Sunday, February 18, 2018

Seeing Red!!

 So this week we celebrated both Valentine's day and Chinese New Year!
 Grace got us to see their new mosaic butterfly that the second grade class has been working on!  Mrs. D's class completed most of one of the lower quadrants and some of the upper wings, while previous years have done the leaf and the pupae cycle... and they are all super cool, but we love the butterfly the best! 
 Grace also worked hard to make her valentine's for her class.  MOm helped with some of the sewing but G. did the rest of the cute badges.  She had a great valentines at school and came home with all sorts of awesome treats.  Valentine's day in middle school is more sedate (but G. has been sharing some of her candy!).  Two days later we got to celebrate Chinese New Year!  It's the year of the dog and we kicked off the new year with Scooter barking at the chickens (good bye year of the Chicken), and Dad put together his Dog shirts this year. 
 They turned out pretty cute!  We were aiming for a Scooter picture, but Dad thought that labs generally looked happier (Scooter can do a good "confused" "hungry" and "snuggly" but not really happy). 

 We dressed up and headed over to J and E's house for a yummy dinner with friends... complete with steamed fish, noodles, dumplings and sticky new year cake (nein gao). 

 There were also loads of fun friends and yummy raume drinks to pop open to celebrate.
 I am finally getting the somersault with double broadswords worked out. 

 We are starting to put together the pieces of the form, and it's looking pretty cool!

We really baked a lot this weekend.  By the end of Saturday, Dad had made a great big batch of scones, I spent the afternoon making these awesome soft pretzels that turned out really well and a lovely big loaf of sourdough.  
Luckily we love our carbs !!!

We finished church up with our ever helpful selves to pull out a of wood that someone had mistakenly put in our recycling bin... I am always happy to help Mrs Durham and Mrs Morreli when I can!  Even when they ask me do dumpster dive :)  Otherwise we made pizzas with he rest of our sourdough starter and played games for much of the afternoon as snow made a good effort to come down.  We don't exactly have a lot sticking in spite of some good looking fluries, but it looks like we'll nurture a bit of a dusting overnight. 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Night Market

 Yee haw!  There was a bit of crafting this weekend getting ready for Valentine's day and just a general hankering to make potions and do science.  We did get out a little bit... Oo and had an awesome birthday part where we got to swim all afternoon and celebrate our friend turning another year!
We followed it up with a trip to the night market, which was full of local food and local vendors and well, loads of locals!  It was really busy (really maybe a bit crowded for O and me, but it was fun to get out)
 The highlight was nitrogen infused "dragon balls" that would cause us to "breathe smoke" as they warmed up in our mouths (and noses!)
 And though these were certainly the most fun, there was a lot of yummy food and fun booths to visit. 
 Plus there were some fun photo opportunities, and it wouldn't be a PDX event without a little Sasquatch!

Sunday, February 04, 2018

A visit from Grandma!!

We kicked off this week by sending Dad back to MD for work!  He left on Sunday, but we didn't factor in the school teacher prep day so Mom scrambled for us.  G got to have a super awesome all day play-date with Esme, and I had to go in to work with Mom.  Luckily it was lab prep day so at least when she wasn't talking on and on with her TAs I got to help out with some worm work.  It ended up being pretty cool, I was the official worm heartbeat counter and managed to dose some with caffeine and lidocane and see the impacts on heart rate.  That evening we picked up Grandma Terri and she got to go strait from the airport to watch me at Wushu!  
She was so amazing to come out and help out while Dad was away.  We love it when she visits.  I made an extra special dessert for her, my chocolate souffle again and it was delicious, even though I forgot to add sugar, it was just sweet enough (though would have been better with 8tbs more sugar).
Grandma is not only great at taking care of us while we are there, but when we are all at school and work, she totally organized our linen closet, Mom's excessively ambitious fabric stash, and both G and my clothes. 

She got us to our afterschool activities and even spent time in G's class reading with her classmates. 

We were well taken care of and ate some yummy meals.  Thank you thank you Grandma! 
This weekend I had the regional chess tournament for his middle school chess club.  We think they came in 2 or 3rd overall (after being there from 8am to 5pm and I finished my games, we left a hair before the final announcement).  It was a great day with his friends and playing chess!

However, Dad was still jet lagged and I was pretty tired from my all day tournament, so we stayed home while Mom and G. joined Val and Esme and a bunch of fun-loving Portlanders for the light festival down at OMSI!

 They parked just in time to be at the head of the parade that crossed over the Hawthorne bridge and had a party at the Trade Center!  After enjoying all of the exhibits and a bit of a dance party on the sky bridge ...

 they headed back to all of the cool displays at OMSI, including a lot of interactive light/touch pieces
 and they got to make a big flaming dragon blow fire! 

 It was a beautiful and fun night on the town, and a beautiful way to welcome February. 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

the baker and the climber

Owen and I have explored some new baking avenues this week! 

Owen had a hankering to tackle a chocolate souffle on a Thursday evening, and they turned out so light and delicious!  We are planning on surprising Grandma when she visits!

Otherwise a pretty chill weekend.  We did get out to the climbing gym which was awesome!

We hadn't been in ages, but got together with Val, Esme and Joaquin for some good quality time on the walls, and maybe a snack or so.

Today Dad went on a work trip, which left us a little quiet at home.  I got a great play-date with L. and we had a blast enjoying our balmy 60deg weather with a picnic and fort building in the Park.  Owen wanted to just stay home for a quiet day and managed to pull together a huge and yummy coffe cake (another first bake for him). We didn't get the timing quite down so it's quite firm on the edges but great inside!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

crumpets and more!

In the spirit of trying new things this month, Mom spontaneously took me out for my first crumpet after wushu this week.  They said I could pile on whatever I wanted so I opted for apricot and strawberry jam (yes, two jams!) and am totally sold.  England awaits this hungry kid!
 We took it fairly easy this weekend, Saturday was just catching up around the house

Oh and Mom's bookclub had a fondue/hotpot dinner at our house on Monday.  Surprise, Mom may have over done it on the food but we got to play with our friends and the Moms always enjoy getting together.  They just finished A Man called Ove, and they are now starting My Family and Other animals.  They are sort of new at this but man can they pull out a lot of food!

 So, trying new things, Mom took G to get her hair cut at McClure's and they were fantastic!  I don't think we have ever seen her hair so untangled and smooth, she just loves it, plus they were super nice.  Highly recommended.

 A lot of the next two days was spent enjoying her smooth hair :)  Grace also got a great evening with her teacher and a bunch of other school kids at a fundraiser skate party, now you know we LOVE a skate party, they even got an extra half hour and had a blast.  Mom and Dad got to try out a new pint shop in town, and I got to see Hunger Games (I finished the books ages ago, but it's hard to find a time to enjoy the movies when Grace isn't ready for them yet) so a pretty cool evening all around. 
Mom is excited to have signed up for a trial of skill share so she is making everyone learn new things, so far Mom and Grace have done an abstract painting class, Mom is determined to give guitar a go (three days in and her fingers are killing her) for 30 days She made Dad and Owen try a breakdancing class with her (that was slightly silly), so if you want to sign up she would love to try a class with you!  We tackled some pending chores around the house, installed a new light and took care of some junk in the garage... exciting stuff you know.  In the mean time we'll have to see how this fine government shut-down goes, Dad is remote enough that he still is working, but it impacts everyone he works with and potentially some travel, depending on how things fall out.  

Sunday, January 14, 2018


We got an unseasonably balmy weekend this past week, 60s, sunshine, We made a point to spend it out of the house when we could!  Saturday, Owen had wushu and Mom took him out to Pips doughnuts for a snack.  He was reluctant since he was trying pretty hard to keep a relatively low sugar diet, but Mom was convincing.
After spending some time doing a little winter clean-up in the yard, we headed over to OMSI to see Kiki's delivery service on the very large screen with our pals J, E. and V!  We all met up for a great dinner too. I can't believe that Mom didn't get a picture, but we had a fantastic set of twinsies as Dad and I dressed almost identically (adidas, pink pants, blue hoodie), Val and Mom (green pants grey shirt), Owen and Joaquin (matching adidas jackets), and Ray and Esme (ninja black!), it was impressive.  I got to spend the night at Esme's house and we had a great time, and she seriously advanced my potion making skills.  It was hard to leave in the morning... even to go to the beach!  Although I had a slightly grouchy start, I brightened up after lunch at Rockaway Beach.  We got a great spot, and headed over to the Smokehouse for fish-n-chips and chowder, of course.

 Then walked down to the beach
 Owen worked hard with the new skim-board Uncle Ry got him for his birthday.
 While I impressed the whole beach with my wagon wheel cartwheels down the shore.  I can do about eight before getting pretty dizzy!

 Of course there was a lot of digging as well.

 This is my young clammer pose.  THe folks really have to take me out clamming soon, I am so ready.

We got Ice cream, then Owen and Mom went to the Fish Peddler (which Owen called the Oyster cuddler) for oyster shots and to pick up a sweet dozen to take home.  I was so tired, that I didn't even make it five minutes in the car before snoozing, so we rested while they snacked.