Friday, April 26, 2013


Heaven help me if I ever get all of my kids looking at the camera at the same time.  The excitement will probably kill me.

 "Mom, take picture of me with this pretty flower!"
 I may have found someone who loves our new hammock more than I do.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Westward Ho!

We love our school, in large part because of how invested all of the staff are in finding creative ways for the kids to learn.  The 4th graders have been learning about The Oregon Trail over the last several weeks, and their unit culminated this week with a trip on The Oregon Trail for all 4 of the 4th grade classes.  We went on a walking journey through West Salem, and all along the trail there were 12 different stations simulating points along the real Oregon Trail.  At each station the kids had to perform an activity, deal with a difficulty, or complete a challenge.  In our little group we had a snake bite, a broken leg, a pioneer child that wandered off and a broken axle just to name a few, as well as a rest stop where the kids were given "hard tack" and one where they got to sing and dance.  The kids earned or lost points based on how they chose to handle the different situations, whether they worked as a team, and sometimes based on a roll of the dice that determined their fate.  They also earned points by dressing like a pioneer and packing a pioneer themed lunch.

The effort and involvement that went in to this project was amazing!  From the work on the kids part beforehand creating pioneer "identities", decorating their wagons and deciding what provisions to purchase for the trip, to all of the parent and staff involvement developing the idea and volunteering along The Trail, I was amazed and so grateful that my boy got to experience something like this.

My Pioneer - AKA Pat Richards, a bachelor blacksmith
The wagon - courtesy of pool noodles and bedsheets 

 My little band of pioneers!  
These kids were so great, worked hard together and totally got into the spirit of the adventure. 
 Headed up the last hill into "Oregon City".

Jake and his bestie Evan.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Weekend

We started off our Easter weekend with an egg hunt with friends.

 This sweet boy was allowed to help hide eggs, and then decided not to "hunt" for any and left them all for the little kids.  He's hitting an age where more and more often he is less in sync with the younger kids' activities, and it makes me so proud that he chooses to act this way rather than pout and sulk.
 Family warm weather favorite - Slurpee's.  After cooling off with a few of these, we spent the rest of the gorgeous day playing and riding bikes.

 I'm going to be honest, while I love Easter, there are a lot of things about it that I do not like.  Such as plastic grass.  And eggs.  Every year I have to Google how to hard boil eggs, because I only do it at Easter.  Not many people in our house eat hard boiled eggs, so we only colored 10.
True story.
 The Bunny scaled way back on baskets this year, and no one seemed to mind.  The kids each got a bible coloring book, a reading book and a bubble wand, and that was it.  
New Easter Sunday church clothes....  
someone please tell this young man to STOP. GROWING.UP.

 Love these 3.
 After lunch we headed down to Wallace Marine Park for what Brian and I thought would be a nice family stroll down their walking paths.  Of course the first path we took ran alongside this great climbing tree and dead ended at the water....  
We were foolish to think anyone would stay dry.

 Humorous that she was worried about keeping her skirt out of the water, but waded in still wearing her tights.

 Eventually the tights came off and she lost any concern for staying dry, informing us, "I'm wet now, I guess I need to get nekkid...."

 My family
 Sister is lurking in there somewhere...
A rare self portrait...