Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Good News for You!

Since the birth of my sweet Sunshine, I have been a member of an on line group called MOMYS. The name is an acronym for Mothers of Many Young Siblings. All the ladies in the group have, or have had at some point, four children under the age of nine at the same time.

It's a wonderful group of Christian ladies who encourage one another on so many levels. The practical wisdom of these few thousand ladies is immense.

A couple of years ago, some of the ladies decided to organize a cook book of MOMYS recipes. Over 1600 recipes were collected from the MOMYS and compiled into a huge, amazing cook book. There is an amazing array of foods represented and all the recipes are family favorites.

The first printing was 1500 copies and sold out very quickly. Due to all the requests for more copies, the ladies who first compiled it are having it reprinted. You can pre-order here from Marmee Dear. The expected price for this HUGE book is around $35.

The best ever home made brownie recipe is in this book - well worth the price all by itself!


Ack! Send sunshine, stat!

It's cold and rainy here this morning. Somehow, I am supposed to get motivated and get the Ducklings ready to go to swimming and then I'm supposed to sit and watch them swim... outdoors... when it's 50 degrees and rainy...

All I can think about is whether I can stand to wait until the end of next week, when swimming is over, to GET OUT OF HERE and go someplace warm.

In fairness, yesterday was 63 and beautiful.

I just can't stop expecting it to be summer. You would think that growing up here would have conditioned me to think of this weather as "normal." Unfortunately, just a few years living in other places has wrecked my coastal innocence. I remember saying as a child that it was the best place to live, because it was never too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter. Which is so very true.

Anyhoo, thanks for letting me get that off my chest. Tomorrow is supposed to be back to 64, with afternoon sun.

I think I'll go change into sneakers. My feet are cold.

Friday, July 25, 2008

More Summer Fun

It's quiet here for a brief window of time, so I thought I'd get the rest of our summer fun photos up here.

Fourth of July Weekend, we attended a parade in a small town down the coast, picnicked with friends in Gold Beach, saw fireworks here in town, BBQ'd with Generous Grandmother at her house, and saw fireworks in a nearby town. The kids' favorite part was lighting a few fireworks of our own in Grandmother's driveway:

Smoke bombs are exciting and interactive!

The Scoutmaster let the Ducklings try their hand at lighting things on fire.

They are all wonderfully cautious. (Oregon has very restrictive fireworks laws. You'd have to really work at it to hurt yourself with anything that's legal here.)

The Sprout wasn't sure what to think about all the noise and smoke and fire. Grandmother reassured him that it was all so much fun!

In June, The Boyscout attended a Junior Sailing School at the local yacht club. At the end of the week, we all got to go out to the lake for a big regatta. The sailboats were beautiful!

How many 11 year olds do you know who can do this? I'm so proud of him!

They raced around a course marked out with buoys. It was challenging in the changing wind conditions and having to go in different directions, with, against, and across the wind. He did great!

The rest of the Ducklings had a fun day, watching the sailing and playing in the woods and on the beach. D(8) likes to make funny faces.

Girlfriend is looking more and more grown up. Ack!


The Scoutmaster helped out with the sailing school and was down on the dock to watch the race and cheer our boy on.

Sprouty Goodness:

Around home, we've been enjoying the occasional sunny day and playing together when we're not busy running around. D has charmed The Sprout into cuddling with him sometimes.

Girlfriend and D tried out this sidewalk paint (equal parts corn starch and water, with food coloring,) which I read about here. It was really fun! It's a little harder to wash off than chalk, but a fun change of pace.

The Scoutmaster and company tie dyed these cool shirts for the Troop to wear to Boy Scout Camp. (He looks a little tired after being at camp for a week... I wonder why??)

Sweet neighbors gave us another bag of fantastic hand-me-downs the other day. My one of a kind Sunshine put this outfit together. I think she looks very country. Line dance, anyone?

Oh, and she tried these on while The Scoutmaster was away at camp. I guess it made her feel close to him...

The strawberries we planted in our flowerbed this spring have taken off nicely. This is the very first handful of berries we picked. There have been many more since! Yummy!

Summer is, as usual, flying by. We've had such lame weather here this year that it makes it seem even more like I've blinked and missed summer. Thankfully, we typically have some of our best weather in August and September. I'm hoping there are still some sunny days to play outside in our near future.

For now, we have a couple more weeks of swimming lessons, Cub Scout camp, Church Family Camp, a trip to visit friends in California, and a few other fun events on the calendar to look forward to.

Enjoy every minute!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Catching Up

I had a few minutes this afternoon (ignoring the laundry and dishes...) to look over the pictures I've taken of our summer fun. I'm waaaay behind in putting them up here on the blog, so I've decided to drop a couple of picture-heavy posts in the next couple of days.

If you have no interest in seeing my adorable children being adorable, divert your eyes now!

First, we did some of this:

Strawberry Freezer Jam

And we have done lots of this:

Swimming Lessons

While the bigger kids swim, The Sprout and I do this:

And sometimes he does this:

One glorious weekend was spent at Sunriver doing this:

Can you see Girlfriend going down the water slide?

"Hey, brother! Look at me!"

Playing with toys by the pool:

Climbing on a tower at the outdoor mall:

Reaching the top!

The Scoutmaster bought Coke floats at the soda fountain!

Smoky the Bear was there, too!

Sweet Sunshine took this "pet snail" with her everywhere. Isn't he cute!?

Lots more to come from Jr. Sailing School and the weekend of the Fourth!

Happy Summer!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Well, HELLO!

Who knew all of three of you were still out there keeping an eye on my little bloggy world?

Thank you for your kind comments about my happy kitchen project!

As a token of my appreciation, I will share this moment of vacation-y scrumptiousness:

The Bambino(3) LOVED the wading pool when we went to Sunriver last month. He especially liked the fountain in the middle. The Scoutmaster caught him mid-shower.

It was a very good day.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


The Scoutmaster and the Boy Scout have been off at Boy Scout camp this week. They're having a great time!

Meanwhile, back at the House of Coast, I took on the fun task of painting the kitchen. I just finished. I LOVE IT! It makes me disproportionately happy. Now I'm itching to paint the rest of the house, pronto! Thankfully, this should be the most challenging room, dealing with all of the cabinets and windows. Ack! The cutting-in!

You can see a picture of what it looked like before (blah!) here.

I'm not sure if the color is just right in the pictures, but it's close. It's a really nice, deep orange. I might take another picture tomorrow in the daylight.

In case you were wondering: Yes. The Scoutmaster approved the color before he left. In fact, I was on the verge of wimping out and he went to the store and bought the orange I really wanted. He's the best!

I chose the color using the awesome tools at the Sherwin-Williams website, by the way. It was really fun to try different colors on the wall and to get a feel for what they would look like.

Sorry, Tami, I don't mean to cause you project-envy. I'm sure the Engineer will let you paint something when he gets back!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Summer Slowdown...

Ack! So sorry I've been conspicuously absent from the blog lately. Summer is keeping me busier than usual and I'm finding it difficult to sit down and process pictures, much less coherent thoughts.

We are having a really nice summer. The Ducklings are swimming every day. We finally had a return to summer weather after a week of miserable clouds and cold. We spent the Fourth with good friends and family. Boy Scout Camp is zooming into view, with my high school reunion right on its heels.

I love summer! This year I find myself struggling to balance everything and get it all done in a day, but I'm hoping to find some kind of rhythm soon... although it's not likely. Soon enough, swimming will be done and we can return to some sense of "normal." Hopefully, by then, I'll have it all together. Ha!