Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wonderland Size

The redwood trees are so huge that we felt ant-sized next to them!

Sam and Joey enjoyed climbing the fallen logs that dotted the trails.

Ellie walked over half a mile on the
scenic Stout Grove loop.

There were several hollowed-out trunks, perfect for kids to play in.
This one had a "door" just Ellie's size!

Though Sarah and the kids couldn't stay too late, it was so jolly to spend the afternoon with them in the forest!

Incredible Trees

Redwoods are SUCH amazing trees.
Photographs simply can't do them justice.
You have to see them to believe them!

I love the lush green ferns along the forest floor, too.

Oregon Coast

Today Sarah and I drove to Crescent City (in caravan, with the kids).
It was a lovely morning!
We passed cranberry bogs:

and lots of ocean views:

And then we went to the redwoods!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Future Blackmail

If I really wanted to be an Evil Aunt, I would produce these pictures on Joey's prom night or Sam's mission farewell...
(The kids get so soaked that Sarah and Jared prudently have them strip down to their underwear before getting in the car, bagging up their wet clothes and draping blankets on them. The kids do not always keep the blankets on, as you can see.)

Wild A-Bandon!

Though the weather was so lovely, the water was COLD.
This didn't stop me from doing a little wade at the end of our visit!
(It sure didn't stop the kids, who got completely soaked and played happily for hours in tide pools.)
I took dozens and dozens of pictures of the kids.
You can see some of the best ones on Sarah's blog!

A perfect day!

Jared and Sarah took me and the kids (and Jared's sister Rachel and her husband Mike and daughter Abby) to BANDON BEACH.
It was the most beautiful day.
Warm (relatively), crystal clear, sunny.
And the most gorgeous beach!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Kids on Sugar

After Jared's birthday cake and presents, the boys seized upon the balloons with glee.
Uncle Mike helped them play a sort of balloon/baseball (with a plastic sword as a bat) in the living room.

Ellie climbed up on the table, as is her habit, and eyed the leftover pie lovingly.
(Rachel had made three pies: this was the peach/raspberry and it was indeed very good.)

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a small table and 6 people at it (plus 3 kids on the side) so we had to have a sideboard as well as a regular table!
Sarah made amazing fresh rolls, I made a yam puree with butter and maple syrup, and we had olives, cream cheese filled celery sticks, juice to drink and cranberry relish (the pears are an accent, ripening for later.)

At the table itself we had delicious mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, turkey, mixed vegetables and olives and pickles, too.
And that' s not even counting the pie, which we had later in the evening!
Hooray for Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Legendary Pizza Family Style

After a jolly day yesterday which included a breakfast of hearty oatmeal, a walk in the park, and an afternoon of Jared preparing turkey in the kitchen (while we all snacked for lunch) we were quite hungry by evening.
We decided to go out for Abby's Legendary Pizza, a popular chain in the Northwest which Sarah assured me was quite good.
We started out with fried potato slices as appetizers:

Here is the pizza.
Vegetarian Greek with lots of veggies, including spinach and artichoke hearts, and a white creamy sauce and lots of roasted garlic cloves. YUM!

Sam likes to eat his pizza crust first:

Ellie really enjoyed the rootbeer, patiently delivered through a straw.
You can see it dripping off her chin!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Jolly Meeting at the Birrdhouse

I arrived at Sarah's at about 7:30 pm. She was on the porch to greet me.
Joey and Sam came out and excitedly ran around. It was fun to scoop them up and hug them.
Then we all unpacked my very full car.
Her neat living room looked like a moving truck had hit it!
Then we spent the rest of the evening visiting, and Birrd unpacked the many bags and boxes I had brought from Emily.

Although Sarah was extremely happy to have the large quantities of baby and toddler clothes (especially expressing pleasure over the onesie-turtlenecks and other warm things), she did not find every article to be equivalent with her own taste.

While she unpacked, Joey and Sam (and later Jared) sat on the couch next to her and watched movies that I had brought to share.
First the animated "Hobbit," and next "Star Wars."
Jared kindly made popcorn for all to share.

Ellie, wearing the Halloween bee costume that Emily had sent, also wandered in to snack on popcorn.

It was a most jolly family evening, and the perfect end to a perfect day!

The Pacific Coast

Redwoods on route 199, along the California/ Oregon border:

Pacific sunset:

I am so lucky to visit here!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Medford Madness

While in Medford, I visited the Harry and David store!!

Lava Beds NM

Visit to Lava Beds NM in northern CA:
The Devil's Homestead.

One of the Lava Tubes: Valentine Cave.

Valentine Cave entrance:

Nearby Tule Lake Wildlife Refuge at sunset:

Scenes from the Road

Bonneville Salt Flats...

Rye Patch State Recreation Area, Nevada...

NE California state routes: mossy trees after late autumn snowfall.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Dinner at Emily's

Emily and Dave's new place looks just great.
Mom and Dad and I went over there for dinner tonight.
Dad brought a slide projector and we looked at pictures after dinner, recent slides from Europe.
Emily was very disappointed that there were no grocery stores, hotels or restaurants in the pictures.