Thursday, September 15, 2011

Berries and Missing Kids

Blackberry bushes in Oregon are considered weeds.  They are everywhere - literally everywhere.  We walk to the park, we pick blackberries.  We go to the tennis courts (we are teaching ourselves how to play), we pick blackberries.  We visit some one's house, we pick their blackberries.  I think it gives us away as newbies to the Oregon area that we are all still so delighted when we see a blackberry bush full of berries just waiting to be eaten.   I have not done much baking since arriving here, but I have managed to make a blackberry coffee cake and some blackberry smoothies for Max and Sophie.

Speaking of Sophie, we lost her this week. 

The kids get off the school bus a street up from Heather's house.  Max gets home first and then Sophie and Calvin arrive about 15-20 minutes later.  I usually spend the day at the library sending off resumes while the kids are at school and on Tuesday I arrived at Heather's house after Max was home.   As I pulled up, he was walking down the street with his cousin Soren to meet the bus and pick up Sophie and Calvin.  I said hi and then proceeded to chat with Heather in her yard while we waited for the kids to get back.  A few minutes later Calvin returned, then Soren and Max . . . but no Sophie.  I stopped Max in the street and asked him where his sister was and my question was met with a blank stare.

Max: "Oh . . .  I don't know where she is."
Mom: "Did she get off the bus?!"
Max: ***ponders***
Max:  "I don't know."

!!!!  Max had no idea if his sister got off the bus and what is more, it did not seem to concern him that he was sent to the bus stop to pick up two kids and ONLY RETURNED WITH ONE!

After running to the end of the street searching for Sophie (no luck), running home and finding Calvin who said quite definitely that Sophie did not get off the bus but that he was pretty sure she was actually on the bus, and a frantic phone call over to the school, we found Sophie.  She had been reading on the bus, missed her stop and did not notice until the bus reached it's final stop and the bus driver asked her if she was getting off.  She promptly burst into tears and told him she had missed her stop.  Luckily she remembered the name of the main street and the driver drove her back to the bus stop.  Phew.  Child found. 

Max received a bit of a lecture on paying attention after that little scene.  He has been removed from meet the school bus duties for the time being!

Monday, September 12, 2011

On The Road

Months ago, we drove across the United States from Minnesota into Idaho, down to Utah and finally up to Oregon.  Here are a few things I remember about this trip.

1. I love a good road trip
2. This particular road trip was a little scary only because we were taking a road trip to start a new life and leaving behind so many friends
3. It is rather nice to caravan and switch drivers (my parents drove out with us to help us make the move)
4. My car was so full of everything we might need for the months we would be living with my sister that there was only room for one passenger in the back seat.  Every other surface was packed full including the passenger seat in the front
5.  We live in a beautiful country
6. Our country was flooding - everywhere
7. The snow was higher than the car in the mountains of Wyoming - at the end of June
8.  Snacks, caffeine and good music are essential to a happy road trip
9. I prefer to get off the interstate and take the back roads and explore
10. My kids love hotels with pools and hotel breakfasts
11.  You will gain weight on a road trip
12.  We had an amazing drive through Yellowstone.  See if you can find bison, a wolf, a brown bear and a moose in these photos
13. It feels really good to finally get out of the car and get back to some sort of a routine