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Monday, August 1, 2016

 4th of July week should really be a whole separate month post for me.  With Dennis and Abby and Gabe and Daniel coming up for the week, we had a whole week of celebrating family!   I have a ton of photos, so I turned them into collages to show of our good times.

 Day 1
They arrived, the kids had a blast reconnecting and we had a blast watching them.
(Abby took this one of the boys)
Day 2
We started off the day with a walk to the Sandy River.  It is a one mile old logging trail.  Not too steep and the boys loved it.  Coming out, Dennis had to carry Daniel on his shoulders, they were tuckered out.  While hiking we found some ripe black berries and they had fun picking and eating them fresh from the bushes.

 Dennis drove to Salem and brought Josh up a few days before the rest of the family could come up.  Those kids just idolize him.  He is the guy they want to be.  He plays with them until they can't play anymore. 
We had every bed full and even made beds on the floor.
With all the partying going on, I still had a lot of time to sit back and enjoy.  Dennis took this one of me when we got back from our walk and the boys were down for a rest. (and the two of the tractor below)
Sunday we went to Great Grandma and Grandpa's for dinner.  Gabe and Daniel got to take their first turn driving GreatGrandpa's tractor.  Such a thrill to be behind the wheel and after they loaded up the bucket, they got to drive it over to the pile and dump it.  I think GreatGrandpa is as proud as they are to get to teach them how to do it.
Abby took this cute!
 Later that evening, Gabe got on Arianna's bike and took off riding...with Uncle Ariel running along behind him.  it all just clicked in for him after a few tries at home in LA, he suddenly wanted to ride bad enough to go for it.
 We had a lot of fun playing and hanging out together.  Evening fires were so much fun.
As soon as everyone arrived on the 4th, I could not wait any longer to hand them each the book I wrote about my goose family.  I love how it turned out and am so proud of it.  I hope they all will take the time to read it.
 Awesome time together...and it always involves food, right?
I loved this shot...faces of all the kids...sweet right...and Daniel with his goofy fist.  Love it!
Hobo potatoes
everyone's favorite, the ribs
this was from the day before...something new and it was a hit.  Foil packets with corn, potatoes, shrimp and andouille sausage.  It was so good.  I will make it again.

waiting for fireworks...

 Let the fireworks begin!!
Lina's first year to do sparklers.

Josh gets to be the fire starter.

 I really loved this one of Gabe...see the sparkle in his teeth?  
Day 5
We took a hike with Dennis' family to Bridal Veil Falls.  Then a walk through the Bonneville Fish Hatchery and then met up with Jessi for lunch.
and once again...a fire.  That night we toasted Easter Peeps.  
 Aunt Lindy joined us too...and brought her new little pups.

 Mt Hood showed off her own fireworks.
The next day was water slide, water balloons and sticky ball and helicopters. 
 Dennis surprised the kids with his own tricks and Ariel quickly joined them.

and then there was the 'musical chairs'...
 the 4wheeler is always a hit...Daniel even had a race with Grandpa with the lawn mower.
 It was such a fun week.  I felt like I had been away on vacation someplace.
 But life goes on and so does the beautiful things at this place.  Check out the colors of those trees and the tiny little cucumber and flower...
 I walked the back way into Wally and Irene' is a bunch of foxglove growing beside his tractor parked in the barn.
 Arianna and Josiah trying to get up the nerve to feed the cows through the electric fence.  Not sure if they were afraid of the cows or the fence.  maybe it was both.
We had a visit from one of our oldest friends.  David Wolfe and Kathy Wolfe Huva and their spouses Ken and Christine.  John and David were friends since grade school, it was David and my best friend Terri Anderson who got John and me together wayyyy back when.  Then as soon as we were together, they broke up!  John went to work for David and Kathy's Dad at Dick Wolfe Meats, part time in high school and full time before we got married. He loved working there, such a variety of things to do.  But with a family of 5, he had to eventually move on to a different job, but he values what he learned and all the experiences he had there.  So nice that he and David are still in touch.
 Not only does Josiah's week revolve around Monday, his garbage day, he now has figured out that Friday is our garbage day.  They got to stay over night for the first time since we moved to this house and bright and early the next morning, before he even had breakfast...he was there...waiting.  I knew he had gone outside and went to look for him.  This is how I found him.  He had pulled his little red chair out there, placed his crocs beside him and he waited and waited until the truck got there.
 Jessi and I took the kids to the zoo.  The new elephant exhibit is really nice.
Our church had two Vacation Bible School sessions.  The first was Music and Motion.  I took Arianna and Josiah.  The week ended with a performance of what the kids had learned.  There was a juggler who juggled fire and did other tricks on a unicycle, face painting, balloon animals, jump tents, and snow cones.  I loved the expressions on their faces as they watched the juggler.
The kids performance was cute, but Arianna made it really unique.  She had her own little dance party going on.  She would sing along and do the motions they learned, but then when the singing paused, she had her own little diddy that she would add in.  I have watched the video Jessi took a million times and I still press replay.  It is hilarious.  I hope I can get it to load.  If it does, watch for Josiah on the right as he waves to me and yells out "Hi, Grandma!"

The second Vacation Bible School, I was a second grade teacher.  Arianna and Josiah went too.
Our theme was Submerged.  A team from Texas came and helped us with it. Kim Fast (from here) and Nancy Church (from Texas) were 2nd grade teachers too.
The balloon man that came from Texas did this!  I was so impressed by that submarine all made from balloons!  and fish and seahorses and starfish...not only in the sanctuary, but the hallways too. My photo didn't get the color right on the coral balloons, but really they were awesome.

I end the month with a few of my favorite flower shots.  I can't believe that it is August already!