Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Don’t Wake Mt St Helens

Mt. St. Helens just celebrated it’s 34th anniversary of the eruption in 1980; so we thought it was a good time to go up and marvel at the wonder that is that mountain. Since there wasn't as much snow this year as usual, the roads to Johnston Ridge opened earlier and the place was not as crowed as it can be in the summer.

On the way up, Magnus asked why so many trees were on the ground, so we tried to explain about the eruption. He seemed a bit confused. We watched video at the visitor center and he was amazed at the power of the mountain. For the rest of the day he kept telling us to be quiet so we wouldn’t wake the lava.


We love the view up there.


We ate lunch down at Coldwater Lake. The little hike there is a great place to see how the landscape has recovered after the devastation. We showed Magnus how life comes back; that made him a bit excited (though remember to be quiet, so you don’t wake the lava).


After the lake, Magnus and Dana did a short walk on the Hummocks Trail. Again we saw how life returns and that volcanoes don’t destroy everything. When we got home we watched the Firebird Suite segment on Fantasia 2000. The segment was inspired by Mt. St. Helens, and Magnus loved it. He has now watched it many times. We think the whole thing has been a great learning experience for him.


Our last view point.


Dana also stopped to see these two waterfalls:


Our last stop of the day was at a restaurant that specializes in cobblers. We tried Peach Cherry and Mountain Berry (which I think was blackberry and raspberry) and they were amazing. Out in front of the restaurant is this odd truck. It was a fire truck in one of the logging camps before the eruption. It was carried down river with the floods and came to rest near here.


River Beach Time


A hot day and a hard day at work inspired this spontaneous picnic on the river shore. We found a nice quiet place to sit on the sand and eat delicious hamburgers at Kelly Point Park in Portland.




We had a nice view of Mt. Hood from where we sat. We also enjoyed watching the giant cargo ships navigating the Columbia River.


Relaxing at the beach.


We also had some neat things fly over us while we relaxed:


Moms are the Best


We hope all you Moms had a wonderful Mother’s Day. We spent that evening at Dana’s mom’s house to celebrate the special day. The weather was nice so we were outside for much of the evening. Gideon was even in a good mood and Magnus got him to laugh a lot.


Some of the pretty flowers in Farmor’s Garden:


More pictures of Gideon:


Thank you, to all the wonderful moms in our lives!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Magnus Turns 3!


May 3rd was the much anticipated birthday for Magnus. He has been telling us what he wanted for months now and we think we got it. He was very excited to wake up to a living room full of green balloons to start off his Ninja Turtle birthday.



We completed his cake using his parameters. He wanted all the turtles, with one coming out of a “ninja turtle door” (a sewer lid), Krang, and the Technodrome. Ruth made the cake and Dana helped with the fondant construction and placement. He told us he loved it.



When I asked Magnus what he wanted to do on his birthday, he said he wanted to see a waterfall. So we headed to the Gorge. Our first stop was Horsetail Falls, one you don’t have to hike to. The weather was great for waterfall viewing.



We even found a salamander there.



Our second stop was the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist Convent. If you ring their doorbell and ask nicely, they will let you walk up to their waterfall: Coopey Falls. This is the only way to view the whole falls. The best part was the Gorge was super busy that day, but because this is a virtually unknown waterfall, we were the only ones there. Plus the grounds of the convent are beautiful.


Back at the house it was time to prepare for his little party. We thought a Ninja Turtle Birthday required pizza for dinner. We also had Ninja Turtle colored fruits/vegies and drinks.




Present Time:


Cake Time, only three candles to blow out:


It was a great day, though I think Gideon thought we should pay more attention to him.