Sunday, July 16, 2017

Parade With A Crunch

Every year West Linn has an Old Time Fair and as part of the fair they have a parade.  My kids always love going to the parade because they always make out like bandits on the candy front.  This year, however, my kids didn't get much candy.  That is because instead of standing on the sidelines, they were part of the action.

I am not sure why I have never thought of it before, but this year it occurred to me that the preschool should march in the parade.  I gathered a few families, got our preschool banner and some candy.  Together we marched, rolled, and rode along the course.  It is too early to tell what kind of advertising effect it will have, but I definitely did hear people on the sidelines talking about us.

The only downside of the parade (and where the "crunch" part of the title comes in) is that when I arrived at the parade, I pulled into a parking space and was just gathering my things when I got sideswiped by a school bus.  He had been parked behind me and was attempting to pull out and do a u-turn but didn't quite make it.  Thankfully he stopped and appears to be taking full responsibility, but now we have to go through all the hassle of making the claim and getting the repairs.  Definitely a downer.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

4th of July

This week was the 4th of July.  Our family decided to celebrate our nation's freedom with a Portland Pickles baseball game.  The Portland Pickles are a new, wood bat, collegiate level team.  They play basically on a municipal field in the middle of a park in Portland.  I feel like I am not really doing a good job selling the Pickles to you so let me tell you why this was super awesome.

The whole reason we decided to go the day we did was because of the promotion they were having.  For $39 you got four tickets, 4 Portland Pickles hats, and 4 $5 gift cards (sounding better already right).  Once we got there though things just got better and better.  We were a large group, 17 in all, and so we couldn't help but make our presence known.  The promo girl came over to us right away and asked if some of our kids wanted to do a water balloon toss after the first inning.  Of course our kids were happy to agree.  Ben asked what he could do and got them to agree to letting him throw out the first pitch (unfortunately that didn't happen, but he did end up standing on the field for the National Anthem and made it up to him in another way...)

So after the first inning the kids went out on the field.  Maude and Colvin were one team and Merrick and Quincy were another.  I guess all Merrick's baseball practice paid off because he and Quincy won.  They got Portland Pickles beach balls and got to hang out with the Portland Pickles mascot.  They all thought it was pretty cool.

A short while later the promo girl came back to our group.  She, feeling bad that Ben hadn't gotten to throw the first pitch, asked if he wanted to participate in the dizzy bat contest.  He agreed and Jeremy gladly jumped in on the opportunity.  So, once again, our family headed onto the field.  Ben fought valiantly, but in the end Jeremy emerged victorious.  Ben at least got the two minutes of fame that he had been looking for.

It was a great day at the ball park and we left feeling like they had created a special day just for us.  Plus the Pickles won so it doesn't get any better.

After the game we had a feast of a BBQ at Ben and Becca's house and then went to my parent's house for fireworks.  The fireworks weren't anything too grand (they were all Oregon legal), but they were enough for our little people and that is all that matters.

It was a great day in "The Land of the Free".  Baseball, BBQ, and Fireworks, what could be more American than that?

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Vacation All I Ever Wanted

This week we loaded up the car and headed off for our big vacation of the summer.  The fun started at Great Wolf Lodge.  You may remember my past blogs about Great Wolf as this was our third visit, but it has been three years since our last trip.  We had booked a trip for last summer but then Merrick broke his arm and obviously casts and water parks don't mix, so we had to cancel.

Thankfully this year everyone stayed whole and we got to spend two magical days at Great Wolf.  Given that the main attraction is a water park, my pictures are a little lacking but rest assured everyone had a blast.  This year Merrick was tall enough for all the slides and while Carrigan was tall enough for all but one slide, she stuck to the kiddie area, the wave pool, and the hot tub.  Because of their differing interests, Jeremy and I divided and conquered so both the kids could have just the trip they were hoping for.

While the water park was where we spent most of out time, we also made time for MagiQuests, face painting, and story time with the Great Wolf mascot.

We had so much fun that a certain little boy, who shall remain nameless, shed actual tears as we pulled away, but our fun was not over yet.  Instead of heading home, we headed to Seattle for one more day of fun.

In downtown Seattle we explored Pike's Place and visited the uber gross Gum Wall.  Then we took a boat ride across the harbor to West Seattle.  Across the harbor, the vibe is completely different.  We took a leisurely stroll along the water, watched jellyfish, and watched people catch crabs.

Finally we headed home as exhausted as could be.  Now we have just a couple of days to rest and catch up before the excitement of  the 4th of July.

Sunday, June 25, 2017


It is FINALLY summer!  Carrigan finished up a little over a week ago and Merrick finished on Tuesday.  Carrigan got to have two "graduations" since she attended both classes this year, but technically still has another year before she really graduates onto Kindergarten.  Each class got to do a little performance before being given a certificate and graduation cap.

Merrick didn't have a big graduation since they don't make as big of a deal about moving on from 1st grade, but his class did put on an end of the year play (The Three Billy Goats Gruff), where he played a troll, and they had a cake to celebrate.

It has already been a great start to summer with park trips, splash pads, play dates, and the Children's Museum.  We have a short summer this years so we gotta pack it all in quickly.

P.S. Just in case you were wondering about the lack of post last week, I spent the day in the Emergency Room with my grandma.  She is doing better now, but I didn't get a chance to wish very happy Father's Day to Jeremy.  We sure do love him and appreciate all he does for our family.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Almost Summer

Summer is so close we can almost taste it.  Carrigan and my last day of school is Thursday and Merrick has until next Tuesday.  That being said, with all piano, dance, homework and now baseball (Saturday was the last game) wrapping up it feels like we can already start to enjoy the first bits of summer.

As mentioned Saturday was Merrick's last baseball game.  I won't go into details but Merrick had a really rough game on Thursday.  As a mom, Saturday's game was really stressful for me because I needed the game to go well for Merrick almost as bad a he did.  Luckily, he did great and had some really great hits, including a line drive out to the outfield.  It was a great way to end the season.  After the game we had a team party with cupcakes and trophies to wrap everything up.

The other highlight of the day was picking strawberries.  We went to a new farm this year about 25 minutes away and picked a new variety of berry (Sweet Anne's).  I think that they are the best strawberries I have ever had.  We picked about 11 lbs and I intend to make jam, but we will see if they last long enough for me to do that.

And what better way to end a busy day that included picking strawberries than with homemade strawberry milkshakes.  If this is what summer tastes like, count me in.