Wednesday, January 25, 2017

McKinley's Seventh Birthday

We wanted to give McKinley a day she would remember, so we had a few surprises planned.  The first one being an early, morning wake-up call in order to beat the traffic enroute to the Dragonfly Cafe in Welches, OR.  She had requested biscuits and gravy for breakfast, and the Dragonfly Cafe did not disappoint!  We also ordered some blueberry pancakes and eggs benedict to share, and everything was super yummy and home made from scratch.  The biggest surprise was sledding at Mt. Hood.  After breakfast we drove to Government Camp and settled on inner-tubing at the Summit Ski Area.  We had a blast, especially when we all held on to each other's tubes and went down the hill together. Back at home she opened some presents, and Dadda immediately began reading the instructions for Settlers of Catan Junior, her gift from Ahmma & Dumpa, so that we could play before dinner.  Dinner was ribs from Storr's with Velvet mac-n-cheese, tater tots and broccoli, also one of her requests.  Then we capped off the day with a discount "Happy Holiday" ice cream cake from Dairy Queen.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Best. Winter. Ever.

Two days ago, we got dumped with snow while we were fast asleep.  The weather people had predicted a light dusting, if anything at all.  But to our surprise, when we awoke the next morning, four inches of fresh snow covered Newberg, and it was still snowing!  We woke the girls up, fed them a quick breakfast and got bundled up to go sledding.  There's a small hill at Crater Elementary School playground, so we rushed over to be the first ones to make sledding tracks in the fresh powder. After about an hour of sledding, we hurried back home to make a snowman.  Our neighbors beat us to the punch and were starting to build one in the middle of the cul-de-sac, so the girls joined in.  All the while, Benji decided to build a huge snow cave, reminiscent of his outdoor survival classes in Colorado.  Soon, Tyson and his boys were helping Benji and the girls harvest snow from the circle to pack on the cave.  After lunch and breaks for hot cocoa, Dadda finally dug out an opening in the cave.  And by dinner time, the whole was so big that Sophie, Faith and McKinley could all crawl in together.  At the end of the day we had accumulated two more inches of snow, making it a whopping total of six inches.  Around the state, though, some snow records were broken. Portland and Beaverton received about twelve inches and had three days of school being cancelled.  The snow stuck around the next few days, as temperatures only rose above freezing during the afternoon sunshine.  And the small amount of sun put a nice, thick glaze of ice on the snow cave, which now looks more like a mountain of ice.  The girls, including the neighborhood kids, have been sledding down it repeatedly.  Some even getting a few bumps and bruises, like McKinley.  She has three ice burns on her face and a small welt underneath her eye.  The weather people are predicting rain for next week, and eventually the snow cave will melt, but for now the girls are having the time of their lives enjoying this cold, winter weather!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Christmas Recap 2016

We spent Christmas in Oregon this year.  We truly missed spending the holidays being surrounded by our extended families, but this Christmas season we were able to start some family traditions at home.  On Christmas Adam (Dec. 23) and Eve we baked and decorated a lot of cookies, then handed them out to some disadvantaged people around town and also delivered some to the Newberg Police station.  Before attending our candlelight Christmas Eve service, we did some water tank repeats and ate Burgerville for dinner.  Actually, I was the only one to eat take-out, while Benji and the girls ate ribs that he had barbecued.  To our surprise, Benji and I were the first ones up Christmas morning.  After rummaging through our stocking stuffers, we had buttermilk-blueberry pancakes for breakfast then headed to church.  Both of our Christmas Eve and morning services offered no childcare, so it was a treat to have the girls sit with us during the service.   When we got home we did a round of opening presents and playing with new toys.  I made fried salmon for dinner, as per Benji's request.  We watched football and opened more presents and enjoyed the yummy baked goods our amazing neighbors delivered.  Such sweet memories for our family!

Stopping for gas before our family exercise session.

We did a brisk, warm-up walk to the water tank.

Benji and I took turns pushing Tessa in the stroller.

Everyone started at a different interval when Dadda said "Go!"

After 7 or 8 repeats, we were cold and ready to go home.

Christmas morning after church.

First round of presents.