Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Union Creek

Yesterday the mister and I celebrated our eighth anniversary.

This is the most recent picture I could find of the two of us together.
It is from July 2nd. That's over two months ago. And it's a pretty darn poor iPhone selfie at that.
 I guess I need to start taking more pictures of the two of us. 
We were doubly lucky because Bryce had the day off and his brother and his super sweet girlfriend were here visiting. We decided to escape the heat and smoke (from many wildfires burning in every direction around us) and head into the hills a bit.

We ended up at Union Creek and explored the Natural Bridge, a place where the Rogue River flows into underground lava tubes. It was beautiful. There is a very easy paved trail to the Natural Bridge and then another easy hiking trail continued up the river from there. It was the perfect hike for two little kids.

I love hiking with the kids. We didn't keep track of how far we went, I'd be surprised if it was even a mile, but watching the kids take it all in is so much fun. Audrey was our fearless leader and Owen made sure to climb on every stump, downed tree, and rock he could find.

The best group shot, minus Bryce, we got. I love it! 
We ended our outing at Beckie's, a small cafe in Union Creek that is famous for their pies. The food was delicious and the pie lived up to its reputation.

It was a pretty perfect way to celebrate the last eight years.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Our First Egg!

When we bought our property almost three years ago now our vision was to start a mini-farm. Nothing too huge, as farming is not our day job, but a way for us to grow and raise some of our own food and maybe even have enough to sell a little too. 

As with most big projects it takes time to get things rolling. Our property was completely undeveloped when we purchased it, so the first step was building our house. Slowly we've been landscaping, adding in the garden, and putting fences up to create pasture space. 

In the meantime our nod to farming was buying 12 baby chicks last spring, 6 Rhode Island Reds and 6 Plymouth Barred Rock. We brought them home the day after Owen's first birthday and have been waiting anxiously for the day they would be big enough to start providing us fresh eggs. Which is why we were so excited when we found this cute little egg in their nesting boxes over the weekend. 

So far we've collected two eggs, but hopefully there will be a lot more to come. I just wish I knew which hen was laying so I could be extra nice to her!

Thursday, September 11, 2014


We picked another watermelon from the garden this week. It was delicious. Owen especially enjoyed it.

And like most things go these days, Owen found a way to attack his sister. Luckily she loves the attention from him and takes it all in stride.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My Favorite Kind of Day

Yesterday was such a nice day. The kids were in happy and helpful moods, we got out of the house for a bit, crossed things off our to-do list, had a great homemade dinner, and the weather here was gorgeous. The temperature finally dropped back to something much more normal (80s) for this time of year and the smoke from all the nearby forest fires was blown away for the day.

It was just one of those days that everything seemed to work. (Or almost everything. Let's be honest, we all have our moments and the wheels really started coming off right before bedtime when Audrey stepped barefoot in a patch of bull thorns.)

To cap off a beautiful day we spent the evening together in the garden, my happy place. I could spend hours their just wandering up and down the rows.  Sure, there is definitely some weeding to do and we still need to install the permanent watering system and the list goes on, but despite the imperfections it is such a peaceful place.

I think the kids like it just as much as I do. They spend their time digging in the dirt, finding bugs, and picking anything they deem ripe enough. Audrey was running through the garden declaring the green beans were so good they tasted like candy. Music to my ears.

And of course all of the best gardening is done while wearing a princess dress.

It helps that everything seems to be thriving right now. It is so fun to be able to walk around the garden and pick all sorts of delicious food.

Life always seems a bit slower while we are in the garden and I love that. It is such a great reminder that I need to slow down and enjoy the simple things a little more. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

First Day of Preschool

Audrey started preschool today.  

She had absolutely no reservations walking in and saying goodbye. In fact, she was almost too busy playing to even give me a hug before I left.

I, on the other hand, was full of reservation, not about the preschool or the merit of going, but about my first born, my baby, my sweet, tender, innocent little girl being old enough for school. When did that happen?

Thankfully she was just as full of smiles and excitement when I picked her up as when I dropped her off and is already talking about how fun Monday will be.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Labor Day in the Redwoods

While I realize that Labor Day isn't technically the end of summer, it sure feels a bit like the last hurrah before the weather cools down, school starts (a first for us this year), and projects around the house take over. We were able to spend the long weekend camping in the Redwoods with several other families from our church. It was pretty perfect.

The Redwoods are breathtaking. If you've never been, you must try to get there at some point. We camped at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. The campground was great, lots of private spots and clean bathrooms - when camping, you can't get much better than that. And the trees are amazing, it is hard to really grasp just how big they are until you see them in person.

The kids loved every minute of it. Audrey spent most of the weekend trying to keep up with the big kids on her bike. I'm pretty sure she logged several miles by simply going around the loop in the campground over and over.

Audrey fulfilled her sisterly duties and introduced Owen to hot chocolate. He whole heartedly approved. 
Owen is always happiest outside, so he was right in his element. He managed to get dirty from the moment we arrived and stayed that way until we left and couldn't have been happier (well, other than at 3am on the first night, but that's a different story).

This is the face I get when I say, "smile Owen". Charming, isn't it? 
On Saturday we made our way over to the coast, just south of Smith River. One of the families in our church owns a home there and was nice enough to open it up to our group to use for the day. Despite being born in California Audrey truly earned her Oregonian status by jumping right into the water and playing for quite awhile. She never batted an eye at the fact that the water was FREEZING. I couldn't even stand to keep my feet in it.

It was a great weekend and such a nice way to wrap up the unscheduled days of summer. Now we are diving head first into several projects around the house and Audrey starts school on Friday (eek!).

Friday, August 15, 2014

Photo Friday: Finding Happy

This kid. Ninety percent of the time he is the happiest little boy around, but man was he having a rough couple of weeks. Nothing serious, mostly teething and a touch of sickness, but enough to really throw him off his happy-go-lucky attitude. I had no idea that the pot of water I was using to soak corn in would make him so happy, but it did and it was so nice to see a smile on his face again.

Happy weekend all. Here's to finding your pot of water!