Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Visit from the California Family

The day after the Washington family left, we drove to the airport to pick up our California family: Steve and Munazza and Kestrel and Cedrus. We arrived just as they were retrieving their luggage.

After supper at Cedrus' favorite restaurant (because they have wonderful berry lemonade), the Wildwood Cafe in Willamina, it was home to sleep in a tent inside the house. The boys thought that was very weird and very exciting!  Photo on the House of Ants post:

First thing Kestrel and Cedrus do on their first morning at the farm is make popcorn waffles with Grandpa Johnny. First they pop the popcorn, then they stir the waffle batter.

After breakfast, it's chore time. This was the first visit that included pigs.

Johnny was eager for the boys to arrive so he could burn our piles of brush and old barn wood. They liked watching the fire go whoosh when Grandpa poured "boy scout water" on it (dirty diesel gas).

Their dad, Steve, is a firebug, too. He demonstrated what happens when you light a dandelion seed head. It goes POOF!

When the fires burned down, we had the obligatory picnic and messy s'mores.

We all hiked to the creek, but some rode part way in the EZ Go electric cart, driven by Cedrus. This visit his legs are long enough to reach the pedals so he can really drive, not just steer it. That was his very favorite thing to do at the farm... and he did it every day.

Again, the miracle of no rain held out and we were able to hike through fields and woods without getting wet. Grandpa intends to use these two big logs to make a bridge across the little creek. But for now they made a great balance beam.

On Thursday it misted a bit and acted like it might rain... but it never did. Just in case, we limited our activities to close to the house. The cavalettis and jump standards and cones became mazes and obstacle courses under Kestrel's direction. The llamas kept watch over the proceedings.

Munazza demonstrated her incredible aim by throwing a ball and knocking a teddy bear off its perch... much more accurately and from farther than did Steve. He needs to take her to an arcade.

Grandma brought out a horse cart and gave Kestrel and Cedrus a ride.

Then we switched horses. It was Grandpa's turn.

Kestrel gave Cedrus a ride.

Kestrel and Cedrus teamed up to give their mom a ride... but only long enough for a photo op.

After the pony cart rides, Steve and Munazza went to town to buy food for us. It's so nice to have kids who are willing to cook when they come visit and are such good cooks! Meanwhile, Kestrel and Cedrus hid the Easter eggs they had dyed with natural dyes (and Grandpa's help). When Steve came home, he and I hunted all over the house. The boys are good hiders! Even better, Kestrel kept a list of where each egg was hidden so we have no rotten eggs to find years hence.

Friday morning, we played the feather game with swallows. I gave the boys poles to attach the feathers to. Sometimes it took two people to hold a pole...

Indoors, the boys gave performances. Cedrus danced for us and Kestrel sang. We have talented grandchildren! Here Munazza and Kestrel cuddle on the couch... Maybe this was after we watched the movie "Frozen" and they were trying to warm up.

As always on a farm, there was work to do. Munazza and Steve cooked and helped with whatever needed doing. The boys helped with farm chores. They gathered eggs from the chicken house, helped throw down hay to the goats, fed treats to the pigs and llamas, and spread seed for the wild birds as Cedrus is doing here...

Their flight home left Friday early evening. Unfortunately, it left without them. We hit stop and go traffic for many miles on the way to the airport and arrived too late. Instead, they spent the night in a nearby hotel and flew out early Saturday morning. Their hotel room had a lovely view of Mt. Hood. The photo below was taken from the top of the parking garage at the airport on Friday. The weather was still beautiful!

Today, after everyone was gone, it began to rain. The weather folk say it will rain off and on for the rest of April. How kind of the weather to cooperate for our visits from family north and family south. Here's hoping weather (and ants) cooperate the next time they visit the farm.

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