Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Our Vacation, Days 3–4

Avi at the lake (on Day 2). He is one happy little guy!

Amirah eating breakfast - salami, eggs, and orange juice. Yummy!

Eli and Raizel's all-time favorite game - Ring Around the Minivan. Those two are hilarious. Several times a day Eli says in his sweetest little boy voice, "Raizel, you want to come upstairs and play with me?" And there they go.

They had installed swings and a play structure at the park there since we were there last. Great place to play! This is crazy-hair girl. By Day 3 it was so full of dirt, twigs, pebbles, and marshmallow that it was pretty hopeless. We had a lot of untangling to do when we got home.

Day 3 was, er, interesting. I had google maps directions to what was supposed to be a great beach for beachcombing - lots of agate, jasper, and petrified wood. Sounded great! The directions were a little, well, downright odd! We took this beautiful road up into the hills that looked out on multiple valleys. Partway there we made a little stop and when we were outside of the car we got to see a bear several hundred yards away - and with a ravine between us - walk around a clearcut area. Everyone was pretty excited! The directions told us to take various slight lefts and rights on this road and that road, but the lefts and rights must have been nothing but curves and driveways because that's all we saw! We figured we'd just be happy with a bear sighting, or we'd actually get to the beach. Finally, we did! It was awfully windy. When we got there there was a huge group of pelicans standing where a creek ran into the ocean. As we neared they took off. I've never seen so many pelicans all at once!

We walked around the beach for a while. Found a few interesting rocks, but nothing that I thought was agate. On the other hand, maybe I don't really know what agates look like! I thought they'd be little geode-y like rocks. In any case, it was lots of fun all the same. Then we headed back to our little lake after eating lunch in the car. Another night of dinner and campfire after that. Very nice. We had lots of fun watching all the bats come out at dusk.

Our last day, we pretty much just packed up, then went off to the meadows where the elk are. Learned a lot at the elk-watching stations. Then we ate lunch next to the bucolic Umpqua River. Got home at 5:40, just in time to hear that our meat order had arrived and needed to be picked up by 6:00 (!). Good thing I played the messages as soon as we walked in the door. I usually look at the mail first. :) It was a nice little vacation, the last of the calm days for a while.

Dean is getting crazy busy at work, working long days 6 days per week. The new term starts on Rosh Hashanah too. There are seven Jewish holidays in September/October which really makes for a crazy time, especially if you're on an academic schedule like Dean is! I started teaching one of my sets of students today (three brothers) which added to the acrobatics. Now we just need to add in swimming classes, homeschool co-op on Wednesdays (I hope - there's an interesting group where Amirah may take 4H, physics, and a special math class; I'll learn more at a Thursday night meeting), teaching my other 2 students, and all the holidays - Rosh Hashanah (Happy New Year), Yom Kippur (Happy Repenting), Sukkot (harvest festival; eat outside in a sukkah all week... our family's favorite holiday - pictures to come!) and Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah (finish reading the 5 books of the torah, dance around a lot, then start reading the 5 books of torah). I think once everything is rolling it won't seem so frenetic. We usually keep things pretty simple around here, so I'm hoping it doesn't feel like too much. But we can always adjust! We're just in Kindergarten, after all. :)

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