As I mentioned in my last post, we spent the weekend after Labor Day with my in-laws at CRC (www.christianrenewalcenter.org) in the Silver Falls area. I highly recommend to anyone wanting to get away from the world and reconnect with Our Creator that you make a trip to visit Allan and Eunice amongst the trees. I can not even begin to tell you how filled with God this place is. Given first its secluded nature, then the hearts of its' leaders you can not deny that God is there as soon as you step foot on the grounds. All stays are suggested donation based and are customizeable based on your own desires for your time away. They have a wonderful kitchen staff that prepares three meals a day, you can partake in all three, only one or none at all. So, there is my 'plug' for CRC . . . but I digress.
My mother-in-law started planning last year for a getaway for her and her kids (and grandkids) and after looking at many different options, she decided that CRC would best meet our needs so to the mountains we went. I must say, the drive was longer than I had rememberd (but I had my newly purchased NKOTB cd to help pass the time (and a husband that agreed to listen to it. How's that for preparing for a weekend in serenity. Hee hee.). Anyway, the drive was worth it and we arrived as the sun was setting on Friday. We spent some time together with the family, Jillian was eccstatic to see her "COUSIN!!!!!" and the two of them had a great time getting reacquainted.
Saturday we had breakfast, the kids played a TON outside on the toys that were there and tackling each other (with Daddy/Uncle Kenton's help) betweent naps and meals. We played games, the kids watched movies and I got to do some reading & resting too.
On Saturday afternoon, we took the kids to Silver Falls with the intention of doing some swimming. The weather had been very nice but the water turned out to be ICE cold. So, we took Joel and Jillian to see the waterfalls instead. As a mother, I was terrified that somehow my daughter was going to manuever herself around or through the cautiously placed fences and barriers and plummet to the tidepool below. She, on the other hand, could not figure out why she couldn't touch the cascade of water from above despite the fact that it was oh 10, 15, 20 feet in front of us with nothing to venture out on between us and the water. I swear sometimes the child thinks we have go-go-gadget arms hidden in our sleeves or something. :) Either way, it was a great day for a small hike and we got some pretty good photo ops. Unfortunately, Aunt Tia wasn't feeling well so she stayed in the van and grandma missed out too, napping back at the cabin.
On Sunday I was reminded of one of God's greatest gifts . . . maple butter!!! I had forgotten this CRC treasure. If I had to make a guess, I would say it's a combination of butter, maple and brown sugar and it is to die for. This particular day, it was served to us with our french toast and it was melt in your mouth heaven!! Delicious!!! After breakfast and packing up on Sunday, we all headed into Woodburn together and had lunch before parting ways and getting Kenton back to work. It was a wonderful weekend with family and we are already looking forward to next years' Mattos family getaway.