Saturday, March 27, 2010

Spring Break!

I don't think I've looked forward to spring break this much since I was in school myself a long, long time ago. We planned a little getaway to Eagle Crest, which is in central Oregon, near Redmond/Bend. Great idea... in theory. Didn't take into consideration two things: the temperature and the fact that it's a mainly outdoorsy kind of place. We woke up on Monday and Tuesday morning to approximately 20 degree weather... 20! The high of 50 didn't happen until around 4pm... and it was a gradual rise. Needless to say, our outside activities were a little limited, but we made the most of our time there.

One of the playgrounds was directly across from our condo/room, so we did some playing there.

Riley has recently learned to swing all on her own, so she was in swinging heaven.

Tyson, on the other hand, has not learned to swing on his own yet, but he still had fun!
(Notice the hat and gloves on both kids, it was COLD!)

Cooper had fun swinging, but his hands were practically purple when we finished from the cold.

This was the view from our back windows. It's hard to tell, but there is a river running through the bottom of the canyon.

Cooper and I found entertainment in the room...

We spent part of our day in Bend, walking around Drake Park.

The kids found a stage to perform on and gave us a little concert, using sticks as microphones.

And our attempt at a group shot...

Then we came back and did some bike riding.
While Cooper slept in the van. :)
(The door was open, I promise.)

So, we arrived at Eagle Crest on Sunday evening around 5:30pm... we were all packed up and ready to drive home by Tuesday morning at 10:30am. Sad, I know. On the drive home, we stopped by Kah-Nee-Ta and did some warm springs swimming. No pictures from that because we were all in the pool. :)

After returning home, we visited the zoo and spent as much time outside as possible throughout the week. I can't believe tomorrow (Sunday) is the last day of our break, bummer! Because I am the Queen of Procrastination, I will spend the better half of the day on school work... fun.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Halftime Entertainment

On Friday night, the school I'm student teaching at held a fundraiser basketball game to help the sixth graders pay for Outdoor School (a science program). Two elementary schools participated and the game consisted of staff and sixth grade students from each school against each other. The game itself was pretty fun to watch! The first quarter was staff vs. staff, the second quarter was students vs. students and the second half of the game was a mix of both. To encourage the staff to pass the ball to students during the second half, if a student scored 2 points it would count as 3 and a 3 pointer would count as 4.

Oregon Trail (the school I'm at) won the game!

I knew I was going to attend the game for support, but the Friday before the game they were still looking for more teachers to dance at halftime... guess who decided to volunteer?? Yep, me. I did cheer for 2 years in high school, but that was a lifetime and 3 kids ago! But, who doesn't benefit from a little embarrassment every now and again, right? So, I joined the Verne Trail Dancers (a combo of both school names) and participated in the halftime entertainment. If you put aside the baggy, unflattering t-shirt and the 1 or 2 mistakes I made, it wasn't really wasn't that bad, which is why I decided it would be fun to post a video of the dance that Rick took on his cell phone. The music is extremely low, you can barely hear it on the video, but I think the song was called Bust a Bucket or something.

I'm on the right side of the screen, second dancer in, with the darker (purple) shirt with white writing. One thing I love about this video, some of the students in the class I'm working in were sitting right next to Rick. You can here them cheering, "Go Ms. Thames!!" during the video- too funny! Enjoy. :)

I can't believe I'm actually posting this...

A walk to the park

It was a beautiful day today, so we decided to walk to Happy Valley Park for a little fun on the toys. Thank goodness for cameras on cell phones, we were able to capture some pretty cute moments...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Paper Toss

There's an App for the iPhone called Paper Toss.

I let Tyson play it on my cell phone Sunday afternoon and Riley quickly wanted in on the action, too, so she got Rick's phone.

This was the scene...

Looks like we have a new use for our two old iPhones that have been gathering dust since we upgraded to the 3GS... They won't be able to make calls, but is 3 & 4 too young for an iPhone? :)

Monday, March 8, 2010


To celebrate our anniversary, Rick and I were able to spend 24 hours without the kids exploring the "big city" we live only 20 minutes away from! We considered going to the coast, but decided to stay a little closer to home, spending our time shopping, eating great food and just enjoying each others company. We had lunch at the Screen Door, on 24th and Burnside, a great little hole-in-the-wall restaurant I would highly recommend. Dinner was at Jake's Grill, attached to the Governor Hotel around 10th and Alder. Great food and even better conversation.

We spent time in two different book stores, scouring the shelves for cheap, used children's books, some for our own collection and some for use in (possible/future) classrooms. First we hit The Title Wave, which sells outcast/overflow books from the Multnomah County Library, they had a great selection of picture books and tons of educational books, too- all for only $1-$1.50!! Later in the day, after dinner and playing pool, we hit the big Powell's Books in downtown where I scored on a ton of used Mercer Meyer Critter books for the kids. They were favorites of mine when I was a kid and I love reading them to our kids now. I searched through probably 100 new and used ones, picking out each of the used ones we didn't own already- that's what I call FUN! I can't wait to introduce all the "new" books to the kids over the next few weeks at bedtime, they LOVE books, which I am very thankful for.

We found time between dinner and Powell's Books to play a couple of games of pool at Ringlers and enjoy a pint of my very favorite brew in the whole wide world- a Ruby. I love McMenamins and their Ruby!

I think my favorite re-occurring theme throughout the 24 hours we were gone was how many great conversations Rick and I were able to have. Don't get me wrong, Rick and I have great conversations on other occasions, but we've learned to master holding a conversation in the presence of 3 kids who are also vying for our attention. We were able to just focus on each other and talk freely, knowing there wouldn't be any interruptions, and it was wonderful. Second best to the great conversations, was definitely sleeping in! No little girl at our bedside telling us about her dry pull-up or asking for help with putting on a dress-up dress. No little boy calling from the hall, "Mommy, I need to go potty!" It was bliss. (For a brief second, it made me miss my P.M. overnights when I can sleep-in without an alarm...)

Sunday morning included an hour and a half walk around downtown Portland, exploring the city streets like tourists and enjoying a couple of warm drinks from Peet's Coffee. It was a beautiful, brisk morning and the only thing better than walking around and taking in all the sights would have been running along the waterfront. Something we'll save for a warmer, summer day perhaps.

Huge thanks to my wonderful sister, Robyn, for making the drive down from the Tri-Cities to watch the kiddos for us! We could relax even better knowing the kids were in great hands!

A few photos...

We had a view of Mount St. Helens from our room!

The happy couple (that's us!), at dinner.

Playing pool- Rick beat me both games. :)

Friday, March 5, 2010

5 years ago today...

...I married an amazing man named Rick.

We have filled our 6 (total) years together with an incredible amount of memories:

Traveling to Arizona, Orlando, Disney World, Washington D.C., New York, Hawaii, Mexico, Las Vegas, Spokane, Seattle, Seaside, Fort Stevens, Grand Cayman, Disneyland, and many, many road trips to the Tri-Cities to visit family.

Purchasing 2 homes, the first in Gresham and most recently, our house in Happy Valley.

A change in schools for Rick when 6th grade moved to middle schools 4 years ago.

Me going back to school and earning my Bachelor's degree and beginning to student teach.

Rick losing both of his parents within 15 months of each other.

Being blessed with three beautiful children within 3 years of one another.

And all of the little, everyday life memories in between.

We've certainly had our fair share of ups and downs and disagreements along the way, but I couldn't imagine making the journey with anyone else.

Happy 5th Anniversary, Rick.
I love you!

This is a video Rick put his heart and soul into and it was played at our wedding. I love everything about it, the song (especially the way he matched the pictures to the lyrics) and all the memories it brings back while watching it. The picture of Hawaii is the actual lagoon we were on, in a kayak, when Rick proposed. As a wedding gift, he had the photo enlarged and framed. Today, it hangs in our office as a reminder of that special day that started us on this journey. It's about 5 1/2 minutes long, but we hope you enjoy it!