Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Once in a lifetime

Mr. Wiedz and #1 went to Florence the other day for Daddy/Sissy date camping trip. They drove down the South Jetty and saw orcas (killer whales) swimming in the river. Mr. Wiedz grabbed the camera and was able to take this awesome shot before the orcas disappeared.

Mr. Wiedz contacted some coastal publications (The Siuslaw News and Oregon Coast Magazine) who are publishing the photo!

My grandfather had taken my brother, mother and I on a similar whale hunt when I was little. We also saw the orcas surface right out in front of us. Something we all still remember. #1 will remember this for a long time!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Mama Knits : #1's vest

Many months ago I got it in my head that I needed to knit a vest. I searched long (I only have internet on my phone and any internet search takes a long time) for a pattern that was on my level (beginning). I decided I’d start with a vest for #1 and had her pick out yarn colors.

I’ve worked on this vest for a number of months now; at basketball, in the car, visiting friends and relatives. The pattern was easy and came together nicely other than the arm bands are a little big.

Some wonder how I have time to knit vests with all the other things that have to happen around here.

Here’s to getting whatever we want to get done badly enough.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Memorial Day Bike Ride

Mr. Wiedz isn’t a cemetery person. He doesn’t like them. Doesn’t “get” the whole flower, visiting graves “thing”. Personally I think cemeteries are pretty cool. The history. The quiet. The interesting shapes, light, trees, experience. I think there is an importance in the honoring of those that have passed. I agree with Mr. Wiedz that no one is there but still.

My favorite part of the last Rocky movie is that Rocky keeps a chair in the tree near Adrian’s grave, he sits there all day, she’s all he has even after she’s gone.
So Memorial Day has never really been much other than a day off.

We told the kids this year we’d have a fun weekend so we had to come up with something.
Sunday afternoon we packed the bikes into the back of Rocky (our Suburban) and headed out to Alton Baker Park. The kids have never gone on a bike ride before.

#3 had recently taken his training wheels off and still wasn’t so good at starting but he improved SO much on our little ride.

One of the funniest parts of Alton Baker Park is the ducks and geese. We saw a little family of baby geese being followed around by their parents. I could of sat and watched them all day.

#4 was pretty cute on the trike. He spent most of the time at the end of the line but he kept at it and had a great time.

Monday, June 14, 2010

At the end of May the Wiedz family headed out to Florence for Rhody Days with my cousin, Scary and her family. I have always loved Rhody Days. One of my fondest memories of my childhood was going to the Rhody Days carnival with my grandpa. I don’t know if any of my memory is correct about that visit to Rhody Days but I do hold on to it anyways, and hope that our going now with our kids gives them similar memories.
Scary and I walked the 5K Rhody Run Saturday morning. We got up to pouring rain and headed out to the walk start. We did mention that if we hadn’t already registered and paid our money we probably wouldn’t have been there. But it stopped raining for most of our walk. We had a nice time and it felt good to start the day with some exercise. I had trained and ran the 5K last year but didn’t have the time with #5 born this year. I’ll be ready for next year though.
Of course the kids remember the carnival and started asking about that as soon as Scary and I were back. Unfortunately it was still pouring down rain. Small town carnivals aren’t that awesome anyways, in the rain with 7 children...I’m just saying. So we told the kids to direct all their thoughts and prayers towards the weather clearing up. Wouldn’t you know it about lunch time we saw breaks in the clouds and little peeks of BLUE sky! The kids noticed too. We told them if it was at least like that and possibly even better we’d go after the little kid’s naps. And wouldn’t you know it...BEAUTIFUL! Absolutely beautiful, which doesn’t really happen too often in Florence, so we packed up hit the Rhody Days carnival. Each kid got to pick 2 rides, still costing an arm and a leg. For some reason Mr. Wiedz wore #5 and I went on rides this year. The girls went on the ferris wheel all by themselves! And #2 and #3 went on the “dizzy dragons” (think tea cups) by themselves! #4 got a ride with Scary and Miss T on the merry-go-round and with his brothers on some flying airplane thing. We shared a $4 Pepsi but skipped the elephant ear...carnival on a budget. *sigh*

An extra blessing of this year’s Rhody Days was Scary’s birthday fell on the same weekend. I offered to make the cake so Coco wouldn’t have to think about that and I stitched up some pillowcases from a Posie Gets Cozy pattern. So we go to celebrate that too!

The girls spent a majority of the weekend making plans to open a salon. “Triple M” was the name, Massages, Makeovers and More until Coco wouldn’t allow “massages” on the signs they wanted to hang out on the street posts so the name was changed to Manicure, Makeovers and More. Much more appropriate for 8 1/2—9 year olds, dontcha think? Miss A was determined that this be an actual enterprise and was quite upset when Scary wouldn’t allow her to distribute flyers at the parade Sunday morning advertising their $2 “hairdos”. Scary made an appointment did take her over 10 minutes to get the string, fishing line and beads out of her hair later!
Mr. Wiedz and #5 got some quality time, the grown ups had a little Super Mario Bros. Wii time and I got some knitting in.

A fabulous weekend! Can’t wait for next year!

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Garden

We got our garden in a couple of weeks ago.
Before all this rain!
In our lease agreement our landlord will till the garden area for us. One evening one of the landlord’s workers came over with the tractor/tiller and got the garden ready for planting! While Mr. Wiedz’s Dad B was here Mr. Wiedz and I went to nursery next door while he took the big 4 to lunch.

The kids and I (with Mr. Wiedz’s assistance when we needed it) spent the rest of the day getting everything in the ground. I’m pretty excited about the garden this year. Our staples are in there; lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, and pumpkins. We’re trying out some new stuff too; peppers for the landlord’s workers, carrots, and eggplant.

All the rain has totally bummed me out and put puddles in the corn patch. Hopefully some days of sun will make everything triple in size and we’ll be enjoying a homegrown salad any day!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


I'll tell you a little known fact about myself.

I really enjoy geography.

I didn’t enjoy it or even pass it in middle school but as an adult I think it is fun and I wish I knew more. I hope my kids will know where Wisconsin is, even enjoy knowing where Indonesia is located and what is near Chile.

Having a knowledge of geography is helpful when listening to the news, knowing where the news is happening and how news effects that place’s neighbors and their place in the world.

Back when the Olympics started a blog I read talked about their geography lessons and how they work it into their learning. The author mentioned her boys finding the countries on their maps while they were being read off during the opening ceremonies. Wouldn’t that be fun! At the end of her blog post she mentioned other opportunities for geography fun.

The Great American Postcard Swap was one of those opportunities. I followed the links, sent the emails and joined up in a group of families from all over the United States sending each other postcards. Each week or so a different family sends a postcard from their state to the families in the other 49 states. At the end of 50 or so weeks, the theory is, that each family will have a postcard from each state!

Getting the postcards is so much fun. Some of them are just signed, “Hello from __”. And some of them have a label of fun facts about that state. All of them have been great postcards showing a beautiful part of that state (peaches from Georgia, pelicans from Florida, the beach in Hawaii).

To have a place for all our postcards and to show how each state “fits” in the country I got a US map to hang on the wall. When a postcards come in the mail (it is always fun) I hang it on the map and run a string of yarn from the postcard to the actual state on the map. The next step is to get some black-line maps printed up so each of the kids can color and identify where the states are themselves. #1 and I have a goal to be able to fill in a black-line map of the US this summer. We get a girls date when we’re able to do it.

Just a little geography fun!

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Eugene visit from the Cousins

A few weeks ago (I'm way behind in blog posts if you hadn't noticed) Mr. Wiedz's cousins came from Portland for an afternoon of visiting. None of them had been to Eugene much so we did a little driving tour with a lunch stop at a Eugene-must, the Humble Bagel. The last stop on our tour was Hendricks Park. A beautiful park on the hillside of Eugene. The park has a Rhododendron Garden walking path that we got out and enjoyed.

Mr. Wiedz's cousin RJ had her baby girl in February so Mr. Wiedz got to meet her for the first time and we got to get the 2nd cousins together for a little hang time.
It was a GREAT day with the cousins.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The little boys and I did a weather chart at the beginning of spring. They had so much fun looking and deciding what the weather was like (I gave them three options: rainy, cloudy and sunny) and putting the icon on the chart. It was a fun activity.

One afternoon they stood discussing their chart and I just had to take a picture.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Wandering with Purpose

Many years ago I heard about geocaching. The idea was so awesome, I thought. But I’ve never had a GPS unit. I’ve mentioned borrowing one but we never have. Somewhere along my blog hopping I read about geocaching’s cousin, letterboxing.

Last year sometime we went letterboxing at Bezeal Park near our home in Pedee. It was as much fun as I was expecting. The kids thought so too. We were onto something. I spent quite a bit of time at the letterboxing site, looking up clues but we hadn’t ventured out again.

A few weeks ago there was a no school and a sunny afternoon. After nap I sat everyone down and told them my idea to go look for a box at Armitage Park, near our house. I was met with some “yeahs!” and some “nahhhhs”. We set out anyway, I told the nay-sayer (#1) that we’d have fun and it was better than sitting in the house all afternoon.

We got to Armitage Park and discovered it was a fee park, without cash I couldn’t park so now I needed a plan B. We found a place to pull over so I could use the internet on my phone to find another clue somewhere in the area. The trick with the clues is there is nearly nothing to tip a person off to where the box might be hidden by the name so I had to look through a lot before I found one that looked promising.

I was looking for a park or park-like place where the children could run a bit and I wouldn’t have to always be trying to get them to stay right with me. I was also hoping for an easy clue so we would have success.

We drove to Stewart’s Pond, which interesting was just down the street from Mr. Wiedz’s office, and got ready to search. Once we were on our way I figured out the clue, which needed decoding, and we got to run and walk around a really great wetland area. We followed the clues which I’m sure led us to the right area. The area we found was littered with old shoes, dead animal bones, broken bottles and lots of trash. Since the area wasn't very safe looking I wasn't keen on letting the boys (the only ones interested) in getting on the ground and digging.

Needless to say we didn't find our target but we had a fun afternoon wandering around and looking for a "tombstone faced tree".

And nothing finishes a day of wandering like a hand-dipped chocolate covered ice cream bar from the Euphoria Chocolate Company outlet store.