Monday, August 25, 2014

Motorcycles & Matching Skirts

Our neighbor's son, Caleb, has a friend who drove this spiffy, blue Honda into the cul-de-sac.  Encouraged by Sophie, the girls hopped on for a photo op.  They even tried on the helmet, but had to brace their head because it was so heavy.   Hopefully this will be their first and last time sitting on a motorcycle.
Yesterday we went to church, and while we were getting dressed, McKinley expressed an interest in matching Piper.  Ding, ding, ding…bells and whistles went off, and I secretly did a little happy dance in my head.  Rarely do they ever request to wear matching outfits! We ended up settling on a pink tutu so Tessa could match too.  So after church, in which Tessa stayed in the nursery for the first time, we did a little photo sesh in the back yard.  Must document these moments before they detest dressing alike.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Final Days of Summer

I can't believe the end of August is just around the corner.  And with my seventh cross country running season as assistant coach officially underway, summer is almost over and school is about to start.  I'm looking forward to everything about fall, but I will also be mourning the super, hot temperatures we've been experiencing in the last couple weeks and my golden brown skin.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Alumni Picnic

Every summer we look forward to the Naval Academy BBQ hosted by Jack Kohl '65, which celebrates the work of the Blue & Gold Officers.  Last weekend Benji made arrangement to leave work early so we could attend.  We love going because the barbecue is amazing, and there is always a huge selection of home made desserts.  But I love going because it re-connects me with my past.  I met a mother whose son just finished his plebe year, and she told me she was certain my husband had went to the Academy and not me, because I looked like your typical suburban mom.  I didn't know whether to thank her or take offense.  That day I was asked by several people if I would consider being a B&G Officer or speaking at a Parent's Club meeting.  Infact, I had began the process before McKinley was born.  They said having a woman talk to potential female candidates was invaluable.  But I told them my Navy path was unique and probably not desirable.
In the end, I'm proud to be a graduate, class of 2000, but also elated that I came across as just a mother, to so many people I met.

Now that Tessa is crawling, she attempts to follow her sisters.

And Go Ducks!

Alumni Picnic 2012

Friday, August 1, 2014

Micah saves the day

After returning from Crater Lake we stayed close to home for the remainder of Travis & Natalie's visit. There were pool parties, trips to the park, food cart lunches, and the Newberg Old Fashion Festival.  We braved the heat watching the "groovy" parade on Saturday and spent way too much money for the girls to ride the carousel at the carnival.  But we did collect enough candy to hand out on Halloween this year.  The forecast for Sunday was in the 90's, so we took a day trip to Barton Park in Estacada where tubing down the Clackamas River was the trendy thing to do.  Luckily we got there early enough before the Sheriff had to turn cars away.  The kiddos loved tubing….except for Piper.  That explains the plethora of pictures I took of her.  After our tubing and while I was squeezing water out of some cauliflower, Tessa crawled for the first time to Auntie Natalie.  I saw her face light up, and she began to squeal and just like that, my baby was fully mobile.  But the most memorable event was when Benji asked Micah to hit the ganglion cyst on his wrist with a book.   All it took was one, good whack, and the cyst dissolved instantly.  Our five-year-old nephew saved Benji a trip to the doctor and gave him back his wrist mobility.  We had such an amazing time with Travis, Natalie and the boys!  We are already looking forward to next summer when we will jump in Crater Lake together.

Our brand new pool.

Brunch at Henry's, a food cart in Carlton, which serves the best biscuits and gravy I've ever eaten.

Tessie loves to swing!

We had front row seats on the parade route, but those seats didn't have any shade.  See below.

Mary Poppins sat with us a while.

The kids suit up in their life vests, waiting for the sun to come out and the temperature to get a little warmer.

Piper preferred hanging out with Momma, eating Babybell cheese.

McKinley, on the other hand, got upset when we let Travis & Micah have a turn with the tubes.

The Clackamas River.  We would drop our tubes in here and float a little past the bridge.

Tessa gets really comfy in Aunt Natalie's arms.

This was just before she went down for a nap in the BOB.

Always that tongue!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Chiloquin / Crater Lake / Tumalo State Park

Our first joint adventure with Travis, Natalie & the boys was a two-night stay at a rental house in Chiloquin, which was about thirty minutes from the south entrance to Crater Lake National Park.  We arrived late in the afternoon, and while Uncle Travis made spaghetti, the kiddos had a blast playing hide and seek in the upstairs bedrooms.  We were a little apprehensive about the sleeping arrangements because Piper had begun to wake up repeatedly in the middle of the night again and was supposed to share a room with Micah, Luke & McKinley.  But much to our surprise, the kids did great.  Both nights they stayed up chatting (making memories for a lifetime, I hope), and we eventually had to threaten them to sleep around 9 pm.  The first morning was cool, and as we drove into the park the temperature dropped to 45 degrees.  It was also raining and foggy, so we decided to visit all of the visitor centers, get some hot cocoa at Rim Village, and hike down to the Sinnott Memorial Overlook, which is below the rim of the caldera.  We waited to see if the weather would clear up, but all we saw was a glimpse of Wizard Island.  After we returned to our house, where it was warm and sunny, we completed a tabata workout.  The following day the temperatures remained in the high 40's/ low 50's, but it was completely clear.  We hiked up to the Watchmen Tower, and the view was amazing!  But we scrapped the hike down to the water because it was just too cold to jump in.  After we ate lunch at one of the many rim overlooks, we started drive home.  However, we made a detour through Bend and Sisters, and decided to spend a couple hours at Tumalo State Park.  The weather was super hot, and it was the perfect day to play in the Deschutes River.  We even borrowed some inner tubes so the kiddos could float down the river a bit.  So much fun!   So much fun…..that we started planning a tubing trip closer to home.

Even though it was cloudy, the sunrise was beautiful.

We were out in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by cows.

McKinley does a plank to get warmed up before getting dressed.

Piper does a hollow hold.

Crater lake?

A view of Wizard Island from the Sinnott Memorial Overlook.

Back at the house, the kids explore.

The next morning we remain bundled up as we eat breakfast.

The Watchman Tower.

The Deschutes river.

Dadda does an underwater sneak attack on McKinley.

Hey ladies!

Tess puts her toes in the cold river.