes doing a better job of including Brian's family in our lives, and documenting it.  We spent a Sunday afternoon with them recently and I made sure that I had my camera.

Grandpa Horses, as we call him, and his only granddaughter.  She's not adored or anything...

 The kids with some new friends they made at Grandma Horses birthday party.
 Dad spent most of the day working on his new baby...
 Aunt Jennie and Jake.  He is pretty sure she only belongs to him.

 Someone actually looked at the camera for a nanosecond.

This is the view from Jen and Joe's back deck.  It's like a little oasis out in the boonies,and I love it there.  
 Beyond the gate in the middle of the picture above, is the creek in the picture below.
The kids love to wade in it, toss sticks for the puppies to fetch, and search for fish.  Leah of course promptly fell in, you-know-what-over-teakettle.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Medford Vacation

Following our 4th of July celebrations, the kids and I headed to Medford for a mini vacation with Grandma and Grandpa. The weather was hot and sunny, and Grandma had a full weekend of activities planned for us.

The kids climbing in the tree I spent hours in as a child

Outside the Scienceworks Musuem, like a mini-OMSI
In the bubble room, by far everyone's favorite room in the place
Petunia, surrounded by a wall of bubbles

The following 5 pictures are what it took to get Grandpa and the kids all settled for a serious picture:

But the result was definitely worth the wait.  I.LOVE.THIS.PIC.
Repeat the process that evening while leaving dinner:

Yes, that is actually me in a photo.  My 8 year old has decided he is more than happy to shoot pictures so we may see more of these in the future...
They slept like this every night- socked out dead to the world.
There were crafts with Grandma
Chinese Checkers with Grandpa
and the kids got some serious crafting in at The Children's Festival, another walk down memory lane for me. It was EXACTLY the same as I remembered it
right down to the garbage eating dragon that thanks you for feeding it.

It was a fabulous weekend, and I love seeing my kids spend time with my parents, enjoying many of the things I did growing up.  So much of what I am trying to give me kiddos in their childhood stems from the memories I have of my own, and it's funny to hear my kids say, "Oh, now I see why you do that/say that/like that".  Thank you G'ma and G'pa for an amazing weekend!!

4th of July

We started some new traditions this year for the 4th of July, one of which was mother-daughter-patriotic-mani-pedis.

Due to work and travel plans, we played it pretty low-key this year.  We stayed home for the evening, and BBQ'ed and ate dinner on the deck.
My hubby can grill up a steak like no one's business.  
Sadly, we are still in need of a good picnic table or patio set, and we all ate crowded around the kids Diego table.
The kids could hardly wait for dark to start the fireworks, so we started with some sparklers at almost dusk. Shooting outdoors in half light, with smoke, and children performing their version of Lord of the Dance with sparklers makes for some less than quality photos, but you get the idea.