Sunday, July 27, 2014

Dad gets a fish (or Barbie's last hurrah)

Dad took off for the end of the week/weekend on a fishing adventure... really a mission to catch a salmon.
 So, while he was off on his mission, we had a bit of our own fun.  Mom was finally off of work for a little bit, so she enjoyed a few days just staycationing around Portland, going places that she would rather go on her own (shopping mostly) and spending hours reading books.  When we were home from camp, we managed to spice up her days a fair bit.  First off, Grace and Mom went to the Church's rummage sale and came home with this fantastic parachute.  We can definitely get some good games going with the three of us, but we really need a few more friends to come over!
 It is a rainbow, billowing bunch of fun in the back-yard!  We also celebrated Alice's birthday!

 There was a bunch of running around fun to be had by everyone, plus a great pinata.  Man I love a pinata, though they do make me a little crazy.
 and of course a sweet smiling birthday girl

 with an awesome polka dot cake!
 Soon after we came home from the birthday party, my best bud Aiden from school came over... can you believe it, our first play-date since school was out!  I really missed him and maybe over planned our afternoon together.

After rapid fire jumping from bandalooms, to weaving potholders, to playing with my arduino robot, to playing parachute and trying to catch a chicken... we finally managed to settle down and enjoy some popsicles and raspberries.

 Today was a little quieter, we went to church in the morning, and then headed over for a beautiful day in the Chinese garden.  An artist that Mom admires, SunJae Lee was doing a demo so we go to see him paint.  In a turn of events, I was a little distracted and Grace was fairly entranced with the whole process.  He does some great watercolor scrolls with a bit of a more modern look with more vibrant colors.  We got a painting to hang in our living room.
 We kept checking in on the progression of his paintings throughout the afternoon.
 and spent a lot of the rest of the time enjoying the Garden in its summer beauty.  The water lillies and locusts were lush and in bloom.
 The sun was shining and the day was perfect for getting our drawing supplies out and coloring.

Grace took this pretty seriously and did some fun renditions of the water lillies, even making green out of the yellow and blue pen she brought!
 I finally settled down for a few pencil sketches too, but mostly enjoyed looking for fishes under the lilies.

 After checking in again with Mr. Lee, he gave Grace a hand-painted fan to keep her cool on the hot summer days.  Grace turned around and gave him one of her drawings of the water lilies, it was a very sweet exchange.
 Her barbie also made it out with us and alas lost her head by the end of the day.  I think the neck-grip may have been a bit of a problem in the end.

 We do love hanging out at the garden.  We may need to consider a membership, given we do go a few times a year.
 Dad made it home this afternoon with two fish!  A nice 27" coho
and a really awesome 18lb (34") Chinook.  Nice job Dad!!!  We missed you but so glad you came home with some yummy salmon.

Sunday, July 20, 2014


It was a big week for Mom, filled with lots of friends and celebrations. 
 She is feeling pretty lucky to be surrounded by her sweet amazing family and friends as she turned 40.  

 We all got to celebrate with her favorite cake and homemade pasta and
 Dad's first go at home-made sausage!
 He did great!  Plus it was kind of fun!
 Our garden is getting beautiful and we had some lovely days to celebrate.  After celebrating with the family on her actual birthday, she was treated to a lovely dinner and drinks by dear friends Val, Vanessa, Christina, Laura and Monica.  They enjoyed an evening at Yakuza and ice-cream (with special birthday sprinkles) at salt-n-straw.

 Saturday we had a everyone over for an awesome cookout filled lots of laughs, conversation, running around (and around... and around).  It was so much fun to celebrate with all of our friends.
 To cap it all off, our friends Tilly and Elsa are out visiting, so we go to spend lots of time with them this week too.  We had a blast with everyone and it is great to start a new decade surrounded by dear friends and great food!

 and laughs!  I could really get Tilly going with the giggles.  Baby laughs are totally contagious.
 Today we got up and hit the road to join many of the same crew on a hike up at Walcella falls in the Gorge.
 it was a perfect day out, not too hot, not too far and beautiful falls to see.
 and loads of wildlife to appreciate.  Owen and Ben spent a lot of time with their noses in the river finding all manner of critters, including this salamander (and probably at least two others), fish, all sorts of insect larve.

 I joined them for a fair bit of the explorations along with Charlie... or spent time chucking rocks into the river with Elsa, or climbing with Daddy!

 Yay!  we made it!

 There were also tons of cool old logs

 Then our Vanessa, Dave and Liam hosted us for dinner tonight and for another beautiful evening.  Man we are loving the summer cookouts and endless parties!  Babies Samson and Tilly spent some time working out on the rug
 E. cooked up special treats on the grill
all the kids enjoyed the tire swing, treehouse and slide,
 and fun company being able to run all together.

It was such a fun weekend and we are so grateful to be able to hang with and celebrate with all of our kind, generous, and wonderful friends.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Blue belt and Honeyman

This week went pretty amazing.  I got to go to trackers this week, which I LOVE.  This summer I learned all sorts of survival skills, both the ability to hide really well and be found (smoke signals etc).  I was an expert (maybe the best in my group!) at archery and at stealth.  I also had to pack in some make-up WuShu lessons and got to test for my Blue Belt.  I have now passed strait sword and will move on to cugel!  I am pretty excited.  The testing day went a little long, admittedly, so Grace spent  much of it practicing her hair-dos.  

 We headed out to the coast for our first summer camping trip.  It was pretty great, we went to Honeyman State park.  It was a pretty huge campsite, big for dune buggies, but we got some pretty huge and great sites (170 and 172).  It was pretty cool while we were there, but it was supposed to be nearing 100 in pdx so we'll take a bit of fog.  Honeyman is actually admid the dunes and surrounded by several awesome lakes.
  We spent much of our time at the Lily pond, which was perfectly situated near a sandy dune, making it a nice sandy fresh lake to swim in and paddle around in.
 We did a little dock fishing in the morning
 and even managed to net one of the may rough skinned newts that were swimming around.
 We were joined by a lot of friends this trip!  We, of course had our best camping buddies, Joaquin, Esme and Ray join us.  Joaquin and I got to share a tent this time and we did great... there was a lot of games that kept us up a bit late perhaps, but it was awesome to have our own space.  Also Mark, Susan, Geneveive and Amelia also joined us.
 We all got to spend some time on the water.
 Well, except G and Esme, who preferred the beach and splashing around with our friends.

 and snuggling up on the beach,

While we were playing in the dunes, Dad and Owen went out and caught a trout.
 In addition to the paddling, the swimming, the playing around we also got to run up and race down the epic dunes that Florence is famous for.
 We also enjoyed a few campfire stories
 and the awesome playground just next to our campsite.

 aand smores of course

We had a great time camping... though missed you Val!  It was a nice low-key weekend, which was perfect after a crazy busy week.  On our way out we visited the Darlingtonia bog (awesome little bog of carnivorous plants),
 and after much insistence spent a little bit of time at the beach.  Of course it was pretty chilly and the tide was in.
 so there were only the highest tidepools for exploring, but it was still a lovely beach.

All in all, a beautiful weekend and a great week.