Learning Japanese

Lotus is enjoying the Japanese language apps on my iPad and I had to capture the adorableness. It’s kinda long and one of those made-for-mom-and-dad videos but I thought I’d put it in the blog because that’s pretty much what my entire blog is. Ha!

We are planning a trip to Japan next spring and Lotus will be our translator.

Voodoo Doughnut

The kids and I ventured out into the deluge to Portland for a play at the NW Children’s Theater. We saw Sherlock and then stopped by Voodoo Doughnut. The donut shop has become a popular place but we’ve never managed to go before now.

The kids all agree it is above and beyond our usual place, so I guess they are popular for a reason!

Oh, and the play was good too. Although, with no singing and dancing this time, Lotus had a tough time staying focused. Mary Poppins is next and I doubt there will be any trouble paying attention to that one!

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Feeding a Family is Hard Work

Never mind the recycling mess but look at all this chopping Jason did for me! Usually once a week I have a list of food stuffs that need to get prepped: bread, a soup, roasted vegetables and maybe some type of snack/dessert.

The roasted veggies get mixed up into a serving bowl and kept in the fridge for lunches, sides and yumminess to throw into the breakfast eggs.

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This week was a buffalo chicken soup recipe. It gets divided up into canning jars so we can grab individual portions out of the fridge throughout the week.
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Breakfast bars” aka granola bars to eat whenever…
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Lately I’ve been making eight loaves of bread instead of four and stocking the freezer. Can you believe this only gives me a two week window? My family of six goes through four loaves per week. I use the amish white bread recipe but only 2 TBS of sugar and varying ratios of whole wheat to white flour…sometimes 100% whole wheat. It seems to work out alright.
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This is from a couple weeks ago. The littles were rolling spring rolls for us. They like to help knead the bread dough too, my little helpers.
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Xander Paints

We bought this giant canvas for over the fireplace in the family/game room. Xander is having fun with it and learning a lot!

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Isaac is all about the gaming and chatting with gaming friends online. He just finished Batman Arkham City and is now moving on to “I don’t know.”
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Banks-Vernonia trail

Today I rode the last two sections of the Banks-Vernonia trail from Top Hill to Vernonia Lake. Now that I have finally ridden all sections of the trail (non-consecutively), I can say that the two sections into Vernonia are my fav!

It was a great, nearly flat ride and a gorgeous view at the end for lunch. Just me and the ducks…

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I’d love to do the entire length in one go next, but no way I’m ready for the entire length AND BACK. Not with that 8 miles of incline from Manning to Top Hill.

Great Wolf Lodge…again.

The kids were bummed we weren’t going to be able to do the homeschooling Great Wolf Lodge trip next month, so I took them for an impromptu trip now! Jason stayed home and enjoyed a house full of quiet while he worked and we enjoyed a barely crowded, mid-week lodge experience.

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Not too beat up…
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Silly String

silly string….err, “Goofy String,” had to be experienced in large quantities. I bought a three-pack for Jason’s birthday and the kids were bummed they didn’t get much of a chance to try it out because: A) there weren’t enough cans and B) a single can holds about two seconds of fun.

The dollar store sells even smaller cans, so I grabbed up the entire box. The obnoxious smell and obnoxious mess (and obnoxious waste of fossil fuels, I assume) happened and the kids deemed it to be AWESOME.

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Not Back To School Day and a Bike Ride

“Not Back To School” day at Oaks Park…

Xander and Simon weren’t too sure about the rides but then friends showed up and it was just the encouragement they needed. They found a few rides they liked and went again and again.
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Jason and I tried a different section of the Banks-Vernonia trail we haven’t done before and it was 5 miles of steady incline. There might have been some whining, maybe a couple requests for my mommy….
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After the incline was finished, it was discovered my tires were low on air. Fantastic! Jason firmed them up for the cruise back down. 6 mph up and 18-21 mph down. whoosh! Also, it turns out the Burley Solo kid trailer is super uncomfortable. Lotus gives it two thumbs down. :(
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Jason’s Birthday

My beau is 44 today, so of course we played with silly string and drank booze from a bucket…did a jello shot. Ya know, grown up stuff.

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Serious discussions with crayons are always happening over kids menus when we go out to eat…
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More Camping 2014

The kids playing in the creek while Jason and I make breakfast…
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Isaac spent most of the time in the tent, thinking his thinks…
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Telling ghost stories: The best part was when Lotus declared she would go first and belted out “It was a dark and stormy night….” with dramatic hand gestures. Ha!
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Lotus spent a lot of time “painting” with water on rocks.
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A hike: Simon is way ahead…
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trolls under the bridge… :)
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Xander and Simon doing creek “construction.”
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More rock painting…
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Dirty faces are a sign of a good time!
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