Sunday, November 24, 2013

Our Thankful Tree

We all have so much to be thankful for and at this time of year it's something everyone (hopefully) is focusing on. 

Our family too, has a lot to be grateful for.  Our children have so much to be thankful for as well, so much so, that they've made a Thankful Tree.  

They traced out several leaves of different color construction paper.

They even added detail to them.

And cut them out. 

They thought of many things that they are grateful for and wrote them on the leaves. 

 Some of the things they are grateful for...

I think I should make some leaves and add them to the Thankful Tree.  I have so many blessings in my life.  I could never name them all, but I could try.  

In the meantime, have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.  I hope you are all surrounded by family and friends whilst feasting and counting your many blessings!

Monday, November 18, 2013

River Forks County Park

The North and South Umpqua Rivers join and become the Umpqua River not too far from where we live.  There is a park at this location called River Forks County Park.

We went to explore it this week, before James had to start work and before the rains hit.  It's a great summertime park, not so great in the Fall & Winter though.  

I think this whale is supposed to be surrounded by water, not leaves.  

Taylor was so sad that this baby whale was separated from its mother.  

There is a "fort" constructed there, representing the forts of the past that had been built along the river in this region. 

Logan "firing" the cannon. 

The view looking toward the river, from the fort.

Looking in the other direction in the fort. 

There is a cement path almost all the way to the playground.  Then there are lots of grassy areas to run and play in.  Again, fine in the summer, but it will be muddy pretty much the whole time we're here.

After playing in the fort and at the playground, (which is there, just not in pictures), we went down to the river. 

The kids, including James, had to throw rocks in the river.  It started out as skipping rocks, but quickly evolved into throwing the biggest rocks they could carry.  Then we noticed a boat down river, so we stopped the rock throwing.  Really, we're not rude on purpose, it's always accidental.  

This is the park we had Logan's 2nd birthday party at, in July, 2006.  It was super hot... and humid, for the area.  I was 7 months pregnant with Taylor and was drenched in sweat, just walking from the car to the picnic tables.  

Logan ate his cupcake without using his hands.  He didn't want to get them dirty, so he went face first instead.  Yep, that was much cleaner.  

It was when Logan got his 1st bicycle.  He was sweaty too, but he was in heaven on his little bike, with training wheels and his daddy walking along beside him.   

Ah, good times.  Good times!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Our New (Temporary) Home

Here we are, in our 3rd rotation.  We made it.  It's been almost a week and we've been very busy cleaning and unpacking, but I think I can finally sit down and show you some pictures of our new place.

Welcome to our new, temporary home.  First of all it's a real home, not an apartment.  

We're super excited to have place to call our own, even if it's only for three months.  It's one of those, a-friend-of-a-friend-knows-of-a-house-that's-empty, type of things.  We feel very blessed to be able to take care of this home while we're here.

So come on in and enjoy a tour of this home, built by an Austrian gentlman and his wife.  It has many European aspects that I imagine reminded them a bit of home.  

For example, above the door is the year the home was built, not the home's address.  

Large entry, with arched doorway to the hallway.  

To the left of the entry, is the study.  James has been putting this room to use already, studying for part 3 of Boards. 

To the right of the entry is a bathroom. 

Continuing down the hallway (through the arched doorway) on the right is a downstairs bedroom.  We are using it as a storage room.  The home is partly furnished, as in, there is furniture here already, couches and beds, but not kitchenware or pictures on the walls or anything in any closets.  So we just stacked our mattresses in here for the time being.

Then a few steps farther on, on the left and through these doors is the downstairs living room.  

We all love this room.  

Logan and Taylor love that we have couches again.  

I love the grandfather clock.  I love hearing its chimes.  Reminds me of my grandfather's home.  I remember watching the cylindrical weights of the clock rise up from the bottom as Grandpa pulled on the chains inside the clock.  I liked watching throughout the day as the sun moved around and the moon came up, above the clock face, depicting day and night.   

Okay, back to the present time.  James loves the fireplace.  The room has an inviting feel to it.  It makes you want to grab a book and curl up on a couch and listen to the crackle of the fire.  

Did you notice the wooden squares on the ceiling?  Must be another Austrian flair.   

Continuing on, the hallway opens up into the dining room to the right. 

This view is standing in the back corner of the dining room, looking toward the living room.

This is the view out the dining room glass sliding door.  There is a patio.  Our rotation here isn't during the best weather for patio enjoyment though.  

Another view from the dining room, this time into the kitchen.  That there white oval thing on the counter is a marble slab for candy making.  That's too cool.  I'm going to have to make some candy just to use it.

That brings us to the last room downstairs, the kitchen.  It also has an arched doorway, I just don't have a picture of it. 

I love this kitchen.  It's not too big or too small.  I love the glass-top oven.  So much easier to keep clean than the stoves we've had in our other rentals.  Lots of counter space!  Lots of cupboard space.  

Oh, I can't believe I almost forgot to mention another downstairs room.  One of my favorite features of this house (I'm going to miss it so much when we move!)...

is the 2-car garage!  Your eyes are not playing tricks on you, that IS my car... inside a garage!!!  

Now back to the entry way, 

but this time we're turning right and going up the super wide staircase.  It looks narrower in the picture, but in reality, it's twice the width of a typical staircase. 

At the landing turn right again and ascend the last few steps. 

A bench at the top of the stairs.  

Sitting down on the bench, this is what you'd see.   That door leads to...

Taylor's room.  She's happy to have her own room now, though it did take some getting used to.  She really missed having Logan so close.

But she has pink carpet!  A chandelier!  Two dressers, one with a mirror.  She also has two sets of floor to ceiling closets.  Most of this space sits empty, as she doesn't have enough stuff to fill it.  

There is a family of black cows that live in the pasture across the street and Taylor can see them sometimes from her bedroom window.

Back to sitting on the landing bench, if you turn right you'll see the master bedroom.  The door in the back leads to the master bathroom.  There's a dresser in this room as well as more floor to ceiling closets.

This is the view out the sliding glass door of the master bedroom.  There is a balcony that stretches along the side of the house. 

The backyard, looking to the patio.  The small window with shutters is the downstairs bedroom and the sliding glass door leads to the dining room.  The balcony above is by the master bedroom and bathroom.  

Back inside, the last door off the upstairs landing leads to another living room, we're calling it "the upstairs living room."  This sliding glass door leads to a much larger balcony, that wraps around the side of the house. 

Here's a view of the covered balcony from the outside and you can see how it wraps around.  Below the large, square balcony is the downstairs living room.

A desk and chair that still reside in the upstairs living room.  The furniture is to be sold after we move out and the house is going to be put on the market. 

This is where we set up our t.v. and chairs, about the only furniture that is ours.  

Beyond the upstairs living room is a small "dining room" and...

kitchen.  The upstairs could be considered its own apartment, but there is no separate entrance.  We're not using the upstairs kitchen.

Past the kitchen is Logan's room.  He is beyond excited to have his own room again.  I hope he survives us going back to a tiny 2-bedroom apartment in our last rotation.  He loves his dresser/bed.

He also has tall closets and shelves. 

And this is Logan's view, out his window.  

There is also a bathroom right by Logan's room, but that about wraps up the grand tour.  Did anybody get lost?  Just joking.

So this is where we're going to be for the next 3 months.  We've been here a week and already we know we're really going to miss it when we have to move.  James keeps saying, "I could get used to living in a house again."  Me too.  Me. Too.