Monday, March 12, 2018

Calvin and Hobbes

The children have been on a Calvin and Hobbes reading frenzy for the last week or two. We have the complete collection - they are Steve's childhood books - and both kids love them and have been reading nothing but C&H at every opportunity. They occasionally break out into random guffaws and hysterical giggles, and Liesl likes to read certain pages to me. Although we are tickled, and share an appreciation for the material, we find ourselves slightly mystified by their devotion. The vocabulary is quite advanced and some of the jokes require background knowledge that they lack. There was a great word play on "antelope" which went entirely over Sebastian's head until we explained what eloping was. But they're clearly getting enough to love the humor and characters, and so I guess that's enough!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

archery party

As part of Steve's service on the board of the school foundation, we volunteered to co-host an archery party for 10 children (and their adults) today. The father of our co-hosting family practices archery on a semi-regular basis and it was through him that the range agreed to donate the party space and a lesson. Our job was to make things festive, so we bought trinkets for goodie bags (archery-themed tattoos and stickers, a plastic bow and arrow set, candy) and cupcakes with targets frosted on top.

It was really fun - the children had a great time, the cupcakes were devoured, and no one got impaled. Phew! Sebastian and Liesl really liked trying out archery and became noticeably better with a little practice and coaching. We hope to return!

 A bullseye!! he was so proud.
 Sweet Jasper came along for the ride, and we took turns going to visit him.

Friday, March 9, 2018


Our boy gets shaggy almost every winter - I feel like it's a natural reaction to the cold, dark, rainy season in Portland - sort of a hibernating instinct. His hair is super thick so it gets long and stands straight up. But it's March! And the sun has been out, so today was apparently the day for shearing.

Monday, March 5, 2018

muddy hikes and runs w Jasper

It's spring in the Pacific NW, which means lots of mud on the local trails. Good thing our puppy loves mud so much.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Alice in Wonderland

Liesl and I met up with Elena and Nora to see OBT's Alice in Wonderland today, and it was a wonderful, magical, splendid production. The choreography was full of genius moments that brought levity and wonder to the show - finding ways to represent Alice going down the rabbit hole and then growing and shrinking, swimming in a pool of tears, the caterpillar turning into a butterfly, the flamingos and hedgehogs in a croquet match. I was really impressed with the whole production - costumes, set design, choreography, live orchestra - and had a great time. Liesl liked it very much, though it was a tad long, and delighted in finding moments of the show that she remembered from reading a kids version of the Alice story. We had brunch at a fancy-ish hotel restaurant ahead of time - brioche french toast with lemon curd! - and so it was a lovely Sunday.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

the doghouse

Liesl got a new little stuffed animal - a fox - and for whatever reason, Jasper took an immediate liking to it. He got it off the couch while we were eating dinner and chewed off a leg. She was so upset - lots of tears - sad recriminations about how she didn't like poor puppy any more. He slunk over to his mat and lay down, clearly aware that he was in the proverbial doghouse. But then she got over it, and we picked out some nice thread to stitch the leg back on, and everyone was forgiven.
Then there was this other time that Steve and I remonstrated with her about something minor, and she stormed off to her room and left us this note. Also a moment of being in the doghouse. :)

Thursday, February 22, 2018

more snow!

It's Wednesday night, and we haven't left the neighborhood since Saturday. It snowed Sunday morning and afternoon, and again on Monday, and then again last night. It's been a gorgeous snowy wonderland, full of kids on sleds, snowpeople, snow angels, romping dogs, and no school. I've been working from home all week, conducting advising appointments over the phone and answering scads of emails (it's registration week, unfortunately) and reading scholarship applications. But this morning, the sun came up on a bright blue sky, and Jasper and I walked the usual loop down to the pond via the trails and enjoyed the crisp beauty of fresh snow and trees and the quietness.

Wyatt and Sebastian playing some snow soccer at 8 am!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

snow day!

We have had a mild winter in Portland - not that cold, not that much rain, no snow or ice storms, and even some sunny days. But we woke up this morning to falling snow and the children raced to get outside as soon as they could.  We were alone at the school field at 7 am. (Shocking!) We sledded, made snow angels, threw snowballs for Jasper, and enjoyed ourselves until everyone was famished and we came home. The snowfall stopped and the few inches that had accumulated started to melt away. I went off to climb at PG with Anja and get the week's groceries while the kids and Steve read books and watched a movie (Daddy Daycare! Not exactly new, but pretty funny in a slapstick way.)
While we were eating lunch, it started to snow again - a little at first, and then more and more, until it looked like a snow globe out there. It rarely snows midday in Portland - it'll get cold enough overnight that the precipitation comes down as snow, but once the sun comes up it's usually just rain or sleet. These were huge, amazing flakes. So we got all our snow gear back on and headed out for round two. This time there were lots of friends to play with - the Hornbrooks and Qualls families included - and we had a big snowball fight and sledded until the slope was a muddy mess. Jasper romped with his brother Neptune and some other dogs for hours. It was just a grand, happy, exhausting Sunday. I'm so glad we got a proper snow day for the winter. Sebastian loves the snow so much and was thrilled to be out in it.
 Making a ramp for his snowboard to go over - not terribly successful.