Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Feathery Flockery Fall

These last few months have flown by in a blur.  I guess that's the blessing of being so busy . . . when you don't have time to be bored!

Randi started two new projects.  She's started a chapter of 4H called Wings and Things where she'll be teaching children about raising chickens and teaching entomology (insect pinning).  She is also helping to organize and build an organization to promote local seed saving through a seed library of heirloom variety garden produce called Coquille Valley Seed Savers.

Tanner has been creating all kinds of things for his school classes.  Most recently he completed building a model of the Mayflower.  He's in the Coquille Chess club and recently travelled to a chess tournament in Sutherlin, Oregon with the Coquille Middle School chess team where he placed 2nd winning four out of five games!  Upon turning 12, Tanner was ordained a Deacon and has faithfully been performing his duties each Sunday.

Rylie is participating in a 4H Sewing club, and is taking two classes on-line.  She really loves going to the Art Center and has really developed her artistic talents.  Rylie loves to read and is very creative.

Jocelyn has learned to read and is starting to enjoy reading books on her own.  She loves entomology, hence the 4H Entomology chapter.  She also loves being creative at the Art Center and knitting.

Lenore loves playing and learning right alongside her siblings.  She likes to draw, color and cut paper with scissors.  Nora has learned to do an amazing somersault with no hands starting in a position balancing on one foot.  She can also do the splits.  Nora loves to play with My Little Ponies and with games on the Ipad any chance she gets.

Our family has also added a few more members to our household.  There's nine quail, five new Maran chicks and an Angora bunny named Eve which Randi got for her birthday to harvest fiber for spinning into yarn.

For my part (Ben), it's been a challenge just to keep up with everyone else!  I really like what I have been able to do at work because of all the great people I get to work with here.  The Town Hall meeting last week had about 100 people come out to express a very positive vision for the future of Coquille.  In between times, I've been reading the first three books of the Fablehaven series to Rylie and Jocelyn, camping with Tanner and the Scouts, playing with Nora and enjoying a few scarce moments to catch up with Randi.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Our FIRST Egg.

Broody is a Silkie Hen.  Her name is Broody because... well you might have guessed, she's a bit broody.  This is one of the reasons we bought her and her sister Ruby in the first place.  Silkies are great nesters.  They just love to sit on their clutch and wait for the eggs to hatch.  When we bought her we were told that she had been laying for a while was starting to sit on some eggs.  We took her home along with 4 eggs that we hoped would become little baby fluff balls ( that didn't turn out so well in the end.... a bad homemade incubator, enough said).  In the end I don't think she was actually laying yet, and she wasn't ready to sit on any eggs... Fast forward 4 weeks and we've got an egg almost every day from her!!  Cute little tan eggs.  They're a bit smaller than the large store eggs, but her shells are thick and the yolks are a deep deep golden color.

Broody the Hen working hard to lay that egg....  BREATH Broody!

Broody and Ruby in their nest boxes.

Left:  Broody's egg    Right:  Store's egg

Grandma's Visit

Just as the Parmenters were leaving, Grandma came for a visit!  She had already driven from San Diego California to Utah and decided to make a loop through Oregon on her way home.  Her trip was upwards of 4000 miles total driving!!  Here's some pics of our fun times!

A Visit From the Parmenters

Elena and the kiddos came for a visit this month!  We had so much fun with them.  It's nice to have a friendship that began as my family began....  Visits with my friend Elena are always filled with deep thought and long discussions (we're talking 4 in the morning folks!).  In the end, I always feel enlightened and edified.  I'm grateful for this deep source of strength in my life.  

Here's some pics of all the fun that was to be had.  They've become such good friends over the years!

Kids + Candy + Tall Grass = TONS of FUN!

The boys...

You want some of the Brookster?

Buddies :)

At the West Coast Game Park in Bandon Oregon


posing with a baby bobcat

Peacock feathers are Awesome!!  So nice of Joselyn (Nora's Nursery teacher) to buy them for all the kids!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sunday, July 11, 2010

7 on 7/7 Happy Birthday Rylie

We had a lot of fun celebrating Rylie's birthday this year. In fact we got to have two pre-parties and cakes before the day actually arrived!

I (daddy) took Rylie fishing with Tanner and Jocelyn at Dierkes Lake (pronounced deer-keys).  Idaho Fish and Game was sponsoring a free fishing day and they provided rods and bait for everyone.  All we had to do was just show up!  It was great!!  Rylie was the first to hook a small bluegill but it got away just before she could pull it out of the water.  Jocee's was the lucky pole that day and we caught two bass.

Mommy did a rockin' awesome job no the birthday cake which was inspired by a real life observation of the circle of life by Rylie in our back yard several weeks earlier.  In case you don't get it, the lady bug is eating an aphid.  It was the best tasting cake ever!  Chocolate cake with cherry fluff layers and a sweet cream cheese frosting and icing.  Rylie certainly has a flair for the morbid realities of life.

Rylie loves riding scooters, horses and her daddy.  She is also reading lots of books and loves to play her new leapster Didj.

The Farm

One of my memories as a kid was going to the farm. My grandma and grandpa Rich's farm in Ashton Idaho. There weren't animals on this farm... only potatoes. This never seemed to phase us though... for there was always so much to do.

As I got a bit older I was able to work for money picking dirt clods from the conveyor belt. One year I bought a bike that way. Nathen would move pipe for money. I was always jealous of what he could earn... but NEVER wanted to do that job.

When I was younger, too young to even think about working, it was just the best place on earth to play. There were barns to hide in and chicken coops to break into (never succeeded... in fact I caught Tanner trying it this year to no avail) tractors to ride and hay bails to climb.

There were also old toys. One of which were the old tractor bikes. I loved these bikes. I would ride them around that farm as if they were full size. So many games were centered around them.

With each baby I've had I take a picture of them on the tractor at Great gram's and Grandpa's. Its fun to see them all grow up and do the same things that I used to.

It's funny that to a kid, it must be so obvious what to do there. I watch them explore and play in all the same ways Nathan and I did. Eventually every kid will try to climb the ladder that leads to the hay loft in the old white barn. Every kid will try his hand at swinging on the pulley (when no one's looking) that lifts things 20 ft up to the loft in one of the other buildings. The 4-wheelers must be rode. The chicken coop is the untouchable building with the door buried down just enough to never be able to open.... everything inside looking the same as it did 40 years ago. Each kid will spend hours playing pool in the ancient echoing basement. The little closet full of games upstairs must be thouroughly investigated. And every kid, without execption, loves the little tractors.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Bedtime Carol

Tonight I was reading a sweet Christmas story to Rylie and Jocelyn before bedtime. It was about a little orphan boy who heard a cricket making music of christmas carols and led the boy to be blessed with new boots, a new coat, food and finally a loving family. While I was reading I had to stop and explain what an orphan was for Jocee. Then she interrupted me and said, "Daddy, if you and mommy died, then I would just go outside and find a dandilion and blow a wish on it. Then you and mommy would be here!" As tender and touching as the story was, that one really got me!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


The condo had a very nice pool area.  Not only was there the huge pool and two hot tubs, but also a wadding pool perfect for the little kids.  All we heard every night was 
"can we go swimming, can we co swimming".  

Our first sighting of wildlife!  Little did we know we would see this same heard twice a day as we entered and left the park.  They seemed to stay put in one certain little valley by a stream.  Seeing how it was our first sighting though, everyone was particularly excited.  Tanner jumped out right away to start snapping shots with his brand new camera.  

That would be me running up a steep hill from Fire River... not so "fiery" though.  It was beautiful however, and in the summer, I'm sure it would be a lovely little swimming hole.  We were there in mid/late October though.... not so much swimming weather.  I was a little bummed because I was imagining a nice dip in a steamy hot oasis.

We all told Dan it was HOT, but would he believe us??? Of course not.  I'll say this though.. that was the last hot spring he tried to touch... hee hee.

Lot's of walking in cold weather.  It was fun to see Yellowstone this way though.  
The contrast of hot and cold, steam and snow was amazing.


At the Bear & Wolf Discovery Center we were able to see wolves and bears!  Shocking I know.  It was nice for the kids to be able to actually see some though, seeing how to catch a glimpse in the park you have to drive to the northeastern boarder (about 3 hours away) at dawn (about 5 or 6 am).  I know Jaxon and Tanner would be fine with this... but not the rest of us.  Tanner and Rylie also got to hid food in the bear enclosure.  As part of their enrichment they have food hidden around that they get to find.  In the summer months there can be as many as 30 kids doing this.  One of the perks of off season is that Tanner and Ry were the only ones doing it that day.  Jaxon and Jocelyn would have loved to join in the fun, but there was an age restriction of 5 and up.  Something about electric fences and little kids.. blah blah blah... lol

One day we caught the wolfs during an enrichment.  They were given a bucket of trout in their little stream.  It was neat to watch them catch the fish.  One was particularly good at catching them, but not good at keeping them.  Once she would catch one, someone else would steal it.

Here's the kids getting the wildlife talk before they entered the bear habitat.

More SNOW!

2nd animal sighting... this time closer, but still elk.

You wouldn't know it to see these beautiful pictures of West Thumb, but it was a full on blizzard when we started down the path.  I didn't think it was worth the walk.  Luckily a few minutes in it blew past and cleared up.  This was probably my favorite area.  I remember going there as a kid and arriving just in time to see the rangers hauling off a baby moose.... 
fall off the bone tender you might say.

3rd animal sighting:  Mr. Whiley coyote waiting for handouts obviously.  This guy just camped out at the paint pots area in the parking lot.  It was a little alarming to get out of the van and unload Jocelyn then look over and not 10 feet away is this guy staring at me.  *yikes* 

Finally some BISON!

lots... and lots.... of bison.  RIGHT in the middle of the road!

Ben and Jocelyn... so cute.

more to come... dinner calls ;)