Sunday, May 29, 2011

Bulldogs, Scrabble, and Snowfall

Today the weather did give us a break. Although the clouds have been ominous, I don't think it's rained today. We did, however, wake up with a nice dusting of snow all over the ground. CR-AZY!

As a result, we all bundled up and took our extended bike ride that led us to the park and then the outdoor Village Mall that has been significantly revamped over the last year. Along the way back, we saw this family of deer right next to the bike path....

And, while waiting for the entire group to come together, I got to meet this little charmer at the outdoor mall. Her name is Bella, and she gave me about 3 serious kisses, giving me the impression that she might just like me as much as I liked her....

There are a lot of pictures on John's camera and cell phone (currently dead) that I have yet to add - but these are from last night. I'm personally not much of a game player, but I love it when they happen and I can watch from nearby. This was a joint family effort of Scrabble. Apparently Michele absolutely schooled everyone else, and achieved a personal high score.

I thought this picture of Adam and Traig was just too precious.

And, more evidence of the absurd weather sure added to the enthusiasm level among the kids!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

At Least I Didn't Overheat...

A bike ride, now that the snow has stopped falling? Well why not? I'm game...especially since I wisely packed myself some perfect gloves for just such an occasion. This is the house we are staying at - I can't emphasize enough just how much we appreciate the generosity of Dennis and Lisa's friends, John & Angie, for allowing us to stay at their gorgeous home.

I snapped some photos while riding my bike. It was a little precarious as I was simultaneously trying to keep up with the boys, fasten the chin strap on my helmet (Mikayla noticed it was undone after we'd begun...uh oh), and attach the camera strap around my wrist so I wouldn't drop it. I got it all done without stopping...kind of impressive. And, while the frigid temps did keep the ride short (it's seriously hailing right glad we came back when we did!) - it really is hard to stay inside when the scenery just out the door looks like this. =)

A couple of family shots - everyone else came sans Michael (who stayed home to listen to the Beaver baseball game....go Beavs!) - but no one else was really in the mood to pose for pics...

Looking forward to a much longer adventure tomorrow!

Snow, Seriously? It's Memorial Day Weekend!!

This picture is for Tiffany - not my favorite shot of the two of us, but it shows the lighter color of my hair right now. I'm not sure if it's my favorite, but John definitely likes it - and it's his opinion means the most to me. =)

We're hoping the forecast holds true tomorrow and Monday so we can make use of the bikes we brought over - because certainly the forecast was accurate for today: rain/SNOW showers. It was pretty trippy looking out the beautiful windows of this home to see "snowglobe" style snow cascading down. The ground temp is in the low 40's, so nothing more than this accumulated - but, it's definitely an inside day. I just don't know what to do with myself with the nine or so novels I packed and half dozen magazines! Woe is me! =)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sometimes the Good Guy Does Win

Okay, I know he holds the mike kind of funny - and what he does with his eyebrows is a little out there, but hey, the kid is 17 and those things are easy fixes.

His character, on the other hand - that's not something that can be "tweeked" quite so easily. This is the kid, who, when winning the coin toss to determine who performed first in the finale, asked his competitor what she wanted, and then he went with the opposite. The kid who quotes Phil. 4:13 in one of the 25 things you should know about him. And, upon winning, made hugging his entire family the priority (hence flubbing his finale song). When asked about winning, he gave credit to Lauren by saying, "It's been a year since Lauren Alaina and I tried out, me and her have been together since Day 1, and we're going to stay together." And, finally, and most significantly, when asked how he felt, "Never in my wildest dreams...I have to thank the Lord first. He got me here."

He's a 17 year old boy - nothing jaw-dropping about his appearance, but somehow his talent and who he is has won the hearts of America. I love Lauren and would have been content if she had won as well, but there's something about Scotty that makes me so proud - (especially during the duet with Tim!) - Way to go Season 10 American Idol Winner, Scotty McCreery!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Who Needs Beanbags?

The scene on Sunday night - kids watching the Disney channel. I don't know about you other moms, but sometimes it's worth it to have them doing nothing productive towards the family chores in exchange for just getting along and enjoying hanging out with each other. It may not be helpful for their future spouses and domestic skill training, but it's mighty helpful for my sanity!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Trinity Formal - Year #3

As it's our third year doing it, the weekend before Memorial Day weekend is just now expected to include doing photography for the Trinity House's Formal.

This was the second year for us to be at the Meltebeke's house - which in our opinion, is a much more photogenic location (compared to the church where we were the first year). This is a view from the walkway across the canal, including the majestic house (owned by a prominent family in our church as well as the grandpa of one of the girls living at Trinity):

And, as you walk across the walkway, this beautiful gazebo sits in the middle. Last year, the majority of the pictures were taken inside of it, however, we directed the picture-taking to a different locale this year so the lighting would be better. (Side note: On the other side of this canal is, essentially, an extension of the parking lot of Autzen Stadium where the UO Ducks play their football games. So this walkway, to us, means our route to watching football games as the Meltebeke's kindly let us park on their property and allow us passage through their gazebo to see the Ducks - all's to say - it's a happy place for us!)

Lots and lots of pictures to follow - I tried to choose people that I've connected with this year to highlight from the 1200 pictures that John took last night. =)

First up: Nick & Shannon and Lauren & Walt. Nick and Shannon are so fun in front of the camera and Shannon works with the middle schoolers along with Kimmie and Becky. Walt is someone John meets with and the current house manager at the AO (Guys') House. He is TOP quality - and I think he and Lauren make an adorable couple.

Here's my gal, Katy (the one I went to see "Soul Surfer" most recently with). She's hangin' (as friends) with Drew - who John actually had breakfast with yesterday - and came home saying just how impressed he was with that guy. It's also become a tradition for me to take a cheesy big-smile pic with her at the Formal's too....

This is Lindsey - the coordinator of the Formal this year. Isn't she the epitome of "classiness"? I loved her dress. She attended with Garrett (also as friends) - another guy that John has the opportunity to hang with. Lindsey and I try and make time to get together when we can, but that girl is ALWAYS busy because she's just so talented and willing to help everyone.

This is Heather and Kenjon. I was supposed to meet up with Heather last week, but we had to take a raincheck for this week - and John is meeting with Kenjon for the first time this week. Interesting note: Kenjon (Barner) plays for the Ducks and is one of our top running backs. Brayden actually has a jersey with his number on it! Last year, our hearts all stopped for a moment, when he took a horrible hit on the field which resulted in a massive concussion. Thank God he recovered without major incident and he is now consistently coming to CCF!

This is Danielle - who I went walking with (and took all the pictures with) on Friday. She's so much fun, and had the perfect "fun" date to take her in Brad (who is the brother of the bride (Kaitlyn) at the last wedding I posted about):

Abby and Matt (also just friends) - who were so eager to be absolutely silly all evening long. You just can't be around Abby without smiling.

These are some pics of folks I really don't know all that well, but loved the fun spontaneity/fun of their poses:

As John was setting up the picture to take of the two of us, he snapped this of me:

and then Abby kindly took a shot of us:

When the "Couples Shots" were finally concluded (at one point, there was quite a line-up!) - everyone convened inside to eat dinner.

The theme of the evening was "Old Hollywood" - and the "little touches" (including some of the props used in the picture taking) were so great and just made the evening:

After dinner, folks came outside again to take more candid/group shots. John and Will (who was asked by one of the Trinity gals to be her date) did a little parody of one of the poses for their own "couple's shot". =) (I got to take this one!)

An example of some of the goofy group shots - I find myself having a hard time getting over just how pretty Sarah and Lindsey look -

While some of the guys were posing, they got the idea to hold Will upside down in a handstand:

It seemed like a good idea at the time until his cell phone fell out of his pocket and into the canal. You should have seen the looks of astonishment and disgust as Will bravely (foolishly?) took off his shirt to try to reach down and retrieve his phone (it was the SIM card/contacts he was most distressed to lose). Oh Will....sadly, despite all of his efforts, which included donning some swim trunks to get all the way into the canal - he never did find the phone.

While it's hard to make out any individuals in this group shot, it is pretty stunning to see all 80 or so of them together, not to mention the fun reflection in the water. The "group shot" to me always means that we are almost done and I can get out of my "formal attire". However, this year, what came next sounded like the most fun out of any of the activities offered at past formals we've attended. The whole group headed over to Camp Harlow to do some ballroom dancing (going along with the Old Hollywood theme) and then they changed clothes to sit outside and have a big fun is that? As for us, though, it was off to pick up our kids from the Whites and for me - to bed, and for John, the very long process of sorting through those 1200 images!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Wildlife Along the Riverwalk

Yesterday was a gorgeous day in Eugene - especially the first half of the day. And, yes, we did reach 70 again! I had the opportunity to go for a walk again with Danielle, and the more I hang out with her, the more extraordinary I think she is. =)

This time, we went a different direction on our river walk path. I have to give Eugene a lot of credit where credit is due in that they've done a fantastic job preserving the area along the shores of the Willamette river to make it a beautiful place to walk/bike/or jog. There's plenty of beautiful colors of plant life:

And frequently your standard pair of Mallard ducks:

Lots of Canadian Geese with, at this time of year, adolescent goslings tailing behind Mom and Dad:

And, finally, lots and lots of turtles, sunbathing themselves on the logs. I love these guys. The city has gone to a lot of work to create ideal sanctuaries in the ponds surrounding the main river.

This walk also gave me the opportunity to test out the new "point and click" camera I purchased on sale from Target. It's a Kodak Easyshare, and I gotta say so far, so good! (It sure beats me cell phone which is all I've had to work with since my last "little" camera bit the dust).

Alright - technically this add-on pic should have been in the Trinity pic post, but I felt like it belonged in this post more - this heron took off from the shores where the Formal took place (along the same river) - so majestic!