Friday, May 24, 2019

Olympic National Park

When we were planning on camping down at Crater Lake with the Bonds last summer, Tracy had done most of the planning. But when we decided to switch to Olympic National Park (because of the smoke), I spent a lot of time researching what to do there. Then we ended up not going there either because the smoke had moved to literally everywhere in the Pacific Northwest. Because of all that time I spent researching, I really wanted to go up there. So when I saw the kids had 2 random days off in early October, I decided we would go.

Going in October was kind of risky because it can already be very rainy that time of year, but we seriously lucked out and had perfect weather for the days we were there. Olympic National Park doesn't do reservations for most of their campgrounds which was kind of nerve-wracking when we were planning on going in the summer, but we knew we'd have no problem getting a campsite in October. It was also so much less crowded than it would have been in the summer. It was seriously such a great trip!

We drove up there Thursday morning. First we got a campsite at the Mora Campground (on the coast) and got our tent and everything set up. Olympic National Park is huge and incredibly diverse. There is so much beauty to be seen, but there is a good amount of driving to get to the different places. To get to the Mora Campground you go through Forks (made famous by Twilight). We never stopped to take a picture, but it was fun to drive through there many times on our trip.

After we got settled at our campsite we drove over to the Hoh Rain Forest. There we did the Hall of Mosses trail (a 1 mile loop). It was beautiful, but not too different from a lot of the other hiking we have done in the Pacific Northwest.

After our hike we boiled some water to cook noodles and warmed up some spaghetti sauce I had made before our trip for dinner in the parking lot.

It's not a visit to a national park without seeing some wildlife.

After dinner we drove back to our campsite and made a fire for s'mores.

Friday morning started bright and early with a hike to Hole in the Wall. The main reason we chose the Mora Campground was because it was so close to that hike. It must be done at low tide and while we were there low tide was early in the morning. It was definitely worth waking up early for - it was probably my favorite thing we did.

To get to Hole in the Wall you walk along the beach for about a mile and a half. It was so beautiful as the sun was rising and the morning fog was clearing out.

These haystack rocks are one of the things Olympic National Park is famous for.

It is the landmark for Olympic National Park on my National Park poster, so I wanted to make sure we saw them.

We probably could have come a little later because it didn't take us as long to get to Hole in the Wall as we had anticipated, but it was nice to have plenty of time to explore and to not have to be rushing to beat the tide.

We had fun playing in the tide pools. I think we all eventually got brave enough to hold a crab.

After playing and exploring for as long as we wanted we eventually decided to head back.

We got cleaned up and a little more ready for the day since we had basically just gotten up and done the bare minimum before leaving for the hike. Then we drove over to Crescent Lake. We did the hike to Marymere Falls that takes off from from Crescent Lake. It was an easy 1.7 mile hike to a pretty waterfall with beautiful scenery along the way.

We stopped and enjoyed the lake for a bit on the way back. It is a huge lake that is impossible to capture in a picture. I realized after we left that a better way to capture it would have been a video while we drove along it.

We made grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch in the parking lot and then drove to the Sol Duc area to do the hike to Sol Duc Falls. It was another picturesque, easy 1.6 mile hike.

This mushroom was unlike any mushroom I'd ever seen in real life before.

It was the best waterfall we saw on the trip - definitely worth seeing. 

After that hike we drove back to camp and warmed up some beef stew I had made before the trip. We made some more s'mores and got ready for bed.

Rog had started feeling sick around dinnertime which really was unfortunate. He spent the night going back and forth between our tent and the bathroom (that thankfully had flushing toilets). I spent the night worried that one of the kids was going to throw up in our new tent! I figured we'd all eaten the same foods, so if it was something he ate, we were all going to get it. Or if it was caused by a virus, we'd all eventually get it because we'd been sharing my Camelbak the whole trip. Fortunately none of the rest of us ended up getting it, so it's one of those unsolved mysteries.

We had planned to hike Hurricane Ridge in the morning before driving home, but since Rog was sick we decided to skip it and just go home. I had realized sometime Friday afternoon that we hadn't taken any pictures of the whole family on our trip and pointed that out to Rog. We decided we'd take one at Hurricane Ridge, so unfortunately we don't have one of all of us together from this trip. Hurricane Ridge is ranked as the top hike in Olympic National Park, so I guess we're going to have to go back and do that one someday. It's one of the closest National Parks to us, so that won't be too hard. Maybe we'll be able to convince the Hobbs to join us next time.

It was a quick trip, but we hit almost all the highlights and had a great time (until Rog got sick of course).

Friday, May 17, 2019

October 2018

October started with joy school at Tracy's house. C is for chocolate chip cookies!

Rog took Peyton on a date to the mall to ride the animals around.

We spent a lot of time at cross country practice and meets this month. Logan was supposed to be collecting things from nature and bringing them into preschool to show. We found these acorns at a track meet.

Can't get over this view from Overlook Park.

Donuts with Dad.

One of Corbyn's goals for the year was to run a 5K. I signed him up for a virtual 5K through Run Disney. I knew he'd want his medal right after he ran, so I waited to have him do it until it arrived. I ran with him in between sessions of conference to help pace and push him. He did great!

He was very pleased with his medal and says he wants to do more races like this one this year.

At the general women's session of conference that night, President Nelson challenged us to do 4 things. The first was a 10-day fast from social media. I deleted Instagram from my phone and didn't reinstall it for 10 days. I know lots of people had a good experience with this, but I'd be lying if I said I did. I know I spend too much time checking Instagram and I should find some way to limit myself, but during this fast I discovered that for me Instagram is really a positive thing in my life. I know some people compare themselves to people they follow and get down on themselves, but I've never felt anything like that. If I don't feel like someone uplifts me, I stop following them. For me Instagram is such a good way to maintain positive relationships with friends who are far away and even those who are close by. I felt so isolated and alone those 10 days. At this time we were trying to get pregnant again and it wasn't happening as quickly as it always had before and I was worried that if I got pregnant again I would lose that pregnancy too. I got lost in my own mind and found myself more anxious than I had been in a long time. I was glad I followed the prophet, but I don't ever want to do a social media fast again!

The second thing he asked us to do was finish the Book of Mormon by the end of the year. I was already in Alma and didn't want to start over, so I made my goal just to finish. It didn't push me as much as reading the entire book would have, but I still felt good about it.

The third thing was establish a pattern of regular temple attendance. We were already in a good pattern of regular temple attendance. At this point in our lives, I feel like once a month is enough, so I didn't feel any need to increase that.

And the final thing was to participate fully in Relief Society. That was hard because I am serving in Primary. I attend RS activities when I am able and I try my best to minister to the sisters I have been assigned to, but I don't know what else I can do to participate fully in RS at this time.

I made Waffle Love waffles Sunday morning for conference. Since we can't attend the Ririe Waffle Breakfast, this is becoming our own tradition and I love it.

I always use conference as a time to craft and was able to finish this Creepy Crawly sign...

And this cauldron (both from the Wood Connection).

I also finished binding this pillow to go with Peyton's quilt.

I don't have any pictures, but Kristen took her turn hosting joy school with the letter d.

This flower was just green leaves all summer long, but it finally grew flowers in October. This was only the beginning. A few weeks later it probably had 10 flowers growing at once!

When we got this bush, they told us it attracted hummingbirds. I was delighted to see some come!

More cross country park time for Logan and Peyton.

The kids had two random days off, so we took the opportunity to go camping at Olympic National Park. (I'll post about this separately.)

I took my turn to host joy school with the letter e. We had a Halloween egg hunt with Halloween colored eggs and a few pumpkin eggs I randomly had.

I made these bags for them to collect their eggs in.

We did an E is for Eyes craft (glued googly eyes to the E).

And played Halloween bingo even though that didn't really have anything to do with e.

Logan took a nasty fall coming home from the bus stop in his rain boots. (It wasn't raining.)

This was a few days later when it had scabbed over.

We went to Liepold's Pumpkin Patch with our playgroup.

I had been waiting for Woody's hat to go on sale at the Disney Store for Logan's costume. I waited too long and they sold out at our store, so Logan and I had to drive down to Woodburn to get one there.

Another cross country meet for Corbyn. It was fun to watch his time decrease each week.

The next morning was the jog-a-thon. Peyton really pushed herself.

I think Corbyn was tired from his run the night before. He ran the same number laps as Peyton.

Turns out Peyton ran the most laps of all the girls in the 1st grade. (Although there was a mix up and they thought she was a boy, so she tied with them.)

For our Halloween costumes we were each being a character from the different lands at Disneyland. I had asked my friend, Whitney Olsen, from our Spanish Fork ward to send me a few maps when she was at Disneyland earlier in the month. I turned those maps into buttons for us to wear using these Design-a-Button buttons.

Rog and I went on a date to the temple. On the way back we stopped at Waffle Window. We tried their seasonal pumpkin and apple waffles. We thought the pumpkin would have been better warm, but they were both pretty good.

We debuted our costumes at our ward trunk-or-treat. Rog was Indiana Jones from Adventureland, Corbyn was a Storm Trooper from Tomorrowland, Logan was Woody from Frontierland, Peyton was Belle from Fantasyland, and I was Minnie from Main Street USA. I spent forever that day cutting and putting together that Disneyland sign.

We had scheduled to watch the Martyns for date night swap that night before we learned it was the trunk-or-treat, so we took them with us.

My favorite fabric store here in Portland closed. 😭

We got back the kids' school pictures. Both of their smiles could be better, but they weren't bad enough that I was going to make them do retakes.

It's not fall until I've made Pumpkin Snickerdoodles. Rog hosted BYD (Bishops Youth Discussion) here, so I made a double batch for that.

I got this yellow pumpkin when Logan and I were at the pumpkin patch for playgroup. We were careful to bring it in on Friday and Saturday nights, but neglected to bring it in on Sunday night and sure enough... Erin was so sweet to buy us another one when they were at a pumpkin patch a few days later because she said it was the last yellow one they had and she wanted us to have one.

Tracy took her turn hosting joy school with the letter f. F is for frogs...

And frisbees!

I hosted a little Halloween party for playgroup. We made black cats...

Had some snacks...

Played Halloween Bingo (not pictured) and took pictures of the kids in their costumes.

We went to Olson's Pumpkin Patch as a family one night.

We took this picture...

So I could compare it with this one from 3 years ago. Look at that little Logan!

I don't remember why Logan was sleeping on a makeshift bed, but he sure is cute.

BYU Women's Volleyball was playing at PSU, so I took Corbyn on a date to see them play. They were undefeated and ranked #1 in the nation at the time. It was fun to see BYU get a win after that terrible football game we went to at UW.

We had our annual Ghoulish Feast the Sunday before Halloween. This was our 10th year doing a Ghoulish Feast! The Yates and the Willes families joined us.

We had Swamp Juice à la Slime for our drink. I bought green apple Torani syrup special for the occasion. The green Nerds were supposed to be swamp eggs. 

I made the graveyard dip I've done before for our appetizer (7 layer bean dip with a tree and tombstones cut out of a tortilla and baked).

For our main dish I made spiderweb fruit salad (I put some honey and lime juice in some sour cream to draw the spiderweb on)...

Jack-o-lantern mac and cheese cups for the kids...

And stuffed jack-o-peppers for the adults. 

The Yates brought spooky spider deviled eggs and and mummy dogs.

For dessert I made this creepy crawly cake that was cute (if you can consider spiders cute) and delicious. (Idea for the spiders and spiderweb here and here.)

I don't keep these candy trays filled all month, but I got them out for the feast.

Shannah took her first turn hosting joy school with the letter g.

I was listening to Being Mortal and turned it on one time when the kids were in the car. They found it very odd that I was listening to a book about getting old and dying. 😂 It was interesting, but a lot of the same thing over and over. It automatically returned itself before I finished and I haven't got it back to finish it, but I may someday.

We carved pumpkins for FHE.

A Storm Trooper for Corbyn, an enchanted rose for Peyton, and Woody for Logan.

We had our traditional Dinner in a Pumpkin the night before Halloween.

The kids didn't have school on Halloween because they had parent teacher conferences the Thursday and Friday after Halloween. Halloween was a prep day for the teachers.

I wanted to make sure to get a good picture of each of the kids in their costumes, so I had them dress up that morning (so we'd have plenty of time) and I took pictures until we got a good one.

Logan as Woody - I made his shirt and vest and bought the hat (came with a belt and gun holster) and the bandana.

Peyton as Beauty - the dress was from Peyton's birthday and the earrings were a souvenir from our last Disneyland trip.

Corbyn as a Storm Trooper - bought the costume from Costco.

We picked up Rog from work and he came with us to the Nike Employee Store and then to Krispy Kreme.

We made sure we were all wearing our costumes because you got a free donut if you were dressed up.

When we got home I took the kids trick-or-treating at the library while Rog worked from home for a bit.

Then we had our traditional mummy dogs and caramel toffee fruit dip with apples for dinner and headed out trick-or-treating with the Martyns, Sullivans, and Yates families.

They all got quite the haul, but somehow I think Peyton got more than the boys.

It was an anxiety-filled month for me, but it was still a good one filled with a lot of Halloween fun!