Family Camp

Just arrived back home last night from family camp. We had a wonderful time on Whidbey Island camping with many families. It was great to have my parents join us this trip. We enjoyed swimming, canoe rides, boating, four-square, lots of competitive games, no cooking/cleaning, good teachings, relaxing talks with friends, etc.

Orange boy is holding what was our "race car" for the "Clinton 500". It was filled with water, but had holes punched out at the bottom. Teams had to have 2 people constantly filling up the car with water before it emptied as the racers ran the car around the track many, many times (there were no wheels on the car, it was pulled by a piece of twine). It was tiring, but very fun. We had a kick watching Bunny take his job very seriously at his young age. What fun!
We are still recovering from our memorable trip. On the way back home to OR, we dropped dh and Tall Dude off with some friends. They spent the night at a cabin on Mt. St. Helens and today they climbed to the top and ate lunch at the summit. I sure hope someone got good pictures.



Our garden is getting to the point where I'm going to have to leave zucchini on doorsteps. I'm trying to use up as much as we can. These turned out really yummy:

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

And who can resist these wonderful Rainier cherries?

And hopefully I will have time this week to make another skirt from this thrifted cotton/lycra which used to be homemade curtains in their previous life. Price = $4


The Girls

I've been getting updates from my girls - and pictures. Don't you just love modern technology?

Here's Pearly at Virginia Beach, VA:

And here's Birdie at Busch Gardens:


Summer Sewing

Taking a break from skirts, now it's time for pillowcases. I've made so many that it's easy to get in the groove - especially if they are already cut out. Last year I made the kids pillowcases to take to family camp. Dh and I didn't have any, so this year, I made ours. Dh has the brown one - fishing theme. Mine is the floral print. I love, love, love, this fabric. I went to a really neat store in SE Portland called Cool Cottons and found it there. The owner overheard me say that I wanted something that I could lay my head on and immediately showed me this fabric (called "follow your imagination" by Prints Charming for Free Spirit). I've never felt any cotton so soft. It's perfect!

The pirate ones are sure to be hits with the boys' upcoming birthdays. And I also started making travel size pillowcases. You can see PJ's in his crib. And the last picture is for the girls who surely must be homesick for their beloved PJ by now. PJ loves to tuck his baby in when he goes down to sleep.


Summer Happenings

The girls are on the East coast and now Tall Dude left to go to the Oregon coast with some friends for 6 days. Now I've got 4 kids 9 and under and it is making me appreciate all that my older children do to keep the house in some sort of order. When my son told me of his plans and we only had a few hours for him to get packed, I immediately went shopping because otherwise I'd have to take all of the children and that's not really fun when shopping for shoes - how pathetic is that!

We still had some blueberries left in the fridge that needed to be used, so I made a coffee cake this morning. I could get by with only one since our family is so small. And there was still a nice size piece for dh when he comes home tonight :) It was pretty good, but I think next time I would add some lemon or orange zest. I love citrus zest with blueberry.

PJ wishing someone would push him in the swinging chair.


It was a little too quiet . . .

so I went looking for 2 little boys. . . . and found them:

Bunny feeding PJ popcorn

Looks like happy campers to me :)


CCC and Bingo

Tall Dude made some delicious chocolate chip cookies last night and while he and Papa were out, the 3 boys and I played BINGO. It was great fun. Bunny sat by me as I called out the numbers and he was pretty good at finding the letter and then the number. As soon as he saw the number he was looking for in my hand, he yelled out BINGO before I had a chance to say the number. Prizes were awarded, too - Baby Ruths. I know my 2 absent daughters won't mind me depleting my Baby Ruth stash. They are obviously having too much fun in VA. They have only called one time. (visualize mama tapping foot on the ground with hands on hips)

The boys wanted me to take a picture of them eating chocolate chip cookies, so I did.

And of course a close-up to prove that they were cooked to perfection. We do have high standards around here.

It is nice to have more than our usual quota of cookies since 2 girls are gone, I must add. We all definitely took advantage of that. Thankfully, Papa has been walking my hips off in the evening .

To my precious girls: Have fun at VBCC tomorrow. Give lots of hugs to that lurking lady with the initials MA and her sweet family. Also, please go find Mrs. T - the one with 6 kids and evidently is in a wheelchair now. You must give her a hug from me, and of course Gma Sylvia and your old choir teacher and their family. Oh, and the family who used to live in Germany and those crazy guys who sing together. I'm feeling a tinge of jealousy that I couldn't have hid in your suitcase.


I find this sad

3-month old PJ

In this day where so many children have health issues, I find this sad:

New mothers stop breastfeeding too soon, CDC finds

The Associated Press

ATLANTA | Nearly three-quarters of new U.S. mothers are breastfeeding their babies, but they are quitting too soon and resorting to infant formula too often, federal health officials said Thursday.

A government survey found that only about 30 percent of new mothers were feeding their babies breast milk alone three months after birth. At six months, only 11 percent were breastfeeding exclusively.

read the entire article here

I can think of very few things that are as blissful as having a little baby gaze into mama's eyes while nursing. Okay, so I'm a little biased.


Public Apology

I need to be upfront and make a public apology right now to my few faithful readers. I started a tradition when my 2 eldest children went to Honduras by taking pictures of what is going on around home to "entice" them that there really is no place like home. I will have a lot of competition this time as my girls will be staying with great friends and seeing so many friends from our old church. Pearly was born there and we moved when she was 6 years old, so they have a lot of history in Virginia Beach. I've heard talk of going to the beach, Ocean Breeze water park, Busch Gardens, Williamsburg. That's a lot to compete with and I know they will be reading the blog. So, here goes . . . .

Birdie and Pearly - while you were way over there on the other side of the continent dealing with heat AND unbearable humidity, lack of sleep, etc, we were waking up to comfortable weather in the 70s, no humidity, no bugs, and muffins and smoothy for breakfast. These were muffins with oatmeal, apricot, and blueberries. You already know how good the smoothy was. So sorry you missed it.

Now I'm off to teach younger children how to do the dishes that you should be doing.


They're Gone

I have been stranded by my daughters and am surrounded by 6 boys (1=dh). My girls went to VA to visit friends. Help me!

One last kiss


More skirts

Here's Pearly's newest skirt. She had a lot of seam-ripping to do because of putting the tie on the wrong way, but her persistence paid off. I'm so proud of her. This is her 3rd skirt she's made. She's saving me a bundle of $$ and learning new skills at the same time. Total cost: $8

Here's an A-line skirt with zipper my 20-yr old just finished for herself. Total cost of fabric and zipper - $11.25.

Here's another wraparound I completed last weekend. The colors are definitely "me". Total cost = $8

I don't think I've ever come across a sewing book that has been put to such use. And we've only begun because there other styles as well.

Today it's supposed to be 92 degrees and we have no a/c. It feels great to be wearing a light cotton skirt and tank - even cooler than shorts.



We have a big climber in our house. Not even 18 months, our Caboose easily climbs up to the top bunk, even dragging along his beloved blanket. Bunny doesn't mind one bit. They stay up there in the top bunk and play. Caboose likes to pretend he's sleeping and "scooches" himself under the covers. It's cute to see these little guys playing together.


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