Friday, January 31, 2014

Blacklock Point

The other day, the stars aligned or something because it was 62 degree and sunny... on the coast... on a Saturday!  Weeeell, we just had to get a piece of that.  Thanks to a friend's blog, I'd just read about a hike on coast that looked beautiful.  

We drove about 15 minutes south of Bandon, Oregon to Blacklock Point trail head.  By the time we got there it was getting close to sunset, so we were on a time constraint from the get go.

There are the kids, hurrying along.  The trail was wide and scattered with pine needles and small twigs.  

Then suddenly we'd come to muddy sections.  Then we came upon mud puddles that covered the trail and were completely impassable.  I thought, "Oh, great!  Every time I choose a trail, it's a lousy one! Every. Single. Time."  I have a talent for choosing lousy hiking trails and the slowest line at the grocery store checkout. 

Luckily though, every time there was an impassable section there was a narrow side trail that led around it, as if this water/mud thing has been a problem for a long time.  There were even a couple of wooden walkways over some swampy areas.  

We hiked through this fairly flat, wooded area for about a mile, then came to a place that looked like it would lead to an open area.  We went that way and...

Whoa!  What a view!  We were up on a bluff, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. 

The sun was low in the sky, but the view had opened up into a wide expanse of the ocean.  I loved it!

 The wind picked up a little, out there in the open.  

The kids loved exploring along the coastline and wanted to find a way down to the beach.  Unfortunately we didn't have time for that. 

We just had enough time to fall in love with the spot, take a few pictures,

 promise ourselves we'd be back and head to the car.

I can't wait to explore the place again.  Thanks Krista, for sharing pictures about it on your blog.  I don't know if I ever would have discovered it on my own.  



Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Before I even talk about the library, I've just got to say that James has passed all his Board exams!!!  We just found out the results of the last one.  It's a relief to have them done.  We are only 4 months from graduation!  I can't believe it.  Another rotation has flown by.

So I should probably tell you about the library here, before we move again, though there's not a lot to tell.    

We came during our first week here, so excited to see a new library.  It looks huge!  

Inside is a beautifully painted border, featuring scenes from the area, like this fly fisherman and the Umpqua River,

a coastal scene and lighthouse,

a meadow and wildlife. 

We were coming from an enormous library in Beaverton, Oregon, that was open all the time, it seemed.  So we were a bit disappointed that our new library was only open 4 days a week.  I couldn't believe that it didn't even open until noon on Tuesdays and was only open for 4 hours on Saturdays!

 Of course, the kids still enjoy the library, no matter the hours or days they are open. 

And we love all libraries, no matter how small.  Although, it is a struggle when the library doesn't have any of the books in the series you are right in the middle of reading.  Poor Taylor's had to put her "Rainbow Fairy" book reading on hiatus.

Luckily the library has all the "Magic Tree House" books and she's been reading those.  She's read 42 of them and I think there's only 50 some books in that series.  

 Taylor also discovered some learning games on their computer. 

And this is where Logan discovered the "How to Train Your Dragon" books.  He loves them and has read all that the library has, that's 10 books.  This book series is the first one that Logan's really gotten into on his own and has kept him reading every chance he gets.  I'm so glad he's finally gotten into reading for the pure joy of reading.  

Now we need to find another series for him.  Any ideas?  

Well, happy reading everyone! 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Another Trip to the Coast

We love the coast and try to go as often as we can.  We were only about an hour from the coast when we lived in Forest Grove.  Then we spent 3 marvelous months on Whidbey Island. 

Now we're about an hour and a half from the coast.  So we made our first coastal trip of this rotation. This time it was more than just sight seeing though!  I don't want to say too much and jinx ourselves, but I will say that it was about an optometry job and that things are looking promising!  I was even doing a little house hunting and looking for desirable neighborhoods to live in.  

It was supposed to be a miserable weekend at the coast, rain and wind, typical winter storm stuff.  It did turn out to be very windy, but luckily we barely hit any rain. 

We dropped James off for a meeting with a local optometrist, then the kids & I roamed the town while we waited.  Actually, we're very familiar with the first town we stopped in, but somehow I've missed this giant fish made from washed up garage and debris.  Lucky for us we found it this time.

Sandwiched between Hwy 101 and the road to Old Town, and right next to the Chamber of Commerce is this "blast from the past."  Just a cute little house and it's antique car behind an iron fence.  It doesn't fit in there anymore, but I love it's tenacity to remain unchanged, like a stubborn, but lovable old Grandfather. 

We went to Face Rock, but couldn't even make it down the path to the lookout, much less the beach...

because we could hardly walk straight, or even stand up very well, or even breath easily.  It was that windy.  Taylor was becoming frightened, and she's usually fearless.

I tried to take a few pictures, but I couldn't keep my camera still long enough to focus and get the horizon level.  It was that windy.

It turned out to be a beautiful, albeit, windy January day at the coast. 

We decided to go inland a few blocks, where the wind couldn't get to us. 

Okay, maybe it still got to us, but the kids loved getting out and running like mad for a little while.  

James finally finished his meeting.  It went well though, so we'll forgive him for being so long.  Then we headed toward the town that he would most likely be spending the majority of his work week in.  It's about an hour from the first town.  

These coastal towns are all about a half hour apart.  So in between the first town and the last town we visited, is another town.  We briefly stopped to assess the possibility of living there, half way between the two clinics.  We don't think we'll end up there though.  It's super tiny.  I would have to drive half an hour anytime I wanted to do anything, and that would only get me to a town that's small, as opposed to tiny.  

So we arrived at our final destination of the day, after driving past spectacular ocean and mountain scenery.  We didn't find what we were looking for, a great home for rent in May of 2014, but maybe we just didn't know where to look.  We'll see what happens over the next few months.  

We still have other hurdles to get over first, but we can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel.  James has about 4 weeks left of this rotation.  We'll be moving to our last rotation in about 5 weeks.  Then 3 months, roughly, until graduation and moving one last time.  

On the way back home, we stopped to stretch our legs.  

Logan stretched his faster than anyone else, he always does.   

Poor Taylor, still had wind in her face and went back to sit in the car after only a couple of minutes.  

 Beautiful evening on the coast.

The sun was getting low in the sky.  It would be dark soon.

That's okay, though, because we were headed back home after another wonderful trip to the coast. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Hike along the North Umpqua

Last weekend was cold and clear, so we all decided it would be a good idea to go for a little hike.  At the time we decided this, we were all inside a toasty warm house and didn't realize how cold it was outside.  

We soon learned how cold it was though.  

We drove up the North Umpqua River, until we came to this awesome, new bridge.  

The kids with Grandpa up on the bridge. 

There they go.  "Wait up.  I just wanted one more picture of the cool bridge."

It was cold enough that there was still frost on the bridge at 3 o'clock in the afternoon.  

We hiked for about a mile before we hit mud.  We were cold enough that we let it deter us, and we turned around.  

Taylor's all smiles in front of a little waterfall.  The kids were their usual, energetic selves on the hike.  They really enjoyed being outside despite the temperature.

And no trip near water is complete until the kids throw rocks into it.  So there was that too.  

Nice little hike, beautiful bridge and good company.  Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.  


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

January 1st 2014

Happy New Year!  It's 2014.  This is going to be another busy year.  We are looking forward to many things, such as James' graduation from Optometry school, Taylor turning 8, Logan turning 10 and (crossing our fingers) going to visit my parents in Tennessee and James getting a full-time job!  

Taylor has read 300 books in 2013, including 51 "Rainbow Fairy" books and 20 "Magic Tree House" books.  

Logan's read about 145 books including, 5 of the "How to Train Your Dragon" books.  He also loves Calvin & Hobbes and pouring over Lego Star Wars & Lego Ninjago Encyclopedias.  

Between moving 3 times in 2013, I think I only read about 5 books for pleasure, but I was able to read some good books to the kids such as, Dr. Dolittle, The Tin Woodman of Oz, The Little Princess and The Secret Garden.

We spent the last day of 2013 with James' amazing sister and her family.  We love them and just love hanging out with them.  The kids all play so well together.  

The girls sang songs from the movie "Frozen" for about 4 hours.  

Taylor walked around and personally invited every person to listen to them sing, "Will you please be quiet and listen?"

And Logan already needed help to rebuild a portion of his new Lego set.  

All the children above the age of 4, made it to midnight and counted down the seconds to 2014... 10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...1... HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

There was lots of subdued hugs and kisses and "Happy New Years" because the little ones were sleeping.  A couple of hours later, everyone was asleep.  

The kids spent the morning playing.  Then Taylor spent the afternoon moping because her cousins had gone home.  

Our relaxing New Year's Day is coming to a close.  It's almost 8pm, time for bed.  Tomorrow we will be getting back into a routine around here.  It's been a wonderful holiday season.  I'm a little sad to have it over.  I've loved having so much family time.  

Well, have a great 2014 everybody!  We sure are excited for it.