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Week-End: Things that made my week awesome

This week started out in good spirits and took a nose-dive. The Mr. and I have been battling some allergies that last few days and yesterday they got worse. Along with those allergies we got some heart wrenching news and the crying made our noses overflow, which is no fun. The Mr. received some terrible news on Friday that his best friend's daughter suddenly passed away. Bad news never goes through this house without taking us all down in the end. As strong as you want to be in certain times, it's never easy for us to swallow. The Mr. has only cried hard a few times in his life and seeing him break down just tears my heart out. His friend and him have been close their whole life and to know that they are hurting for the loss of their daughter hurts us deeply. We hope that we can be strong enough to be there for them when the time calls. For now, as today is my birthday, we swallow our sadness and dig deep to enjoy it a bit. Their daughter has always been a shining light of happiness. She always wore a smile and had a hello for everyone she came into contact with. Today, especially today, she wouldn't want us to be sad about her passing. She would want us to smile at the life she lived and celebrate the woman she had become. So with that, here are the things that made this week great!

1.  This stamp

We recently got a specialized stamp for our homeschool classroom. We donate a lot of books throughout the year and now we can let others know who donated them and how to find us. The little snail on top is perfect for representing our classroom. You can always see what we are up to in our classroom by clicking the "Homeschool" link at the top.

2. This card

When we went back to Arkansas in May of this year we toured the Arkansas Railroad Museum. The lady that gave us the tour was so helpful to The Bean and gave him a lot of great train things that he loves. The Cotton Belt lapel, worn by her husband, was one of The Bean's favorite items she gave him. We wanted to show her how much we appreciated her care toward us, so we sent her a personalized thank you card to let her know that she made our day!

3.  These boxes

In the effort to live more minimal we have been getting rid of unnecessary items. One unnecessary is the boxes my cameras came in. I had to make the decision on whether they were "needed" or "wanted." They are definitely a want and so I let them go this week. It was almost a scary feeling placing them into the recycle bin, but since they've been gone, they haven't been missed. Our problem with our holding onto things is the feeling that we need them, or the feeling of keeping them for a just in case moment. Letting go of stuff is not only liberating, but I feel less stressed. It's an odd feeling that comes with the letting go process. It's as if we are dragged down by all of this "stuff." Getting rid of it seems to lighten out thoughts, our stress, and our over all dependency on things. More on this soon.

4. This snail

I post a lot about snails, but the thing is, we live around a lot of snails here in the Valley. You can't go a day without seeing a snail, or 10. They are everywhere and with having a garden we see them daily. Sometimes they do things that are pretty amazing. This snail in the picture had traveled up a stem of grass and landed on this leaf stuck in the fence. As much as people think snails are gross, I think, sometimes, they are pretty interesting creatures. 

5. This skyline

Never a dull moment with the skies here in Oregon. The pink in the clouds just take my breath away sometimes.

This week's Week-End post is dedicated to Katie.
Please keep The Mr., his friend, and his friend's family in your thoughts now and into the coming week.
Your smile is already missed. Your positive outlook will never be forgotten. We love you.

August Unboxings

August offered some great items. My Yogi Surprise box was the first to arrive and it set me on a path of living better for the month.

1. Seventh Generation (Generation Good)-Laundry Packs:

Along with being a member of the Generation Good with Seventh Generation, I received some of their laundry packs to try for a week and give feedback on what I thought about them. It's hard for us to find good, quality laundry items because of the skin sensitivity in our house. 

These laundry packs were fantastic! They smelled great and also left a light scent on our clothes after they were dry. 

We loved how easy they were to use and even The Bean could wash some clothes without making a mess. Toss a couple into large loads and one into smaller loads and it's done.

(I received these coupons to try and review products as part of the Seventh Generation group)

2. The Honest Company

This month for the Honest Company Bundle we received laundry detergent, two dish soaps, stain remover, bubble bath, and a new item to try. Gummy Vitamins (Calcium and Vitamin D3)

3. Honest Beauty

In the Honest Beauty box was the Powder Cleanser, Gel Cleanser, Buffing Brush, and some Younger Face Lotion.

The Buffing Brush's bristles are super soft and I am actually excited to use it each day. It is made high quality and works great for my loose powder from the Honest Company, too.

Never forget this!

4. Yogi Surprise

Love this box so much when it comes. Yogi Surprise has introduced me to so many great products and I can't thank them enough for adding me to their associate program. This box is always packed full of awesome things. See that Tiger Balm patch? The best thing for the tennis elbow I am nursing right now. 

Great stuff! Sign up here to give them a try next month!

Week-End: Things that made my week awesome (Extras: Learning to say "no" and Moon Juice)

We had a great week and an even better weekend... The week before this one. On Monday, The Mr. wasn't feeling well and stayed home from work. It's rare to have him miss a day of working, but he definitely needed a day to recuperate. On Tuesday he headed back to work and finished out the week until Friday. Friday morning we all went to breakfast and it was weird to go to breakfast with The Mr. and The Bean during the week. Most of the time The Mr. is working and The Bean is homeschooling and I am working. Since Examiner closed its doors my whole schedule is weird. I am slowly getting used to being a "stay at home mom," but it is different. The Mr. and I have even talked about expanding our little family, so everything is on a different orbit right now. It's been an adventure, for sure! After Friday's breakfast date, The Mr. went to his golf tournament and on Saturday we took off to Hood River to tour the Full Sail Brewery... And that's where things get tricky. We had planned to camp near Hood River and stay somewhere near Mount Hood, but for it being a Saturday night all of the campgrounds were full. We decided to bag the camping idea and just find a hotel room, but nothing was available on that idea either. We were on the road until about 2:00 a.m. searching surrounding towns and campgrounds near Hood River, but everything was already taken. It was about that time The Mr. suggested we sleep for a bit at a rest stop and take off for home instead. We were a bit bummed to not find a place to stay and even more bummed that there wasn't any campsites. We definitely learned our lesson to call ahead and book something solid, or get to our destination early to secure a spot. Of course, all of this happened the week before and I didn't post a Week-End post because we arrived home and our heads finally hit the pillows close to 5:00 a.m. We used all of Sunday to sleep off our crazy adventures. This past week it was more calm and less adventurous. The Bean had his state testing for sixth grade on Monday and The Mr. took the day off to be available for support, While The Bean was taking his test, The Mr. and I went on a breakfast date and to pick up a few items at Home Depot. On Tuesday The Mr. headed back to work and we finished out the week with little-to-no excitement.

Such a productive Saturday and Sunday last weekend, but this weekend was a bit slower. We attended a Pokemon GO event and sidewalk sale in downtown Lebanon. It was about 105 degrees on Saturday while we were walking around catching Pokemon and doing a little shopping. It was tolerable, but we ended up calling it for our family after 45 minutes. The walk back to our house, which is about four blocks from downtown, was quite the struggle. We were all hot and tired and we all jumped in the pool once we got back. Today we are hoping for a slower day and The Mr. and I are looking forward to a zero responsibility day, for sure! I have so many things to share later this week, but for now here are the things that made this week awesome!

1. This White Wine

This wine is also among the July unboxings. We have really enjoyed the Riesling wine from Naked Wines and side note: You can't reuse a box for mailing if it states that it was used for alcohol before. Learned that this week when the postal worker told me I had to cover up anything that states there was wine in the box. My poor niece and nephew will have to wait a few more days for their goodies from their Aunt. :(

After cover ever inch of the box that said anything about "wine" I was able to mail it through the USPS. Lesson learned. *sigh*

2.  This Minimal Living Thought

Debt stinks, but at least with this mind set we can all fix the problem before it's too late. I am really enjoying my minimal living journey. I feel less weighed down by STUFF.

3. This Skyline

The skies here on the Pacific Coast are beautiful at times. This picture was taken at 9:30 at night. The sun set here takes on some great colors while it slowly fades behind the mountains and eventually sinks into the ocean.

4. This Garage Door

This garage always catches my eye when we walk by it. It just seems pleasing to look at and the different windows in the garage door just speak to me.

5. This Key Chain

Random key chains have been hung throughout the city here. Not sure what they mean, but they are interesting enough to peek my imagination. 

  1. This coffee steeper.
  2. Give yourself permission to say "no" to obligations that don't fill your cup.
  3. Seven Honest Beauty products to take in your carry-on.
  4. Almond X Shakastics Skateboard.
  5. Explore the Moon Kingdoms.
  6. "To be successful you need to minimize contact with people who are not successful."
  7. How the Crawley's made their money work for them over time.
  8. How about a getaway in a Gypsy Wagon.
  9. I miss old school libraries, don't you?
  10. Take a family vacation that is geared toward just wild crafting alone.

Road Trip: Hike and summer dip at McDowell Creek Falls

This summer hasn't been all that hot, but it's been warm enough to enjoy some cool water along a creek. McDowell Creek Falls is sort of a "hidden" creek along the outskirts of the South Santiam River. It has small water falls that pour down the sides of rock facings and a great hiking trail that loops around the creek and through the falls. We have been the McDowell Creel Falls many times before, but this day just seemed right for another visit.

The Bean loves the outdoors and with homeschooling it's easier to fit in some nature study more than he would get in public school or private school. We love the concept of incorporating our regular studies inside the classroom with studies outside the classroom. Sort of a Nature Study school. 

Little PITA dog was trying to get his water legs. He took some encouragement at the start, but before long he was jumping in the water like a duck.

Although this photo looks candid, the real story is that The Bean lost his flip flop at the top of the falls and had to run down the hill to catch it before it drifted down the creek. He did grab it in time thanks to a pool of water stuck between the rocks. 

Baz hates being wet, bath time is an adventure, but he was loving the trail hike. He loves to put his nose to the ground and just go where it takes him. In his old age he is really good about staying with us even when he is off of his lease. 

The Bean tried to surf the water at first, but kept loosing his footing on the rocks. So he decided to "body surf" the water instead. He said he is going to bring his boogie board the next time.