Friday, September 20, 2013

Summer Adventures 2013

Tillamook Cheese Factory
If anyone knows us well, they know how our summers are overly filled...the way I like my blueberry buckets. This is not something I gloat on. In fact, I look forward to a summer where I don't know what we'll be doing from one day to the next; maybe going to the farmer's market, a bike ride, or maybe helping a friend prepare for a garage sale. I do love summer. I do not love that I work a lot in the summer. I really do like my job. I just need more time to do everything I want to do, especially in the coveted summer weather. I have always requested that MY ONE SUPERPOWER would be to stop time. I just need more time, that's all. I know, I know...there is a time and season for everything. I know that life comes with things that we never planned for and leaves us questioning each trial. I know this forces us to grow and change. Yet I never want to miss out. With that being said, I still hope and try for the best for my family. I do want it all, but doesn't every girl?

Paul requests a Finnish cake every year for his birthday...and he doesn't get tired of it!
Squeezed between both Paul and my busy summer schedule we have managed to enjoy some summer! Surprisingly we had amazing June weather which allowed us to already enjoy wearing flip-flops and filling up the kiddy pool. This also brought lots of early ripening to our garden! We had a surprise visit from my Aunt Louie and Uncle Steve who used to be in our ward at church but now live in Texas. We got to go out to dinner with them and celebrate Paul's 32nd birthday.

Baelor eating a Finnish dinner (cabbage and sausage soup, rye crisp)
Our 4th of July was not celebrated elaborately, but a backyard barbecue at Grandma and Grandpa Guinn's house was just enough. Paul was working an event so missed out...maybe next year? Reina and Baelor got to visit with cousins Brecken, Degan, Logan, Lauren and Corbin. The missionaries also joined in. Later that evening Reina enjoyed fireworks at a show in Camas with her other cousins Riley, Ashton, Heleena and Brielle. Baelor slept through all the cracks and pops outside while I watched the showcase of colorful blooms from our back deck. Reina came home at 11:30 pm appearing like the lead from the "Walking Dead". Latest night ever!

We have recently had lots of little blondies in the family...can you tell?

Baelor and cousin Corbin
Finn (with cast cover), Baelor, Brielle
The day after the 4th of July, we finally got to really celebrate the summer as a family with an overnight stay at the beach. As I mentioned in a previous post, the weather was GORGEOUS for Oregon Coast weather and the motel was clean even to my standards.

One of our favorite beaches is Oceanside. It is small, but has some spectacular views. Reina is kind of a thrill seeker so her favorite was showing how brave she was to go in the long, dark tunnel (that leads from one side of the beach to the other) all by herself. Baelor just loved the fact that he had every whichaway to run!

We stayed in Girabaldi, Oregon where they have a railway
station right behind the parking lot of our motel. I like to blame the kids for wandering onto the train, but really we were curious as well. We used our kids as an excuse to hop on the train and look around. Much to our chagrin, we had no idea that they ran a spendy scenic excursion and we enjoyed half the excitement for free.

On the other side of our motel was an old-fashioned park...with one of those dangerous merry-go-rounds that are dizzily fun! Reina also got to ride a horse...a "tired" horse.

We have 84 pounds of blueberries in our freezer. Is this accurate? Yep, I had to look in my checkbook to add it all up. It sure doesn't seem that much in our freezer. And guess what? We eat all of them before the next season. I prefer cobblers over cookies or cake so a lot of them are dedicated to this. Our kids eat them almost every day, especially Baelor. Paul is a fan of blueberries in his smoothies. He is better about drinking green smoothies more than myself.

 (Warning: most of these pictures are taken with very low-quality cameras, some at night)

Reina picked 3 lbs. ALL by herself!

Of course we had some excellent adventures such as our Grandma Guinn Birthday Bash and Loon Lake trip, but they have a post of their own. After our trip to Loon Lake, Paul was busy for ten days at the Clark County Fair doing spinal screenings. We don't see him for more than a few minutes a day during this event. To fill that void I took Reina and two of her girl cousins to Oaks Park. Reagan and Kamryn who were visiting from California are twelve and ten, but really love to hang out with Reina. We enjoy them and thought it would be a special treat to treat them to some fun as well. I have never been to Oaks Park. It was small, but the lines were MUCH shorter than the fair. It was simple, clean, and fun. A perfect girls night out! Reina was the smallest one on all the rides. I tried to sneak her into some of the big kid rides, but she didn't meet the height requirements.

Paul and I were able to attend my cousin Marita's wedding. She is my mom's sister's (Inkeri) only child so this was a big deal. It was near the Oregon Zoo at the Hoyt Arboretum. It was very simple and outdoorsy- perfect for an August wedding. She is half Egyptian, so the food was Mediterranean and so delicious! I had to go back for seconds and thirds. The desserts also included both Finnish and Egyptian pastries. We are so happy for Marita and Bryan!

It just so happened that we all had a Saturday off so we decided to go for a bike ride. Reina doesn't ride her bike often which makes it difficult to learn how to ride without the training wheels. Also her bike is 16" instead of the easy 12" that most kids learn to ride with. She is comfortable with the training wheels on. She hasn't seemed too interested in taking them off, so we haven't either. I think she is ready as the training wheels seemed to just get in the way on the trails. She rode for a while, then some of the hills just got a little too steep and gravely with the training wheels on. Luckily we brought the trailer and finished the 8.5 mile bike ride.


We stopped halfway to play at the park at Lacamas Lake and take in all the action happening there. We didn't get home until 3pm. The kids were so tuckered out that they took a nice long nap.

Reina had a blast at a birthday party which included a jumpy house that had a water slide! A jumpy house AND water slide?!? Every kids' dream! Yummy Mediterranean food for the adults and a pinata for the kids made it better yet. Reina looked so dang cute in these crazy glasses. We left them behind.

My brother decided he wanted a last-minute beach camping trip for Labor Day weekend on the Oregon Coast and invited us along. We were prepared for a weekend of camping, but all of the sites were reserved, obviously. So we had to settle for a BEACH HOUSE!!! Apparently this was my sister-in-law Emily's first time on the Oregon coast!?! It was our first time at a beach house where you literally walk out and you are at the beach. The weather was beautiful!

The cousins were crazy enough to get soaked in the ice cold ocean!

The climb up the sand dune was arduous and HOT. Luckily the sand was super-soft. Reina was actually the first one to the top! She didn't even stop to take a break like the rest of us. One fun little adventure was the make-shift rope swing at the top of the dune. What a view though from the top. We could see the strength of those waves pounding the rocks and creating tunnels. So beautiful. No camera. We even saw two horses and a pony charge down the dune which reminded us of how steep our ascent was. How many times do you see a pony gallop down a dune? It was like "The Man From Snowy River".

We were at Pacific City where you can drive on the beach. Paul took the Jeep to test "his" skills (the Jeep is a boy named Orvis). He did good, but Paul said it wasn't worth the stress it put on him. He had to cool down for a bit and get a nice big gulp of coolant.

Paul had one very unique adventure this summer which I will post soon! Summers in the PNW are beautiful, don't ya think?