Wednesday, July 19, 2017

summer camps

We had a delightful summer weekend in Portland - downtown farmers market on Saturday, Thorns game in the afternoon, a double date with Anne and Cuong at an amazing wine restaurant, a Sunday morning bike ride on the Fanno Creek trail, visiting the library to re-stock, and playing sports together at a new playground nearby. It was good to be home and be together.

Last week, we had a babysitter come three days to look after the children - she took them to the library, to the swimming pool, to the Children's Museum, and supervised a lot of  water balloon and water gun play on our street. This week, both children are at fully day summer camps - Liesl at Trackers Earth with her friend Nora; Sebastian at Sports Plus Camp with his friends Nathan, Nate, and Jack.

The theme of Liesl's camp is School of Magic, and she has come home talking of fairies, goblins, gnomes, and talking crows. They are making magic wands - carving sticks (with real knives!) and putting all of their magical effort into each one. Each day, the campers go to a different location to explore - Hagg Lake, Stub Stewart park, and others to come. She is loving it so far - loves being with Nora all day, loves talking about magic and hunting for fairies in the woods - and she's made new friends. She came home on her first day with this note:

Sebastian was nervous ahead of his camp, as expected, but managed to tamp down his fear of the unknown and head off for the first day. He came home super happy - he LOVED it. He loved the games - the more games- the further games - the recess of games... for a kid who loves sports, it's just perfect. So far this week they have played basketball, soccer, dodgeball, team handball, kickball, and something called Islands which involved teams and scooters and a race and was apparently the best thing ever. I'm so glad.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Thorns soccer game

We went to see a Portland Thorns game this afternoon at Providence Park - it's the professional women's soccer league. It was so fun to be there in the crowd, listening to the cheers, chants, and drumming, and watching women play hard and compete. I love the scene every time we go, and love that Liesl and Seb get to grow up in a world where women can not only play professional sports but can attract enthusiastic, cheering fans. We bought matching Tobin Heath t-shirts and some Thorns scarves to wave around. The Thorns won 1-0 against North Carolina; Liesl's favorite thing was that one of the players had a red ribbon bow in her hair, just like she did. :) 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

a surfeit of berries

We went berry picking on Tuesday morning - a high priority for me every summer! - and picked an enormous quantity of raspberries, blueberries, marionberries, and boysenberries. I think that eating raspberries in great handfuls right off the bushes, while they're still warm from the sun, is as close to heaven as I'll ever get. :)  We ate ourselves sick (Liesl and I did, anyway, while Sebastian was more restrained and dragged us out of there) and then came home and made a berry cobbler for dessert. Yum.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

beach morning

On Friday morning, Sebastian and I headed to the beach at 6:30, before everyone was awake. It was beautiful and deserted at the beach and we walked and ran and watched the sun rise. (And chased seagulls, of course!)
At 7:30, we drove back to the houses and picked up Steve and Liesl, and then the four of us ran around and into the ocean. Seb and I played catch and played with paddleballs while Steve and Liesl dunked themselves into the waves together.
Mary and Joe and their boys arrived a little later and we all enjoyed the surf - Joe took turns throwing all the children up into the air, the kids jumped waves, Seb made up a game with a ball and a racquet and the waves (amazingly, didn't lose the ball!) --- classic beach play. It was a gorgeous morning.

By 10, we were done, and we got donuts and headed back home for brunch and showers and the pool. A perfect final morning in Delaware.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

beach town playtime

We have had a good week of classic beach fun - playing in the sand and waves and swimming in our pool, mini-golfing (twice!), racing go-karts, playing arcade games and air hockey, eating ice cream and fish and chips and fried clams and crab, watching fireworks, and hanging out as a family. I love watching my kids get to know their east coast cousins.

We stayed up late to watch fireworks over Ocean City, MD.
On Wednesday, Steve and I took the three older kids mini-golfing and go-kart racing. (I won!)
Steve and I went for a gorgeous early-evening walk on the beach together - the heat and humidity had receded somewhat and it was lovely out - so good to walk and talk and hold hands together, with the ocean crashing next to us. Steve felt so inspired by the waves and memories of childhood adventures in coastal Delaware that he took off his shirt and dived into the ocean.

On Thursday morning it was raining, so we packed up all five kids and went to an indoor maze and arcade game place. It wasn't much to look at, but the kids all loved it and we stayed for a few hours. They played air hockey and racing/driving games and bowled and played in the maze together. Sebastian and Liesl were both really sweet at helping Rylan and Joseph climb up some of the bigger steps, boosting Rylan up and over.
Sebastian was terrible at this driving game the first time he played - crashed everywhere and came in dead last. But he was persistent and got better and better, and by the end (many many tokens later... thanks Grandpa!) he was second or third in the game. I loved seeing him stick with something he wasn't initially good at, and improve.
Air hockey! Rio played Seb, and Seb played me, and I played Liesl, and it was great fun.
We had lunch at an outdoor, sand-floored crab shack - terrific scallops, fish and chips, fried clams and crabs - and then I took the three older kids mini-golfing at a really cool place.
We had chalk and the kids (and Joe!) had a super fun collaborative decorating effort.