Labor Day Weekend in Willamette Valley

This holiday weekend was quite eventful for the Johnson clan.

Firstly, Steve finally got his new truck, a 2018 Ford Raptor.  We’ve been planning this moment for a while and it was well worth it,  seeing his smile as we drove off the lot was absolutely priceless!

We obviously enjoyed the no sales tax on the truck, however, learned that Oregon has a privilege tax of half a percent.  The privilege tax is for any new vehicle purchase.  But again, it’s only 0.5%!

We now are taking the long backroads home and testing the all terrain features on the dirt roads.

I just like sitting in the car inhaling that new car smell (but probably not the best when pregnant 🙂 ).

Daycare was closed Friday to set up for the new school year, so we decided to take the boys to the Oregon State Fair.  Unlike the county fairs we knew, this fair was only a week long.  So it was now or next year.

We showed up an hour before opening, which was actually fun because we could see all the livestock and animals before the crowds.  The boys loved watching the mama pig feed her five piglets.  I enjoyed people watching.  The general atmosphere was blue jeans, boots, and flannel.  Our kind of event.

There was also a lot of local farms present and livestock competition.

The boys enjoyed the wilderness exhibits that displayed the local migratory fish, turtles, and stuffed local wildlife.

All that walking around sure made this 9-month pregnant mama tired.  But I was mentally telling myself this will help things along, and soon!

Friday evening Aunt Jackie and Uncle Mike took the boys for a Madronna Wildnerness Camp so Steve and I could have a date. (YAY!).  Steve and I went to the Bargarten in Keizer.  I recommend the fondue and pretzels and although I couldn’t partake in the stein of beer, I could only imagine the combo (perfection!).

Then we found ourselves doing what most parents do on dates, talk about their kids but we decided to take it to the next level.  We then went to Target and did our school supply shopping for Oliver’s class.  Ha, such nerds we are!

Once a parent, always a parent!

Saturday we received a surprise visitor, my sister, and her boyfriend.  They drove all thru the night to get here!  Oh to be young and adventuresome.

Amy and Shawn were here less than 24 hours, but we still tried to make the most of it.

Sunday we took them for a quick walk to Silver Falls State Park.  The kids really enjoy the adventure play areas next to the group campgrounds, so Oliver and George, of course, had to show them that.  Then Steve took them on a quick stroll to North Falls.  I decided to opt that hike out.  Although my Uncle Mike is on the emergency park response team, I wasn’t feeling like having my water break.  (Sorry Uncle Mike, I know how much you want your stork merit badge!).

We then stopped off for a nice lunch at Madonna Wilderness and finished with a nice tour of Drakes Crossing Fire Station.  This fire trucks never ever get old for the boys!!

Sunday we said goodbye to Amy and Shawn and sent them on their way.

Monday we told ourselves we would lay low and just rest.  Well, this is still a fairly new concept to our family, so we, of course, we had to go for a drive in Steve’s new truck.

We ended up at a local Farm Market, E Z Orchards.

When you first walk in they have a little corner of the shop dedicated to donut production, which was cooking up fresh batches of blueberry and strawberry donuts.  George loved watching the dough flip over in the hot oil.

Also something I found noteworthy, they had gallon buckets of honey with a tap.  You could buy honey by the pound!

We also enjoyed their outdoor play equipment and strawberry shortcake stand.  They were in the process of setting up the farm for fall, and I have to say it looked like a lot of fun.  Hay!!  We will have to venture back in a few weeks.

It seems like there is a tractor at every kid playground, EZ Orchard was no different and it sure made Georgie’s day.  The boy loves wearing his rain boots (in summer ironically) and tractors!!

That wraps up the weekend.  Now we are just on baby watch!!

The official due date is tomorrow……


  1. sherri ashman

    what a fun weekend. if you had the baby on the date I picked you would have missed fun. so I concede my loss. love to you all. sherri

  2. Katie

    I love reading about all your adventures. You are the most fun, adventurous and loving family (and phenomenally wise and grounded mom). Reese, Woody and I are eager to spend more time together! I love you all!

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