Category Archives: kids

Thriving In My Thrifty Week-Nov. 8-2022

After more than 2 years of being closed and rebuilding, our local YMCA has re-opened. We have had a membership for several years and were using an alternate facility while they were closed. We are delighted to be back at a closer location. We will go more often, I know. They were more than generous to keep us on the same scholarship we were on before, so it’s very affordable.

Rob took Malcolm into the pool for his very first experience. They both had so much fun that we went again yesterday, with our nephew, Jake. Our new plan is that I help get the baby ready, put him in with Rob, run upstairs and ride an exercise bike, and then dash downstairs again to get Mac out, dressed, etc. About 30 minutes is the amount he can handle in there, so it works out great! Thank goodness Jake can do all that for himself. He had so much fun, too, and made 100 baskets in the swimming pool basketball net. Wow! I’m delighted to have another activity Jake likes to do. It’s been harder to find things to do now that the weather has become more stormy and the park doesn’t work as well.

We made a trip to the library. There was a toddler story time, which I attended with Malcolm, and Rob took Jake upstairs to the kid section. Again, a fun, free activity. We even got a very short walk in around the block between rain showers.

We made a small Costco run and Rob and Malcolm enjoyed the hot dogs. We bought one of the $5 chickens, which we have been eating on all week. I finally boiled the bones and made soup yesterday.

We’ve cooked a lot this week. People seem to be extremely hungry. We’ve made soup, home baked fish sticks, tater tots (from a frozen bag), noodles, beef-vegetable soup, muffins, gf French bread and rolls (from one batch), brown rice, white rice, French fries from potatoes, apple crisp, and more. We’ve eaten chicken multiple times, finished the roast beef with potatoes and carrots from last week, and I’ve gone through about 3 pounds of carrots! Needless to say, I needed to go to the store.

I have been concentrating on gathering things for Thanksgiving. I’ve got most of what I need, at rock bottom prices. I’ve clipped many digital coupons, including the $10/ off $50 from Safeway. I picked up a few things from both Walmart and Winco that were good prices there. I was very surprised at the amount of people in the Winco store. I also visited Natural Grocers for some specialty items they have, such as gf stuffing.

I was able to redeem quite a few Ibotta rebates. One of my favorites was ketchup, with a $2.50 rebate. Another was instant oatmeal, where I bought the boxes for $1.99 and got $1.25 back on each box. I got 5. I haven’t been doing Ibotta very much lately, as there haven’t been rebates offered on things I use much, but this time there were quite a few items available, so I took the time to get them.

Rob was able to use a $10/off $50 from Winco to buy a case of jar lids. That coupon doesn’t come around very often, but one came in the mail, and thankfully, they had jar lids and he remembered to use the coupon! Go Rob!!

Rob smoked one of the huge trout he caught last spring. We were doing the lesson of Jesus feeding the 5,000 during our Sunday school class and he wanted to show them one way of preserving fish, although this was not the exact kind of preservation method used in the Bible, and it certainly wasn’t trout there in Israel. He offered tastes, thinking they would decline. Instead, those kids ate the entire fish! We were surprised, for sure! I’m just hoping there is another one of those left in the freezer, because it was SO good! He’s been using them on holidays and special occasions, so I”m not sure how many are still in there.

I brought 5 small buns and told Rob to get busy while I told the story–I needed him to break them up into between 5,000 and 20,000 pieces. Not being God, he wasn’t able to comply, but the kids got a good laugh out of it and ate all the buns, too. They also ate the goldfish crackers we played a game with, apple slices from the skit, and the oyster crackers from another review game. Like I said, everyone seems extra hungry this week!!!

Thriving In My Thrifty Week-June 20, 2022

We went berry picking at a local farm. Jake had a blast on the playground and in the pipe, where other kids rolled him around!

I picked enough strawberries to fill 8 quart-sized ziplocks and to make another double batch of jam. We also ate a bunch of them fresh. This year, berries are almost $2/lb if you pick them yourself in our immediate area. They are $2.40/lb if you go up toward Portland. If you buy them already picked, in our area, they are anywhere from $32/flat to $46/flat. That’s about 10-12 pounds. I’m so glad we could pick them ourselves!

I made a bouquet from Japanese iris from my yard and the last bit of baby’s breath from Patsy’s party. I cleaned the bathroom really, really well and spruced it up with the flowers. I cleaned and mopped several times. Rob and I were joking around that it was hard to believe I had done it, after all the garden dirt was tracked in over and over. A few minutes after I got the bathroom done, Malcolm had a bath and when he took his boot off, it was full of dirt…which was dumped on the floor…and there I went again!

As is normal this time of year, I spent quite a bit of time weeding, hoeing and caring for the garden and flowerbeds. I harvested snow peas several times, along with a few green onions and lots of lettuce–gallons and gallons. I shared some, we had so much. It’s so good, but a person can only eat so much and I’m happy to know people who also like to eat it. Once I’ve gone to all the trouble to grow it, it’s satisfying to see it used! Since I have multiple succession plantings going, I rarely run out from spring until fall.

I did have a lot of help some days. Thankfully, the help got new boots “Pa” found at a yard sale for $1, as he grew out of his red ones. He has tools he received from his first birthday, and is all set.

We had to move locations after several veggies were in grave danger from the wild shoveler!

“Double trouble” kept our lives interesting. These are the M and M bandits here…..trying to get candy out of those big containers. They look guilty, for sure, but actually Grandpa lets them play with them. There are a few candies in the bottoms of the containers, and they shake them around a lot. There are a few M and M’s eaten over time, but not as many as Mac wishes.

This was a week filled with little boys. We had our grandsons several times, our nephew 3 times, as usual, and one day, I also had 2 neighbor boys for several hours, along with one grandson and nephew. It was a wild week! My neighbor gave me a gift card, to thank me for filling in when her normal sitter had a crisis, which was totally unnecessary, but gratefully received.

I did a lot of grocery shopping with some extra money we had, including Costco. It’s nice to have some of those things like Ziplock bags restocked. I use so many in the summer to preserve fruits and vegetables. Even with re-washing, bags are used up rapidly. Of course, I got a $4.99 rotisserie chicken. Easy for those busy days!

We went to several stores, and gleaned the bargains from each one. I was delighted to get 9c/lb watermelon at Safeway. Grocery Outlet had a large bag of Pamela’s gluten-free pancake and baking mix for $12, quite a savings, and a few other items I could use. We ended up at Winco for the 98c/can olives and a few other items that are less expensive there. I bought diapers. I have tried the Safeway diapers a couple of times now and I’m very satisfied. They are a few dollars less than the Huggies. I had an Ibotta reward for baby food, and got that, too.

Meals were made from scratch, as always. I made salad after salad–garden salad, chef salad with meat and cheese, crab salad, and turkey meat taco salad on the day my Mom came to visit. We had sandwiches and hamburgers. I made chicken-rice soup, which is a big hit with the babies. Monday evening, I just took things from the fridge and used them up. We had cooked carrots, stir-fried celery and snow peas, and mashed potatoes from the bottom of a bag of potatoes. I added a little chicken and there we were!

Our neighbor gave us 2 Dungeness crabs he caught. We cracked them out Sunday. I love crab, but don’t buy it because it’s very expensive and we can catch them occasionally. We haven’t been crabbing for a long time haven’t had any to eat lately, so it was a real treat.

We took plenty of walks! Sometimes we found a few pop cans laying around and hauled them home. Rob did Bottle Drop and with all the cans everyone gave us, plus our own, he put $49 on the card. That will be worth even more groceries, as I use the 20% + feature when I redeem them at the store.

This pretty well sums up how we felt at the end of some days! Happy, but ready for our rest:)

thriving In my thrifty Week–July 26, 2021

We are spent much of our time with babies this past week, with Jake 5 days in a row, and watching the Olympics.

Our daughter has a friend from out of state visiting with her little 8-month-old daughter. So, this week, we enjoyed between 1 and 3 babies on several occasions. We watched our older grandson a couple of times and had the whole group over for a couple of visits and meals.

We all went to the park one morning. We walked down there, pushing Malcolm in his stroller and the girls and younger babies drove to join us. Jake enjoyed riding his new “bike” there and back 3 times this past week. His new toy has 3 wheels, is very low to the ground, is pedaled like a bike but in the recumbent position, and he holds handles on the sides to steer and brake. I should have taken a picture of it, so I could describe it better, but lets just say it looks very, very fun and he loves it because he can manage it and it’s really, really cool.

Rob and I took great pleasure in giving our grandson a spaghetti dinner.

He really, really liked it. Afterwards, I gave him a bath and gave Rob his clothes to wash. It was worth the extra effort to see him having so much fun. My sister suggested we feed him his spaghetti IN the bathtub next time:)

Even though kids and babies were the most fun activity we did this past week, we did some more mundane things, as well, such as go to the dentist. It’s so nice to have dental insurance. We didn’t have any for so many years.

I weeded several times. Rob planted some fall crops. So far, he has a few types of lettuce, some broccoli, cabbage, and a little kale that have sprouted. My next planting of lettuce is up in a raised bed, along with some snow peas.

Two times, I picked cucumbers and made dill pickles. Although the batches were both just a few jars, it’s nice to get that process going. I started counting and recording how many jars of different items are left out on the shelves. That way, after I look at last year’s records, I know how many jars I want to can of each item.

I did 6 quarts of pickles and just 3 pints this week because I had good pickings of cucumbers. It saves jar lids when I do that as long as it’s something we can eat a quart of. Rob can definitely eat a quart of dill pickles. We all love them, but it’s nice to have a mixture of sizes for different occasions.

I’ve picked tomatoes, zucchinis galore, cabbage, lettuce, snow peas, a few assorted peppers, cucumbers and lemon cucumbers, and a very few beans this week. I’ve been able to get a few raspberries and a couple bowls of blueberries as well.

Patsy helped with a Science Camp at church 4 days this past week. It was basically a Vacation Bible School. She had a really good time and we were able to go down to the church last evening to watch the kids sing a few songs, hear about the week, and watch them shoot off a candy cannon. Like Rob said, “it was either going to be the coolest thing ever, or a big mistake…” Thank goodness it was a rousing success and all the kids were kept away from the flying candy until it had been shot into a field. Then, they could run and pick it up. What fun!

Thriving In My thrifty Week–August 31, 2020

We just returned from a wonderful week camping at Ft. Stevens State Park. Due to Rob’s surgery and Covid, this was the first time we were able to take the camper out for a whole year! We were so glad we got to keep these reservations we made 9 months ago, and that nothing happened to cancel them.

We made up for lost time and did everything we could!

We also took along many activities for both Jake and Patsy and did an outdoor school/camp experience for them, with a focus on Lewis and Clark, as Ft. Stevens is very near to where they ended up at the Pacific.

We crabbed off the bridge in Seaside and were very surprised to get 5 keepers. We made a conscious decision to go at a time that was not perfect, so the kids would have a good experience, and …..WOW!

We went fishing at nearby Coffenbury Lake a couple of times. The fish Rob has was not a keeper, but he did get one that was. Jake loves fishing now and had fun pulling in a few little ones, which we put back.

Jake played Legos for hours. We have some that we keep in the camper and never bring into the house, so they seem like new toys to him. The kids did glow sticks every night, as usual. They played “hot and cold” with Uncle, as usual. (He hides little prizes around and they find them–). They dug for buried treasure, as usual. (Rob buried gold chocolate coins this time and made them find them outside the camper.). I read outloud for hours, as usual–this time it was about the journey of Lewis and Clark. Can you tell this is a boy that likes his routine? ūüôā

Something new this time was the bike riding. One day Jake’s big sister, Caitlyn, came over and helped him “ride” on a very long bike ride. I guess she had to push about half the time, but it was fun.

Mostly, he and Patsy rode around and around the loop where we were camped, and both had a blast! My aunt had a bike she had not been riding, and gave it to Patsy. Patsy loves it so much. Rob taught her how to put on new tires and inner tubes, and once they fixed up, it worked very, very well for her. She rode it for miles, I think, because she was on it almost every day.

They dug in the sand one day. Rob did some fishing while they dug, and I stayed back and cleaned up the horrendously messy camper, a couple of cupboards and baked the cookies. Although I was offered help to bake the cookies, by that point, I had had enough help for a little bit, so Rob took them away for a little while, while I got the camper cleaned up. We never intended to leave the camper sit for an entire year, so of course, I found a few crackers that had seen better days. The kids happily fed them to the seagulls one day. Another day, we drove across the bridge to Washington State, and read road markers about Lewis and Clark’s journey. We also spent quite a bit of time playing Lewis and Clark–pretending to explore with a compass that was used more for fun than for correct direction, but…..

We went for several hikes down the trails, in fact, did a hike most days.

I took so many fun activities that we did not get them all done. They did camp fire cooking, decorated fall cookies, craft projects, plus all the outdoor fun. I still have some ideas left for next time, which is how I like it!

My sister came and picked the garden several times while I was gone, so it is in good shape.

We stayed frugal by using the foster/adoptive park pass we have, so we camped for the week for the $8 registration fee, only. We ate all meals as picnics or at the campsite, except one drive-thru at McDonald’s for a lunch the day we drove around. We always save change in a can for that purpose, and still have plenty left for another time, as Rob and I didn’t want a lot from there….just sayin’:). We’d prefer a little seafood or chowder, but since it’s Covid, we chose not to go to a restaurant so McD’s it was. The kids were happy, and we found a nice spot to sit and look out at the water while we ate, so we were happy, too. We visited a grocery store one time for a few items, but most food was brought from home, using our regular grocery budget and garden produce. It was a great week, and I’m so glad we got to go!

Thriving In My thrifty Week–September 15, 2019

Rob was super blessed to hold not only 1 tiny baby, but 2 tiny babies today! I never stop marveling at tiny babies. So precious, and such a gift from God. This precious babe has been hanging around my sister’s house a lot while Mommy and Daddy crash on the couch for a little bit while everybody in the house takes turns holding her. That’s what life is all about, isn’t it? Her daddy is like a son to my sister and brother-in-law, but I just can’t wrap my brain around my sister as a….. grandma? But, I guess if I can be one, she can, too. I’m so glad she shares:). We feel blessed.

We canned chicken and broth. At 89c/lb, the price could not be beat. We canned more tuna than we needed last summer. We found that Rob likes canned chicken on his salads in addition to the tuna. We decided to just do a batch of chicken and use up the rest of the tuna, then can more tuna next summer. Tuna varies in price, but often is around $3.50/lb., so this a way to get him variety while saving money.

I bought approximately $13.50 of split chicken breasts and made broth and canned chicken. We got 17 or 18 little jars of assorted sized (most 1/2 pint) of chicken chunks, 7 quarts and 12 pints and a couple of tiny jars of broth.

Patsy decided to cook up a storm for the first time in a long time. I joined her. We made tamale pie.

She made Cashew Chicken with rice noodles. Twice. We made some blondies, and some chicken soup.

Then she went back to her regular favorites of tacos, quesadillas, and p.b.j. sandwiches with apples.

What brought this “cooking fit” on? Grandma and Auntie Jan were coming for lunch. She’s been waiting for years to be a part of the “make lunch for Grandma” team. I guess she thought Grandma and Auntie were starving:). The food came in handy. We did have a great lunch. They got to take little bits home for future meals. We had these things for our meals for a couple of days. I hauled little dishes over to my sister’s house for them to eat. Let’s hope she gets in a mood again:). She felt wonderful. All of our tummies felt wonderful! Win-Win!

Patsy is still plugging along on school, and finished week 6. We ran into some roadblocks due to information she had somehow missed over the years , but worked through a plan to correct the problem.

She joined the Christmas Choir at church and had her first practice. There is going to be a big program. This year, she felt confident enough to join in. Last year, she did not, but later confessed she had wanted to and helped with stage crew at the last minute. Grandma helped her work on her quilt block from the shop hop we took her on last winter/spring. None of these things cost money, but they all enrich all our lives and I have a great Christmas program to look forward to watching in December!

I was weeding during our sunny afternoon. Can you see what was under the weeds? I cleaned out all the old parsley and weeds, and propped the volunteer cherry tomato plant up on a wire cage–we may end up with a few more late cherry tomatoes. Not that we are out. I just hate to kill a plant with so much tenacity!

Can you see Alissa on the left? She is having the trip of a lifetime with her Daddy. They are in Israel, walking where Jesus walked, visiting Biblical places, and seeing for themselves what they have studied for years. In the meanwhile…..

Rob and I, my sister and older niece and Grandma and Auntie Jan and anyone else we can round up are all working together to keep the home fires burning for Jake and Michaela. It’s going well, but we will all welcome their return in a few days!

Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes–2018


This year, we signed up for one morning to help at the drop-off for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.  My husband and I, 1 daughter, 2 nieces and our nephew all joined others at our church which was a drop site for the first time.


We had a slow trickle of people bringing boxes all morning.  Most people brought in from 1-6 boxes.  Some of those were individuals, and some were small church groups.  One group brought over 100, though, the entire back of a pickup truck full.


Michaela especially enjoyed helping the volunteers that were packing the boxes into huge cardboard boxes and they had her write the number of small boxes contained in the big box on the side, in the designated place, each time.

It was our first time volunteering at a drop-site before, and we quickly learned to check the boxes for labels, have the contributors sign the correct form, and how to pack them up.  We had a really good time and it was good for the kids to help.


We had 2 families working together on 2 boxes.  We let the children choose what ages/gender we wanted to make boxes for.  They chose toddler girls.  Patsy helped sew this skirt, and I finished it and another one for the other box.  I was glad we could work on her sewing skills for such a good project.


I would like to say the rest of the things were hand-made from ideas off of Pinterest, but they weren’t. ¬†I struggle for time. ¬†We hit up the school supply sales in late August, the Dollar Tree, super sales of t-shirts from the internet, and got a few things at Fred Meyers. ¬†It doesn’t have to be fancy, although I’ve seen some really cool ideas out there, which would be loved, I’m sure. ¬†The children are grateful for whatever they get, and I’m happy to be a part of the project as we have been for many years. ¬†When we had to look into some ¬†boxes to determine who they were for because they were not labeled, I noticed a vast difference in the amount and kinds of items in the boxes. ¬†Each one is individually packed by a person or family, and they vary greatly. ¬†I was told that if a box is really lightly packed, they will add a thing or two at the warehouse, but will never remove items from a full box. ¬†(One of the ladies I worked with today had spent time volunteering at the large warehouse in California)


Everything fitted!  The special boxes were at a restaurant my husband went to with a friend.  We would have used empty shoe boxes as we have always done if he had not stumbled upon these.


Rob went on the internet and paid for the shipping.  He signed up for tracking for our boxes.  Hopefully, we will remember to look and see where they go!  The only other time we did that option, last year, we forgot to look, as we were so used to just sending them off with a prayer and never knowing where they went for so many years before:). This is a newer feature that is available.

There is still time if you haven’t filled a box this year, but wanted to! ¬†They are collecting all week, until the 19th of November. ¬†The internet is chock-full of ideas, both easy and time-consuming. ¬†It’s a way to bless a child that you will never see, and share God’s love with them–something everyone needs to know, whatever their age, wherever they live or whatever their circumstances. ¬†God uses all of us to spread His love to those little ones He cares for so very, very much. ¬†I’m happy I got to be a part of that this year.



A Fun Science Experiment With Jake


Jake spent the night last night.  We were looking for a fun activity bright and early this morning.  He had checked out a book of science experiments at the library a little while back, and decided that he wanted to do one of the experiments.  He looked through the book until he found one that seemed like it would be fun, and that Auntie had all the ingredients for.


Once we taped the spoon to the clothespin, and then down to the board, it was time to add the marshmallows.


It was very fun and satisfying and fun to fling the marshmallows from the spoon.  They flew everywhere.  He was very diligent to pick them up because it just felt so naughty to him to be throwing them around the room.


Pretty soon, Patsy came stumbling out to see what the fun was about. ¬†It wasn’t long before they discovered that given just the right “flick”, the marshmallows might land in the teacups. ¬†Or a dish. ¬†Or on the beautiful table runner my aunt made that I’d gotten out for the fall season. ¬†Pretty soon they were giving points to each other when the marshmallows landed in difficult cups, dishes, etc. ¬†They truly had a good time. ¬†They were laughing their heads off as they flung them around. ¬†Over and over and over.

I made sure to pack the experiment in his suitcase to take home.  I made sure his mother knew where he got it from.  After all, what are sisters for?

(Note: ¬†The book states that energy is stored up in the spring of the clothespin, and I add it is also stored in the flexible spoon. ¬†When it is released it makes the marshmallow fly up–I did say that several times during the process, but really….he just had fun!!!!)

Thriving In My Thrifty Week–October 21, 2018


It was our turn to feed the college-aged kids at church this week.  We made a giant sub sandwich, using a board Rob covered with foil.  We used 5 loaves of French bread, which were purchased for 88c/loaf at Winco.  We also found ham lunchmeat for $3.50 for 2 pounds!  We got 8 pounds and piled it on, along with a thin layer of cheese slices, put fancy toothpicks in it, cut it and lined up the pieces to look like one long sandwich.IMG_9545

We served chips, brownies, veggies and toppings for the kids to put on their sandwiches such as tomatoes, lettuce, olives, onions, etc. ¬†There was a gluten-free option on the other end, using Udi’s French bread and Krispie Treats. ¬†This meal was very well received. ¬†Alissa and Patsy helped me the night of the event, as Rob ended up staying home. ¬†We came in way below the budget and the kids were so appreciative as usual. They are fun to cook for!

This would be a very affordable idea for anyone who needs to have a party or other occasion to feed a large group. ¬†It’s fun, too. ¬†Even though it was a simple presentation, it made it feel special to the kids. ¬†I could tell by their comments.


I worked 3 different times, putting the garden to bed for the winter. ¬†I’m still not done, but am gaining on it. ¬†Now I need to make more pasta sauce and Salsa Verde with the tomatoes. ¬†The green ones are for the Salsa Verde.

Rob was able to till up a portion. ¬†I’m glad he did, since I cannot handle the large tiller. ¬†However, his bad hip does not allow him to do that kind of thing for very long. ¬†So, he did what he could, and will work on it again another time. ¬†He bought 20 bags of something to amend the soil a while back. ¬†I think it’s steer manure or garden compost. ¬†We need to get that on.


I didn’t need many groceries from the regular store this week, so we spent our money elsewhere. ¬†I got cauliflower from farm stands–2 at each place, since I took the last 2 at the first place. ¬†I also got 25 pounds of both onions and potatoes, and some hot peppers. ¬†It’s hard to believe we have eaten almost every single one of all those onions we grew and every single potato as well. ¬†I feel we grew so much in that garden, and feel great that we have used it so much. ¬†It did save a lot of money over the summer, and the preserved food will continue to bless us during the winter.


They were huge heads.  We ate a bunch, and I still got 16 quart-sized Ziplock bags full.


The family likes it cooked with a little cheese on top, or in cauliflower-cheese soup.  I have also made some things using it chopped up in the food processor (riced) to make things more low-carb.  I did make cauliflower pizza crust last winter.


Rob, I, Patsy and Alissa volunteered at the 4H bake sale on Saturday.  The girls especially enjoyed taking bins to the barns where there was a tack sale going on and selling the goods out there.  The 3 teams did very well.

Rob and I stayed back at the 4H building and helped package all the goods the clubs sent in. ¬†Alissa and I made caramel corn to bring and every bit of it sold, which is a good feeling. ¬†Patsy and Alissa made one batch of Muddy Buddies with Rice Chex right there at the sale, so the aroma would entice people to buy baked goods. ¬†When our shift was up at noon, almost all the baked goods were gone–a wonderful position to be in. ¬†The lady in charge was delighted. The sale continued for an hour or two after we left, but she figured they would run out, and she had someone coming in to buy anything that was left at the end. ¬†Several hundred dollars were made, but I don’t know the exact figure. ¬†100% of it will be used on 4H programs.


I think our extra-warm, dry spell is about over, but the Patsy and Jake decided to have one more water balloon fight this afternoon after church.  They got out popsicles, and Patsy filled up 20 water balloons.  Then they started the games, and throwing them back and forth.


We also went to the library on our way over here from church and Family Sunday dinner, and Jake and Patsy chose books and movies. ¬†Michaela was with us, but she didn’t want to go in, so Rob stayed in the car with her. She also didn’t want to do water balloons. ¬†That’s ok. ¬†She had fun in her own way. ¬† It was good to get the routine going again. ¬†We have had one family member or another gone on vacation for quite a while now, and have had various ones get sick, so have been unable to get the crew together very often lately. ¬†Hopefully, everyone will stay well now.

How did your week go? ¬†Did you save money in some way, or do something that fed your soul and made you feel like you were thriving? ¬†I’m expecting to have another busy, but good week.



Ja’Ana’s Graduation


We finally found a dress yesterday.  Whew!


At first, I wondered if it was too fancy, but she really wanted this one.  She looked so nice, and it fit in perfectly.  She was just right.  There were other girls with super fancy dresses, along with some who chose more casual attire.  She also got high heeled black shoes, but wore the white ones in the car and to the rehearsal.  Once she put those babies on, I felt even shorter than usual:)


And, then……She graduated!


IMG_7223¬† It’s nice to have another milestone achieved. ¬†Tonight, I’m going to chill for a while, then up and at ’em bright and early in the morning to cook, clean, shop and decorate for the big party on Saturday to celebrate with family and friends.

Memorial Day Rock Throwing and Fishing Trip, 2018


Memorial Day dawned sunny and bright, and our troops were up early so we could be on our way. ¬†REALLY EARLY! ¬†On Sunday afternoon, Jake came home with us so he could spend the night, and go with us today on our outing. ¬†I woke up in the night for a while, as I often do, and had just settled down to sleep when I heard a big thump. ¬†I asked Rob what that was, and he replied in his sleepy voice that he had not heard anything. ¬†I went to check on Jake, and sure enough, he was clambering back onto the couch where he sleeps, after falling out of bed. ¬†I tucked him back in, and told him good night, none of which he remembered in the morning. ¬†At 6 a.m., he was up and raring to go, so therefore, so was I:). We did the morning things….reading out loud, getting him rice milk, finding clothes, etc. ¬†I wanted to make him bagels, but I had none. ¬†I wanted to make him toast, but the bread was moldy. ¬†I finally settled on a stale hot dog bun, which I toasted, and he ate. ¬†I grabbed some food and threw it in a cooler, Rob gathered chairs and fishing supplies and drinks, all the while being asked if we could leave yet. ¬†Jake rousted both Patsy and Ja’Ana out of bed and harassed them until they got into the car, then fussed because he didn’t have as much room as he wanted in the back seat. ¬†Finally, we were on our way.

We stopped in a small town on the way up Hwy 22, to buy Ja’Ana a fishing license, and to grab hash browns at McDonald’s, which Jake gratefully ate as well. The juvenile fishing license is a great deal–only $10, because she is not quite 18.


When we got to Detroit Dam, I asked Rob to stop.  We did not know you could drive over it, so Jake, Patsy and I jumped out and started walking across, admiring all of the people fishing along the edge and the spectacular view. Rob quickly figured out that you could drive across and began following us.


An extremely kind young man noticed Jake’s interest, and ¬†called him over. ¬†He had a fish on, and let Jake reel it in! ¬†That was so nice of him. ¬†Jake loved it!


The rock and pine cone collecting and throwing commenced immediately on the other side of the dam:)

We drove up past the little town of Detroit, and went to the other side of the lake. ¬†We did not understand the the federal campsites over there were being run by another organization, and they wanted to charge us an additional fee, besides the one we had already paid for our federal forest pass. ¬†So, we decided to just drive around the lake, find our own spot, and settle down there. ¬†Sounds easy, doesn’t it? ¬† It wasn’t quite that simple:)


We saw lots and lots of trees.  We saw beautiful wildflowers.  We saw rocks, bushes, and miles and miles of gravel road.  We saw many, many little forest service road numbers, but only 1 sign that actually told us where to go.  We turned around and backtracked when our road ran out.  In the middle of it all, there was pavement, and we were excited, until it suddenly turned back to gravel.  We saw many people camping, several vehicles, including pickups pulling trailers (not me on that road!!!!), and a sheriff, so we knew the road went somewhere.  I had cell service for part of the time, so could check our location from time to time.  IF I had trusted myself, we would have ended up back at the lake.  I chose to follow the sign instead.  After all, it was a sign.  The only sign.

13 miles later, we had climbed up and over a ridge, and emerged at what could only be called a convergence of roads, all with signs stating road numbers, declaring that we were to “SHARE THE ROAD” and that it was a scenic hi way. ¬†But, no direction at all as to which direction we should go, where we were heading, or anything else useful. ¬†We chose to turn left because it felt right to both of us, but truthfully, we were not sure. ¬†The road was paved, it went downhill, and we did emerge again at HWY 22. ¬†19 miles east of Detroit Lake. ¬†Really. ¬†19 miles and a couple of hours later, we were right back where we had turned off in the first place. ¬† Exactly. The. Same. Spot. ¬†But, we really experienced the wilderness, and I truly thank the Lord that the kids all fell asleep in the back seat after the first little bit of those bumpy, winding, skinny, cliff-skirting, roads.


After stopping at the Oregon State Park, and being directed by an extremely helpful ranger, we went to this spot. ¬†Jake woke up, and the throwing and fishing commenced again. ¬†He threw in everything he could find, then settled down to “catch a fish,”

15 minutes later, he had one.  He caught it all by himself, but would not touch it, or pose with it for a picture.  He did, however, take it home to his mother, which really threw her for loop, not wanting to clean it at all.  Being the good mother that she is, she accepted it, and the one J caught, and will cook them up.


Ja’Ana caught one, too, and we were fortunate to have them, according to both the ranger, and the young men who were at the little park we were at. ¬†I guess fishing hasn’t been very good this weekend. ¬†We were delighted.


He was done fishing after catching that fish, and spent the afternoon wading with Patsy, having me read “Laura and Mary” and digging in the snack bags, and lunch pail for drinks and chips mostly.


Sometimes it took 2 hands to get all those chips in!


We saw many black swallow tail butterflies flittering around. ¬†The ducks were constantly landing on the water, sometimes right in front of us. ¬†The sun was shining, the wind was blowing, and people were happy. ¬†It was a great day, and we took a dirty, tired, but not very hungry boy back home, and handed him over to his mom! ¬†Chips are very filling;) ¬†Of course, we included the most special rock, 2 large walking sticks, and the fish. ¬†We wouldn’t want him to leave his treasures in the car.IMG_0285

He already spent the day talking about when we can go camping again. ¬†I’ll bet he’ll be asking to go fishing again before long. ¬†I know we want to!