Glad we didn't name her Grace.

Ever since Carson saw 5 of her friends swim the length of a pool she has been dedicated to learning too. We started swimming lessons 2 days a week and she is now able to do some front swimming. She is extremely pleased with herself! Her arms and legs are so long that they sometimes can get away from her, but she is definitely improving. She couldn't even doggy paddle three weeks ago. Here is her with her swim teacher, Mr. Will. Mr. Will comes to swim lessons in his wheelchair and crab crawls from the deck to the pool since he has some sort of paralysis/deformity in his legs. Carson and Sam admire him and work extra hard because they know he has overcome many obstacles in his life.

geodome house


Our family has been in Oregon for three years now and I am starting to feel at home. We had such a wonderful community of friends in Denver that after we moved I was terribly homesick. I missed having people in and out of our home. I missed sharing my family with good people. Sharon assured me that Portland is full of wonderful and amazing people. I finally feel like we are settling in and finding our peeps. We are sharing dinners with neighbors and friends, trading kids for time off, and watching our new friends lives unfold with new and exciting adventures.
Our neighbors, Melissa and Maggie, are so happy with their new little joy, Elin. They radiate love and gratitude for her. Carson is smitten with her and is excited that someday she will probably be the babysitter.
Our friends Rosa and Jose (Manu's parents) are undergoing a new adventure as well. They are building a GeoDome in their back yard (think burning man) for their nanny to live in. Our friendly contractor Paul has helped them run electric to the Dome so she can have light and heat. I am skeptical of moving into a Tyvek dome home right before rainy season, but they are having fun. What do you get someone for a Dome warming gift?
Ayumi has moved in and that has introduced us to a whole new group of families who host interns on a regular basis. There are many families I am excited to spend some time with and get to know. I like people who open their homes up to strangers and share space and cultures. I want to be that kind of person. I want my kids to grow up around all kinds of people from all backgrounds and realize that we are all here seeking love and happiness in our lives.


Impulse buy of the year

While I wait and wait and wait for Pauly Walnuts to get over here and put the roof on the coop, I plan and plan for my backyard. So today, after much research into the best prices around on 100 gallon galvanized tubs (by my neighbor, Melissa), I made the 20 mile trek to Gresham to the feed/country store. And then.......I came home with these. I don't know what you think, but I am sure this is my best and one of my pricey-est impulse buys (not including the trailer that rotted and was given away on Craigslist or my antique Catholic candle alter that I had to have). Anyway. I left with 190$ worth of galvanized metal to plant bamboo in and a 160$ pair of soft, fits perfect, hot cowboy boots. And I got some good conversation in the boot isles from an 85 year old man who is from Pueblo Colorado and used to tour with a rodeo. He shops in the womens section for boots because he has little feet so we tried every pair on together.


Ayumi arrives.

Ayumi has arrived to 26th Ave. She comes from a wonderful host family not far from us and I wonder if we can measure up. We went to pick her up from the family she has been with for the last 6 months and I felt like a heel. They were all so sad for this transition.
Carson and Sam are so excited to have her here. They are wild and showing off all weekend. I warned Ayumi that they will be back to their normal selves soon.
We got her a pumpkin and we all carved pumpkins last night. She is waiting to decide what to carve on hers. Sam hid all his pumpkins in the corner of the porch so no "animals" will get to them. Today we went to the pumpkin patch for more pumpkins and cornmazes and weird harvest-themed holidays.
We had dinner with the Klein's tonight and Ayumi was a good sport. She played along while the boys (Sam and Manu) were WILD! I say if you have a mattress on your living room floor you are inviting trouble, but call me crazy.
The week starts tomorrow and hopefully we will get back to normal. Or should I say "NORMAL".