First Day of School

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First day of Second Grade!

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First day of Preschool 4 (Actually her second “first” day! It was decided that because of her age she should repeat preschool 4. She has a different teacher & will go all 5 mornings.)

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All ready to start school!

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And this is more what life looks like in our house: Mr. t-rex & Miss Sassy Smile!

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Last Days of Summer

As we started our last week (& a half) of our summer break, I decided we should go out ‘with a bang’! We crammed our last days full & had a lot of fun!

 

Monday

 

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We went to the state capitol & walked around looking at the building. (Also, I think this could work as a band photo for their album!)

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We climbed all 127 steps to the top to see the Gold Man (I ‘may’ have had to carry Audrey for the last half of the stairs, because she thought it was going to be scary at the top)

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A fun kids sculpture outside the capitol building!

Tuesday

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We went to visit Grandpa at work! The kids had fun climbing on the various pieces of machinery that weren’t being used!

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They had a great time playing in the piles of dirt! They came home filthy, so I think it was a successful day!

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Future workers at my dad’s business??? Perhaps not – Ezra said, “No, because there aren’t any animals” and Audrey said, “No, because I’m gong to be a princess & wear a pretty dress & I would get dirty” It was still a fun morning, though!

Wednesday

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Out for ice cream at Baskin Robins! Nothing says “Summer” like ice cream!

Thursday

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We  got to go have dinner with Daddy & some of the new students. Pizza is always a favorite!

Friday

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I forgot to take a picture, but we had pizza & a movie! The kids finally got to watch Zootopia, which they’d been wanting to watch all summer!

Saturday

It isn’t summer without a trip to the fair! (At least that’s what my kids think!)

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Picking up ‘eggs’!

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Petting a wombat in the petting zoo

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Hello, Fawn!

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Watching the pig races

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At the monster truck show!

Sunday

I forgot to take a picture, but we got invited to our friend’s BBQ! The kids had a blast playing with their friend!

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Monday

We went for a picnic lunch at Willamette Mission State Park & then went for a couple of short walks!

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The “ghost structures” of the old mission buildings

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Playing in the river

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Looking at the Nation’s largest Black Cottonwood! (Who knew?!?!)

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It’s been a fun summer…

I was just going through all our pictures from the summer & found a random assortment that show all the fun times we’ve had. Most of them didn’t fit into any of the previous posts, so I thought I’d just stick them all in one post as a fun review of our adventures these past couple months!

 

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Story time with Nene & Da when they were out visiting!

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Getting in some snuggles before we left on our trip to CA!

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Ezra’s first time holding a baby (at least that is what he told me – obviously he ‘held’ Audrey when she was a baby!) He looks like a natural!

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What can I say? We love our ice cream!

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California Sun (at SeaWorld)

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Aren’t Audrey & I the cutest bats you’ve ever seen?!?

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This little lemur escaped from her cage!

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Yum!!! Gotta love In-N-Out!

 

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I guess he was having story time with his friends!

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My dad’s business sponsors a gate at a local rodeo & he gets a few tickets as a ‘thank you’, so this year he & my mom took Micah & I! It was a fun evening! It doesn’t get more American than that!

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Happy 4th of July!

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A little red, white, & blue cutie!

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Yes, that is my daughter asleep with a Santa hat on her head in the middle of the summer!

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Nothing says ‘summer fun’ more than a dirty face!

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We got to see the Reptile Man at a park & the kids got to pet an Albino Boa Constrictor!!

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Apparently, Audrey got eaten by a shark! (We were visiting the Whale Museum at the Coast)

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“Look, Mommy, I have a baby in my tummy!”

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Looking out at the wildlife refuge through the holes in the blind!

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The kids were just tickled to harvest real live carrots from Grandpa & Baba’s garden!

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Cousins!

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We had semi-private swim lessons this summer & they were the best! My kids learned SO much!

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They even spent time learning about life jackets & how to help rescue someone!

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Face Painting at the Library Carnival for summer readers!

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They also got to climb up in a fire truck! Audrey, of course, wanted to drive!

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Family Program

Micah & Ezra did two separate programs at the Marine Science Center. They had a great time learning about sea life! The first class was all about whales:

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They got to put together a Baird’s Beaked whale skeleton

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They got to make whale tags similar to the ones scientists use to tag whales in the wild

The second class involved going out into the tidal flats and looking for life out there:

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Digging for ghost shrimp

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Found one! Actually they found lots of them!

They also turned over rocks to see the little crabs all scuttle around! Ezra was a bit skittish about touching the live animals, but was into looking for them!

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And one more sunset pictures, but it’s beautiful & I can’t resist!

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Day trip to the Beach!

We were told about the Hatfield Marine Science Center’s Family Program and made plans for Micah & Ezra to attend two different sessions. While the guys were learning about sea life, Audrey & I got some girl time. We stopped & picked out a kite for flying on the beach and then I asked her what she wanted for a treat. “Chocolate Cake” was her answer! A girl after my own heart!

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Lots of chocolate, ice cream, & whipped cream! Yummy!

After the guys finished with their session, we had a look around the rest of the science center before heading out to explore the area!

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The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse – we made it just in time to tour the house before they closed up. From the front porch we could see whales spouting off in the distance!

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At the Yaquina Head Lighthouse

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Way off in the distance we could see bumps on the rocks, so Micah zoomed in with our camera & they were Seals!

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Watching for whale spouts! We saw a couple pretty close to the shore!

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I LOVE the Oregon Coast! I know I say that probably every time I post about it, but it hasn’t changed, it’s just SO gorgeous!

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Our little explorers at the lighthouse!

As we were driving back up the coast, Micah happened to look out at the ocean & thought he saw spouts really close to shore, so he pulled into the pull-out aptly named Whale Cove and in the space of about 30 minutes or so, we saw so many spouts we lost count! And not just spouts, but backs, pectoral fins, & possible even the sides of tales!

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The back of two whales!

Hunger finally drove us from our prime whale-watching spot and we enjoyed burgers at our favorite spot!

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The kids LOVE playing on the beach! Mom is a little less enthused as it usually results in sandy, wet clothes, so I try to put it off until the end of the day!

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Stunning! Nearly all of my favorite things in one picture!

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H&M selfie

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A beautiful sunset to end a beautiful day!

(Well, that & a little DQ before we left town!)

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First Camping Trip!

Micah grew up camping. My family did not. My Dad has always said that camping is when the Marriott runs out of towels. However, Micah has great memories of camping in spite of his family’s curse: the rain starts when they set up their tent and stops when they take it down! Being back in the states where we could acquire some basic camping gear for a reasonable price, we decided to give it a try! Thankfully, my cousin & her family who have camped quite a bit & have all the necessary gear to make a camping trip successful joined us, which made for a much more enjoyable trip! Plus, she was super helpful in the whole ‘buying the absolute minimum necessary in order to have a camping trip’! It’s good to know that Micah’s family’s curse still holds power, but in spite of the rain we had a great time! And honestly, it mostly rained at night when we were all in our tents, so we were able to enjoy the days!

 

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Learning to play uno!

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Who doesn’t love raw peas???

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Playing Trouble!

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Roasting JUMBO marshmallows (they actually aren’t better – just stick with the normal ones! In this case, bigger is not better!)

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Messy, marshmallow-y faces

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One day was really rainy & we needed a break so we went to visit the little museum in the next town over! We found a snow mobile to try out!

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On our way home we all stopped off at Mt. Hood. It was pretty cloudy, but we got a few brief glimpses!

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Inside Timberline Lodge, we got to pet this pretty dog! Ezra’s face lit up when he learned that her name is Heidi! He felt like he’d met the real live version of his lovey!

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Audrey insisted on having a picture taken with Smokey Bear!

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She also needed her picture taken with her Daddy!

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Our whole group at Timberline Lodge (dirty, smelling like campfire, but happy!)

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Summer Road Trip, Day 16 & 17

We had one day to spend sightseeing in San Francisco so we crammed it full!

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We drove down Lombard street!

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Posing for a picture in Union Square

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Never has there been a more perfect bench for our little Miss Audrey!

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The gate to Chinatown

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We had a super yummy lunch while in Chinatown!

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After lunch we walked along the Embarcadero to Pier 39 where we found a couple of cute crabs!

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There’s Alcatraz from a distance (we decided not to spend the time or money making the trip out there)

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Sun & wind & the San Francisco skyline (including the TransAmerica pyramid & the Coit Tower)

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Since we were tourists we had to stop in at Ghirardelli Square!

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Someone couldn’t wait to taste our Sundae!

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Time for a trolley ride!

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Selfies while we wait for our trolley ride to start!

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The painted ladies looking pretty in the sunshine!

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One last look at the Golden Gate Bridge before we headed back to our tiny house for the night!

Our last day of our trip was all driving…in the 12 hours it took us to get home, we spent 10 of those hours in the car driving! (We got to stop & visit with a friend of mine from college in Redding that helped to break up the drive!) And our kids did awesome!!

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Mt. Shasta

We were happy to see our home again, but sad to have our “vacation of a lifetime” come to an end!

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