Thursday, July 19, 2012

Summer Tour

I was realizing this summer that the first time I was in Bellingham was almost 20 years ago....I came and went for a few years before settling there in 1996...and I love it there. That said, I would really appreciate someone figuring out a teleport system so that I could see my family more often- I know, it's a lot to ask, but there it is. Until that happens, we spend pretty well exactly half of our summer on tour visiting with our families in their various locations. Over time, we've learned that the best strategy for our little family's survival is not to come back to Bellingham until we're totally done- limited transitions, and no wasted summertime in Bellingham packing and unpacking. So far, it's working.
Here are some highlights:
North Carolina Cousins

Cooling off at the creek.

Fireworks on the culdesac - Ian stayed inside after the first big boom.

Road Trip to Kentucky
Did I mention that it was 110 degrees out that day?

These goody bags had a bunch of random treats, and we played treasure hunt- taking turns describing each item, and then eating that one.

A lunch stop at Cracker Barrel - a good ol' Southern restaurant chain.

The boys and Aunt Libby- one of their many fabulous aunties!

Chris and his dad's fishing catch.

More cousins- Ben & Molly

A buffalo traffic jam

Chris and his sisters, Libby & Beck.

San Diego

A special visit from Aunt Sandi, who came out from New York to see everyone ( and tried to smuggle Ian home in her suitcase.)

Pop pop and Nana took all 5 cousins out on a pirate ship adventure- brave souls!

Date night!

Bowling with Grandpa Tom

It's hard to tell, but this is a "rock" on one of the playgrounds, that's probably 8 feet tall. Cooper climbed all the way to the top, with some coaching from me, and more importantly, all the way down!

Two pinheads, as Chris would say!

Location:North Carolina, Kentucky, San Diego

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


It was cold all weekend, and rumors of snow kept surfacing.Sunday was clear- we met some friends out for happy hour at the Copper Hog after a late afternoon hike by Boone's Pond. 


Monday morning, we woke up to snow, and happy, happy children. Ian was outside as soon as he could get dressed, with Cooper close behind. We had a great afternoon sledding with our neighbors at a nearby hill, and had some friends over for a new dinner: Jap Chae- a Korean dish made with sweet potato starch noodles-delicious! Here's the recipe:

We had a snow day today- the boys made a big snowman in our back yard, and both boys tried out. A neighbor's little skis (with questionable results....)

They're calling for more snow tonight, so who knows if we'll have school again tomorrow.  My goal is to get out skiing in the neighborhood before the snow melts away.

Happy winter!


Friday, December 23, 2011

The Christmas Spirit

The Real Santa!
Lego Santa
Since he was pretty young, Cooper has loved Santa. Not just on a "the guy who brings me presents"love, but the long- lost-favorite- relative-who-knows-me-better-than-anyone love. Some of hi first words were "Santa Pom-Pom", complete with a little hand gesture to indicate the pom Pom at the tip of Santa's hat (in case you weren't bright enough to figure that out...) We listen to Christmas carols all year long ,and generally every third drawing Cooper has done is of Santa. He talks about traveling to the North Pole as his next vacation plan. This boy loves Santa. That said, until this year, he's not quite been able to follow along with the story lines for more complicated Christmas stories (think Polar Express), and his carols were pretty limited. This year, however, has been a banner year for Santa- not only have we had 4 or 5 official sightings, but he's added "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus", "Silent Night", and "All I want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth" to his musical repertoire.
 The highlight, however, is a two part story: on Wednesday, we went to my mom and stepdad's YMCA for a "Breakfast with Santa" deal. Cooper spotted him before he'd even entered the room, and peppered him with questions: "Where's Mrs. Claus? Who's watching the reindeer? Are you going back to the North Pole? Where's your sleigh?" It was clear that the affection was mutual, and Santa chatted him up for as long as the elves would let him. BUT, here's the highlight: this morning, we were back at the YMCA, finishing up when who should walk in, ready for his workout, but Santa!! Sure enough, in case you wondered, Santa works out at the La Jolla YMCA on a regular basis! Cooper recognized him immediately, and rushed to greet him. He asked about the Claus family, the reindeer, and, of course, what kind of exercises Santa does.  It was a magical moment- to see that window of true belief, where Santa is as likely to be seen, sitting kids on his lap, ringing the Salvation Army bell, or going in for a workout. 

 And on that note, we send you our warmest wishes, with love and affection to each of you, and the hope that we each may work to see the good in people, and to act in ways that bring our dreams one step closer to reality.

Friday, September 30, 2011


Well, we've survived the first month of the school year- and it's been something. Millworks, the cohousing next door to us, opened this summer. We've more than doubled the number of kids on our block in less than a month! Ian started at The Cottage School. It's a little mixed age preschool for 3-6 year olds. I'm thrilled with it. Our neighbor, Leah, goes there as well, so they're getting a chance to build their own relationship. It reminds me a lot of the preschool that I went to as a kid, and feels like just the right match for Ian. Cooper had the opportunity to repeat kindergarten, and stay with the fabulous teacher he had last year. Sadly, two weeks into the school year we were told that Happy Valley was overstaffed, and Cooper's teacher had to move to an understaffed school across town.'s settled now, and Cooper's happy with his new teacher- when I pick him up, he tells me, "I like that new classroom!" He's doing great, and has already added two hours to his day compared to last year. I started at a new building too. I'm teaching 5th grade for the first time since 2005, when Cooper was born. We began with 38 kids in the class, but are now settled in with 28 ( which has never looked so small!) I'm just teaching language arts, working from 8:30-12:15. It's the perfect schedule because I'm home in time to pick up both boys from school, and enjoy the afternoon with them. This week, Cooper woke up at 2am with the croup. Wheezy, coughy, hard to catch your breath- yuk. Scared Chris and I, but once the spell was over, he was okay. t one point he said, "I'm sick and coughing, and I need Fireman Sam to rescue me!" hysterical. I finally have my 45 minutes a week for this project- Cooper has speech after school, and Chris is home in time to keep Ian at home. Hurrah!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Triple- Double

When we got this tandem in Spring, I was thrilled to be able to ride with Cooper. Of course, the dilemma I hadn't anticipated is that, generally, I'm home with both kids. I finally stumbled across a picture of a set up like this, and realized the bike seat in back was identical to here we are- the Triple-Double, so named by our niece, Molly. Let me just say that, while it's awesome, pedaling 100 pounds of cargo definitely limits my biking range, particularly when there are hills involved. Nevertheless, I can get them to school and to the park by myself, on the bike, which makes me really happy! Now if only Cooper would learn to pedal....

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Camping at San Juan County Park
We have been camping here for more than ten years now. Most years, the Orcas pass through regularly, and we sit on the bluff - everything coming to a silent standstill to watch. We throw rocks on the beach, walk in the nearby sculpture garden, sit by the campfire, and mostly, enjoy this first family tradition.

Bet you can guess the parents of Mr. I-don't-want-to-be-in-a-picture.....