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Friday, July 06, 2007

Summer Vacation

We started off in Richland. Our godson was being baptised, and we took the drive out there so we could be there and join in the festivities. Our first stop was at Michelle's work, as they were having a gigantic company picnic. We had grilled salmon, pasta salad, coleslaw, rolls, corn and ice cream. The kids were excited to be there, everyone enjoyed the food, and there were fun things for the children to do.

First we had to sign away our rights to our children, so they could play on the structures. Amira and Elijah played in the little jump house for at least an hour.

Dominic and Alexander got to ride horses for the first time. Oddly enough, the horse people didn't make us sign the waiver first. Well, we all know about how notorious those jump house injuries are, and really who gets hurt on horses?

After we finished up at the picnic, we headed to Arthur and Michelle's house. We stayed up too late talking, catching up, laughing and eating. Early in the morning, Michelle's folks and sister came. I haven't seen Andrea since Elijah and Amira were baptised, three years ago, and I think it's been longer since I saw their parents. Her folks see me as one of the kids, though, so they were buying us pizza and ice cream and refusing to let us pay like somehow we might blow our after school job money. It was very sweet. They adored our children, of course, and played grandparents to them. Since our children know a good thing when they see it, they milked it for all it was worth. Another friend from high school happened to be in the area with her husband, and they came by for the day and for the baptism the next day as well. It was like a mini-reunion of sorts.

Saturday night, Matt gave his testimony, and they had a kind of examination of the candidate. Nerves aside, Matt was glad to be doing it, and he spoke well. Sunday morning was the big day, and his baptism was a splash. Get it? Splash? I crack myself up. I have pictures, but I haven't asked Arthur and Michelle, or Matt if it's alright to post them, so that will have to wait.

Well, you know I can't go somewhere without checking out their yarn shops, so I did. Matt knew of one that was about 12 blocks from their house, so I put Jerome in the snuggli and took a walk with the credit card. I actually didn't buy much. I needed a 16" circular needle, because I had left the one I needed at home, and I picked up a skein of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock and two skeins of Patons Soy Wool Stripes. However, I really need to plug Knitty Gritty Yarns in Richland, WA. Her shop wasn't large, but it was well organized, friendly, there was a table in the front for classes and people stopped by to knit and chat, and the owner was so nice. In the back section of the shop, there was a play area with little chairs and soft cushions, toys and books. It was clearly designed so moms could shop comfortably and the children could be occupied. She took a lot of care in the layout and feel of the place.

We left Richland Monday, and I've already told you about our dinner on the way home. That was Rich and Dominic's birthday, and Tuesday was when I did their birthday dinner at home. We gave Dominic his presents at the park in Richland before we left, so he had some fun things to look at and do in the car on the way home. So, for dinner at home, I made lasagna, salad and Italian bread. We had a banana cake with lemon-cream cheese frosting for dessert. Dominic picked the meal and the cake, because we let birthday people pick their meals. Rich has very willingly given up the right to this, because obviously birthdays matter to little people more. Speaking of birthdays, mine is in 18 days. Just, you know, reminding you, in case you forgot.

Where was I? Oh yes, back home. We cleaned up from our family party, and did lots of laundry and got ready to leave again. This time for Eugene. We took the long way there, though, stopping at my BIL's new house in Vancouver first, for dinner, then at Rich's folks' in Gresham to spend the night. On Friday, we drove down to Eugene, making a stop at Rich's grandparents' in Salem. After lunch with them, we made it the rest of the way to Eugene. A friend was waiting for us with dinner, and nice beds for us and the children. We pretty much crashed at her place, and got up to meet with one of my virtual friends at Black Sheep. Michelle was lots of fun, and her children were sweet. We stayed together as a group long enough to see the spinning wheels, and live chinchillas. Which I now want. The boys hit it off right away, and went to see the animals with Rich and Amira, and her daughter stayed with us mamas, to see all the booths. They were a delight, and it was so fun to spend time with someone who loved all this fiber stuff as much as I do.

We saw so much that was pretty and interesting, but one of my favorite things there was this:

Everything, including the rocks, branch, everything, is needle felted. I was impressed. My photo doesn't do it justice. Of course, I bought a lot of yarn.

After spending the morning at Black Sheep, we went to lunch at Track Town Pizza. We had a nice drive through campus, and I showed the kids a lot of places Rich and I used to go, and places I used to hang out in while I was in college. We went to the potluck at Black Sheep and came home to rest for the baptism the next day.

Mike and Rachelle came down from Corvallis with Kyrie, they left Ben with his grandmother, to be the godparents for Jerome. They actually took a trip to her parents, just so they could come and be godparents for Jerome. They left Olympia on Saturday, went to Eugene on Sunday, back to Corvallis and home on Sunday night. Rich's folks came down with our niece, Kayla, from Portland. The service was beautiful. Fr. Bryce gave a wonderful sermon, and it was a joy to celebrate this new member of God's family with the man who married us.

Jerome had been playing with the cat's dish at our friend's house, and we kept moving him away from it. So, when he got to put his hands in the font, and nobody stopped him, he was thrilled and was perfectly behaved for the entire baptism.

We were so happy to have Mike and Rachelle there, sharing in our joy and promising to help teach and guide Jerome in the faith. I wish I had a picture with Mike in it, but the only one we had was the side of his face. This was during the prayers over the newly baptised.

This was during the peace.

Our trip didn't end there, however. Rich's folks took our older four back with them to Portland, and Rich and I took Jerome with us to lunch with Fr. Bryce and his wife, plus our friend who took us in for the weekend. We went to a nice Thai place and had a great time. From there, we drove down to Klamath Falls, where our priest and his wife had reserved us a place at a resort so we could take a rest and have a little time to ourselves. We explored the lake, the farmland around town and a little bit of downtown Klamath Falls. And I bought yarn. Of course. Jerome even let us sleep in, so we were pretty well rested. The drive from Eugene to Klamath Falls is beautiful (take 58 to 97 rather than I-5), and the weather was perfect. We headed home rested and more relaxed. We got to Rich's folks pretty late at night, crashed and slept in as much as we could and gathered everyone to go home the next day.

We've kind of been recovering ever since, because we have had cleanup and organizing and then a holiday and now houseguests coming, but it was a lovely trip and so much fun. Which is good, because it doesn't look like we'll be travelling much the rest of the year. Everyone is coming to us from here on out. We have Arthur, Michelle and Matt coming this weekend, my friend Lisa coming a couple days later with her son and it looks like one of my cousins and his family coming in the next month. We're hoping to talk another cousin with her family to come this December, too.

So, that's it. That's what we did for our summer vacation. The rest of the summer looks pretty busy too, but should be lots of fun.

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