Friday, May 29, 2015

Prom 2015

Nicole had another fun prom this year.  If you didn't read how this young man asked her to prom, you must!

And a sweet friend from Lewiston also got asked to prom by a Prairie boy, so that was doubly fun.

And we hosted dinner at our house before the dance, so that was crazy fun. Or just crazy. :)

But we had lots of good help, so it was good.  Crazy, but good.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Sweet Visitors and Their Dog

We had some sweet visitors around Easter this year.

Ellea is such a good hostess with the young ones.

She always loves having her littlest cousins visit.

And everyone enjoys this gentle giant.  Except maybe the cat.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

One Final Beach

We had one last hurrah at the Lincoln city beach before we left the coast and headed inland.  So sad to say goodbye, but so happy we made the (looong) trip.  We had so many fun times and made some great memories.  It had been many years since I'd been to the ocean and I forgot just how very much I love it.  I hope we do it again soon.

One more sister selfie.

And one more family portrait.  Goodbye ocean.  We'll be back.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Getting Along

My kids.  They're such good sports about taking pictures.  We seemed to be constantly taking sibling photos during our ocean trip, and they never once complained.  I love that about them.

They're pretty silly about the sibling photos we take, sometimes.  This one cracks me up.

I love that my kids can have fun together and be playful.

They (mostly) get along famously.

Except when they don't.  I've been around families with kids who rarely seem to get along, let alone, enjoy one another's company.  I think I can safely say my kids enjoy one another's company the majority of the time, and for that, I am grateful.

They're also pretty crazy the majority of the time.  I'm grateful for that, too.  Usually.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Fire on the Beach

We made so many fun memories at the Oregon Coast, but by far one of my favorite activities was our fire on the beach.  Apparently, you can have a fire on any Oregon beach, as near as I can tell.  Which surprised me, but I am all about a nice campfire, so I was all over it. 

We weren’t sure we were going to avoid getting rained on, but we forged ahead and were glad we did.  

And we even stayed dry!

We had fun running around in the semi-darkness.

We made s’mores (of course!).

And did some beach combing.  Who knew it could be so fun with a flashlight?

You can see the rain was pouring nearby!

But we were warm and dry, making great memories.

Which is good, because before we know it, these two young ladies (and their brother) will be be making their own memories out from under our roof.  *sigh*

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Of Overlooks, Sea Lions and Selfies

On our way home from some shopping and ice cream, we stopped at an overlook to take a picture of the Heceta Head lighthouse from a distance.  Actually, my family humored me  by allowing me to jump out of the car and take a quick photo.

But they were thanking their lucky stars (I'm sure!) for me brilliantly wanting to stop here, because we were treated to watching a few hundred Sea Lions basking in the sun on the beach below the overlook!

We ended up hanging out there and watching/listening to them for quite awhile.  It was exciting to see so many together.  The picture isn't much to look at, but it was so cool in person!  They sure were getting cozy down there!

And I'm finally beginning to master a group selfie.  It's trickier than one would think!

Thursday, May 14, 2015


Some hugs are just for fun and love.

Gotta love that.

Some hugs are for love and warmth.

 That's nice, too.

We are a hug-y family and I love that about us.  Hugs are the best.  Especially when it's my children hugging because that means they're getting along! Yay for getting along! :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

So Sweet Sixteen

Sixteen years ago today I was ready to have my first baby.  We didn't know whether we were having a boy or a girl, but I wanted a girl in the WORST way.  I was convinced that I couldn't handle a house full of boys and I thought if I got a girl out of the way, I'd be all set.  And besides, girls are SO much fun to dress! :)

I remember the day before she was born, whining to Glenn that I was SO ready to not be pregnant anymore.  And I was a week before my due date!  And my pregnancies were easier than many.  I rather enjoyed being pregnant.  But I was over it at week 39.

God took pity and I went into labor very early the next morning.  We labored at home for awhile and went to the clinic around 9am.  They sent me to the hospital and my darling baby girl was born at 2:06 pm.  It was a girl!  That was the best part - the surprise of is it a boy or is it a girl?  I had convinced myself it was a boy because that's what everyone was guessing and I didn't want to be disappointed by hoping for a girl and not getting it.  It was a girl!  A girl!  Little Nicole Crescentia was born and she was ours and she was perfect.

She's still pretty perfect.  But she's growing up too darn fast.  In the thick of diapers and tears (mostly mine!) and bottles and breast feeding, I didn't think I'd ever make it.  Now I'd go back in a heartbeat and soak it all in.  Guess I better soak it in a lot over the next two years, because that's what I've got.

Thank you for your sweet patience and kindness and love, my dear Nicole.  God bless you and keep you always.  I'm so proud and humbled to watch you grow into an amazing young woman of faith and kindness.  Keep doing what you're doing.

But slow down, okay?! <3

Monday, May 11, 2015

Lighthouses and Whales

We went to two lighthouse while we were on the coast.  Yaquina Head and Heceta Head.  We thought we could get a tour at Yaquina Head, but we got there too late.  So the next day, we went to Heceta Head.  Some people were skeptical of going to another lighthouse, but it was fun.  So there.  (WHY do they doubt my plans?)

Yaquina Head

Heceta Head

The view at Heceta Head.

And we managed to score a tour which was very interesting.

And after the tour, the tour guide was telling us about the recent whale migrations.  Some days he'd see 20 or more whales.  We were there just after the busy season, but he said there was a chance we might be able to see something.  If you squint, you can see where they're blowing in the above picture.  We had to stand there for several minutes before we saw this.

But it gets even more exciting....  They started to breach a little.  They weren't coming all the way out of the water, but they were playing around a little.

It was so exciting.

Aren't you excited?  The pictures really don't do it justice.  I guess you had to be there!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Strange Sea Creatures

We had the opportunity to explore a few different tide pools, but by far my favorite was a tide pool that had park rangers at it.  They gave us a laminated cheat sheet to help us identify what we saw.  And this guy told us all kinds of cool things about the crazy creatures that live in the sea.

Like these green sea anenomes.  He told us you put your finger in the middle of them, they close around their "prey."  It feels sticky, like glue, but it's actually their tiny little barbs that inject their dinner with a neurotoxin to paralyze them.  Sounds unhealthy, but he said it was okay to try it out. Glenn and I later both felt like our fingers were the slightest bit tingly and weird.

And everyone enjoys a nice sea star.

By far the grossest and simultaneously coolest thing we saw were these weird creatures Morgan found on a piece of drift wood.  These are a type of barnacle.  Their fuzzy weirdness was just hanging out and waving at us.  They looked incredibly strange.  We were all completely grossed out and fascinated.   Or, I was, anyway.  Yuck/cool!! 

So, there you have it.  Tide pools are great.  Especially when you have someone to explain all the strange wonders you are seeing.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A Nice Day

Near our rental house was an area called Cape Perpetua.  One of the things to see near there is Thor's Well and the Spouting Horn at Cook's Chasm.

It was cool, but not rainy.  The lady at the ranger's station said it was a "nice" day.  I looked at her funny and she said, "Well, it's not raining!"  Our definitions of a nice day are different.

But it was a nice day in that we were together on the coast! :)  That's pretty nice if you ask me.

Glenn hiked out to get a closer look at Thors' Well, but some of us (ehem, Nicole) had flip flops on which made walking on the rocks difficult.  I suggested flip flops would not be my shoe of choice before we left the house, but did she change them?  No.  When will they learn?  Oh, never?  Okay.

The Spouting Horn is a smallish hole in the rock.  At high tide, water is forced up into it as the waves crash.  Very cool.

Even cooler, is Thor's Well, a naturally occurring hole in the rocks.  It fills up from the bottom and then flows back down.

It's best just before or after high tide.

Frankly, these pictures don't do it justice.  

Nicole and grandma and I made a trip back the next day (without flip flops), and Nicole had to drag me away as it started to rain on us.  I kept wanting just one more picture.  I discovered my cell phone's panoramic feature.  So fun!