Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Final Download from Court's camera-OR Trip '08

On Saturday, August 23rd, Trevor and Courtney spent the day in Portland for Saturday Market. They ran into Jimi Hendrix...Then, as part of the Portland City Festival there was a freestyle motocross, BMX, and skateboarding demo by Christian athletes along with the concerts by artists Chris Tomlin, Kutless, Mercy Me, Toby Mac, Marisol, and Trev and Courtney's favorite band of the entire festival, HAWK NELSON! Trev and Courtney said they absolutely loved this band-which hails from Canada.
Luis Palau was the featured speaker, who is such a powerful evangelist, that he is considered by many to be on par with the Rev. Billy Graham. According to Trev and Court, this festival was extremely well attended.
The final two photos in this album were of Jayden and Evelyn in the backyard swing and Trev, Jayden and I with Evelyn.

Final Download from Lana's camera-OR trip '08

Here are a couple nice pictures of my parents:

Here's a picture that I love of me and my brother, Andy, at the Baker Barn where we stayed during our trip. Pretty nice for a barn, eh? We thoroughly enjoyed staying there with Andy and Evelyn, who were extremely hospitable and warm to us!

We spent a lot of time with Old PaPa and Old Gramma at their home this time:

We had a little song and hand-clapping time with Old Gramma-then relaxing with Old Papa

Jayden had a lot of fun at Gilman Park where Old Gramma and Old Papa live-his favorite thing is to help Old Papa push his cart!

Many times the three of them would sit in the swing together

The last day there, Old Gramma and I took Jayden to Willamette Park. This is another one of those legacy parks: I swam in the wading pool here, my kids did, now Jayden.

Jayden loved the jets that filled the pool! Old Gramma has macular degeneration and is considered low-vision but she still really loves to get out~this was a fun experience for us all!

Marcee topped off the trip by treating us to Cold Stone on the last night-YUM!

Here's Elmo and Coco riding to Michigan City from Chicago-Midway on the way home:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Six Quirks

Only six?? I was tagged by my blog buddy Euthymic, so here goes...

1. I keep dental floss in my purse, my glove compartment of the car, the nightstand, the bathroom, my massage room drawer,my bin at work, my book bag for school...A little OCD, huh?!

2. If someone is out walking their dog or I see a dog at the beach or somewhere, I ALWAYS ask if I can pet it-ALWAYS!!!

3. I wiggle the pull tab back and forth until it breaks off if I am drinking a beverage out of a can.

4. I take the little soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and lotions home when I stay in a hotel-even if I brought my own.

5. Even though I do not smoke, I will never pass up a book of matches from anywhere!

6. I have to pick the sticker off the Dole banana before I eat it. No exceptions!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Goodbye, Beijing-Hello, Democratic National Convention

How fortuitous that I scheduled my vacation right during the 2008 Summer Olympics! If I'd of been home, I would not have seen any of it except for on the weekend because of the three hour time difference between the east and west coast. As it was, every evening, after our daily vacation adventures, Trevor, Court, Jayden and I would settle in to take in as many events as possible until sleep overtook us. Jayden called it the "lympics". Every time someone would dive or complete their gymnastics routine, he'd clap right along with the crowd on the TV.
Anyway, the opening and closing ceremonies blew me away. I've never seen such a well orchestrated and unusual presentation. I have to say that during the course of the games I came to have great respect, admiration and affection for the Chinese people-but not for their government. Michael Phelps is simply a swimming machine like no other! Happy for him that he was able to make history and I think it's very brave of him to plan on going to London in 2012. It will be tough following his own act! While I enjoyed all the events, in particular I loved the gymnastics, swimming, diving, running, and beach volleyball the best. Nastia Lukin showed such grace under fire when she was fluked out of the gold medal in the uneven bars-that's OK Nastia, the entire world knows that you are the one who REALLY won! Shawn Johnson was amazing and adorable as well. Kudos to Misty and Kari on the beach volleyball victory and to all the other fab athletes from the USA who managed to bring home a whopping 110 medals: 36 GOLD, 38 SILVER, AND 36 BRONZE!! We were ranked 2nd to China who won 51 gold, 21 silver, and 28 bronze. They got 100 medals overall but beat us out in the standings with the higher proportion of gold medals. Dara Torres did us proud, too, and I sure wish she would have been able to shave that .01 to get the gold from Germany in the 50m free. But, it was still awesome for her and I'm very thrilled that she did so well. It is my hope that the Olympic Committee will be diligent in researching the eligibility of the Chinese gymnasts in question. Rules are rules even if you are the host country!

Just as the fanfare died down on the 2008 Beijing Olympics, here comes the Democratic National Convention on it's heels. Well, we need something to focus on don't we? I enjoyed very much listening to Michelle Obama but the standout of the night last night for me was the appearance of Ted Kennedy. The guy has had his share of ups and downs and he has certainly made his mistakes but you have to admire his dedication to public service and the tasks at hand even in the face of potentially fatal illness. He is an American institution and it did warm my heart to see his passion for life in the midst of very difficult circumstances.
I am following all of the political unfoldings with the greatest of interest. I am looking forward to seeing what the Republican camp has to say for themselves as well during their convention. Given the political climate, desire for change in this country, the unpopularity of the current administration, the dire economic issues, and the polarity between the two candidates, I honestly don't see a Republican candidate being viable for the top job but we shall see...I am also curios how all the political blather will fare against the season premier of Gray's Anatomy and The Office :)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Reflections on the second half: Oregon Trip 2008

The second half went by even faster than the first and was twice as action-packed! There will be one more download as soon as Courtney and I empty our digital cameras so stay tuned!There are a lot of pictures yet to come. Mainly family groupings of our visit times-not to be missed!! We were able to get in a good visit with most of the family.Because of schedules, there are always a few that we miss and have to catch the next visit. We made the rounds: Mount Hood, Kahneetah, Multnomah Falls, the Columbia River Gorge, the Clackamas River, the Indian Springs Trout Farm, the wineries of Yamhill County, Oyster Bar, Oaks Park, Willamette Park, Hemmerle Park, the Oregon Coast, a baseball game at PGE Park, and other miscellaneous good times! Trevor and Courtney went golfing one day and also went downtown to Saturday Market and the Portland City Festival which featured Luis Palau and some of the best Christian bands around: Kutlass, Chris Tomlin, Mercy Me, and Toby Mac just to name a few of the more well-known ones.
There were a few themes that came up while I was there. For one thing, every time I go back I realize how precious family is and how that becomes even more true year after year. In our ignorance and youth we often do not see the importance of these relationships. The importance of forgiveness, love, support,acceptance and being present to one another. I know this today like I have never known it before and I am grateful to be in this place in my life. Second, there really is a gut-level oneness that a person has with the place of their birth and childhood. There's a love there for those familiar sights and sounds and smells that belong to your heart's home. The sight of the beach, the sight of Mt. Hood, of Willamette Falls, the Oregon City elevator, the West Linn bridge,familiar buildings, houses, and streets, the Columbia River Gorge...the list goes on and on. The sounds of the waves, the seagulls, the wind blowing on the mountains, the spray from Multnomah Falls, the rides and the roller rink at Oaks Park. I even love the stinky smell of the paper mill in Oregon City! Now that's love!! I remember when I couldn't stand it. Now I wish I could smell that smell more often! Funny how things turn around so much in time. Another thing that came up time and time again was the family legacy. I took Jayden to a lot of the parks that I used to take my own boys to for swimming in the wading pool or feeding the ducks at Clackamette Park. Those were also places I went as a child. When my boys were very little I taught them to skate at Oaks Park,which is where I went skating as a child, and this trip I had the thrill and priviledge of teaching Jayden~although I will admit to not being as good of a skater as I once was(out of practice and out of shape!). Our family used to love to go to baseball games in Portland-the Beavers-and I went there with my kids and now my grandson.If you look at the post from last summer, the Indian Springs Trout Farm has also made the list of traditions, as does Timberline Lodge and Kahneetah. I have always been very committed to maintaining the family ties in the years since we moved away and I am so happy that my sons know their relatives and have relationships and ties with them and now so does little Jayden. It has been a magical time!I know I say this after every trip but I think this one may have been the best...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Halftime Recap

It's disgusting how fast vacation days fly by~at least twice as fast as a "normal" day I swear. Anyway, I'm already half way through my vacation. Here's the quick and dirty on what I've been doing for the past week:
Sunday, August 10-NO SLEEP!! Must examine how I seem to set this up for myself every year...Had to be in Michigan City to catch the shuttle by 4:20 AM so that means leave my house by 3:00. Then we arrived at Michigan City around 6:30 to make our 8:30 flight. WRONG! One of the potties on the airplane wasn't working and they delayed us two additional hours in the airport until it was fixed. So, pretty much the usual travel thing of hurry up and wait. With Jayden in tow it was a challenging two hours but thank God for the moving walkway which we rode about a million billion times just for fun! Finally on the plane, we all conked out. Non-stop flight-YES!! When we got to Portland we picked up our car and went directly out to lunch with Carol Nykerk, who is my friend Rachel's sister and also my blog buddy:
From there we went to visit "old PaPa" per Jayden:

We went directly to Lincoln City for the next three days and stayed in Carol's condo which was fabulous beyond belief-everything we could ever possibly want or need and right on the beach!
Here we are enjoying the pool and hot tub:

A shot of the condo and our sandcastle building extravaganza: The final display was very impressive.
Lunch at Mo's of course and then the Trevor Tour. We stopped off in Newberg on the way home so that Courtney could see the house we lived in when Tyler and Trevor were born:

We moved into the Baker Barn on August 13th late in the day. Next day we went swimming at Hemmerle Park, where the boys used to go swimming, then Court and Trev went swimming off the Meldrum Bar (Dahl park) on the Clackamas River near Clackamette Park. I used to swim there too as a youngster but the water is significantly more muckky than back in those days.
That evening we took "Old Gramma" and "Old Papa" out for Mexican food at their favorite spot in Canby.
As usual, Jayden steals the show!
Sunday(8/17) we all attended church together where my dad was pastor for many years and then went to the church picnic. Later Sunday night we had dinner with my niece, Jodee, her husband Doug, and their daughter Addison.
Followed by our usual evening routine-a few brewskis and all the Olympics we can watch until our eyes will not stay open any longer.
Now you're all caught up to the midpoint. It has been a very relaxed and leisurely time here in Oregon. I always feel so connected here. I love waking up and being able to see Mount Hood!
Speaking of Mount Hood, we did go there on Friday(8/15) and stuck our feet in the glacier snow. We also climbed to the top of Multnomah Falls.
On Saturday, August 16th, I met Bob, Karlee, Kim, Wayne, Kelcee and Marcee at Kahneetah for a day of fun in the sun at the pool there. It's one of the hottest spots in the state of Oregon on one of the hottest days of the season! We had a great time though, even with a little bit of a sunburn.
It is sad to think about having to leave soon...that's the part that always breaks my heart! As soon as I leave this place I start counting the days until I can return. It feels so great to be back on my own turf and surrounded by comforting, familiar places and all of my peeps!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The easy way to enlarge your breasts...

By next year I should be able to tuck mine in my belt! Within the next decade I'll probably be able to kick them along as I walk! While some of us are tying to find ways to get rid of the extra and/or defy gravity somehow, there are others who are anxious to add bulk...bizarre as that seems to me. Kathie Lee demonstrates how to accomplish this the easy, non-surgical way-with an added benefit:

OK-maybe I could use another inch or two...I can think of a few instances that this might have come in handy!

Friday, August 8, 2008

08.08.08: Finally, Beijing!!

Geez, finally we can get past Shark Fest 2008! How many 08-08-08 parties do you think are going on? At sports bars...because the Olympics are starting-YES!!! I for one am the instigator of one such gathering. I love that we now have the Olympic games to focus on instead of the usual crime, politics, and pilferage! This meeting of the YA-YA Sisterhood took place at Blazer's Sports Bar on Butternut in Holland, MI. Really fun spot. Like 4 or 5 big screen TV's and a number of smaller ones, outside seating, and Rock Band available to play~Very nice atmosphere. Good drinks. Good service. Good food. Great company. Lots of laughs!! Truthfully, the opening ceremony for this Olympic games really was extraordinary. The different vignettes of 3-D images and choreographed movements, dance, and the writing that was done on the big scroll with the artists feet was soooo cool. In fact, our motto this night was: Something cool is about to happen!(Then we'd all stop yapping and watch for awhile, then go back to yapping!) and So Good! So Good-I gotta YOU! Yo-Yeah-James Brown! I know this all sounds really weird but you just sorta had to be there to get was really funny at the time! We thought we were so CUH-OOL!! We made the astute but somewhat disturbing (yet oddly comforting) discovery that the Sumo wrestler guys have bigger FUPAs than any of us-therefore, we must be in pretty good shape, right? For the longest time we all thought that only women and girls could have FUPAs so we were really surprised about these Sumo guys and their FUPAs. What is a FUPA you ask? Well, it's that flap of fat below your belly button and above the critical southermost girl region...the Fat Upper Pussy Apron. After comparing notes, we all decided that we are pretty well off after all...good news!
Next on the agenda: the chapstick relay

 We compared chapsticks and then smelled each others' chapsticks. Three were coconut/tropical/pina colada, one classic chapstick that smells kinda like the dentist's office, one honey berry chapstick (mine), a wintergreen/spearmint one-but I can't remember whose that was and one other one I can't remember...yikes! That just happened like an hour ago! Well, anyway, then we all challenged each other to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Cigarette.

I took 3 whole puffs without passing out or getting sick...things were a little swirly, however. Rachel was the only one who wasn't naughty-that is, as far as smoking goes...
We decided to dub ourselves the United States Women's Olympic Drinking Team. Can you dig it?? We're gonna go for the gold...Do you think Blazer's will retire our jerseys?

Then I ran into Janessa-Hey, Jude!

Good times! What an eventful evening!! This meeting of the YA-YA Sisterhood now stands adjourned! Let the games begin..

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