Sunday, August 24, 2014


August has gone by so fast.  It is hard to believe that we have less than a week left.  We have been enjoying a little bit of a cool down here in Albany from the uncharacteristic heat wave we had in July.  The change has been very welcomed since all we have in our house is a single window AC unit.  It is still pretty warm in the day, but at least it has been cooling down at night for the past week or two.  
Some heat reprieve in the back yard
We've kept ourselves cool playing outside and eating otter pops

Enjoying the sun and an otter pop
This last weekend was the annual Air Festival in Albany.  We woke up on Friday morning and watched the hot air balloons from our front yard.  We decided to head over to the festival on Friday night for the night glow.  Ellie and Christian had so much fun watching the balloon crews set up and fill the balloons with air and heat.  It was a really fun activity for the family.

Christian called the balloons on their sides "cement mixers."  He loves his construction site trucks. 

The family enjoying the festival

Ellie loved to watch the balloons glow and was literally jumping up and down with excitement about the balloons.  She even gave her favorite balloons names like "America" "Star" "Dragon" and "Rainbow".

Ellie and me with "America" in the background

Here is the night glow.  The glow with all the different colored balloons was created a beautiful effect.  
 This morning we woke up early to make sure and catch the last launch of the festival.  We had a great view from the top of the swing set in the back yard.  I think we saw over 20 balloons pass over our house this morning.  It was so fun and the kids just loved it!
The favorite balloons by far were the family of 3 bumble bees.  I was only able to catch 2 of them in the picture today.  Ellie and Christian just thought they were so cute and silly floating in the sky.  
Cute picture of the kiddos after a walk at the Talking Waters Garden in Albany where we saw tons of frogs in the water.  

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Well... We Didn't Learn the First Time

The Tail of the Winter's Epic Camp Fail 2014

It is kind of sad that we have to start dating out camping fails because we have more than one!  Some may remember our last attempt at camping.  We forgot many important items but in the end we it was a successful family trip (click for the blog post).
We have been tossing the idea of a family camping trip around this whole summer.  A few days ago we suddenly decided we were going this weekend because some of the other times on our calendar got filled up.  We borrowed a tent and some supplies from friends (thanks Bluncks!) and loaded our car for the Willamette National Forest.
Teri called ahead to a fairly useless ranger station and learned that we could not reserve a spot, but that there were plenty still available.  As fate would have it, that was not true.  We left after Brad got off work and drove 1 & 1/2 hours, only stopping twice to get items we had forgotten, to find every camping spot occupied.
Very disappointed, we turned around and went home.  The kids were sad, but we compromised with a movie in the car on the way home, camping in the living room, and a late night.  Perhaps next time we will think to plan these trips ahead with enough time to reserve the spot and prepare all of the gear we need.  Until then we will enjoy our microwave smores!

 Eating on our new camp chairs!

 Setting up our campsite.

 Mmmm, smores...

 "Your killing me Smalls"

 Kids had a late night in their rustic tent.

We no longer needed the ice for the cooler, so they decided to make an ice sculpture.