Friday, May 30, 2008

If it isn't flood poles then

It's BIG TRUCKS!! There is a viewpoint just up from SR-14, off of 192nd Ave. that we rode our bike to tonight. It's another one of those places that we've seen but never stopped - until today. The view was impressive but, sadly, there was a lot of broken glass, garbage and graffiti. Despite what I was seeing, Oliver was focusing in on the big trucks! Trees, river, road, beautiful sky, quarry, etc. and it's all about the big trucks. Look close and you can see them in the middle-ish of the first picture but I promised Ollie I would take a picture of the big trucks for him so you can see them much better after I utilized my zoom. The last picture is of Daddy sneaking in a kiss while some little man is distracted by big brother.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Water Resources Education Center

Last week I went with Noah's class on a field trip to the Water Resources Education Center here (show them the pole mom!) in Vancouver. I have driven by this place countless times and can't believe that (the pole mom, tell them about the flood pole!) I've never stopped by before. It was fun, beautiful and very (where are the pictures of the pole?) educational. It was so much fun that the boys and I (the pole, the pole, the pole) stopped by again on the way home from the bike ride that Joel and Chris were in on Sunday. The center is open during the week with lots of fun (sheesh mom, get to the pole) activities for the kids, there is a walking path that winds around the wetlands (you know the one where I'm pointing at the numbers), the path can take you to a great picnic and play area or down to the waters edge on the Columbia River. A fountain that is (this is boring mom get to the pole) in front of the center was a huge draw (ughh you're driving me crazy) to the boys and I loved the gardens that surrounded the building. The Water Resources Education Center is having a Sturgeon Festival May 31-June 1 and I'll be bringing the boys down to check it out. If you live in the area and want to (mom, seriously, get to the pole) go with us let us know. So as you can see Noah, for some reason, was intrigued by the (are you finally typing about the flood pole) flood pole. The pictures below help explain what it's all about...

This is taken standing right next to the pole facing the water, you can see the Columbia River through the trees. The river is actually a bit swollen and up over the edges right now.
Oliver pointing to the plaque in the next picture...

Noah pointing to the plaque in the following picture...

Noah trying to point to the last picture...

As you can see the plaques mark the level of each flood. There have been more floods in the area but these are the only ones that were officially recorded by someone. Noah couldn't believe how much the river had come up and was even more baffled by the fact that people were building homes down that close to the river. "What if it does it again mom? Won't they get flooded out of their home? Why would you build your house down here if you knew it was going to happen again?" Smart kid if you ask me, I just asked him if he was going to build his house down that close to a river someday and his response, "Only if it floats or it's a boat!" He then proceeded to tell me that float and boat rhyme and named a bunch of other words that rhymed with those words. Anyway, if you make it down there, please check out the flood pole, it will make Noah very happy.

"About time you told them about the flood pole mom!"

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Results Are In!

Update: Joel and Chris placed 17th in their category you can see the complete results at

Joel and Chris rode in the Urban Assault Bike Ride today. It was beautiful Pacific NW weather, enough liquid sunshine for all!! The guys had to reach eight checkpoints during the ride and at each checkpoint there was a challenge for them to complete. When they successfully completed a challenge they received a bead to put on a chain. Challenges included (in no particular order):
  1. Bicycle jousting were they had to pick up rings with a long pole - Joel was pedaling and Chris was on the back foot pegs jousting.
  2. Bicycle limbo - had to ride their bikes under a bar.
  3. Paper toss and catch - Chris was the paper boy riding around on his bike tossing papers at Joel who was catching them.
  4. Figuring out the next mystery checkpoint - they were given a clue a couple days before the race that would lead them to a mystery checkpoint. In this case it was R.E.I., at R.E.I. they received a clue and had to figure out the next mystery checkpoint.
  5. Find the bicycle fairy - the fairy was riding around the neighborhood and when you found him he gave you a bead.
  6. Bean bag toss - toss the bean bag into a little hole.
  7. Mini-keg stilt walking and wheelbarrow race - ropes on tiny kegs that they had to walk up and back then run over and do a wheelbarrow type race (see the pictures).
  8. At the second mystery checkpoint they just got a bead for figuring it out.
The boys and I braved the rain and met them at their checkpoint at Laurelhurst Park. We then drove downtown to meet them at the finish line. They started and finished at Pioneer Courthouse Square in Downtown Portland. When they returned, they had to ride a big wheel course and then run an obstacle course bouncy house.

Chris in the rain...
Joel in the rain...
Chris doing very well at the stilt walk.
Joel just before he took a little spill...
Oliver in the rain...look at all those raindrops!
The big wheel course.
The big wheels...I want one now!
The guys in the bouncy obstacle course.
Way to go!!
The hard earned beads!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

If you are in the Portland area tomorrow (5/25) and are looking for something to do, Joel and Chris will be riding in the New Belgium Brewing Urban Assault Ride. The boys and I plan to be at Laurelhurst Park by 10am then after the guys get through this checkpoint we are going to ride MAX down to the finish line at Pioneer Courthouse Square. This ride looks like it's going to be a lot of fun, check out the website for more details.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Yes, but who do I apologize to???

This is Oliver getting up close and personal to tattle on his mommy, "i uh and um mom no and uh my HAIR. so I and uh and um DIDNT and i i i uh MOM! Stop! and uh and um uh-huh." So to translate from Oliver-ese to English...

"Mom cut my hair but she didn't put the blade guard on the clippers. I yelled stop but it was too late, now my hair is really REALLY short."So I started to apologize to Oliver but realized he really didn't care, he was just reacting to my gasp after realizing that I forgot the guard. He just wanted it done so he could get into the bubble bath. I then started to think that there might be a few grandparents, aunts or uncles, that might be a little more upset at the slip but hey, his hair grows fast so go easy on me!

Come on it's not that's kind of cute really, super easy to clean and summer weather friendly! I should have left a Mohawk on him like his cousin Trevor!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mt. Hood Cycling Classic

We met our friends, Chris, Amy and their kiddos at Mt. Tabor Park in Portland to watch the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic Criterium. This is just one of many that they have on their schedule. These races are always fun to watch and this one did not disappoint. These guys had to climb some serious hills and do it fast. The race lasted 90 minutes, I would have keeled over on the first lap! If you live in the Portland area and are interested in seeing a race sometime, check the blog.

We were sitting just around the corner from the starting line. This group stayed packed up like this for pretty much the entire race. There were a few that fell back from the pack but not as many as I expected.A shot of the cyclists zooming past us as we sat enjoying the evening and our picnic dinner.
These last two shots were taken across the way from where we were sitting so I could get a shot of the group coming up the hill (thanks for the tip Chris!). They had 2 or 3 laps left to go at this point.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Katie Tagged Noah

Katie's daughter was tagged by her friend Kara so Katie tagged are 7 random facts about my eldest son:
  1. He was born on the 12th day of the 12th month and 20 minutes short of being born at noon and I thought that would have been cool...don't really care now but my pregnant brain was upset it didn't happen.
  2. He is not a team sport kid, just not his thing but he loves karate and is very good. According to Noah, he will have his black belt no ifs ands or buts.
  3. He panics when he thinks his sweatshirt is stuck on his head but has no issues with shoving his brother to the bottom of a sleeping bag then holding it closed (sound familiar Ben?).
  4. Math is easy for him, really easy for him.
  5. He loves to engineer things, build things, experiment with everything in my cupboards (I have something growing in my fridge right now) and build with Legos.
  6. He has had to have stitches in his chin twice and probably should have been three times but we just used butterfly bandages once. The second time that we knew he would need stitches, he fell, split his chin open, bounced up and without shedding a tear said something like, "Oh man!!! Do I need stitches AGAIN?!!"
  7. Don't tell him I told you but he loves his brother, so I wouldn't mess with Oliver unless you want some feisty 7 year old in your face. Messing with Ollie is his job.
So, if you want to play along tag your kiddo and post seven random facts about him or her. Do it on your blog or post it into the comments of this section. Have fun!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Two in Two Days

Noah lost a tooth on Saturday and then another on Monday. He, after a bit of loosening, let me yank them out. He was very excited to finally be loosing those teeth of his. That makes eight total, the kid was quick to teethe as an infant but he's taking his time losing them. Oliver didn't want to be left out of the pictures so he got in on the action too.

Noah showing his teeth...
Ollie showing his teeth...
Noah wanted to make sure you could see his teeth...
Ollie wanted to make sure you could see his...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mothers Day!

This is why I had a Happy Mothers the end of the day, these guys are mine, the good, the bad, the ugly, they are mine and I love them. I hope that all you had a great mothers day too.

Burn To Learn (BTL) - lots of pictures

We got an invitation from my dad to come watch the Boring Fire Department do a burn to learn. Someone in the community donates a house or building of some sort to the department and then they use it to train the fire fighters. Needless to say, the house gets put to good use. Lots of drills and exercises are done all morning long, break for lunch then burn the house down! BTL's have always fascinated me and this one did not disappoint. Here are some, okay a lot of, pictures from the day. Ladies, be sure to check out the post below...

I think I saw this shield at least once for every day of my life until I moved out of the house. Noah, driving the engine.

Oliver listening to Grandpa Jerry tell him about the buttons and other fun things.

Engine 140

Always fun to move the cones around, luckily there wasn't a lot of traffic!

Probationary fire fighters running a few drills.

Roof caving in after they let the fire get going, this is when it starts to get good...

Another angle of the roof being consumed by the fire.

No roof in sight, just a truss trying to make a last stand.

I liked this picture because the fire is literally pushing the plywood away from the window.

No turning back now, by this time the fire fighters have stepped back and are just near to make sure it's a controlled burn. The surrounding trees, bushes, buildings, etc. get a hose down as needed to keep them cool and from burning.

It's hot, really hot...

There isn't much left now and it's completely down just minutes after this shot.

BTL for the Ladies!

As I mentioned in the above post, we went to a burn to learn in Boring, OR yesterday. I grew up with the fire department as just another part of my life. I was excited when they got new rigs, followed the progress of new stations and additions to the old ones, I could tell which station, Damascus, Boring, Eagle Creek, etc., was going to be called out by the tone coming across my dad's pager. I learned to read maps and find my way around my hometown because we had a department issued map hanging in our family room and I worried about all of the volunteers no matter what kind of call they were headed out to.

So with that being said, I also developed a healthy or some may say not so healthy infatuation with firemen. There is something about those guys that's just, well how should I put this? They're just hot! Seriously, there are cute guys and then there are cute guys in fire fighting gear that can make a girl go weak in the knees.

And come on ladies, what is not to love about an abandoned pair of boots and pants?? What did the guy look like that stepped out those? Go on dream a little...and do you know what makes these even hotter?
When you see that not only are the boots and pants sitting there without their owner but the coat is hanging right there, on the truck too! Who knows what or who you'd find inside that truck!
Even when the pants are not left abandoned and find their way onto a fire fighter...they look cute, don't argue with me ladies, you know they do! And ohhh those suspenders, I've got to stop now or I'm going to get myself in trouble...