Saturday, October 14, 2017

Photo Friday [202]



It's the age of gap-tooth smiles.  Greg lost a front tooth this week, and its neighbor can't be far behind.


 And since it happened at school, he got to go to the school office and get a special baggie to put it in.



House painting is officially done, and just in time before some rainy days.



 My lovely sister-in-law invited my mother-in-law and me out for a fancy tea.  It was a belated birthday celebration... for all three of us I guess!  It was very fun...


 ... and delicious!








Brian had a birthday this week, and last week was our nephew's birthday, so we had a joint party for them today.



 Before cake and ice cream, we did some cider pressing!  My in-laws have this antique (more than 100 years old!) cider press that still works (with a little TLC). 


 Many hands make light work.


Greg hard at work cranking the press.


It was also the first time we had a family get-together since our three "new" nephews officially joined the family last week when their adoption was finalized!  So glad to have these boys in our family, even though one didn't make it into the pictures...



Until next week!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Photo Friday [201]

You know when a small project turns into a big one?

That's kind of what happened to us this week.  All summer long we have known that there were some fascia boards that had been replaced on our furlough house that had not yet been painted, and that they needed to have paint applied before the fall rains started.  We put it off until now, when we realized that it really was getting quite late and we'd better get on it.  Well, after a lot of indecision, we decided to go ahead and paint the whole house... it was due for a new exterior coat.  So that project has dominated our week.

Here it is before painting, although after washing, sanding and prepping.  You can see some color samples on the side of the garage as we tried to decide on a color.


And we decided that we might as well completely change the color scheme, from white with very dark teal trim to a dark "griege" with cream trim.  We were able to borrow a paint sprayer, and as you can see, Brian just went to town with it.  

Of course, now that the fun part it done, we still have a lot of work painting the trim.  Today was spent painting downspouts and starting on the trim work (including those previously mentioned "naked" fascia boards...)


 
 Here is where we are at the end of today, with some help from Brian's parents.  The color is the kind that seems to change colors depending on the light, so I'm not sure this photo is a good representation of it.  It's a brown that sometimes looks grey and sometimes looks a bit green.

Of course we've been making lots of trips to the nearby Home Depot, and I bet you can imagine all the oohs and aaahs that we got this morning when we brought along this:

 Twirling skirt, pigtails, tap shoes and a super hero cape.  The girl knows how to make an entrance!

Until next week!



Saturday, September 30, 2017

Photo Friday [200]

Two hundred Photo Fridays?  That's a lot!

 This morning Caleb's preschool class got a tour of our local fire station.



Spraying the fire hose was something he had been looking forward to for weeks!


Learning about Firefighter gear.








Other than that, there has been lots of biking.  A few cold and rainy days warned us that summer is over, and so now when the sun shines the boys have a better appreciation of it!







This is Kate's cute/baby/puppy face  We see this a lot.

Until next week!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Photo Friday [199]

Looking at my computer this morning I realize that the only thing I did with my camera this week was to take some video of Kate dancing in the living room.  The kids are big fans of on-demand music, and this is pretty much the soundtrack of our life right now:

video



Friday, September 15, 2017

Photo Friday [198]



 This week we celebrated this guy's birthday.  I was taking pictures of him as he watched a cartoon.  He seems skeptical...




...and then his brother came home from school and started watching too.



 Caleb wanted a pelican cake.


The intention was to make it look like one of his stuffed animals.



Here you can see the toy in question, proudly posing with its cake!


Two sets of grandparents and a cousin came over to help us celebrate.

He wanted police Legos.


video

He got to go to the store and pick out a present with his great-grandparents, and he chose a tool set.  (a very short video clip, just watch it.)



 He also was rockin' the Spiderman apparel.


Including his very own Spiderman bike - a gift from grandma and grandpa!


Where we live we are blessed with having a nice paved loop in front of our house that we share with two neighbors.  It's not officially a street, and so there is hardly any traffic at all.  Perfect for biking and running.



Big brother has been spending almost all of his spare time practicing bike "tricks," and so we are thrilled that now Caleb will be able to ride with him.  Gotta enjoy these last few days/weeks of good weather before the Oregon fall and winter catch us!




We haven't really had rain, but Kate enjoyed playing on our deck which was wet from watering the lawn...





Until next week!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Photo Friday [197]

A lot of photos this week, so let me summarize for you so you know if it's worth scrolling through:

Eastern Oregon, hot air balloons, wedding (with goats), school and yummy food.

Ok, you're still in?  Let's get to the photos!

If you remember from last Friday, we were on our way to Boise for the wedding of a friend.  Let me say, Eastern Oregon has surprised me.  I didn't expect to like it as much as I have during this furlough on the few times we've traveled through. 

For those of you not familiar, Eastern Oregon is high desert.  It's kind of like when people think of my home state of Colorado, they think of the majestic Rocky Mountains, and don't realize that the Eastern half of the state is pretty dry and flat and (ahem) boring.  When people think of Oregon they think of the coast or the Cascade mountains.  But Eastern Oregon has its own, different kind of beauty.


The view outside Prairie City (also home to the giant covered wagon above).


 In keeping with the gold theme of our trip to California this summer, we also stopped in Sumpter to see this old gold dredge...


 ... to play on old mining equipment...


... and to see the impressive display of big gold nuggets at the U.S. Bank branch in  Baker City, including the impressive 80+ oz Armstrong nugget at the top there.


Gold fever taken care of, it was time to turn to hot air balloons!  After I realized that I had missed our own local hot air balloon festival in Oregon, I started searching around to see if there would be another opportunity to see/photograph one while we are in the states.  And guess what was happening in Boise the same weekend that we were already planning to be there?  Yup.  The Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic.  And our hotel (already booked in advance), was located an easy one-mile walk down a bike path from the park where the festival was taking place.  Lucky me!

 Friday night we went to the park to see the night glow event.





And Sunday morning we were up at dawn to see the final launching - 50 balloons!


We convinced grandma and grandpa to come with us, before they started helping to set up for the wedding, which was that afternoon.

 I tried to limit the photos for you, honest.  The last time I remember going to a balloon festival would have been when my family lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico when I was about Caleb's age or younger.  That balloon festival is one of the best known in the world, and I still remember how amazing it was to see all of those balloons take off in the chilly early morning air.







(I think the boys look so excited because at this point it was finally time to walk back to the hotel for the breakfast buffet!)





And Sunday afternoon/evening we were wedding-ing.  It was really a fun party... probably more fun than my wedding, but then this couple is probably just more fun in general than I am. ;)


And this one was thrilled with her "princess Belle" party dress.






The couple did a good job of planning for the little ones too.  Outside the reception hall, there was a giant tub of carrots to feed to the next-door goats!
 

An unusual, but very effective entertainment option!


 Did I mention big tubs of popcorn and other kid-friendly food?  (And they had food trucks for dinner... seriously, waaaaaay cooler than my wedding.)


Kate met another little girl her age and they became instant best friends, in the way that two little sugared-up, stayed-up-way-too-late little girls do.


Wedding over, we had to head straight back home, because the boys started school on Tuesday!


First day of second grade for this one!  Attending a public school, riding the bus... maybe we'll even get him to try a hot lunch before the year is up. 
 

Because it's a small town, you might not be too surprised that Greg's teacher went to the same High School as Brian, though a few years after him.   We think that Brian's brother might know her...



Caleb is attending preschool at a church here in town two mornings per week.  He loves it so far.


When we arrived in Oregon, a garden had already been planted for us, and we have been enjoying the fruits of it the past few weeks.  Its amazing that it's all stayed alive, really, with almost no rain and us traveling around so much!


 Brian and I have been intrigued by the new meal-delivery services that are popping up everywhere.  In the spirit of trying to blend back into American culture, we used a discount coupon to try out a half-price week of Blue Apron.

I have to say, I really dig the idea.  Good healthy food, flavors you might not try otherwise, and the relief of not having to come up with the answer to the question "what's for dinner?" all on your own.   No shopping, and no leftover specialty ingredients that you might not use again.


 What do you think?  Did I do a good job?  I have never cooked with capers before.  It was super yummy!!

Sadly, I don't think it'll fit into our budget long-term - especially if we started ordering enough to feed the whole family,  instead of just two people.  So I canceled after our first, discounted delivery.  (...but I may have signed up for another deeply-discounted trial week with a competing meal delivery service for next week.. just for comparison...)

Do you think they might start doing something like this in Papua New Guinea?  A girl can dream...