Friday, April 23, 2010

Third Grade Invasion!!

As part of the Discovery Walk Festival, the third grade classes from the Vancouver area (Evergreen and Vancouver school districts) were invited to walk in a 3K Culture Walk & Parade this morning. All of the third grade classes have been studying the different cultures then focusing in on their own cultural background. We've been talking to Noah quite a bit about who he is and where he came from. Of all the countries that he could choose from, he decided on Ireland. When asked why he picked Ireland over other countries like, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, England he responded, "I like Ireland's flag colors and too many other kids were already doing France." Apparently, I was expecting an answer that was a little more in depth or thought provoking because that answer made me chuckle. We headed down to Officer's Row this morning, picked out a gorgeous spot to sit and watch then enjoyed the parade!

Burning off some energy before the parade, he would ask, "What do you want me to do now?" and I would say, "See that tree, run to it as fast as you can, circle it three times, then run back as fast as you can! Ready, set, GO!" If you have not visited Officer's Row in Vancouver WA, you should make the trip sometime. It is beautiful! While down there, visit Fort Vancouver and Pearson Air Field too.

Relaxing before the start of the parade.

Color Guard...the parade is starting!

Marching band to help lead the way.

This adorable little puppy sat right next to us, I kept chuckling because the throngs of third graders would all oooh and aaah over him. Guess he should have been in the parade too!
After a hundred or so, "Where's Noah?" from Oliver, they finally came up and around the corner! Mrs. Molina's class.
And there's Noah, hi Noah!

Noah's class was last in the parade, so I walked up and caught up with him again. His Ireland project was easy to see now so I snapped a quick picture.

Oh how I wish I had a wide angle lens, this crowd of children was enormous! I could not, from where I was standing, see where it ended. Incredible site to see and remember, this is JUST the third graders.

Oliver darted into the group to give brother a quick hug.

Again, wishing I had a different lens, this line of buses went on for quite a distance.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Much Better!

After game 1, I was hoping, praying, begging, pleading that game 2 would be better and it was! Winds were gusting and it was a bit chilly but there was no rain or hail and chilly was easy to work with unlike the biting cold of the previous week. I also layered him up more and was delighted to hear him tell one of the other parents that he didn't need a blanket this time because, "I warm enough and might even start sweating!" Attitudes were good and I saw a lot more smiles on the soccer field. We arrived happy and left happy! Oliver is looking forward to his next practice and game this week and that's all a mom could ask for.

Warming up before the game.
Long sleeve t-shirt, hooded sweatshirt and team shirt for the torso, gloves for the hands, boxer briefs, extra-long soccer socks that we pulled up high, sweat pants and soccer shorts for the legs.

Carter, Natalie and Oliver waiting for ref. for kick-off.

Oliver and Carter working together, which resulted in a goal!

Loved seeing that smile out there.

Oh yeah, that is much better!

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Oliver was asked by a few of his preschool classmates to join soccer with them and because the boy loves being outdoors and playing with kids we went ahead and signed him up to play. At first he was a little worried about being good enough to please the coach. That really surprised me because, for the most part, we aren't a competitive family unit. We aren't playing a bunch of sports, aren't winning trophies, etc. The only consistent sport done in this house is Noah's karate and that is based solely on your ability to master the skills and advance at your own pace. Oliver appears to have gotten all the competitive, must win, attitude in the family. After talking to him about it he calmed down a bit and as soon as he got to pick out shin guards, soccer socks, a ball and soccer shorts the kid was good to go!

First practice was great and incredibly cute to watch. A bunch of 3 1/2 to 4-year-olds navigating around the soccer field is enough to make anyone smile. The kids all got along great, our coach is pretty darn amazing and they all left happy and smiling. Then the first game happened. Oh my, it was not a good introduction to soccer for quite a few kids on the team. It was horrible weather, yes, I know that soccer is played no matter what the weather but for kids that young it was not good. It was cold, rainy, cold, occasional hail, cold, windy, cold and muddy. Did I mention it was cold? Even bundled up, all of the kids were downright miserable. The coach did a decent job distracting them and getting them into the game but once the orange team started to dominate our red team it was all downhill from there. I had a freezing, wet kid that just wanted to go home. So not only was I dealing with the weather and the orange team winning (we don't keep score but the kids know darn well which team is scoring more goals), it was then that Oliver's competitive nature really kicked in. He was certain that because he couldn't stop the orange team that the coach wouldn't want him to play again, that he wouldn't be getting a trophy and not allowed to play soccer ever again. The kid was a wreck! Just so you know, I don't know where all of these ideas come from. The goal, which I told Oliver, of this team is that by the end of the season they are moving as a herd with the ball no matter which direction it's headed. If either team scores, it's a good thing! By the end of game 1, my boy never wanted to play soccer again and even asked me to return his ball and shoes to the store. He did want to keep the shin guards in case brother decided to kick him though. We had another practice Friday and game 2 was yesterday, saving that for another post.

That's our coach, Rick, explaining to Oliver at practice what to do next. Coach has an extensive soccer career and has coached all of his kids teams. Hallie, his daughter, is on Oliver's team. That is Jacob, Rick's son, in the background, he helps out at practices.
Discussing something but (chuckling) most look distracted by something.

Racing to the tree and back, that cutie in the pink is Hallie.
Here we have Oliver before Game 1 even started. T-shirt, long-sleeve shirt, team t-shirt and vest. I should have put more on his legs but failed to do so. This blanket got a lot of use that day.

Freezing kids on the side-lines waiting for their turn.

Braving the cold, getting ready for kick-off.

This is a bit into the game, tears were flowing by now and the requests to go home were plenty. He did stick it out and tried his best not to cry but he was obviously not happy.

End of the game, mud speckled face, wrapped in blanket, certain that he does not want to play again, and even if he did want to play again, he was sure that the coach and team would not want him back. Part of me was heart broken and the other part, very frustrated. A hot bath and some lunch at home, a good amount of snuggling and cuddling with a pep talk from mom and he was willing to give soccer another try. Game 2 pictures will be posted later this week. Just to alleviate potential worry, the coach loves Oliver. He sees natural talent and drive and hopes he sticks with soccer. He is constantly telling Oliver how good he is doing and how proud he is of him. He is a great coach.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Easter 2010

I just realized that I had not posted pictures from Easter. We were gone, on Spring Break, the week before, came home to soccer season starting and Grandma Ricki moving in so Easter was very simple and very quiet. We hide chocolate eggs around the house for the boys to find in the morning and they each get a little pile of goodies and gifts. GrandPop and Grandma Heidi had sent some money for me to pick something out for them, the Montee family sent a bag of goodies with Grandma Ricki and my mom had sent a box of treats too. They had some fun toys waiting for them on Easter morning. I thank all of you for not sending oodles of candy! Anyway, they each had a bowl and were scrambling around, finding eggs as fast as they could knowing that the piles were not to be touched until all chocolate was found! Finally, after all the candy was found, they tackled their piles of presents...

Picture of their loot...spoiled rotten by their family!
Boxes from Gammy
Bags from The Montees
Legos, Bakugan and Hot Wheels from GrandPop & Grandma Heidi
Wii Sports Resort and Misc. from Mom & Dad
Oliver's bowl is filling up fast!

Okay, this is not a great picture but it makes me laugh...Joel had hidden an egg on top of the thermometer, the egg find was winding down and he didn't want the boys to miss this one. Joel pointed to it and asked Oliver what the temperature was, Oliver told him. Joel kept asking, "are you sure, Oliver? Look again (tapping finger at the egg) can you tell me again what the temperature is?" And Oliver just kept telling him the temperature. Noah and I were laughing pretty hard by the time Oliver realized what was going on.

Me torturing the boys, "Hey! No touching the stuff until I get a picture."

Gammy hid some money in a couple of eggs, Noah opened one of his eggs and pulled out a $5 bill. He did this right after Oliver had opened a similar egg from Gammy full of jelly beans. At first Oliver was a bit concerned that Noah got money and all he got was jelly beans. I explained that knowing and living through Gammy's "Even Steven Rule" I was sure he had an egg with money too. The jelly beans were pushed aside and he dove in to find the golden egg!

Oliver celebrating after he found the golden egg from Gammy.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Misc. Pics From Spring Break

I always end up with pictures that don't really fit into the theme of the week but think they would be fun to share. Well, fun for me anyway...

We stayed the night close to Sea-Tac Airport on Wednesday night, I was viewing my pictures from the day and decided to snap a quick picture of each boy.
Oliver going all Zoolander on me, "Try this pose, mom. Yeah, that's the one."

Trevor wondering why I'm interrupting his cartoon.
I think this is a great picture of him.

I had to call his name at least 3 times before he popped his head up.

Then there are these cute dandelions, one might ask what to do with two freshly picked dandelions...

Offer them to Beni and hope that you get at least part of your thumb back. This boy is going to get every last bit of dandelion even if it means a thumbnail is included. A risk I'm willing to take.

Now Kori, however, he was much more of a gentleman about things. He daintily took the dandelions that I offered and thanked me much.

"See that rope, that one right there! It's on your feet lady!!! Pick it up, throw it, throw it now! Why aren't you listening?!? Pick it up, now, do it!"

Hello Lloyd, I am going to kidnap you someday!

Not to leave anyone out, I was trying to get a good shot of Kip, their baby, and he was not cooperating. He would not stand still and would rather chew on me and camera. This is the best shot I got. (chuckling)

Friday, April 02, 2010

Seattle Aquarium

The aquarium, on Thursday, was crazy busy! Spring break and a stormy rainy day drove us and MANY others indoors. I tried my best to get some good pictures but keeping an eye on the three boys and constantly getting jostled made it very tough.

This picture is a good example, we were trying to wait patiently to get a picture of them by the shark but people kept cutting ahead or getting in the way. As you can see, the boys all look a little upset. No worries, we still had a great time and lots to see from this point on.

Just an interesting shot of seaweed.

Has anyone seen Nemo?

Shore bird of some kind.

One of many beautiful anemones.

The dome under the Puget Sound waters.

Orca fun!

I can't remember the exact name of this portion of the aquarium but it was something to do with Cedar Creek. The man made creek followed the walking path and had many educational bits along the way. This was one little alcove with the waterfall supplying the creek with it's water.


Wednesday and Thursday of Spring Break were spent in Seattle. I, personally, have not been into Seattle much at all. I've been to a couple of Mariner games but that's about it. After a couple of days, I can't wait to get back and explore more of downtown Seattle. We travelled to Seattle on Wednesday and visited the Pacific Science Center. Even after two plus hours I'm still not sure we saw it all!
Our short walk to the Pacific Science Center took us right by this landmark.

Boys testing their pulse and stress levels.

Getting to operate the heavy machines.

I can't remember what this was called but you could spin it back and forth to get different patterns from the liquid inside.

"Aunt TT let me make a funny face so you can put it on your blog!"

One of the butterflies in the beautiful garden and butterfly exhibit.

One of the butterflies landed on Trevor's hand.

The boys posing in a huge guitar.

The Mars exhibit had a chair that the kids could sit on and get spun around while trying to answer a question. This is Oliver trying his hand at becoming an astronaut.