Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Photo Challenged

We had a FANTASTIC weekend with our dear friends in Northern California.

The weather was FANTASTICALLY hot(113*), which we were pleasantly surprised to find was quite tolerable.

There was the usual FANTASTIC array of things to do at Ide Adobe Day, which is the anchor for our annual pilgrimage.

All in all, it was a wonderful chance to pick up where we left off with our friends. Everyone behaved well and tolerated the heat and the long hours in the van and the close proximity to one another beautifully.

Most of all, I had a great time with my amazing, beautiful, strong, caring, joyous friend.

As a bonus, the baby took to her instantly. We wondered if he remembered her from a year ago. He spent the whole weekend following her around and sitting on her lap and laughing at her antics.

The bad news is that I got LOADS of great pictures... well, that's the good part... the bad part is that when I attempted (note the term: attempted) to plug my camera into my computer to download all the FANTASTIC pictures, my camera cable wouldn't plug in to my camera. It seems to be, technically speaking, "goobered."

So, until I can get another cable, I won't be able to share photographic evidence of the adorableness of my offspring and our friends and the wonder that is Ide Adobe Day.

In the mean time, my to-do list is a mile long and not shrinking like I want it to. I'd better get back to it!

Pictures to come soon...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Court of Honor

Monday night was our Boy Scout Troop's second Court of Honor. It's a very special evening, when the young men are given all the awards they've earned.

Noah(11) shined.

He is a very goal-oriented boy and Boy Scouts gives him well-defined, attainable goals to work toward.

He is excelling.

It was so much fun to see him receive three rank advancements, moving all the way up to First Class.

He also earned five merit badges, two of which are on the list of those required for Eagle Scout.

As he grows in stature and wisdom, I can see him growing in skill and competence and confidence.

He has learned so much and worked so hard this first year of Scouting.

Our hope as parents has always been that our children would begin to show growth toward young-adulthood by the time they turned 12. Noah is well on his way.

He's certainly not all grown up, but we can at least see that he will be one day!

Since the last Court of Honor in February, the boys have enjoyed an overnight campout at Camp Baker, a night at the Scout Cabin, Spring Camporee, a week of Boy Scout summer camp, an overnight on the field after a Eugene Emeralds baseball game, a five mile hike, installed crosses at a local cemetery for Memorial Day, completed Jr. Sailing School, served at a Lion's Club basketball tournament, and enjoyed many troop meetings on Monday evenings.

Noah has earned his Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class rank.

And has earned, in total, eight merit badges:
Small Boat Sailing
First Aid
Mammal Study
Indian Lore
Landscape Architecture

Great job, son!

Keep up the good work!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Barbecue Review

I came across this gem over at Smockity Frocks.

When my Ducklings watched it, Girlfriend(7) asked if the song were true. From my fond memories of living in the South for a few years, I can say with confidence,

"Yes, darlin', it's all true."

Truthfully, my very favorite barbecue in the whole wide world comes from the illustrious eateries of a glorious land called Dollywood.
Who would've thunk it?

(Although I linked you to the BBQ place at Dollywood, I still love to eat at Aunt Granny's, just because of the name.)


Wow. That makes me super homesick for East Tennessee. There's no better music than bluegrass!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Photography Blog

Diane's amazing zoo photography inspired me to post a few particularly spectacular shots of my own this afternoon. I am a little jealous of her skills, but I'll try not to be intimidated as I share my best work. Some people are just more gifted than others.


(As with Diane's remarkable pictures, all of these are straight out of the camera, unedited.)

This is Sunshine(5) swimming in her first ever mini swim meet. She did so well! I wanted to capture the moment for posterity. I couldn't be more proud. She couldn't even swim eight weeks ago. Great job, Sunshine!

Girlfriend(7) swam well, too, this is the ONLY picture I got of her today. Good thing it's such a great shot!

Here, Sunshine is racing freestyle, which she won. Amazing form! Amazing timing!

I also got some great shots of The Boy Scout(11) racing in the mini meet. Freestyle:

Great arm action!

Super start!

D(8) also has shown great improvement this summer. Isn't his butterfly stroke impressive?

Seriously, Diane's pictures are way better than mine, you really should go check them out.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Joy in the Journey

Right at this moment, this is going on in my quiet house:

(No, he's not really reading, just enjoying a book.)

It's a very peaceful afternoon, in spite of the cold, cloudy weather. Yesterday, we did some serious housekeeping and it leaves me feeling so much more on top of things today.


In the "random" category, I bring you this tid bit:
We went to the restaurant supply store the other day and wanted to pick up a better dispenser for soy sauce. The best option I found was a squeeze bottle, which came in a six pack. When we got home, Girlfriend(7) and I set about thinking of things to put in the bottles. When it was all said and done, I found this oddly satisfying:

Such an illusion of order! So easily created!
(For the curious: BBQ, lemon juice, soy sauce, mayo, ranch, Italian.)

A couple of weeks ago, we ventured out to the County Fair where a good time was had by all and I snapped a bunch of fun pictures. For the moment, this is all I have time to show you. Consider it the Gratuitous Sprout Photo for the day.

Isn't he scrumptious?! Yes, we're still hopelessly smitten.

And a random eyeball. Sunshine's(5) eyeball, to be exact. No particular reason... do I need a reason?