Thursday, July 26, 2012


We have the privilege of hosting an exchange student from Japan for the next 4 weeks named Yukari!  She is 16, but will be 17 on Aug. 1st, and so sweet.  She arrived on Monday night and spends weekdays in class and sightseeing with her group.  In the evenings and weekends she is with our family doing whatever we do.  The kids love her - especially tonight because she gave us all gifts that she brought from Japan.  Here we are in our Japanese clothes!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Camping Adventure!

This last weekend was spent camping near Lake Wenatchee with our awesome friends the Ireland's!  Picture 5 kids (ages 5 and under), 4 adults, and two tents set up as close as possible so that they would fit on the provided gravel "pad"!  It was a blast =)  I made pizza on my stone over the camp stove and bacon on the same stone the next morning over the fire pit.  Chris made yummy veggies ,potatoes, and chicken over the fire while Greg whipped up blueberry pancakes each morning - yummy!  Hikes, bug bites, a few bruises, good conversation around the campfire, and great cheese from Leavenworth - it was a wonderful trip!  Enjoy the pics! 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Trip to the Oregon Coast

This last weekend we took a road trip to visit some friends of Zac's that he used to work for in Mossyrock, the Anderson's.  They currently live just north of Depoe Bay on the Oregon coast - by far the longest drive for the kids thus far.  It was such a great trip and everyone did really well.

Looking out at the ocean from Depoe Bay

We woke up super early, 6am, on Saturday to leave by 7am.  I love that this is considered early for us - another one of the joys of working from home and homeschooling, we don't try to force ourselves to be morning people, because we are not!  We packed books, sticker pages, coloring sheets, lacing cards, and snacks in the car - but they hardly got used.  We didn't take the fastest route to the Anderson's because, as everyone knows, if you are going anywhere near the Oregon coast you MUST stop at the Tillamook cheese factory for a tour and free samples!  We left with free ice cream samples and a package of squeaky cheese.

The kids promptly fell asleep after this stop and woke up as we were pulling into the Anderson's driveway.   Gordon and Carolyn are such a sweet retired couple, with no grand kids of their own, so I think they really enjoyed watching our two crazies run around.  Carolyn is a wonderful cook and we ate way to much.  Lots of good conversation and visiting was had by all.  The kids did not sleep well and we ended up needing to split them up - Kyla with me and Keanan with Zac - so they would leave each other alone and actually sleep!

After a wonderful breakfast the next morning Gordon took us up the river on their boat.  The river runs into a bay and then into the ocean, they live on the bay.  It was a neat ride and the kids really enjoyed it.  We then packed up our things and said goodbyes.  After a yummy clam chowder lunch in Depoe Bay and a visit to Devils Punch Bowl, we headed toward Portland.  Again, the kids slept most of the way to Portland =).  We stopped for dinner at an awesome Thai restaurant in downtown Portland - so yummy! - and after a few more bathroom stops, finally made it home last night around 9pm.  Whew!

Devils Punch Bowl

Semi-long road trip with kids = success!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Preschool / Totschool: Letter F

 We spent two weeks on letter F, having lots of fun with frogs, fish, flags, fireworks, and Fourth of July!  Our science activity was growing Sea Monkeys! (thanks Grandma!) Our art activity was painting fireworks (see below).  We had a wonderful 4th out at my parents river house and continue to celebrate tonight with the Cascades camp parade, horse show and fireworks!  Lots of pictures to come!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Our Alphabet Trip Around the State: Letters U and I

Yesterday was such a fun family day traveling to Bremerton to tour the USS Turner Joy - which covers U for US Navy!  This destroyer served in the Vietnam War and was decommissioned in 1982.  We were able to explore all over the ship, it was so interesting!

After our tour we drove on to the ferry bound for Seattle.  Along the way we saw (and took pictures of) some of the islands of the Puget Sound, which covers I.  I think the below picture is Bainbridge Island.  The kids loved being on the boat.

More letter adventures to come next week!