Sunday, September 24, 2017

8 is great!

The sun is back out after a sudden plunge into fall for us here. 
 Scooter has been recovering from an 11 tooth extraction the past week or so, and is looking better and better!  This week we celebrated Grace turning 8!!  She brought in extra cute cuties into her class.
 She woke up thrilled and ready for an awesome birthday!
 She started out opening a few fun presents, picked out a sparkly outfit for school and reports a super nice day together.
 Saturday she had her birthday party... Tie-dye, though with the squirty bottles, most of her friends gave up on the "tie" part of the activity

 We didn't just dye the pillow cases, socks and shirts that Mom got for us, but the kids were all thoroughly dyed themselves by the time they were done!
 We were lucky the sun came out so we could make this proper mess outside!  There were a lot of lovely friends and a yummy chocolate cake!

 Mom and Dad got her this dreamy hanging pod that she has had her eye on since she watched the Trolls movie, it is a pretty great way to chill in the yard (except when a bee finds its way inside!)
 So, if you didn't know, the past what... four weeks?? I have been in a competition with Grandma Terri to avoid any added sugar in our food.  I have been a super champ and have even gone as far as to ask the guys making some seasoned chips for me to not add the pinch of sugar... seriously, no Ketchup, limited choice breakfast cereals, I have been very good, though I was just starting to crack in the face of several days of birthday cake when Grandma called from her vacation in Japan and said that she gave up!! Too much good food while traveling.  So I happily (hard to tell from this picture) finally got to have my piece of cake.  I am being pretty good though and am going to try to sort of keep it up, but am not going to sweat the ketchup sugar any more.
Dad also replaced our (mostly hidden but definitely rotting) back fence today so that is pretty exciting, especially since he was counting on it taking several days, but the posts were totally solid, so he was able to do the whole thing on this beautiful day!
Happy Birthday Grace!  You have started second grade with my favorite teacher so well, we love you so much!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Fall


Ballet started up again!!!  Two days a week this year so I will be dancing up a storm!

It has been a super nice weekend, in no small part because Mom's college roomie and her husband were in town, so Mom was especially excited!



They had a great visit, Mom went out with them for a nice lunch, and dinner with Linda.
School feels like it is getting into full swing now, homework is starting to come home, and as of today.. rain in back!  Boy do we need it, we have had a long beautiful summer, but it has been marred by nearby wildfires that could use the rain.  The week was going super nicely until Owen crashed his bike pretty hard on his way to school.  Luckily he has his phone now and texted "I crashed, get me".  Luckily Dad was nearby and he bikes in with a good friend with him, and it was not too bad in the end, he has scratched up elbows, a knee a little on his chin and a big bruise on his side, his head was well protected, but he was shaken.  He did make it back to Wushu on Saturday and is healing well.  Saturday night our friends all came over for a yummy dinner that Daddy cooked up.  He served his salmon and it was just super fun to hang out with everyone. After a giant piece of chocolate pie (thank you Linda) I was bouncing off the walls until Matt came up with a game using all of fluffy's toilet paper tubes, and it kept us quiet and relatively mellow for a good while as the evening grew late for us!  It was such a treat to share the week with these wonderful friends.
 
Sunday, Linda and Mom took me out to a craft fair so Owen and his friends could break-in their new 3D printer.  No pictures, yet, but it is really cool and they are working up their drafting skills.
 Thankfully Olive and Dingo were there, along with wonderwoman, so I was entertained!  With the rain system coming through it was pretty quiet and the poor tents kept getting blown over.  We headed inside to warm up and see a cool train exhibit before heading home and having a nice dinner at Val and Ray's house!  Thank you guys! The pizza was delish.

Happy Fall, it has arrived in Portland, all at once.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

This week I did many activities.


Earlier in the spring I planted a jalapeno pepper plant.  Well, this week the peppers were ripe so I helped Dad make bacon rapped jalapeno poppers that we cooked on the grill.   They weren't very spicy, but with the bacon wrapped on the outside and goat cheese stuffed on the inside, they were very tasty.


Grace had her last day of wushu this week.  She's decided that she likes her ballet classes better.


She's also been busy with crafts.  This is a king worm with his royal guard that she just decided to make on a whim. Mom and Dad were really impressed and they said they looked exactly like sabellids a.k.a. feather duster worms.   


On Sunday we went to "Woodstock Gives Back" which is the annual street fair where the local shops set up activities and raise money for charities.  Of course, Grace found some crafts to work on.



I had some friends over in the afternoon on Sunday, so Dad took Grace down to the river for some kayaking.



They said that the water was very low this year.  Last year I went out and there was a small island in the middle of the river.  This year that island was huge.


As a note on the anniversary of 11 Sept, and in the wake of the fires in the Gorge and throughout the west that have kept us buttoned up with smoke and ash falling, and in the face of floods, hurricanes and storms, in this time of stress I think its important to take today of all days and honor the heroes, those who ensure we are as prepared as we can be, who put themselves in the line of danger to save and help others, the first responders, all those who give us hope on the days when we struggle the most, the days we are most afraid.  Thank you.   

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Back to School

 
AAAAnd we're back!  To school that is, and we are pretty happy to be starting new things.  Just before school started, Dad had his birthday!  We spent the afternoon decorating his cake with two types of frosting, you can't quite see it here, but it is a fondant fish!
 We took him out to dinner at Saburo sushi, which specializes in huge portions and good fish!



 and then, well, then school started!  I am in 2nd grade, with Owen's favorite teacher Mrs. D.!  I'm so excited that I sort-of know what to expect and was really happy to get going with 2nd grade
 I start much earlier than Owen now, so when Mom hustled us outside, he went in his socks.
 They painted our school this summer away from the bright blue to a more subtle taupe, so I'm a little bummed about that, but everything else has been really exciting!

 O got me settled in before heading off to his first day at Middle School!
 It's pretty serious stuff, lots of new things and he claims it is the hardest thing he has done in his whole life, with the biking much farther with his friend (with loads more gear), and sometimes taking the bus, and changing classes, and having lots of new students and taking band... there is just so much to take in that he has hardly stopped talking about it!  His favorite thing so far is band, and he is super excited to learn the clarinet, though he is also really excited about his technology class.



Even though school started, summer is still burning on, and though we had a few cooler days, we are still firmly in shorts and watermelon weather.  It was good to check in with our friends about everyone's first "week" of school, and celebrate with snacks, movies and play!
 
This weekend Dad spent salmon fishing and we had a good weekend together, we got out to the Dalia festival and came home with arm loads of beautiful flowers.  









Since it has been a great week for birthdays, Happy birthday Dad and Happy Birthday Grandma Terri!!!  We love you so much!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Total Eclipse, Cove Palisades 21 Aug 217

I know we have skipped a week, at the end of summer no less, but it was for good cause!  We got to see a total eclipse and it was even more stunning that we had imagined.  

 But first, we did a few other things to enjoy our summer vacation, including a trip to the zoo,
 a dance party with friends (Get your hair in the air!!!)
 Bowling
 and a visit to OMSI with Katie
 and at last we headed out to our camping trip at Cove Palisades.  We had a great site at the deschutes campground.  Lake Billy Chinook has a few great swim areas, and the algae was down enough to enjoy swimming every day!!

 Plus a great hike to the top of one of the mesas that had some beautiful views.


 In the background is an uninhabited island that is claimed to be the least touched place by humans in America.




 J, Dad and I got some sweet fishing in, and we all caught a handful of fish.

 Dad took the girls out after the eclipse and they couldn't catch a thing!  Maybe the eclipse spooked them.
There were great camp activities around the eclipse, including a great lecture from astrophysicists who were here on vacation as well!  

 I wish we could say we had a fantastic picture of totality, but in reality we were all just in awe for a whole two minutes.  It was claimed to be a crazy town, but our campsite was just great.  There were maybe 30 viewers on a nice grassy area, everyone pitched their seats, put on their glasses, and watched the moon slowly eat the sun.
 There were lots of fun things to witness the whole time, including all sorts of crescents on the ground as the sun projected through the trees and our pinhole cameras... and most fun of all our fingers.

We sat right near an amateur astronomy group of friends who kindly set up some awesome binoculars with a solar filter on them so we could watch the sun, it was cool to have such a close view, you could see sunspots!
 he posted some really beautiful pictures that really are the most exactly like what we saw at http://jjjastronomy.com/photo/solar-system-.html if you want to check it out.  Totality is beyond simple words, grace said it was like a flower in the sky where the sun was.  Dad claims it was the most impressive natural phenomena he has ever witnessed.  The corona streamed out from behind the moon, it was like brush strokes with some of the prominences really extending out much longer than others.  There were small red bits around the perimeter that were solar flares, you could see a few planets, venus and mercury I think.  The sky was a steely deep blue and just wow.  We had a quick view of baily's beads and a diamond ring effect as the moon passed,
It was a lovely camping trip with a wonderful treat of the eclipse that we got to share with our dear friends.  We feel so grateful and full of wonder for the experience.
 We did catch up on a bit of sleep and clean up from the trip with some nice fun summer days this weekend, including a great day at the beach.  We brought Scooter this time and he still loves to dig in the sand!
 I was trying to get my one-handed cartwheel down

 and my front kick is improving (I feel like I need to say that we did not photoshop me walking on the waves)
 we wrapped it up with oyster shooters and clam chowder at Mo's!
Yesterday, we had a fun afternoon climbing, our first time this summer, but we are getting stronger and doing better than ever!

 and spent the evening at the Jade Street market for dinner and the Hawthorne Street Fair today.
 which meant a nice taco lunch, shave ice,
 Circus tricks
 and puppet shows and olive and dingo (our local clowns!)

I think we are squeezing every ray of sunshine out of the last few days before school starts.