Friday, June 27, 2008

Strawberry Picking

Mmmm.....berries! One of my favorite things of summer is berries, and I am especially glad that we have passed this love of fruit on to my sons. Today we went to the Thompson Farms u-pick. I was not sure how the boys would do as Evan is a bit of a destructor. They did surprisingly well. They picked berries the whole time, except for the last few minutes Evan found a stick and was poking stuff. Eli was very meticulous, of course, and had to remove every stem and all of the leaves from his. Evan only picked a few "pink" ones, but fortunately no green ones. We ended up picking 21 1/2 pounds of strawberries. We brought them home, cleaned them, got the leaves off, and prepared them for freezing. We left some whole ones for eating, sliced some that we are currently drying for snacks, left some out for ice-cream, yogurt, and whatever toppings, some out for a pie that I made (yummy!), and the rest we sliced and juiced to freeze, which ended up being about 20 cups. We should be good for awhile, at least until the boys devour the whole berries in the fridge! Next, perhaps raspberries, my personal favorite!

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Little Trip

So it has taken me a little while to get this one posted. I had typing to do and the weather has been so nice that we spend a lot of time outdoors.

Last week John finished his last prerequisite class for school. We decided that this would be a good time to take a spontaneous trip to Sunriver, as we had not been there since Thanksgiving. The boys were very excited that we were going to Nana and Baba's house and I guess we were too because we ended up leaving a couple hours earlier than we were planning to. We had the most perfect weather there! Not too hot, not too cold. Baba was excited for the boys to see the new Caldera Springs playground, so that was the first thing we did Friday morning. It is very cool and the boys had a blast! We had lots of fun playing, riding bikes, and it was even warm enough for the pool, sort of. Eli would swim if it was 60 degrees, but the rest of us were a little cold on Sunday when we went. It was also neat that we could be there for father's day with Baba. We went to Typhoon for lunch, which was excellent, and then Nana and i went bead shopping (yipee!) for my birthday, which was early, but we probably won't see each other until after. We then spent the end of the day at the pool, the playground, and then going on a bike ride. Sunriver is probably one of my favorite places, not just for nostalgia, but it is truly beautiful, and I can't wait to see how Caldera Springs is going to change over the next few years. Just from last summer, the plants are really growing and flourishing. Baba did a great job! Here are some pictures from our weekend, most of them are from Caldera Springs as it is a very cool place and I highly recommend a visit (not intended as an advertising pitch!) The quilts are the ones that my mom made that are in the Lake House in Caldera Springs. The picture at the bottom where it looks like John is throwing something is his fly fishing class!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A World Record

Today we had the once in a lifetime opportunity to witness a miracle of science. At Mount Hood Community College we got to see the eruption of the Guinness Book of World Records largest vinegar and baking soda volcano. It was something. The structure was about two stories high (about 20 feet), and contained a mixture of 60 gallons of vinegar and 120 pounds of baking soda along with food coloring and glycerin. John's organic chemistry lab partner was the guy kind of orchestrating the event. KATU and KPTV were also there to capture this historic event. The boys thought it was pretty cool!

An Afternoon at OMSI

As I was laying in bed at 6:45 this morning listening the rain rushing down the gutters, I decided that perhaps today would be a good day for OMSI. This ended up being a good choice as within 30 minutes of the boys being up, they were fighting, as is a common occurrence these days. The gloomy weather is affecting all of us in a cranky way. We decided to invite Blake to come to as Cheryl was recovering from "the flute" as Eli calls it. We had a great time and the boys were very good and had fun. It did get off to a rough start as I took a wrong turn and ended up at the Rose Garden, but I navigated my way to the Loyd Center and called John for directions to OMSI. For those of you who know my past phobia of driving, it is quite amazing to me that I found my way to the Loyd Center at all, and I even did it twice because I tried to find my way to OMSI on my own, and that did not work, so I went back to the Loyd Center. Had this occurred about a year ago, I probably would have been a ball of anxiety! Anyway, it was a fun day and the boys asked if we can go back again soon. Fortunately, that is one place I never get tired of!

The giant sandbox

"Evan and the Chipmunks!" This was probably one of the things they did the longest. They had a blast wearing the little chipmunk coats and searching around for rubber acorns all the while calling each other Alvin, Simon, and Theodore.
Storing up nuts for winterThe water table. The smocks are really quite pointless as we had to change clothes before we got into the car anyway!


Two scary dinosaurs!

I really enjoyed the dinosaur exhibit as dinosaurs were my favorite thing to talk about and read about when I was in first and second grade. They had a really neat collection on display on loan from China. The boys had fun running around looking at all of them as by the time we got to the exhibit, all the bus loads of field trip kids were already gone!
This picture was funny to me because they had a hard time keeping their backs to the T-Rex and kept saying that it was going to get them.

He is quite mean looking though!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Planting Our Garden

Today was the day we finally were able to plant our vegetable garden as it was not too cold or rainy or windy. We all participated in the event and got a lot accomplished in one day and are looking forward to what we are going to produce this year.

Evan and daddy planting yellow crook-neck squash
sprinkling "chicken poo" for the pole beans. The boys thought it was quite funny that we had chicken poo from a bag that we were sprinkling into the holes. They would keep telling each other to sniff it and then say "eww!"
Eli planting pole beans

Farthest back are 18 lettuce plants (butter crunch, green leaf, and romaine), then six tomato plants in five different varieties, cucumber starters and seeds on the left and squash and zucchini starts and seeds on the right. On the far left are two rows of snap peas and along the fence is 36 feet of two varieties of pole beans (green beans).
We planted not a moment too soon as two of the plants already had tomatoes growing on them!It was really fun to work in the garden today. I especially enjoyed being able to work with John as in the the past two years I have had a young baby that makes it difficult, and it was fun to be able to help in the planting process. I know the boys will enjoy harvesting the food. They are such good helpers and love to work in the garden, especially with watering!