Thursday, December 22, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Man and His Trumpet

DSC_6879

Harrison's first band concert was a big success. So fun to see how far they've come in a few months. Carnegie Hall, here we come!

DSC_2840

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ugly Sweater Party

What better way to ring in the holidays than to wear an ugly holiday sweater? So we had a party. And everyone wore their holiday finery. And it was ugly!

sweatergroup

The photo doesn't do some of these outfits justice. Trust me, there were zebra print Santas, furry stripes, teddy bears holding the American flag skiing past a Christmas tree (that was mine), silky Santa boxers, and oh so much more.

It was a lot of fun.

One of the highlights was the Ugly Sweater Gingerbread Contest. People REALLY got into it:

cookies

Guests unleashed their inner Picassos and Rembrandts on this project, let me tell you!

Prizes were awarded for Best Sweater and Best Gingerbreadman/woman. I brought the boys downstairs to judge so I wouldn't be accused of fixing the contest.

Unfortunately, I didn't get many photos. It's hard to be host and photographer simultaneously.

It sure was a great way to kick off December. I'm already thinking about doing it again next year.

DSC_6785

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Perfect Tree

It begins with the hunt.

DSC_2823

The chosen specimen:

DSC_2824

The final product with the usual death-defying stunt to get the star on top:

DSC_6734

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Time Warp

Harrison exclaimed, "Mamma Mia!" today, and of course, I had to start singing the ABBA classic.

Harrison's response?

"Mom, I do NOT want to take a trip to the seventies!"

Mamma Mia, indeed.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

11-11-11 recap

To celebrate 11-11-11, the kids and I decided to do 11 random acts of kindness before 11:11 am. It got off to a bit of a hurried start when I slept in until 8. But that did feel really good :).

Here's a run-down of what we did:

1. We mailed a letter to a friend in the hospital.

DSC_6681

2. Gave pumpkin muffins to a neighbor.

3. Got gas and gave pumpkin muffins to the station attendant who filled our tank. When Harrison handed him the muffins, he looked shocked and said, "Are these really for me?" They really were. And as we drove away, Harrison said, "That made my hand feel warm and tingly."

(For those of you who don't live in Oregon, we're not living the high life going full serve; you're not allowed to pump your own gas here...just so you know.)

4. At Starbucks, we ordered a traveller container of coffee to take to James' office.

5. In the parking lot, Harrison handed a "happy note" to one of the motorcycle cops in the parking lot. He was happy to chat Harrison up :).

6. Across the street at McDonald's, we paid for the woman in back of us in the drive-thru line. We spent a dollar. She was having an ice cream cone. At 9:30 in the morning. But hey, different strokes, right?

DSC_6683

7. We also gave a "happy note" to the drive-thru gal.

8. Back at Starbucks, we went through the drive-thru to pick up the travel container of coffee. We paid for the woman behind us and gave the clerks a note at the window. They told us that someone two cars ahead had just done the same thing!

9. At the hospital, we dropped the coffee off in the office.

10. As a bonus, we were able to visit two young patients in the ICU and chat with them. They got "happy notes," too. Both patients were young boys who liked Star Wars and Bionicles, so we had lots to talk about :). They shared a room, and both had family with them. Harrison and Owen thought it was one of the best parts of our day.

11. We had a few "happy notes" left, and those we left on the windshields of cars in the hospital parking lot.

DSC_6686

We finished up this last deed at precisely 11:00 am. I had brought my 11-11-11 signs with us, so we snapped this shot at the hospital right at 11:11:11 on 11-11-11.

DSC_6696

I didn't get photos of many of our random acts because frankly, it felt a little weird to be taking pictures of your own good deeds. Plus, I was driving. Not that that always stops me:

DSC_6701

Here's what downtown Portland looked like from the Fremont Bridge around 11 o'clock on 11-11-11. Don't worry. I kept my eyes on the road and just snapped out the window. Harrison commented, "Mom, I could have taken a picture for you." And spoil my fun? I think not.

We had accomplished our mission with 10 minutes to spare. But there was one more thing I wanted to do.

After lunch, we brought flowers to the Veteran's Memorial near the library in Beaverton. The kids were just going to leave the flowers on one of the monuments. Then I spotted a veteran wearing his service hat, head bowed, having a moment of silence in front of one of the plaques.

The kids waited until he started walking again. Then they walked up and gave him the flowers and thanked him for his service.

DSC_6709

DSC_6710

He gave Harrison a hug and then told them about his time in the Korean War, even showing them what the things on his hat symbolized. I was in the car, feeling like a stalker with my long lens camera taking pictures. I was a stalker with a tear in my eye as I watched this unfold, but a stalker nonetheless.

As we drove home, Harrison and Owen decided we should do this EVERY holiday.

I'm inclined to agree.

Friday, November 11, 2011

11-11-11

DSC_6696

Taken on 11-11-11 at 11:11 am. I have been waiting for this!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011

The Candy Gobbler

the candy gobbler

The Avatar

the avatar

The Pumpkins

DSC_6638

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pre-Halloween Antics

DSC_2604

Sometimes you find weird things at the pumpkin farm.

These three came home with me.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sophie

DSC_2538

Our newest family member, Sophie. She's a three-year-old chocolate lab we adopted this weekend. It's great to have a dog in the house again!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bruin Mojo

DSC_6212

The gnome didn't work last week. Let's hope all the Bruin gear and the presence of these four at the game will do the trick.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Go Bruins!

ucla gnome

Showing up in gardens near you....

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Brothers

brothers

Dad and his brothers. You'd never guess they're related.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Season Opener

DSC_2502

First half, goalie: SAVE!

DSC_2530

Second half, forward: GOAL!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Eight

DSC_5840

Happy birthday to my little muffin.

May your smile always be this sweet :).

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

We Know How to Party...MarioKart Style

Setting the stage...

DSC_5623

Cooling the refreshments...

DSC_5622

Creating the ambience...

DSC_5620

Action...

DSC_5626


15 boys, 1 girl, all between the ages of 8 and 12. One big screen, four nunchuks and wheels, four brackets. Huge parent cheering section. Drinks, toffee, popcorn, cookies. Property damage (broken screen door). One visit from a police officer (who thought it was really cool).

Did I mention my kids won the tournament?

Best. End-of-summer party. Ever.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Another Tubing Adventure

DSC_2295

One person wants to slow down, the other one feels the need for speed. Three guesses which one is which...;)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Camping Part Two: Harris Beach

DSC_2043

Camping at the beach: great view, no mosquitos.

DSC_2173

Three boys in a tent. Nothing better than hanging out in sleeping bags in the morning while someone else makes breakfast.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mt. Hood

DSC_1810

Camping at Trillium Lake. A better view of Mt. Hood? I think not.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tuesday, July 5, 2011