Friday, July 3, 2015

The Return

We are back in Utah after a year of wonderful memories in Oregon.  We had a lot of fun our last month or so in Oregon. 

Since our last attempt at camping in Oregon was a tremendous failure, so before we left we decided to right that horrible wrong.  With Brad's last weekend off, we camped with the Blunck and Johnson families and enjoyed ourselves quite a bit.  We had the campground almost completely to ourselves and we had close access to the river where we spent the whole morning wading in the water and building an epic raft that wasn't exactly sea worthy, but the boys all had fun making it.  

We had lots of fun around the campfire.  We made a delicious dutch oven meal, roasted marshmallows, ate s'mores, and played with glow sticks.   
This is a picture of Teri when she bought her first car 6 months after graduating high school.  Well, it has been an amazing car for many years, but due to our expanding family we decided to sell the Saturn for a larger vehicle.  150K+ miles, a few dents, very little maintenance, and a whole lot of memories.
Ellie and Chris are very proud to present our new van!  Their favorite part is the "magic TV" that comes out of the ceiling.  

Although we are all very excited to be coming back to Utah close to family and friends, it has also been a little hard.  We have made some amazing friends to whom it was not easy to say goodbye.
When we first found out we were moving to Oregon Brad's sister, Kristi, put us in contact with a family she knew from Ohio that moved to the area a few months before us.  The Blunck family has become close family friends.  This is especially true for Teri and Sheri.  There were tears shed as these two said goodbye.  These two quickly became best friends and we really hope to continue this friendship from a distance.
Just as Teri made a lifelong friend while here in Oregon, Brad was fortunate to be matched to a residency at the same time as Ryan Petersen.  We could not imagine a better person to be Brad's co-resident over the last year.  Both Brad and Ryan felt that they were extremely fortunate to become such good friends.  Like the Bluncks, Ryan and Britt are friends that we hope we can keep through the years.
Brad had a week off between finishing in Corvallis and starting in Salt Lake which gave us time to complete the move and also have a little vacation.  Grandma and Grandpa Christensen came up before Brad finished to help with packing for a couple days, then we headed to the coast.  Derek, BriAnn and their boys joined us as did Janel later in the week.  We had a lot of fun exploring Newport with all our family.   
We have visited the coast quite a few times throughout our year in Albany, and you can never really expect warm weather on the beach.  We were lucky, however, to have some great weather while we were there with the family, jackets weren't even needed! Even Ivan enjoyed the beach a little bit.  

Everyone had a different reaction to the cold ocean water.  Ellie has loved playing in the ocean from day 1, but the Christensen boys were a little more hesitant.  Grandpa helped to build up some courage, and I think everyone at least dipped their toes

We spent one day in Portland so we could pick up Janel at the airport.  We ate at the food trucks (not the best idea with a bunch of kids), and then visited the children's museum.

Christian, of course, loved the construction display.

The water area was a favorite for everyone. 

We dropped Brad off in Albnany on our way home from Portland so he could finish packing and the load the truck.  Luckily for Brad, his friend, Rex, was kind enough to fly up to Oregon and accompany him for the long drive back in the massive truck.

After Brad left with the truck, everyone else went to the Newport Aquarium.  

After a LONG  13 hour road trip without Dad, we are back to Utah.  The kids have been so happy to be back with family and loved ones.
2 days after getting back to Utah, we celebrated Ellie's 5th birthday.  We had a swimming party out in Hooper with our cousins and then opened presents and had cake and ice cream in the evening in Harrisville.  Ellie is excited to be 5.  She is excited to start school this year and to play soccer.  She is a great big sister who really knows how to make her baby brother Ivan smile.  She loves to read stories of any kind and loves learn about animals, especially birds.  It is hard to believe that these 5 years have gone so fast.  We love watching her grow and learn every day.  

Well, we are back from our year long adventure in Oregon.  This experience has helped us all to grown and learn.  We will always look back to our time in the Willamette Valley with fond memories.  And we are now excited for the next stage in the grand adventure of life.

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