Sunday, July 31, 2016

Here and back again

So, everyone made it home and we were all together for a whole 3 days before Brian and the kids headed out to New York to see Grandma and Grandpa Steves!  By all reports, they are having a great visit, fishing, farmer's markets, Renaissance Fair, and just spending great time with family.  

and though visiting and traveling and hanging out with extended family is the best! We had a few quiet days at home... making potions and creating new games with waterballoons. 

 It's pretty amazing having a week with minimal work and no crew around, though  I am thoroughly ready to have them back home.

Sunday, July 24, 2016


So, I totally rocked my swim lessons again this year... I definitely LOVE Jan Thomas!
 Before Mom left to come back to Fresno and hang out with us for a bit, she got to visit with the cousins who were in Portland (While we weren't there, we were totally bummed to miss them).  Clark had a soccer tournament, that they WON!  Mom and Scooter got to see them tie their first game of the weekend and he went on to take the rest of the tournament!  Go Clark and team!
I think it's 'cause we honed his competitive skills with a game of spike-ball that evening.  They were able to join us for dinner.  Dad made a fantastic albacore loin with grilled veg and Uncle Jason and Auntie Ann brought us an amazing marionberry pie from the pie co... it was huge and excellent!
made even more wonderful by an beautiful evening and beautiful company!
After her birthday, Mom drove down to Fresno to join us for our final week. 
 Last week Owen was in River camp and reunited with friends from last year, he had a good time and was happy to see his friends Alex and Sam again. 

 I got to hang out with Grandpa and Grandma and we figured out the best places to check out in Fresno (and which you can probably pass on).  

THe underground gardens are definitely a highlight, you don't really have to see the discovery center unless you are keen on cactus gardens... which was a pretty cool part of the center. 
 MOstly what I did was swim!

 We swam at Jan Thomas, at the Van's pool and at Auntie Donna and Uncle John's house (thank you for the great dinner and our new favorite beach towels!!)

  Really any time that we could.

 Owen and I worked hard to plan a surprise tuesday birthday celebration for Mom, since we didn't get to celebrate with her in Portland.  Grandma, Grandpa and I painted a wonderful cupcake platter for Mom while Owen was at camp,

 Grandma made her favorite birthday cake,
 We made dinner plans at the new Wassabi restaurant near their house, and the food and drinks were excellent.  We came back and finished up with a nice ound of happy birthday and lots of cake!
 We did great!
 Owen and I also had our final visit to Grandpa's office as patients.  Grandpa is retiring!
 Although initially hard for US to deal, we are now very excited for him to get some time to enjoy his retirement!  Maybe we can get him up to Portland more often!  We LOVED having Grandpa as our dentist, and are excited about all of his new adventures!
 Thank you Grandpa for taking such good care of us!
 This week, both Owen and I were in Zoo camp all week.  We liked it a lot and got to see all sorts of cool critters and learned a lot.  Plus it was nice to be in camp together again.  We only had a few overlapping locations this summer and I really love having him there with me.
 Mom even took a morning and explored the zoo until it got too warm.  She caught an orangutan coming don for a kiss!
 So, once again I totally rocked swim lessons.  My Teacher Annelise was amazing (that may also be her favorite word)!  I really loved going to each lesson and am begging for more!  I did do great, and left with skills in the front crawl, breaststroke, backstroke and even butterfly!
 Although we all got to enjoy the new treat place Taipei 101... Mom got to go with Susan for a nice afternoon together... the snowflake with fruit is yummy!
Thank you Grandma and Grandpa for taking such wonderful care of us these past two weeks!  We love staying with you and appreciate all of the care, the food, the driving us around the camps, the activities galore... all that you do for us.  Owen is particularly thankful that you would play Pokemon-go with him!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Happy Birthday Amy

Owen and Grace are in California visiting their grandparent's for a couple weeks.  With our new found freedom Amy and I managed to get away for a couple hikes on Saturday morning for her birthday.

Our first hike was a short but spectacular one... Oneonta Falls.

The hike was less than a mile long, but it was straight up a creek and through a steep walled gorege.

Being a Saturday in summer, we were not alone for the hike.

The hike was good, but not for the faint of heart.   We had to climb over an extensive log jam and then wade through a stretch of creek that was about four feet deep and very cold.

Because the hike was so short we decided to do a second slightly longer hike to Triple Falls.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Hello Sunshine!

So we left rainy and cold in July Portland and have headed down to stay with Grandma Terri and Grandpa Tom for a few weeks!  This means sunshine, fun, family,friends and swimming!
 Mom sort of dropped us off this week and will join us later after her classes are over.  Grace has already gotten better with her handstands and cartwheels.
 Grandpa Tom took me to the go-cart track for a fun race there.  I turned out to be a fairly cautious driver, but picked up some speed after a few practice laps.
 aaand of course we have done a fair bit of swimming already.  Grace has one more year of Jan Thomas, though it was great to see that her confidence in the pool remains high and she does great in the deep end still!  The Vans are so generous to include us in their pool crew and we LOVE getting into the water!
 When we aren't swimming, driving, eating, playing we get to go through the comics that Grandma has been saving for us.  We love them!
 We were also lucky to be able to spend some time with our pals Noah, Ava, Becky and even got to meet the newest Jackson... wee Ezra!
 The Smiths also shared their pool with us and we had so much fun playing with the kids.

 and are so grateful to be able to welcome this little guy into our lives.  He was totally mellow and very sweet.  I think we are going to have a great visit!  Camps and swim lessons start tomorrow.  After Mom left today, We headed out to see Great-Grandma Mary with a stop off at a camper show.  Grace and I loved the campers, they were so cool!