Friday, April 25, 2014

easter egg hunt 2014

I got a hankering to do an Easter Egg hunt as the flowers started blooming in full force & the leaves unfurled. And, as I have no nieces or nephews out here (yet! Only a few more weeks til I do!), I invited over some cousins & others from our church. The day was perfect for it; sunny, warm, lush, & fulfilled all my silly little dreams of children running around squealing in delight in sweet little Easter dresses & carrying charming baskets. I try, I really do, to do things because they are enjoyable & will be enjoyable for others, & not just because they will create pretty pictures. Sometimes you can have both:). Our little nest we live in now has beautiful, beautiful grounds & we feel very blessed to be able to use them. Our land lady is an absolute pearl of a woman & encourages us to take advantage of the lawn & golfcourse, which we do! The children had a ball finding the eggs Dar hid around, & begged us to do another one after they'd found all the now empty eggs. So sweet!

This other Jenna (in purple) is full of personality. You may remember her from here.

This was the little one's first egg hunt & after discovering these strange plastic eggs held candy, decided she didn't need to find anymore & would just enjoy the contents.

I'm so glad I have the church family I do, & that I feel comfortable asking young families in church to come over for a spontaneous egg hunt that day.
On a different note, I'm so glad there is an Easter, that we don't have to make sacrifices daily anymore, that Christ came, that He loves us so, that while life here can be fun & beautiful at times, there is a infinitely better place in heaven prepared for those that love & serve Him.

out my back door

In Illinois, a field meant corn or soybeans, maybe some wheat occasionally. Here, a crop could be blueberries, sugar beets, mint, crimson clover, or flower seeds. It's been thrilling to my little Midwest heart to have some variety. A mere 10 miles from our house is a farm that raises tulip bulbs. Of course, to get bulbs, you have to have a flower first. We went to see the tulip fields a few weeks ago & they were gorgeous. 

Isn't he cute? :) not only was the view of the flowers great ...
Just one of my favorite things about my new home!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

oldest sister + co. visits (2014 - because I'm anticipating more in the future.)

Downtime at home & the farm 
 Bryan & Lisa had a lovely first few days here, weather-wise. The kids had a blast in the sunshine & green; Roxy "fed" my plants frequently, David discovered golfing. They stayed in the guest house across the breezeway, so every morning until they were acclimated to our time zone, we were awakened by a vigorous doorbell ringing. We didn't mind:).

 We spent an evening out at the farm, to David's ten-year old delight. He & Riley tried to catch frogs, fish, & whatever else it is 10-year old boys line their pockets with (puppy dog tails?). Roxy tagged along with Dad & Dar on a tour of the farm. I can't say that I'm surprised, because I am in complete agreement, but Roxy shamelessly observed at the Sinn's, "Darwin is the cutest one in the whole room!" (Upon their return to Illinois, it seems I am in danger of losing my husband to a 6-year old! I can't be too shocked though; she just has impeccable taste. We have managed to convince her that perhaps Riley will be a suitable replacement.)

 Day at the Coast

We drove past the capitol on our way to the coast after a tip that the cherry trees there were in bloom. They didn't disappoint! Once out at the coast, the kids had a ball. The first hour we were there it was beautifully sunny. Not something that you normally get at the Oregon coast! We hunted first for sand dollars, and after long searching we finally found a whole one. The wind picked up later, and sand was blowing everywhere so we decided to head on down the coast via 101. 
We hit up the Newport aquarium, which wasn't very big or worth the price we paid, but the kids enjoyed it. They had some tunnel acquariums to walk through with small sharks, tropical fish, & manta rays. The sea otters made the kids' day by flirting with them through the glass, giving them nose kisses, then washing its whiskers which led David to tease Roxy that it didn't like her kisses & was washing them off! He's got a sense of humor, that one. 

  Seattle is a fun city. Nestled in inlets & coves of the Puget Sound, hills rolling from the waterlines, it has great character. Despite its chic new skyscrapers & hipster music scene, it still feels like a salty old sailor to me. Coffee shops abound here & the waterfront has Pike's Place Market, the Ferris wheel, & lots of shops. I brought my umbrella along so naturally the sun came out. But, hey, I was fine with that! We took a harbor tour, then attempted the Ferris wheel. David couldn't quite work up the courage to go...
The famous fish throwing market at Pike's Place: the workers toss your purchase to you, so be ready for it!
   Randomly, my mom's brother, who has been living abroad for the past few decades has moved to Seattle temporarily. We got to see his wife & daughter & dog (roxy's favorite part of the trip:) ) even though he was gone on business. Their apartment is on the 21st floor with a view if the Ferris wheel. Really cool! I'll take my little Willamette Valley anyway though:) it's weaseling it's way surely & completely into my heart.

More Pike's Place.

We went to Oregon Museum of Science & Industry on the way back to my house from Seattle. A fun place to take kids if you're ever in the area. There's a submarine you can tour that's housed in the nearby Columbia River. Lots of green exhibits--this IS Oregon after all:).
The kids were asking when they were going to come back as their trip came to a close. Soon, I hope. Despite missing out in most of their lives to date, I feel as if they've always been around. Gods been good to their little family & it feels so right having them around. 
And sigh, now they're gone. I don't like it that people have to leave, but such is life on the West Coast. I do have some great memories now though & some love notes from a niece on my fridge:).