community, cooking, cooper, food, friends, grade school, oregon, preschooler, silas, stephen

Autumn Activities

Fall in Oregon is dazzling! This October has been dry, warm, and sunny—especially compared to last year. By now, most of the leaves are either gone or have turned brown, but it’s been a beauty of a season!

We explored Sauvie Island (an island in the Columbia River) one weekend. Though it’s just across the river from Portland, the island is untouched farmland with pastoral hills filled with horses, sheep, cows, and crops.

The banks of the Columbia were lined with floating homes that could be moved to various moorage sites along the river once a resident tired of their view. The northern end of the island was closed for the season as it’s the winter habitat for thousands of water fowl. Bald eagles come to Sauvie Island to breed as well. We attempted to hike to the lighthouse at the northern end of the island, but got distracted with the clams along the river bank.

The huge tanker heading to Portland was incredible to see in such a small river. The captain obliged and honked the ship’s horn for us.

The Wedge, Portland’s Cheese Festival, was a fun, new experience. There were so many cheeses to taste that I actually tired of it! Whew! We came home with some yummy selections though. 

When our plans to visit a pumpkin patch with friends were changed, we spontaneously drove up the Columbia Gorge to Hood River.

In the gorge we could see the damage done by the major Eagle Creek Fire from September that rained ash down on us all the way over in Beaverton—45 miles away! Though it was sad to see the gorge in such a devastated state, there were more green trees than I had expected. We had heard of the area’s Fruit Loop—a collection of various farms east of Portland. We checked out a local farm stand/bakery and then enjoyed a corn maze and corn pit at Packer Orchards.

The view of the valley was magnificent!

Though we did indeed visit a real farm, we bought our pumpkins from Home Depot—very quaint, right? One afternoon we carved pumpkins. That is, I carved pumpkins, but Cooper was surprisingly diligent about cutting the lid out of his pumpkin. Silas chose an Angry Bird design, Cooper chose Ironman (of course), and Mommy chose Minnie Mouse for Brynn.

Pumpkin carving looks a lot easier than it is. I’ll have to keep practicing. Ironman fell apart since he too delicate, so he was held together with toothpicks.

At church we celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. In 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the church door of Wittenberg, sparking the Protestant Reformation. The core tenets of the Reformation are encapsulated in the Five Solas: Sola Scriptura (scripture alone), Sola Fide (faith alone), Sola Gratia (grace alone), Solus Christus (Christ alone), Soli Deo Gloria (to the glory of God alone). Our morning worship service was structured around the Five Solas, and Pastor Michael continued his sermon series through the book of Ezekiel, but also incorporated themes from the Reformation. That evening, Hinson hosted a Reformation party for the kids with games, crafts, and goodie bags. The kids were invited to dress up in time period costumes. At the last minute, I pulled out an old brown sheet, cut it up (and with some well-placed safety pins) made some Martin Luther costumes for the boys. Brynn went as a princess—not exactly from the time period, but it worked.

Stephen bought Silas a copy of the first book in the Encyclopedia Brown series. It was a chapter book Stephen read as a kid, and he thought it would be a good first chapter book for Silas to enjoy. After Silas finished the book, Stephen took him out for froyo as a reward.

Cooper’s been learning to write his alphabet and numbers. It’s been fun to sit at the kitchen table with him while Brynn naps and do a bit of preschool.

Brynn and Coop are little buddies who I’m glad I get to spend all day with. They can be pretty cute!

Happy Fall!

1 thought on “Autumn Activities

  1. You’ve certainly been busy! The only pumpkin that got carved here was the one Paige did at school, maybe next year we’ll attempt carving. Those reformation costumes were awesome—no way would I have guessed it was a sheet and some safety pins.

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