It really doesn't matter what the weather is like outside when you can walk into a room that is at least 85 degrees all year long! I was woefully over-dressed in two layers of long sleeves and my Uggs, but hey, I'm the family photo-documentarian, so I came prepared to sit this one out. Next time however, I'm jumping in! We were so proud of Rachel for finally getting over her fear of the water slide, and heading down - with joy - but never without Andy. That's ok though!

Not one to be outdone, Oliver had a fantastic time on the slide, and hit the "let's do it again!" button over and over, until Andy got sick of the stairs. Sorry I don't have a good shot of the whole slide (it's BIG). It wouldn't fit in my lens! 

They start their first round of "for real" swim lessons next week! Between that, and climbing, and woodshop, and ballet, it's a good life!


Woodshop 101

Oliver started a little class last week at the community center, and let me just say that dancing kittens could not have been any cuter! It practically took my breath away to see a bunch of 4-6 years olds banging around with hammers, learning to cut with saws - making things! They had total freedom to come up with their own creations using wood scraps, nails and imagination. No set idea or example to follow, just go for it! Seriously, Ollie was in heaven. He instantly got to work sawing, using the vice grip (vice grip, I tell you!) to hold his stuff securely. He had a little smile on his face the entire hour, except for when he was really thinking. You know he's really thinking when he sticks his tongue out of the corner of his mouth a little bit (a family trait). 

Looking through the door - he's tightening the vice. Adorable!

His teacher rolls around the classroom in this old chair,
checking out the kids' progress. Super cool.

On the drive home, Ollie said to no one in particular, but in a very dreamy voice, "I love woodshop..." I think I have to sign him up for the next fifty years of classes!


I Heart Long Weekends

We took advantage of the day off from school on Monday and drove out to the coast for the day. It was wonderful. I did give the kids a pop quiz at lunch about Martin Luther King, Jr., since I was feeling a little guilty about not participating in a community event in his honor. The kids did great; "no, he was not a president" - "yes, he wanted peace" - "he had four little kids" - "someone shot him because they didn't agree with him" - "not letting people do things just because their skin is a different color doesn't make any sense." No, it sure does not!

We decided to explore Cannon Beach, and we were graced with about six minutes of sun before getting totally soaked by a long drizzly walk back to the van. That's ok though - I think it made for some great memories.

We found these jellyfish all over the beach!

I was so excited to find this little heart!

We decided to drive down to our favorite ice cream shop in Manzanita before heading home, and I had to laugh watching Ollie double-fisting his hot chocolate and ice cream. He didn't know which to have first. Such a great day!


Oh Yes, It's Ladies Night!

Rose City Rollers - Let's Get Ready to Rumble!
Oh my gosh! The most awesome night ever - EVER - may just be tonight! I have become a big fan of the local roller derby, and the season is just getting started tonight. One of the first posts I ever wrote for this bloggito was about the roller derby, and I could hardly contain myself. What makes tonight even more special however, is the After Party!! Check it out!

Roller derby and 80's dancing!! My dream night, and it's not even my birthday! Do you see the exclamation points all over this post?! If you live in Portland, you must come! If you don't live here, I bet you wish you did! 

I have to mention that I took Rachel roller skating last Sunday, and we pretty much closed the place down. But then the coolest thing happened - the derby girls showed up to practice! Out of fear respect, I didn't whip out my camera, but I can say that seeing them there made me run home and check their schedule. So, now you know where I'll be tonight. I can see that I've become a roller derby dweebo, and I don't even care!


My Word for 2011 - Maintenance?

I've noticed that instead of making New Year's resolutions (which are so Out, apparently), many people have switched to intentions, focusing specifically on one word for the year. I've seen wonderful choices like Kindness, Gentle(ness), and Acceptance, and I've been thinking about what my word might be. I've been leaning toward Commitment, meaning that when I take on a project or responsibility, I see it through to the end, or that if I say I'm going to call, write or email you, I actually do it. This seems like something I've been doing well at lately, but I could always get better.

However, yesterday while out for lunch with my family, the elusive winter sun made a surprise appearance, warming us all up for a minute or two. It was during that moment, while playing Hangman with my daughter while we waited for our food that she announced, "Mommy, you have a mustache." Whhhhaaaaaaatttt? I told her, "That is not a compliment."

So maybe 2011 needs to be about maintenance. Maybe I need to see if she's right, and get out the tweezers. Maybe I'll be calling my hair stylist about the growout/gray hairs/lack of ooomph that my hair is experiencing lately. Maybe I'll shave my legs a little more often. I've even been thinking about getting those braces for my teeth that I've always wanted (seriously, I used to pretend to have a retainer by "wearing" a paper clip on my teeth - gross, I know)!

Don't worry - I have good self-esteem. I'm proud of the hard work I do in my pilates class several times a week, and I feel stronger and healthier in my body than ever before. My skin has finally started to behave thanks to Retin A (it even works on wrinkles a little!), and I look people in the eye when I'm talking to them. It just feels a little necessary to take a "physical inventory" to see what needs help, and that includes my muscles which have been asking for a massage for quite a while now.

This seems a little self-centered, but I can still be kind, gentle, and committed, while enjoying a freshening up of my poor, old (not really) self. What are you focusing on? Have you had a pedicure lately? I give them five stars.


Winter Break 2010

Hello! I know you haven't heard from me since last year (wink, wink), but I've been um...busy! Actually, I've really been wanting to post the pictures I took during our Christmas trip to Sunriver, but I had just one problem - procrastinationitis. Seriously. I thought this might disappear with the midnight start of our new year, but no, the first day of the year was spent looking at other people's blogs for hours, ignoring my own. Sigh... I am me, same as always - a little overwhelmed by the love of it all. It seems I took about 100 pictures just of the sledding! Don't even get me started on the snowball fights, the presents, and all the rest of that jazz. What I'm saying is, if you're here to see 1,000 pictures of our Christmas (Mom, I know you're nodding your head), don't fret if it's whittled down to 20 10. At a time. Over the course of a few posts. It's a school night, you know!

My beautiful boy, ready to go! Let's get there already!

Making and eating lots of lefse (a Norwegian tortilla of sorts) is a huge Christmas tradition with my husband's family. I stick with the peanut butter balls. What? 
My sister-in-law, Lucy. Head Lefse Maker.

happy happy joy joy


See, are we having fun now, or what?!