Outdoor Games

img_4071

Spring is getting closer!  We had a beautiful, sunny day today and it got me to thinking about outdoor activities the kids could do.  My nephew, Jake, figured out the first one on his own.  When we were getting our taxes, he found these perfect stepping stones and had a ball jumping from stone to stone across the area.  Those are the best kids of outdoor games, in my opinion, because they use imagination.

img_4073

Triumphant!  King of the Rock!!

img_4078

Patsy decided to set up the croquet in the soggy, soggy yard–boots are a necessity here in rainy, rainy Oregon!  It was good to get out some of the outdoor toys and games that have been stored away all winter.

img_4082

Jake loved it!  He also took the 1 badminton racket we got at a yard sale last weekend, and the birdies we purchased today, and hit the birdie around for a while.  I was throwing it to him, like one would a baseball, and he was trying to whack it back, as one would do to a baseball…..hmmmm….we are going to try to find another racket, for sure.

The kids also ate popsicles and blew bubbles.  After all, there were a few rays of sunshine!   I was very pleased to see them playing outside this afternoon.  It has been a record year for rainfall, and so they have been cooped up, playing Wii, reading, playing games, etc. more than I’d like.

When Jake’s mama shows up in a little while, I’m hoping he will be pleasantly tired, and ready for a quiet evening at home.  His big sister, Michaela, participated in a Special Olympics basketball tournament today, so he stayed the night, and hung around with us today.  We had a lot of fun!

 

Winter Hike on the McKenzie River Trail

img_0708

This is a guest post by Ja’Ana and Alissa.

On President’s Day, we took a hike with our youth group.  We drove east of Salem on Hwy 126 towards Sisters.  We passed Detroit Lake, and then went to the McKenzie River trails.  We could not park in the parking lot because there was too much snow, so we parked on the side of the road.

img_0707

The trail led us down a pretty easy path towards 2 waterfalls.  The thing that made it harder was that there was snow on and around part of the trail.

img_0699

At times, we hiked above the river and there were steep drop-offs.  There was a part where we could see the railing, and parts where it was buried by snow.   Where we were hiking over snowdrifts, we had to follow the beaten path.  If we got to one side or the other, we sunk through the snow.  The more we got into the snow, the colder and wetter we got.

We took lunches in our backpacks and enjoyed them at the second waterfall.

In all, we hiked for about 2-1/2 hours, and went in to 2 waterfalls and back again.  We think that during the summer, this hike could have been made much quicker because it would have been easier.

img_1307

Once we got back into the vans, we soon warmed up and made our way home.  It was a fun, eventful day and we are glad we went.

img_0709

 

Late Winter Sunset

img_4033

A couple of evenings ago, I enjoyed a gorgeous sunset from my sister’s deck, overlooking the Willamette River in Oregon.

img_4030

I really was breath-taking, even more lovely than these pictures can relate.

Winter is starting to wane, although it’s been a severe one with lots of snow and ice, for our part of Oregon.  I’m looking forward to spring, but don’t want to miss one moment of beauty that winter offers, either.  I’m glad  I don’t have to.

Icy Again–Really?

img_4014

This winter just keeps on coming!  Here, in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, we don’t see very much icy wintry weather very often.  This year is an exception!  Last night, we were treated with another round of freezing rain.  I guess Rob won’t be barbecuing today!

This batch of precipitation is supposed to quickly turn to regular rain and should be melted off by tonight.  School was not cancelled where we live, although a 2-hour delay would have been nice.  Rob had to drive in it to where he catches the school bus with a little boy who needs guidance on the bus.  He made it fine, but left super early to ensure that he could drive slowly.  Our deck was treacherous, to put it mildly, and the cars were covered with ice.  He drove a longer way that avoided hills, to avoid slippery slopes.

img_4013

The grass was crunchy when I walked out to take pictures.

img_4011

It’s beautiful, but dangerous!  I’m ready for spring, but there’s a lot of winter left…..So, I’ll enjoy it while it’s here.