Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Where Have We Been?!

So you might have noticed.....it's been five months since the last blog entry.  Sorry about that!  At the last posting, we were still a long-distance family and we were moving up the moving back there in February. 

This gigantic moving truck barely fit all of our stuff inside!

So the fast-forward version:  we found a perfect-for-our-family house in Keizer, just outside of Salem, and we all moved--together again!--during Spring Break (March).  The kids had a week of unpacking before they had to start at their new schools, then we waited until after the second week to re-introduce extracurricular activities.  Kaela had a rough first week at middle school--even though the kids at her school were very nice and welcoming, she missed her girlfriends from Bend.  But soon enough, she started making new friends and now she's right back on track.  Graeson and Maezie made the transition quickly, and Bryan was the fixer-upper-home-dad for several weeks.

The Williams family's new home in Keizer!

After we finally unpacked 1000 boxes (ok not really.....well maybe) we took some time to explore what's it's like being on the other side of the mountains and what its like living in the valley now!  We went to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival and there must have been 3 million tulips!  If you've followed our family blog for several years, you might remember we were actually there once a few years back....long before we ever knew we'd be moving out of our hometown!  Click here for that flashback.

We're definitely not in the high desert anymore!

One of our hesitations for moving the family in Spring was due to Graeson finishing his taekwondo schedule for obtaining his black belt.  Fortunately, the taekwondo gym (a-hem, it's technically called the "dojang") already had a partner-company near our new town, so it was an easy transition.  Graeson was able to continue his taekwondo training and after only three years, he is now a BLACK BELT!  All of the family came to Bend for the big event--we are all so proud of him!

After achieving black belt, his classmates now have to call him "Mr Williams".....or "sir"!

Shortly after, we made a trip to Klamath Falls to celebrate two of our very good friends getting married.  Bryan was a groomsman and MANY people in our lives have seriously never seen Bryan wear long pants!  And long sleeves!  And a tie for goodness sakes!  (Personally, I thought he was so handsome he might upstage the groom!)

Hands off ladies, this good looking man is already married!

To welcome summer, we tried out another valley-experience:  picking our own berries!  There are tons of you-pick farms, fruit stands, and orchards everywhere around here.  We took a bit of a scenic tour trying to find our first strawberry farm, but we eventually picked 30 pounds!  We had strawberry shortcake, strawberry lemonade, strawberry milkshakes, strawberry jam, chocolate-dipped strawberries, and more strawberry shortcake!  We paid for it the next day with sore muscles from the constant bending over--but our tummies were happy!

30 pounds is a lot of strawberries!

In June, Kaela celebrated her half-birthday with a girls night slumber party back in Bend.  She and three of her friends from Bend had a great time reconnecting, catching up, swimming in the pool, eating, watching movies, and staying up late (or, actually early).  Only six more months until we have a teenager in the house!

This Christmas girl is now 12 and a HALF!

Another benefit to living in the valley is that we're only an hour from the beach!  This just might be the best benefit of all!  We went for a day-trip for Mother's Day, and then we went for an entire week for a family vacation over the July 4th holiday.  It was great to leave the house at 2:00 in the afternoon instead of bright and early to travel all day!  We stayed in a timeshare condo in Depoe Bay and had a lovely relaxing time with perfect weather (usually unpredictable at the Oregon Coast), whale watching, harbor seals outside our condo, lighthouses, pool time every day, movie rentals, cheese factories, sunsets, and of course.....THE BEACH!  We all agreed, we want to live there someday.

Hello from the Oregon Coast!

Hopefully......it won't be another five months before the next blog entry.  And then there's the family photos and videos that I'm behind a year and a half.  I think we're too busy having family fun!