Friday, July 30, 2010

The Great Exploration

The kids and I set out for an impromptu adventure this morning. We have a bus that runs through Yamhill County that is super cheap and it stops just a couple of blocks from our house. The kids are constantly asking when we can ride the bus and I decided that today was the day.

We packed our backpacks with supplies that a person definitely needs on an adventure, you know...water, books, play cars, a stuffed horse, a camera and headed to the bus stop.

The first thing that we learned was that the bus wasn't on time. The second, my kiddos weren't thrilled with the waiting:)

We didn't have any specific reason for going into town, but that's where the bus goes:) We decided to explore Main St in Newberg and finally checked out some shops that I've been meaning to get around to doing. First stop was the pet store, Critter Cabana. Oh delightful! They have animals out to touch and study; tortoises, parrots, puppy dogs, bunnies, lizards. It's all very hands on and quiet loud. I recommend it whether you are in the market for a pet or just for the experience.

Our next stop was a little corner park that showcases a waterfall. After throwing in some pennies and making wishes, we ran around a bit, trying out all the benches and such and then were off to our next destination.

We were all getting a bit hot and hungry by then so we stopped in at a little Mexican restaurant that Chad and I used to frequent when we lived in Newberg oh so long ago. They weren't busy, as in we were the only people there, so we got extra special service, a Spanish lesson, and a bit more dessert than our one shared meal warranted:)

We made a quick stop at Chapters, a local coffee house and bookstore. We read about Mercy the pig and found a book that I want to get Chad for christmas. Now if I can only remember it come December.

The post office was next on our list to investigate. The door was open into the mail room so we sneaked a few peaks to learn more about how our mail gets to us. The post master pretended not to notice us and the kids were thrilled at our behind the scenes peak.

We made it back to the bus stop with dragging feet and ten minutes to spare. Once the bus arrived, we headed to the back of the empty bus and enjoyed our bouncy, wiggly ride home.

What a fun adventure! The kids finally got to ride the bus and we were able to explore our area a bit more. Throw in an unexpected glance into the postal system, a fun and inexpensive lunch, a good read at the bookstore and we had a successful exploration. Did I mention we did all this fun stuff for under $13.

Now that's what I call a cheap, but fun date with my beloved explorers:)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A New Life in Christ

This is our church. Church on the Hill in McMinnville, Oregon. It's a fairly large church with three services, one thousand plus people every Sunday and a very large children's department and we love it! The church does a great job making everyone feel special and a part of the whole.

Back in March, Kyla asked Jesus to be her savior. What a celebration! Our church wanted to help her celebrate this big step as well. They have a new Christian class for kids that is put on by our children's pastor. Kyla, Chad and I attended the class last month and watched her make her faith public. As an affirmation of their public commitment to Christ, the church lights the new creation candle on Sundays for new believers. And Kyla's name was up there.

I happened to be on the worship team for early service and our head pastor made a big deal about her name being up there:) We brought Kyla into the third service with us (she had asked to see her name up on the screen) and our pastor, knowing that she was sitting with us, welcomed Kyla into the family of Christ and the church helped her celebrate this step in her life.

We are so proud of the young lady that she is becoming, her strengths and her desires. What a tremendous gift it is to watch her grow!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Girls Day

My Aunt is visiting us from the beautiful state of Indiana and I wanted to treat her to something that was indicative of the area that we live in. So of course we headed up into the Dundee Hills and had a picnic lunch at a local winery/lavender farm. We made it a girls day as my mother and my sweet little girl joined us. Red Ridge Farms welcomed us with open arms and smells that were heavenly.

We explored the gift shop, sampled olive oil made right there from olives grown on the farm, sipped lavender tea and placed our order for two picnic platters.

Oh the picnic platters! Cheese from France, Almonds from somewhere else far away, local fruit, and crisp crackers. Definitely a girly treat:)

We were very lady like:)

And I can't forget dessert! Truffles and lavender shortbread cookies. Oh my!

After our lunch, we found ourselves in the lavender field surrounded by a garden in full bloom. The bees were humming and the scent was divine!

Kyla found the perfect lavender plant to bring home with us as a reminder of our fun afternoon. Now were to plant it???

What a marvelous treat for the special ladies in my life. Anyone want to join me for a second trip?:)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Mama Needs a New Dress

A while ago while scrounging through New To You (a local resale shop) I found this dress that had the softest knit fabric and a pretty print. Now the dress itself was a disaster, but I had high hopes for the fabric. I was thinking I could chop it up and make a nice light skirt for summer but then I found this blog, A New Dress A Day and was inspired to get a bit more creative and daring and make a new and improved dress out of the monstrous mess. Less frump and more Za Za Zoo:)

So I did:) I can't say that it was quick or pretty during the bloody stages of reconstruction but it went from an ugly caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly of a dress:)

The reason behind my need for a new dress was The Blue Hour, a Fancy french restaurant in Portland. We had a gift certificate that needed using and a babysitter ready to hang with kids.

Mix together a new dress, a fancy multi-course dinner, time with my wonderful Hubby, worry free childcare and you get a nice relaxing evening.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Camp Out

Chad came home from work today giddy with excitement, okay, maybe not giddy, but excited no less about camping out back with the kiddos. We haven't gotten around to camping yet this summer and the kids have been asking about it lately. So Wa La! Set up the tent, drag over the fire pit, and grab the marshmallows. We are ready to roll:)

I, of course, will be sleeping inside tonight on my nice, comfy bed. I'm not much of a camper. Now I don't mind camping in a motor home, nor a camper...but in a tent on the ground? I've come to the realization that I can camp once a year in a tent on the cold, hard ground. Chad gets to choose when that is:) Tonight was not it, Can I get an Amen?!

Our marvelous fire pit was my birthday present this year and due to the flood like rain we've had up until now, it's usage was pretty low. But, yummmmy, it makes a mean smore. Just look at this amazing pig smore it made...Yep, I said pig. Really, take a look.

We watched the stars come out and sang to welcome the moon. We gasped with delight as the bats flew overhead and we cuddled close to keep warm. Then I walked inside to let those crazy family members of mine sleep out in the cold, on the hard ground, with all the bugs.

Summer Clothes

Kyla is a dress girl. Or a skirt girl. That's just who she is. In an effort to keep her special (read Sunday) dresses stain free, I've started making her some "dresses" out of my old t-shirts. She gets the thrill of being dressed up day in and day out and I get to release the worry about nasty stains and favorite dresses.

I had a t-shirt that was gifted to me many years ago and is now too large and not public worthy. I snapped up my favorite scissors and went to town:)

I added a bit of ruffle to the bottom to girly it up a bit and added a simple tie the for straps.

She enjoys her dress and I enjoy her ability to play in the dirt in it:) We did learn that once wet, it gets a bit stretched out making it more of a muscle shirt than little girl dress. Ahhh, lesson learned.