And then there were 4...

And then there were 4...

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Saturday is a Special Day...It's the Day we go to the Farmers Market!!!

We woke up early today in anticipation of going to the Oregon Zoo.  TJ doesn't get to go with us during the week, so we thought it would be a free day of family fun.  However, the I-405 south bound interstate was closed and being stuck in traffic with a toddler is not a good time in my book.  We decided to re-route and change plans.  Luckily just off the next exit was the Portland's Farmers Market at the PSU park blocks.

There must have been over 200 vendors selling everything from fresh produce to fresh eggs and milk.  It was fun getting to hear all the different musicians working for money and fresh produce :)  Dominik LOVED the raspberries we got him, and TJ and I were having fun seeing all the food in person that we have seen on our favorite TV show "Chopped." 

There were so many sights and smells and while I used to think there were far too many weirdo's at farmers market to ever go, I was surprised to see that it was quite the family scene down there.  Granted there were a lot of smelly hippies, but hey it's Portland...I can't be too picky :) 

Overall it was a great day!  We enjoyed the sunshine, purchased some great produce that I will be cooking up this week for dinner, and just enjoyed spending some great family time together.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Living in the great Northwest has many advantages; berry picking is definitely up there with the best of them!  Our intentions started out being to pick raspberries and make jam, but apparently raspberries are on their way out.  We called around to a few places locally and decided to hit up a farm in Oregon City called Albeke Farms.  They said that while raspberries were on their way out, they still had some we could pick through.  So, my friends Jessica, Kaci, and I packed up the kids and headed out.

When we got to Albeke Farms we took a gander through their small farmers market and noticed these very large blackberries on steroids and decided those were our berries!  They told us they were boysenberries and they were plentiful on the vines and ripe for the picking.  We walked 1/2 mile through the peach orchard, and I was amazed at how many fruits this farm was growing.  History told me that Dominik would not be able to contain himself with all the fresh berries at his eye level, so while we walked I asked the farm employee what their policy was on eating berries while picking.  I told her we could weigh Dominik before an after and I had no problem paying for the difference.  She said that people sampled all the time and that it was no problem.  It wasn't even 30 seconds after arriving that Dominik had purple boysenberry juice EVERYWHERE! 

Picking the berries was so much fun, and rather therapeutic!  I ended up filling an entire bucket, despite Dominik's eating almost every other berry I would put into the bucket.  While the employee said that they recommend sampling, Dominik nearly consumed his body weight in boysenberries, so I just didn't feel right about not paying something.  I ended up tipping several dollars, and leaving with 4.5 pounds of boysenberries.  This week on the agenda...jam, pies, smoothies, and anything else I can muster up!  These berries are SOOOOOO good!!!

Girls Camp or Bust!

I know you're thinking that my youthful good looks could pass me as a young woman going to girls camp; however, this year I got to go as a leader!  I was in charge of destiny (the afternoon spiritual speaker), spiritual night, and lala-palooza (friday afternoon field day activities).  One of these activities alone is way too much for one person, so luckily I have AMAZING friends who were so gracious as to lend a helping hand!  My friends Kaci, Amber, and Janeen decided to come up and help to ensure my responsibilities went off without a hitch.  I couldn't have done it without them!

Spiritual night was fantastic!  We did a play off the parable of the ten virgins and it really seemed to sink into the girls.  We started off by giving the girls all a candle during the Tuesday night devotional and telling them that they needed to always be prepared and have their light on them.  In the meantime we gave ten ladies from the stake the part of one virgin; five of them being righteous, and five being worldly.  They each had a part describing the virgin they were, an outfit that represented them, and a gift (also representing the virgin they were) that they presented to the "bridegroom."  On Thursday night the girls were pulled out of their camp sights and asked to present their candles.  The ones that could got to light their candle and walk past the girls who didn't have their candle.  Eventually all the girls made it to campfire and got to hear the Mt. Scott ward girls sing a beautiful song, and the ten sisters present their parts.  President Powell wrapped it all up with a wonderful explanation of the parable, and then everyone joined together in singing "I know that my Redeemer Lives."  It was a great finish to an even better night!  We had a lot of girls in tears, which I hear means that spiritual night was a success! 

Lala-palooza was an EPIC event thanks to my good friend Amber Hall!!!  The girls were all broken up into teams of 6-8 girls and then participated in 18 mini events.  The girls all did great and they had so much fun!  Some of the events included: getting a frozen T-shirt and breaking off the ice enough to put it on, blindfold taste testing, licking and sticking 5 lifesavers to your face, blowing bubbles and getting them across a 15 foot course, pushing a raw egg with your nose in a large circle, and many more.  The girls all had a great time, and it was so fun to see them do these silly games!

Saturday was a special day because it was the day we got to pack up and go home :)  While I loved being at girls camp and bonding with my "sista's" three days away from my sweet baby boy and husband was enough.  We packed up the car, helped clean the camp, and headed out.  The trip was two long hours on a two lane highway.  Luckily the conversation was good, so the trip seemed much shorter. 

Overall girls camp was a great experience and I'm so glad I got to go as a leader.  There is something about being in nature that really makes you appreciate all of Heavenly Fathers blessings that are too often taken for granted!  I loved getting to know the girls better, and feel lucky to be able to learn from their pure testimonies.