Benham Falls Early during the summer of 2015 my family realized that due to work schedules, new arrivals (Gus and Stella) and in-laws we weren't sure when we would all have the chance to be together again. Our solution to that was to set aside a week in the spring and rent a house in Sun River, Oregon. My dad was the mastermind behind the house and he found a fantastic place with a large yard, right on the river.
Sun River is very "Oregon" with lots of outdoor activities, trails, and ski slopes. We were caught between seasons and the weather was pretty schizophrenic - we had rain, sun, hail, snow and wind and sometimes all of them in a day! All of us said at one point how fun it would be to come back during the summer and take advantage of everything Sun River has to offer. Even still, we tried to have an "outing" each day. The outings were geared to Jack and Owen's interests and just took a few hours - but it was good to get out. It's always a challenge to manage the nap schedules of the four kiddos.
Our first outing was on the Monday and we took the boys to a Bounce House for the couple of hours it was restricted to kids under five. The boys loved it and Jack even learned how to use the ropes to climb up the ladder to the slide! Unfortunately it was a petri-dish of germs and by the end of the week all the kids had colds. Batter Up
Tuesday nearly everyone got out on a little hike. We drove the short distance to the trail head for Benham Falls and walked the mile to the lookout. Owen loved jumping in the puddles and Jack picked up every stick and pine cone he could get his hands on so he could "bat".
Wednesday was the day we had planned to ski a half day with Lani and Kyle. Unfortunately Lani had thrown out her neck and back and her activity was extremely limited. We decided to postpone the trip up to Bachelor in hopes she would recover before the end of the week and go with us then. Lee and i still snuck away for a few hours and I brought him to Benham Falls. As expected, it was an entirely different experience going back with an adult. We walked down along the river and got some great shots of the falls. The views at the bottom were far superior to those at the view point. When we returned back to the house the boys were dying their very first Easter Eggs. Their interest level lasted longer than I expected and it was fun to watch how they approached the whole thing. Once the eggs were dry, I hid those and a couple dozen plastic eggs filled with coins throughout the backyard. The boys LOVED the hunt. Owen caught on to it right away! Jack wanted to peel the hard boiled eggs and it took a little coaxing to keep him moving. But in the end they both got it and loved Owen. We even did repeat hunts with Owen over the next couple of days. Jack just loved opening and closing the "eggies".
Kalemba Family Pictures Thursday was the day I requested everyone shower, get out of their running clothes and/or pajamas and get "dressed up" for a picture. We hadn't taken a family picture since Abbie and Patrick celebrated their wedding and that was before Jack, Stella and Gus joined the family. Lee brought his tripod and thanks to an unexpected miracle, we got a great picture of the entire family looking at the camera! I love it and will cherish it forever. The girls then changed into swimming suits and we brought the kids to the nearby pool. Everything we read said the pool was terrific and we were expecting something akin to the water park we had visited in Kellogg at the end of January. This one was a total disappointment. The entry fee was HIGH, the pool was COLD and there was very little for small kids to enjoy. But the boys and Stella are always happy in the water and so we stayed and played until everyone's lips were blue.
Friday the Archies had to leave for home. They left about midday and when they did, Kyle, Lee and I made the short drive to Bachelor to get in a few hours on the slopes. We hadn't been skiing since 2009! In fact, it was the first time Lee had the opportunity to use the snowboard I bought for his birthday that same year (2009). The weather was AMAZING that afternoon - clear and sunny. It was cold but the snow was still surprisingly good given that it hadn't snowed much the last few days. Lee loved his board and we loved getting out. We need to make sure we hit Tahoe next season (even though the snow isn't anything like that of Bachelor).The Ski Crew
Outside of the "outings" we spent a lot of time doing crafts, singing songs, playing games, making food and entertaining the boys. It was so nice for us all to be together. My dad was amazing and made several trips into Bend to purchase groceries, supplies, whatever was requested. He then often was the chef and catered to all of us. I'm so lucky to have the parents I do. When we pulled out on Saturday to head back home to California we commented on how important it is for us to continue to prioritize a week like this while my parents are still so active and the kids are young. It was a great week.
Pictures from that week are here.