Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Trees

This year's Christmas trees came from the same farm as last year. It was a lovely day, but a bit cold.  Alayna wasn't with us this year, but it was still fun. 
(Roger takes such wonderful photos, don't you think?)

The littlest tree came home with us.  Alayna and I decorated it with a lot of bright lights and a lot of old and new ornaments.  I think it turned out well. 
We also helped Mom and Dad decorate their tress, which was much larger.  Alayna got to go up on the ladder to hang ornaments.  It's a little hard to see here, but Mom has a death grip on the back of Alayna's pants. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Learning Celebration

This fall, Alayna's class had a learning celebration. All the parents got to visit the class, listen to some poems and songs, see some of their classwork, and see some photos from the year so far. It was a lot of fun. These kids have certainly been busy in the last few months.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Me=really busy

I know I haven't posted anything in a while. I'll try to catch up soon. Just stop looking at me like that, OK Dad?
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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween... or the one night a year when you expect your kids to pretend to be someone else and beg for food.

Happy Halloween to all!

This was a fun year. We took Alayna to Forest Grove to do the Trick-or-treat downtown, followed by some more trick-or-treating . It was great fun to see all the kids (and adults) in their costumes. We saw an ATM machine, a laundry basket, and both Mario and Luigi. But wait, before we get there, we must start with Lisa's party last weekend, and the pumpkin carving Friday night...

My friend Lisa's Dad has a small garden (only about 10 acres), and he grows all kinds of wonderful things, like pumpkins. So every year they bring home a bunch of pumpkins and have their friends over to help dispatch them.

Alayna got to carve her own pumpkin, with a little help.

There were some very creative carvers...

And some very large pumpkins...

After most of the carving was done, it was time for the pumpkin roll. We rolled or threw pumpkins down through the woods to see how far they could go. Some of them made it pretty far, and the largest ones made very nice splats against the trees.

Friday night, we carved pumpkins with Mom, Dad, Jen and Roger. We carved some good ones, too.

Ok, back to Halloween...
Main street in Forest Grove was quite busy. The fire department was giving out glow sticks for all the kids to use when they went out later after dark. I think most of the town was there. It was a lot of fun.

Back in May, Alayna had a part in the Broadway show at church. We made her a poodle skirt for the show, so, voila, instant Halloween costume.

We all dressed up a little. Mom wore her pumpkin shirt, and Hannah (Jen and Roger's dog) wore the pumpkin hat until she managed to get it off her head.

After taking all of FG's candy, we moved on to my parent's neighborhood. She only hit a few houses, but it was enough for a six year old and her family.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Great Pumpkin Adventure 2009

It's October, and a sunny day in the midst of a lot of rain, so, the only thing to do is to go to a pumpkin patch, get a little muddy, and pick a pumpkin, or seven. We found a great, new (to us) pumpkin patch in North Plains. It's called Lakeside Farms, and is, surprisingly enough, located next to a large pond they call a lake. It was a lot of fun.

You could walk to the patch, but, as they have a lake, there is a better way to travel:
There were two lake monsters and a shark that came out of the water next to the boat, and a little stand with pirates and a cannon.

On the way back, we took the train, which was also very fun.

There was a great bunch of old farm equipment that was probably full of germs, but the photo op was too great to pass up. So, here's Alayna on a tractor...
... and an old wagon.

There were even pony rides. Alayna's pony was named Raven. He was a very nice pudgy pony.

Alayna getting a wheel-barrow ride on some of the pumpkins.

Once Jen and Roger added their pumpkins to the wheelbarrow, we had a good pile. It was a great pumpkin day.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Alayna and I went camping with Jen and Roger in the Tillamook Forest. It was very nice to get out of the city and into the woods, even if for just a night.

We went to the beach for a little while. It was a perfect fall beach trip: cloudy and cold, but Alayna waded in the ocean anyway, and so did Hannah.

After the obligatory, and much desired, visit to the cheese factory (squeeky cheese!), we went to the Wilson River so Alayna could swim. It was much warmer there than at the beach. She swam for about an hour, crossing and re-crossing the current, and racing Hannah for her toy. We gave her a little head start, and she beat Hannah most of the time.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

First Grade

Alayna's first day of "big kid school" was Tuesday. Now she gets to eat lunch in the cafeteria, have PE and music classes, and be ever so much smarter than those pesky Kindergarteners. (Not that she wasn't already smarter.) I don't want my little baby to grow up. Maybe in 12 years I'll be throwing her out the door, but for now, I just want to make sure she's happy.
Her teacher is Mrs. Goei. She seems very nice, and willing to give Alayna all the hard books she is ready to read.
First day riding the bus:

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Sunday, May 24, 2009


Alayna's favorite things are her books. She looks at all the pictures over and over, she will only go to sleep listening to one of her stories on CD, she loves being read to, and she loves reading to others. One thing I didn't know, was that she could read them silently. We were cleaning the house today, and I got caught up with a magazine article. Alayna was supposed to be cleaning up her room, but she got distracted, too. I didn't hear anything out of her room for a little while, so when I went to see what she was up to, this is what I found. She was halfway through a Junie B Jones book, and she said she read the whole thing, she wasn't just looking at it. It looks like all this practice really is paying off. We had to clean up her room together later, but I was glad to see her doing something new.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Blanket Tent

Alayna worked on this tent in stages for a couple days last week, then she spent the rest of the week sleeping in it. I had to take pictures of it because I just love taking pictures of her sleeping, and because it was such a creative construction. You can't see the internal structure here, but there were tunnels so she could get in, and get out the other side to get to her CD player. You can see how she built it by stinging blankets between the drawers of the desk and her bed, and then draping a top blanket over the stringers.

Friday, May 15, 2009

CHUCC Broadway Show

Our church's incredible choir put on a Broadway show with as many theatrics as possible. We got a bit of musical theater history, thanks to music director Rodney's excellent narration. Many of the choir members had featured parts, which allowed us to hear everyone in a different way. My parents did Do You Love Me? from Fiddler on the Roof. It was really fun to hear them singing in front of people, by themselves. They did great. Mom said she was nervous, but you couldn't tell. Alayna got to have a small role, too. She danced with her Papa to Greased Lightning from Grease. Alayna's friend Haydn also got to dance. They were so cute together. The little greaser and his little rocker girlfriend, dancing with their grandparents. Some of the pictures are screengrabs from the video, so you'll have to forgive me for the low quality.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day Weekend

Okay, I'll admit it, most of the time I work, go home, eat dinner and read with Alayna, watch TV, work, go home, etc. But this weekend was too nice not to do something fun. It's been 70 both days, nice bright sunshine. The clouds are coming in a little, now, but it's nice to warm up after a cold, wet winter. To celebrate the sun, Alayna and I had a little picnic on the porch on Saturday. Alayna got a new swimsuit, and she had to try it on, and then she left it on. After lunch, Alayna played Barbies with Maggie keeping an eye on her.

Then it was off to our Saturday night dinner and Wii at my parents' house (till midnight). My dad kicked Alayna's butt in bowling before she went to bed. Then Jen discovered that you can bowl sitting down and over hand, you just can't score much over 100. Today, our neighborhood group hosted the coffee hour after church, so Alayna got to play on the playground for much longer than usual while I helped clean up.

The Holy Trinity Catholic church down the street from our church has a bunch of painted fish on the fence. As we drive by, Alayna will try to count all of them, but doen't usually get past 30. Today, we stopped so she could count them. Turns out, there are 269 fish! There are a few spaces, so there were probably more originally. Here is my favorite, and one of the ones Alayna said was her favorite:

I think this fish might have been painted by a boy: note the lightning, and the trees on fire.

We stopped at Shari's for lunch on the way home, and I got a rose, just for being a Mom. That was fun. I guess I get payed for this gig, after all.