Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Summer Stops

We had to go slow on our last trip.  Back troubles are keeping us from driving for more than 45 min at a time.  (Did you know that you are not supposed to sit for more than 45 min at a time? Try it on your next roadtrip.)


I loved it though.  We stopped places that we wouldn’t otherwise.  This first picture was taken between the two large dams (Detroit and Big Cliff) on the Santiam River.  Chris and I had never seen the water this low.

Afternoon snack

We were looking for one of my favorite childhood lakes here.  The road is now closed so we had to hike around a bit.  We never found it, but think we found another way around. The kids were tired and cold, but still enjoyed the hunt.

Picking Hucks

We were able to stop and pick huckleberries. There are tons this year so another trip to the mountains may be required before summer is over.

Cooling Off

Another stop, but this time at a state park on our way back home. (I think it was the North Santiam State Park.) The area was gorgeous and perfect for the kids to explore on their own without me having to worry about their safety.

First Apples

When we arrived back home, our first crop of apples were ripe and ready for picking.  I don’t know how she got the biggest one, but she ate it all!

Garden Out of Control

This year, we decided to put our garden in the front yard since our lawn is non-existent and this is where we get the only sun.  We had to find out way through the massive tomato and pumpkin vines that seemed to take over while we were gone. I planted everything I need for fresh salsa this year and things are just about there.  I can’t wait.

So that’s it.  Those are our stops during the last week or so.  Just wanted to capture more of the summer before it’s gone.


Memorable Morels

I hope you all had a great holiday weekend.  We had a great time up at the Ranch although we didn’t spend that much time actually on the ranch itself.  We went hunting.

Favorite Find

It was such a fun weekend.  On Saturday, we were out in the forest from about 9:30am until 6:30pm.  Ms O found the first morel of the weekend and it was one we all walked right on by!

Ms O

She was proud of her morel.

Her Prize

We walked and walked and walked.  The kids just kept on going.  Chris and I couldn’t help but take advantage of their love of the outdoors.

Favorite Log

Ms O entertained us with her singing, Eddie made us laugh with his special “mush-a-room” walk and Augie amazed us with his finds.


They are all so much closer to the ground than Chris and I so we had the best spotters ever.

Augie's Happy

At least that’s our excuse.

Few Hours Later

Needless to say, everyone got plenty dirty, but Ms I won the prize everyday.


Now we’re back home enjoying our bounty every night.  We fired up the dehydrator tonight, but we kept some out for a few more fresh morel dinners.  Oh, and yep, I plan on throwing some porcini burgers on the grill as well.




August turned 7 yesterday.

Razor Clamming

I can feel him pulling away more.  Not in a bad way.  In a good way.


He’s finding things by himself.  Testing it out.  Truly not needing me.

Out on a Jetty

It feels good.  I need to let him do it more often.  Not question so much.  Not push and prod so much.

Bay Clamming

It all hit me last weekend. As we were sitting around in a cabin chatting with friends, Augie asked to go outside… by himself… in the middle of no where… to climb the boulders surrounding the cabin. In the past, he would have been content to share in the conversation, play with the other children or just stay around us. Not anymore. He wanted to explore. To be alone. And it was fine with him.


He loved his party with Grandpa Augie and I think both Augusts had a great time.

August's Birthday

Happy 7th birthday Augie and Happy 90th Grandpa!


I love weekends.  I sleep in, eat too much, let my house pile up around me and usually sew a ton.

Beach Ride

This weekend was a little different.  We’ve just about made this weekend an annual October event at the beach.  As I said last time, it’s not the best time of year to be at the beach, but we lucked out and scored one night in a yurt.

Yurt at Fort Stevens

I LOVE these things! They are equipped with a bunk bed and a fold-out futon, table, chairs, lights, and a heater.  We left Portland at 5pm, checked-in at 7pm, and headed out razor clamming at 8pm.  After a long, very wet and windy night clamming, we were able to warm up in our little yurt with some hot cocoa and a dry bed.  Aaaah.

You have to reserve these things way early, (the reservations open up 6 months prior and you have to reverse it fast!), but at $30/night, it’s well worth it.  We only had the yurt for one night, but it happened to be the only rainy day of the whole weekend.  The next night was spent in our little tent and I loved sleeping while surrounded by our kids.

Ms O & Dad

We had a great time and came home with not only 60+ razor clams, but a few porcini’s as well. But, you’ll have to wait for my mushroom post tomorrow.

I just know you all are dying with excitement!

Finally, Something for Dad

I had planned on making everyone pj pants for Christmas. Well, that came and went and so did Spring and most of summer. But before Fall comes, I swore that I would get the pants done. And I did!

More Pants

This is the first thing I’ve sewn for Chris besides the mushroom bags. I was able to make him 2 pairs- this one with fish and another with planets on a black background. I used Simplicity 9871, but had to trim about an inch off the sides and waist. The pattern is WIDE with a long waist so be aware. You need alot of fabric- almost 3 yards for each pair so I’m not sure if I’ll make him more for some time.

I couldn’t stop with pj’s only for daddy so I made these for the kids:

PJ Pants

I LOVE these and love that they all match! The dinosaur fabric is cotton and made by Timeless Treasures and the trim I just found while here on vacation. I wish I would have bought much more than just a yard. It’s a Robert Kaufman print designed by Amy Schimier. I don’t think I’ve heard of her before, but I really like this design and will be looking out for more of her stuff. The trim is a little long for Ms O, but she likes it.

The pattern for the kids’ pants is loosely based on Simplicity 4206. Earlier this summer, I made the boys some boxer shorts and didn’t have a pattern for boxers so I used this pattern for girls’ shorts. I copied the pattern onto freezer paper, cut it out, ironed it onto the fabric, sewed up a pair and fitted it on the boys. After testing the fit, I made adjustments on the freezer paper for later use. (You can usually iron the freezer paper on 5-6 times before it looses it’s stickiness. It’s well worth not having it pin!)

So for the pants, I used my same freezer paper pattern, but added the length needed for each boy. Since Ms O is so much smaller than her brothers, (she’s 2 and her brothers are 6 and 4) I had to adjust the pattern even more simply by taking off 1 ½” off of the sides and waist. And voilà- they’re done and they fit!

5 pants in 2 days- not a bad vacation.

(I learned ALOT about pants while making these, but I will save those tips for another post. I need to get outside.)

Need a Break

After removing this:

Chris and his tree

We need a little of this:

Island Lake

I have a ton of things to share with you, but my camera seems to forget to take pictures after something is made. I’ll try to catch up on some projects when I return. Have a happy week!


I think July has to be one of the best months to live in the NW. You have your pick of fresh foods from cherries loaded on dwarf trees which my littlest can reach to every berry you can imagine to the best veggies nobody can resist.

Loaded Trees

Last week we picked Ranier, Bing and Van cherries and brought home over 50 pounds. Since then, we’ve made 4 cherry pies (don’t worry- we gave all but one away), 3 batches of cherry freezer jam, cherry crisp (not the tastiest recipe, but it worked) and cherry clafoutis (CLA-foo-tea). I didn’t use Alicia’s recipe, but used one from our favorite French cookbook. Chris loves this book and has tried many recipes and *all* of them have been superb.

The Boys' Bounty

This week we hit one farm and came home with marionberries, boysenberries, raspberries, and blueberries. I have enough for at least 5 pies (pre-measured in baggies) and enough for pancakes, muffins, crepes and snacking. These frozen bags of goodness help us get through all those rainy winter months. We also grabbed some snow peas, beets (my favorite), and pole beans. Morning Shade Farm is wonderful because they have it all! I was mad I had just bought a gigantic jar of honey from Costco because the farm had fresh honey too! Chris even gave the kids a quick honeybee lesson because the hives were next to the berries and we all got a chance to sit and watch them work. It was a great day.

I plan on hitting the farm again next week and stocking up on more of the summer’s harvest because before I know it, fall will be here. We’re going to enjoy every bit of our NW’s freshness in the meantime!