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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Perfect Attendance

Tatum was one of several students from her school featured in a photo in the local newspaper this week. The article announced that "nearly 20" students at her school had perfect attendance for the school year and she was one of them.
She is second to the right in the front row in the dark t-shirt.
Sorry, we don't have a better copy of the photo, we only have the newspaper clipping.
What an awesome 2nd grader she was!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Vacation Day #5

It was our last full day at Cannon Beach. After breakfast and a trip to The Kite Factory, we went to the beach in Tolovana to experience the wind. It wouldn't be a traditional trip to Seaside/Cannon Beach without flying a kite.

All the kids (except the littlest, 1YO Charlie) got a new kite. Keeli had a great little kite that didn't need any assistance getting into the air. Michael and Bailey chose pirate kites. Rikard had a colorful tree frog with long legs as the kite tails. Tatum and Madison had butterflies (see photo above). Jesse had a horse kite with a 25' tail. Although they were all running wild on the beach they never tangled kite strings.

Rick bought himself a small stunt kite and had a good time learning to fly it. He had an admiring audience and when I took over and continuously crashed the kite they made fun of me.

Vacation Day #4

We spent the day at Seaside, exploring the beach and ocean, visiting specialty shops and riding the carousel. The bigger kids couldn't wait and went chasing waves the minute their feet hit the sand. Bailey, Madison and Tatum were soaked, but having a fantastic time.
Keeli had her first contact with the cold Pacific Ocean waves. She had fun running away from the waves and really liked it when there was just a skiff of water on top of the sand.

Tatum and Rikard were busy making sand castles using the sand dollars Tatum found in the surf.
After hitting the foot washing station and using it to rinse the sand from legs, arms, feet and in one case hair, we went on a stroll through all the little shops. We didn't buy anything, but the girls had a good time visiting Roxy and everyone had fun in the kite shop. Then, it was on to the Carousel Mall, where we rode the carousel. Note to self: buy t-shirts/sweatshirts at the $12.99 store in this mall on our next visit.
Then it was time to return to camp, get some scrum-dilly-uptious steak and pepper sandwiches made by my brother and - of course - s'mores for dessert. My new invention called for a Resses Peanut Butter Cup in my s'more rather than a little piece of plain chocolate. This is Michael and Bailey's favorite part of the day.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Vacation Day #3

Today we were off to Tillamook in a mini-family caravan. The drive was long, windy and full of great scenery. Thankfully, our drivers are patient and kind. First we stopped along scenic Highway 101 for a view to the south.
Then we stopped for a view to the north.
Our first stop of the day was the Tillamook Cheese Factory. It was a great tour! We watched as 45 pound blocks of medium cheddar and pepper jack cheese being cut into "loaves" and packaged for retail sale. Tatum and Rikard had a million questions about how the factory and production line worked. Keeli napped through the entire tour.

After learning how cheese is made, it was off to the line for FREE SAMPLES. The extended Lyons clan (my parents, Bailey and Rikard) positioned themselves well. Just as they arrived at the front of the line, the hostess dumped new bags of cheese samples on the trays. Apparently, there were no bad samples.
Then, we had a free hour or two to squeeze one more vacation memory into. It was off to the next scenic wonder.

We drove from Tillamook toward the coast and visited the Cape Meares Lighthouse. The walk down to the lighthouse offered several places to view waves crashing against the rocks, ocean going birds and some great rocky landscape.

Then we hiked to the Octopus Tree. This is a very interesting site, the tree is larger than you can imagine and the Native American folklore surrounding it is very interesting.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Vacation Day #2

Our tour through Cannon Beach came to a screeching halt when the kids came upon the pink and white striped storefront of Bruce's Candy Shop. The taffy machine was busy in the window cutting and wrapping chocolate taffy.

Bailey, Tatum, Rikard and Keely were fascinated. We went inside and bought one handful of each flavor available.

We window shopped along with the other tourists and came upon a few stores selling sea shells, t-shirts and other items.

Then, it was off to the beach. On the way there, Rikard fell into an estuary and was soaked up to his armpits. Once at the water's edge, the kids ran in the surf, jumped over the waves and collected their "treasures" (otherwise known as bits of shells.

My dad checked his primary vacation goal off his list and took Sadee for a walk along the beach.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Vacation Day #1

We drove through Goldendale, Washington just for a different viewpoint. From here you can see four mountains in the Cascade Range, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams (pictured here), what remains of Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Hood.

The kids were very excited about seeing four volcanoes all at once, but Rikard was a bit afraid because, as he says, "volcanoes can be dangerous once or twice a year."

It was a beautiful day, blue skies and warm breezes. The day ended with the kids and Sadie playing in the Columbia River, collecting rocks, throwing rocks, getting wet and working up an appetite.

Desert Beauties

These were growing near the Stonehenge War Memorial just across the Columbia River from Biggs, Oregon.

They offered a bit of color over the drab brown of hillsides and fauna in the gorge.


Our new nephew, 'Topher, came to visit from South Dakota. It's been a while since the visit, but we just had to share his photo. He's a talkative little guy and very animated.

While we were all talking to 'Topher, Sadie got a bit jealous over the lack of attention. Usually there is at least one adult and five kids willing to throw her ball, take her for a walk or scratch her ears. Dejected, she went to a secluded corner of the deck and promptly pouted.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Moving on

Our two school-aged kids are moving onward and upward.

Rikard completed Kindergarten this year with near-flying colors and will advance to the first grade in the fall. The school sponsored a little ceremony during the last week of classes.

The kids performed three songs they learned during the spring quarter. Afterward their notebooks, journals and diplomas were prepared to take home.

He has done really well and is a math whiz. He can quickly add single digit numbers without manipulatives or pencil and paper. He is also a good reader, but needs some encouragement to read a book on his own.

Rikard is anticipating 1st grade, most noteably getting to ride the school bus to and from school, getting to eat lunch at school and having more than one recess.

It was the final day Tatum would visit Classroom 8. She had a fantastic year and is doing exceptionally well in reading, enjoys math and finished her cursive training booklet the afternoon school was released. She has been working to complete her math workbook and has a stock of reading books for the summer.

On the final day of school, she earned a handful of awards for most book reports done, hours read, perfect attendance, etc. She also presented a poetry book she wrote to her class and visiting parents.

She is looking forward to 3rd grade and is counting the days until she learns who her new teacher will be.

Keeli did her part and showed up to Rikard's graduation in fine style. We expect nothing less from the diva of the diaper age.

Hitchin' Time

Kara and Shawn, good friends of ours, were married last weekend. We were some of the few and lucky non-family members invited to attend.

They rented an out-of-the-way cabin near Coeur d'Alene, Idaho and had a family reunion style weekend event. Althought it looks nice in the photo, by mid-afternoon the sky had darkened and it was raining. The wedding was moved indoors.

I had a dual role behind the scenes of the wedding. Long before the wedding, I altered the dress. The inset on the skirt was a drab champagne color that just didn't agree with Kara's color theme. I removed it and replaced it with a gunmetal silver crepe finish satin.

Once the appointed wedding time rolled around, I was the official photographer. The only reason they hired me was the fact that Kara, a fairly accomplished photographer, couldn't take her own wedding photos without them missing that little "something" that makes wedding photos beautiful.

Obviously Shawn wasn't dressed for the big occassion at the time this photo was taken. He did don his silver shirt and shined boots in time to exchange vows before their families.
Don't they make a handsome couple?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Another Year Wiser

Happy Birthday to our little man!

He turned 6 years old today. Over the past year he has accomplished so much. He is very active in his martial arts class, he will advance to 1st grade in the fall, he learned to read and excels in math.

We had a very traditional celebration at home with our family. We enjoyed ice cream cake with a superhero theme, a few blazing candles and a little bit of off-key singing.