Thursday, June 28, 2007

Boxer with a bee sting!

Notice the difference between Odin's left side and right? Our ding dong dog decided to try and eat a bee and was stung, then the right side of his face ballooned. Our vet pulled out the biggest stinger I've ever seen and Odin was the lucky winner of a cortisone injection (notice the green bandage on his leg). Pets.....gotta love 'em!

My beautiful girls!

We were supposed to go out to the flower fields this morning for a photo shoot with our friend that owns Scattercreek Productions, however the cloud filled sky turned to rain and we had to cancel our outing. I shot a couple of photos in our back yard before the rain started pouring down!

Tori's "Once Upon a Time" dance recital

Tori performed in Allegro Dance Studios "Once Upon A Time" dance recital this weekend! Her class performed 2 dances and she did great! We are so proud of her!

Tori in our entry way before her Friday night recital!
Tori with all of the flowers she received after Saturday night's performance!

Tori with Grandpa and Grandma Hamlin (Tina's parents)
Tori with her Omie (Matt's mom)
Tori with Uncle Dave and Aunt Linda Curtis!

Brandon recieves Good Citizen of the year award!!!

Brandon was honored at Trost Elementary and given the "Good Citizen of the Year Award". In front of the entire school, Tammy Myers (pictured above with Brandon) gave a speech about Brandon and his dedication to being safe, respectful and above all "responsible". This year Brandon volunteered to tutor a 2nd grader in reading in the morning before school, gave up his lunch time recess to volunteer in a 1st grade classroom, coordinated a fundraiser on his own for Cares Northwest, and volunteered over 40 hours after school to help Tammy with the "Stay and Play" program. While kids were taking classes on everything from dance, to guitar, Brandon helped run snacks, make signs, put out cones for buses and direct children every Tuesday and Thursday after school! The principal of the school stated that Brandon is a role model for every student. He was given a certificate of honor as well as a $25 Borders gift certificate! We are SO proud of him!

Father's Day weekend!

We celebrated Father's Day weekend at the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville, Oregon! It is home to Howard Hughes famous "Spruce Goose"! The huge grey plane behind our family is The Spruce Goose. It is much too large to fit it in its entirety!

Tori's first piano recital!

Tori has been taking piano lessons for about 4 months and she performed perfectly in her first piano recital!

Tori playing "Oh Susanna!"
Tori posing in our back yard just before the recital!

Little lady loves to iron!

Uncle Dave brought over a toy ironing board and iron for little Miss Sarah a couple of weeks ago (it used to be my cousin Mary's) and she absolutely loves it. She still plays with it every day!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

An Oregon Barbecue

On Saturday we went to a barbecue at our friends' home in Junction City! We traveled the 1 1/2 hours south to enjoy a barbecue at their country home. It was a typical Oregon day - upper 60s, grey skies and rain coming down, but that didn't stop anyone from showing up to the barbecue and we had a GREAT time! There was a TON of great food, fabulous drinks and around 75 people who all withstood the on and off again rain by standing under awnings and around HUGE bonfire pits that kept us all warm.

A funny side story ~ My friend's sister-in-law recently moved up from California and was quite concerned that the BBQ was still going to take place in the rain. Little does she know a little drizzle doesn't phase an Oregonian.

When Ryan went to bed Saturday night he proclaimed it was "the best day of his life" because he had so much fun! Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures to show off the smiles that were plastered from ear to ear on the kids' faces.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Matt has changed jobs!

With the kids getting older, Matt and I wanted to decide (this summer) where we would be living for the next 10 years or so until the kids graduate from High School. Matt was ready for a bigger position with Lithia, but there is nothing else in the Portland area and so we were contemplating relocating, but that wasn't an option this summer.

Premier Hyundai in Milwaukie called Matt out of the blue a couple weeks ago and offered him a position as their Parts and Service Director. He started with the company on June 1st (much to my delight!) and is looking forward to the challenge this new position brings!

So, it looks like the Portland area will be our home for quite some time!

Hopkins Memorial Tree Farm/ Demonstration Forest

Matt and I took the kids exploring today in Oregon City at the Hopkins Memorial Tree Farm. You can visit their website at The Tree Farm is 140 acres with miles of trails. It is off the beaten path and the kids had fun hiking for a couple of hours!

Ryley, Tori, Tyler, Ryan, Brandon and Sarah at the entrance!
The kids hiking on the Hopkins Trail!

Brandon with his nature made walking stick!

Ryan on a downed log!

Tyler posing in front of a huge tree stump!

Ryley in front of a tree (if Grandpa Hamlin was here he could tell us what it was!)

Sweet Sarah on her rock with her little walking stick!

Tori Lynn posing along the trail!

Old Matilda

Tori played the part of "Old Matilda" in the play "Matilda" at her school this week! I wish I would have taken a better UP CLOSE picture as she changed her hair to grey by using tons of baby powder! She raided my closet for her "grandma clothes". (Don't I feel old now!)

Brandon makes a difference!!

This year Brandon participated in a program titled "Community 101". TAG (talented and gifted) students in 4th and 5th grade throughout Canby met once a week for the program.
For this program PG&E donates $5000. The students are asked to poll fellow students at their elementary schools about causes that concern and/or effect children their age. The results were found to be drugs and alcohol. The students then were asked to contact non-profit organizations throughout the Portland area about the grant money they had available. Several non-profits sent in requests for grant money.

One program that sent a request was Cares Northwest in downtown Portland. You can visit their website at Cares Northwest is one of the largest child abuse assessment centers in the nation. Brandon and several other students toured the facility and learned about their program. Cares Northwest had submit an application for grant money that would be used to create care boxes for children in abusive situations. The boxes include everything from new clothing for the child to toiletries.

Unfortunately when the time came to disperse the grant money, Cares Northwest did not receive the grant they requested. Brandon came home disappointed and said he wished there was a way he could help. He came up with the idea to do a fundraiser through his elementary school. The following day he spoke with Mr. Marquez, the school principal. Brandon made an announcement, posted signs throughout the hallways, and created fliers to be sent home to school families. By the end of the week he had collected 50 pounds of donated items for the care boxes at Cares Northwest.

Brandon with items he collected for Cares Northwest. Envelope included monetary donations!
Brandon with Liz Burns of Cares Northwest in their conference room!