Are We Being Watched?

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This morning, while I was in the kitchen making coffee, I saw this contraption on the counter. Kylin is really into things related to security. Not the personal security of his place in life, but security cameras, security guards, security alarms, and so on. Recently, he found a black & white disposable camera from probably 8 years ago (it had pictures from a coast trip that I hadn’t developed) and he taped it to the wall above the window over our kitchen sink. It stayed there for about 2 weeks, until I came downstairs one morning, and I noticed that it was gone. I looked all over for it and couldn’t find it. So I thought that perhaps, he had finally taken it down. I found it, about a half an hour later, in the sink, in a container full of water. I guess I won’t be developing those pictures.
So this morning, I noticed a replacement camera, with a paperclip hanger, secured with my freezer tape. I guess he felt that the last camera was a fail as it didn’t stay up. So now, we may be seeing this camera staring us down when we walk through the kitchen. If this one doesn’t work, maybe we should hide the video camera and whatever he thinks he needs to hang it up! 🙂

Elizabeth

The Cooler

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For the most part, we use our cooler once per year, for the July 4th festivities. Every year, when those festivities are over, we bring this cooler into the house, into the livingroom, with the intention of taking out the remaining sodas and emptying out the ice and water. However, it tends to stay in the livingroom and serves as sort of a mini fridge. Then I start thinking about how cool(no pun intended) it would be to actually have a mini fridge there. Then I remind myself, that this isn’t a bachelor pad or a man-cave (not picking on men here, but I’ve never seen a mini fridge in a single woman’s livingroom), and we can walk 10 feet to the full sized one in the kitchen. And we could use the little bit of exercise to work off whatever caloric item we’re planning to get from that fridge.
Sometimes though, a mini fridge does sound like a nice idea.

Elizabeth

Another Birthday for My Grandma

My kids and my grandma

My kids and my grandma

On the day after our July 4th festivities, we celebrated my grandma’s 96th birthday! We are so happy to still be able to celebrate with her! I’m just happy that my kids have a great-grandparent they are close to. Especially a grandmother, since they really didn’t get to know their other grandmothers that well (due to death or illness). So Grandma, I hope that you had a wonderful birthday and enjoyed our company as well as we enjoyed yours! We Love you!

Elizabeth

July 4th!!

How was your 4th?
Ours was full of the usual traditions. The first of which was driving to Harrisburg for their annual parade. Harrisburg is a small, one traffic-light farm town. Their billboard along the freeway advertises that they are the “Grass Seed Capital of the World”. The surrounding farmland shows that they are just that.

We arrive at the parade route nearly 2 hours before the parade begins.............and then wait

We arrive at the parade route nearly 2 hours before the parade begins………….and then wait


Before the parade even started this wood burning steam engine slowly made it's way along the route

Before the parade even started this wood burning steam engine slowly made it’s way along the route


Finally, when the parade started, it was led by the bucket drummers, who did a very good job keeping a beat.

Finally, when the parade started, it was led by the bucket drummers, who did a very good job keeping a beat.

Just one of many firetrucks, representing several communities and towns

Just one of many firetrucks, representing several communities and towns


A symbol of the farm community.  Combines aplenty!

A symbol of the farm community. Combines aplenty!


John Deere was well represented!

John Deere was well represented!


After the parade, we went home to relax (and for some of us, take our contact lenses out for awhile). The afternoon usually involves a lunch of veggie burgers, potato salad, baked beans and chips (for those who don’t eat potato salad). watching “Independence Day”, and maybe take a nap.
In the evening, we ordered a pizza and drove back to Harrisburg for their fireworks along the banks of the Willamette River. We like to arrive early to get a good spot, eat our pizza, maybe walk down to our church’s elephant ear booth, visit with friends, and best of all, people watch (The drunk lady who was cheering on the fireworks with beer-bottle salutes and dancing was interesting. Hopefully she had someone to take her home. She did make the evening memorable though).
Dusk along the Willamette River

Dusk along the Willamette River

Ready for the 4th (almost)

IMG_5960 Are you ready for tomorrow? Are you planning to celebrate with your extended family or relax with your immediate family? Visiting with friends?
The plans for our 4th stay pretty much the same. We go to a nearby small town for their parade. Then we come home, and have burgers, potato salad, baked beans and chips. We watch “Independence Day” (because we all know that on the 4th, we’re really celebrating freedom from evil extra terrestrials!) Then in the evening, we buy a pizza, drive back to the small town for their fireworks show along the waterfront. It’s a full day, but full of traditions that we started when our youngest was born. Once again, however, there is one tradition that we won’t be having, and that is setting off fireworks at home. We have a foliage covered fence along the driveway that is directly across from our front door. I’d really hate for us to be known as the neighbor who set the neighborhood ablaze!
Today, our plans include making a couple of items ahead of time for tomorrow’s lunch. I’m making potato salad and Heather is making an Oreo pie (if I can, I will post this easy recipe).

I need to go prepare for a hungry family.
Have a happy and safe July 4th everyone!

Elizabeth 🙂

One of those milestones…………

IMG_5962 Apparently, in the past year, I’ve developed the need for some reading glasses when I wear my contacts and bi-focals in my glasses. I don’t have an age association with bi-focals because I had them in my first pair of glasses when I was 8. However, the separate readers are new. My mom had them when I was growing up. They were half glasses that sat on the end of her nose when she would knit or crochet. She only had one pair, and they hung from a chain. However, my grandparents had glasses in nearly every room of their house, and I’ve been told that I should too. A friend of mine (who also just started needing readers) suggested that maybe we need a pair in every room because we’ll forget where we put them. It’s a practical solution, but I don’t want to think that memory lapses are the reason to do so.
So, I’ve been on the lookout for some decent deals at the various stores. Goodwill, the Dollar store, Wal-Mart, just to name a few. So far, I have a pair in my purse, one pair upstairs and one pair downstairs. I think that’s plenty for now, don’t you?

Elizabeth 🙂

Happy Mother’s Day!

IMG_5748 I hope that all of my friends and family who are mothers or are mother figures are having a wonderful Mother’s Day!
For me, Mother’s Day started with me being allowed to sleep in. That being said, I was still the first one awake this morning. So I read a little bit (“Jesus Is___” by Judah Smith). When Kevin woke up, he went downstairs to make the coffee (usually my job every morning) and drove up to the store to buy me a Sunday paper. In the past, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and our birthdays, have meant breakfast in bed for the person being honored. Last year, we changed things up and have been having brunch with my dad and grandma. My dad really likes breakfast, and since our special breakfasts consist of food that he likes, we decided to just make more and invite them over. It’s more personal than going to a restaurant, and we can all visit for as long as we like without waiters or waitresses hovering, wondering when we’ll free up the table for another customer. Today, Kevin was the chef in the kitchen. He donned his “Star Wars” apron, sunglasses and his “Pork Pie” hat (anyone who has watched “Breaking Bad” would recognize it.

"Chef Kevin", armed with a "Pioneer Woman" cookbook and a "Star Wars" apron, ready to cook

“Chef Kevin”, armed with a “Pioneer Woman” cookbook and a “Star Wars” apron, ready to cook


My original plan was to go to church, however, the car is still feeling ill, so I relaxed a bit, and my family blessed me with flowers and new make-up bags (my daughter noticed that I had moved my make up to a box, so she took care of that for me). My dad and grandma arrived after her church services ended. Kevin made a delicious meal of scrambled eggs, homemade fried potatoes with onions and peppers, sausage (both real meat and vegetarian varieties), mixed fruit, and biscuits & gravy. He did an excellent job!
I will just say this. I am very thankful that I still have my grandma to wish a happy Mother’s day! At 95, she’s still able to come and spend time with us and feel loved and honored. She has been a wonderful mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother to all of us.
My own mother may not be here, but she is not forgotten. I love and remember her daily. Also, Happy Mother’s Day to all of women who have been mother figures in my life! You have given your prayers, wisdom, and advice when my own mother cannot and I appreciate you!

Happy Mother’s Day!!
Elizabeth

Easter ’14

Finally, after a few busy days, I’m finally able to post.

Our Easter started earlier than usual. I decided to go to first service at our church, so that we’d have more family time during the day. Even in the early morning, the kids still had their Easter bags.

Bags full of candy and a gift!

Bags full of candy and a gift!

Kevin had been up late the night before, so he was sleeping in a bit while the kids got up and checked to see what kind of candy they got (Reeses, Hershey’s eggs and Twix. Their dentist will probably have issues with me). After that, we quickly finished getting ready and hurried off to church (in which there were a lot of other folks who also decided to come early)

Since our kids no longer hunt for eggs, we had no real plan for the rest of the day. My only “plan” for the afternoon was to go outside to a park and take a family picture. I’m trying to get more practice taking pictures of people, as well as scenery. I don’t always have the time to do either. When we came home from church, Kevin had some ideas as to how we could spend the day. Bowling, and mini-golf were brought up, however, our son really isn’t one for games. I think that he expects too much from himself and if he can’t do well or win in that first round, he doesn’t want to play anymore. Another idea that came up was to go to Salt Creek Falls, which is probably about an hour’s drive East of town. Kylin loved that idea because he’s been wanting to get out of the house and out of town for weeks. So that is what we decided to do.

On the way to the falls, we stopped in a small town called Westfir, as there was a covered bridge that Kevin wanted to see. Our county is full of covered bridges, and I’ve managed to take pictures of most of them. This one is called The Office Covered Bridge.

The Office Covered Bridge.

The Office Covered Bridge.

As we were walking across, there was a nice breeze coming through the windows, and the sound of pigeons in the rafters (and we were hoping that they weren’t directly ABOVE us)IMG_5708 Once across, we discovered a parking lot with a picnic area and several of these flowers. IMG_5717

After checking out the bridge, we drove on to Salt Creek Falls. When we arrived, the road to the falls and the parking area was closed, so we did have to walk a bit. Heather wasn’t expecting a little hike, so she wasn’t wearing hiking shoes. I think that after this, the rule of thumb should be, that, if you plan a trip to any location with the word “Falls” in it, you should probably bring hiking shoes and a jacket. Anyway, a walk to see a waterfall is always time well spent. I have never been disappointed.

Salt Creek Falls

Salt Creek Falls

I think that if we had been better prepared, we could have stayed longer and hiked around a bit. By the way, while at the falls, we did try to take some family pictures, however, either we didn’t like the way we looked, or one person wasn’t smiling or the wind was whipping someone’s hair around. So, no, I’m not posting them here.

The ride home included a stop in Oakridge at one of the few A&Ws still around. My husband and I have many childhood memories of eating at the ones in the towns we lived in. Anymore, most of the old ones are empty or housing another business (the one where Kevin went to as a kid is now an Asian restaurant). So when we stopped in this one, Kevin ordered us root beers, and not the kind in the plastic or paper cup. He wanted it in a frosty glass, like we had when we were kids.

Doesn't this look good?

Doesn’t this look good?

After enjoying our little bit of nostalgia, we drove back home, and then left to see “The Lego Movie”. It was a good movie, however I was so tired that several times, I nearly dozed off. I’m sure that a well rested person would have enjoyed it more! I’ll have to rent it when it comes out on DVD, and after I’ve had a good nap.

I hope that you had a Happy Easter and enjoyed your day with those you love!
Elizabeth

Spring Break ’14!

It’s been a few weeks since Spring Break was happening, and I’m finally getting back to this page.  Between then and now, we’ve been getting back into the routine of involving school back into our day.

Thanks to Facebook, we’ve been able to see how several of our friends spent their week off.  Some of them used the time for family vacations.  Some took day trips, and some stayed close to home.  At our house, we were in that last category.  We stayed home and tried to find things to do in our area.  I also had some extra kids spending the week with us.  So I tried to give them something to remember as well.   It was also a rainy week, so anything we did, needed to be done indoors.

So here are a few things that we did.

1. Thrift stores: A great place for a kid to make those few dollars they earn, or get as a gift, go further!

I found a large bag of Mega Blocks at the thrift store, practically new (though I did disinfect them anyway) for nearly $16 less than what the department store was selling them for on sale.

I found a large bag of Mega Blocks at the thrift store, practically new (though I did disinfect them anyway) for nearly $16 less than what the department store was selling them for on sale.


Our 12 year-old friend found herself a cute pair of shoes too!

Our 12 year-old friend found herself a cute pair of shoes too!

2. Baking cookies!  I had 4 kids on this day, so I had the oldest (my daughter) lead and direct how the recipe was assembled.  They were very good cookies!

Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Chocolate Chip Cookies!

3. Museums!  On the day where I had 5 kids, we went to our local pioneer museum to see a bit of history.   As it turned out, we were the only visitors there and out of the 6 of us visiting, the 3 youngest  qualified for free admission!  After our half hour there, I took them through the Wendy’s drive-thru for  $1 fries.  I think that little outing only cost about $14 🙂
Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture for this one. I will say though that there was some fun. There was a quilt with a spiral pattern on each block, and after seeing it, the toddler exclaimed, “Lollipops!” The museum also had pioneer era clothes and props that the kids could try on and have their picture taken. I took one in black and white, posted it on Facebook and labeled it, “Mumford & Daughters?”

These are just a few of the things that can be done, on a small budget, for Spring Break.

Elizabeth

Just Checking In……

I may or may not have mentioned this before (I didn’t consult my earlier blog posts to verify this),  but, we now have a toddler in the house.  Some friends of ours needed someone to watch her during the day and since the kids and I are home all day, I offered.   This little gal is a lot of fun!  Kylin was my last little one and he’s now 5’11”.  Not so little.  It’s been a long time since we’ve had a little voice using words that we sometimes need to try and decipher.  We’re getting better at it now, and she’s getting better at being understandable.

It’s definitely a change going from having two independent teens to having someone that you need to remember to take to the bathroom regularly.  Now, I have two highschoolers and a preschooler.  While they do their schoolwork in their bedrooms or the kitchen, the toddler has “Sesame Street” or a “Leap Frog” video in the living room, or playdough at the kitchen table, or story time at the library or at home.  Curious George, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Thomas the Train, and Richard Scarry are back in our lives now!1480741_10202208140341585_1811954775_n[1]  She’s also eager to help, and be included in things.  Several times a day we hear, “I wanna help!” “I wanna see!” “I wanna smell!”

My kids treat her (and her older sister, when she comes over) like the little sister they’ve never had.   My daughter, loves to paint the little one’s finger and toenails, play with her outside, and let her help bake things.1425516_10202251997997999_52490599_n[1]

I wasn’t sure how my son would relate to her because he lives in his own little world when other kids are over and tends to hide in his room to protect his toys.  However, he has come out and played with her and she just loves him.1509028_10202294658984497_1416336699_n[1]

All of the things that I missed by not having more kids, I can relive and get out of my system for a few hours a day.  We have a couple of years to enjoy her before school starts, when she’s too busy for us, lol.

Elizabeth