Thursday, November 17, 2011

Oregon trip: car washing with Papa

This post is incredibly old as you can see from the pictures, but I've had it in my drafts queue so I thought I might as well just publish it!  These pictures were taken 2 summers ago when we were down in Portland staying with Mimi and Papa.  Papa, of course, drafted the kids into a car washing crew and then (I think) spent the rest of the time taking pictures of THEM washing for him. :-)  I'm sure he probably had to do it all over again once they'd "finished!"

This little baby is determined to help!

Good thing there is so much for her to wash at her baby height!

Oregon trip: Salem Carousel and Children's Museum

Another special event from our summer trip to Oregon 2 summers ago was a visit to the Salem Carousel and Salem Children's Museum.  Phil and I were away by ourselves for a few days at a cabin so Mimi and Papa had the kids all to themselves for these adventures.  You can see by the pictures that they all had plenty of fun without mom and dad around!

The children's museum has a dramatic play area and the Little Sweetie and Mr. T immediately took up costumes and started to perform happily.

O Boy spent his time quietly lining up bugs on ledge that ran around the side of the room. 
Both activities are very much in keeping with all 3 kids' personalities!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Oregon trip: Mr. T's Chainsaw birthday

This blog post has been sitting in my drafts box for far too long!  It's time to get it published.
For Mr. T's six year old birthday he asked for a chainsaw birthday party.  Thankfully, we were in Oregon with a Papa who is always very willing to share his chainsaw with any interested little grandkids!  And, I was also surprised and thankful to discover just how many people had also made chainsaw cakes and posted their photos online!  Using several of these different photos as our guide, Mr. T and I made this fun chainsaw cake:

Then we headed out to the Farm for the big event.  Here's Papa gathering the wood they were going to cut up with his #1 assistant.

Next step, chainsaw!

Setting up the boards:

The birthday boy and his chainsaw:

Look at that scrunched up nose on O Boy!

Thumbs up!  This is fantastic fun!

These two cousins weren't too sure about the whole chainsaw thing!  Too much noise!

O Boy is looking a bit concerned about this!

No party at the farm is complete without a tractor ride with Papa.

Style Show: Little Norway 2011

Every year during our Little Norway Festival we have a Style Show as part of the festivities.  At this event, all the families in town who own Norwegian costumes put them on and show them off for admiring tourists.  Narration is provided so that you know where all the costumes came from, what region of Norway they represent etc.  Some costumes have been in the Style Show for years.  This year  the Little Sweetie was asked to wear one of the regular costumes because she looks the part and it fits her!  It was a very fun event to be a part of; it's a very special Petersburg tradition.  My camera battery died as she walked out onto the runway holding our friend Helen's hand, so I only have pictures before the actual event.

Watching DVDs during the long wait.

Meeting another tiny model.  This little girl came out, saw the whole crowd watching her and began clapping for herself!  She was so pleased to have such a large audience!

The Little Sweetie with our friends the Martins.  The Little Sweetie walked down the runway with Helen (in blue).

Pretty little "Norwegian" girl!

Little Norway parade 2011

I'm catching up on some very, very old blog posts these days.  These are photos from last Spring's Mayfest parade.  The boys marched with their t-ball team the Muckdogs.

We had a fun new entry of our high school's amazing new drum line.  They were LOUD but great!

Friends dressed up in their Norwegian costumes.

The Little League representatives.  Mr. T represented the t-ballers and helped carry the banner.

This is a church friend who works for AK Airlines all dressed up as the airplane.  Mr. T is always happy to give hugs and get his picture taken with these big dressed up creatures.  O Boy is most often NOT!

One of our local stores is celebrating their 90th year of business.  So everyone who is related to this family business (and it's a big family!) marched in the parade.  The kids rode in shopping carts.

Amazingly, I got a photo of O Boy giving out a hug to Sammy the Salmon.

One of our local doctors decided to get into the Viking spirit with his dog...

More Fresno memories

One of the most special parts of the Linkcare experience is the Kid's Club they run for kids 3 and up. So sadly, the Little Sweetie has to miss out on all the fun but the boys make sure she knows all that she's missing. :-) And O Boy usually always remembers to pick her out a special candy treat every day in addition to the one he picks for himself. She also gets to play with the other 2 little 2 year olds and a very special babysitter most days during Kid's Club. In fact, the Little Sweetie loves this babysitter so much that, each night when we share things we are thankful to God for, she thanks God for Becca her babysitter. Every night.

Kid's Club is run by amazing Grandma Kathy, who truly loves each kid individually with her whole heart.  She learns what they like, learns what they are like and ministers to them each in a special way.  I'm not sure how she does it, but God must enable her heart to grow a bit more with each new kid she meets.  Here are the boys giving her big hugs on their last day with her.  One of the special things she does at Kid's Club is have each kid put their hands and name on the wall around the room.  That way, she'll always remember them after they've gone!

Standing next to their hands.

One of the families we became friends with here at Linkcare in Fresno was here for 2 months with their 6 kids. At the beginning of that time they decided to plant a garden of sorts in the back yard behind their apartment in our little compound. Since all the kids are 8 and under the garden was planted a bit haphazardly and now, in all its full summer glory, it's a total jungle. But it's a very fruitful jungle! Before they left they asked us to take over "caring for" the garden. This basically means we turn on and off the sprinkler once a day! We also get the fun of rooting around in all the green chaos to see what surprises we might find. And then we go pass out all the produce around the compound to all the current residents. Our most recent harvest included 2 massive zucchini and many large, beautiful sunflowers which are now spread around to all the Linkcare apartments. Thanks, Rudds for passing this fun project on to us! I have to admit that this is my absolute favorite gardening experience ever. I didn't have to plant anything, there is no weeding required, and this California ground is like magic for seeds! They even scooped out the seeds from a store-bought cantaloupe, dumped them on the ground and there are now baby cantaloupes growing everywhere. Amazing.

The zucchini haul

The Little Sweetie wanted her picture with her own personal "baby coocummer".

Check out the size of these zucchini:

The first of the sunflower harvest:

There are several families here at Linkcare right now who have kids the same age as ours. All the kids are connecting really well and providing our kids with some really fun playmates during this phase of our life. Here is the Little Sweetie and one of her new girl buddies, GG. This day they decided to dress up like princesses.

Here's a memory that's only tied to Fresno because it happened here and I just had to record it in our blog. The other day I was working around our apartment and Mr. T yelled to me, "Look Mom! I be a leopard!" So I went out and he was dangling his arms and legs off the couch just exactly like a leopard would in a tree. I don't know why I found this so hilarious but there was just something pretty funny about Mr. T declaring himself to be a leopard, of all things...completely out of the blue. Guess he's watched one too many Zoolife episodes with good old Jack Hanna.