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Monday, October 27, 2008

I took Emily and Joshua to Tualatin last Saturday for the Pumpkin Kayak Races. The contestants brought their pumpkins for a weigh-in, then they were put into the lake to see which side was the top. Then they cut out a hole with a saw, which cracked Emily up to think that at home when she carves out her pumpkin, she uses a little kitchen knife. Some of the pumpkins were decorated and some of the riders wore costumes. Finally they were all ready and took off across the lake. It was hilarious. They are so slow! A couple of them filled with water and dumped the rider in the lake and had to be drug back to the shore before they sunk all the way.

It was pretty amazing to see how huge those pumpkins can get and a really unique way to see one used. Usually we think of pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread or just plain carving them out for a Jack-O-Lantern...who would have ever thought of making one into a kayak?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bazzel is not too happy with his costume choices this year. Which one do you think is best?

Ok, are his choices...since modeling was not his thing...
...he would only wear the pumpkin hat if he got a bribe.
I think he decided the only way he would be a fireman is if I opened a bottle of wine for him first.
but, he actually got into the dog costume and let his tongue hang out...
he screamed "No Way!" about being a princess...
he really got into the Dominican beach boy and played along with the too much rum look...
...I think his true opinion is shown here...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

It's Official!

Ariel gave Jessi a ring today! It looks like I am headed back to the Dominican Republic for a wedding. Soon. REALLY SOON. Like maybe this spring soon. The date is yet to be determined, but they are not going to have a very long engagement, they have made that clear. I wonder what mother-of-the-brides wear there...I have some serious shopping to do!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


For Christmas last year, my parents gave us train tickets to Seattle from Portland, dinner at Palisade, a night's hotel and taxi fare. It took a bit of juggling for us all to find a time that worked for everyone to go, we scheduled it for August, but then my sister pulled her rotator cuff at the last minute, so we had to post pone it for October. We were kinda worried that the weather was not going to be as good going that late, but we got lucky and it was just the right weather for us. We took the train up on Saturday afternoon and stayed two nights.
The Palisade Restaurant is so worth it. It overlooks the bay. Inside is a huge koi pool that even has a bridge to get over it to get to your table. When we first arrived we could see the water, the boats docked in front and the ones out sailing. When it got dark we could see all the city lights including the Space Needle. But the pond and view are only a part of this place, the food is amazing! We spent our time walking around, eating, shopping, watching boats, climbing stairs, having coffee, talking, laughing and taking tons of pictures.

Of course we had to spend some time at Pike Place Market.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I made it home in time to pick the grapes! Green ones, purple ones and red ones. I was sure that the timing of my trip was going to make me miss them. Last year they didn't produce very much, but the year before there were so many. I mean laundry baskets FULL of them. I was giving them away to the neighbors and anyone else who would take some. This year, they seem later than usual, I think I picked them in September before, but that is just fine with me, I made it home in time. Our land is kinda on a slope and one section is really steep. I used to mow it with a push mower and then one year I got the idea to plant a vineyard there instead so I would not have to mow it. I am really glad for that decision. The grapes are a ton of work, but they look so much nicer there instead of that weedy grass and they are so much fun to pick and eat. And this way I am not risking losing a limb from rolling down the hill with a live mower blade.

Monday, October 6, 2008

I've been home over a week and have been so busy each day that I have not had a chance to update my blog. I have not even taken a picture since I got here. I even went to Emily's soccer game on Saturday and can't believe that I forgot to take the camera. I loved spending so much time with Jessi. I was able to see what her life is all about there. It was harder than it has ever been to say goodbye this time. I came home with such mixed feelings, sad to leave her behind, wanting to make her come home with me instead, and yet understanding her love for the work that she is doing and happy to see that she is content. I am more grateful than ever for the ease of communication in order to keep in touch with my kids, either through a telephone call, email, or instant message. What must it have been like years ago when families moved away? Sometimes I get frustrated that all three of them live so far away. (yes, even SALEM is too far away!) But then I think about all those families who got on ships and sailed off to the new land or onto a wagon across the country, never to be seen by their families again. I should be grateful that even the farthest one away is still only a day's travel. I should be, but for just right now, I am going to let myself feel sad. I'll be grateful tomorrow...or the next day.