So Camp Mummy hasn’t exactly been full of providing children exciting and educational summer activities lately.

Book reading enthusiasm has waned. Emma still hasn’t finished The Ruins of Gorlan (how can she live not knowing how it ends?) and I just can’t seem to get into the Warriors book about bands of fighting cats.

Plus, I don’t have Emma and Sam all that much during the week, and not for any full days, reducing our chances of getting up to much fun. But we’re not completely and totally lame as long as you count the weekends.

So here’s what we have done:

Japanese Obon Festival

Japanese Obon Festival
The Pokemon Dance.

We stopped at the supermarket for sushi to go and then onto Alton Baker Park, where we fortuitously found Yayoe, Adam’s ex-step-mom who we still call Grandma Yayoe.

We enjoyed watching traditional Japanese dances — including the awesome Pokemon Dance — while being relentlessly pursued by a wasp. I think it liked my gluten-free soy sauce.

I failed in my half-hearted attempts to get anyone go join the circle and dance with me (nor did I go on my own), although Yayoe and I shuffled in place. My arm flapping did double duty, serving to also shoo away the wasp (as well as provide entertainment for anyone watching — group dances are not my forte).

Sam thankfully trapped the wasp at ground level and stomped it into oblivion. Much indebted, I enjoyed a couple more dances and then we headed home.

Hiking to the Raptor Center

Walking in the woods
Did you hear that noise? What was that?

In preparation for Adam and kids’ upcoming camping trip, we went for a hike up Ridgeline Trail. Starting out near Duncan and Berry’s school, we wandered the woods, taking the trails I remembered from Berry’s class field trip to the Raptor Center.

Taking photos of people hiking is a bit tricky, as you have to get ahead of the group and then they each walk behind the person in front. Adam and the kids stopped, however, to listen to the sound of two trees rubbing together in the wind. I told them it was a cougar (we’d seen signs about cougar and bear sightings), loving mother than I am.

I was the only person to think to bring water and was resultingly quite popular. We eventually reached Fox Hollow road, which gave Emma a burst of energy — or at least enough to climb the hill to the Raptor Center, where we donated a whole lot for our entry free. Fortunately they had plentiful fresh, cold water, which everyone enjoyed.

Owl at the Raptor Center in EugeneAfter sharing my granola bar (also the only snack that made the journey with us), I offered to bravely face the trail back to the minivan alone while the rest of the gang enjoyed the educational owl-eating-meaty-bits show and wandered around to look at all the birds, including Raavi, a bird of some kind that Emma adopted a couple of years ago. They’re cool and all, those birds, and the Raptor Center does good work, but apparently birds aren’t really my thing. So I strode off downhill, taking my chances with cougars, bears and my knees.

I returned with the minivan 30 minutes later.

Camping and Exchange Students

Joanna, JD and Regina – Rochester NY meets the West Coast.

The following weekend, Adam took Sam and Emma backpack camping on the coast while I attended a psychic fair in Yachats with my friend, JD, a spirit artist from Ohio. If you want to read about that, read Adam’s post Camping. I don’t know where the tales of my adventure go, but probably not here. Suffice to say it was an interesting and slightly profitable experience and it was great to see JD and Regina, both old friends from Rochester, NY (Regina now lives in Ashland and drove up for a couple of days while JD was still here).

The Miller family guest cottage.

During the week, I helped our local academic coordinator for an exchange student program find families to host French students over the rest of the summer. And decided it would be super awesome if we hosted an exchange student from Japan for the school year. Fortunately, Adam and then Emma and Sam also thought it would be a great idea, so we moved forward with the process. Honoka will arrive in late August and stay in our little guest cottage in the back garden.

Adam is very excited to have someone use the incredibly fancy shed he built and finished (with insulation, electricity, drywall and hardwood floors).

And that’s the news from Camp Mummy for the last couple of weeks. Hopefully we’ll manage something interesting, educational and/or active this weekend.