Friday, June 25, 2010


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We have had the most beautiful sunsets the last few nights. Jacob took these pictures from the back deck.


Insulated Water Bottle Holders

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I made the kids these water bottle holders. They love them and have been carrying them everywhere. It is really cute and makes me happy that they like them so much! They are insulated with Insulbrite so hopefully that will help to keep them cold. I found the material for the girl’s bottles the other day and loved them so picked them up and let them choose which one they wanted. Karissa chose the brown and green and Aleigha chose brown and pink. I made Brendan and Ethan’s out of material I had left over from the diaper bag I made a while back. Brendan’s is the dark brown with blue and yellow polka dots and Ethan is the brown yellow and blue stripes. Austin and Tyler were much harder to find material for. When I bought the girl’s material I looked for something for them but had a very hard time so I decided I would take them shopping with me and they could pick one out for themselves. We found the camouflage one for Austin and for Tyler the red one with white stars.


Monday, June 21, 2010

Chinese Chicken Salad

I first tried Chinese Chicken Salad at  a church pot luck and thought it was amazing. Then at another pot luck tried some and thought it was gross. I then decided I would make it from a recipe in my cookbook and it was just ok.  So I set off to try and find a recipe I liked. Online there are tons and tons of recipes for this salad so I looked at quite a few of them and took an idea here and there. A bunch of the recipes had mandarin orange slices in them but while they added great color and nice orange flavor to the salad neither Jacob or I liked getting a whole slice of orange in a bite. Jacob suggested I blend them up to add to it so that is exactly what I did and everyone in our family thinks it turned out great (though still not as wonderful as that first one I tasted). So here is the recipe incase any of you 8 people who read my blog want to try it.  :)   If you try it I would love to hear what you think.
This makes a big salad so you may want to halve the recipe (we end up with some leftovers) 
Chinese Chicken Salad
10 chicken breast tenders fried in small amount of oil and seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted
2 packages top ramen noodles crunched up and seasoning packets discarded
1 head green cabbage chopped in bite sized pieces
1 package salad mix (I like green and red butter leaf)
1 bunch green onions sliced
1 package chow mein noodles (optional) for topping individual salads
1 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1  11oz can mandarin orange slices in light syrup, drained
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
salt, pepper. garlic powder, dry minced onion flakes to taste

In large bowl combine cooked chicken, almonds, sesame seeds, ramen noodles, cabbage, salad mix, and green onions.
In blender combine oil, vinegar, oranges, sugar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dried onion. Blend until combined. Pour over salad and mix well. Serve with chow mein noodles if desired.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Vacation Day 3

  I woke up early in the morning to water dripping on my head. Not the greatest way to wake up and noticed Jacob’s and my sleeping bag was quite wet between us. There was a constant drip coming from the roof of the tent. I sat up to see if I could see anymore drips falling but it looked like it was only getting Jacob and I so I laid back down to get some more sleep.
Later when everyone was awake we noticed a couple sleeping bags were damp but decided we were not going to let a little rain spoil our fun and that we could just take the sleeping bags to the laundry mat to get them dried. Jacob went out and set up our covered shelter so that we could make breakfast. After breakfast the rain had pretty much stopped so we decided to go check out the Bonneville Dam.
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We were hoping to go on a tour of the powerhouse but unfortunately they had a bunch of school field trips so they were not doing tours that day. We were able to go see the fish coming up the fish ladders through an underwater viewing glass. There were tons of Shad coming through that day so that was pretty cool to watch.
After the dam we went to the locks to see if we could see any boats going through.   
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From there we headed to the fish hatchery to see the sturgeon.
I was unable to get a good picture of the actual fish but the biggest sturgeon they have here is 10 feet long! He is huge! They can grow up to 20 feet in length so he is actually just a little guy yikes! Think about that the next time you go swimming in the river :)
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Here is one of the trout ponds they have. They have a couple of places where you can feed the trout but I didn’t get any pictures of the kids feeding them because I was too busy making sure the little guys didn’t fall in.
DSCI1346 This is a drinking fountain. The kids loved it.

Pretending to be fountains.
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While we were walking back to our car it started pouring so we had to run. We then noticed it was 2:00 and we hadn’t fed our kids lunch yet and we needed to go to the store to pick up some more ice. The closest store was across the river in Washington so we drove over grabbed Subway for lunch. Then headed back to camp to grab the sleeping bags to dry. When we got there we left the kiddos in the car since it was still raining and went to grab our stuff. I went over to the girls part of the tent and discovered that their stuff had become soaked so I went to check out everyone else's and they were all soaked as well with the exception of Ethan’s because he happened to be in the middle of the tent. Tyler’s sleeping bag had a puddle underneath it! Jacob and I talked about it and decided to pack it all up and head home since it was supposed to continue raining for the next 2 days. So that is what we did. We quickly packed up everything and headed home. We drove from Hood River down through Bend and it was a gorgeous drive. There are huge canyons and giant plateaus. We even got to see a brilliant double rainbow! We stopped in Madras (I think that is how you spell it) to grab Taco Bell for dinner, and arrived home at around 11:00.  The next day we took the kids for another bike ride on the OC&E line here in Klamath Falls and then just hung out. On Friday we took them to a museum in the morning came home and had lunch then took them to Grants Pass where they stayed two nights with my parents and Jacob and I came home and hung out just the two of us. That was the first time we have had a night alone in over 2 years! We had a great time but we really missed our kids and were happy to pick them up again Sunday afternoon! Jacob was off Monday and Tuesday as well (Monday was our 13th wedding anniversary!) It was great having him off for so many days! We didn’t take any pictures for the rest of his time off 
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It is a cheesecake I made for Jacob on our anniversary. It is made from a recipe his dad gave me with fresh strawberrys from my mom and dad’s strawberry patch. It was so yummy! We had it for dessert after a wonderful dinner Jacob made of BBQ steak, shrimp, and chicken, with grilled bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms. It was all marinated in a really yummy sauce. I want more just thinking about it!
Well that was the end of our vacation. Hope you enjoy all the pictures!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Vacation Day 2

The main reason we had gone to Portland was to take the kids to the zoo for an end of the school year trip. They had all chosen one animal to do a report on in school and now we were going to go see those animals.

Jacob wanted to get to the zoo as soon it opened so that we could feed the Lorikeets while they were still hungry so he looked on line to find out what time the zoo opened and also found out that it just so happened to be $2 day at the zoo.  Which was great except it ended up being really busy since everyone else decided to go to the zoo for $2 day.

The zoo opened at 8 so we got up at 6, quickly got everyone in the car, grabbed our picnic lunch to take, and headed off to Krispy Kreme doughnuts to get some hot original glazed doughnuts for breakfast. YUM!

We made it the zoo a couple min. after opening and quickly went straight to Lorikeet Landing but it was still closed.  We waited around for a few min. until a zoo keeper walked by and found out that the exhibit  didn’t open until 9 a.m. so we decided to check out a few other exhibits while waiting and discovered a lot of exhibits are not open until 9 so we decided to take the time to get sun screen on everyone while we waited.

DSCI1231Jacob did this.

While we were waiting someone pointed out this cute little squirrel in the trash can. He had climbed in and pulled out this huge cookie and was trying to unwrap it. We watched him for quite a while.


Here the kids are watching for tigers.

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Here is Aleigha at the penguins the animal she chose for her report.

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We went back to Lorikeet Landing at 9 and the exhibit was opened but they don’t open up for you to feed them until 9:30, so once again we left and came back at the right time.

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Tyler chose lizards so here he is with one behind him.

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Austin with the lions.


The kids loved playing on this truck…

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and this wall.

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Karissa chose the anaconda for her report but we couldn’t get a good picture so we also took one with this anaconda head they had.

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Brendan with the elephant.


How the kids measure up to bears.


Taking a break.


We stayed at the zoo until closing time. Then took the kids to Chucky Cheese for dinner. The kids were really excited because the last time we were there Aleigha was 8mo. old so its been awhile. They had a great time playing all the games. When we left it was starting to turn dark and it was raining.