Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The traveler returns

Late night airport pick-up
 Hayden's flight was coming in at 10:53 p.m. and we got to the airport at 10:53. The arrival board said that the flight was "On Time" but it hadn't changed to "Arrived", so we waited and waited. And I took pictures of my goofy kids being goofy.
Hayden was also waiting
 While the flight status didn't say "Arrived" in fact it had arrived and Hayden walked right by us. He sent a text saying that he had landed and was waiting at baggage claim. Rylan, Courtney and Cam went down to welcome him. The first thing I saw these guys doing was comparing tans or lack of them. Like I said, goofy kids.
It's good to have him back!
 I think this trip was good for Hayden. I know that Alyssa appreciated that he traveled with her from Virginia up to the U.P. and helped with the kids.  I know that my mother was thrilled to have him around for the couple of weeks he was there. He got to get reacquainted with Ari and Tiia and spend some time with Kelly and Kurt's other kids. He also got to know Alexa and Luc which was great. He came home with a hoody for himself. He wasn't going to get it initially because he didn't know what  or where the Keweenaw was. But he found out. We jokingly refer to it as the Motherland. I was born and raised on the Keweenaw peninsula of Michigan so indeed the term "motherland" is appropriate.
 He got to swim in Lake Superior multiple times and he got to experience one of my favorite childhood pastimes... rock hunting. I have a small container of collected rocks from my youth and now Hayden has his own collection. Nice variety!
He learned some Michigan geography

He brought home the oven mitt to prove it!

Finnish heritage
Lyssa bought and sent these mugs to Har and me. I love them! 
Har is the Fine Finn and I've got Sisu within.
 I bet Alyssa's "yooper" accent may have gotten a little thicker while she was there. It's hard not to start talking a bit like a native while you spend time in that culture of pasties, saunas, korppus, and pulla. 
Got Sisu? Ya you betcha!
Cottonwood and copper
 Mom and Lyssa picked up this souvenir from Copper World for Har's and my anniversary. Although I have a copper clad cottonwood leaf from Kara, this one is more appropriate for the anniversary with its sweet kissing couple silhouette.
I first heard "the cottonwoods whispering" almost 34 years ago in the Copper Country of Michigan.
They still whisper here in the Pacific Northwest.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Smooth jazz

 Hair do = done
I needed a little lift the other day and thought getting my haircut would do the trick.  I bribed Courtney with gas money to watch the kids so I could get away. There isn't a huge difference in style but it's much shorter and so easy to wash and wear. Just perfect for the lazy days of summer.
Jazz music at its finest
This is Jimmy Mak's. It is "One of the world's top 100 places to hear jazz." according to  Down Beat Magazine. Our friends, Tom and Kim are very familiar with the music of Jimmy Mak's and invited us to join them there for an evening of jazz music and some dessert.
On Thursday nights, The Mel Brown B-3 Organ Group takes the stage. The group is made up of Mel Brown on drums, Louis Pain on the B-3 organ, Dan Balmer on guitar, Curtis Craft on percussion, and Renato Caranto on tenor sax.
What an amazingly talented and entertaining group of men. We enjoyed every minute of the music. I'd really like to take our boys there.  The first set of music ends and 9:30 after which the club is for 21 and over. Before that though all ages are welcome.
The company wasn't bad either

We really enjoy the time spent with Tom and Kim. They've introduced us to good music and good coffee. I'm wondering when Harlan is going to start joining Tom for cigars on the porch!
Thomas is growing his goatee to match Harlan's which can only mean that he's on vacation. Kim had a rare couple of days off too.  Only Har had to get up for work on Friday, so we decided to stay for both sets. I expected our kids to scold us when we got home close to midnight but I don't think any of them even noticed.
The dessert looked good

The guys had dessert and Kim and I refrained, but they looked really delicious. Cherry cheesecake and mud pie. Jimmy Mak's offers a complete menu of food items starting at 5 p.m. daily. However they are closed on Sundays. If you like jazz and are going to be in Portland check them out. 
You can't confuse me
 I was at JoAnn Fabrics picking up a couple of birthday goodies for Henry, when I saw these little flashlight key chains.  The Dolphin is pretty cool, and I suppose you can call that dragon looking figure a dinosaur, but there is no way you're going to convince me that the thing on the right is a frog. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Neighborhood walk

First time this summer
The kids' bathing suits finally got used this year. They were pretty excited when I told them that it was going to be warm enough to go over to Irving Park and play in the fountains. But it had to be after lunch, after naps and after the temperature outside reached at least 80 degrees. 
We left home at 3 p.m.
Bathing Beauties

 I got Genevieve and Danika's tankinis when Old Navy had a great sale.  I love that they cover almost as much as a one piece suit but have the freedom of a two piece. Plus they are super cute!

Danika found a silk butterfly among the maple seeds on the sidewalk. We also admired a lot of yard flowers.

Garrett's first visit as a "big kid"

Though he was a bit apprehensive at first it wasn't long before he was walking around the area without any fear of the water spraying.

The park has a wonderful playground just to the south of this water feature but because I was the only adult supervising all four of them I made them play only in the water part. Even then I was walking around counting to 4 over and over.  Genevieve was pleasantly surprised to see her Kindergarten teacher. She was there with her son, who is Wyatt's age.
 We used sunscreen but I figured an hour and a quarter of play time was enough. Next time I'll bring another pair of eyes so they can enjoy the playground too.
The "Water"park trip was successful 
 Danika looks a little cold here but I think this is the first time we've been there that the kids didn't repeatedly come to warm up in towels every few minutes. 
They also didn't whine about having to leave.
 Flapping like bats
New suits, new beach towels, new sunglasses, and a warm breezy day to walk back from the park.
It was a good day in NE Portland.
A few of the floral pictures

I saw this pink and blue bed of flowers just after the kids went running by it with their bright colored towels. They almost matched them. The single hydrangea photo is the only one that turned out of the bunch that I took.
There is a telephone pole that is covered with a huge mound of ivy. It looks like a big hairy monster and someone has actually put cardboard circle eyes on the street side of it.  As I was walking by it I saw a perfectly white vine of ivy growing among the green. It was really pretty. I wonder if it was some sort of mutation or if it's a new variety or if it's getting white tendrils like I'm getting silver hair.

Freeway closures again this weekend

A couple of weekends ago I-5 was closed from the Fremont Bridge on the north to the Marquam Bridge on the south. The I-84 on ramp is right in the middle of that closure. All vehicles heading east are forced to take the Rose Quarter exit and head east on Weilder to NE MLK Jr Blvd then head south to get to the closest freeway on ramp. If I was unfamiliar with the area I'd be totally confused following the above sign. This detour to EAST I-84 tells motorists to turn  right and go against the flow of the one way traffic on Weidler. You won't get there that way.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Charles!

Traffic Jam
Courtney, Cameron, Wyatt, Genevieve, Danika, Garrett and I  headed out to surprise Charlie at Job Corps for his birthday.

Unfortunately we were surprised as President Obama was at the Convention Center and the freeways between Lloyd Center and the airport were already closed when we tried to get out of town. We were not alone on the surface streets that moved at a snail's pace. We finally got onto 205 southbound and I felt sorry for those in the miles of stopped traffic northbound.

Harlan even had a hard time getting home by bike because he couldn't get across the gridlocked roads!
Much less stressful drive

 I've been along Hwy 224 as far as the Barton Store which is less than 12 miles east of the 205 freeway. Estacada,  which is the official address of the Job Corps facility is another 8.5 miles past Barton. The Job Corps facility is 24 miles past Estacada.
It was a beautiful day for a drive though.  I wish someone else had been driving at times, or that there were places to pull off to take pictures of the white water of the Clackamas River along the way. I guess we'll have to make the trip up there again one of these days.
Surprise! Happy Birthday!!!

Charlie was surprised and was happy that we came out to see him. 
Courtney was happy that she finally got to see the area where he has spent all these months training.   
 I had to take a picture of the birthday well wishers. 
It was a long trip but they were all pretty good travelers.
What a gorgeous place
We got to only go into the visitor's center which is mainly a place to get info and have someone call for the student you're there to see. The above picture is from the job corp website. The building is so much prettier when you see it in its surroundings. There are a lot of beautiful buildings. It reminded me of a very remote college campus.

I don't know the history of the Center but presume that it was established during the depression along with other CCC camps. We slowed down on the way out and took a couple pictures of Timber Lake itself. 
So so lovely!
A stop for a very late supper

Taco Bell was a welcome sight as we finally stopped to get something to eat. It was already after 8 p.m.! The kids were remarkably mellow in spite  of the time.  Though Courtney and I realized that everyone seemed a bit more upbeat on the final leg of our trip. 
It was well past bedtime when we finally got home. What should have been a 3 hour trip ended up being 6! But it was worth it in many ways.

So, Happy 22nd Birthday Charlie!
Hope it was as memorable for you as it was for us!

Monday, July 23, 2012

1st sleep-over & 2 year check-up

Henry hanging out
 While his mom and dad took Anabelle with them on an out of town overnighter, Henry stayed with us.  We got a snack on the way to church. Went through a drive through for lunch. Napped and played with the cousins for hours before bedtime.
A nest bed for him and Monkey
 We took the cushions off of the loveseat in the family room and made a cozy bed in the corner of the den for Henry and his monkey. He had his own Gramma blankie and a sippy with water and he settled in and went to sleep.
Meanwhile on the other side of the room...
 Mr Garrett was a tossing and turning little dervish. He should have gone to sleep easily because he had just gotten out of the tub. We even bought him a new mattress for his bed. Perhaps it just felt different and that was the problem.  He was so tired that he was miserable. Poor guy. He finally fell asleep around 9:30.
Two year well baby check
 Garrett woke up around 6 this morning and had a 9:30 doctor's appointment. The late night and early morning caught up with him and he took a little nap on the way out to Beaverton.

He's 6oz shy of 30 lbs and is 34.25in tall. That means that one third of kids his age are heavier than he is and two thirds of them are taller. Though he is at the very top when it comes to head circumference. 
 We love his pediatrician.  She is so encouraging and upbeat. And I love her style!
Good patients get treats
On the way out there, I went through a Starbucks drive through and picked up a cake pop for him to have after his appointment.  He sat outside the clinic and enjoyed his yummy treat. What a boy!
They look like astronauts
Henry and Garrett were watching Blues Clues and I took a picture from above them. At OMSI there is a space capsule that you can sit in and pretend you are blasting off. A person sitting there looks just like this.  Laying on their back with their legs up in the air. 
These two cousins have so many contrasts.  Henry is thinner, taller and more lightly complected with fine blonde hair. Garrett is a stocky, tanned, coarse haired brunette.
But they both have brown eyes!
And both of them love their Gramma!
That is the best shared trait.