Feeding the Birds - Salem, Oregon

We found another place to feed the birds in Salem last week and got some good pictures. There was bird poop EVERYWHERE, though. This was right downtown Salem across from a prison. I hope I can remember this for next year because the boys loved how many birds there were and the variety as well.

I love how toddlers squat like that!

This little guy loved feeding the birds. And when he ran out of bread, he was intent on getting some pronto.

Is that a look of determination or what?

He hit the jackpot.

These 2 boys gave me the willies. You can't really see it in the picture, but it was a steep incline going into the river. I was waiting for one of them to slip and fall into the river.

Love the orange eye liner.

Cute little fuzzy babies.

Some people look adorable in every picture - the hair, the cheeks.

Of course, the peaceful bird feeding had to come to an end in typical boy style - chasing the birds! Go figure.


Mission Mill Museum

Yesterday, we went to the Mission Mill Museum to feed the ducks. The Mission Mill has a wonderful history and shows how they used running water to power turbines to keep the mill in operation for many years. It was interesting looking around. We peaked inside old buildings and found an elevator taking us to the textile floor. On this floor was a large room filled with looms and a couple weavers. We were able to talk with them and they explained how to weave. I think it's important for children to understand how textiles were made prior to modern technology. I'm thankful that there are still people around who want to keep those old skills alive.

This lady has been weaving for over 40 years!


Before and After

2008 - Baby shows a half-smile. Maybe next year we can get a full smile? Also different from last year is we are keeping Bunny's curls. We love them.


2007 Notice the level of the shopping cart handle compared to next picture.

2008 Interestingly, this year, he only put things in his cart that he loves to eat. Last year, he put anything in his cart.
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When it's quiet on the homefront. . . . .

a seasoned mother knows something's up:

That was a planter with 6 different flowering plants. The word "was" is the key word of the previous sentence. Note the red scissors in 2-yr old's hands. Note the guilty look. 'Nuff said.
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News and Music Camp

Okay, bad news first. I'm bummed. Last night I was up very late packing to go to music camp. Inside a large monogrammed Land's End tote, I placed a beach blanket/sheet, and a cute Gymboree sleeping bag. In my haste, the trunk was accidentally left open and someone stole that tote with everything inside (pretty sure just those 2 items). They did, however, leave the violin (very thankful that the case was black and was positioned way in the back of the trunk). I guess it's just the idea of it. The beach blanket was purely sentimental. I scavenged it outside a dumpster at an apartment where we were living in GA in 1993. That beach blanket was taken to every beach outing in Virginia Beach when we lived there for 6 years and now for the 7 years we've been back in Oregon. It's well-worn, whoever finds it will probably trash it, but it's the memories attached, you know? The tote is no big deal (although I did pay real $$ for it). The Gymboree sleeping bag I would have kept for future grandkids, so that is upsetting. What is up with people? It feels so weird to think that someone was on our property helping themselves to our belongings - violated - yuck! Ok, enough of that.

We're at music camp this week and so while Pearly is taking classes, the younger children and I spend all day having fun. Here we are at A.C. Gilbert's Discovery Village. The kids spent most of the time at their fantastic playground equipment - lots of structures for climbing and lots of big twirly-tube slides.

Brown Eyes

I caught another smile from Jonathan - that is an amazing feat!

Oh, and while we were there, we saw a display to measure children's height. We measured Jonathan and he is 41 inches tall at nearly 2 yrs, 5 months. Now, if history proves itself, that means this kid will be over 6'10". I immediately called my husband and mom. Tall Dude is already 6'7" at 18 yrs old. We know that all of our children will be tall, but when you see double digits on the inches number - YIKES. He may be the true Tall Dude! My mother is the one who originally taught me the formula for predicting children's height. For girls, double their height at exactly 2 years old. For boys, double their height at exactly 2-1/2 yrs. This formula has proven to be correct within 1/2 inch for me and my siblings, my son, and eldest daughter.

Bunny just being cute.
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Ribbon Boards

Pearly and I did a little crafting and made these ribbon boards. They are quite easy to make using a canvas board, batting, fabric, ribbon, and staple gun. It took about an hour to do both and that is without any instructions, so anyone can do this project! The important part of this project is to make sure the ribbon is snug so it can hold the pictures in place.

Of course anyone who knows Pearly knows this one is hers - the blues/browns and girly! Orange boy was pretty cute - whipping out his hammer to nail in any staples that didn't go in all the way. Oh, and then Bunny helped with cutting the ribbon. I guess this was really a group effort after all.

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Big Babies

I've met quite a few moms who joke with me about birthing a baby 1/2 the size of my last baby.

My last baby was a big boy at birth, but this lady sure birthed some amazing-sized babies for twins: Amazing Mama.

Love all that squishy baby fat! Way to go, Mama!


Bored Boy

Yesterday, this 5-yr old boy came in my room whining about nothing to do. "It's so boring."
I told him to go look for bugs outside. He said, "you mean with pins?"
I said "yeah, ask your sister to show you where they are". (What was I thinking?)

So 24 hours later, little 5-yr old boy shows me this:

He's pretty proud of his collection on the piece of paper. "See, I just stepped on the bugs and then pinned it right through the middle so it dies fast." Thankfully, I see no guts or fluids.
". . . .but that spider right there isn't dead yet." (I see the thing wiggling even though it was successfully pierced through the body and the paper.)

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Recital Day

Pearly had a fiddle recital. She did a wonderful job. It's great to see improvement over the year.

What made the evening extra special was seeing our eldest daughter. That was the icing on the cake (or the whipping cream on the pie for our family - we're not big cake eaters).

I love you, Hannah!

PS - if you'd like to hear one of the songs where she learned how to "double stop" (playing 2 strings at once), here ya go: Pearly's Fiddlin'
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He's My Brother

Dh went downstairs to wake up the boys and these two boys sound asleep, cuddling in the bottom bunk. Orange boy (10 yrs) told us that Jonathan woke up in the middle of the night after losing his pacifier and couldn't get back to sleep, so he climbed into big brother's bed. This has never happened with any of our other children. What I find interesting is that he goes to his sweet brother's room for help, rather than going to Mama. (I'm kind of glad of that because I don't like the idea of a 2-yr old climbing up the stairs by himself at that late hour.)

But what sweetness this is! Makes my heart turn to mush.

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Her Royal Highness

When I take Pearly to fiddle lessons, this sweet cat has blessed me with her company on many occasions. I typically sit in the car during the lesson and read the Bible, listen to sermons, and/or knit. She climbs through the window to greet me and sits on my lap despite the fact that I'm knitting or holding a book. Quite a few times, this kitty thinks that she needs to warm my lap. One time, I actually fell asleep with kitty on my lap!

We used to have a gray cat, so whenever I tell the kids about this particular cat, they always listen intently to my stories. Last time we went to fiddle lesson, everyone came along and so they were able to meet Her Royal Highness.

Such sweetness! It makes us miss our beloved Cleo.
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If Mama's Happy . . . . Everyone's Happy

My local restaurant supply store had a couple remaining buckets of Spitz sunflower seeds and boy is this Mama happy. I first became acquainted with Spitz sunflower seeds on a trip to Alberta, Canada. We were visiting dh's relatives who offered me a bag. I couldn't believe how good these tasted. After leaving Canada, I made special arrangements with relatives to buy me big bags of sunflower seeds every time they went to Canada because I couldn't find them locally. Now they are local. Obviously, their good quality and taste is getting the recognition they deserve. They have the best roasted flavor and what I especially like about them is they are lightly salted - just enough so your tongue doesn't get all tweaked out after eating a bagful.

If you are a sunflower seed lover and haven't tried Spitz, give them a try. You might get as hooked as me.

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