Thursday, July 30, 2009

3 little gifts

The gift of friendship.

The gift of wisdom for her years.

The gift of softening his mother's heart.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Sure... I'll hold the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach for you.

Cool.... I'm holding a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach.

Help... Not sure I wanted to hold it for 20 minutes.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Eat Me

California Carnivores in Sebastapol was a success.

Low and behold venus fly traps are rather hardy and don't mind freezing weather. Bryn has $20 burning a hole in her pocket and a venus fly trap is on the top of the list right now.

Watch out Grandma............

Pitcher plants were very beautiful and very prehistoric.

A must in every alien movie.

Sundews were my favorite. Looks like the morning dew on every tentacle (or stem?).

Butterwort are nature's fly paper? Reminded us of aloe plants.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Beached Out

Two months ago I wouldn't have thought it possible to say.... but we are almost beached out. Rapids, kayak, swimming, sand, rocks, mudmucking, algae throwing, kayak tipping, squirt gun shooting, glass hunting and sunbathing. Bryn didn't even come down to the water today. We had a mandatory all family 45 minutes siesta after some tears of exhaustions. The kids are sad that their cousins are leaving tomorrow. Here are few non-swimming activities we've come up with for the next few days.

Sonoma County Fair - Starts Tuesday

California Carnivores - Largest Carnivorous Plant Store in the US

Safari West - Africian Safari in Wine County. not sure about this one. who knew.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hit The Road

I am so proud to be a native Oregonian. However, there are certain things in my 34 years that I have not yet done. One of those is Crater Lake. I know... I know... I can't believe it either. So this year as we were preparing to make our annual trip down to the Russian River Valley I decided to make a pit stop at Crater Lake. After just one view stop I was swooning of the bright blue lake and crystal clear skies. The kids laughed at the summer weather with patches of snow all around them.

Everyone was pretty hungry at this point so we scurried to the lodge for lunch where we waited 1/2 hour to sit and 1/2 for our food. Famished we quickly ate except for Grayson who was so tired he couldn't eat or drink anything and fell asleep before anyone else made it to the car. Had we not waited so long for lunch we might have made it down to Russian River a little earlier. One of my other reasons for traveling down to Crater Lake was to take a different route down south and see some new scenery. We pressed on to the southern Oregon town of Klamath Falls and travelled about 30 minutes south to the California border. However, when we made it to the border the fruit inspector told us they were closing the road 11 miles south due to a wildfire. We traveled back up Hwy-97 to Klamath Falls and found a hotel with a refreshing swimming pool. We met a family that was headed north to Lincoln City and they were one of the last to make it thru. They said that they could feel the heat of fire in their car. No surprise that Hwy-97 was still closed the next day so we made the trek from Klamath Falls to Medford. Travelling back up into Oregon territory.

On the road to Medford to reach I-5 I was concerned that my air conditioning wasn't really working. Had we had made it to Weed the night before and left early in the morning it wouldn't have really been that big of deal travelling through Redding where it can reach 108 degrees in the middle of the day. Unfortunately, travel time put us in Redding around 1pm. We stopped in Medford where they told me I had a leak in my air conditioning hose and it would be $500 and ready the next day. WHAT? "Kids get in the car I made it for years without air conditioning and so can you". We stopped at Fred Meyers picked up an ice chest, a bag of ice, cups and washcloths. $25 later we hit the road. There was not a drop of ice left as we pulled up to the cabin. One of the best parts is that we lowered the windows a little to keep a breeze going and there was so much noise that we barely heard the kids arguing. Actually, they did pretty good given they couldn't listen to their audiobook of the Secret Garden because of the noise. It took 2 days which is normally a 10-hour drive but we did it! Off to enjoy beach and sunshine.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Poor Gray

Grayson had a rough week. All 3 kids attended a Japanese Immersion summer camp and it was Grayson's first experience with a school type setting that is 6 hours long. I know he'll become a pro here in a few months after school starts but this week was kindof rough for him.

The sometimes inconsiderate mother that I am really didn't think about it until Tuesday afternoon when Grayson had been at all day camp, straight to swim lessons and then tennis lessons immediately following. By the time tennis lessons started around 4:45pm he was soooo done. It was a crazy mixed up day.

So, by Thursday evening when we went to Sauvie's Island he was a little bit of a wreck. After a short run in with a wire fence he was pretty much done for the day.

He did perk up a little for a little berry picking, some berry eating and a lot of berry throwing.


It's that time of year again in Oregon when then smell of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, marionberries, boysenberries and blackberries lure us into the fields for picking season. After swimming lessons one evening we took to the Sauvie Island fields with our 6 adults and 11 kids. Quite the production we were.