Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Day in the Central Valley

The VanderPoel family graciously invited us to a weekend full of events at their house.

Jerome turned 13, Matthew graduated from high school, Anthony recieved his First Holy Communion.

Wow, a whole lotta fun stuff in one fell swoop.

Dylan was at the state track meet so Rich and I made a quick buzz down to celebrate with our godsons (Matthew and Anthony).

Collin came over from Sacramento after he got off work on Saturday and stayed with us at the hotel Saturday night... an extra bonus :).

Rich's mom workin it in Hank & Theresa's awesome kitchen. How cool is that? Totally worth all the hassle of the remodel.

John Paul made sure he was in charge of the little frosting packets for the cinnamon rolls. Hey somebody's gotta do it.

Rich got a game of hacky-balloon going. He never passes up an opportunity to not be sitting around. And back behind that blurred hunk of action is the graduate, Matthew, and an amused Collin.

I just love this kid. I swear, I have the best kids ever. He is totally rockin the fleet certification program at UTI... 4.0...Student of the Course many times over...excited to be learning new things. We are so proud.

Talkin with great-grandma

My little friend Philip. He didn't get all funny when I pulled out the Nikon. Didn't fuss or try to pose. It was such a gift when I spotted the nice light coming thru this window that he just checked me out and waited patiently for me to get it right.

Confession time: I have to say that the low light situation here made me once again pine for the 85mm f1.4... or even f1.8 that I had almost convinced myself I didn't really need. I so prefer shooting with natural light. I think I might be a flashaphobe.

Aunt Ag, Anthony, Victoria,& Samuel in a serious card game.

Worth the Wait

This past winter we tried a few veggies in the greenhouse and religiously went out and stared at them and hoped that come March we would be eating homegrown organic yummies.

Most of the things we tried were varieties from Territorial Seed. They are my fav for short season produce seeds.

I mostly planted in December and January after the last of the cherry tomatoes gave up the ship in November


One day Sean's adventurous chickens got in and dug out my newly transplanted broccoli and cauliflower. The little plants survived but from then on I had no idea which were broccoli and which were cauliflower.

I kind of like it that way.

Anyhoodles we could tell fairly soon that there was no way they were going to make the 66 days that was the best case scenario on the Belstar Broccoli(click there if you want to see more info about the variety) seed packet.

As we periodically got some warmer weather the plants started looking really good.

Rich worried that there was too much nitrogen since they were all plant and no flower... and then he wanted to prune them (he has a thing for pruning) but I persuaded him to show restraint and trust the process :).

We ended up moving all but two of them outside to make room for the peppers. We thought the two remaining plants might be too large to survive a tranplanting.

Last Friday (at least 150 days later) we finally picked what was supposed to be the first of our winter broccoli.

It's hard to tell but it was the hugest broccoli I have ever seen.

We wanted to do something a little special with it so I went to my new go-to site for fresh cooking recipes and found this recipe for garlic broccoli

After we steamed it the broccoli was this glowing green that you don't usually get from store pretty I wish I had taken some pictures of the final product.

Rich and I...Dylan was at the state track meet...made it our whole dinner... that and some nice organic baby potatoes that I had. Happily, we still had leftovers.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bruin Pride

It was a crazy, busy, fun weekend.

District Finals for the track team at Siuslaw High School in Florence, OR.

It all comes down to this meet. It's the one that matters.

Many Oregon coast track meets include horizontal rain. This one, thankfully, did not. The weather was beautiful and we even had to bust out the sunscreen.

Brookings Harbor High School was in charge of the Long Jump event so lots of us would be spectators got roped into "official" positions. The great thing was that there were enough people so that when our kids were in events we could trade off. It also got us onto the infield where the action is.

Dylan and his good friend Derek helped out.

Rich helped with the measuring... good job for a surveyor don't ya think?

I got the Vanna White gig posting the board.

I know this photo is terrible... the focus is all wrong... this is for Cheryl, our cybercoach. This jump is at 5'6". Whadaya think? Shheesh he has all the room in the world there. That must have been at least a 5'10". It's making him nuts not to get the marks he knows he can hit.

We camped overnight a Jessie M Honeyman State Park. We got to have Derek stay with us there. It was great fun. There was a big event that weekend in Florence and every Harley on the west coast must have been there. The boys thought it was great.

Dylan and Derek went in search of big fish... any fish at all really. After a day at the track they really weren't in the mood for a long walk.

But waaay over there is where the water was calm. No luck but it was a really nice evening to walk along the lake.

Day 2. Back at the track for finals of the 4x100, 200m, & 4x400.

Dylan marks his spot for the 4x100 relay

With one team member well taped and running on a sprained ankle, another team member running on borrowed spikes due to a family emergency these guys had a strong 2nd place finish. Lost to the 1st place team by .02 close!

Doin the psych up for the 4x400 relay.

In the end Dylan qualified for state in three events; both relays and the high jump.

And although he is proud to represent BHHS in the high jump that placement is bittersweet. He knows that his good friend Geoff Gowman earned that spot and due to a family emergency could not get to the track in time. Geoff has had many stellar performances this year in the high jump but because of the way the system is set up Dylan could not pass on his qualification to Geoff. So he has been working hard this week to make everyone proud.

Dylan also made the final heat of the 200m. The only non senior to do so. He set a personal record in a smokin fast heat and earned a 6th place finish. The winner set a new track record.

As soon as the ribbon were given out for the last relay we hit the road and boogied back to Brookings.

The banquet for the state championship basketball team was scheduled for 8p.m.

We got home at 7:15, did a quick change, jumped in another car and headed to the banquet.

It was a really nice evening. After a season like these guys had, no one wanted to see it end. It went well into the night and was worth every second.

Coach Young did the honors for the JV team.

The bling. These things are huge! An amazing end to an amazing season as once again the community turned out in support of the team.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mi Vida Loca

It's been a crazy couple of weeks. With so much happening you'd think I'd have all kinds of reasons to be snapping away with the Nikon... nope. Nada.

My Mom gave us all a scare this past week. They were headed to my nephew Kevin's graduation at Franciscan University (Yay Kev! We are SO proud of you!) when life took a sharp left turn.

She passed out on the plane three times and a doctor onboard recommended that the plane make an unplanned stop in Memphis to get her to a hospital ASAP.

Well... long story short she is now back home as of last night with a new piece of hardware... a pacemaker to keep things running smoothly.

I got to help with portraits for Prom .. that was fun.

Collin was home for 2 days. It was way too short but we treasure what we can get.

Marc and Kevin Shepherd came to visit.

I got some beautiful flowers for Mother's Day and Rich spoiled me rotten all day doing stuff that I haven't been able to get to.

Tomorrow we head north with Dylan for the league finals track meet for two days and then back for the basketball banquet. So I should have lots of pics next week.

I wasn't even going to post this week.

But then today I got an everyday gift.

I have this thumbdrive that I put all the files for my electronic cutting plotter on. I carry it around a lot and sometimes I throw other stuff on there so I don't loose it.

I stuck it in to move some new files over and cleanup my computer desktop and up pops Photoshop showing me images from it.

They aren't all fixed up some of them are speckly from bad scans but they make me smile every time they pop up.

Flashbacks. I love this. When Dylan was in 8th grade they put together a DVD of the whole class growing up. I had stuck these on that jump drive for the project.
Wanna watch a kid grow up before your eyes?

10 Months

3.5 Years

8 years

13 years

13.5 years

14 years

Sniff, sniff... pass the kleenex :).