Sunday, May 31, 2009

vacation - day 9

i woke this morning and headed to the gym again. don't know where i get the energy, but i've enjoyed working out first thing in the morning and coming back to everyone still asleep at 740! it has to be because the kids have been up so late (like 10 or 11pm), but its just working.
i spent my time while they slept loading the motorhome with all our stuff. when they woke, we had breakfast in our room (it was still yummy, but the little breakfast room was so crowded there was no room for a group of 6).
we said goodbye to the family we'd been with for the past few days. it was so good to spend time with them as they live so far away.we loaded up in the motorhome and headed for my uncle shawn & aunt ai kin's house in vancouver.

i've not seen my uncle in over 10 years. the last time was at my grandmother's funeral. but before that, we saw each other in hawaii, where he was stationed in the navy. they hosted a friend and me for a couple weeks the summer i was 14. it was so good to see them and just chat for an hour or so before we got on the road to longview, washington to see scott's uncle. (it's uncle day).
mom's brother, gaius and his wife, marilyn are hosting us for the next couple days. today we met them for a picnic lunch along the colombia river. after our picnic, we set out on their boat to cruise the river. we had planned to fish, but fishing has been closed. so we will try to fish tomorrow.

the boat ride was especially fun for the kids because they've never been out on a boat! (just the 5min balboa ferry.) after the boating, another first - riding in the back of a pickup. the kids were thrilled some more. then, we went to their home and their mom & kids came over for dinner. gayna brought the kids gumballs, which was another first and they were being so funny. i had to excuse their silly behavior explaining that they'd never had them before - what a fun day of firsts!
david brought his family - lisa & 3 of their 4 boys (to oldest is at college). their kids were 8 11 & 16. they were so great with our little ones. we had a great time with all of the family. there was much good food, great fellowship, and fun for the little people. what more could we ask for? (the house next door is vacant - and i am tempted!)
the views from their house are incredible - day & night! i took these photos as i went to sleep and woke up!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

vacation - day 8

today is the day we came for! tonight is the wedding!
i woke up before the family, but it was already 7 so not too early. i took the opportunity to head down to the gym. i had a nice work out and was ready for the day. got the kids up and dressed & we headed down to the breakfast room.
once scott was up we left the boys with him & dad while us girls (mom, ky, and i) went shopping for shoes for ky for the wedding (her new white sandals were not looking so new after a little wear - my bad for letting her wear them.) we found shoes right away and then went in search of gift wrap for the birthday gifts we'd bought yesterday at ikea - for the birthday party in a couple hours!
we got back to the hotel just in time to pick up the boys and head to the party at a park just about 15 minutes away. the kids had fun, (it was a park), spending time with family. we had lunch and cake then headed back to the hotel for a nap before the evening wedding festivities.

ky & sy napped, the boys swam then read quietly for a few minutes before getting our wedding gear on. we headed to the church and got ky ready then took some family pictures.

the wedding was beautiful. the boys were silent. ky did walk down the aisle after much prodding (and i even said pleeeease once). she almost skipped down and after the wedding started she said "mommy, i forgot to drop my petals. i have to go throw them." i told her no, but she started shifting laps from one relative to another getting closer to the center aisle! fortunately, she was not at all disruptive.

jake & katie were so great to watch as they became united that they may "glorify God"! they are an amazing couple and we pray that God will do amazing things with this couple united to serve Him!

after the wedding, there was a reception with food, stories of the couple, and a yummy cake! when it was all over we sent them off with a celebration of sparklers. that was a treat for ky because they're illegal where we live. it was a treat for me because that's what i wanted at my wedding, but - once again - illegal. the boys had already gone home so we grabbed a couple extra for them. what a fun day!

vacation - day 7

NO CAMERA TODAY!!! - i almost can't blog about it!
this morning we got to pick up grandpa from the airport - less than 5 min from our hotel. (which also means that our boys get to watch planes landing all day long - super fun). after we picked up grandpa, we got everyone in the motorhome to go to ikea to buy some birthday gifts and have a tasty lunch. our next stop was OMSI.

the oregon museum of science and industry is an amazing place. we spent over 4 hours and could easily have done 4 more. they had a chemistry lab and a physics lab with really great experiments. there was an incredible prenatal exhibit - i cannot even communicate how great it was! the whole museum is intriguing to adults and way kid-friendly at the same time - quite an accomplishment! and once again - free - as provided by our science center passes courtesy of mom!

we left omsi in search of food, but after a long, but fun walk - across a draw bridge, sharing the sidewalk with cyclists at a high traffic time - we found no food in walking distance. so...

we drove to burgerville usa - meeting our goal once again to eat at places that we don't have by our house if we have to eat out.

we returned to the hotel (about 830pm) and went swimming for a half-hour before bed.
another great vacation day!

Friday, May 29, 2009

vacation - day 6

when we woke the seims treated us to a delicious french toast breakfast with homemade jam! it was so good. they were so fun to have an activity planned for the kids, so we went out back and jojo, kik, & ky learned archery! jojo was an instant success. kik had to work at it, but in the end was able to hit the hay bales with the target. ky tried a couple times, but was more interested in their dog, kady. while they were shooting the arrows, mr seim noticed we were shooting toward the sheep beyond the fence in their yard, so he went to move the sheep and the kids all followed. they tried to pet the sheep, but the ewes weren't interested in being touched. sy didn't understand. but they did get some food and there was one sheep that was willing to come over and eat from their hands! we had such fun, but too quickly had to leave...
next stop - avery park (corvallis) where daddy played when he was little on a huge real train! superfun for all. then off to...
discovery village, salem, or - another science center we were able to enjoy for free with our science center passes mom got us this spring. (she did not realize the use these passes would get.) this place was really fun and well done. the kids enjoyed the bubble room, the grocery store, china, a huge outdoor space, a train room, and a dinosaur room. we spent a couple hours then were off to...
downtown portland for a wedding rehersal and dinner with family. the wedding is in a beautiful church with much stained glass. ky did amazing at the practice and i think she'll do well for the real thing. it is so fun to see this couple get married and honoring God with their lives! i can't wait to see how the Lord will use them in the future.
we headed to the old spaghetti factory for the dinner! i was so excited. i still call it my favorite restaurant even though i've not been in a few YEARS. so it was so enjoyable - yummy food, far-away family together, a great celebration, kids being good listeners. it all made for a fun night.
scott & mom had dropped ky & me at the church and left the motorhome at the hotel. we easily found rides to the dinner & back to the hotel. the couple who drove jojo & i back has a little 5mo boy and are thinking of homeschooling. i enjoyed sharing my passion with them - and hopefully not overwhelming them, but encouraging them!
when we got to the hotel, i found a "fitness center" so i spent some time on the elliptical reading my book "Revolution in World Missions" (odd that i was in a plush gym on an elliptical...)
now i must sleep!

vacation - day 5

day 5
we woke up, had a yummy pancake breakfast in our little house on wheels, packed up and headed off to wildlife safari. this 5 mile drive-through zoo in winston, oregon was a real treat! there are so many amazing animals - lions & tigers & bears, oh my! and zebras and giraffe and hippos and rhinos and monkeys and emus and cheetahs! it was really fun for the kids and adults. it would have been completely out of our budget to do such a thing, BUT a christian homeschooling mom took us all for free!

(this is the kind of thing i love about fellow christian homeschoolers! i looked up a christian homeschool group in oregon on the internet and was able to connect with a like-minded family who offered to bless us - with nothing to gain for themselves! this gal drove an hour round trip to meet us AND drove us through the park (for about 2hrs), giving us a personal "insiders" tour! we were so blessed by her generosity and pray that her family will be blessed even more. besides the fun we had that day, i've also found a resource, someone who has gone before in support group creation & growth, so i am excited to pick this family's brains a little more when i'm back home.)
the safari was a lot of fun! our next stop was a little drive-in ice cream stand at rice hill - not in the gps so you have to be in the know to find it (which my mother-in-love is). yummy umpqua ice cream!

we traveled from there to corvallis, where scott grew up. we stayed on the street where he used to live with some neighbors, the seims. they had a delicious barbeque dinner prepared AND banana splits! we took a walk to see scott's old homes and spoke with some neighbors who were still living there. we (the 5 adults) played round-robin-ping-pong while the kids sat and watched and laughed. everyone had such a great time. we were able to look at some old photos and do some laundry. then, grandma & ky slept inside while the rest of us were in the motorhome. we were able to see so many stars, the boys fell asleep looking at them through the window above their bed!