Saturday, July 18, 2015

A New Season Begins

Bruce and I kicked off our 8th season together as XCR coaches by taking 7 girls on a camping trip.  We reserved a camp site at Elk Lake Resort, which is about 30 minutes past Bend.  Our main goal of the trip was to do a little team bonding while hiking up the 3rd tallest peak in Oregon: South Sister.  It's 6.2 miles to the summit, which reaches 10,358 feet.  Three of the girls are sisters (see below) and had never gone camping before.  Everyone reached the summit except for Vanessa, who was suffering from shin splints.  And we made it to the top in a whopping 3 hours and 30 minutes, thanks to Grace aka "Mountain Goat", who set a blistering pace from the start of the hike.  We also enjoyed getting to know the girls more intimately around our "small warming fire."

Alex…what a ham!  To the left are Jackie and her twin sisters, Carina & Jessica.

Bruce is savoring every last bit of cheeseburger.

Finally above tree line and we're only 45 minutes into the hike.  Looking up at the summit in the background, it was hard to believe we would actually get there. 

Beautiful Moraine Lake.

We made it to the "false summit," and behind us is a tarn.  What is a tarn?  A small mountain lake.

At the top.  Wish it wasn't so cloudy looking down. 

The highest point on South Sister.

Looking down towards Moraine Lake and where we came from.

The girls did awesome!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Fourth of July

Such a fun day!  Family, friends, food, fellowship, fireworks….that about sums it all up!  We began the morning in St. Paul for their annual rodeo parade.  Although it was already 90 degrees, the girls were distracted by the flying candy and waving at all the rodeo princesses on their horses.  We spent the afternoon barbecuing in the backyard with our friends, the Ridgeways, while our kiddos played in the pool and slip-n-slide.  At dusk we took the party to the cul-de-sac, playing corn hole, lighting sparklers & smoke bombs, and waited for the firework show. Tessa was still going strong way past her bedtime, and I put her down at 9 pm.  I think all of us finally went to sleep around 11 pm.

Thank you Gramma C. for our patriotic dresses!

All done.

The kiddos play corn hole, while our neighbor, Brian, sets up his fireworks stand.

Sienna and Marissa goof around with Piper and Tessa.

Sophie organizes an all-kid picture.

It's a race to the smoke bomb.

An impromptu wagon parade.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Friday, July 3, 2015

Pre-gaming for the Fourth

Last Sunday we drove to Champoeg Park to have a picnic dinner and do some bike-riding.  We ended up running into one of Benji's co-workers who was having a patriotic-themed party and invited us to join them.  The girls made out like bandits, receiving balloons, star-glasses, cupcakes and tattoos.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Father's Day

The girls and I hit the jackpot with Dadda!  We are so thankful for him and appreciate everything he does for our family.  My favorite part of the day is when Benji walks in the door after a long day at work.  All I hear is "Daaaddddddyyy!!!!!!" and little feet racing to meet him.  They giggle as he picks them up, all three at once, then comes into the kitchen to give me a kiss.  Immediately he asks them about their day, and it's a competition to see who can talk the loudest & the fastest.
Father's Day was great!  After all the overtime Benji had been putting in, we decided to have a relaxing morning together as a family.  I cooked paleo biscuits and gravy, as per Dadda's request, and afterwards he opened some presents.  Then for dinner we ate Storr's Barbecue, another request.

This picture cracks me up!  Tessa copies everything the girls do.

This girl loves her ribs!

Tessa had no problem polishing off her first rib.

More berry-picking at Rowels Brother's Farm.

This girl loves eating berries!

Ripe ones, non-ripe ones, she doesn't discriminate!

The Chandler blueberries were huge!