Hello again! I've just returned from a quick, spontaneous trip to the Valley Isle - Maui, Hawaii! In doing so, I get to cross off item #29 from my Wish List. However, I think I'll keep it on the list because one cannot go to Hawaii often enough! I'm just going through my pictures now, and I'll try to put them up later today. My time zones are still a little wonky.


Oregon Coast Adventures

As in summers past, we've spent the majority of our weekends out at the Coast. It takes about two hours to get there from Portland, but the time flies as you travel up and over the Coast Range. Once you hit that sight of Haystack Rock from Hwy 101, you roll down the windows and take a deep breath! Yes, salty! Yes, wet air! Yes, we're almost there!

Because my husband is absolutely addicted to surfing, and because my kids seem happiest when they are tasting, smelling and rubbing their whole bodies in nature, our beautiful Coast is just the thing. Well, the surfing isn't all that, but don't tell anybody. Last weekend when we were out there, we ran into some school friends, plus their friends, and wall-ah! Instant party! The kids ran around like total coocoo-birds for hours, I got to take a million pictures, and life was good.

Here is a little sampling of the pictures, but please visit my flickr photostream to see the whole day. It's worth it, I promise! Well, I think so anyway.


Snap Happy

Since receiving my new camera (a Canon Rebel T2i) for Mother's Day, I have been taking pictures every day, reading my manuals, playing with lenses, and generally loving it. It occurred to me recently that the little digi point-and-shoot that I had been using before was just sitting in the drawer, unused and unloved. I bought that camera last summer as an emergency purchase - we were on vacation in Maui and lost our other one (I may have...uh-hum...thrown it away...totally by accident!!). I didn't have much of a selection or time to pick out anything good, so I went with a little Sony number and it saved our vacation. Alas, I couldn't stand it! The happy ending is that having a not-so-great camera influenced me to get a Great One, and now I have an awesome new hobby, great pics of the kids, a new blog, fame, glory, powerful friends (yep, I get emails from the President himself!), and so on.

Anyhow, back to the drawer. I said to my kids, "Would you guys like to take this old camera for a spin?" There was a bunch of jumping up and down and shouts of, "Yes! Yes! Yes! You're the best mommy in the world!" Awww. My daughter watched me throughout July while I was doing my assignments for Picture Summer (often she was part of the assignments), and she was eager to try out some of the stuff I had done. Without further ado, here are some of Rachel's super awesome pictures (and who knows, Oliver could have taken some, but I usually saw the camera in the hands of the big sister)...

Cool, right? I didn't edit these in the slightest. Not even cropped. I love that one of Ollie taking his picture in the reflection of somebody's car. So creative!

The three of us went to the zoo on Friday, and there was even more picture taking! This time by me.

Lemon-flavored cotton candy - kind of good in an icky sort of way. Oh, and the teeth!


Concert at the Berry Farm

A few nights ago I got my act together, and the kids and I met up with my dear friend, Tiffany, and her family out on Sauvie Island - a gorgeous, mostly agricultural place - for a little concert at Kruger's Farm. It was actually perfect out there! The crowd was nice, the hayride was free, the mosquitos never showed up, the music was a lot of fun, and the sunset was beautiful! But get a load of the popsicles...

Tiffany's family left to take a walk and I just loved that they linked arms so naturally.

Thanks Tiffany - it was a beautiful night!