Tuesday, November 2, 2010

June Flashback: Lost Lake Camping Trip

There are many things I just won't be posting about because 5 months later (actually over 7 months by the time this post gets done), they just don't seem as important as they did at the time.

But our family camping trip at Lost Lake is not one of them. We had been planning this trip for over a year. We have very little time in the summer to ourselves due to the time that Jared spends with the young men preparing and going on High Adventure. It comes down to about one camping trip a year for us and Lost Lake was it for 2010, the week after the kids got out of school.

In the 4 years we've been employed in Oregon, the kids and I have never been anywhere near Mt. Hood. So this was going to be a fun new adventure.

It was a darn good thing we had the suburban by this point. Even still, we had to remove one of the seats in the back to make room. And we didn't take our own firewood like we were planning. We have yet to get a rack for the roof so we can use our car topper. That would have helped. We were packed to the gills.

A view of Mt. Hood as we ventured off the beaten path to the Lost Lake campground. We took the scenic route and there were times when it was so scenic Jared was wondering if we weren't lost ourselves.

Karcyn's motto for the trip: "This is the life." She kept saying it over and over from the moment we arrived.

We really liked the campsites at Lost Lake. They were clean and spacious--we had spots to put 3 tents--and it felt like you were the only ones there. The trees are so thick, you can't see the next campsite. Not to mention they were a bargain!

There's a 3.2 mile loop around the Lake and you can fish anywhere you can find a spot. We took the kids fishing the first night.

They all hooked fish, but only Jake got one in.

And no camping trip is complete with out card games.

Day 2:
Nothing like hot chocolate and a warm fire in the morning.

Jake working on some of his Webelos requirements.

More fishing. Jared forgot his fishing license so he couldn't fish, but the little kids could.

Success for Cooper!!

Can't stop now...

Success for Karcyn! She loved waiting for the fish to bite and then hooking it and reeling it in, but man, she didn't want to have anything to do with the fish once it came out of the water!

Eagerly waiting for dad to get her pole and bobber ready for the next go around.

Our little pyromaniac.

Basking in the sun...the first sunny week we had in a long time.

Rowing out on Lost Lake to find Mount Hood.

Found it!

The view from the lake was spectacular. In fact, some of the best shots of Mt. Hood are taken from Lost Lake.

Calvin enjoying his freedom in the rowboat.

This is what Karcyn thought of the boat ride out on the lake. She missed the whole thing. Catching fish sure takes a lot out of ya.

What I didn't get a picture of (because we videotaped it instead) was of Jake and Cooper jumping out of the boat into the FREE.ZING. water and swimming back to shore when we got closer. Jake was a total polar bear and did it. Cooper slid tentatively over the side of the boat (instead of just jumping in to get it over with) getting only halfway in...and got his breath taken away and panicked because it was so cold! In his panicking he all but tipped the whole rowboat over! We finally got him up the side and into the boat and into his towel. He was not happy about that experience. Jake was too cold to talk at the shore, but nothing that some dry clothes and a warm fire couldn't fix.

Here we are eating our yummy Mountain House dinners. Though, according to our ward's young men who ate Mountain House on their 50 mile backpacking High Adventure trek in the Eagle Cap Mountains, if that's all you have to eat for two meals a day for a week, the very sight of those pouches are enough to make you hurl. What I didn't notice until I took that picture is the mountain logo ON the pouch. That looks an awful lot like Mt. Hood from the Lost Lake side. Pretty cool. Considering these meals are manufactured in Oregon, I'm guessing that's our Lake view of Mt. Hood.

Later in the evening, Jared took the boys out on the boat to go fishing as they made their way back to the dock to return the boat. I stayed behind with the little ones and we made s'mores before leaving to go pick up the fishermen.

When they got back, Jared took Karcyn fishing all by herself. After cleaning up and getting Calvin ready for bed, the boys and I walked down to see how they were doing. They were sitting on rocks at the end of our private path from our campsite. How cool is that? Jared said as many times as Karcyn put her line in, she'd reel in a fish. I think SHE was the one that was hooked! But don't be fooled. Her dad LOVED it!

And here's Calvin--doing what he does best. He wanted to go down on the rocks, but I wouldn't let him. Can we say "bedtime"?

Day 3:
Packing up so we can go on our hike around the lake before heading home.

Off we go...

Had to stop and catch some salamanders.

Mt. Hood through the trees from the path.

The path was a 3.2 mile loop around the lake and a good portion of it was muddy, or rocky and steep and just plain uneven terrain. I knew the boys would be fine, Calvin was in the backpack, but Karcyn was hoofing it. And she was a rock star. She didn't once say how tired she was....UNTIL...one of her brothers, who shall remain nameless, had to open his mouth and share that he was tired and asked with a whine how much farther did he have to go. Fortunately that was near the very end. Not only that, but Karcyn was only 4 months out from being potty trained. So she learned how to go in the sticks for the first time and she was a champ! She didn't like it, but she did it.

Nothing like ice cream at the end of the hike!

If you hadn't noticed, we had a fantastic time at Lost Lake. Our '07 camping trip to Wallowa Lake in Eastern Oregon still ranks as our #1 family camping trip. However, if you want something that's only half the distance (3 hours instead of 6) with great fishing for kids and beautiful views, Lost Lake is it.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cooper's Baptism

It's official. Cooper was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 3 hours ago. I'm posting these pictures for my parents' benefit as they are in Scotland and were unable to attend. I told them not to feel bad however, because even though I was in the building, I missed practically all of it myself. I had to tend to 'the beast' (otherwise known as Calvin). He was as naughty as I was hoping and praying he wouldn't be. I managed to see Cooper get baptized as much as you can when you're kneeling on the floor trying to keep an eye on your 2 and 4-year-olds and see through the masses. I think there were 80+ people there for the 4 baptisms. It was packed! Which is a wonderful thing for the children who were being baptized.

I missed hearing my father-in-law speak on the Gift of the Holy Ghost who received many compliments from people afterward. From young children to teenagers to adults and visiting guests. At the beginning of Doc's talk, Calvin was sitting with Jared on the front row, but was so squirmy and LOUD and down right ornery, I had no option but to take him out in the hall 20 seconds after the talk began. For the tenth time.

There were 4 baptism candidates and Cooper was the 3rd in line, as it was outlined in the program. I just assumed that they would follow the same order when confirming the children too. So as I waited out in the hall, I could tell when Doc was done with his talk and there was a shift in activity. Confirmations would be starting. I heard the quiet murmuring of a confirmation being given and listened as hard as I could for an "amen" and would wait for the next one to be given and then Cooper would be next. Except that...after that first confirmation, out walks my Bishop and his wife and they looked at me, surprised and said "we didn't know you weren't in there." I was confused and clearly it showed because Vickie asked if I heard the confirmation. Still confused, I said no (why would I?). And then she said they did Cooper first because Bishop had to go on the youth temple trip within the next half hour. My heart sank. I missed what I think is the best part of the whole baptism day...when Jared lays his hands on the heads of our children to give them a blessing from their Heavenly Father after telling them to receive the Holy Ghost. Vickie said it was a great blessing. I have no doubt that it was. After I thanked the Bishop for being our witness and assisting Jared and they left, I stayed out in the hall. There was clearly no need to go in anymore. I got a little irritated that no one in my family thought to look for me or make sure I was even in the room. In my rising irritation, I shed a few tears in self-pity. I've waited so long for this day. So close, yet so far away. *sigh*

No use in crying over spilled milk. It's a part of the sacrifice of being mom. What's done is done and at least Cooper wanted to get baptized. That kid very much enjoys exercising his free agency. He will not do anything he does not want to do. So the fact that today even took place is a miracle to me. And I'm grateful.

Cooper with his 2nd grade teacher...the amazing Mrs. Vick who took time to come all the way from Sherwood to support Cooper in his special day.

Cooper with Grandma and Grandpa Hough

Cooper's such a poser!

When we got home, Cooper was able to talk to Grandma and Grandpa Lee through Skype and then he got to open belated birthday presents from Grandma and Grandpa Hough (and Uncle Kevin and Aunt Chris and kids) and open his baptism gifts...a new set of green scriptures and a green carrying case. And tonight, we're off to the ward Halloween chili cook-off and costume parade for the kids. For a kid, it can't get much better than that!

Brother cubs

Cooper's first day in scouts was a pack meeting so he and Jake got to go together. Cooper also received his Bobcat award that he had earned. I'm excited for the adventures ahead of Cooper as he spends the next three years in Cub Scouting. Maybe it'll be easier for all of us now that Jake's paved the way and we know a little better what we're doing this time around. Jake and Cooper will have two months as brother cubs before Jake's on his way out. Onward and upward to Boys Scouts for him.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Good-bye Green

It's been 5 months to the day since I last posted. I had the mistaken idea that I'd have PLENTY 'O TIME during the summer to manage and keep this up-to-date. Silly, silly me.

But...for those who are interested, we finally said good-bye to the green in our living room. It had to go. I didn't like it the second I saw it, 2 years ago. But Jared did. And to his credit, the green looked better than what was on the wall already, as it clashed with the beige in our dining room above the red.

But I couldn't stomach the thought of painting this room again (even though we hired someone to do it the first time) nor could I figure out what color to paint that would go with the two colors in our dining room as well as the denim blue in our kitchen and family room. It was when I was at a friend's house that I noticed her brown color (toffee to be more specific) and it hit me like a truck. Brown would work!

Once we found a young man in our ward who we could hire (yes, we believe in outsourcing our jobs as much as possible--gotta boost that economy somehow and help these young men/women save for scouting activities, missions and college :), we made plans for him to do it this past Saturday. Of course it wasn't just the living room, but our entry walls as well.

Unfortunately there weren't enough hours in the day on Saturday to get it all done, but David came back and finished the job and touching up yesterday.


There's no doubt that the "melted chocolate" brown is MUCH better than the green. However, in the light, it casts more of an orange undertone that I wasn't expecting. It looked much darker to me when we put some test paint up, which is what I wanted. I don't know how you can truly know if you'll like the color or how it will be until it goes up on all the walls anyway. But...it'll work. (And here's my plug for getting the paint with primer already in it. It was worth every penny and went on the walls so well.)

Of course our furniture still doesn't look great with the new wall color and our bookshelves and most picture frames clash now, but we'll replace those things...eventually.

AND...if you're looking for a hard working young man, David Waters is your guy. He's in our ward (Farmington). We hired him to dig up stumps a year ago and he did great out there. This was the first time he's worked inside for us and we were very pleased. If you need his number/rate, let me know.

Thanks David!