Sunday, June 12, 2011

Starlight 5K

Portland holds it's annual 5K race before the Starlight Parade as part of the Rose Festival. It's a crazy race, if it isn't obvious, with a majority of the runners in costume.
I convinced Jeff to run with me this year as a bee and the keeper. We did the race 5 years ago when I ran as a giant strawberry. Luckily we had a very nice breeze so we weren't totally overheating! The race goes along the parade route and happens right before the parade starts so all the people are lined up cheering you on. This year the news reported there were 250,000 spectators. Talk about a cheering section!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Otter Crest Resort

Intel gave Jeff's group a surprise week of vacation to "Rest and Recharge" since they were just finishing a big project and about to start another. We took this golden opportunity to head out to explore more of the Oregon Coast at Otter Rock (between Lincoln City and Newport).
We stayed at the Otter Crest Resort which is where Jeff's family stayed on vacations when he was a kid. Honestly I don't think the decor had changed since then but it was still a fun, family-friendly place to stay.

We spent three days playing in tide pools, touring the aquarium, seeing the lighthouse and stopping at the Tillamook factory for ice cream (of course!). Grandpa and Grandma came with us which is always fun for our boys.

The resort had a heated pool and it was fun taking Wyatt for the first time. We didn't think we'd swim very long because it was a windy, cool day but the pool was so warm that we stayed for a few hours.

We had a Groupon for half of to the Oregon Coast Aquarium. It was a Monday during the school year so there were hardly any people there. I learned the most amazing thing about flat fish like Halibut. They start out with their eyes on each side of their head and as they get older one eye travels to the other side. Their mouth then looks like it's sideways when it swims! I think Heavenly Father had a sense of humor with this one!

Harrison ran into this room and immediately flopped to the floor for a better look.

There was no way James was going to touch anything in the touch tank room. Harrison eventually warmed up to the idea thanks to Grandpa Jim.

Harrison insisted on pushing Wyatt. It really made for a slow go getting around. At least it kept him happy and Wyatt was relatively safe strapped in.

We really liked the Yaquina Head Lighthouse. The best part was taking the stairs down to the beach and looking at the seals and tide pools.

We ate at Mo's twice while we were there. This is Jeff's parents favorite location right by Devil's Punchbowl but it's only open for lunch. We love to get the chowder in a bread bowl.

We told Harrison to be careful on the rocks and the green stuff was slippery but he had to learn the hard way! This is Jeff scraping off the green goop stuck to his shirt.

Tillamook has this new marketing campaign "Love the Loaf" and has a fleet of these super cute short VW vans. This one was on display in the museum part.

Something about eating the ice-cream from the Tillamook factory seems to taste so much better even though you could buy a whole carton back home for the price of one cone. We still had to have some even though it was pouring rain and really chilly outside.

Friday, May 27, 2011

And it's finished!

This past Saturday we finally finished our backyard play area. We ordered an entire unit of cedar chips delivered to our house. The delivery by dump truck was the highlight of my boys month!

If you've never removed grass by cutting it out count your blessings! We decided to cut out the grass around the slide to make it easier to mow and cut down on the soggy, water-logged area the slide was sitting on. We cut the grass out in sections and it was so ridiculously heavy with clay on the bottom and water soaked everywhere in between. Jeff would peel back a section while I chopped it with the shovel to get it to come up.

We got a huge piece of industrial weed barrier from a family in our ward. Only problem was getting it under the playset. Jeff got a big crow bar and levered it on some cement pavers. Then as he propped it up I was on my knees trying to push and pull it under each section to get it smooth. So much work but worth it if I'm not out here all summer pulling weeds out!

After working almost straight from 9am-5pm we got the grass cut out, part of it transplanted to another section, weed barrier laid down and the chips put in. Whew, these kids better play on it every day to make this worth it!!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Mother's Day Tea Party

James had a Mother's Day Tea party at his preschool. They made fancy invitations, practiced pouring from real tea pots, and rehearsed polite things to say. James assured me it wasn't really tea but lemonade we'd be drinking.
The day came and it was such a cute, special experience. We drank from real tea cups and James served me my food and everything. They even sang some very cute songs. To see more pictures and hear the songs go to: http://photos.bowden­.info/Jeff_and_August­a/James/

New Playset

Every year our neighborhood has a huge yard sale and it's seriously like a big festival. For the past three years I've had to run the YW hotdog fundraiser for girls camp out of our driveway but since I was released I was again free to roam for great deals.
We happened by a house selling only a table and kids books. I stopped to browse the books and the homeowner randomly asked if we needed a playset. Was he inspired, maybe! We have been researching and looking for a set for months now but nothing has been priced right or good quality.
This was the one sold at Costco 5 years ago for $1200 and he sold it to us for only $300. It's in great shape but we'll probably stain and seal it to last even longer.
I can't wait to send my boys outside to play all summer!
More pictures can be seen at: http://photos.bowden­.info/Jeff_and_August­a/Playset/

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival

Spring in Oregon blooms thousands of tulips at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in Woodburn (about an hour drive from us). My friend Andrea (former co-worker and now stay-at-home mom) invited us to go with her and her kids. She lives on the east side of Portland so we jump at the chance to get together with them since it's not very often.

It's been so rainy this spring but we happened to pick the one very sunny and warm day we've had all year. I didn't even think of sunscreen! We all ended up with pink cheeks after soaking up the much missed sun for hours.

One of the favorite things to do is the duck races. There are hand operated water pumps like those used in the pioneer days to pump water. The water comes up and runs down gutters to the trough at the other end. The kids put little rubber ducks in the gutters and off they go! Harrison didn't want to race, just hold all the ducks. He was having a hard time pumping with a dozen ducks in his arms.

James' favorite is the cow train ride. For $2 you get to bump and ride around the tulip fields in cow shaped cars behind a tractor. Harrison was scared to go so he sat by Wyatt and I and waited for everyone to get back. I don't know what happened to make him so timid about rides and things. He wouldn't even climb the stairs on the playground slide.

We took a free tram ride out to the tulip fields. Again Harrison didn't want to get on so I had to basically take him kicking and crying and hold him on my lap while we rode. Once we got going he was fine. When we got there the kids were doing great until they found the one big mud puddle in the whole place and would not stay away. I brought extra pants for them all but was still reluctant to let them just run free.

After 3 hours we could tell the kids were at their end. They played on the toys, rode the train, tried not to pick the flowers, and had a fun picnic lunch. Can you believe I was actually relieved to be in the car and out of the hot sun?! Here I've been wishing it would come out for months!