Friday, September 30, 2011

Another splash park

Yesterday we discovered were shown another splash park.  Turns out there are several in the area.  Area, being a 20 mile radius of our house.  There's not actually anything in Forest Grove.  But there are cities close by that do have stuff, like grocery stores and splash parks.  (I love Forest Grove, though, by the way.  It's a nice, little town).
This splash park was right in downtown Hillsboro, by the Civic Center... and Main Street.  See?  There's the water and THERE'S the street (where the cars are parked)! 

I thought it was cool that the water stayed on all the time.  The other splash park had the water off as much as it was on.  The kids spent so much time waiting for the water to come.  Not this time.

We had to take advantage of the nice, sunny day.  We don't know how many more we're going to get this year. 

I love Taylor's ponytail swinging out like that, makes it look like a paparazzi shot.

That was yesterday though, today we're back to making to-do lists and getting stuff done at home, even though it's another sunny day today.  
We started with typing practice.  

And where's Taylor you ask?  Don't worry, she's right there, doing whatever Logan's doing.  We all know that.

But I love her determination and confidence.  You go, girl!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Making a list and checking it twice

I'm a list person.  I like writing to-do lists. I love the satisfaction I get from crossing out things I've done.  It makes me feel like I'm really accomplishing something.  

This whole homeschooling thing has been a lot of trial and error.  It went from a little too much structure to not enough.  So in an attempt to make sure that we are accomplishing things everyday, I've turned my kids into list makers too.  

They loved their lists.  They love crossing them out and seeing all they accomplished.  They liked knowing what was expected of them.  Logan finished his list by 11am and got to choose a movie.  

Taylor got caught up making necklaces and bracelets for most of the day, but she completed her list before dinner.  

I think we're going to stick with the lists for as long as they'll work. 

So short story, long.  When we went to the coast the other day, we went into the Cape Meares Lighthouse, which is also a gift shop.  Logan was freaking out over the wind and Taylor was freaking out over the bracelets.  They were only $1.50, so I told her she could pick one out as a souvenir. 

About the time she had it narrowed down to her favorite 5 or 6, I remembered that I didn't have my purse or wallet or anything with me.  It was back up in the car, which was quite a distance away.  

So I told her we had all the stuff at home to make our own jewelry.  

She got right to work this morning, laying out the pattern for her necklace.  (She was actually just re-stringing a necklace that had broke).  But doesn't she look so intent on what she's doing?

Look at those cute little handsies!  She strung the beads all by herself.  She We had so much fun. 

Wearing her "new" necklace.

She just wanted to make jewelry all day long.  She made 2 necklaces and 2 bracelets today.

Taylor's enthusiasm made Logan want to try it out too.  

So handsome!!!

They did a great job.  I hope I did just as good fastening the clasps on.  If, in the coming days I see hundreds of little beads all over the house, we'll know I failed. 


Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Logan turned 7 this year.  He's going to be 8 before I know it.  To me, 8 years old is big deal.  He's growing up.  He's still my little boy, but he shouldn't be acting like a little boy all the time.  He is maturing in many ways.  In other ways... not so much.

I'm trying to give him more responsibilities and encourage him to do things for himself.  Sometimes it's hard, just because it's easier to do things myself.  I want him to have a strong work ethic,  unfortunately it's currently non-existent.  So, bring on the chores.  

First up, laundry.  He's been folding his own clothes for years, but not consistently.  Now he's helping with the wash too and always folding his own laundry.  

He complained at first, (see, this is where he needs to mature a bit) until he got to pour the soap in and everything.  How do I politely say, "Suck it up and be a man!"

He can hardly reach the controls, but we didn't let that stop us.  It's problem solving practice, right?  His solution for most problems is to just climb out of them.  

He's very good at keeping his room clean, but hates kitchen work. He likes helping me cook, but tries to weasel out of clean up. He's also in charge of keeping the entry way, with it's piles of shoes, neat and clean.  

What else should a 7 year old be doing?  What chores do your kids do?  How do you encourage/enforce responsibilty in your home?

I'm thinking cleaning the bathroom should be next. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Autumn storm

Sunday afternoon I was reading about how a nice, windy autumn storm was supposed to come in that night and the next day.  So of course, I just had to go to the coast and check it out myself. 

There were supposed to be wind gusts up to 50mph. 
So the kids and I took off and drove west this morning.

I love a good storm on the coast! Don't you?
With the wind and waves and the 
branches blown down onto the road.

The kids read books about storms and weather on the hour long drive there.  We pulled over at several viewpoints and felt the car being shaken by the wind.  I tried to take a few pictures before the wind took my breath away.

We walked down to the Cape Meares Lighthouse.  We discovered that Logan is not a fan of the wind, to say the least.  It freaked him out a bit to see the trees swaying so much.  He said the tree trunks were moving and that he never wanted to go to the coast in this kind of weather again.  I hope I haven't scarred him for life.  

The wind didn't seem to bother my courageous, little girl though.

When it was all said and done, it was an 8 hour field trip for us.  
I loved every bit of it.  I hope the kids enjoyed themselves too.
We went out to lunch together, went to the Tillamook Cheese Factory, went in a lighthouse and saw some amazing weather.

The wind speed didn't reach 50mph though.  It only got to 42mph, with an average wind speed of 13.7mph.

Tomorrow, I think we'll just have a nice, quiet trip to the library. 

By the way, I changed my comments settings, so you should be able to comment on the blog again.  So please leave a comment and say hi.  We love sharing our days with you and would love to hear from you too.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Homemade vanilla

I made some homemade vanilla extract earlier this summer.

It was really easy, just put some vanilla seedpods into some rum or vodka and wait. My sister-in-law put me onto the idea. 

I wanted to try it out and see how well it worked.  I made frosting because I thought I'd be able to taste the vanilla easiest in that.  It tasted good, like frosting I've made with purchased vanilla extract.  I wasn't overpowered with vanilla flavor though.  I was hoping for a more powerful vanilla flavor, personally.  It will get stronger with time.  

Taylor loved it though.

Logan had graham crackers without frosting.

Then he made a tic tac toe game in the cracker crumbs and asked me if I wanted to play with him.  I said, "No. Stop playing in your crumbs."  He must have played against an imaginary person because a minute later he shouted, "I won!"

Last week, we met James at a local pizzeria for lunch.  It was one of those places that has a hodge podge of things on the walls and hanging from ceiling.  Random things like bird houses, bicycles, canoes, license plates, statues, etc.  

We were talking and Logan says, "I think we're in a Lost and Found." 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Field trip to the Portland Temple

We went on a special field trip yesterday, to the 
Portland, Oregon Temple.  
It's as beautiful as ever.

This is where James & I were married 13 & 1/2 years ago.  I talked to the kids about how special the temple is and how we can be married forever here.

We went into the lobby and atrium.  The Spirit was so strong even there. We all noticed it right away, so I made sure to point it out to the kids and help them identify it.
Inside the atrium, Logan was telling Taylor how he wants to get married in the same temple that his mom and dad were married in.  Taylor said, "me too!"  

Logan was also saying how good he feels inside the temple. It was the sweetest conversation ever.  I got it all on video, but all you can hear is the roar of the air conditioner behind me, which was hardly noticeable when we were there. (Very sad, frowny face here!)

We brought binoculars so the kids could see Angel Moroni close up.  

We walked all around the temple grounds and looked at the beautiful flowers and doors and angles of the temple.

None of us wanted to leave, but we needed to go home eventually.
Taylor kept saying that she wanted to go back inside the temple and Logan admitted he was wrong to have not wanted to go in the temple just because he didn't want to put on church clothes.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Taylor loves to wear twirly dresses and this is the twirly-est one yet.  

She has always loved to dance and twirl and sing.  She's such a girl....

and I love every bit of it.  She's my pretty, little princess....  

 and my silly goose, at the same time.

She's always been very independent and yet, wanted to do whatever her big brother did.  If Logan went to school, she wanted to go too, including having school packets and spelling lists.  

If Logan can ride his bike with no training wheels, Taylor wants to also.  

If Logan gets to take a shower all by himself, then you'd better believe Taylor's trying to convince me that she can do it too.  

She had to put the shampoo in her hair all by herself and everything.
"I don't need your help Mom.  I can do it all by myself!" 

Taylor is an excellent reader too, just like Logan.  Of course she still comes across words she doesn't know yet.  This morning she was reading a book to me about teeth and came to the word, 'Enamel.' She read, "Email makes teeth hard and white."   I thought to myself that only a child of their generation could mistake the word 'enamel' for 'email.'