Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Portland Children's Museum

In our attempts to enjoy the new amenities that our new city has to offer, we made a trek to the Portland Children's Museum before school started. I ended up buying an annual membership because without two visits we would have gotten our money's worth.  I was surprised that the membership was about $30 cheaper than our membership at the Sacramento Children's Museum, and their is about two times as many exhibits!  Their special "changing exhibit was on dinosaurs, and the kids got to dress like archeologists and look for fossils.

Then we went to the "wet room" where they played with a variety of water displays.  Pumps, spouts, and civil engineering projects abounded!

Then it was off to the grocery store which was HUGE!  They did some pretend shopping and Molly rung up their groceries for them.

One of the highlights was the pretend animal hospital!  The kids LOVED this and probably spent a half hour examining all the stuffed animals and nursing them back to health.  So so cute!

Just when I thought it was time to go, we found a clay studio and the kids spent another half hour molding and creating.  Molly made a flower, and for a small fee they are firing it for her so she can paint it!  (which reminds me I need to go back and pick it up... LOL!)  I kept thinking that I would love to go there WITHOUT the kids and play with the clay!!

All in all, the museum was hit!  We look forward to going back with Daddy next time!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

All moved in and staying busy...

Since moving into our new house, we have been keeping very busy.  Beside unpacking, we have replaced the tile around our fireplace, painted out the entire garage, and Steve is now in the process of building garage shelving. Thankfully, life has been more than just unpacking.  Only two days after we moved in, we received a visit from my cousin Cameron and his new wife Miriam who were visiting Portland all the way from Calgary!  We met them at the zoo so that I could enjoy some time visiting with them while the kids were occupied with the animals.  It was wonderful to meet Miriam and instantaneously know that she is absolutely perfect for Cameron and fits into our crazy family!  And the kids warmed right up to them as well!

On another day we also took a morning and checked out the Tualitin Hills Nature Park with Christie and her kiddos.  It's a great interpretive nature center and trail system and we went for a nice little hike.  The older girls brought their nature journals and enjoyed sketching all the plants and critters we came across.  Christie and I spent much of our time on the look out for poison oak.  But we did see some amazing creatures including a bunch of fire-bellied newts swimming in a stream.  We also saw a garter snake that was basking on TOP of a thorny blackberry bush.  Who knew that garter snakes could climb thorny bushes?

Finally... we've been able to make some time for some "Mommy fun" as well!  I have been missing taking photos, so when Molly asked to have her picture taken in a nearby field of flowers... I jumped on the opportunity!  I think she just really wanted an excuse to wear her new "back to school" outfit. 

In just over a week the kids head back to school. I am particularly excited about this considering they will have been off for three full months this summer.  I will have three mornings all to myself for the first time in seven years of motherhood!  Yippee!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Relay for Life

Every year, Christie and her family participates in the Relay for Life to raise funds for cancer research.  She started it in honor of her mother, but unfortunately over the years she has known too many people affected by the awful disease.  This year, we were in town and we able to go and support her and this awesome cause.  It was special to be there all together as a family!

Christie had already put together a luminary (a bag that they light up at night during a special ceremony) for her mom, so Paige and I did some for my mom and family members that have been affected by cancer.  On Nani's bag Paige drew a picture of her and Nani making cookies together!

For every lap of the track that the kids walked, they earned one bead for their necklace.  This was a HUGE incentive for Molly and she walked more laps than anyone in our family.  Afterwards she said that she liked knowing that she was doing something good for Grandma because she missed her so much.

Throughout the day they have special "laps" to keep the teams going.  They include things like the "high heels" lap and the "glow in the dark" lap.  Every year Luke participates in the "Miss Relay for Life" lap... which is basically when all the men/boys dress in women's clothing!  He wasn't overly thrilled with the extra attention it was getting him, but a lollipop seemed to fix that!

It was really special to witness something that has become so important to Christie and to reflect on all the people we know and love that have been affected by cancer.  I'm so glad we were able to be there for a while!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Moving in and running hard...

Well... we are officially all moved into our new home.  The floors got done, the carpets got cleaned, some rooms got painted, and our stuff got delivered.  Thanks to Scott and Steve, our stuff all made it into the house and no one got hurt in the process.  Luckily, we have been able to make time to enjoy some FUN things instead of just focusing on unpacking and organizing. First of all, when Scott and Christie got back from their vacation they had signed up for a 5km run with Scott's work (Intel). So me and the kids joined them for all the festivites!  Before the run started, they warmed up at the play ground, and joined in on some Zumba and hula-hooping to get the blood pumping!

Then they lined up for the run.  They asked Molly to join them and she was both excited and nervous to run her first 5km.  I stayed back with the three 4-year olds and we cheered them on from the side lines and enjoyed some more time on the playground.

Apparently when Molly was starting out she tried to convince her Aunt Christie that they should just walk the whole thing.  But Christie didn't let her and pushed her the entire 5kms!  I'm so glad she did, because now Molly knows that she can DO IT!  She even asked to start running with me, so maybe there will be a mother/daughter 5 km race in our future!

Then we partook in the awesome luncheon that was provided in Intel before heading home for the evening.  I was really proud of Molly for doing it and conquering her nervousness.  I hope that there will be more runs in our future!