Friday, September 27, 2013

Visiting a farm!!!

Around Salem is an abundance of farm land, and lucky for us one of Amber's friends, Kathy, was kind enough to let us visit her farm!!  It was so much fun to get up close to her cows and learn a little bit about how a farm works (way more complicated than you might think at first glance).  We tried to pet the cow but they took one step back for every step forward we took.  

Chloe was not surprised or disheartened in the least when Kathy told her that this is where hamburgers come from.  Chloe definitely brought it up by asking if they get milk from the cows, "well no.....these cows are raised for food".  "Oh.  Okay"  Of course this is coming from the girl who while eating chicken asked what the animal looks like- and when I said like a chicken, she said "oh I pet one of those at the petting zoo!" (this is not going to go well I am thinking to myself), then she said "well they must have chopped him up!"  Hmm, I suppose I thought she might not like to eat meat if she knew it came from animals, but she was not worried about that at all.  It looks like she is not likely to follow in her Mother's aspiration of one day becoming a full fledged vegetarian!   

 Although the cows were totally my favorite part, the towering pile of grain was by far the winner with the kids!  Kathy even let the girls climb, play and roll around in it.  

 Of course her perfect farm had perfect apple trees, which the girls got to harvest from.

 I think you can tell they had a great time.  Straight from there we drove out to a Salem Harvest event.  You can read more about it on Amber's blog, but basically farmers donate their crops that can not be used for one reason or another to be harvested.  A ton of volunteers come and harvest the crop, donating half of the fresh produce to the local food bank and getting to take half of it home.  The farmers get a tax write-off, the food bank gets amazing fresh produce, and the volunteers get free produce and a fun experience, and the food gets to be eaten by people instead of bugs.  We signed up for the event even though we didn't take any produce home.  It was fun, although rainy :)

 I wish we had events like this in Alaska!!  I would pick so much!  Squash is like 4 bucks a pound up here!  It is hard to believe that there is so much abundance of resources down there, where here the growing season really limits the crops and fresh produce.  I grew up in Oregon, but I took the amazing fresh fruit and vegetables for granted!  After living in Alaska I sure have a strong appreciation for beautiful fresh abundant produce.  We can buy all the same stuff here, but it is expensive and not likely to be local (unless we are talking sprouts, potatoes, squash, kale, lettuce, cabbage or carrots).  We have other natural resources in abundance like mountains, oceans, lakes, breathtaking views and limitless outdoor recreation.  Yes we do have tons of salmon, halibut and king crab....everything is a trade- off I suppose!  

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Beach Day

 Finally on Thursday, a glimmer of hope arrived in the form of a happy little girl in the morning.  We ceased the opportunity and drove out to the beach.  It was an amazing day!  70+ degrees on the oregon coast made us feel like we were in Hawaii!  Andrew had a meeting up in Portland so my Dad made the trip out there with us!  So glad he did because it was a lot of fun!

the girls caught fish in their buckets (that we searched high and low to buy)
 found jellyfish in the sand at low tide

 After several hours at the beach we packed it up and went to visit Great Grandma, and Great Emily and Steve (as Chloe calls her- really my aunt Emily).  Scooner was there too, and loved helping the girls eat their apples.  It was great to see my grandma (the girls' great grandma) doing so well after her hip surgery!  She had us worried there for a while but now she is back to herself and back at home.  

A good time was had by all!  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Oregon Trip

This was our first trip where we had to buy Maddie her own seat.  This posed an additional problem....there are 3 seats in an isle, but 4 family member- how should we break it up.  We tried 3 on one side of the isle and one across the isle for the flight down, and it worked like magic.  Perfect flight.  (the way home we did 2 and 2 in seats right in front of each other - this flight was horrible- lots of crying, and misery for all.  we will be going with the 3 and 1 combo for now on.  Maddie was still a little sick and a lot tired which did not help either)

 Luckily we did a lot in the first few days, because that was about all we had before the storm of horrible sickness came down and metaphorically rained out our vacation.  The poor girls were super sick, and the poor parents (us) were exhausted from back to back to back sleepless nights.  That is about all I will say about being miserable-- we have lots of great photos from the healthy days- which is nice because I had forgotten we had any days that were not sick!!

Walking to a park
 Amber's daughter Bennet- too adorable for words

 Amber.  Never enough time to catch up.  

 Maddie loved collecting "flowers"
 An after dinner walk.  So nice.
 if you were wondering the girls did not say in the wagon for very long :)
 Grandma and Maddie 
 At this point Andrew is pulling a pink wagon with no one in it
 A little time in my parent's super amazing productive garden.  Very fun.
more to come from our other adventures in oregon!!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

catching up

 awesome blocks

 baby moose
 yard work
 home depot
 collecting flowers on our walk before bed
 face paint for a trip to the zoo
 so excited to ride her bike she didn't even take her helmet off for lunch!
 out in Whittier
 rookery up close
 painting in my office while i work
 funny lunch
 first professional trim

 Making glittered play dough.  It took Maddie quite a while to understand glitter doesn't equal sprinkles 
 puddle walk
 first day of preschool this year.
 evening walk
Fall is upon us.  It was an amazing summer, now fingers crossed that we have more than a few weeks of fall before the snow!