Only 4 Weeks

{"The" Month}

Them: "I hear you're going to Oregon to visit your family."
Me: "Yeah, I'm really excited."
Them: "How long will you be gone?"
Me: "Oh, about a month."
Them: "Whoa. That's a long time!"
Me: "You can't beat Oregon summers or being around my family."

If you read any of my posts from our trip last summer, then you already have an idea what I'm talking about. 

If not, hold on. 

You are about to learn more about Oregon {and my family} than you ever dreamed.  You'll laugh, cry, and gain a few pounds with me.  But hang in will totally pay off.  If there is ever an "Oregon Appreciation 101" class you'll be sure to ace it.

Let's start with Gram.  Right now she is totally mad at me for posting this picture, but I couldn't help it.  {She pretty much hates pictures. Sorry Gram!}

This sweet lady just relocated to Oregon last year from Southern Cal.   I know.  I think the wet, cold winter just about did her in. But hey, she's smiling now!

Dad took this pict right {complete with a red camping chair on my right shoulder} before she took me out to lunch the other day. It was so great. We sat outside, ate fresh yummy seafood,  and enjoyed the 80ish degree weather.  Then we headed to the "theater" as she calls it for an action adventure flick. 

{Mom & Dad, thanks again for volunteering to take on the boys for a few hours!!}

And no, we didn't coordinate our shirts. {But I did sew the ruffle on mine!:)} I guess that's genetics for ya!:)  I'm just hoping I can age as gracefully as she has...isn't she so cute?!

{The Land}
Every boy needs room to roam free.  The end.

Growing up on 5 acres was so great. Despite chasing run-away cows at 10PM in the pouring rain, sleeping 3 kids to a bedroom in our small "farm" house {I'm the oldest of 6}, and having to mow the lawn for hours... I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Sidebar: Although my brothers will tease me about it...I still think I'm hard or hearing from being on the mowers for hours with my "walkman"  headphones playing Cindy Lauper as loud as possible. Yes, I talk loud.  You make the call.:)

This kid is having the time of his life here.  I caught him running outside in his PJ's tonight.  He sneeks out the backdoor every chance he gets.  Oh, and he totally puts Ethan's visor on backwards...he always does.

{Hike #1}
I'm labeling this Hike #1 because I'm hoping there will be more before this trip is over. 

Every Memorial Day for my mom's birthday she picks a hike for the whole family to go on. {If you want to see a super great video of this year's hike its on my brother Peter's blog...he's a is a cool little movie.} 

Living so far away we have yet to go on the hike...until now.  She wanted to go on this hike in May, but the trail was closed.  It was our big break.

It was 1 mile to the falls, and this kid literally {not the guy pictured above} ran the entire way.  Well, except when I feared for his life and picked him up so he wouldn't fall off the edge of the path towards the end.

Being the great mom that I am, I took the picture BEFORE I kept him from falling off the bridge.

Can you find the wildlife at the bottom of the falls?  They even come with camera's here!

And we wonder where Ethan gets his funny little "picture grin"...ummmmm...yeah.  Oh daddy-o.

Aidan ran downhill, and he couldn't sit enough going back up. 

Hauling that kid---with a stinky diaper no less--- was the best workout I've had in a LONG time.   It would only have been a little more pleasant without the flies following us.  It was either that or carry the diaper...what do you do?

{Lovin' Grandma}

Tonight as I was searching for Aidan --a regular daily hourly occurance--I found that he had voluntarily crawled up onto my mom's lap. It was so sweet.

{He actually likes to try and hide from me. Today I thought he escaped out the front door and was running down the road so I was frantically racing around trying to find him.   He was totally hiding quietly in his pack and play. Tanya {my sister in law} watched him peek out and then hide from me. I know, heaven help me.}

If you are one of the lucky ones who lives close to your parents/grandparents don't take it for granted!! I think that moment alone was worth the 12+ hour drive.

This weekend is it.  The mini-reunion with my gals from high school.  Pictures and stories are sure to follow.

Last summer...



"Missing In Oregon."  Or maybe it should be "Missing In Utah".  Either way I've been captured by the "summer bug".   {Its totally going around you know.}

Don't worry...I'm surviving...but other things in my life aren't doing so blog, library books, phone calls, & emails are all drastically suffering.

Needless to say, this assailant has no mercy.  Each day seems to produce more summer enticements...warm summer evenings, sandy feet, clear blue sky, freckled faces, and fresh produce.  Ahhh.    Yes, I'm a gonner.

{Watch Out}
If you don't want to get this bug {although my guess is that most of you already have it}---I think I can help.  Here's list of things you MUST avoid at all costs...

{The Beach}

{U-pick Berries}

{The Great Outdoors...or pretty much doing anything outside at all.}

{People you love}


Yeah, I think that pretty much covers it.  Good luck to you my blog-reading friends.  And may the summer be good to you!;)

My Swimming Lessons

{Slow Learner}
We {heart} water.  Like many of you...summer means swimming, sunblock, & swim diapers. I've realized that long gone are the days of a relaxing when I visit the pool. 
{Remember when you could just sit and flip through a magazine or close your eyes for an extended period of time?  I know, its a total blurr for me too;)}

I also used to think that I was pretty smart...but I'm realizing that I'm not as quick as I used to be.  Case in Point...its only taken me 5+ yrs of hauling kids to the water for me to learn the following swimming lessons...

If I don't want to chase Aidan all over the place then I need to keep him busy.  Sand toys make AWESOME water toys...

Bath toys are also great for those not ready for slides, lazy rivers, or goggles...
{this is our cousin Amelia}

But just a quick warning...your kids may not be the only ones who think your toys are cool!  Sometimes they may attract a little crowd of new friends!

{The Double Diaper}
Swim diapers are required at most pools these days, and some even require 2!  The purpose of the disposable swim diaper is to keep the poopy out of the water.  But it obviously doesn't absorb a little wee wee...right?

Ask me how I know?  I used to put on the swim diapers before we left home {my boys pretty much run into the pool once they see the water...and its a battle to hold them back} & sometimes even after swimming I'd just through them into the car.

And then the stinky came.

That car seat REALLY started to smell. 

And here was my solution...the double diaper.  I just put both diapers on before we leave, lather on the sunblock, and off we go.  Once at the pool I just pull the regular diaper off and...tah dah! We are in the pool in no time!

Having kids wear bright swimwear makes it so much easier to spot them!

Especially if its a busy day at the pool!

{Ethan's Tip}
I'm pretty sure this is the official way to enter a pool with flippers on...;)
{On another Note}
Just got an email letting me know what this bad boy is on sale from for $85! And shipping is free! 

I don't may be the time for you to get one! Getting my 1st machine 18 months ago was life changing!:)

And just think of all of the those Christmas gifts you could make!:) 

And back to swimming...I'm out of cool things to say...oh, except that I wanted to let you know {if you don't already} that McDonald's has KIDDIE CONES!! Not all of them offer have to ask, but if they do the are SO great.  At $.25-$.50 depending on the restaurant they are the best post-swimming treat we've found.  Sorry, no picts...they disappear too fast.

{The Border}
In Utah, the borders are not very controversial.  I mean, if anyone is crossing from Idaho they are probably chasing some sort of livestock.   Utah and Idaho get along pretty well as far as I know...they even share this amazing water hole...aka  Bear Lake.

{Too bad Arizona doesn't share a beautiful lake on their Southern Border...people would just want to stay just where they are!  And it IS a big lake...right after college one of my best friends...Barb Morgan...brought me to Bear Lake & I fell in love instantly.  We decided to bike around it...6 hours later we were sore in places I never knew I had, starving, and popping Advil like crazy.   Ah, Barb!}

Prepare: These next few pictures are in the running for my favorites this summer.   And yes, Aidan's legs are that tan. He's got me beat.

What? Seagulls? Yes.

This history behind the seagulls in Utah goes something like this. {And you should all know better than to quote me...;)}

The pioneers of Utah came across the plains to escape religious persecution. There wasn't much to farm, but they worked hard and started planting and harvesting food. I'm not sure exactly what time of year it was, but crickets came in DROVES and began eating and destroying the settlers only chance for survival. The pioneers prayed for help and guess what came to eat the cricket? You better believe it...SEAGULLS!
I love that bit of history. Don't believe me?'s link to prove it...and if you ever visit SLC you'll have to go downtown and see the statue built to remember the experience. 

Our friend Anli is taking a break {and Ethan's future wife if we have anything to say about it;)}...doesn't she have the best eyes?!

I thought I was pretty cool when I took this picture.  Love the toys, water, and.....well,  I didn't notice the little swimmer in the background.    Hmmmmmmm.   Sorry. I'm not THAT good with Photoshop.;)

I hope Gina doesn't mind if I post this one...I couldn't resist. Love it.

PS The berry shakes here are highly recommended.  So are the onion rings if you really want to go for it!

{Will's Bday!}
And on the home front...
Happy Birthday Will! Will is my father-in-law and the green thing in his hand is a hammer. 

Can you believe summer is 1/2 over? Boo hoo hoo.   So now I have to warn ya...the berries are back.  {More to come!}


{What a Guy!}
If you don't recognize this young man, then let me introduce you to my Grandpa.

And today is a special day for him!  You see, he turns 94 years old!  {And as Ethan says, "That's just like 100!"}

My grandpa is the type of guy you just want to hang around and gleen as much out of as you can.   And I guess I'm selfish, but I decided that someone needed to write a biography about his amazing you know I just had to volunteer.;) 

{Sidebar: If you like the hat picture above I can make one for you! Just visit my PartiesUPrint Etsy shop for details! They make super cute cupcake toppers!}

Last weekend when we visited him I left with a file folder labeled "1943...letters from me to Dorthy".  Yes, the very letters that my grandma and grandpa wrote to eachother while he served in the war.  With a tissue box in hand, I'm going to type them all up so we can all enjoy them forever!!

{Well, you know you'll be hearing more about this biography writing---ps...anyone have any good printing resourses for such a venture?}

{5 in 1921}
My grandpa said the only real childhood memory he has is when he was 5---he was sitting on the front porch learning to tie his shoe. 

As I was looking through some pictures of my 5 year old, I began to wonder what it would have been like for grandpa back in 1921...

Did he have a favorite toy? 

Yeah, I bet he did. But I doubt there was a movie about it that you could see in a theater in either IMAX, 3D, or both!  And I'm positive there wasn't a Wii game about it.

I think he probably took great care of his toys...even today --he takes great care of everything he owns. 

Did he teach himself how to swing?

I bet he did, but my guess is that the swing was probably a 2X4 hanging by rope from a tree.

Did he share his toys? 

With 9 younger siblings I bet he didn't have a choice!

Did he ever misplace something special?

Probably...don't we all?

I bet even back in 1921 grandpa loved visiting with family...

and I bet he even went swimming with his super fun aunt & made funny faces at people!  Okay, maybe he didn't have a blow-up pirate boat, sunscreen, or a foam water squirter...but I bet he still had a good time!

I'm sure he often brought a smile to his younger brother's face,

and had a fun time with his cousins...

{Remember that Boden post? Ethan actually cut and ironed the car applique to his shirt! I'm telling you...easy peazy!:)}


What about playtime?  So a manufactured play structure wasn't an option, but I bet grandpa climbed a really cool tree or 2 in his day.

Hoses?  Um, maybe water didn't stream quite like this, but I bet he knew where to find the best swimming hole around!

And I'm sure--just like Ethan--he helped his mother with her projects every chance he got...

{Sidebar: When we went to Joann's the other day Ethan begged me for this "potato" to be his prize...fortunately he doesn't mind if I borrow a pin or two for my projects!:)}

I love these guys.

Happy 94th Birthday Grandpa! We love you!

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