Jun 30, 2010

The First and The Last

My baby.
He'll always be my baby, my caboose.  The one who tugs the most at my heart.  And with every First accomplishment I celebrate, I'm a little sad because I know it is the Last time I'll celebrate that accomplishment.
This week was his first haircut, the last time for "the first haircut".  Dad said it was time.  Sadly, I had to agree.

Before:  it's as if he's saying-"don't ya love my curls?"

During:  chillin' in the sink

After: ahh, so handsome

The truth is, some of these milestones have turned out to be easier than I have expected.

Jun 26, 2010

Happy Birthday!

My oldest, Adam, just had a birthday.  He turned 10.  "Double digits, mom."  Festivities included eating his breakfast of choice: Hazelnut Chip Scones, and dinner of choice, "dad's steaks, they're better than Outback".  We also had presents, singing, phone calls from cousins, and this:

"Baked Alaska"
Here's a look at the inside:

mmm, mmm, good!  Too good, actually!

Happy Birthday Adam!  We're so glad you are part of our family!

Jun 22, 2010


What is that?  I had never heard of this term before either-until one Saturday in May.  So-this is a long story.  The Boy Scouts of America is celebrating 100 years this year.  In celebration, youth, adults, and alumni can earn the Year of Scouting award.  Adam and I challenged each other to earn the award, which requires completing 3 activities in 5 areas: Character, Community Service, Leadership, Achievement, and Outdoors.  The requirements for the boys are different than for leaders....

In the area of Community Service, one of the activities is to be an active participant in a Habitat for Humanity project.  As luck would have it, our local Habitat is buildling a duplex this year.  :) 

My good friend, Heather, and I headed over there and after signing all sorts of release forms, we got right to work.  One job the foreman gave us was to install these:

This is an HDU2.  If you build houses, you already know that.  I had to stand back and take a look at things, make my own assumption as to why they needed to be installed, and then double checked with the foreman.  Thankfully, my assumption was correct.  This is where they are installed:

Just inside the front door, on the weight bearing wall, and in the garage.  They are reinforcement against earthquakes.  Now, looking at this picture I am reminded of a little problem we incurred while trying to install.  We were supposed to unscrew the bolt, put the HDU2 over the screw, then tighten the bolt.  Then, we had 8 screws that had to be tightened into the 2x4.  But, we had to hammer the screw into place first.  Do you see the problem?  How do you swing a hammer in a 4" clearance? 

This is Heather, installing a HDU2 near the front door.  One on each side.  It was so fun working with her-she always has the best attitude and it's contagious.

This is me installing a HDU2 on a weight bearing wall: (yes we had beautiful weather that day)

Wait!  What is different?  Oh yeah-some big tall man came by, took out his hammer, and knocked that obnoxious 2x4 out of there.  Ahh-made life easier.  But I ask the question: "Why can't we try to remember to install these things BEFORE putting the other 2x4 up?  Wouldn't that save time?"

So we put in our time that day.  We participated in a community service project.  It was fun.  It really was.  In fact, someday when I don't have 4 small children at home I'll go spend more time on a project like this.  I may be too old to kneel down, but I will go.  Maybe I'll take my family with me.  Had it not been for a great organization like the Boy Scouts of America, I would not have made the effort to go participate in this project.  Yet another reason I love the BSA. 

Jun 17, 2010

School's Out!

I think little brother in the background is just as excited.

Jun 11, 2010

Signs of Summer

Proof that the sun is shining...SOMEWHERE!

They were so delicious!

Jun 7, 2010


     So we decided after 5 1/2 years of living here that it was high time to check out some of this state.  Astoria was an easy and logical choice for reasons you'll see below.  After all, why go just for the fun of it?  Might as well make it educational too.  :)
     We had just 48 hours and a full agenda, but we did it.  Our first stop was at Fort Stevens, which was built and used during the Civil War as well as both WWI and WWII.  

     It was Memorial Day weekend and they had some great re-enactments all day on Saturday.  Of course, the boys loved watching and hearing the different cannons go off.  Fort Stevens State Park is also home to the Peter Iredale shipwreck, the skeleton of a British bark that ran aground in 1906.

     We also visited Pier 39 and the Hanthorn Cannery Museum which has a big Bumble Bee display and many artifacts and pictures showing how the fishing industry and canning of fish has developed from 1875 to present.  We visited the Maritime Museum, too.  Check out this anchor and chain...

     Among the other places we visited:  the Astoria Column, built in 1926, it is 125 feet tall and sits on top of a hill, so after climbing spiral stairs (all 165 of them) we had some fantastic panoramic views.  The outside of the column has fourteen scenes painted or carved into the column which are fascinating to look at as well.

     We drove across the Astoria Bridge, which is 4.1 miles across the Columbia River, we watched a large group of male sea lions, we rode on the River Front Trolley after walking along the river boardwalk.  But the main reason for the trip was our visit to Fort Clatsop.  Adam, as a 4th grader, has been studying the Lewis and Clark Expedition.  There is so much history in that area in regard to Lewis and Clark, their winter lodging, their trade with the Indians and more. 

     We toured the exhibit, the boys participated in the Junior Ranger program, we hiked the trail out to the replica of the fort they built and lived in during the winter of 1805. 

     Overall, it was a great trip, we had a good time and should there come another opportunity, we would go back because there was more we wanted to do, places to visit, but we were out of time! 

Jun 3, 2010

This House

Does anybody recognize this house?

What about this view?  April?  Beth?  Kristina?


Think 1985.  Maybe "never say die" would help.  Yes?  No?
It's in a movie-it's rated PG.  They are having a huge 25th anniversary celebration this weekend.  We just spent a weekend in the town where it was filmed.  Numerous other films were shot on location in this town as well.  I know there's a movie buff out there that can identify it. 

I saw this movie when I was a 12 or 13.  There were some parts that I didn't like-but it was because they were kind of scary.  Then Steven and I watched the movie a few months ago on television. 
SHOCKING!  It wasn't the scary parts that bugged me this time, it was the innuendos.  That's it, my boys are NEVER watching this show.  (yeah, that will probably only last a few more years)

Ok-give me your best guesses.  Then I'll tell you more about our weekend.