Sunday, October 7, 2012

First Day of School

 I'm a little late to the game - oh well!  Sophie and Calvin are attending Raleigh Park for the second year.  There were a lot of changes with the Beaverton School District's Schools this year.  A huge budget crisis forced the school district to eliminate over 200 teacher positions.  Class sizes are enormous and many teachers have been forced to move schools, grades and subjects.  It is terrible and really drives home the need for consistent, reliable educational funding.

Sophie's teacher this year is Mrs. Laird.  She came to Raleigh Park from a local middle school where she taught history.  Sophie was thrilled to learn her two best friends, Grace and Kate are in her class again this year.  Her class started with 39 kids this year!  About a week into the school year, after her teacher fell on her face while trying to squeeze between desks, the school district brought in one more teacher to make a grade 4/grade 5 split class.  It has helped to being down the numbers in her class - hooray!

Calvin has Mrs. Baumgartner for second grade and several of his friends from last year are in his class again including one little girl from his primary class.

All three of the kids decided they hated school lunch after last year so our mornings are very busy as all three kids have to pack their lunches for school!  It is better though - Calvin is actually eating things other than a white bagel with nothing on it and a chocolate milk for lunch.   I bought a bunch of bento box type containers and new lunchboxes for the kids.  They now take a lot of leftovers and fresh fruits and vegetables and everyone is happier.

I know most Mothers are thrilled when their children go back to school, but I am not one of them!  I love the summers and I love coming home from work and being able to relax with the kids, walk to the library or go to a park or a concert.  Once school starts, every evening is a rush to get home for work, get dinner on the table, get all of the homework done and make sure piano and trombone are practiced.  It is exhausting.  I can't wait for summer!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sad Little Man


This is what my cute little boy does when his feelings are hurt.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hood River Vacation

A few weeks before the start of school, my brother Scott and his fiance Carmen came into town for a week.  They rented a gorgeous home on a hill overlooking Hood River and invited the whole family up for the week.  I had to work, but the kids spend the week playing with the Aunts and Uncles and cousins and Peter and I traveled up on two evenings to spend time with the family.

The home is enormous, very modern and full of light.  My favorite part was the deck stretching the entire width of the house with two eating areas and a comfortable couch for reading or napping.

The view of the gorge is lovely.  The kids went swimming, hiking, paddle boarding and picked peaches at a local orchard.  They spent a lot of time enjoying the home's theater room with four couches and stadium seating on the second floor.

I snapped a bunch of photos of the home (owned by Carmen's boss) before leaving.  It is available for rent most of the year.

I made Calvin pose in the hallway downstairs just to illustrated the size of the hallway!  Four bedrooms and theater and a game room on this floor.  The shower in the master bedroom had more room than my entire bathroom at our little house.  

Kirstin brought her new boyfriend up to the house to let him experience the craziness of her 5 Portland nieces and nephews.

We stayed over Saturday night and after passing the children off for a fun day with their Dad, Peter and I tried paddle boarding as well.  We stayed in a little inlet off of the Columbia River and had a great time.  I tried to venture out into the river, but the waves knocked me off almost immediately.  I need to try again sometime soon.

Thank you Scott and Carmen!

Monday, September 3, 2012

State Fair

Last Monday I grabbed the kids and a couple of Sophie's friends and we headed to Salem for the State Fair.  The girls were anxious to see if their cakes had earned them any ribbons and fame and the boys just wanted to eat fried stuff.  We lucked out as there was some promotion going on and all of the kids (even Max!) got in to the fair for free and all of the ride tickets were half off.

We went to the cakes first and the girls were disappointed to find out that none of them had earned a ribbon.  In fact, there were no ribbons awarded in the kids categories - lame.  It was still exciting to see their cakes on display and we'll have to find out why there were no ribbons before we enter again next year.

Max was able to meet several Oregon authors - we bought a book from this guy (William L. Sullivan) who writes some of my favorite hiking guides of Oregon.


Despite being free kids day, the fair was not very crowded in the morning.  All of the kids were able to hold pigeons and pet the rabbits and baby chicks.

We had a long discussion in the barn after watching a cow poop and then a sheep poop about how sheep manage to poop in perfectly round little circles.  Anyone?!

 The dairy barn was the best bargain - these cones are only $2.50 but all but one of the kids won a coupon for a free cone!

Each kid got to choose three rides and one game.  Max and Kate went on the swings.


Calvin really wanted to win one of these tacky pepper things.  Sadly, he did not manage to get a ring on the bottle.

Sophie went on that spinning ride which makes me nauseous just to look at it.

Max and Grace went on this thing which makes me want to cry (I do not do fair rides).  They were pretty excited when it started, but a little green at the end.  Granted we had just consumed a lunch of corn dogs, curly fries, sweet potato fries, hot dogs, fried ravioli and soba noodles.

Calvin was super excited about the bumper cars.

This pirate ride below was incredibly lame - and 9 tickets!?  Calvin was tickled to find he was tall enough to ride alone!

Sophie played the wack-a-mole and won this psycho decapitated sheep's head.   It is the Goodwill bag.  She was the only one to win a prize - fair prizes are rather lame considering the price of the tickets.

I can only handle the fair about every other year, but I must say this fair was rather nice.  Clean and not to packed and the weather was great.