Construction on the Homefront

Orange Boy has been helping Papa with getting rid of part of our concrete driveway and porch. The ground beneath the concrete driveway was eroding and causing the porch to sink.

In this picture, you can see the wide hole underneath the garage floor. It probably is a foot or more of gap that eroded away. The sidewalk area leading to our porch also sunk and was definitely a hazard; the boys removed about 8 feet of concrete from the driveway and all of the sidewalk area that you see in front of the porch. Dh also laid some sort of drainage pipe so that this will not happen again. We also got rid of the large azalea and hydrangea that were in the front to create a large patio out front. The front of our home has absolutely no curb appeal and this might open it up a bit since there is really nothing that can be done architecturally to our home without incurring major $$.

So, we're thinking of a stamped concrete patio. Do you have a stamped concrete patio? I'd love to hear comments (positive and negative) about stamped concrete. The front of our house has brick, so we were thinking of trying to tie into that theme. Any suggestions?
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So he can smile

Pardon the messy face, but when I looked through the pictures that my daughter took of Caboose - Mr. Stoic Serious Boy Who Rarely Smiles For A Camera, I couldn't help but smile from ear to ear. This is no staged picture. What you see is true messy kid, messy kitchen (making pear sauce), no pants, rainboots in the middle of a hot day, but would you look at that kid smiling? Un-flipping real. This NEVER happens for me.

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What Rain?

We went to a picnic on Sunday and it started pouring . . . . absolutely pouring. Because Bunny knows how to ride a bike now, Caboose thought that he got to "ride" the bike and so he put on Bunny's helmet by himself and started to walk Bunny's bike out in the rain - oblivious to the fact that he was getting sopping wet. I know the thought - "I'm an Oregonian, don't need an umbrella, rain is one with me".

So, seeing how I am sitting underneath a roof, nice and dry (read: lazy), and Orange boy has been playing in the rain and already sopping wet, I sent him out to fetch the Caboose. The pictures explain it all.

There's a true Oregonian right before your very eyes.

Come on, Caboose, we have to get out of the rain.

No, I want to ride my bike!

Mommie, he won't listen to me!!!!!!!
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Another Bike Rider in the World

I'm not sure why we didn't try this sooner, but we have a new bike rider. He went straight from tricycle to bike without training wheels on his 2nd try. This doesn't surprise me. He's been very coordinated since he learned how to walk. He is one happy camper.

Click on the picture to enlarge


From the Mouth of a Six-Year Old . . . .

Who are you voting for? - - - - - -

I'm voting for God - - - who can get better than that?


Have you seen this?

I love picasa3. It organizes my pictures, can edit and fix absolutely horrible pictures. One of the new features on Picasa 3 is the collage feature. Isn't this cool? I've made a couple collages using the program at Snapfish and Costco, but this collage feature gives you more options. Framed collages make great gifts and saves so much time over traditional scrapbooking. I did this in less than 5 minutes. The hardest part was picking out my favorite pictures.

Oh, did I mention Picasa 3 is FREE? Picasa 3 Click Here

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Orange, anyone?
Orange boy (who got the name because, well, obviously he likes the color orange, and also because he insists the color of his hair is orange) went out to the garden and picked some heirloom tomatoes. They are completely ripe and . . . . ORANGE. I wish you could see how big that tomato was. I made EIGHT turkey sandwiches and put 2 generous slices on each sandwich and still only used ONE-HALF of the tomato. It was huge!!!

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The Tradition Continues

Last week, Tall Dude broke his wrist in a bike accident. Today, Hannah came over for a visit and was just about to leave as Tall Dude came home from school. As soon as he saw her, he pulled out three different colored Sharpies for her to sign his cast. I had nothing to do with this. When did this tradition start? Anyone know?

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Beach Trip

We went to Rockaway Beach, Oregon for the day on Sunday. It was a gorgeous day. Grandma and Grandpa tagged along with their dog.
Bunny got his pants so wet, they were falling off his skinny waist. He kept holding the back of his pants up!

Orange boy requested this action shot.

All of the kids couldn't get enough of these tide pools. This is every boy's dream - to be able to stomp in every puddle.

Pearly Girl

Grandma holding her baby - oops, dog, Priscilla, in a baby carrier.

Grandpa throwing frisbee.

Tall Dude swinging around the Caboose. (Tall Dude had a bike accident last week which resulted in a fractured wrist.)
Papa and his 4 youngest boys.
Brown eyes


Calling all Parents of Prior Pacifier Users

Say that 5 times quickly!

We seem to have gotten ourselves into a predicament. All of our other children sucked fingers/thumbs and one child sucked her blanket. This caboose of ours is absolutely hooked on his paci. We've been trying to curtail this annoying habit at bedtime, but if he finds one around the house (which is very likely because ours have legs, you know), into the mouth it goes.

June 2006 - 4 months old

5 months old in this picture and he knows how to get it in his mouth. Aug 2006

March 2007

Aug 2008

Okay - if you had a paci baby, how did you get rid of it or stop the habit? Cold turkey seems a bit cruel, but I may resort to that pretty soon.
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Break-In at Church Camp

Last Thursday we left home to drive 4-1/2 hours away into central WA for a church camp. Last year when we went, we arrived one day earlier than the rest of the group and really enjoyed the quiet family time together, so we decided to do the same this year. We called the caretaker on Wednesday and left a message and also several times before leaving on Thursday. No response.

We decided to just hit the road anyway thinking that perhaps their phone service was out because it is at a remote location. We arrived around dusk and were greeted with a locked gate. Not good. We parked the van and crept under the gate to look around. There before us was a herd of 15-20 cows grazing at the camp! Weird. They did not leave piles of manure, but "spreads" of manure - some 8 feet long, 4 feet wide. Along with the elk droppings that are typically there, it reminded me of brownies and chocolate chips. Lovely.

We looked around and saw that everything was locked, the dining hall, the caretaker's home, the bathrooms, cabins, everything!! The mudroom to the caretaker's home was open and we walked inside and could peek and see their kitchen. There was a sink full of dirty dishes and dirty dishes on the counter. It made me think they left abruptly - was there an emergency?

It had taken 45 minutes to drive through the hilly and windy mountainous pass and I really dreaded driving through all of that again in search of a hotel for our very large family (and let's not forget the $$).
One last time, we walked around a cabin and found a window open! Dh popped the screen off and sent skinny Brown Eyes in and he opened the cabin door for us. This also happened to be the cabin that was originally assigned to us! Yes, that's right, we broke into the cabin at church camp!

Thankfully, our cabin was fairly close to the gated entrance, so we all went back and forth to the van getting our bedding and belongings. We had brought 3 meals and a porta-potty, so we were good to go. Because there was no stove to cook dinner, we ate our next day's lunch for dinner: hummus and chips, veggies from our garden and dip, and even a fresh peach pie! It was so yummy.

Hummus for dinner

The next day we had another look around. We found one door open to the dining hall that we had previously missed. Good, that meant I could cook our lunch. We were beginning to get worried because our church friends were on their way and we had no way of notifying them that the caretaker wasn't there and the camp was locked down because of no cell service.

In the meantime, dh, always the tinkering engineer, worked on a boat for Bunny. He had begun it at home, but finished it at camp by adding a "sail" from a paper plate and adding string.

Finally, about noon, the caretaker and his family arrived back home. They hadn't had even one full day break all summer because of all the camps over the summer and when they realized they had a 2-day stretch with no campers, they up and left everything as is. On top of that, Mrs. Caretaker, 8-wks pregnant, was sick as a dog. That explained a lot.

Within an hour of the caretaker's arrival, our church friends started arriving and we had quite the story to tell.
The caretaker actually laughed at us when we told him our story. We knew he would be fine with it. But what a story - going to church camp and breaking in! This will be great memories for our family.
We heard great preaching and there were 4 baptisms in the lake.

Our church has a bunch of volleyball maniacs, including the pastor. There is a gym at the camp and people traditionally play all night until the wee hours. (This is the place where I tore my ACL last year playing volleyball.)

This is what it looks like when you stay up past 1:00 AM every night playing highly competitive volleyball.

And this is just pure sweetness - Papa with his baby son holding a stick.

We arrived safely back home to see our apple and pear trees dropping their fruit. Guess what I'll be doing the next few days?


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