Lotus turns 6

We’ve enjoyed a few snow days and celebrated Lotus’ sixth birthday (a day early) with a show at the Children’s Theater and a little cake and present time at home. 

Our girl is getting big!

Lotus got a Calico Critters bunny family and a furniture set, and they have moved into the Barbie Dream House. 

The Wizard of Oz at the Children’s Theater was fantastic! 

Turkey Trot Race

Lotus and Simon joined the annual Turkey Trot race, in the rain! 

November happenings

Hello 41, for me, and Jason and I celebrated 16 years of marriage. We didn’t do much of anything this year because all of our fun money went to having new siding put on the house. 

It looks pretty great, even with just primered siding. The paint will have to wait until spring. 

The birthday was spent lazing about like this…

The anniversary was also spent cozy at home with our first woodstove fire of the season…

A gradual shift in our family life has occurred, and it is having a teen who wants to stay home instead of joining family outings. This shift seemed okay until kid #2/almost-teen also wanted to skip out on a trip to the beach. 

I nearly had a melt down! I know a time will come when kids grow up and move away; when Jason and I will travel about for ourselves, but today is not that day! Not for half my kids already?? 

I was able to talk Xander into joining us for the beach trip, but I know it won’t work next time. I need to soak it up while it lasts and accept this transition. Waaaaah!

The column in Astoria…

Battery Russell…

The beach in Astoria…

Fultano’s pizza and bowling in Gearhart…

Halloween 2016

Pets and Pet Shop Boys

We are still completely in love with our little Lucy and enjoying two-dog living!

Jason, Isaac and I went to the Pet Shop Boys concert and it was a fantastic show!

Isaac driving us to a Halloween party in his “taco solo” costume…

These gamer/D&D guys talk daily online but only get together, in person, a few times per year…

Dog #2: Lucy!

Our last dog friend spent his 15 years of life as a solo dog in the family. Realizing he missed the opportunity to do dog stuff with other dogs on a regular basis, I wanted to have two dogs this time. 

I’ve had my eye on various rescues and websites, but happened to meet someone, in person, looking to rehome the perfect dog for us! A four year old mini-doxie with the sweetest disposition.

Lucy moved right in and we couldn’t be more smitten, kevin included. 

Learning Spanish

Jason and I have started learning Spanish! A communication snaffoo at work inspired me and it has quickly developed into a full fledged obsession.

After only two weeks, my mind is already fumbling through spanish conversations in my half sleep state every morning. Changes in the brain are starting to take place, which is incredible since I took many years of French with nothing to show for it. 

The difference seems to be the multifaceted approach we are taking this time around. Two language applications on my phone are used daily, we started a beginning Spanish class, we’ve joined conversation meet-ups in the community and I’ve been flooding my mind with Spanish speaking exposure through TV, movies and now children’s books. 

This is us having a beer at our first conversation meet-up. We mostly listened and attempted a few words…

The next week, I attended another conversation meet-up and was able to fully introduce myself and participate in a game/exercise. Woot!

Great Wolf Lodge 

We spent a couple days at Great Wolf Lodge, this time with some of my siblings/inlaws and most of the cousins. A great time was had! 

So much alcohol! And, it looks like my phone is filled with photos of the booze. Ha!

We get a kick out of this rollercoaster simulator in the arcade. My ride partner started out as Xander but he ended up not liking it and bailed. In fact, both big guys didn’t do any of the slides and declined the zipline obstacle coarse. Maybe they are losing their GWL love. 

The beach

Something we never do, but should, is jump in the car and drive to the beach spontaneously. We tend to make beach plans that involve a couple nights at a hotel, but today, we went for just a few hours and it was nice. 

It was Kevin’s first time to the beach. He approves!

August 2016

August was consumed by Isaac’s driver’s ed class. The only one available, over the summer, is an hour away….1.5 hours in rush hour: three days per week, 6 hours out of each day. 

Isaac has had a lot of driving experience, aced the class and I had a lot of reading time. Win!

While Isaac was in class there was much reading, hanging with Xander or Simon, walking the dog, visiting my friend Barbra and hiking at Elk Rock Island…

In other news, the kids have been wanting the htc Vive virtual reality game system. Christmas and next birthdays came early and they got one! 

Helping Jason build the computer for it…

They put on the mask and become immersed in space or travel through the the body at the cellular level, tasked with clearing out invading viruses. 

Isaac’s driver’s ed class kept us from attending any of the “Showtime at Shute” park concerts this summer, but one concert got moved to a Saturday due to rain. Bonus! We rode bikes over and enjoyed at least one picnic and concert in the park. 

It’s that time of year again, when kids are heading back to school. We are still doing the homeschooling thing and recently honing up handwriting. 

I think cursive is going by the wayside in public schools these days but we’re whizzing through a couple workbooks in no time. 

The #blacklivesmatter movement has been a wonderful resource for books and conversation on US history, racism and inequality in our country. It’s been very frustruating to see the white response to the movement but I am doing everything I can to recognize my own racism and try and do better. Love is our religion!

Some recommended books are:

Between the World and Me, by Ta-nehisi Coates

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander.