Sep 6 2011

summer wrap-up

School began in our area today, which means summer is over.  Except the weather doesn’t know that.  We’re at the beginning of a 90+ week, while we’ve had about three 90+ days in the last year or so.  I’m not complaining about a lack of 90 degrees, because me and heat don’t really get along.  But it is a bummer when the weather gets hot and kids want to swim and instead they have to sit in classrooms while the community pool closes for its annual maintenance.

We went out into the heat of the day today and finally took some official 10-year-old-pics of Ethan (2 weeks late).  Ten. Years. Old.  Double-digits.  I just can’t think about it too much or…or I start feeling really old.  And we can’t have that, can we?!  I thought it might be fun to look back on some little Ethan…












I couldn’t procrastinate any longer on taking his photos because tomorrow he’s going to the dentist and getting a bottom tooth pulled.  It’s wedged in there and causing things to shift too much, so out it comes.  I’m hoping this experience does not cause too much trauma.  We’re not officially starting school until next week, and swim practice doesn’t start up until the 19th, so we’ve got time to recover.

Speaking of school…we are joining a local group of Classical Conversations this year.  CC is a nation-wide program that offers homeschoolers a structured, classical approach to homeschooling while meeting once a week with others who are using the same curriculum.  It should be a challenging, full year!

Fall baseball is back in swing, school starts next week, swimming starts the week after that…maybe it will feel more like fall by then.  As much as I like summer, fall is still my favorite!

Jul 23 2011


I went in search of a dragonfly this morning, but instead ended up snapping this cute critter, on my hubby’s arm.

Jun 6 2011

a fun weekend…

…with the point-and-shoot!

The weekend brought us summer weather, a visit with friends, a swim meet.  That’s the short story.  The longer version includes fun, relaxation, hospitality, good food, outdoor time, encouragement, baby snuggles, laughter, sunshine, dining al fresco, boys-n-dirt, giant marshmallows, fast swimming, charcoal face paint, nerf dart-tag, conversation.  Thank you, Scovel family, for giving so generously!

PS – The picture of Ethan in his hat and robe was taken by 7-yr-old Luke S. (with my camera) at the swim meet.  I loved the expression he captured!

May 30 2011

“Murph” and other bits and pieces

Life has been moving a bit fast around here and I’m afraid I’ve been doing a lousy job at documenting it.  The holiday weekend and some vacation time are providing a bit of a break, so I thought I’d fill in some of the gaps.

Since the beginning of February, I’ve been working out at CrossFit Hillsboro, 3-4 times a week.  It’s challenging.  It’s fun.  The people are great.  It’s totally different than any other type of gym experience.  CrossFit often names particular workouts after fallen soldiers.  To commemorate this Memorial Day at the gym, we listened to the national anthem and then we did a WOD (Workout of the Day) called “Murph,” in remembrance of Lt. Michael Murphy.  It goes like this:

  • 1 mile run
  • 100 pull-ups
  • 200 push-ups
  • 300 air-squats
  • 1 mile run

Sounds a little nuts, right?  You can break it up into segments that work for you, and you can modify movements where necessary.  My “pull-ups” are called jumping pull-ups.  I stand on a box, reach up to grab the bar, jump and pull myself up so my chin goes above the bar and land back on the box.  My push-ups are girl ones, from the knees.  Air-squats are squats without added weight.  You try and get your rear as low as you can while keeping your chest up, then you stand all the way up.

I broke it down to look like this:

  • 1/2 mile run (about 5 min each time)
  • (5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 air-squats) x 5 (about 7 min for each set of 5)
  • 1/2 mile run
  • (5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 air-squats) x 5
  • 1/2 mile run
  • (5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 air-squats) x 5
  • 1/2 mile run
  • (5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 air-squats) x 5

I finished in 48:46.  Woohoo!!!

Thank you to Lt. Murphy and ALL the armed forces for your work and sacrifices.


Seth, his parents, one sister and I recently completed the Whole30 Challenge.  To sum it up, it’s no diary, no sugar, no grains, no legumes…for 30 days.  It’s a clean-out-your-system kinda deal.  In conjunction with CrossFit, I lost 13 pounds.  Seth lost 17.  It wasn’t as difficult as I expected it to be.  I never counted calories;  I just ate decent food.  Also in conjunction with CrossFit, since early Feb I’ve lost nearly 3″ off my waist, an inch off my arms and a dress size or two.  I’ve gained strength and access to parts of my wardrobe I haven’t seen in a while.  Yahoo!


May 28 was our 17th anniversary!  Wowee!!


We are in the middle of baseball season, which makes for a crazy schedule when combined with swimming season (which is year ’round).  Between now and mid-Aug, we have 2 weekends free.  Whew!  While some of this is a bit wild, it’s also fun.


We’ve finally updated our CRT television with a flat screen version, and now we’re canceling cable!  With a digital antenna, we’re able to see most of the major networks, and we’re enjoying our free trial month of Netflix, which we’ll probably subscribe to.  Hulu may prove useful as well.  There will be things we’ll miss, but we like the idea of not paying for SO many things that we will never watch when we can find less expensive ways of watching a lot of what we would want to watch…especially now that summer is upon us and there are better things to do.  Like yard work!  Yippee!!

Apr 12 2011

yard sightings

Over the weekend, we planted a couple new trees in our yard… Newport Flowering Plum and an Autumn Blaze Maple.  They were $8 each from a local nursery (Amos Rich Nurseries) that sells their bare root trees at this price every April.  They are probably nine feet tall, so I think it was a great deal!  I’m excited to have a flowering tree to photograph (see upper right and middle photos).  The other photos are just some colors and textures I found around the yard.  Spring is here (despite my fall-ish blog header)!

Mar 21 2011


My blog seems to have turned into a swimming report lately, but for family/friends who don’t live here, this is a way to share!

Last weekend, we attended the Northwest Age Group Regional Championships in Washington at this impressive facility.

This meet brings together the fastest kids from seven states:  Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, Wyoming.  Ethan had qualified for three races in the 10&Under category:  50 fly, 200 medley relay, 200 free relay.  His 50 fly didn’t go quite as well as he’d hoped, but he was only .5 second off his best time.  His free relay team was ranked 4th going in, but they pulled out a very secure 2nd place finish and dropped 3 more seconds off their team record for a final time of 2:00.80!  It was a very exciting race!  Ethan had his best time ever for his 3rd leg of that relay.  And he also had his best time ever for his 3rd leg of the medley relay which happens to be a 50 fly.  His team was ranked 1st going in to this race, so there was some pressure to maintain that placement.  But they made it look easy and dropped 3 more seconds off that team record, too, to end at 2:14.67!  Wow!  It was thrilling to see them get gold and silver medals in such stiff competition.

You can watch it, if you’d like.  They are in lane 4 (see the lane numbers on the starting blocks).  Each leg is 50 yards long and they go in this order:  backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, free.  Ethan is the third swimmer.

Feb 23 2011

swimmer dude

This year at short course (25 yard) Oregon Swimming State Championships for ages 10 & Under:

6th in 100 fly

5th in 50 back

5th in 100 IM

4th in 200 IM

4th in 50 fly

4th in 100 breast

2nd in 200 free relay

1st in 200 medley relay, with a new team record.