Monday, April 29, 2013

Ian earns his Bear Badge

Ian earned his Bear Badge today in the Cub Scouts. The Pack puts on a nice ceremony where the parent gets to paint the boy's face, and then they get awarded their badges which go on their uniform.

Ian had to do a lot of work to earn his Bear badge this year, so for him to receive this is really pretty special. I am very proud of all the hard work he put into it this year! We have a lot of work to do next year for the Webelos, but we are both looking forward to it.

Meanwhile, earlier that day Leah pulled out the chalk and once again decorated our planter. That girl loves to color/pain/decorate! This year the Skinner family was made famous, we're all holding hands next to that rainbow.

Last year the deer ate every last vegetable that grew in that planter. Hopefully Leah's coloring changes the dynamics this year so we can actually enjoy the fruit of Catherine's labor.

Have a great week everybody, ours is shaping up nicely!



Sunday, April 21, 2013

The joys of raising a boy...

Oh the wondrous mystery of boyhood, and the exhausting (sometimes humorous) travails of raising a boy.

Tonight at dinner Ian needed to wipe his mouth. Catherine and I both told him to use his napkin.

You'll notice that he is technically holding the napkin but no portion of it was actually used to wipe his face, (sigh). Boys are so absurd (speaking from great personal experience as a boy)!

We all actually had a good laugh out of it, enough so that I thought to make a photographic recreation for everyone else to enjoy. Gotta love that boy!!!!!



Just out for a walk

We had some sunshine and warmer weather Saturday (in the 50's) that just begged to be enjoyed. Ian and Leah played a bit of croquet but then wanted to go for a walk.

So while I took the kids for a walk with camera in hand, Catherine stayed behind to cook some bacon wrapped trout.

What can I say? Life is hard!

Both kids wanted me to capture the "sparkle" in their eyes, which is why Ian took his glasses off for his photo. Have a wonderful day everybody!  Cheers,


Saturday, April 20, 2013

An Awarding/Rewarding day for the Kids.

I had the pleasure of sitting through not one but TWO Awards Ceremonies at the kids school yesterday.  The first was for grades K-2, the second for 3-6.

Leah's award was a surprise for her.  It is the school's Soaring Eagle Award.  This is the highest award that they give.  It means that she has been working hard to show "The Eagle Way".  Thankfully her teacher let me know so I could be there, even if I couldn't tell Leah I was coming. 

Here she is after they called her name.  She had spotted me in the crowd, so was ready for a picture.

Her teacher, Mrs. Cahill was kind enough to take a picture with her after school.  I didn't realize the award couldn't be seen until I went to post this. It has a picture of an eagle on it with her name and date.

At the second assembly it was Ian's turn.  He received a Citizenship Award.   He's been working hard to show Safety, Respect, Responsibility and Cooperation.

He knew I was going to be at the ceremony, but isn't as "camera aware".  Here he is getting his award.

Here's one of him I got after school with him holding his award.  This one you can see!

My camera died this past year so I had to use my ipad for pics.  Not the same quality as Marc's camera, but I still wanted to share the happy news from this week.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Life in super Technicolor(r)!!

Yesterday I loaded up the family and we headed just south of Portland, Oregon to a little town called Woodburn. They have a beautiful tulip farm, and put on a nice little festival that was fun for the whole family.

I was gambling that the weather would be nice. I lost.

It started out rainy, and ended up intermittently cloudy and sunny, but all in all was a very nice day.

There were tractors out in the fields (old-timey tractors) that the kids were able to play on, in addition to some silly Dutch-themed cut-outs that the kids had fun in.

And thankfully both kids played nice when it was photo time!

I even got Catherine to drop the umbrellas and pose for a couple of photos.

There were the standard rows upon rows of same-style tulips, but then there was a very large couple of sections where random bulbs were thrown in together that I found to be just amazing. There was also a large kid-play area with swings, slides, rubber-duckie races, and other fun stuff. It made for a very nice day for everyone.

It was a big day, but definitely worth the drive time to get there. Have a wonderful day everybody! Cheers,


Friday, April 5, 2013

Ancient Spanish Monastery in North Miami Beach

For our last full day here in Miami, we decided to head north to meet up with some family and check out the Ancient Spanish Monastery while we were there.

Both kids had a great time chatting up Lucy while we explored the old monastery.

Afterwards we headed to the Little Havana restaurant where we enjoyed some very good Cuban food.

Below is a nice shot of Catherine, Christina, Chauncey, Ian, and Leah at the entrance to the grounds.

We had some rain while we were there, but nothing some seasoned pacific northwesterners couldn't handle. All in all it was a nice time spent with Lucy and taking some photos. Cheers,


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Everglades National Park

We headed over to the Everglades National Park on Tuesday so the kids could do a bit of exploring and pursue their Junior Ranger badges from a new park. Leah really wanted her token which was the true attraction for her, but both kids had a good time.

We took in a guided Ranger walk at the Anhinga Trail just inside the park's boundaries. We totally lucked out with a ton of alligators, birds, fish, and turtles on our walk.

Both kids earned their Junior Ranger badges, and were "sworn in" at the Flamingo center way at the southern edge of the park.

Here they are proudly wearing their new badges. Both kids were pretty much ready to head home at this point. 

We made a stop at Knaus Berry Farm and were treated to some fabulous milkshakes, which really helped to quell the heat. All in all, a very nice day. Thanks to Nancy, Chauncey, Uncle David, and Christina for coming along and sharing the joy of exploring and discovery with the kids. Hopefully their enthusiasm and energy rubs off on all of us!



Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Key West

This is not an April Fool's joke, we actually went to the Keys this past Monday, April 1st. Five of us - Uncle David, Aunt Lowell, Christina, Catherine, and I all climbed in Lowell's car and made the trek from Miami to Key West.

We saw some places along the way for me to stop on our way back through for some photos, but we were trying to make decent time to get all the way down to Key West. We flirted with some rain along the way down, but then it cleared up and we had sunny skies well before lunch lasting for the rest of the day.

We had to do the usual touristy things, like stop at the southernmost point on the continental US and get some obligatory photos.

We had a very nice lunch next door to the Ernest Hemingway home (don't ask about their polydactyl panini, whatever you do!), and then walked around exploring Key West for a couple of hours. We made our way back home, stopping to enjoy the warm breeze rolling in off the ocean. I figured I'd get a self-portrait, but unfortunately all you get to see is the kitschy-foot shot!

And of course the lonely palm tree. I'm guessing he's seen many colorful sunrises and sunsets. It was a long day, but definitely a fun one. Thank you to Nancy and Chauncey for watching the kids.

Have a wonderful day everybody,