Monday, August 31, 2015

Goodbye van

We have the worst luck with cars. They are an absolute money pit for us. Our cars seem to last for a few years with minor issues and the regular up keep. But then they start having big issues like transmission problems, power steering leaks and issues, brake issues, etc. Well, it happened again. The power steering fluid in our van has been leaking. We've dealt with it, but we've also had to replace the brakes twice in the last year and a half (and it needed it again) and two of our tires needed replacing.... again. We've been in Oregon 4 years, and needed all the tires at one time or another. The tires don't even seem to last the 6 months they should. Anyway, we'd had enough. Our van was acting up again and we were looking at $1000 (if not more) in repairs. The blue book value for our van was around $1200 and so we decided to sell it instead of putting more money into it. We are now back to being a one car family. We'll save money for a time and then start the search for another van at some point. Hopefully, the next one won't have as many issues....

I do miss the space we had in the van. The kids do all fit in the back seat of Nate's car, but they pick on each other constantly. Plus, it's a pain to buckle them in. However, they enjoy Nate's car because they can roll down their windows and feel the hard wind as we drive along. I guess it's the simple things that make kids happy.

Cannon Beach - part 3 - Fun at the park

On our final day at Cannon beach we ate breakfast out and then found a park nearby for the kids to play at. They had a great time! Once the stores in the area opened up we spent the morning browsing and shopping in Cannon beach. 

Even Papa Gene and Gramma Carol had fun playing!

Sanaa found a nice climbing tree at the park!

Papa Gene was able to spell Layla's name. Sanaa and Malakai's names wouldn't fit.

In the afternoon we spent more time at the beach and some time relaxing. The kids had a wonderful time and loved the house that we stayed in. Of course, any time we take the kids to the coast they have a good time!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Cannon Beach - part 2 - Fun in the sun

We had wonderful weather while at Cannon Beach. If I remember right, we only had one morning that was really cloudy. The other days were partly cloudy and cool. The sun warmed things up some, but it was still nice and cool in the 60's. The cool weather did not stop the kids from playing in the water. The water was quite cold and my feet went numb, but the kids didn't seem to mind (even as they stood in the water shivering).

Haystack rock at Cannon Beach. It was quite breezy on this day. We walked over to Haystack rock without our jackets since it felt warm, but the wind made it quite chilly near Haystack rock. On Haystack rock we did get to see some Puffins flying around and landing.

We took one day and went to Ecola State park. It is a great park! The kids enjoy any beach, but we were also able to go on a short hike and see a lighthouse out in the distance.

Sanaa was most excited when we found a sand dollar that was completely intact! We ended up finding 3 sand dollars that were not broken.

Layla is the hardest child to keep sand off of. We had her rinse off in the ocean but she apparently attracts sand because by the time we were back to the steps leading off of the sand her legs were covered again.

A rare picture with all 3 kids looking!

It's hard to tell in this picture, but at Ecola State park there were a lot of people surfing. It was fun to watch! But the surfers tended to be the only people in the water and had on wet suits. But then you have my kids who could care less about how cold the water is and run and play in it until they are shivering uncontrollably.

A picture of me and the kids. Nate left to take his parents to the airport while the kids and I spent one last morning at the beach. It was a cloudy and cool morning, but still a lot of fun.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Cannon Beach - part 1 - Sisters House

A few days before Sanaa's last day of school Nate's parents came out to visit us. Sanaa's last day of school was a half day and after she was done we packed up and headed to Canon Beach. We spent 4 nights out there and had a blast. 

We stayed at Sisters House in Canon Beach. The house Nate's parents rented was great! It was a short walk from the beach and had a small wooded area behind it. The kids loved the house. I think the biggest reason they loved it was because it had stairs. Right now, any house that has stairs is much nice than ours according to our kids.

The house even had an old phone that Nate modeled for us.

Our family had the rooms on the second floor. The master room was huge! There was even a deck off of the master room, but we kept that door locked so that none of the kids would sneak out there.

The living room was nice and cozy and the kitchen was wonderful. The table was the perfect size for all of us to fit around.

Sanaa and Layla shared a room. Sanaa picked the full size bed while Layla slept on the twin bed.

Malakai had his own room which was right next to us. At first he thought it was awesome.... but then bed time came and he was terrified to sleep in there alone. Once he fell asleep he was fine.

A great picture of Nate's parents with the kids on front porch swing.

Malakai just chilling on the couch and watching some tv.

Music time - a drum set

At some point earlier this summer Sanaa created a drum set for her, Layla, and Malakai to use. She found various objects around the house and all the of the kids had a blast playing on it. The "drum set" stayed in the middle of our carpet and was used off and on for a week or so (at least until I got tired of tripping over it). Since then they've made other drums sets but I haven't taken any pictures. I think the one below was the best and most creative one Sanaa made.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

A few snap shots from our summer so far

This summer is passing rather quickly! I have a lot to catch up on. Back in June Nate's parents came out for a visit and we spent time at the coast. In July we spent 10 days in Guatemala (and that was an awesome trip!), but now it's August and school will be starting before I know it! Here is just a small snapshot of some of the things we've been up to. I do fully intend to get post up about our June trip and July trip, but for now here are some random pictures from our summer.

At the end of June our wonderful neighbor Melissa moved. She's still in town and not far from us, but her brother sold the house next door where she was staying and she had to find a new place. She was a wonderful neighbor to have and the kids miss seeing her. But Melissa did give the kids her "ball pit" (a small pool with a bunch of plastic balls). They love it! Although the balls do end up everywhere in the yard.

Swimming has been happening pretty much every day. They spend hours playing around in the water and drinking the water.

Our garden grew a ton while we were in Guatemala. All of us were quite surprised to see how big our plants had grown in 10 days. Sanaa's sunflower that she brought home from school earlier this spring turned out to be a giant one again!

Our pepper plants were quite big and had several peppers on them!

This is our acorn squash, yellow zucchini, and a cucumber plant (which is hard to see).

These plants are broccoli and cauliflower. There is also a tomato plant behind them but you can't see it.

S'mores! Our kids are so different. They love the idea of s'mores, but Sanaa will only eat the chocolate, Layla only ate the marshmallow, while Malakai nibbled on all of it. It worked out well for Sanaa and Layla since Sanaa got to eat Layla's chocolate and Layla got to eat Sanaa's marshmallow.

Sanaa has also discovered she can give her sister and brother piggy back rides. They love it!

Most days we also eat outside. The kids are too busy playing and love to eat outside. I don't mind since it keeps the crumbs out of the kitchen.

I snapped the picture of Malakai just as he was lowering himself. I caught him trying to climb up and over the brown part because Layla had. Forget using the doorway. That is apparently too much of a hassle.

Yesterday we drove up to Vancouver, WA for a birthday party. Some of our good friends moved up there a year ago so we don't get to see them as often as we'd like. They now have the best back yard for a slip n slide. They laid a huge tarp down their hill and the kids loved it! They spent a good two hours playing on it.