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16 October 2012


Posted by Jenny Hoelter | File under Adventures, Kids, Vacations

No cousins were injured with sticks. Just in case anyone wondered.

18 July 2012

Canoeing and other summertime happenings

Posted by Jenny Hoelter | File under Adventures, Home, Sara

I think next summer we will have to find a kayak–we are getting to be too much family for a 17 foot canoe! Owen had a paddling lesson this week at Sparks Lake in preparation for being my co-pilot next year.

In addition to paddling and biking at Sunriver, there have been swimming lessons,

Lots of hammering and building on our tree house, now less of a death trap,

And BBQs in the backyard, giant Jenga supplied by the uncles.

(Unpictured, but significant!) A gazillion books, including Owen and my joint summer reading list. My choices: My Side of the Mountain and Misty of Chincoteage, His choices: The Lost Hero and The Strange Case of Origami Yoda. He finished these in about 3 days and I am just now catching up. I’m thinking  Island of the Blue Dolphins and  Ann of Green Gables next…

And of course, a sweet girl’s 5th Birthday, with a trip to Enchanted Forest and birthday cake with a friend. Sara at 5 is long and lanky, swims like a fish and can almost ride a 2-wheeler. She can read Green Eggs and Ham except for “anywhere” and “would”, and writes the most fantastic completely phonetic  stories (thanks Montessori). She will only rarely wear a dress, loves blue and purple and puppies (but is a little scared of actual, living dogs). She has green eyes like her Dad and a rarely photographed smile that will knock your socks off. She, along with Drew, spends a good portion of her time in some kind of fantasy, usually involving rescuing animals or packing for/going on trips. She is a great kid.



18 June 2012

20 Miles!

Posted by Jenny Hoelter | File under Adventures, Kids

Some folks ride 20 miles every day. We are not those people. We ride to the grocery store or the park, very occasionally (usually at Sunriver) we take a longer 10 mile or so ride. Today, we rode 20 miles in celebration of Father’s Day! We are very proud of ourselves tonight, and have a collection of very sore bottoms to show for it.

We started at the Banks end of the Banks-Vernonia Trail and rode out/back to about the middle of it. Owen rode his one-speed, Peter had Sara (who has a need for speed) on the tag-along, and I pulled Drew in the Burley trailer. He took a nap. The first five miles were pretty flat, but the next five were not—a steady railway-style climb with very little respite. BUT going down was REALLY fun, and took a tiny fraction of the time.

We had a snack (Oreos) at the turn-around.

McMenamins Grand Lodge in Forest Grove fed us dinner. (Of note, the last time we were there, it was for Jeff’s 30th birthday, and he turns 40 in two months!)

2 May 2012

We Go For Walks…

Posted by Peter Hoelter | File under Adventures, Kids

…and sometimes our neighborhood looks downright magical.

2 February 2012

Fall Photo Round-Up

Posted by Peter Hoelter | File under Adventures, Beach, Holidays, Photo Gallery

Well, it happened again — I got way behind in sorting and posting photos. So the time has come for another catch-up post. Presented for your enjoyment are three galleries from the Fall of 2011.

Christmas photos are next on my list — perhaps before Valentine’s Day?

School Daze

Fall brings with it the familiarity of back-to-school events: Photos on the front porch, a trip to the beach with Dad, visits to the pumpkin patch, soccer games, fun runs, and more.


Thanks to a purchase at a wine-fueled charity auction earlier in the year, in late October we headed down to California for two days of magic at Disneyland, with a bonus day at Legoland. Grandpa Mark and Grandma Miriam joined in on the fun. Needless to say, it was an amazing trip!

Things That Happen Around This Time of Year

Trick-or-Treating, fall leaves, birthdays, outdoor adventures, and Thanksgiving with family – it was an active Fall for us. This gallery begins with three little Angry Birds, and ends with a sunny hike along the Santiam River.

20 January 2012


Posted by Peter Hoelter | File under Adventures, Home

All is well for now, but let’s not do this again for a very long time…

The morning after…


31 October 2011

… so that typically fiscally conservative folks like me will say things like “We wanted to go to Disneyland, right?” after I have agreed to buy a trip to Disneyland.

So, we went! The best pictures are coming, but here are a few to give you a sense of what it’s like to take 3 kids to Disneyland. By the way, we highly recommend bringing along a set of grandparents to correct the adult:child ratio.

Here we are waiting to go in–

Owen says “If you took away all the waiting it would be double AWESOME”

Outside Sleeping Beauty’s Castle:

On a Jungle Cruise under Tarzan’s Treehouse–

A (premature) celebration of being first in line for Nemo’s Submarine Adventure. We were first in the, ahem, EXIT line, and the ride didn’t open for another 20 minutes. We rock!

Here is a very sleepy Drew, who managed to keep his eyes open through the (VERY charming) Casey Jr. Train ride through Storybook Village. After this ride, we took the kids back to the hotel for a couple hours of swim/nap/snack, which was the thread holding back mutiny at about 12:30 each day.

My little girl isn’t really into princesses, but she is fond of fairies, and Drew thought they were pretty cool too.


Owen preferred the roller coasters–

We ran into some line zombies… (Thank heavens for camera phones to keep the zombies at bay)

Wow! We really did have fun! Thanks Grampa and Grandma for putting up with us!

Next time, I’ll post the pictures of Legoland (think about the planet of Endor rendered in Legos… Awesome, indeed!







19 October 2011

A Portland Day

Posted by Jenny Hoelter | File under Adventures

Last Sunday afternoon we went to Portland with a goal of obtaining a new (to us) Harry Potter #4, as Owen and Peter have loved ours a little too much. We made our way to Powells down the park blocks, jumped in fountains (well, Drew did), and jumped off of many planters, steps and lamp posts. Our cool factor was diminished by lots of pigeon chasing and pointing at cranes. We were okay with that.

We spent about 90 minutes in the children’s section of Powells, with brief, alternating adult excursions to the rest of the store.

We walked to Jamison Park and played in that fountain for a while.

Dinner at Deschutes Brewery Portland Pub (Black Butte Porter!), then back to the car via streetcar.

We love Portland!


20 August 2011

Canoe Camping

Posted by Jenny Hoelter | File under Adventures, Kids

First you load your camping gear (preferably waterproofed), your kids and some food in a canoe.

Add a boat full of friends.

Don’t run into a snag and capsize your boat.

Then find a campsite, like this one on Wells Island near Buena Vista ferry.

Attempt to dry out your stuff, while being ever-so-grateful for following the impulse to waterproof the sleeping bags.

Cook some dogs and marshmallows…

Watch the stars.

This is not a bear, raccoon or a dementor.

Load up in the morning and paddle towards home!