Smith Rock Gold for the Olympics

This week we’ve been watching The Olympics.

It is inspiring to watch other people achieve their goals.
It is exciting to think of accomplishing our own goals.
It is an amazing gift to live out our goals, dreams, desires, plans, hopes, purposes, pursuits…

Tho I would love to consider myself an Olympian hopeful, I am admittedly past my prime, and the closest I could come to a possible medal would be in Racewalking.  
I’m a pretty fast walker.

There are no Olympic medals given for hiking, but I’ve been in training… well if you can consider racewalking on my treadmill with the incline set on 7.5, training…

It’s always been a goal of ours to hike the Misery Ridge Trail at Smith Rock in central Oregon.  Smith Rock is considered a rock climbing mecca, famous for thousands of climbs. Adam’s sister and her family live 5 minutes from this beautiful piece of the planet.  So one morning we took the opportunity to accomplish one of our goals – while Auntie Amber watched the kiddos – and hiked the Misery Ridge Trail.
In spite of the name, it was super fun 🙂

We awarded ourselves a Gold medal.

Top of Smith Rock

“Monkey Face” rock in the background

clicking a pic over one of the cliffs we hiked around – ahhh! and one of the trails below in the background

Taking a break in the cleft of a rock…

Hiking with Hobbits…

A few weeks ago I went hiking… 
with Frodo Baggins…I mean, Adam Babcock…
but I’m sure that Frodo was around somewhere, lurking in the woods… 
possibly behind us??? the picture is kinda fuzzy… can you see him in the background???
We weren’t in New Zealand, on the set of The Lord of the Rings, but it felt like it.
We were hiking the Soda Falls at Cascadia State Park in Oregon.
The hike was… ‘So Frodo’!

We LOVE hiking.
I’ve hiked in many beautiful places, throughout California, around the Grand Canyon, and part of the Continental Divide in Colorado. Mountains are breathtaking.
Since we don’t have any mountains in Ohio, we boast of a place called The Hocking Hills.  
It’s beautiful place and we love going there… 
but… Hocking Hills ain’t got nothin’ on Soda Falls.
Hiking is rewarding in so many ways. 
We love to go as a family ~ our kids love hiking (almost) as much as we do.
I was so thankful to go on this beautiful hike with my best friend. 
Here are more pictures from our amazing journey a few weeks ago…

Any chance you get, no matter where you live, I hope you get a chance to hike somewhere beautiful.
So get off your butt, get into nature, and
Take a Hike.
Who knows… you might run into Frodo Baggins?!

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words…

June has gone by way. too. quickly.
If it was the wonderful winter months of January, February or March, I wouldn’t mind the pace.
But slow down, June.

So much happened in June. 
Soleil finished the second grade and performed in her first ballet recital. Salem finished pre-school and Selah stopped sleeping well. 
P.A.’s car broke down. We spent $500 on that good time.
We had a garage sale, got rid of some crap and made some money to pay off P.A.’s car.
We also raised money for our church’s upcoming mission trip to Haiti. 
We spent a lot of time outside enjoying the sunshine.
We experienced God in amazing ways with our church peeps and during our services.
And last but not least, my amazing parents (The Grand Rowley’s) came to visit us from Oklahoma.
I’m pretty sure I enjoyed it all.
I am thankful I took a lot of pictures. 

Sometimes P.A. teases me for taking so many pictures. 
Sure. I want my computer to run slow. So I take lots of pictures and then download all of them without sorting thru them and deleting the not-as-great pics. 
Sure. I’ll do that one day. Never.
Now I take all my pics on my phone because I want my phone to run slow. 
And, I take lots of different shots of the same picture to capture the memory perfectly.
I have to keep them all because, after all, there is really no such thing as bad pics of the wee babs. in my humble opinion.
After all, A Picture really is Worth a Thousand Words.

So here are a Thousand Pictures (actually only 29) – with a few descriptive words and a sweet story at the end – to catch you up on our life in June… Enjoy 🙂

P.A. has been working hard in our backyard, updating the play set, fixing the pond and planting our first berry bushes.

Salem showing off a “berry smoothie mustache”. Smoothies are a summer fav!

The girls dipping the baby doll in our pond

A rare moment of stillness and cuddles, captured

Selah enjoying the water slide
Our home-made water slide – they love it!

Selah and mommy swinging 
Selah asleep mid-lunch after outdoor fun
Two squirts on a turtle…nuff said 🙂

Soleil’s last day of second grade

milk bubbles

Soleil and Daddy – chess face off

My dad and I making a home-made pizza

Adam and my dad discussing the blood type diet

Selah pretending she is asleep with Grammy

Our attempt to get a picture of the seven of us after Soleil’s recital. Failed.  

the girls 🙂

Papa and Salem

Papa and Selah

We celebrated my dad’s 60th Birthday during their visit. Salem painted his shirt – it is a picture of Grandpa

A great pic of the Grand Rowley’s with the wee Bab’s 🙂

Swinging with Grammy

bird watcher

more swinging ~ at Chestnut Ridge

Not sure how much they could see with their old fashion binoculars, lol 🙂

little monkey’s 

teaching 🙂

Salem saying good bye ~ he calls my dad “Silly Grandpa”
Last, but certainly not least, my favorite picture.  
This picture was a miracle. 
One shot. Everyone looking at the camera. Everyone smiling. A miracle people.
This was taken at Five bean~our favorite local coffee shop~just before my parents were preparing to get on the road again and drive back to Oklahoma. We snagged Tracy, the owner to snap a quick pic after we had our coffee and bagels.  During my parents visit, we kept hoping and trying to get a picture taken of all of us.  We tried different times, then at the last moment, it happened. Click!
Then another unexpected miracle.
Another regular Five Bean customer was there, an older man, wearing an OU hat (University of Oklahoma-Sooners). Turns out his kids live in Oklahoma. What a small world. 
He runs outside and grabs his super nice camera, comes back in and click. click. click. He snaps a few more shots of the seven of us. 
The next day, P.A. goes into Five Bean for his daily visit and Tracy gives him 3 copies of the beautiful photo our friend took with his super nice camera.  
Not only did we have an amazing picture taken of all of us, but we now had THREE printed copies.  We kept one, gave one to the Grand Rowley’s and one to the Great-Grand Rowley’s in Oklahoma. 
I was so touched by this priceless gift. I almost didn’t know what to do with myself. We rarely print out photos anymore. We keep them on our computer, so our computer will run slowly. Printing photos seems so “two years ago”.
This picture says more than a Thousand Words… 
I am so thankful for it.

Sooo… click. click. click. and document your own half written records with priceless pictures…


We are known to many as “The Babs Fam”… 
We are known to ourselves as “The Backyardigan’s” 🙂
Like those five animated cartoon characters who create and sing their way thru imaginative adventures…
We love our backyard.  
Our backyard plays host to many Babs Fam Adventures…

Today we had a ‘hey, let’s throw Elmo in the tree and then try crazy ways to get him down’ adventure in our backyard.  It was so. much. fun.
Selah reaching for her “Melmo”

The first attempt to getting him out of the tree ~ Adam & Salem swinging up to it (on our homemade tree swing) ~ Salem was planning to reach it 🙂

The second attempt ~ Daddy lifting up Salem to kick Elmo out of the tree 

Third attempt ~ Soleil lifted up, gave a kick ass HI-YA! but still. no. elmo

Fourth attempt ~ Selah hurled into the air by Daddy…

YES!  Elmo was finally out of the tree…

No fifth attempt of Daddy trying to lift up Mommy up to the tree and throwing his back out was needed.

But only temporarily… we just had to have the adventure again 🙂

After all, the story is still only Half Written… 

Yes, the 
Five Fab Babs, just like the five Backyardigans ~ love creating fun family adventures to have right in our own backyard.

What adventures have you created lately?