Friday, July 31, 2009

Wahclella Falls

Joel and I were given a GREAT gift of tickets to a concert that was on Tuesday night. Thanks to Ricki, we got to see a wonderful show. Because my hubby is not used to being out so late (hehe) he decided to take Wednesday off and spend it with us crazies here at home. We had decided a week earlier to go for a hike together, so I did a little reading and I wanted to try Wahclella Falls in the gorge. Take I-84 East to the Bonneville Dam/Fish Hatchery exit and turn right. The trail head is right there. We almost stayed home, it was over 100 that day and I was a little bit concerned about the heat and the boys being out in it for too long. Since it was in the gorge, with lots of trees and lots of water we decided to give it go, with the agreement that if we started out and it was just too much we would turn around and go back home. It turned out to be a great hike! The 2 mile round-trip trail follows Tanner Creek up to the falls, you walk across various little bridges and a flight of wooden stairs. The cliff face that you walk next to is amazing. Although still very hot, the shade of the trees and the water below offered relief. The falls are described in the hiking book as:
...a two-tier cataract, dropping perhaps 20 feet to a ledge, then bursting through a rock niche to drop another 60 feet or so into a wide pool.

As we came around a bend in the trail we immediately knew that we had made the right decision to go on the hike. We guessed that it was about 30 degrees cooler than the 100+ temps that we had just come from and the falls was gorgeous! I literally, not realizing it, stopped in my tracks and stared in awe.

Only one bad thing about the hike - I brought the camera but I FORGOT MY MEMORY CARD. I kicked myself many times along the hike but when we came into view of the falls I nearly cried. How could I have done something so silly as forgetting the card?? Luckily, Joel had his cell phone and it has a decent enough camera, so he got some pictures along the way.

The gorge in the gorge that we were hiking into.

One of the little foot bridges that you cross has this beauty on your left and Tanner Creek down to your right.

Tanner Creek

Another view of the gorge and creek.

The rocky cliff face that the trail is cut into.

We're up the trail aways now, this is looking back toward the Columbia River and gorge. The fuzziness of the picture is due to the heat! Watching the heat waves was dizzying at times.

A little piece of heaven. The boys and I were a bit ahead of Joel, he got this great picture of the falls and we add a bit of perspective to it all.

Another great shot of the falls.

And another one...

I like this picture of Oliver because he's cute and because you can see big brother off exploring to the lower right.

Still in the wonderfully cool shade, we walked just a little bit from the falls and let the boys play here for quite a while. You could still hear and see the falls so it was very calming.

Getting wet, Noah is building a small dam and Oliver is just trying to find good throwing rocks.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Swim Lessons

The boys started swim lessons today, Oliver is finally old enough to take lessons without mommom - yippee! Noah is Noah and getting to that age where he goes into his locker room, gets dressed, showered, etc. all by himself. Finds his instructor and checks in without my help and when asked if he needs anything or any help, I am lucky to get a, "nope," out of him. Ask him after class how it was and it's, "fine," that I get from him. Yes, a boy of many words at times. Luckily, he still has these kinds of days and that is when we chat it up.

Oliver jumping in.
So I stood and watched for a few minutes and began to wonder if I shouldn't have warned the instructors before class about Oliver's enthusiasm for the water. One of the first things they did was jump into the water, Oliver was the sixth of six to go. The first five were tentative, hesitant and daintily jumped into the water. "Uh-oh, move back instructor boy, move back!!" my telepathic screams went undelivered because he told Oliver to jump, expecting him to be like the first five, stood too close and he got nailed. Imagine if you will, the goofy wrestling matches you see on TV with the dramatic, costumed wrestler, launching himself from the top of the ropes to slam into the other even more dramatic and zany dressed wrestler; transfer that image to Oliver and his unsuspecting instructor and you can see why I was concerned. Needless to say, he stood at least 4-5 feet back from that point on!

Noah listening to his instructor. Wow, he has gotten tall this summer!

Oliver's Story

Oliver fell asleep on the couch last night, actually he crashed hard, there was no stopping the boy once he headed down that drowsy path. Just out of curiosity, I asked him this morning, "Do you remember falling asleep on the couch last night?" and this is what he said,

Yes, I fell asleep on the couch! The couch turned into a rocket ship and it went up and up and up and up all the ways up to mars! It turned around and came back down, down, down (lowering voice as he said this) and it finally crashed in OUR backyard, right on top of the bees! Then brother ran out and said, 'what was that?' and I said, 'me, I crashed the spaceship on the bees brudder.' Then brudder helped me, he rescued me from the bees and carried me to my bed. He put me in my bed, covered me up and said, 'goodnight Oliver,' he closed the door and I said, "goodnight" back to him.

Meanwhile, as Oliver slept, Gumby showed up on the other side of the couch...yikes! Guess he was stretching before having to save his brother from the crash on the bees.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Marimba Mania

Noah took a Marimba class this week, one hour each day. The parents got to come for the last 15 minutes of class today to see what they had learned. We biked there each day and played on the school playground during class. We got hear how much the kids progressed each day. It's actually pretty amazing how far they came in one week. Noah had a great time and if I can swing it will take the class again in August. Here are the three songs that we got to hear today.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mad, Angry, Irate, Huffy, Frantic

Outside watching the boys play in the pool yesterday and I started to get a little bit bored so I decided to refill the bird feeders. The bird seed is kept in the shed in our backyard. We have some pots/planters that we haven't used in quite a while and some other misc. items that just need to go into the trash so I thought I would pull a few of those things out and put them in the garbage. I grabbed a rectangular planter that we have and I heard an odd squealing noise. The squealing was quickly followed by quite a ruckus on the outside of the shed then one angry mama squirrel appeared making herself as large as possible and, I'm sure, cussing me out in squirrel-ese. I finally looked down and saw why she was so upset. So to ease her mind, I put her babies in the yard, yelled at the kids to stay away and ran inside for my camera. Okay, so maybe I didn't ease her mind right away but I was quick about it. She gave me the evil squirrel eye as I placed them back onto the shelf where they were, then I turned and walked out. She jumped up to where she could still see me and made sure that I was leaving for good. I instructed the boys that they were to stay out of the shed no matter what and left mama to tend to her babies.

I believe there are six of them.
Mama squirrel sat on the shed today making sure the noisy pool of boys were going to leave her alone today. I can't blame her one bit! Nothing like a bunch of boys...enough to make anyone a bit on edge.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Hobbit Trail & Beach

Last of the camping pictures, I promise! Our trip to Hobbit Beach via the Hobbit Trail is quickly making it's way to the top of my favorite things to do. It was so much fun and we got some great pictures!

The trail down to the beach.

Heading for the water.

How fun is this picture of Tamara!


My boys playing in the surf.

That's one way to explore the tide pools.

A little Mom-mom & Ollie time.

Pyryt Family

Johnson Family

The beautiful Ms. Tori Rose

Joel got this great picture, click on it to make it bigger and you can see the whole gang sitting in the warm sand next to the drift wood in the reflection.

Okay, so we were all relaxing in the sun on the sand, dogs included. Woodrow started on his belly but when he rolled over onto his back we all started to laugh and crack jokes. Steph finally looked up and started to laugh too. "Wish you were here?" "Got nuts?" "WOOD-row" and numerous other silly little pun intended comments were coming from all directions. I'm laughing again just thinking about it. Props to Steph though for the goofy smile while we all snapped pictures!

The Sand Bowl

Noah, Ty and Oliver running down into bowl.

Hanging out at the top of the bowl.

John/Sasquatch and Jack

See that large hill on the left? It's tall and steep. Joel, John and Tori all hiked up to the top.
Almost to the actually didn't take them very long to get up there but they all said it was a steep straight up climb.

That's us right in the middle of the picture. Joel took the camera and got a picture of us from the top of Shooting Bullets dune.

Sunset and fog rolling in - looks chilly.

Noah and Oliver after dark staying warm by the fire.

Kid-Free Day

Like I said, John and Joel blessed us ladies with a kid-free day while camping. They took the kids (and the camera) to the Oregon Coast Aquarium while we hoofed it (camera and kid free) through old-town Florence. In no particular order...

My silly boys on the turtle.

The kids in the shark tunnel, my two would be the ones on the floor.

There is a whole slew of these pictures, Joel kept snapping the shutter and this is the best one. Almost everyone's eyes are open and almost everyone is looking at the camera and almost everyone is smiling.
Jack, Noah, Oliver, Ty and Tori

Hello Puffin

Hello Ollie

Anchovies screaming to be left off the pizzas of the world.

Noah (back to us on the left) calls this the fish freeway.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Ollie and Ty at Cleawox...everyone but Tamara and I went swimming. I really dislike water that is cold and despite what everyone else might say, it was cold!

Fun at Cleawox

My boys already look skinny but add water that is cold enough to make you breath in those short gasps while sucking in every body part possible to prevent hypothermia and they start to look like I never feed them.

Ty and Noah at Woahink

Looks like Noah, Tori, Oliver, John, Jack and Sunny at Woahink.

Everyone cheering John on as he belly flopped into the water.
Nice splash, I give it an 8.5!

I will post more pictures of the aquarium, the bowl and Hobbit Beach later tonight or tomorrow...