Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Planes, sunsets and a Sand City - final beach days

We're back home now, but I had to post a few photos from our last days on the coast.

On one of the rainy days, we visited the town of Tillamook (home of the famous Tillamook Cheese Factory).  We didn't visit the cheese factory this time, but instead chose to check out the AIR MUSEUM!!!  What's cooler than planes??

 I had no idea that the museum building was actually a hanger that was built during WWII to house 9 helium blimps!!  

We watched a video that told all about the history of it's building.  

  • It was made from WOOD, since all the steel was being used to build ships and such.  
  • It is 190' high! with no supports in the middle.
  • They actually built 2 of these hangers, the second in just 9 months!  However, the first burnt to the ground after it had been used to store hay.

Check out how HUGE the blimps are used in the war (compared to the Goodyear blimp that we all know and recognize)

We were allowed to go inside the "Mini Guppy" which is like a flying hanger.  The back end of the plane folds out and is loaded from the rear.

Here's some cute photos of the boys trying out the cock pits.  I can just see Quint in a uniform flying a helicopter.  Ty, I could see as a wild fighter jet pilot!

I took about 50 pictures of sunsets.  Such beauty and majesty ... I couldn't get enough of it - even though we kept trying to capture it.  Dwight shot this amazing display with his iphone.

This is one of my favorites as well.  

OK, THIS IS AWESOME!!!  I could have watched Dwight and the boys play football every day.  It's so fun to have the boys old enough to understand the game, work different plays, sack the quarterback, throw amazing passes ... The cheerleader in me came out again in a big way.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE watching this!

YEAH!  Get him, Burnell!

What's a windy beach without a kite???  And see how bright and sunny it was ... AGAIN??  We were so blessed with so many sunny days.

 I do believe that the massive sandy beach is God's playground.  There is seriously endless opportunities for fun and creativity - for every age.  On this day, we decided to bury all the children. :-)   

Where's QUINT???

"Has anyone seen my legs??"

"Aahhhh!!!  There's a fly on my face!!"
"I'll get it!!!", Mama grins and ... Whack!!! (Vienna liked trying to get the flies, too)

That's quite the race-car!

On our final day, we pretty much had the beach to ourselves.  The Tierra Del Mar strip of sand is quite large, especially during low tide.  And it was SUNNY AGAIN!

I took TONS of photos of this darling little model who gave me dozens of photo ops!  Typically, she was looking at the sand (or eating it!), but here is a fun moment of sheer joy where she's looking at me. :-)  Enjoying the sand between her toes, running from waves ... sheer delight!

The sand also makes a life-size canvas for drawings ... and tic-tac-toe!  Daddy's the best!

Our final WAHOO was to build a SAND CITY!  We all pitched in.  Dwight manned the building of the massive moat and city wall, while the rest of us worked on the "castle."

Isn't it rad? (to use of term from my era)

Washing all the bedding and sandy clothes took us back to a Tillamook laundromat.  We filled 5 triple loaders and a couple double loaders.  Yeyeah!  I could use some of these in my house, baby.

Final parting shot of the morning, as the sun came up over the beach house and illuminated God's great handiwork.  Bye-bye sand and ocean.  You were marvelous neighbors.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Dunes at Cape Kiwanda

A mountain of sand!

Here we are at the bottom of a gigantic mountain of sand. The fearless crew of young men charged up the hill and quickly became specks as Vienna and I watched from below.  The sand dunes of Cape Kiwanda are famous - for their height, perhaps?  All 6 boys made it to the top with Dwight...

You would think that on the other side of this massive sand hill would be another sand hill of the same soft sand.  However, THIS is what is on the other side:  a steep cliff of rocks and sand.

 And they all came running back down as fast as they could ...

 We (the girls, as well) then climbed up another side of the dune to the left and found this beautiful sight just over the crest.  
Aha!   A beautiful place to explore again on a low-tide day.

Dwight and the 4 oldest hiked up and around and down to sea-level.  The power and beauty of the ocean were spectacular as the waves come crashing into the rocks.  

Exploring a bit around a rock that reminds us of "Monkey Face" here at Smith Rocks.  (No, they're not twins, they just like to dress alike sometimes).

Back "home" on our beach, I get my fill of photo-ops with this darling little girl playing all over the warm, sandy beach. Complete with a sandy binky, pink everything, and the coolest shades, she's ALL GIRL!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The BEACH! - It's sunny on the Oregon Coast!


We're here on the beautiful Oregon Coast!  Still can't believe some friends of ours let us stay in their beach house (THANK YOU!!!).  We are thoroughly enjoying our time.  The first day we arrived was sunny and we were pleasantly surprised to experience a full day of 70 degree weather on the beach.  If you're not familiar with the Oregon Coast, it is often cloudy, rainy, windy, and cold.  We're having our fair share of that, too, but not Day 1!   It was clear and sunny and felt like Hawaii (the closest thing we've experienced as a family to compare with).  Well ...other than the temperature of the water (which was frigid).

I sent the boys onto the beach ahead of me and found that they had instantly made friends with some other boys and joined in a game of 'baseball. 

Running from the waves was a definite highlight.  "RUN!!!!!  The waves are going to catch you, Quint!!!"

"Oh, yeah?  These waves can't get me!  I'm AWESOME!" 

Chillin' and relaxin' ... oh the joy. 

Of course, what is being at the beach without having a bonfire, roasting hotdogs and marshmallows, etc.  We HAD to do it all!  

Experiencing the gorgeous SUNSET on the beach.  Had to take a family pic ...

Ahhhhhh .... happy.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Day 2 - Dufur Adventures!

We arrived after dark.  Dwight, Chad (Dwight's brother - for those who don't know) and a couple of his 11 wonderful helpers emptied our trailer, set up our tent, found some comfy bed mats, and got the trailer set up as sleeping quarters for Dwight and I and Vienna.  It was quite cozy and comfortable - albeit FREEZING! :-)  All things considered, we fared quite well under the bright moon and crisp temperatures and found everything covered in frost the next morning.  Ahhhh .... I CAN be a pioneer. :-)

Chad, in his exuberant spontaneity, took several of the children on an early morning run in the Dalles. Everyone put on the NEW Bend Soap t-shirts (soon to be available for purchase) and ran their little legs off!  Nothing like an impromptu 5k to start off the day!

The sun came out and the day turned out to be BEAUTIFUL -- warm and picturesque!!  The blossoms were out and as I was capturing God's beauty, a hummingbird decided he wanted to be photographed as well. :-)  Jenise says these blossoms stay for only about 4 days - so the timing of our visit was impeccable.

Time to prep for the party!  In a busy, but amazingly orderly Jenise fashion, jobs were assigned and prep done by 11am for the noon party.  The menu:  Soup and salad - 4 salads, that is.  Complete with homemade ranch dressing and Garlic Pesto Cheese bread for a side.  Mmmmm....

Uncle Dwight got babysitting duty of all 7 of our children, as well as some of C&J's.  He ROCKS!  Lunch, naps, changing diapers, preserving lives ... And what else do you suppose they did?? 

  Why ... go snake-hunting, of course! 

I'm told they found 4 snakes!  You good little hunters!  The dead-eyes in the group killed 3, but left the last for re-population purposes. :-) 

And yes, that is my little girl with a snake!  It was bound to happen, with her wild Daddy and 6 older brothers.  Fortunately, it's dead -- though I wouldn't plan on it for next time.
And another highlight ... the ROPE SWING! Swinging out far over the hillside, these guys had a blast ... and an adrenaline rush.

After the rest of our delightful time, Karaline's fabulous party, a bunch of cleanup, and a BBQ dinner, we journeyed on to our next stop ... the COAST!  It was hard to leave, being that it's one of our FAVORITE places to be (mostly because of the people!). But, one cannot outstay one's welcome ... and we had another adventure ahead of us.