Friday, November 30, 2007


I just finished a 6-hour cookie-baking marathon! I made several batches of chocolate chip, chocolate, cranberry oatmeal chocolate chip, sugar and toffee chip cookies. I will save some for my upcoming holiday events, but most will be sold at tomorrow's craft fair at Tigard High School. The band hosts the event every year as a big fund raiser. If you're in the area, stop by between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. for some fun gifts from local crafters.

PS - The wooden nativity in the background was purchased at last year's craft fair!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Wildwood: Part 1

Tim, Laura, Brad and I braved the cold Saturday to tackle a section of the Wildwood Trail in Portland's Forest Park. The whole trail is 30.25 miles long, and we hope to hike it all soon in a few large chunks.
We started at the west end at the Newberry Road Trailhead and averaged about 3 mph on our way to our other car at the Springville Road Trailhead. It was about 8.5 miles.
We did make a lunch stop along the way and enjoyed snacks (Tim and Laura always have a backpack full of super-yummy treats!) and hot beverages from Brad's homemade ultra-light stove.

Oh, and it also hailed a bit to add to the adventure!

We might have to wait until after the holidays to can get the next section done...

Friday, November 23, 2007

All done!?!

Black Friday shopping has been a tradition of mine for years -- decades, in fact. Starting around junior high, I shopped every year with my friend, Tamara, and her mom, Linda. Years later, the tradition continues with Eryn and our dad. We hit the road at 4:30 a.m. today to get to the Fred Meyer "sock sale" before it opened at 5 a.m. Afterward we navigated a carefully considered plan to hit all the important stores and get all the super deals we hoped not to miss.

At 2:30 p.m., we arrived home and sorted the loot. Amazingly, it looks like I'm done! I've been sale hunting for months, picking out the perfect gifts for those I love. Today's outing finished off the list and left me feeling very good!

Now what will I do for the next five weeks?!?!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Giving thanks!

Today is a big day - no work, lots of football, yummy food (no turkey for me!!), family time and shopping planning. But I don't want to lose sight of the purpose of the day - to give thanks for all the great things in our lives.

I am so thankful for my awesome friends and family! I am thankful for my husband, who has supported me extra this year to help me trade a bad situation for a wonderful opportunity. I am thankful for the chance to help out those around me. I am thankful that I live in Oregon, where every season is beautiful. I am thankful that the next presidential election is coming soon. I am thankful for my big cat.

Thanks to each of you for the special roles you play in my life - I am truly blessed. I hope that you all have a wonderful holiday and take a moment to thank God for the blessings in your lives :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mom!!!

Today is my mom's 51st birthday! We celebrated with dinner at The Claim Jumper and gifts at my house. I've been experimenting with cake decorating and made her an awesome penguin cake! Isn't he cute?!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Silver Falls State Park

Despite Monday's stormy weather, Brad and I loaded up the car and headed south to explore Silver Falls State Park. The country roads were littered with debris, including whole fallen trees. We repeatedly wondered aloud if we should really be voluntarily heading outside, but we'd committed to spending the holiday in the great outdoors.

We bundled up in lots of layers and Gore-Tex and left the warmth of the car, finding a downed tree just yards into the hike toward North Falls:
We walked behind the falls into a deep, dry cave:

We found the trail washed out at our preplanned turn-around spot. It was a pretty good little mudslide:
Brad snapped this great shot just before a busload of ecology-studying college kids from overseas arrived on scene. We hadn't seen anyone else on the trail the whole day - then about 50 people all converged on our quiet spot. We had a good chuckle watching them stream down the trail toward us.
When we reached a trailhead near the end of our loop, a park ranger pulled in to let us know that they were closing the park because of the storm. We're so glad we made it in and out before they shut us down. It was a beautiful day on the trail, and we can't wait to go back!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Acres and acres of Christmas trees!!!!!

One of my favorite moments of the holiday season is seeing my first truck full of Christmas trees headed down the freeway. It always makes me smile to think that those little bundles of green will make someone's holiday complete - someone very far away, even overseas.

Yesterday, Brad and I made our first-ever visit to Silver Falls State Park south of Silverton. We had a great stormy hike and saw a bunch of gorgeous waterfalls. On the drive in and out, we also saw more Christmas trees than I've ever seen in my life. I've always heard that Oregon is the biggest exporter of Christmas trees in the world... and now I believe it. We passed farm after farm. And these weren't the little U-cut lots I'm used to in the Newberg area. These were huge commercial farms ready to supply the world. Some were harvesting and had bundled trees ready to go. We even saw a truck leaving with a full load. Oh, and have you ever wondered where the farms get their little seedlings that eventually grow into those awesome trees? Well, we saw that, too - a Christmas tree nursery!

In just a couple weeks, we're going to the hills of Newberg to get our own. I can't wait!!!!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Psalm 143:10

This was in my reading this morning. Here are a couple different versions:

Teach me how to live to please you, because you're my God. Lead me by your blessed Spirit into cleared and level pastureland.

Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.

You are my God. Show me what you want me to do, and let your gentle Spirit lead me in the right path.

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

No more "Office"???

"The Office" has stopped filming, along with several other shows, because of the WGA strike. The actors, who are also writers for the insanely hilarious sitcom, are refusing to cross the picket lines. I support them fully - they should get paid for the Internet and DVD shows. But it is a very sad day. Next week will be the last new "Office" episode until this is settled :(

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Your civic duty

I hope you all fulfilled your civic duty this Election Day by casting your ballots. :)