Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Look

Oh yeah, it's getting that time. The girl has developed "the look"... that look she gives you when you say something stupid or embarassing or when you do something she doesn't approve of. She's gotten pretty good at "the look", see...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Chase's Eagle Scout Project

June 26 was Chase's Eagle Scout project. He chose to do a Bike Safety Fair for the kids of Scappoose, something we've never seen in the 7 years we've lived in this community. He put in so many hours planning this event, looking for donations, coordinating schedules and volunteers and gear for the event. There were huge issues in the days leading up to the event that he weathered - the biggest being the "you can't have the area we promised to you for your event." AAAHHH! It was a huge undertaking but he rose to the occasion and did such a fabulous job! The day went off without a hitch... he had it planned so well that it pretty much ran like clockwork. YEAH!

Upon arriving eveyone checked in with Grandma (my Mom) at the registration desk. Each child got a big filled with color books, activity books, pamphlets and a Scappoose Police color-changing pencil.

Then they were free to wander the stations around the perimeter of the bike safety fair.

He had a few games, like a ball toss and a ring toss.
And he had the important safety stations, like a bike safety check (huge thanks to Bike Gallery for sending out a mechanic!)

And the helmet check (this one made a huge impact... sooooo many kids had their helmets on incorrectly).
He also had some learning stations for the kids to visit, like First Aid and Rules of Road, where they learned hand signals and how to legally ride their bike on the street.
After that it was on to the fun part, the huge "Chalk Road" that he'd set up. It included things like a stop sign, crosswalk and a railroad crossing with volunteers stationed to help the kids remember the proper way to proceed. This was a lot of fun and some kids rode it over and over again! (There's my Dad in the background... Chase had all of his grandparents there to help!).
After riding their course and playing games one more time the kids were all treated to a popsicle. It was a beautiful day and the popsicle was a great way to cool off. All in all the project went wonderfully and I'm so proud of Chase and all that he accomplished to pull this project off. Kudos my boy!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Welcome to summer!

Every year I'm so excited for summer. By the end of spring I'm ready to be done with teaching for a bit and done with getting up in the mornings, going to school, having meetings, etc. So when summer comes I'm always excited for the chance to not have that structure and chaotic schedule. Yet each year when summer comes here I am again... busy, busy, busy. This year has been much of the same. I've taught 3 summer camps, taken Chase back and forth to National Youth Leadership Training, gone camping with the family and painted and moved the kids into new rooms. It's been a busy, busy summer thus far. And in the midst of it all I'm taking a full score of college classes, one of them being a photography course.

I must admit that I love photography and have for a very long time. Lately I've really been trying to work on more beautiful and better composed photos and thought I was doing well... until I started this course. It's much harder than I expected to get great photos. We're required to take 250 photos and then submit our 10 best photos for critique and grade. Our first assignment was due last week and was 10 landscape and/or architecture photos. I took about 400 photos for this assignment and these are the 10 I turned in:

My next assignment is the one I was most looking forward to - portrait photography. I was looking forward to this one - until he told us NO KIDS! Ugh... no pics of kids. I have to photograph adults. That's much, much harder. We'll see how it goes...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sorry I've been bad at posting lately. As always, life gets in the way of blogging. And lots of life has been going on lately. Life is definitely keeping us busy.

The good news is that I am DONE teaching summer camps for this season. YEAH! Now summer can actually begin and maybe I can get some stuff done around here ... like cleaning the house! LOL

On the other side of the coin, life is still busy, busy, busy. I'm just about ready to head off to take Chase to National Youth Leadership Training for Boy Scouts. He is soooo excited that he was chosen by the troop leaders to go to this week-long leadership camp but even more than that, he's excited to learn how to become a better leader and scout.

On a similar note, Chase held his Eagle Scout project a few weekends ago. It went remarkably well. I can't wait to blog about it and share pictures, but that will have to wait for another time.

For now, here's pictures of some things I've missed posting.

Chase and Carissa tested for their first belt rank in Taekwondo. They started 3 months ago, when Tristan moved to a new dojang. We've all been so happy with the move and with Master Maye and the kids are all enjoying it. Here's Chase doing forms,

doing some sparring,

and breaking boards.

And here's Miss Riss getting some pointers from her sparring "coach" (the kids coach for each other, giving each other pointers on how to do better while sparring),

kicking some butt in a sparring match,

and breaking boards.

Here are the two with their new belts (white with black stripe) and their instructor, Master Maye. They were supposed to be doing their fighting faces here. LOL

We also went to Newport for a few days of rest and relaxation. We had a great time. Here's Carissa with a what's left of a HUGE smores... we found these giant marshmallows that make a double-size smores, but they are also a huge mess. See all the marshmallow in her hair? Oh well, it's awfully cute to be covered in marshmallow. My late best friends daughters, Jayde and Kaitlyn, came with their grandma to come visit us at the campsite. Jayde and Chase are the same age and were having some fun together. Jayde decided to wear Chase's hat

so we thought it only fitting that Chase should wear Jayde's headband... with a little "help" from Dad.

Chase and Tristan participated in the "gummy bear challenge." They are working on actually remembering their boy scout knots (they do them but forget how a day later). So we held this challenge to see who could finish knots first. Chase won one round, Tristan won the other. And since the winner got gummy bears, they were happy to participate! LOL
We took the kids to Yaquina Head Natural Scenic Area and to this place - the lighthouse near where I grew up. It was windy and a bit chilly, but fun anyways. This is my favorite pic from the trip, the kids walking up to the lighthouse.
A trip to Newport isn't complete without a trip to the Marine Science Center. Who can beat free? We were bummed to miss the octopus feeding, since we've watched it online via their live web cam. Guess we'll just have to watch it online for now and go see it in person another time.

While looking through the exhibits the kids climbed behind this one and peeked through the glass. See their faces in the background? We stayed at South Beach State Park and went to the beach there, which was beautiful and calm in the morning. Brian's dad kept walking with the boys
and Tucker had a hey-day running around and chasing his floaty toy in the surf.
This, I think, is one of my fave pics of the boys together. They're always doing this - hanging out with one another. They still are good friends and I love that about their relationship!

Well, that's all I've got time for now. Off to NYLT we go...