An Evangelical Pilgrimage

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Willamette Mission

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Keizer, OR :: We visited the Willamette Mission State Park twice this month. It’s a beautiful park full of filbert groves, corn fields, river beds, the largest and oldest black cottonwood tree in the nation (over 250 years old) and trails that wind around trees and meadows. As the leaves change colors and blanket the ground with color it is especially gorgeous.

John and I daydream about homesteading when our year on the road is finished. And if we settle in Oregon I would like to be in this area. John, the visionary and dreamer, often makes our homestead all-encompassing and painted over tens of acres. He has big dreams much like the people who came to this area in the early 1800′s. These settlers had a very hard homesteading life – plagued with constant illness and hardship. I’m up for adventure and hard work but I look forward to tractors and power tools and doctors nearby.

I’m currently reading Homestead by Jane Kirckpatrick. It’s fitting.

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View from the car on the way in

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Close up of the mission outlines

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John and Molly playing hide-n-seek around a tree

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The two gals

October 26, 2009   1 Comment

tiny rocks

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Keizer, OR :: The other day John helped his dad unload a cubic yard of pea gravel into a newly landscaped section of their garden. All of the boys were helping and John thought it would be great to do some math with them.

The problem to solve: How much did each tiny rock cost?

They knew the following: The cubic yard of pea gravel cost $29.

I helped John find a good container to measure the tiny rocks in. We used a little nails box that measured 1″x2″x3″. After it was filled with rocks someone had to count all of the rocks…guess who ended up counting? Yep, me! 403 rocks later, we could do the math.

It turns out that they dispersed at least 3,133,728 rocks, each costing about $0.00000925.

Here is the final product. Pictures of smores to come soon!
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October 4, 2009   2 Comments

Champoeg

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Keizer, OR :: This evening we watched the sunset from our car as we drove through St. Paul, Oregon. We were caravaning with D & K on our way back from Champoeg State Park. It was beautiful (the picture I took from the passenger seat of our car doesn’t really show how great the sunset was).

Three years ago I was hired to help with a catering job out in the Champoeg area. I fell in love. This area is where I want to settle in when our trip is over.

Today, we walked all around the park and down to the river with Molly. She was so full of life and excitement. Our little girl really loves to be outside and exploring her natural world. Sticks, rocks, acorns, grass, dirt…she loves it all!

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Molly playing with D & K

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The Willamette River

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Walking along the dock with Daddy

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See the little sign at the top of the second pier? It read, “crest line, flood 1996,” yikes!

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Sitting on John’s shoulders, chewing on a piece of grass as we walk through the fields

October 4, 2009   2 Comments

Our Little Pumpkin

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Keizer, OR:: John and I have decided that we will post pictures of our family on this blog. I paused at first since we have worked hard to protect ourselves and our little girl in other digital forums (facebook and an old family blog). However, we would like to tell our stories and share our pictures.

Today, Molly and I went to E.Z. Orchard’s pumpkin patch with John’s family. I LOVE pumpkin patches, maybe even as much as an 8-year old kid. We did the wagon ride, corn maze, petting zoo, collected the best pumpkins, climbed the hay bail mountain and ran through the fields. Afterward, we all enjoyed caramel apples and ice cream. It was delightful.

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October 3, 2009   1 Comment

I Like Apples

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Keizer, OR:: Apples are some of my favorite fruit. Especially when it comes to cooking and baking. They are good sweet or savory, baked or fresh, in a crust or in a bowl. My in-laws have an old apple tree in their back yard with big apples pictured above. Molly and I have been picking apples for the last few days and enjoying them! Yesterday was apple sauce, today is apple pie and tomorrow we will enjoy the simplicity of apples paired with gooey caramel.

Focusing my energy on Molly’s development has kept me occupied and distracted me from the lonely fact that I’m really not going to see my friends everyday. I have created a calendar of daily projects following weekly themes. This week has been all about apples. Next week is pumpkins, then leaves and critters, followed by ghosts and ghouls. We’ll finish the month of October with a week of costumes: masks, capes, face paint and all! Almost each day incorporates a kitchen activity. It’s very important to me that Molly and I experience learning outside and in the kitchen, my two favorite places.

Today we picked apples, made apple prints (slicing apples and using them like stamps with paint), and then made two apple pies.

The apple prints look a lot like hearts.  These were made by slicing an apple in half, lengthwise.  Then painting it with red paint and

The apple prints look a lot like hearts.

Apple pies with oat crumble topping.

Apple pies with oat crumble topping.

October 2, 2009   3 Comments