Weekend at Eagle Crest

Every time we take a trip with the kids we are reminded that they are “adventures” rather than “vacations.”  Less sleep, more work.  Still awesome.  I love introducing my kids to new things and giving them experiences.  We have some friends over in the Bend/Redmond area and we love to visit with them when we are able to make it work.

Our dear friends the Comptons happened to be heading to Sunriver over the same weekend.  We seem to have a nack for taking vacations simultaneously.  Back in October we did the Disneyland thing and drove down together, and this weekend we did the same.  Although this trip was MUCH shorter in length and drive.  We met up at Starbucks with the Comptons at exactly the same time.  This may or may not have something to do with our husbands “aTEXTed” at the hip tendency…or Jocelyn and my slightly compulsive planning tendencies.  We rolled out and headed over the pass.  They were gems for sticking with us and Eric even helped Conrad chain up.  I asked Conrad if he packed any of those “manly work gloves.” He laughed at me and said he did not have any.  I fed the kids crackers and chatted with Jocelyn.  There are many times when I am glad I am a girl.  Chaining up in a snowy pass is one of those times.  Not much I could do except for offering the boys some diaper wipes for their (glove-less) hands after they completed the task.  For the record it took them 18 minutes to put them on and 5 minutes to get them off a few miles down the road.  I am pretty sure the guy in front of us was trying to race to see who was fasted when they were unchaining.  Love competitive boys.

Which also reminds me of the drive down to Disneyland.  They might have left at 4 something and we might have left a couple hours after that (because I need sleep to be sane). We also might have caught up to them later in the day.

Look at this sweet boy! Can you resist those eyes?

A shot Jocelyn grabbed of 2 out of our 3 Littles in our swagger wagon during the big chain up.

This is why we chained up.

This is false advertising.  Hubs can’t get enough of apps that jazz up the pictures.

For lunch we stopped in Sisters at Three Creeks Brewing Company. Table for ten please! Four adults, four kids, and two babies.  Wow! A few years ago when we met the Comptons we could have said, “Party of four and a highchair please.” We hit it just right and got a huge table immediately.  Soon after the entire lobby was full of hungry people waiting.  It is always fun taking this many kids out to eat. 🙂  The daddies even took the 5 bigger ones out for a walk while we were waiting for food.  There might have been some snowball action going on.  Check out Jocelyn’s fabulous blog for shots of that action and why we won “Moms of The Year.”

Our boys had a blast pretending they were pirates and we only had to break up a few friendly sword fights.  First with forks…then with knives. 🙂  Coloring sheets make perfect pirate scopes.  They even shared some secrets and serious giggles.  They always can be found chatting away like old souls.  I love these sweet kids.  It is fun to see how boys with a pretty good age gap can be such good buddies.

For dinner we did some toddler meals hotel style.  Trader Joe’s organic microwave mac and cheese (quite the joke to make in the tiny little bowls I packed), apples, and whatever ever I could dig out of our healthy sized snack bag.  Dinner of champs for sure!

This kid is a serious appreciator of all things cozy.  He was loving our bed.  We stayed at The Lodge at Eagle Crest.  They have newly renovated rooms and we scored an awesome deal on Groupon and got both nights in a suite with a fireplace and kitchenette for $121!

My kids like to play, “Let’s touch EVERYTHING in the entire hotel room.”  After some Lysol wipe action we let them go at it.  Nothing more fun than exploring a new space.  I am still glad they have all their fingers.  We had a few close calls.

After dinner we went to visit my dear college friend Breanne and her twins (her hubby was out of town).  We had a blast catching up and hearing all about how life with twins has been for her.  Her girls are precious and I had fun reminiscing about what it was like to care for young twins.  She was telling about all the twins born to people who attended Western Oregon near the same time.  I knew of a few more and we are pretty sure we have hit on a very peculiar trend.  Whats the number we landed on Bre? I think you knew 7 couples?  In my circle I have had 2 girls in my wedding party, myself, and a college roommate who have all attended Western (a fairly small state college) and had twins.  That whole, “something in the water” thing…might really hold some water.

The next morning the twinners woke up at 6:00 after falling asleep at 10:30.  When you get back late and then realize you don’t have any bedding for the sleeper couch you call the front desk.  Then you wait for 35 minutes for bedding to arrive and then try to calm down kids from, “THE BEST DAY EVER!” Then it is magically 10:30.  That is how that works.  What do you do with twins who wake up at 6:00? Take them for a long run and out to breakfast.  Breanne and her family own and run the amazing One Street Down Cafe. If you are in the Redmond area you MUST go eat there for breakfast or lunch.

 

 

Daddy was super sweet and packed a game for the kids.  First time playing Sound Bingo.

We discussed that swimming might be an option after they saw their swim suits.  At this point the truth was than there was really no option.  There would be swimming. We figured the best strategy would be just go swimming first thing in the morning unless we wanted to hear about it every 3 minutes.  So in the dead of winter we put on their swim suits and more polar fleece over the top than you have ever seen.

This girl was so brave in the water. She jumped off the side eagerly and even got under the water and did not complain. It was so fun to see how relaxed she was and how much fun she was having.

Post swimming buddy shot.  These kids were drunk on fun and hardly noticed being soaking wet and under dressed for the walk out to the car.  Daddy went with the throw them in the car and run approach.  I chased Sweet Baby around the grassy area and hunted for airplanes while they swam.

During the afternoon I did some shopping at Old Mill while Hubs drove and the kids napped (not an easy coordination).  This scene at REI made me laugh.

We went to Pizza Mondo for dinner and got the “White Pizza” and added chicken. We agreed that it was probably the best pizza we have EVER eaten. Sadly we have no pictures of this thing of beauty.

For a special treat we had whole wheat double chocolate cookies and milk in bed together while watching part of a movie.  You can see how well that went over.  After this they went down like champs right at bed time.

On Monday Conrad took the twins for another early morning adventure and they fed the ducks AND a swan half a box of Trader Joe’s crackers.  Little Man said that the swan was “the boss and took all the crackers.” I asked about why Little Man was wearing shorts out and Hubs said, “Well I was just taking them in the van to get coffee and then we saw ducks.” Anybody with young children knows if you see ducks you stop…even if you are wearing shorts. Simple as that.

And this concludes this LONG post of our vacation.  I will leave you with the picture of this swan.  Swans are graceful. Adventures with children are not. But they are good. The hard stuff is often the good stuff. I love making memories with my four people.

*We also saw our awesome friends the Purscelley’s.  We went for a lovely windy walk on some awesome trails and played at the park.  We have kids similar ages and they are an amazing family.  Andy and Sara were even youth leaders of ours when Hubs and I were in high school.  We had intended on doing lunch, but ours were making it clear that cheese and crackers in the van would be a much better choice. Unfortunately we do not have pictures. But trust me, all our kids would have been so cute lined up.  The only problem is that it would have been virtually impossible to capture.

Organic/Natural deals in the NW (Week of Feb. 5-11th)

Here are a few of my favorite organic/natural deals for the week.  If enough people are interested in this type of post I will try to make it a weekly feature.

Fred Meyer (through 2/11)

Organic 6oz blueberries 2/$5

Organic Brown Eggs (Chino Valley) $2.99 -Great Price!

Mini Carrots 1lb 2/$3 (Not sure how good of a price this is. We don’t usually buy mini.)

Tom’s of Main Toothpaste or Deodorant 40% off.

Fred Meyer Butter 1lb 2/$5 (decent price)

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Zaycon just opened a SHORT NOTICE ground beef event.

Ground Beef, Lean (93/7) – 40 lbs at $2.99 a lb.

Deliveries in Eugene, Albany, Salem, McMinnville, Hillsboro, Gresham, and Oregon City.

The pick-up process is SO easy (just drive up and they load it in your car).

Deliveries will be Feb 9th, 10th and 11th.

This is not organic, but people said the quality is great and it is very lean and tasty.

Register (free) and then look under “events”.

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Safeway (through 2/7)

O Organics 3-lb. Bag Potatoes 3.49 ea- (Also check grocery outlet for a possible better deal)

Organic D’Anjou or Bosc Pears 1.49 lb (Not a hot price, but have not seen organic pears on sale for awhile.  Also check Trader Joe’s)

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Roth’s  (through 2/7)

Tillamook shredded cheese $1.99 with coupon (First 3)

 

Don’t forget to ask for rain-checks if they are out of anything! Usually most stores offer them on most sales.

Here’s to feeding our families well, for less!

Have you found any great deals this week?

 

 

Happy 4th Birthday My Sweet Twins.

I can’t believe that today you turn four years old.  Four years ago today we became parents for the first time.  We went from having no children, to having two children.  We considered ourselves blessed to get to experience what it was like having twins.  Before you were born your Daddy’s common phrase was, “Can you believe we are having TWO babies!?!”

First birthday whole wheat muffin "cake" with yogurt frosting.

You have brought us endless amounts of joy.  Our lives shifted in HUGE ways after you were born.  You teach us on a daily basis what is important.  Something about having twins threw us full force into family life.  We could not pretend to be able to do the things we did before you in the same way.  God made it clear that our life was to change.  He had something better for us.  We longed for you.  We waited for you.  We were happy to accommodate.

You have been best buddies and partners in everything from the very beginning.  You slept better together as newborns, entertained yourselves happily together as babies, shared your precious animals crackers with each other when we expected you to keep them for yourself, put your brains together to scheme up crazy antics as young toddlers, and became full-fledged best friends as older toddlers.  Now you are four, and will continue to define what it means to be brother, sister, and share the term and bond of “twins”.

Caught sharing your precious animal crackers.
Crazy antics.
Best Friends

When you were younger we would try to do “special” things with each of you separately from time to time.  We were often surprised to find out that you really seemed to have less fun without your twin.  Now that you are a bit older you seem to be able to appreciate it for short amounts of time.

We go through our day-to-day activities and aren’t fully aware how you being twins and close friends affects our life.  When you are separated from each other or we go into a new situation we sometimes get glimpses.

As I was preparing to take you (Little Man) for a “Mommy date” you say to your sister, “I don’t know what to order at lunch! Can you tell me what to order?”  I thought it was such a cute window into the security you have in each other that I often miss.  You were feeling apprehensive about doing something you normally have no fear over.  You knew you would be fine, but wanted your sister’s help.

"It's okay! I will be back. I will text you!"

When offered something special, you often want your twin to get the same things as well.  If it is good, you know your sibling would want it too.

Being a twin is a special thing many don’t get to experience.  I am so glad that you guys have fully embraced the bond.  You love each other, value each other, take different roles, then switch roles seamlessly when a change is needed, and share most things like it is just the way it’s supposed to be.

You both are a little preoccupied about the future.  You both want to know who you will marry. You both think it makes perfect sense to marry each other.  You are partners now, and I love that you want to be partners later.  Even though you will someday start lives on your own, I pray you will always be close and share this special bond.

First big walk outside.

What a twin Birthday means at our house.

  • Two times to sing Happy Birthday.  Everybody deserves their own little song.
  • A special meal of choice.  Usually you agree on the same thing.  If not, we make sure everybody has something they enjoy.
  • A choice of dessert.  Often cakes.  Something for each twin to “blow out.”
  • Usually a party, sometimes a special day instead.
  • A couple presents.  This year a couple smaller ones and a big one to share.  I feel sharing gifts only helps you learn and creates less fights for the future.  Nobody can say “Hey that is MINE” when they know it is “ours”.

So far you have absolutely no issues sharing your birthday.  I kinda think you prefer it this way.  What could be more fun than sharing a special day with your best friend?

Storytime on your first birthday.
Cupcakes on your 3rd birthday.

We love you precious our precious Littles! Happy Birthday!