Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Cousin Lovin'

We are so excited to have more family in town!  Uncle Travis, Aunt Natalie, Micah & Luke are here for a whopping ten days, so stay tuned for photos and stories of our adventures together.

From left to right: Lukester, Micah-moo, McKinners, Tessie, and P-cub. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Block Party in the USA

Yesterday was the 2nd annual Clearbrook Court Barbecue, hosted by our neighbors, Ed & Lisa Stokes. We are so blessed to be surrounded by such an amazing group of people!  When we moved into our new house, we never could've imagined being part of a community like this.  But now that we've been in the cul-de-sac for almost a year, I can't imagine moving elsewhere.  Although a few neighbors were absent, due to previous commitments, I've already heard whispers of another possible get-together in the fall.  Can't wait!

Tessie loves to suck on her tongue. 

Brian, so graciously, volunteered to pull the wagon train for the parade.

Micah and Luke, who are visiting from CA, joined McKinley, Piper, Tessa & Sophie in the parade.

They had fun throwing jolly ranchers at the crowd and ended the final pass-through with a rousing vocal performance of "Let It Go."

Whip cream mustaches!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Newberg Days

Our final days with Ahmma, Dumpa and Great Nonna were spent around Newberg.  We visited the Heirloom Rose Garden to buy some fragrant roses for out front yard.  Nonna agreed to help Dadda organize a beautiful flower-scape, and she even grabbed a shovel to dig holes for our new flowers.  When I asked her to rate her sleep experience on our new Pottery Barn sofa bed in the girls' play room, she gave it an 8 out of 10.  One afternoon we filled up the swimming boat so McKinley could show Ahmma and Dumpa what she had learned during her swim lessons.  Since it was Tessa's first time in the boat, I just had to capture her having fun at every angle. See below.  We also hosted a little tea party  on our backyard patio. Our neighbor, Lisa, made the most delicious scones I have ever eaten.  Dadda and I even snuck in a dinner date before Ahmma and Dumpa left. It was nice to get dressed up and leave the flip flops at home. We also did our first partner WOD together at Newberg CrossFit, while the girls stayed home.  So fun! Thank you Ahmma, Dumpa and Great Nonna for coming out to see us.

Pretty new flowers.

The girls model sun hats at the Heirloom Rose Garden.

After acclimating to the cool water, she sat down and loved it!

Rub-a-dub-dub….three ladies in a tub.

The first all-sister bath party.

McKinley and Piper help me set the table before our tea party guests arrive.

From left to right: Great Nonna, Faith, Lisa, McKinley, Betty, Sophie, Ahmma & Piper.

Four generations of Howards.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Day Trip # 2: Astoria

Our second outing was to Astoria.  We left around Tessa's morning nap time and made it to the Astoria Column shortly before lunch.  Dadda, Dumpa, McKinley & Piper climbed to the top and yelled down to us.  Before we left the girls did hill sprints with Dadda and then proceeded to do log rolls down the hill.  After lunch at the Wet Dog Cafe we bought some fresh fish at the docks and headed to Cannon Beach.  It was quite windy and a little chilly at the beach, but it definitely was a nice break from our hot weather in Newberg.  The girls had fun playing in the sand, while I fed Tessa some puffs on the blanket.  On the way home we stopped at Dairy Queen for an ice cream break. Even Tessa got a little taste.

On top of the hill which overlooks Washington and the bridge to Long Beach.

Log rolls!

Sprinting up the hill with Dadda.

I don't know how the girls stayed warm in their swimsuits, but I was glad I brought a coat.

Haystack Rock in the distance.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Day Trip # 1: Mt. Hood

The morning after our fourth of July celebration we loaded up the swagger wagon and headed to Mt. Hood.  We had a scrumptious lunch at Timberline Lodge, then walked around outside.  Next on the agenda was some cherry picking, so we stopped at Draper Girls Farm on the Fruit Loop.  The Draper Girls were on high alert for extraneous cherry-popping, aka popping cherries into your mouth, and we were apprehended by the cherry patrol. Thankfully they only gave us a warning.  We visited a couple other places of interest along the Fruit Loop, drove through Hood River, and then started making our way back home via the Colombia River Gorge. We were hoping to show Great Nonna Multnomah Falls, but the crowds of people and lack of parking made it impossible for us to stop. Instead, we capped off a wonderful day with a visit to the Vista House overlooking the Colombia River.

 A view from one of the balconies at the lodge.

Mountain Hood!

Time for some cherry-picking.

We picked over five pounds of cherries.

Tessa waves at the camera.

Such a picturesque view of the mountain from Draper Girls Farm.

A view of the Colombia River from the Vista House.

Probably my favorite picture of the day.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Fourth Festivities

We had an amazing fourth of July!!!  For starters, Ahmma, Dumpa & Great Grandma Howard came into town a couple of days ago.  But then my Aunt Kathy and cousin Jennie were also in Portland, so we invited them over for a barbecue.  Our neighbors were barbecuing as well.  We shared side dishes, desserts, and fireworks.  Sophie organized a mini parade where I volunteered to pull the wagon train and sing patriotic songs while the girls waved flags and passed out bottled water.  After a couple pass-throughs, we convened to the back yard for a quick photo shoot because it's practically tradition.  After Tessa went to bed for the night, the firework show got started. McKinley and Piper had been chomping at the bit all day, looking forward to the privilege to stay up past bedtime.  However, they were super timid to even hold their own sparklers. Once they got comfortable with the noise and seeing the sparks and smoke, they loved it.  And we had quite the show, as many people were firing off illegal fireworks into the sky.  Before we went to bed, we were graced with one last surprise…Sophie and McKinley performed a ballet routine.  Such a fun day!  Family, friends, food and fireworks….God Bless America!

To beat the heat, we ate in the garage.

Tessa finally warms up to Great Nonna.

Thumbs up for cool shades with Aunt Kathy and cousin Jennie.

Getting situated before the big parade.

And off we go.

Annual patriotic photo shoot.

July 2012

July 2013

July 2014

Piper insisted on making funny faces the entire time.

Dadda's little tongue-smacker.

Saying goodbye to my cousin Jennie's baby bump.

Sophie painted our faces before the firework show.

The girls didn't like the ground fireworks at first, especially 'the snake'. See below.

Finally they agree to hold their own sparklers with Dadda's assistance.

Chillin' with Dumpa and watching the show.

The clouds in the sky were absolutely beautiful before it turned dark.