Jul 21, 2012

friends, food & kids

These past 5 days have been super quiet. The kids and I have been house/dog sitting and we've been a bit confined to the house... which I wasn't totally expecting but when life hands you lemons you invite everyone to come over and see you instead! Peter's family was able to come spend the day with us on Wednesday and 2 of my favorite crafty friends arrived to spend Thursday and Friday with us!
Jessica from Srumdillydiily blog and her equally creative husband Jeff came to stay the night with us while passing through town on their way to Nevada. They arrived with gifts and were met by 2 very enthusiastic kids! It's been a little over 2 years since we've seen them in person and both Alaina & Chase were set on making up for lost time it seemed. Jeff is so incredibly patient with them both, I don't know how he does it!  Alaina somehow convinces him to play Barbies or in this case Monster High dolls with her and both kids tend to see Uncle Jeff as a jungle gym.... poor guy. :) Jessica and I got to discuss all of our upcoming crafty/blogging ideas - I'm so excited to get back home and get to work. I need to be creative - I miss my craft stuff!

While our guests were visiting, I got to play the role of a cook and planned a little menu around locally grown fruits, veggies and honey. Have I mentioned how much we're enjoying the home-grown produce! For breakfast the menu was: white peach/blueberry or blackberry shortcakes with fresh whipped cream & wildflower honey served with roasted chicken-apple sausage.

and for lunch I've been playing with my mom's panini maker. I'm not sold on the idea of absolutely needing one but they are kind of fun to use! We made 2 types of paninis, one being more of a grilled lunch sandwich: roasted turkey, bacon, tomato, spinach, red onion, avocado, mozzarella, with dill mayo on a garlic french bread. Then we tried a sweeter version with blackberries, honey and basil leaves, which I think I'll make a few adjustments to today and then try them again!

My parents are on their way back from North Carolina tonight (little sister graduated from Army boot camp this week!) and then we have 2 days of playing and shopping before we fly home to AZ. Got to make these last couple of days count!

Jul 19, 2012

fields of gold & fruit

While the kids and I were flying from Arizona to Northern California, Alaina was getting restless mid air (it's only a 2 hour flight but both children seem to have inherited my patience levels :)) and asked "are we even in California yet?" I told her to lift the shade on the window so I could see out. I took a quick glance out and saw the quilt like fields that we were flying above and told her that yes we've been in California for awhile. Of course she wanted to know how I knew and if I was sure. So we got into a little discussion about those fields and I asked if she knew where fruit and vegetables came from - "The grocery store?"

No, sadly living in AZ has completely sheltered my kids. (I've said this before but - 2012 is the year I start planning our great escape!) Once we got to Grandma's house it was easy explaining that all the fruit and vegetables we eat either grows on the ground or grows on a tree. My mom's fruit trees are full of fruit and the kids are able to go out each day and pick their own. Chase goes out with his bucket and shovel and scoops up fruit that has fallen to the ground, so proud of himself for what he's found!

I'm definitely adding a vegetable garden and a few fruit trees onto my wish-list for the new house when we finally do move!

I've also been making friends with the local hummingbirds. I think they may be getting use to seeing my camera. :)

Jul 13, 2012

The last couple days

I think, these will be the last photos of Oregon for us. The kids and I are all sick and we've decided just to call it a day, or a week rather and head back to Cali. I am happy with the photos I have this summer of the beach and the kids though! I left the scrapbook I made at home, so I've been dreaming up ideas of what photos I want to add to it. Decisions, decisions!

Today, I popped into a few antique stores, for the past 2 years I've been lucky enough to find a Kodak Brownie camera and at the last minute today I glanced down into a glass case to find an old box style! And it was one that I didn't have yet - even better! I was also able to pick up a few sewing notions and if I have some spare time next week while at my moms I was hoping to sneak in a little craft time with a good friend - fingers crossed!

We have an early wake up call and a 9 hour drive ahead of us, so I'm turning in early. I'll be back with some photos from our road trip tomorrow or as soon as I get them edited, which ever comes first! :)  Have a great weekend!

Jul 10, 2012

scenes from the beach: day 2 & 3

We've been in Oregon a total of 3 days and have managed to visit a new section of beach each day. Yesterday and today were spent at very sandy beaches, a total contrast to my favorite rocky beach but I think the kids enjoyed these latest ones a bit more! Each morning I get them bundled up, we are from Arizona after all, grab a few plastic bags for treasures and we head out to the beach.

Watching Alaina and Chase collect shells is quite entertaining, they each have their very own system when it comes to collecting. Chase, will search for anything that even slightly looks like a shell. He also likes; rocks, sticks, feathers, sea glass, flowers, leaves and pine cones. Alaina is much more methodical, the shells she looks for have to be a certain size, color and shape. When she returns home she rinses each shell off and groups them together by type. Chase on the other hand pours his shells out and proceeds to step on them because he likes the crunching sound they make. Oh... the difference between boys and girls!

Chase's favorite: Sand Dollars
Alaina's favorite: Clam shells

Today we did a short hike through the forest on a trail called: The Hobbit Trail. It started off flat and then twisted and turned all the way down to the beach. At one point we ducked into tunnels created entirely of plant matter. A very movie like setting indeed! At the end of the trail, it opens to reveal a very long secluded sandy beach which we caught at just the right time this morning as the tide was on it's way out for the afternoon. We walked for nearly 2 hours up and down the beach collecting shells and running from approaching waves. I think we could get use to going to the beach everyday!

I'm off to bed for the night, I think we might take a break and do a little touristy gift shopping tomorrow in the downtown area. Of course, I haven't run these plans by the kids yet so we may end up at a beach again tomorrow after all!

Thanks for checking out my vacation photos!