Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Crater Lake

 I probably took like about 12 million pictures on our one night camping excursion to Crater Lake.  I am telling you this so that you won't think it excessive that I chose to include so many of them in this post.  I really do want to remember it because it was one of those perfect, beautiful moments that have happened in Rigby history.  I asked the girls to pick out our camp meal and of course they chose hot dogs. 
 The campsite was beautiful.  It came with its own bear box to store food in.  It worked out nicely because Rocky and Daisy thought it was so interesting that they basically did all the getting out and putting away of food.  I have been thinking about getting one installed in our kitchen so that I can get a little bit of help.  Actually at home they are already quite adept at pulling foods out but not so good at putting them away. 
 The first night we hiked to see the Pillars and to a waterfall.  The Pillars are these tall rock things that were made somehow when the volcano erupted.  (How is that for ignorance?)

 I took this picture of Rocky and Rosy sitting on the log because there is one thing that stands out clearly as hardest part about hiking together as a family.  
 Her name is Daisy.  She is darling and wonderful and so very, very slow.  She dawdles all day long whether we are at home trying to get ready for school or at the playground.  It seems that when we are hiking her ability to move at a snail's pace is amplified.
 Brandon says that it is the only way in her life that she can ever have control of the situation.  It was lucky that my mom taught the others the Pokey Bear song so that they have something to sing while we are waiting for her to make her way down the path.  She is no fool though because in the end Brandon will usually go back for her and she steals her one-on-one time with him.

 I get so grumpy and tired trying to run everything around the house that sometimes it feels like it has been weeks since I actually looked at these children.  When we were out camping though, I couldn't help but realize how special they all are.  I mean seriously, have you ever seen such cute sleepy faces?

 You should never cross a bridge without stopping to make sure that there aren't any trolls underneath.  Nobody really had a plan for what to do if there was one, but it is better to check because nobody wants to miss out on an adventure.

Crater Lake is incredible.  I have seen a lot of pictures but it is worth it to go out there and see it with your own eyes.  It is huge and every color of blue that has ever existed.  To risk a complete cliche, it actually took my breath away when I got my first look.

Since the Riglets were severely disappointed that they couldn't swim in the frigid Crater Lake we ended up stopping at Waldo Lake on the way home.  There they were lucky to spot the most adorable little frog.  They also took our yacht out for a spin.  
I can already see a concerned bystander ready to castigate the terrible parenting of sending them out without life jackets, but then I will redeem myself by showing them this.

 It was just deep enough to float.  The water was perfectly clear and deliciously cold.  It couldn't have been nicer.

 We finished up with a hike and then it was clearly time to head for home. 
If someone isn't crying then you know you haven't succeeded in having a ridiculous amount of family bonding.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Eugene Celebration

 It feels like every year the Eugene parade gets better and better.  The first year Brandon and I were sitting there by ourselves and as the time has passed we have been able to experience this yearly tradition with friends.  Even though this particular parade would be entertaining even without great company, I still feel that it is only improved with friends to laugh with, and in the case of Abbey who is my kindred spirit, also to cry with. 
 Nobody ever understands why something like this
 could bring tears to my eyes.  I have heard that everyone is touched by different things and it is painfully obvious that one of my soft spots is community.  I can't help but get choked up when people come together to support each other, even if the cause is something weird.  I don't even know what this tree or the rolling couch are supporting but somehow it still just gets me.

And this guy, well, he was just amazing.

This next segment will be referred to as two non-related photos that just don't seem to fit in anywhere else.
I have almost this exact picture of Rocky making a mess out of my wallet.  All these years later and it is still incredibly annoying.  

 And for those of you who don't live close enough to enjoy the best planter box ever I thought I would include a picture.  It was made for Brandon by Matt and Kristin and I was too afraid to use it last year.  I was worried that it would be stolen.  This year I decided that I would take the risk because it wasn't doing any good hiding it's under the metaphorical bushel.  Now it has definitely let it's light shine.  We were doing pretty well working up in popularity in the red doors mostly because of Rocky just being herself, but since we put this out we have even been receiving nods from even the least social of our neighbors.  I am convinced that the basil is growing better because it feels so proud of its home. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Way Down is Better

 Laurie, Katie and I were running one morning and after double digit mileage decided that it would be a great idea to hike our kids up to the top of Spencer's Butte immediately afterward we finished.  It really was a great idea and we had a good time.  I was especially spoiled because Brandon carried Rosy basically the entire way.  The kids excelled in hiking as well as in striking amazing poses.

 We thought that since it was getting kind of close to lunch time that we would take the short cut down.  I need to say right at this moment that it was a legit short cut trail, we weren't just walking down the side of the mountain.  There was a small amount of time that we ended up on the runoff path which was pretty treacherous.  The trail is steep and dusty and while I was glad we hadn't gone up that way, going down ended up being super fun, mostly because almost all of us ended up falling on our bums and getting completely covered in dust.
 We made it down the trail just in time to be there for the last day of free lunch.  We went almost every day we were in Eugene.  We have these great friends from Peru and Adriana introduced me to some of her Spanish speaking friends.  I loved hanging out practicing my language skills.  The girls loved the fact that the lunches came in brown bags, and, of course, the chocolate milk.
 I kind of teared up when I had to say goodbye to the free lunch lady.  Hopefully I'll see her again next summer.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Back in the Hood

 There is never a dull moment around here.  After Jill left I figured we would just mooch around the house for a couple of days and let the girls (Daisy) get back into the groove of the slow life.  What we learned is that there is no such thing.  When you live in a place like this there is always something happening.  Like when we walked out and Yan was opening up clams and finding the meat, and also little live mini crabs that the girls could play with. 
 They have also gotten into the habit of turning outside time into Wrestle Fest 2014.

 I know I already have about a hundred of these jammy shots but I just can't resist.  Who couldn't pull out a camera when bedtime brings out the snuggliest of the snuggly.
 We headed to Detering's Orchard to pick some peaches.  My girls managed to walk into an entire lot of peach trees and pick the least ripe fruit they could find.  I tell you this much, next time we do the picking ourselves they will be more closely monitored.  Actually, next time I'll just let them play at the playground and buy the ones that are already picked. 

 Daisy's face was a preview of the one I made when I tasted one of those peaches. 
 I love these kids.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Good Times With Jill Bug

 I thought I would celebrate the birth of my favorite sister by finally posting all the picture that I took while she was here with us in Eugene.  Unfortunately for me it just made me feel depressed that she doesn't live here permanently.  She earned Sainthood by making the mini-van trek between my two homes.  Anyone who knows me is not surprised that I can talk for 13 hours straight, but anyone who knows Jill may be surprised.  It was awesome.  We talked about everything, and by that I mean every single thing that either of us has ever thought or experienced.  Of course I have completely enjoyed making that drive with my wonderful husband but I did always wonder how it would go with someone who would converse with me across three states.  Let me just tell you a little secret, I loved every second of it.  Jill might not have felt the same because she was on kid-duty for a lot of the whiny hours.  She devised a game of hiding goldfish crackers in a DVD case that kept Rosy from wailing for several hours.  Once we got there she was rewarded for her sacrifice with a week of dealing with grumpy, dramatic girls who were missing their grandparents. 
There were a few moments of redemption though, one of which was the Whiteaker Block Party.  No camera in the world could catch the feeling of this place.  I imagine that it is similar to being at Burning Man but with a little bit more clothing.  She also got to be there for the first episode of Bachelor in Paradise with the Hot Mamas which is a lot more fun that it sounds.

We also had a picnic on the beach that coincided with a ridiculous amount of wind.  Luckily we were able to hunker down in the last remaining driftwood shelter in Florence.  The Spaghetti salad that we hauled in our cooler still tasted great even with a little bit of sand flavoring.

 Something about this picture makes me think of Moses. 
 It was freezing cold and absolutely beautiful. 
 We went to the Cascades Raptor Center and saw a lizard...and some birds.

 I took advantage of Jill's greenhouse experience this past summer and made her help me harvest my potatoes.  They were the only plant that really took off this year.  We got a lot of peas early in the summer and yesterday I picked a strawberry that managed to grow, but other than a bunch of squash blossoms the potatoes are basically it.

 This made it possible to fulfill my dream of making purple mashed potatoes.
 And the Grand Finale was the Scandinavian Festival which has taken us 6 years to finally attend.  It was amazing.  I wanted to eat something from every single booth but we ran out of money.
 When I look at this picture of the gates I can see that I should have known that trouble was brewing.  The Rigby girls were partied out.  I knew that they were tired but I thought that buying some snacks from the vendors would cheer them up.  Boy was I wrong. 
 The more fun that Jill and I had the worse their moods got.
They would cheer up for a second or two immediately after eating something sugary, but then it would descend into a deeper funk.

Everyone was finally happy when we got the sno-cones.  I realize now that the problem was that we should have gotten three. Sharing a sno-cone on a hot afternoon just is a really evil thing for a parent to do.
Daisy got me back once we got into the car and she threw the one she was holding from the back seat of the van.  Her aim was better than I would have expected and it splattered all over the back of my head.  Bits of ice and sugar syrup flew all over.  I was completely shocked.  Daisy is usually a pretty even tempered kid.  It was like the sno-cone represented 4 years of holding back and it came out in one ugly act.  First everything went silent and then Jill and I just looked at each other and finally kind of burst out laughing.  I don't even know what you can do when your kid throws a sno-cone at your head.  This is serious business.  We drove in a weird, tense silence until we got to the airport where we said goodbye to Jill.  I really wanted to get on the plane with her and give up on parenting forever.  When we got home I sent Daisy to her room and she fell asleep for 5 hours.  When she woke up she just kind of shrugged her shoulders about the whole thing.  We moved on.
I sent a text to my mom that said, "Sorry that Jill for sure won't want to give you any more grandchildren after spending so much time with my kids."
Before her plane took off she sent me this picture.

That is when I realized that she really understands what it is like having children.  You just forget the crap and remember how sweet they all were for that one moment.
I love living in this place but I just wish that I got to hang out more with my sister.  She is the best.