Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wahkeena Falls, May 25

It was a rare hot, sunny Memorial Day - the perfect day for a training hike... or not.

Fourteen of us met at the bottom of Wahkeena Falls in the Columbia River Gorge and headed up hill. We knew it would be crowded, but it wasn't too bad. We cut across toward Multnomah Falls and stopped for a short lunch break in the trees. Waterfalls dotted the landscape as we made our way down to the tallest falls in Oregon. As we neared Multnomah Falls, one of the top tourist attractions in the entire state, we started to realize our mistake. Ever been shopping at Fred Meyer on the day after Thanksgiving?? It was that crowded.

We'd left the hiking area and reached the tourist zone. Oops. We stood in line for the lookout above the falls:
We followed the herd down to the base of the falls and took turns snapping pictures.
I still had a wonderful time. I'd rather fight the crowds on the trail than sit at home on the couch on a beautiful day off work.

-Liz :)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Grad party

One of our latest excuses to get together and eat and have fun was Sarah's graduation from George Fox! She's in the five-year doctor of psychology program but earned her master's degree after the second year. Some photo highlights:

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Eryn spent the last two years working full time and completing an online Masters of Library Science program. She'd never been to Texas Woman's University, but when it was time to receive that diploma, she decided to make the trip south... and she wanted us to go, too!

We flew into Dallas, and the first order of business was finding some good Mexican food. Our GPS first took us to an empty lot that used to be a Mexican restaurant. Very disappointing :( We finally found this:
Friday morning, we drove north to Denton, home of TWU, a beautiful campus on a "hill".
In Texas, everyone puts their hand on their heart as they sing the national anthem!
You can barely make out Eryn in the middle, next to the yellow robe with her arm in the air.
Whizzing past...
Check out the cowboys!
Next, we cranked the AC and drove back to Arlington for a Rangers game.
I was, literally, the only person in the park cheering for the Angels. I really don't care but thought someone should be on their side. I/we were losing miserably... until the top of the 9th inning. With two outs, the Angels rallied... big time... scoring 5 runs! I think the go-ahead run was on base when the Rangers finally retried the side - and the game.
A cool fireworks show, set to Broadway tunes, followed the game.

Our day's adventure was not over! We walked back to the hotel, loaded up the car and searched the GPS for the nearest Waffle House.
For $20, the whole family filled up. (Notice the grits!)
Saturday, it was time for me to pack up and head home to the hilly Northwest. But I'd seen Whataburger signs at every exit, so lunch was a Whatacatch fish sandwich and a peach pie. Yum.
Yeehaw! :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Nana's house

Sue was making coffee this morning for our math tutors. I walked into the kitchen and was instantly transported back to Nana's house, where mornings always smelled like fresh coffee :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Happy Birthday, Eryn!

Happy Birthday, little sis!
(last year's 30th birthday celebration at Disneyland!)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Brad's famous!

Brad's recent post about snow camping was picked up on another blog. Donna was looking for our site when she stumbled upon someone else's entry about Brad and Jacob's trip to Mount Hood. Pretty fun :)

Cookie Day: Chocolate Jenna Cookies

Jenna went to the Internet in search of a chocolate cookie recipe for us to bake today in the (CE)2 kitchen. She found a great one on the Joy of Baking Web site, but we didn't have the necessary white chocolate chips. So we improvised... and then renamed it the "Chocolate Jenna Cookie"!

The dough was incredible.
Jenna enjoyed using (and playing with) the scoop.
You can't see it in the picture, but she's wearing my Mickey Mouse apron. SO CUTE!
These are really good! The rest of the class is going to be very happy after lunch.
Ingredients (as we made it - improvised and doubled):
1 c butter
1 c brown sugar

1/2 c granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 c flour

1/2 c cocoa powder

1 t baking powder

1/4 t salt

3 c (total) chopped walnuts, coconut, chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. First sift together the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt and then add to the butter and egg mixture. Mix just until incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips, coconut and walnuts.

Using a small ice cream scoop, or two spoons, place about 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter on the baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.

Bake for approximately 8 minutes or until the the cookies are still soft in the center but are firm around the edges. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes before removing the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Dog Mountain, May 2

It was stormy last Saturday, but we have training to do... so we hit the trail anyway. Remember when you were sitting in your nice warm home as that strong system blew through? We were on Dog Mountain in the Gorge!
We watched as cells moved in, completely shrouding us in clouds and then parting, offering a brief view of the river and surrounding hills. Luckily, the rain held off until we were at the top. Then it was time to batten down the hatches and consume some much-needed calories.

Lindsey's always chowing my Pringles!
Vicki enjoyed a PBJ prepared by her mommy.
The thunder and lightning didn't begin until we were near the bottom. We went quickly for the shelter of our car.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Proud day

I had the privilege of watching one of our fabulous (CE)2 students receive a college scholarship this week. Jenn brought the crowd to tears as she accepted her award from the King City chapter of the Oregon Retired Educators Association. Jenn's mom, boyfriend and best friend were also on hand for the ceremony. Yay, Jenn! We're all so proud of you! :)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Cinco de Mayo

Brenda and her mom volunteered to make tinga for our (CE)2 Cinco de Mayo celebration. They arrived Tuesday with pots of shredded chicken simmered in spices. The mixture was layered on tostadas with lettuce, queso fresco, sour cream and Tapatio. We washed it down with Jarritos Mexican soda. It was a fabulous feast! I skipped the pollo, but Brad enjoyed leftovers Tuesday night and raved. The staff and the Latina contingent (Brenda's next to me): Poor little pinata! :)