Monday, September 27, 2010

Braids, Braids Everywhere!

When I was little my mom used to braid my hair  and put pink spongy curlers at the ends resulting in a fantastic afro in the morning, I loved it. So Paris finally sat still enough for me to do the braids. We'll see what happens in the morning.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The hardest thing I have ever done, otherwise known as the Blue Ridge Relay

My lovely friend Alison recently set up a weekend of torture for 12 of us. We decided to participate in the Blue Ridge Relay; it is 208 miles through the beautiful blue ridge mountains, separated into 36 legs. So we each took three legs and each ran a total of 15-20 miles.  We all knew this would be challenging, but I don't think any of us realized HOW challenging. The elevation, hills, carsickness and lack of sleep made running really difficult. And all of us are experienced runners.

You would not believe how indiscriminating you become about where you lay your sleeping bag to rest when you are this exhausted. Plus, you start to realize the value of a good baby wipe bath (no showers, three runs, 36 hours, I'll let you figure it out). One of the great things about the race is the beautiful setting. We had absolutely breathtaking views of the blue ridge. All in all, it was a great experience, but one I don't think any of us are ready to repeat again.

The night before the race - still feeling pretty good, pretty clean and excited.

Night before carbo loading dinner.

The team (minus Heidi who was currently running)

Couldn't beat the green trees, white clouds and blue skies.

Ready . . .

Let's go already!

A story problem Will recently wrote for 2nd grade math class.

This is an assignment that Will completed this week for his math class.  It says:

Nick has 8 balls then he bought 2 more. How many balls does Nick have now? 10

Will shared this story problem with Cooper and his friend Brady and they all burst into a fit of hilarity. So did I. If you don't  know why it is funny then I guess you aren't a 7 year old boy.  Balls is one of the funniest words around these days!

Paris' first dance class

I love how her tights are baggy and look at those tiny little feet.

Anyone guess where she learned this pose?

Paris recently started her first dance class! It is half tap and half ballet. I think we are currently paying $60 a month for her to flit around and "jump over the ducky." But it is adorable and hey, after we spend all our money and time on the boys' sports careers, it's about time!

First tooth gone! Just waiting patiently for the tooth fairy to come.

Cool pictures our talented friend Jessica took in Oregon . . .

First Day of Preschool

First day of preschool for Paris. I love how her backpack is bigger than her. 

It's the beginning of the end! Finally our last baby is starting preschool. She was so excited about going. I felt really sad and told her so, and she said," Well mommy, I just have to go to preschool." She wasn't sad at all!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mara Colts Season Opener

Today was the first football game of the season for Cooper and Will. They played Southeast Charlotte and beat them with a score of 19-0.  Both boys played great and tried hard. My favorite part of the game is when a kid told his mom, "Did you see when I pushed that guy down?" And the mom said, "Yeah, that's awesome!" Can you imagine this conversation happening if he had a friend over or was at the park.  Encouraging violence is acceptable at the field.  I got some cute shots of Paris on the sidelines a few of Will and only one of Cooper - he was in the field pretty much the whole game so it was harder to catch him with my non-huge lens camera that all the other moms were using.
She looks like a teenager already!

Just in case Will wants to become a male model; agents could be lurking. Austin is going to love this picture.

Will ready to go!

Paris loved this picture of herself.

Cooper on a quick field water break. I don't know if they do this in the pros!

Paris all set for the big Mara Colts opener game ( and then she is set for the UM vx. Notre Dame game later!)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Audobon Society with Uncle Sean and Aunt Candace

We decided to have a picnic and hike the trails at the Audobon Society in Portland. Aunt Candace and Uncle Sean took us and all was fun and games until Will dropped the camera and gave it a permanent "lens error."
Hard at work searching for cool stuff.
Paris found special things too in her little basket. I think they were algae leaves that we told Destiny she had to eat as she has recently become a vegetarian.
Megan, Aunt Candace, Destiny, Paris, Uncle Sean, Porter and Cooper. Cooper looks so old to me in this picture!
A big slug Will found. There are tons of these all over the place. We wanted to bring it back home to show Will's class but thought it might dry up.
Destiny, Megan and Porter searching for newts in the very dry stream.
Paris' new little buddy and cousin Jack. Just this morning she looked at the picture and said, "oh there's Jack, he's so cute" in a cooing voice.
A really neat owl we saw. She was actually recused by some humans when she was a baby and they took her in. She imprinted (a real word that the volunteer used) on the humans and now can't care for herself in the wild so she has lived at the society for several years and will the rest of her life.

I am loving the beautiful greenery of Portland and couldnt' resist snapping these huge ferns. And it's this green year round!

Fun times around town . . .

We decided to take the kids to downtown Portland one day and on a whim we jumped on the Max. The kids really liked it. Paris even tried to swing around the pole that we were holding on to.  Always good people watching on the Max! And downtown. Definitely not in Charlotte anymore. If it wouldn't have been rude we could have taken lots of interesting pictures.  When we jumped off the Max we were excited to see the Lego Summer 2010 tour. Perfect!
Silly Nuts in the back of the car.

I've always liked this sign in Pioneer Courthouse Square. You can get anywhere from here!
This is a really cool minotaur made completely from legos. If you guessed the correct number of legos, you can win a prize. I think we guessed somewhere around 500,000.
Paris loves these seals that live in the fountains in downtown Portland.
Nothing beats free Jarritos at Bandito Taco.

Visiting our Grandma Nina in Oregon

I love this picture of Grandma Nina with Paris and Cooper
Three smiling sweeties

We had a nice Sunday afternoon with our 98-year-old Grandma Nina. She is the most smily and spunky woman I have ever met. She told us this time about her high school career of basketball and softball.  In those days the girls wore long skirts with bloomers underneath to play basketball. When Grandma was playing basketball one time, a player grabbed her by the waistband and her bloomers came off! So scandalous!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Oregon Trip 2010

We just flew in this morning from a lovely trip to Oregon. And yes, I mean this morning, it was a red-eye flight that could have been a nightmare, but luckily the kids mostly slept, we got in almost an hour early and everyone came home and went back to bed until 1 p.m. By the way, we got some beautiful pictures there but surprise, surprise, Will dropped our camera while we were there and it seems to be having some serious problems so I'm not sure we will ever be posting pictures again.

Highlights from our trip:

  • Hugs and snuggles with Nana 
  • Lots of playtime with Destiny and her beloved dog Colton
  • Some adult-alone time for Shanda and Austin at Manzanita
  • Seeing Grandma Betty for the first time in awhile - she is happy and looking better than last time. 
  • Visiting the Tillamook Cheese Factory
  • Running miles through breathtakingly beautiful hills and trees
  • Spending time with Uncle Sean, Aunt Candace, Megan, Porter and Jack
  • Paris singing songs to Colton the dog
  • The adorable friendship between Paris and Jack
  • Visiting Grandma Nina, 98 years old and still as beautiful and spunky as ever
  • Riding the Max into downtown Portland and stumbling upon the Lego Games Summer Tour that we forgot we meant to go to.
  • Beating another family in a tournament at the Lego Games Tour and winning a new Lego game!
  • Will giving hugs to Poppy every time he saw him
  • Trampoline time with cousins and Destiny
  • A night out for the girls at Nordstrom, Elephant Thai and REI
  • Uncle Sean, Uncle Austin and Poppy giving everyone back-to-school father's blessings
  • An Un-Birthday party with Nana at Out of this World - a fun inflatable playground
  • A trip to the Portland Zoo with Nana and Aunt Candace
  • A delicious lunch at Bandito Taco, Austin's first place of employment when he was 15. Always fun to visit Ahmed, the owner, who is charming and kind
  • Hiking in the woods at the Audobon Society, looking for newts in the water and seeing owls and vultures up close
Also, there was a powerful lesson on journaling and personal history at church on Sunday and now I am committed to blogging and keeping this up even if we don't have pictures and nothing interesting to say.