We celebrated the 1-year anniversary of becoming friends with Shelia, Ken, and their family by visiting them for the weekend in Middleton, Idaho. They moved to Idaho last fall to open up a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center called Bow Creek Recovery Center. We miss having them in Portland, but fortunately they visit frequently in the warmer months (when the mountain passes are open). After making the day-long drive with our three kids, I'm in awe of Shelia's ability to make that drive regularly, by herself, with her three kids. (Although she reminds me that she wouldn't do it with a 1-1/2-year-old!)
We had a fun time visiting over the weekend and enjoying Shelia's amazing vegetarian cooking. I told Mike that I'd happily become a vegetarian if I had my own private gourmet chef! Friday night we had corn pancakes with black beans; Saturday we had chocolate chip pancakes, taco salad, and yummy broccoli pesto with pasta; and Sunday it was a frittata with fresh fruit. Very tasty!
The kids had a blast together. 7-year-old Beck is buddies with Chris, and 6-year-old twins Ari and Myla play with Kieran. Nicholas tags along or does his own thing. Typical for Kieran, he announced on Saturday morning that he wanted to return to Oregon because he was bothered by something one of the girls did. On Saturday evening he and Myla informed us that they were going to get married, and sat happily watching "Little House on the Prairie" with their arms thrown around each other. We joked with Ken and Shelia about being in-laws someday!
On Saturday morning we went to see Bow Creek...here are some photos of hanging out on the porch having a snack and playing cards.
Here is my little sweetie posing for me on the stairs:
Nicholas LOVED Beck's pajamas because they featured his favorite thing of the moment: FIRE TRUCKS!
Saturday afternoon Mike and Ken graciously agreed to watch the kids while I dragged Shelia off to see the new "Sex and the City" film. Mike had no interest in seeing it, and although I know it's shallow and materialistic, I thought it was a fun escape. If you can look beyond the obsession with designer labels, shoes, and sex, you'll find a heartwarming story about women's deep friendships, compassion, and forgiveness.
Here everyone posed for photos before we left for Oregon on Sunday morning:
Nicholas loved the girls' doll strollers
The yellow stickie on Kieran's shirt is a nametag he's made for the "Alvin and the Chipmunks" play that he is planning...that is his latest obsession, from "Wizard of Oz" to "Peter Pan" to Batman to Alvin...
Nicholas has a soft spot for Shelia!
These photos of the kids are so cute that I can't resist posting a bunch!
Here's Christopher's photography work! Not bad...
The ride home was mostly uneventful--it took us about 7-1/2 hours both ways. We stopped in Pendleton at a Quizno's for lunch. LaGrande and Pendleton were interesting to check out--I'd never been to either of those towns. I was struck especially by the beautiful scenery around LaGrande. After driving to Idaho and visiting Middleton (about 1/2 hour out of Boise), I realize that I'm a city person. I think I would go stir crazy without easy access to the benefits of the city.
The people in Idaho are nice, and I love many people who live there, but I'm a pure Oregonian at heart. And don't get me started on Idaho conservative politics (and lack of helmet laws)!