Friday, July 24, 2015

It's been busy.

After Omi, Opa and Aunt left..we've been working! Dominics room is pretty much finished, other than some new baseboards to go in and some accent pieces for him. Trying to decide what to do for a bed for him. He's finally usually sleeping thru the night which is nice! We've had some of the kids friends over at our house while their mom was working (their normal babysitter was out of town all most all of July).
The girls decided they wanted to try something different from unschooling, etc. that we've been doing and opted to try a more structured curriculum this year so we have been passing ideas around and finally decided on things we wanted to use and since they wanted a little more structure and to feel like they went to "real" school. We signed up for a charter school that gives us a budget and a few different places to shop for stuff and we just send them the list of what we want and they order it for us. The girls are all excited and are helping put the old dedicated school room back together after its been used for storage for several years. We decided we didn't want to feel like it was a school room, so we've opted for more of a relaxing place with lots of fun energy. So the girls helped pick out colors..
The walls will be the sandy color and the four other colors are to add energy, color and fun in a Caribbean/beach theme for the room..Yes, they really love the water. Kaitlyn even thinks she would like to learn to scuba now!

Anyway, we've picked several things up for the room already, as well as having purchased all our school supplies for this year. Hope to paint the room Sunday/Monday and then start moving things in. I'm amazed with how much "stuff" we have for the girls learning put aside in different places. boxes and boxes of stuff...and that's BEFORE we have the curriculum! Lots to do and hope to have everything done by the middle of August so it's ready to go by September 1st..what we are going to call the "first day of school" this year.

In the mean time..Hans is helping out a friend with her cabinets and she wanted to pay him for his time..and then discovered that the pool her kids begged her for wasn't getting used so asked if maybe we would like it..Since the girls had been bugging me for several weeks that they wanted a pool, we said sure..
I got it put up last Friday..and they've only been out of it two day was so cloudy and un summery they skipped it and today..since I shocked it overnight..I'm sure they will be back in it first thing tomorrow morning! When its even a hint of warm they are living in it from morning to night!

We have a few things on the back burner for August so we hope we'll have some fun pictures to share soon!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Gardens (Rose Garden and Japanese Garden)

We drove into Portland and visited the Rose Gardens and the Japanese Gardens. It's been a while since we visited the rose garden and it was the first trip for the Japanese Garden.
The kids had a nice time walking around looking at the roses and even got a treat (snow cone)

The Japanese Garden was very pretty the fish in one pond were a huge hit with Dominic! and well I just love the amount of water features.

I'll post some more later but it's been a long day and I'm about to fall asleep!

Nature walks and a Birthday party

Omi and Opa have been visiting so it's been a little quieter than it normally is around here. So we took one day and went for a nature walk at the wildlife refuge. Ari found a tree that had been downed by a beaver and thought it was pretty cool!

During our walk we also found these guys..
What guys? Let me get a close up....
There was probably over 50 in the group!
Dominic got a little "Opa time"
and the girls got a surprise quiz!
They did really well figuring out the pelts (coyote, bobcat, nutria and beaver) and even did pretty good on the skulls (coyote, bobcat and deer). They had a pretty nice time and a couple of days later it was time to celebrate a birthday (a little early).
We headed down to the lake and met up with some friends (15 kids and 9 adults at last count!),

 we did some kayaking and as expected Dominic took a little nap..
We made sure to put him in the shade away from the water. Also discussed the idea of just putting a kayak into his room for a bed since he sleeps so well on them ;)

I did wake him up in time for his cake..
All in all it was a pretty nice day! Dominic had a great time!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Three Capes tour

We decided to do the three capes (We'd visited one a while back and visited the light house etc but hadn't gone to the rest of the capes).

We traveled thru Forest Grove where we picked up a friend and her son for the day and off we went!
The first stop was the Tillamook Cheese Factory (it's a must!) picked up some yummy cheese and fudge! Then stopped at the grocery store for food and snacks for lunch!

 It turned out to be a beautiful day to do it! Not to hot, blue sky but mild temps for the most part.

We stopped at Cape Meares for Lunch and a visit to the octopus tree!

Then it was down to the beach and some fun in the water!

 The kids took a nap as we traveled (no pictures from Cape Lookout, so now I have to go back ;)  )
Then it was south some more and this beautiful area...
We picked up some coffee's for the mom's and headed back towards home. It's a long day trip and much to fast to actually enjoy each stop! So we have made plans to go camping at Cape Lookout sometime this summer and then a day just to investigate the southern Cape Kiwanda! Looking forward to another trip!

Niagara Falls OREGON...yeah, not THE Niagara Falls :)

We went with some friends over to Niagara Falls in the Siuslaw National Forest just East of Beaver Oregon along the Nestucca River Road that travels between Beaver and Carlton Oregon. The trip is a beautiful drive and there are several very small camp grounds along the way which we may eventually need to check out! Its been years since our last trip out there and the road is much different than it used to be! After parking at the trailhead and getting everyone situated (8 kids, 3 adults) it was time to head out! It's a fairly short trip (1 mile to the punchbowl formation). The walk in is pretty and lots to see


 You cant hear the waterfalls until your almost to the end of the trip. The First waterfall you can actually see from the trail is the second waterfall not the first one you pass..

 As you turn a corner you finally get to the first Waterfall...
Then a little further on and you get to the picnic area..

and the second waterfall, which you can get down to and explore!

Which they did! and LOTS of it!! The trip to the falls is pretty easy (because its mostly down hill!) and it doesn't occur to you that it also means it's mostly all uphill going back! After all that playing the uphill walk was a bit of a battle! Of course we've all recovered now and the kids all want to go back!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Dirty fun, a play, a historical visit, victim day, a UFO, Dutch AND French... and fencing..

in other words a week in review!
We had science class and tried to catch some crawdads (which we would then release back into the stream) but although the kids had a great time trying to find them and then catch them, they didn't have much luck! We started out at the local creek with just the kids before our friends arrived...

Then once the rest of our friends arrived it was on to the crawdad part!

Not a lot of success but it was a lot of dirty fun!

After that it was over for a fun snack and ice cream!
Later in the week it was over to the Children's Theater in Portland for a play "the Little Mermaid" which of course was interesting but much different than the movie and was the kids first time seeing an on stage play!
The kids enjoyed it, even Dominic was pretty happy to sit and watch it.
Lots of music and dancing. Of course once the kids were done and heading out to the car it was "Mom, it was a good play...but they messed the movie all up!" Oh well. got a fast lunch and headed to our next stop...Fort Yamhill! We met up with another friend and her kids (who are wonderful!) and had fun walking around the old fort site and discovering little tidbits of interesting information from pages of the soldiers diary they had placed around the area to get a feel for what it must have been like!

 We even found some of these in a small section of the grounds!

After that it was a day off (well kind of) before more craziness! We did have a Dutch skype lesson and a French skype lesson before....

Victim day!

Since I got to be a rescuer this time instead of just observing I didn't get many pictures but had to get a couple from our fearless leader Wendy of our friends who as always do things with "style"! I love these kids!
As soon as we were done doing the rescuing it was home, lunch and then Dad took the girls to see the UFO parade while mom put Dominic down for a short nap and  got a chance to relax for a little while.
The next day it was out for fencing...

No! Not that fencing! This kind...

And this...

and this...
and then Dad had to get in on the action!
Arianna (and even Dominic) seem to have inherited Dad's love of knives, swords etc. and were so excited to be there! Kaitlyn thought it was "okay" but Arianna was literally vibrating with energy and happiness! So what do we do? Sign her up for lessons of course~! She starts lessons in just a couple of weeks! She is so excited about it!

I finished my CERT classes and am kind of sad to be done with them! So much interesting information! The class was a lot of fun! The girls of course found out that I had passed everything and had to give me high fives. What a week!

This week its all kinds of chores at home! Then it's time to hit the ground running again!