Tag Archives: beach

Homeschool Outdoor School–August, 2019

I have been planning an outdoor school experience for Patsy for a few weeks. When Jake heard she was going camping and doing school, he insisted on some school, too:). He was always going camping—he loves it so much. So, along with the notebook I was making for Patsy to do, I had to make one for Jake, too. For his, I had Rob run off some word searches from the internet, and let him do those. I planned lots of fun, outdoor activities, as well, along with “messy” crafts that were perfect for doing outside.

Here’s where the big surprise came in…..I wrote the date down wrong. Really, I did! So, we woke up on Saturday and I leisurely asked Rob to look up which campsite we had, just for fun, and YIKES! we were due down there at the coast that day!!! I called my sister to see if Jake could go with us earlier than we had planned, so they packed him up, came over and helped us get ready and hustled us off on our adventure.

The very first day, there was a ranger program about agates. Rob took the kids down to it and they were hooked! The ranger gave them each 2 agates and they spent hours hunting for more down on the beach in 3 different places. On the 3rd beach we tried, they finally found some. They were excited.

Patsy did bookwork each morning, like language arts, Bible, math, and science. Jake did a few word finds. I read aloud to both of them, mostly things Patsy needed to hear for school–good for them both. I also read a beloved Boxcar Children book to Jake in the evenings. In the afternoons, we did fun activities.

Patsy had chosen 2 simple cooking projects to do on the trip. One was trail mix …

and the other one was Camping Haystacks–mostly a can of chili on top of Fritos with some salad toppings. She loved it! I mean, who wouldn’t want chips for the main part of dinner, right?

Patsy and I went clamming and caught nothing. Jake and Rob did not walk out with us, but instead, Jake dug for gold. He did not find any gold, either, but he made it clear that if he had found any, it was, and I quote, “ALL MINE!”

The weather was amazing. It was in the upper 80’s (or warmer) most of the time. There was wind or a breeze frequently. I heard we escaped some awfully hot weather back in the valley. In this picture, we had gone for a drive and stopped to feed some seagulls.

Patsy and I took a few walks. I have been working on training our dog— if she pulls, the “Haltie” on her nose (black leash) tightens on her nose, which she doesn’t like. If she isn’t pulling, I let her run on the blue leash and let the other one hang loosely. I only tighten the black one if she pulls. I have no idea if anyone else does it that way, but it’s working well. She managed to walk calmly through the entire campground full of dogs and children without going ballistic by the end of the time. I’m starting to take her places with more and more people and animals, and she’s not comfortable, in fact shivering and shaking on the crowded beach one day, but I want her to get used to it.

We read books about fall and decorated fall cookies. I had hoped to bake them before we went, but with our hasty departure I couldn’t, so I had to make them in the camper. It worked, but the oven isn’t the best. Of course, this activity was geared for Jake, but no one argues with cookies around here.

Patsy did another craft..a coconut oil-brown sugar scrub. They both folded some origami animals as well, and decorated sunglasses with duct tape. They had a lot of squirt gun fights.

The tree was a favorite perch all week.

Our other nephew came down the last night after he finished work. Jake immediately roped him into game playing. We had a great visit, although short, and we all headed back to the valley the next morning.

I had Rob develop some pictures of our activities and we put them into a notebook for each kid so they would have good memories to keep about their fun outdoor school.

I am very satisfied with the fact that we are now most of the way through the first 4 weeks of school with Patsy. I hope to finish week 4 today. I love getting started in August. It will give me more leeway during the year when I get super busy. I also love the fact that we could take school on the road, get a lot done, but still have so much time to enjoy the outdoors. It took a lot of planning and a lot of supplies for so many crafts and hands-on activities, but I love to do that.

On Wednesday, the weather started to change. I enjoyed the cooler weather, and came home Thursday to a city that was considerably cooler than it has been, which was a relief. I gave a happy, sun-tanned boy back to his daddy and he’s going to spend the next couple of days snuggling with his mama. I’m going to put the house back together, can up some applesauce and start working outside in the garden and yard a bit over the next few days. Things are quite messy after 2 trips away, but then again, the work will always be here. Little boys and teen-age girls won’t.

Our Adventure: A Trip Up The Rogue River and Beach–August, 2019–Part 2

After riding on the boat all day last Sunday, we travelled to Bandon by the Sea, a town about an hour from the town where the boat was.

We served out a quick dinner of tacos. I had pre-cooked the beans and meat and the rest was quickly put together. It was all devoured! Everyone was starving.

The next morning, Rob and I made pancakes, eggs, fried ham, and fruit. Patsy got a pancake shaped like a fish. It was a complete accident, but she really liked it! We decided it was a perfect beach breakfast;)

Most of us went to the West Coast Wildlife Game Park. It was a place where the kids could pet animals. There were also lots of big cats in cages. Michaela loves those more than anything. This trip was especially for her, but all the kids enjoyed themselves.

That took until early afternoon. We returned to the beach house for lunch and the kids played down on the beach. Then, a dinner of spaghetti was enjoyed, and we dropped into bed. On Tuesday, it was time to make the long journey home after a quick breakfast of muffins and cereal.

My sister decided we’d had enough cooking, and treated us all to lunch at Mo’s. Yum! I hadn’t eaten there for quite some time and enjoyed it very much.

We returned home late in the day, tired, but very happy and full of wonderful memories to cherish for years to come.

Our Adventure: A Trip Up the Rogue River and A Beach Trip–August, 2019–Part 1

We just returned from a big adventure, complements of my sister. She should have been a travel guide…..She planned the trip out to the last minute, got all the accommodations and tickets, and arranged everything. It was amazing. Here’s what we did.

Months ago, she had purchased tickets for the play, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” up at the Keller Auditorium in Portland (Oregon). It was for my birthday present, and started at 2 p.m. on Saturday. We had a wonderful time. It was so well done. I loved it!

When planning the trip, she found the beach house she wanted to rent was only available on this past weekend, the same weekend as the play. She also wanted to go ride the jet boats that go from Gold Beach, Oregon, up the Rogue River 52 miles and back down again. So, we needed to leave on Saturday to make all of that happen. The play caused us to get a late start.

I was in charge of the meals for everyone. Everyone included: My sister, Gail, 3 of her children, myself, Rob and Patsy, and a friend, Debbie, and her 7 children. Jake and his big sister, Caitlyn, came on Sunday night, as he doesn’t do well on boats. So, I packed a picnic for 13 to eat in the cars on the road. We pulled into the hotel around 12:30 a.m. Sunday morning. It’s a distance from here, and we didn’t leave until early evening.

The hotel included breakfast the next morning, which we enjoyed tremendously. The kids loved the waffles with the heart shapes in the center. Rob and I packed a large picnic for the 13 of us who where going on the boats, plus drinks, while the rest of the crew enjoyed the hotel swimming pool. Then, we were off for our 11:30 departure time.

Rob really, really wanted to do this trip. In fact, he declared to Gail (my sister) that he would crawl into the boat if he had to, when the subject was first brought up. He had to!

It was so worth it to him!

At the 2 rest stops, they sent a van down a steep hill to drive him (and us) up to the top, where we could use the restrooms and at lunch time, eat our picnic.

I had a blast, too! My little friend, Delaney, fell asleep between Rob and I on the way back. It was super funny because we were getting splashed with large amounts of water going down the rapids. We tried to shield her the best we could with a blanket that was for that purpose, but in the process, I was absolutely soaked. It was dripping off my hair and down my face. Some got on her, too. Through it all, she never woke up. The people behind us (and us) kept looking down and asking if she woke up, and each time the answer was “no.” Pretty soon, we were all in gales of laughter as each new wave of water doused us, and the child still slept. I guess she was tired:). When she was good and ready, she woke up and enjoyed the rest of the ride.

We saw so much beautiful scenery. There was a lot of wildlife. We saw ducks, egrets, osprey, a bald eagle, otters, deer, and a seal or sea lion–not sure which, and more.

There were a couple balancing on various small rocks. The boat driver was very skilled and got us up pretty close to this one.

We were on the water for around 6-1/2 –7 hours. We went the 104 miles, and had 2 stops. We went from the cool, balmy coast to the dry, scorching hot interior, and back down to the cooler coast once again. The driver did a great job of cooling us off with water when it was hot, and keeping us dry when it wasn’t. Running the rapids was fun. We all had a blast.

We got back into the vehicles, handed each kid a granola bar, and headed an hour north to the town of Bandon.

It was pretty late by the time we arrived, but I had dinner all planned and it didn’t take long to get it on the table. I had taco meat and refried beans premade and they were warmed up. Tortillas, garden tomatoes, lettuce and pre-shredded cheese were put out, along with a Costco bag of corn chips and some salsa. Every scrap was devoured.

Our Monday was very full of fun, as well. I’ll continue writing about our trip tomorrow in Part 2, as this post is getting pretty long, and there’s lots more to tell.

Thriving In My Thrifty Week—March 24, 2019

This week, one of Patsy’s new daffodils bloomed! This past fall, she planted a few special ones amongst the yellow ones she planted the first fall we moved in here. We didn’t buy many, and they were from Winco, so I was hoping we would get a nice one or two. We were not disappointed. I notice there is another one like it about to bloom, too! Hopefully, they will multiply in time as well as the yellow ones do.

We finally got some seeds planted, and just today a few broccoli plants have popped up.

We camped for 3 nights at the beach, using the park pass. We enjoyed some exceptionally nice weather, for the Oregon coast. Patsy and I took 2 nice walks and she collected rocks. Our second walk was abruptly terminated when a sneaker wave filled my rubber boots. Then, we got a lot of cheap entertainment trying to dry out the boots:). And me! Rob made a contraption from duct tape and boards and we propped them up on that until the duct tape gave out and they collapsed. Then, he rigged up a paper plate between the 2 boots, put that over the heater in the camper, and conducted the air into each boot that way. We didn’t want to set rubber boots right on top of a heater vent. We wanted the heat to go inside. By last night, they were about dry.

We enjoyed our camp spot. We got near enough to the ocean that we could see it from the door of our camper when it was not blocked by another camper–so part of the time. It was a short walk to the beach from our site and was easy to see–I walked a few steps and soaked in the beauty a few times. Rob made a big fire, and he and Patsy sat by it a lot. They played cards. Rob roasted things over the fire. I had pre-cooked some things, cooked a lot of veggies and made salads in the camper.

I have a quilt that I started 15-20 years ago. Yes. Really. That long. It has lived in the camper for a few years now because sometimes that was the only time in an entire year I could find the time to quilt. This trip, I really made some progress on it while Patsy watched some DVD’s. We’ve been taking Mr. Jake camping the past few times, and there’s no quilting to be done when that boy is there! After all, how could I quilt with the table covered with Legos? :). This time, he’s on vacation with his family. He will get a turn later in the summer.

I finally have hope that this quilt may someday get finished. It took me quite a while to even figure out what needed to be done and find the parts and pieces, but once I did, the project started moving along. Everything still seems to be there so far!

I worked on my current quilt at home quite a bit this week as well, before we went camping. I have only 1 more 6″ square to complete of the 20 needed for the main body. Then, there is quite a bit more to do to make it larger–there are going to be 2 special rows down below, plus borders all around, but I’m really gaining on it.

We drove back this morning so Patsy could go on her Spring Break Service Project with the youth group. It’s just a couple of days long, but we didn’t want her to have to miss it.

Patsy has an interest in rocks, shells, and fossils. We found this interesting fossil-filled rock on one of our walks. She also collected 2 small rocks with fossils in them. We will hopefully see many more when we go back down to the beach. Last year, Rob and one of his best friends took her on a rock-hunting expedition. Maybe this will turn into a nice hobby for her–time will tell.

How did your week go?

Thriving in My Thrifty Week–September 9, 2018

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Down at the coast again–crazy, I know!  We took one last quick trip camping at the beach this weekend.  We were fortunate enough that Lovana had the ability to get time off and go along, so we took her down there.  She hasn’t been able to go at all this summer until now.  It was a whirlwind trip, and we are back home already.  Because I knew we were going again, I was able to leave a lot of things in the fridge of the camper last week. I left clothing enough in there for this time, and things like my embroidery were also just left in there.  After we returned this afternoon, we really cleaned it out of perishable things and things I would want.  I’m also going to wash some bedding, and actually got in the bunkhouse where the girls sleep while we were down there, and cleaned out a lot of cluttery things and wiped off the window ledges, etc.  That’s not necessarily frugal, but it counts as a feel-good moment, for sure:)

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We went clamming in Yaquina Bay, where Patsy skunked me–getting 11 clams while I only got 5, and mine were smaller:). We just cleaned and froze them, and another meal of clam chowder is on the horizon in the future.  Rob went down with us, and he did get one.  It was a different kind, and he dug for it in a different area while we were raking for ours out further.

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Before we left on Friday afternoon, we had a busy, productive week.  Patsy started school, and Rob and I worked many, many hours with the kids, as they are now on vacation and we will not work with them this week at all.  We got the chore routine going, by having the kids do them several days this week.  Rob took Michaela to her volunteering.  I took her to the zoo on Jake’s first day of school.  She had so much fun.  We went to the tigers 3 times, some other things twice, and skipped several animals entirely.  A cheetah decided to sit down by the viewing window, and Michaela sat there for at least 15-20 minutes, just enjoying the big cat.  I took food with us, and we re-filled the 2 water bottles purchased at the zoo in years past.  If you take the time to wash them and bring them back, they will re-fill them with soda for $1.   We also got one order of fries for us girls to share. (J went with us.). I used our zoo pass for admission.  It was a frugal, fun day.  It was so nice to have a relaxing day after all the canning I had been doing before and after watching the kids.

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I pre-cooked and prepared some of our food for camping so it would be easy while we were there.  I made it super easy, and just used the jarred sauce and didn’t even add meat this time.  We used up parmesan cheese packets that I’d had in a ziplock for ages.  They were from when the older girls ordered pizza at some point.  Lovana took us out to lunch yesterday.  It was a nice treat, and we ate the food I took the rest of the time.

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Before my sister’s family went on vacation, I was over there working with the kids.  My brother-in-law kindly offered me all the rest of the perishable food that would go bad while they were gone.  I got 2 sad bananas and made banana-coconut bread for the trip.  There was cilantro and 2 halves of white onion, so I added garden tomatoes and peppers and made Pico de Gallo.  There were corn chips in the camper, so we ate it with them.  There were some limes, so I juiced them out and froze the juice in tiny containers for when I have a recipe that calls for them, after I used what I needed for the Pico.  Rob saved them a fortune by taking them to the airport and he will pick them up.  Parking is quite expensive up at the airport.

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Rob made stuffed zucchini one night for dinner.  It was great, and a welcome meal after coming home from work.  The zucchini has slowed down to a nice level of production, and we enjoy having it in more moderate quantities.

My aunt passed a few tomatoes on to me, and I got 5 more pints with what I had on hand from my garden, plus hers.  I hope to get another small batch of pints this week, as well.  Little by little, I’m coming to the end of the canning season.  I still have a few more things I want to make, though, like salsa, salsa verde from the remaining green tomatoes once the season is over, maybe taco sauce if I can find a good recipe, some dried herbs, etc.   My focus is still on using the fresh items as much as possible while they are available, but we have started popping open a few jars.  That’s what they are for, and I’m glad to have them.

How did your week go?  Did you have any “feel-good” cleaning moments or save money in a creative way?