Saturday, January 31, 2009

Connor's Field Trip

We happen to live in a pretty cool area, I think. Our kids get these cool opportunities here.

Fishing is a much-loved pasttime, and our neighborhood school actually has a working hatchery. Every other year, the kids all participate in carrying the fry (baby salmon) to the creek to work their way down to the Umpqua River, and then to the coast.

So our Eastwood School kids get quite a bit of education about fish and nature, etc. The 5th grade, especially, gets to do even more than the younger kids with the hatchery and they get to attend a fish-stocking before the Fishing Derby.

Our little guy, Connor, has always loved the water. He's a good enough swimmer, but we are always extremely careful with him around any water. The rivers around here can be pretty rough, and we tend to avoid the parks along the rivers, so he's not too tempted. No fear.

The place they were going on the field trip on Thursday was called "Cooper Creek." I was thinking it was like a river - but I guess it's more of a lake. There's still, clear water, and a dock. I knew Connor would be wearing a life jacket and have an aide with him at all times. I didn't opt to go along with him on this trip, like I have for some others.

From what we got out of Connor, there was a big tube with the fish coming out. He had to reel in a fish (catch & release) and then the man scooped under to catch it (with a net, we're guessing). The local pizza place had a trailer with fresh, hot pizza for the kids and that was fun too. Of course, Connor came home safe & sound (yay!).

Apparently, Connor was on the news that night, but we currently don't get CBS because of a dispute between our satellite provider & the local CBS affiliate. Ugh. Hopefully the local station will post a video so I can see my boy on TV.

Back when Trevor was in 5th grade, he also made the evening news after the field trip - he was holding up his fish he'd caught, and someone off camera asked if he was going to eat it. Trevor said all incredulous, "I'm not gonna EAT it! I'm a vegetarian!" Even the newscasters laughed after the clip was over :P We have it on videotape somewhere... I think on Diana's turn we saw her coat...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What to do

if I were to come into a large amount of money:

My stuff:
Hire an accountant to manage taxes, etc.
Pay off the house.
Pay off any other debt.
Get full-time educational assistance for Connor.
Fix up the house & yard (I don't want to move. I like the location).
Update cars.

Other stuff:
Create a resort castle with SCA people to work there. It would be FUN.

Create a health retreat resort for teaching better living skills to people with weight issues. Educational and stress-relief.

Create a voluntary school dormitory system for kids of parents with substance abuse problems. If they are clean, mom & dad can get the kids for the weekends.

Create scholarships & grants for people with good ideas to help their communities.

Happy New President Day

Good luck!

Don't blow it.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Connor's Request

The other day when I took Diana back to Eugene, we stopped at a Grocery Outlet and while we were there, we found strawberry flavored marshmallows. I don't know if they are a trial product or what, Grocery Outlet is just like any other outlet store, only groceries.
Connor was very interested in them, so I got some. Then he asked me to make Krispie treats using these marshmallows and Cocoa Krispies. So I made them yesterday morning. Connor set up the round table in the living room with the plates, spoons, and cups, and we had a little tea time together.
They tasted pretty good, but the cocoa krispies are sweeter, and I couldn't taste the strawberry flavor as much once the two were together. Connor loved them though :)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

First Reconciliation

On Tuesday, Connor did his second Catholic sacrament, First Reconciliation aka Confession.
Now, honestly, Connor has to be one of the least sinful people I have ever known. He is not malicious in any way and his worst offense might be to yell at someone, but in general, it's a reaction. He feels like someone is being mean to him, and he doesn't have the tools to react more appropriately.
So in preparing him for this sacrament, we could only give him pretty tame examples of what he'd done that he should be sorry about. Most of Connor's offenses would be against Trevor, to tell the truth, and Trevor really should be the one seeking forgiveness for instigating :P
On the day of the ceremony, I read through Connor's note from school. He'd had a great day, except at recess something had happened, and he'd pushed down a first grader. Again, some kind of reaction vs. being mean, but hey! He now had something to confess!
When I told his religious ed teacher, she said, "The Lord will provide!"
He spent about 10 minutes in the confessional with Fr. Selvam, and we have no clue what was said, obviously, but Connor was talking about Gabriel, John the Baptist, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit all the way home ;)
This morning when we went to Mass, Fr. Selvam was just coming out of the sacristy while we were at the holy water, and Connor has taken to giving our family a blessing on the forehead before we go in to Mass. Fr. watched him do this, and then he asked Connor if he could have a blessing too - so Connor dipped his fingers in the font again, and gave Fr. Selvam a blessing on the forehead too :)

Another Rainbow Face

His eyes are two different colors :)

Well, he *is* cute...

Connor had some girls from school come over last weekend. You can't tell from the photo, but it was pretty cold outside again. They all had a lot of fun jumping on the trampoline.
As it was around 40 degrees, I had the back door closed, and I'd look out now & again to see how they were doing. With the enclosure, they are all pretty safe.
About the third time I peek out, one of the girls is on the trampoline, and Connor is bending over, kissing her!
I noisily came out calling, "hey do you guys want some hot chocolate?" and the girl that was laying down jumps up saying, "Ew! Connor kissed me!! Where's the soap?!" and she ran into the bathroom to wash off her lips.
I told Connor he's not supposed to kiss girls from school, but I had a good idea that this was not something he'd come up with anyway.
While I'm making the hot chocolate, the other girl relates that they were playing "Sleeping Beauty." Okay - so both girls and Connor knew the only way to wake her up was with a kiss.
So... Connor got his first kiss a lot sooner than Diana. LOL.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Trevor is fine.

His bike... not so much.

You can kind of see where the car wheel drove over the frame here.

The handlebars used to be the same...

This is with the top & bottom frame lined up - and the whole back is off-kilter.

And this is the 'new-to-Trevor' bike we got as a replacement, the same day.

Trevor was riding uphill at pedestrian-speed, according to witnesses, and a car pulled out in front of him, intent on the fast traffic as he tried to merge.

It was a slower accident, as accidents go - Trev said he wasn't scared, and he had the presence of mind to pull his legs out from under the car, using the fender, so he didn't really suffer any injuries as far as we know at this time.

The police were called, paramedics came & checked him out, and Lee was called at work because Trevor was hoping for a ride. He completely forgot that his dad walks to work. Then Trevor decided he'd just walk the rest of the way to the doctor appointment he was going to, and then he walked home afterward.

Then he got his new bike. Which I expect we'll submit to the guy's insurance for reimbursement. It wasn't way expensive, but the old bike would have lasted a few more years, at least. Oh well. Maybe we can use the tires & tubes for Diana's bike (she has a flat right now). They both got them the same year. I think it was '98?

Monday, January 05, 2009

Interesting Ice

This is a piece of ice from the trampoline. It froze in this interesting bird shape - funny, huh? Lee found it & brought it in to show me, so obviously I had to take a picture to share with the world.
I don't think he found any that were any more interesting...

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Diana's apartment

East wall, Diana at the front door & her desk & big 'ol TV.

The North wall has the door on the right to the shared kitchen, and the left door is to her bathroom. Her mini fridge is on the floor between them, since her Asian roommies cook a lot of fishy things, which transfer a fishy flavor to things like, oh, bread. South/West walls with Diana's bed (laden with all the stuff she brought home & groceries) and her closet.

West/North walls showing the chest of drawers, bathroom, and of course, my girl!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

Here we are in 2009! We rang in the New Year twice, once on NY time with Rocky & Sue (thanks! That was fun!), and then again at home on Oregon time.

We did a pizza party at Rocky & Sue's place. Sue taught Diana & I how to make toffee popcorn, and Diana expects to make it for any gathering she attends while she's at school. It's awesome & easy! Connor did really well with hanging out, eating pizza & then we watched "House Bunny" since Rocky had Netflix & none of us had seen it yet. It was cute. But once it got close to 9:00 & we watched New York ring in the new year, Connor was ready to GO. Still, for not being distracted by a game or something (he doesn't really watch non-action movies), we thought he did pretty well :)

Once we got home, Diana called Jen (camera gal) to wish her a Happy New Year, and I'm not sure, but she may have been in Times Square - wherever she was, it was loud and Diana sent a text later, because she could barely understand what Jen was saying (Diana thinks there may have been alcohol involved :P) lol. Diana's coach, Krista, moved to NYC once the show was done, and Jen & Krista got to be good friends during the filming, and they seem to hang out a lot when Jen is in town.

Connor stayed up late with us (till 11:00) but that didn't stop him from getting up early to play Sonic on the Wii - I was going to watch the Rose Parade, but I'm doing this instead. I'll see if I can get the TV in a little bit.

The older kids & Lee & I all kept occupied with our computers until it got close to the ball drop, and the station we were watching had Robbie Knievel preparing to jump the volcano at a Las Vegas hotel (I don't remember which one, I haven't been to Las Vegas since my honeymoon). The 'best' part was the computer simulations of all the things that could go wrong with the jump! He could go thru the fire! He could hit the side of the ramp! He could hit the ramp wrong and flip over! He could fall INTO the volcano (and then they showed the motorcycle floating to the top). OMG! And after we rang in the new year, Robbie jumped and nothing went wrong at all. It was a perfect jump.

People shot off fireworks around our neighborhood (I'm going to find a bunch of burnt-out 'flowers' on my lawn I bet).

We didn't really do any resolutions. Trevor was the only one with getting better grades. He will need them to be able to go back to OIT. Diana said she'd draw more. More? That's all she does in her free time now! Connor resolves to spend as much time as possible on the trampoline :)

I would like to be more organized at home. For instance, I still have all the GS troop stuff in my laundry room... plus a few other boxes & who knows what in the patio room, my closet, the basement. It's a mess.

Lee will have to tell you his own resolution - I don't know what he decided.

Happy New Year!