On July 3rd we drove to Portland, OR to visit Cindy's family. We all piled into the Suburban and drove for 9.5 hours. That was WAY faster than I thought we would do it. We only stopped a couple of times to use the bathroom, otherwise we just ate in the car and drove, drove, drove. I am amazed at how well my kids did while cooped up in the car. Even Levi hardly cried. It was a huge blessing for the trip to be as peaceful as it was.
So, the Portland part of our trip was pretty fun Here are the highlights...
We celebrated Cindy's birthday with Ivan and Ramona babysitting all of our kids and we went to a local production of Les Miserables. It was the first time I had seen the play and I was only as familiar with the story as I could get from the one-page plot summary. Wow... it was amazing. I was crying openly by the end it is such a powerful story set to music. I wish I hadn't waited until I was 32 to go see it. Thank you Ivan and Ramona for a fantastic date night!!!
Ivan swears by his masseuse, so he sent Cindy to get a professional massage for her birthday. The next day I was able to go as well. That was the first time I've ever had a pro rubdown. Thanks Ivan, from both of us!!!
On the fourth we had a family BBQ at the Jones complete with a family kickball game. On Sunday we went to Julie and Gary's church where their twin babies were blessed.
Of course, here are some photos. The slideshow will play automatically, but you can also navigate the show with the arrows on your keyboard.
One last thought... I'd be interested to know what you like better, the slideshow format, or a bunch of pictures laid out vertically in succession like in this post. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.
Of course there are metrics and standards for automobiles... like change your oil every 3,000 miles and rotate your tires every 5,000. I have discovered a new one.
My car collects a full bag of garbage every 1,000 miles. Kid detritus mostly. Wrappers, crayons, coloring book pages, abandoned marker lids, hair clips, and my personal favorite... shriveled bits of food. (I've found apple cores and bits of sandwich among other yucky things.) Then of course there are the more grown up bits and scraps of paper with scribbled directions and grocery lists.
The wonderful, magical, and exceptional thing about it is that it all happens without any effort at all. I think my Suburban is magical.
If only I could figure out how to make my wallet attract money like my Suburban attracts garbage.
Levi was barely discernible in the pictures of our snow trip because he was all bundled up in the Trekker... so this post is dedicated to a few updated pictures of the little guy. These pics are already good size, but if you need more, click on the image and it will give you a full size view.
We spent Monday through Wednesday at Shinneyboo Creek Resort in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Storms dumped fresh snow for several days before our arrival, with the weather clearing late Sunday night... just in time for us to have perfect conditions for our family fun. Our cabin had a gas fireplace that kept us very warm, full bathroom with a tub, shower, and toilet, and enough beds to sleep 5 adults. We were a little tight with the seven of us piled in there, but our kids are still small, so it was manageable.
We played and laughed more in those three days than in we have in the prior several months combined. We broke fresh trails with our snowshoes, we had snowball fights in our "backyard" (the place is 160 acres), and did a lot of sledding.
500 gold stars for Cindy who did the majority of the work to get us ready for the trip. It really is a big production to get snow gear together for our family and pack everything including food for three days. In the end we both agreed that all of the hassle was well worth it. We can't wait to go back.
Here are some pictures. The slideshow is interactive so you can click on the pictures for more details and you can also control them by using your right and left arrow buttons. In a follow-up post I'll put up some fun video clips.
Here is a video of Emily and Sarah at their Christmas Piano Recital that they played in last Saturday. Since Ramona is here in town to help with Levi she made a special guest appearance at the recital and played a duet with Emily.
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