Crater Lake

While we were at the retreat center we weren’t that far from Crater Lake, so we decided to make a day trip to see it! We figured our kids should see Oregon’s top tourist destination!

On our way we stopped to see the Natural Bridge on the Rouge River. The water disappears underground for a short distance before rushing back out again further downstream! 

Two cute kiddos!

Crater Lake was completely fogged in when we arrived, but the fog lifted for a short time & we did actually get to see the lake! 

Wizard Island

Getting their picture with Crater Lake

It’s a long way down! You can see how clear the water is!!!

Taking selfies!

Audrey practicing her camera skills

We had hot chocolate & dessert in the lodge’s Great Hall

It seemed a little crazy since it was still August, but the fire was definitely a necessity!

Not much of a view today!

Posing like a princess!

Family picture in front of the lodge

We left the lake looking exactly the same as when we arrived: completely fogged in!

It ended up being a colder, rainier day than we anticipated, but we still had a good time!

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Family Retreat

We had the opportunity at the end of August to go to a retreat center for missionaries. It’s a small family-run place & they were super welcoming! We were glad we got to take the time away to be together as a family (& for the debrief that we received while we were there).

As we arrived the owner of the place was carrying a mostly-dead rattlesnake on his shovel! He gifted us with the rattle! Micah & the kids were thrilled, I was a little less excited! It was definitely a good object lesson to watch where you walk! 

The apartment had a nice big living area with toys! The kids quickly made themselves at home!

A lovely stream was just a short walk from our door!

We went for a little walk one afternoon (& took some big sticks in case we encountered any more snakes!)

We walked to a lake & went out in the canoe. The kids lasted about 2 seconds after we shoved off! They wanted back to land immediately! They didn’t like how much it rocked! 

So, we did some ‘fishing’ instead! As we didn’t have any bait, I don’t think we were in any real danger of catching anything! 

The kids enjoyed their first time ‘fishing’!

Micah went for a little canoe ride on his own! 

The family had the biggest dog I have EVER seen! It weighed more than I do & was just massive! Thankfully he was friendly! 

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Phone photos, vol. 4

Riding on the ponies at the fruit stand store! So much fun!

My first time canning! I ended up making a second batch so now I have 12 jars of blackberry jam! We’re going to enjoy a little taste of summer this coming winter!

Visiting my grandparents’ graves. I hadn’t realized how close Audrey was to being born on my Grandpa’s birthday!

We had a little birthday party with all the cousins (this saves us on shipping costs & the kids really enjoy it, although it was very confusing to Ezra who is a literal guy & was concerned that it wasn’t anyone’s actual birthday)!

Opening presents is always so much fun!

I got the girls matching shirts & hair bows! As you can see they were very excited!

Time for cake!!

Audrey insisted that I needed to take a picture of her holding hands with the football man! She’s very into holding hands with the stores mannequins at this point! 

Micah finally got his wish & got to go to an OSU game! 

The marching band before the game started!

Go Beavs!!!

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Oregon Coast Aquarium

Earlier in August, my mom took all of us to the Oregon Coast Aquarium. It’s one of Ezra’s favorite places in Oregon, so he was super excited to get to go back!

Looking to see how they compare to a basking shark! 

A super cute eel & fish!

Watching the sea otters playing!

Ezra was excited to see the puffins again!

The kids love these kind of things!

Inside the tunnel with fish all around us!

Watching the sharks swim around us!

Our little cutie!

Someone’s shocked by something! It’s a little blurry as it was taken by our 3-year old photographer-in-training!

So sad because we’re about to be eaten by a shark!

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Wedding Week, Day 6

The last day of our vacation arrived. We packed up our suitcases, loaded the car, & headed out.

On the road home talking on the phone with her special drink! A preview of Audrey in a decade or two???

Space Needle selfie!!

A close up of the Space Needle!

The Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle – we didn’t tour the museum, but we did enjoy looking at the outside of the building.

The kids enjoyed playing at the playground next to the EMP Museum

From here we rode the monorail to…

Pike’s Place Market! We even got to see some fish being thrown around!

After riding the monorail back to where we started we had lunch in the Armory (large building with lots of tempting restaurants)! Then we headed off back down the road towards home. It was a fun afternoon getting to see Seattle & made us all want to return another time!

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Wedding Week, Day 5

The big day arrived!!! Since the wedding wasn’t until the evening we were able to spend a quiet morning at home and get our kids a nap, which was important since the wedding didn’t start until 8:00, which is usually when my kids go to bed! With our kids being in the wedding, we arrived early for pictures. They didn’t need to be in all the pictures, so we had time to take some of our own &, much to our chagrin, the kids had time to play!

Me & my handsome boy!

All ready for the wedding!

Too much cuteness!!

Trying to keep everyone clean at an outdoor venue was next to impossible! They definitely had a good time twirling on the dance floor & falling down into a heap! (This picture & the remaining pictures were taken by my cousin as I didn’t have my camera out during the remainder of the night. Thanks, Lea!)

There was pre-wedding entertainment! These ladies were incredibly talented & flexible!

The ring bearers! Ezra did a phenomenal job carrying the box with the rings and holding onto his little cousin AND smiling!!

The girls did a great job too! Especially since they only got to practice with the flowers the day of the wedding!

And just in case you were wondering if Audrey was loving every second of wearing a fancy dress and having everyone watch her… here’s proof that she was eating it up!!

The new Mr. & Mrs.! Happy to be married!!

Ezra was happy to have his duties over & get on to something more enjoyable! His cousin had fun watching over his shoulder!

Daddy-daughter dance!

We left with our kids at 10:00 so we didn’t actually get to see the performance, but I heard that it was quite amazing!

Congratulations Caleb & Myken!

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Wedding Week, Day 3

We started our third day of family vacation with a short trip to Camano Island and the Cama Beach State Park

Nearly everyone got into throwing or skipping rocks!

The kids had fun playing a giant game of chess. Not surprisingly Audrey didn’t get how to play!

We were there for craft time & the kids got to make necklaces!

Ezra chose to draw a picture instead!

The final product!

Dad & Micah had a rousing game of horseshoes!

A beautiful day on Camano Island!

That evening we spent the evening enjoying our vacation home and the gorgeous view!

I have no pictures for the next day as we spent the morning cooking and picking up the house. That evening was the wedding rehearsal out at the property and then everyone came back to our vacation house for the rehearsal dinner. There was lots of good food & everyone seemed to have a really nice time!

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