Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bizi Farms and other Fall Things

Our tradition every fall is going to the pumpkin farm. We really like Bizi Farms because it is a. close to home b. not too big c. always a good time

We did not go last year for some reason, but now that Baelor can easily walk there is no carriers or strollers to deal with which is a HUGE factor. Maybe that's why we didn't go last year (9 months is not walking yet, but too big for carrier hours on end). Or it could be that we were in the midst of moving, I was finishing up a class session of students, or sewing Halloween costumes (Hmmmm....I think I was hitting the "overwhelmed" button last year at this time).

This year the weather was like Southern California harvest weather, hot! I planned on Reina wearing this cute little frock as you can see the sun was not out yet in the morning.

About 5 minutes in we had to strip down to the least amount of clothing as possible. I was even considering Reina running around in her undershirt, but decided against this as to not promote future exceptions. We all had to stay rosy-cheeked and just bask in the October sun!

Something new this year was the corn pool! This reminded me of the question, "If you could swim in a pool of anything, what would it be?" Apparently Reina would answer "corn" as we had to peel her out of the corn dust. That evening when she was removing her undies for a bath, about 30 kernals of corn tinkled to the ground. We all just busted up laughing!

Baelor's favorite activity was the hay maze. This is a miniature corn maze for the little kids. They love it because it is just their size. He did it multiple times all by himself. He actually did quite well, only finding a dead end two times! When met with a dead end, boy, the look on his face- ultimate "I got punk'd" moment. Made me want to cry and laugh at the same time. We passed up on the big corn maze this year because our kids aren't quite old enough to love such a big, long, winding path.

 Normally we just walk to the patch to pick out our pumpkins, but the line was rather short for the hayride out to the patch. We each got to choose a pumpkin. Baelor saw what we were doing and joined in on the task of picking it up and placing it in the wheel barrow. What a hard worker!

Baelor resembles my brother as a little boy in this picture. He looks like he is about to say "Pumpkin"

Cleaning the pumpkins

They of course had an old-fashioned cranking kernal remover, an apple press that squeezed out fresh cider (delish!), a petting zoo, pony rides, pumpkin launcher, and a folk band, but we just didn't get to every event before the kids were pooped and ready for dinner. Besides the hot chocolate and cider, we enjoyed our leftover pizza in the grass. Good thing mommies are always prepared for poops and food.

Now our pumpkins are on the front porch waiting to be carved. This is my first year truly decorating for fall since college so I have had to start with nothing. I originally made this wreath a few years ago. 

But it was just too big for our front door, so I stripped a few things I liked from it and made a more simple one that cost me only $2. Michael's had some summer wreaths marked down 90% so I just removed all the plastic flowers and used the wreath part of it!

I saw a "Trick or Treat" idea from Pinterest using your kids' footprints and decided to try it using Reina and Baelor's feet. I think it turned out better than expected! I got a Halloween sign from the dollar store that had a bunch of writing inside. I painted everything black except the border and went to work with tickling the bottoms of our children's feet with the paint brushes!

Burlap and banners are the "in" thing right now. I don't usually keep up with trends in decor, but I do like mixing rustic with new. I had a yard of burlap laying around that I intended to do something with for the Fourth of July. That didn't happen, but this did! Another Pinterest idea that was really inexpensive and cute! The trick to this is using "wonder under" to put TWO layers of burlap back-to-back to create a thicker and heavier lay. This will also keep it from fraying which can be a vice when using burlap. I intended on using the other side to say BELIEVE for Christmas but the HARVEST was still slightly visible on the other side so I'll just have to come up with a Christmas themed one.

I also have these apothecary jars that can be used from season to season. I already had candy corn-looking candles and just added some extras to them.

I like to change the entry cabinet for the season as to not get bored of my decor. Here is my current fall look. I like simple. Next year I hope to get a Halloween themed display.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hood to Coast and Other Adventures

The Hood to Coast run is the most well-known and popular relay run in our neck of the woods. It takes place at the end of August every year. You literally have a team of twelve people running from Mt. Hood to Seaside on the Oregon coast. This event is incredibly strenuous as you have three legs to run consisting of 4-7 miles each. Paul's legs added up to 20.5 miles in total, consisting of a 7.72 mile run on flat ground, a 5.0 mile run downhill on a gravel road in the middle of the night, and a 7.73 mile run through rolling hills.

I was surprised that Paul agreed to fill in a spot on a Hood to Coast team considering he wasn't training for it. I was also a little envious that he got to do it with one of my dearest friends. But they had to have a boy to qualify for a mixed gender team.

The team was called The D'Feeters and the vans were decorated with severed feet from the Halloween decoration section. The team was split into two vans of six runners. When one van had runners out the other van's occupants got to rest. After the first leg for Paul's van they went to a friends house in Tigard and had steak and salmon! Not what I would call carb loading. More like a gut bomb.

Paul slept in a field for a whopping two hours following his second leg. The rest of the runners in his van decided to nap in the vehicle, but Paul wanted to stretch out.

Halfway through his third leg, Paul started looking for soft places along the road where he could fall if he got faint. Thanks to some neighborly children who gave Paul a free bottle of water, he was able to finish his last leg without any catastrophes.

I asked Paul what his favorite part of this experience was and he said it was definitely the challenge of doing something he's never done before and having to push his body to the limit. He was a little loopy when he got home after the race. But it was nothing that a shower and a little sleep couldn't fix. After seeing Paul finish Hood to Coast I started thinking maybe I'll do it next year (and get a better time, hahaha). With all kidding aside, we are VERY proud of him.

It is hard to believe, that a. Paul and I have officially been married for ten years and b. That we have known each other for fourteen years (actually longer than that if you count our first class together as sophomores although we never talked). We have something exciting planned, but as a pseudo-anniversary date we went to our second ever concert together over Labor day weekend. We saw the band Heart! We got an amazing deal on Groupon to see them at an outdoor amphitheatre nearby. It was seriously perfect! We took a shuttle and got let in without waiting in line since we did it the "green" way via bus. We realized that everyone who takes the bus is either intending on being drunk on the way home, or some even managed to start their party before the bus ride. People talk about everything when they are drunk!

We had lawn seating which I prefer anyway, so we just cuddled under blankies like we were dating again! The opening band was Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience who is the son of the former drummer for Led Zeppelin. They were really quite amazing and we already felt like we were spoiled with entertainment. Heart was fantastic! They had "matured" since their glory days, but they still had the voice and kept us entertained. Still, our favorite song of theirs was "Crazy on You." One of our neighboring viewers always had something laugh-worthy to comment on every few minutes which made us quietly laugh with each other. We now have inside jokes of this patron who had no idea he brought entertainment for us.

To continue with our pseudo-anniversary, we went on a hike! We haven't done a real hike since the kids were born. We love going on hikes but our kids don't handle long rides in backpacks so we just crossed off hikes altogether in our mind until they are old enough to stomp along with us. Usually our dates are short as to not leave the kids for more than a few hours. The longest dates are temple trips. We already both work so we love to spend as much time with them as possible with our "free time". We have really needed some couple time and decided a hike was quite the perfect setting.

We went to the Ape Caves near Mt. St. Helens. Both of us hadn't been there since kids so this was adventurous. The last time I went I was still young enough to be scared of the dark and tripped on a rock. Not a good memory. We couldn't really take pictures since it is pitch black inside without the guidance of our headlamps, which is why we chose this hike sans kiddos. The hike isn't more than a couple of miles but you have to climb over and around large rocks the whole time in complete darkness. One of the climbs was over 8 feet! Even the hike back to the car was beautiful. We stopped along the way in a a little grotto surrounded by various species of tree. The air was just warm, the light beamed through the trees, the sound was only of nature. And the ground was covered with soft, spongy moss that felt like some sort of a gymnastics/mattress pad. We felt like little fairies were going to greet us in their magical kingdom of Narnia. Of course the battery died on our compact camera during this hike, so our memory of this magical place remains in our dreams. Although a picture can not replace the other senses that we experienced either.

We anticipated doing another 4+ mile hike nearby that included a rope bridge and beautiful scenery, but looking at how long it would take to get there, do the hike, and drive home would put us past our available free time. We'll have to wait for another time. We have really felt spoiled with the surprising amount of couple time we had in September and time together as a family!

Silverwood Theme Park: Coer d'Alene, ID

(Sorry about picture quality for this post...snapshot camera and/or 4 yr old cell phone camera)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Family Photo Shoot

Wow! I have not posted these pictures yet? My sister Sanni took some pictures for us this summer during our Loon Lake trip in July. Here are some that turned out? It's hard to get everyone looking forward with a smile on their face, let alone the lighting and focus. Here's our best shots...and a funny one too.
Reina: 4.5 years
Baelor: 1.5 years
Paul and Aliisa: 32 years

I guess this is Baelor's favorite shot- THUMBS UP!