Saturday, August 11, 2012

Grandkid Summer Part III: Kestrel and Cedrus

On Sunday evening, July 29, Kestrel, 5, and Cedrus, 3, and their parents arrived from California, joining Kinnera (who had arrived the day before, see and filling our little house with the happy sounds of small, excited children. Steve and Munazza brought food and cooked nearly every meal. Such wonderful guests we have!

Kestrel and Cedrus helped Johnny make popcorn waffles, a tradition when the grandkids come. Here is Kestrel in his skeleton pajamas, supervising.

The boys were eager to help with everything. One job was picking… and eating… raspberries. Kestrel did not want to eat a single raspberry until all were picked. The rest of us had no trouble tasting our way along the row.

All kids got to help split firewood and feed hay to the goats, among the many chores on the farm.

Kestrel tried his hand at milking a goat.

He and his brother fed fruit peels to the llamas.

Munazza said she missed weeding in her garden. So she weeded in mine. It was a challenge with rock hard dirt.

And, of course, we all hiked to Agency Creek. I tried to get them interested in the Cedar Waxwings that were flycatching all around us. Only Cedrus tried to spy them (or something) through his binoculars. I took a photo of one to show the kids how beautiful they are.

The kids threw rocks into the water and also waded in it. Kestrel tried to take giant steps on the rocks but they were too far apart.

With help from their dad, the kids made it to a big rock. Kinnera and I learned that walking on bare feet on the sharp rocks under water hurt. The kids thought it pretty funny when I yelled "Ouch!"

As always, we ate watermelon that we had cooled in the creek. I think Cedrus has had enough.

Kestrel’s favorite activity on the farm was his chasing-Grandpa-through-the-new-goat-barn game. So many things to climb on in there.

Cedrus, as always, liked sitting on the tractors and pretend driving. Pretend driving the EZ Go was popular, too.

One evening we were entertained with stories told by friend Monica. All three kids were enthralled. Kestrel then told a story of his own, inspired by Monica’s. Kestrel loves stories. Amazingly, this one did not have a train in it! I believe Monica had an influence on him.

The beach is always fun. The boys liked their sand cars with steering wheels. Kinnera dug in the sand near them. Cedrus liked his car so well it was hard to convince him to go play in the waves. No such problem with Kestrel. He loved dashing in and out. His dad didn't seem quite so thrilled with the icy water.

Ultimately Munazza convinced Cedrus to test the waves and he was all smiles. Everyone (except the smart person with the camera who was sheltered from wind and cold water by a log high up the beach) got into the action.

But perhaps most fun for Kestrel during the week was climbing the rocks at Niagara Falls (Oregon version). After a long one mile hike down to the falls (two falls, actually, Pheasant Falls and Niagara Falls), the kids had plenty of energy for scaling rocks below the cascading water. Kestrel, with help from his dad, climbed all the way up behind the falls. Amazingly, both kids climbed out that long trail with nary a word of complaint… Kestrel even jogged part of the way. Cedrus kept up a steady line of chatter as he marched uphill. I puffed and panted in the rear, trying to keep pace with a 3-year-old. The only time he stopped was to study a couple of millipedes on the path.

After the hike we had dinner at The Wildwood Cafe in Willamina, owned by two young women who went to school with Kevin and Steve.

Kestrel, that master of delayed gratification, divided up the fireworks Ian had provided (see so we could have some each night they were here. They left one night earlier than he anticipated, though, so some fireworks will be waiting for their Thanksgiving visit. As will we.

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