I enjoy walking around the neighbourhoods in Portland where people often stuff their front yards with vegetation, often produce spilling out over stone walls and climbing partitions. Fruit trees line boulevards, a gift of abundance from landowners with forethought decades ago.
Between the sidewalk and the road is a Hellastrip….a little piece of land that belongs to the owner of the house it fronts. It’s their responsibility to care for it…too big to ignore, and not big enough to do much with it. Perfect, however, for raised beds to extend a house-owners garden; Burke’s goal for next year.
For this year Rauchelle and Seth are growing veggies in the garden near the house. They got a great crop considering they just moved in the house in early May!
Nasturtiums…most of them were removed as they were overtaking the garden. I have always loved the roundedness of the leaves, and the addition of the flowers to a salad is lovely.
Sunflowers reach to the gutters
Black tomatoes turn red
It was supposed to be J(ohnsons) + (B)urkes = Jurkes
August was hot, busy, and fantastic!! Beaches, ferry rides, new skills acquired. The children have continued to LOVE being here at Hamilton Hobby Farm, and while we were away for 10 days or so in Portland they were torn with being with Burkes and wanting to be back at the farm doing pony rides and doing chores. It’s great to be LOVIN’ YOUR LIFE! So many great places to be.
Hanging with the Burkes always brings out more creativity in our kids. As Mom I love to see what is nurtured in them, and Seth seems so at ease drawing it out of them.
Several days found us walking around Laurelhurst Park; finding shade from the heat, playing at the playground, snoozing on blankets under oak trees, walking around the duck ponds, spotting turtles.
Kids often say they don’t like maths or sciences but take them to engaging museums and it can change anybody’s attitude. Thanks to Seth a bunch of the kids had an exciting though exhausting day at OMSI where they learned while they had fun and built memories.
The purpose for out trip to Portland was for our special girl, Marin, who turned the magical age of TWO! Happy Birthday, Sweetheart.
Our visit in Portland was fantastic (more posts to come in the next few days) but all good things seem to come to an end. As has a wonderful month of August. Hard to believe this month is over but we are now entering my favourite month of the whole year. Yeah, tomorrow is SEPTEMBER!!
What will we accomplish this coming month?
Chores chart Seth created for the kids. Spun each morning to determine what each child’s chore for the day was. Sometimes Marin had to take herself for a walk around the block….or be sure to make the environment safe for herself by picking up sewing needles or scissors or making sure there weren’t things for her to trip over!!
It’s a long distance between their place and our current-hang-out but when somebody like this…..
is turning TWO then we all jumped in the van and made the journey to celebrate with her and her family.
She wasn’t thrilled with our singing “Happy Birthday” to her, maybe because we were all off key; maybe because we were all staring at her? We cut the song short, quickly taking attention off of her and she seemed to ease into this celebration of her life.
A tad bit scared of the hullabaloo.
Nestled in the lily pad is a Gluten-free cupcake, scrumptiously made by the beautiful Rauchelle and devoured by the equally beautiful birthday girl, Marin.
Gifts were opened and Marin gleefully threw things….gift bags at Mitchell, a squishy to the backyard, a plastic pouch amongst the crowd. The panties all thrown out, she decided it was time to wear them so Marin started to put them on, one over the other. Maybe she couldn’t decide which were her favourite Hello Kitty.
Anders sporting Marin’s new pink cowgirl jacket.
Layering up with Hello Kitty panties
Happy with herself
Mesmerized? Mocking? Admiring? 2 big guys parked side by side. Seth thought it was cool, anyways, and he was the one with the camera that day.
Notes were taken, experiments done, photos snapped, water & potty breaks organized. All the heads counted for. And Marin stuck close to Mitchell nearly the whole time.
The kids checked out robotic dinosaurs.
There was an Earthquake section that was suppose to test structures but was more successful at testing Anders and Toveli’s patience….which was eventually shaken to the ground. Every time they had structures just about set up, some little unattended kid would run in and press buttons because…..that’s what little unattended kids do. It’s fun, for them. But Tov and Anders gave up and moved on.
Toveli learning about cross bracing for structural integrity.
Laars investigating Probability
Creating static electricity. Laars loved zapping people.
Harmonograph: Gaelyn was fascinated by it.
Development from Conception to….
…End of Life
Here, ducky duck.
Certainly big enough to get lost in, the Laurelhurst Park is within walking distance of the Burkes and a delightful place to meander, feed some ducks and seek out shade. We didn’t include ourselves in the 5,000+ attendance for sing-along Frozen movie in the park Friday night (though Everette and I did checkout the crowd for a few minutes….just because!) But we did sneak peaks of the bride and groom, and read soap-box-messages in chalk along the pathway.
M&M familiarizing themselves with bikes. Safer riding them in the park than out on the streets, to begin with.
Anders having a Quiet Moment
Laars says to me, “This is you and me on a date. This is our boat, and you’re the big one (long & skinny, I wish) and I’m the little one.”
The ducks are coming!!!
Niece ‘n Uncle. I LOVE how the generations blend one to the next.
Marin could throw gravel into the pond for hours, even in the heat of the sun.
Painting, sewing, melting, repurposing. Rummaging through a pile of clothes (set aside to donate) resulted in Dress-Up. All creative forms of Art.
Laars is a Pirate. He made a fantastic parrot for his shoulder but its been hard to photograph. Here its tucked in to the Pirate’s jacket keeping warm.
Seth found a pile of vinyl records, and later a container of crayons. Put them together (with some help from Marin who peeled paper off the crayons) with the heat of the sun and you have melted art for the living room wall.
Anders took markers to the glass overtop of a framed photo.
Seth did the same but it used to be a bobcat from a poster, now it looks like a canine of some sort.
M&M designed and sewed this leather dress for the other M in the family (Mitch/Maret/Marin). A pocket for rocks and other finds, and a black strap to hold a hammer or a sword or whatever that little sweetie fancies.
Gaelyn and Toveli busy working their crafts.
Mitchell working blue leather into a small journal cover.
Toveli used markers on this large canvas. Unlike a lot of people, she didn’t find the large size intimidating.
Last Sunday we were visited by my eldest brother, and after a beautiful ferry ride we find ourselves in Portland, OR. We had to come see our daughter’s baby bump before she pops in October, and synced it to celebrate Marin’s second birthday. (Celebration yet to come. Stay tuned. She’s gorgeous!)
Everette with one of Seth’s many cargo bikes
A bike-friendly city finds us cycling for our morning coffees where we go to get internet service. We go for frequent walks with our darling Marin who picks the route, whether its one block or multiple. Longer walks for bigger people.
By sheer numbers we turn the Burke house on end. Three occupants swells to an even dozen. Furniture moves and increases. Endless grocery shopping/food prep/dishes. Arts galore. Creativity rules.
Marin is often el natural so I don’t have a lot of appropriate pics to share.
Marin is thrilled to have all these dotting aunts and uncles plus Grandma/pa. Already the parents are talking about the withdrawal Marin will suffer with next week when we head back north. But for now, we all enjoy the change of pace and the deepening of relationships. Her parents sometimes are brushed aside in favour of time with another little-but-bigger one. Mitchell can bribe Marin into wearing clothes and shoes and going for a walk when all she had said to her daddy was a repetitive NO!
She’s familiar with us again. Each time we come to visit we have to slowly work our way into her heart. And before we know it, we’ll be gone again and have to repeat all of this come October.