Knitting news

After a month long hiatus, I finally picked up my knitting and finished this shawl: The Traveling Companion Shawl. It may not be exactly my style but it was fun to knit. Who knows…maybe I’ll make it my style!

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I’m thinking another shawl done in a less frilly pattern, with cozy alpaca, would be nice for winter around the house. I’ll need to wade through the many many shawl patterns online. I’ll be asking myself “What would Marilla from Anne of Green Gables wear?” That’s what I want!

Oak Island Trail take two

Oak Island trail on Sauvie Island:

According to my blog, I took the kids on this trail back in 2008 and it was not a hit. We decided to try it again so Lotus could enjoy the freedom to hike without the dangers of a narrow trail and a sudden drop off the side of a cliff (like most of the Gorge hikes have).

It was flat, hot and long, just like we experienced before. Just like his seven year old self, Isaac once again asked if we could never do this hike again. Ha!

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We took these pics with the point and shoot camera we haven’t used in a while. Mostly the kids use this camera so we found some old gems on it, like this view from the back seat during our cross-country road trip last fall. Happy Lotus in her carseat, Jason driving and me trying to get cozy with the neck pillow.
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Wahclella Falls for the umpteenth time

Our favorite hiking spot in the Gorge has been hiked so many times I haven’t bothered to take the camera the last few times. This time some friends came and took pics. Yay! See, we do get out of the house.

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The Lake family, minus Dan…
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It looks like Xander did get a few shots on his camera when we went last month. I see the date says 2011 but it really was last month. Xander cam:

Obviously he had me take this one of him…
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Mom and Lotus, holding up the rear…
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The roar of water everywhere…
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Me and my mini

Xander and I, testing out his new web cam. He’s been growing his hair out…and so have I. 🙂
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Isaac is 11!

The weather was wonderful for Isaac’s park birthday celebration. He is having such a good day!

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Isaac chose Rood Bridge park for his party this year and I’m so glad he did. The giant lawn is gorgeous and the kids seemed to have a good time spreading their play out over the entire area.

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I just love this photo of me with all the littles: Lotus, Simon, Xander, my niece Ava and my nephew Icen. I often imagine life when they are all grown and I’m missing the days when they were little, then I flash back to the present and soak them in. I love them so much and relish our beautiful life right now. Not missing a second of it!

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My Hunbun made me an apron!

Had to cut out the bedhead…yikes! But isn’t my new apron super adorable?

My Mother’s Day surprise: The kids picked out the fabric and Jason did the sewing. Just the thought of sewing makes me tense but Jason feels the same sense of accomplishment I get from knitting. I love it!

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In other news…

We’ve had this hammock from Honduras (a gift from my brother Aaron and his wife Sam) stored in a closet for the last ten years. I said enough was enough, lets hang the thing right in the living room.

Unfortunately the T-shirt material it is constructed with is waaaaaaay too stretchy. Even the kids take it nearly to the floor, so you can imagine the sadness when Jason or I try and lay in it. The potential for a swinging good time is there and we plan on making it happen somehow-most likely with a different hammock.

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post 966…no joke.

It’s a real chore to take my camera out these days. Camera depressed?

Four awesome kids.

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Lotus makes all the moms in the park nervous when she goes on this big slide.

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A friend shared an article about how nasty the new hot dog stuffed pizza crust trend is, so of course I had to try it out. Okay, pizza and a wiener wrap in one sitting *is* a little ridiculous. Plus, I was left wondering if I should have put some mustard on my plate. It was fun to try anyway.

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Our bread machine broke after many years of use. Actually it vibrated itself off the counter while kneading and the lid busted. BUT, it has been the best thing! I finally tried making bread myself and it is so much better. Bigger loaves, four at a time that last all week.

Here’s my last batch puffing up in its warm bath.

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Yummy!

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I *heart* wood stoves

One super high (electric) heating bill lead to a super cold month and a 1/3 reduced bill,

which lead to a new wood stove, a super toasty warm month and a 2/3 reduced electric bill. We love our new wood stove!!!! It heats the entire 1200sf of our main living space and bedrooms. The smell is wonderful and having a fire to look at is cozy too.

Jason seems to really enjoy tending the fire, the look of pride when he gets it roaring is priceless:)

Notice the sweet hearth he tiled for the floor.

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The kids help stack the wood. We haven’t been very good gardeners so this has been a good activity to get us outside, working together.

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Jason built us a small firewood rack for the deck. I love how great it looks from just a few scraps of supplies gathered in the garage. My guy does good work!

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New friends from Japan

We had a wonderful, albeit much too short, CouchSurfing experience with two Japanese guests from Yonezawa, Yamagata, Japan. Mari and her seven year old son Hikaru.

Hikaru doesn’t know any English but the boys all bonded immediately over the universal language that is Mario Kart.

Hikaru showing Xander his school work. It’s interesting to see what any student my kids age is working on, let alone another culture, since my kids homeschool. Xander and I were both pleased to see familiar levels of math. Whew! I’m keeping up! Too bad we couldn’t read the text:)

I do believe a few more months of play and the boys might actually start learning each others language quickly. Xander was already figuring out Google Translator and Hikaru said he wants to start learning English and come back for another visit.

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We love taking our guests to the beach. The boys played with sand toys and took turns flying the kite. Poor Isaac was left sick at home, missing all the fun.

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Camera timer fail…

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Just before we said goodbye. Cheese!

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Simon is five

My little Simon had his fifth birthday. The first birthday he was really excited for:)

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Lotus and Simon painting. This was Lotus’ first time!

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“Keep your brush to your own paper” is an agreement Lotus is not ready to make.

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Ta-da!

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