Thursday, July 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Uncle Tom!

Happy Birthday Today Great Uncle/Uncle Tom in Idaho!

Speaking of which, tomorrow we head to TLC - The Log Cabin. Hardly roughing it, but it's the closest thing to camping that I can do. I have already begun my deep, relaxing breaths to get me through the 8+ hour car ride with Mr. Whenarewegonnabethere and Mr. Natehitme. I will try to blog from the log, but it's dial up so we'll see. Ah, roughing it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Candy fights Cavities?!

News Flash: Eat Gummy Bears, Fight Cavities! Oh to be a kid in 2008!

Coupon clipping at it's finest!

I've become such a coupon shop-aholic that today I have to give a shout out to my Grocery Game Peeps (you know who you are!)

We've been back in action for a couple months now and my pantry is showing the signs of a good bulge forming. I will post my savings each week - GG'ers, add comments with your savings so we can all cheer ya!
Safeway: 36 items $56.28
Club card savings: $67.34
Coupons: $23.70
Total savings: 62% $91.04
This was a huge week for snacks/crackers and health and beauty like razors, deodorant, laundry supplies, medicines.

I am also in a nesting frenzy - no, I am not pregnant, I think the back to school bug has inspired me to clean out closets and cupboards and shelves in preparation for real live full day school! (yay, sob, yay, sniff). No longer am I whacked on the head with a bag of marshmallows when I open the baking cupboard!

BTW, Penzey's spices rock!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Thumbs Up

Mr. "I-don't-need-a-nap" just can't make it through the day. God help me when my sleeper stops sleeping! I know the end is drawing near, but this kid just can't make it through the afternoon without passing out somewhere in the house. With a thumb and a lovey, that is.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Pickles and Pigs and Plenty of Rides

The Washington County Fair is an annual event I haven't been to since MY childhood but today we ventured out to Hillsboro with the boys. Nothing like some good old 4H and Funtastic rides to fully exhaust everyone. We 'test drove' tractors and decided a nice camper might just solve our real estate crisis. We gobbled ice cream bars and elephant ears (deep friend heaven!), favorite rides were the motorcycles and the roller coasters, Dave rode the Intverter and "didn't even fall out" and I took a trip on Sinbad's swinging thing. All in all it was a good time - even if were were fooled by the FREE admission - fair goodies cost a small fortune.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I Nate Shuster

Since the blog serves as kind of a 'baby book' I thought from time to time I would post cute things I want to remember or interesting things we say or hear.
Deep in thought at dinner last night I asked Nate what he was thinking about.
"I wonder," he said, "Does a mailman get his mail from other mailmen or does he get his own mail at work?"
Good question, I thought.
Now, if only I was prepared as how to answer the 20 questions I was peppered with in the zoo bathroom about the tampon machine...what do they do, why do you use them, what do they look like, and on and on and on. I guess those birds and bees days aren't too far off.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

We've walked with the Dinosaurs!

Who needs real animals when you can go to the zoo to see life-like robotic dinosaurs? We visited the Oregon Zoo today and went on the Dinosaur walk where we saw the man-eaters themselves. One spits water at you, one is engaged in a gory lunch and then there is the 45 foot T-Rex who is protecting her nest with a thundering roar. The boys were especially fascinated with the dino poop and the mist.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Rock Star in the Making

Today was a divide and conquer day. Ian and I had a birthday party to go for for one of his many girlfriends. Tinkerbell was there - Ian wanted nothing to do with her of course!

Dave and Nate headed to Portland Meadows to an event that had a Wii Guitar Hero contest. Nate got shy when it came time to compete, but the promoters were so impressed with his rockin' ability during practice that they agreed to lower the contest's 'no one under age 12' rule for him. (We'll have to work on the performance anxiety - the prize purse was $1000!) Here is a video Dave took with his Blackberry. Choppy, but you can see that Nate is kicking butt on his 25 year old competitor. Look at those fingers fly!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Swimming like a fish

We are about to wrap up swim lessons for the summer. Nate is lucky enough to be in a class with only 2 kids, one of which shows up only half the time. Private lessons for group price! This summer he is working on increasing endurance, arm strokes, swimming on his back and starting to breathe while swimming. He's also mastered the cannonball - self taught, not from the lessons! ;-) Here are some shots of Nate and Teacher Matt from today.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bike Parade

In all fairness, Ian has become quite the little biker as well. He just learned to peddle and steer a few weeks ago and now he follows Nate around everywhere.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Bicycle, Bicycle! Part 2

There's nothing like a little bit of peer pressure. 2 weeks ago Ian didn't even ride his trike!! That, and I wanted to test out the video feature...

Monday, July 7, 2008

An New Kyu for our Little Dragon

Tonight Nate earned his second karate stripe, orange, also know as the rank of 14th kyu in the art of Shotokan Karate-do. (From what I can tell, you don't begin to earn actual belts until after you turn 8 an can truly demonstrate the kata. For now, Nate is a Little Dragon earning stripes for his white belt.) He has been practicing karate for nearly a year at our gym under the guidance of Sensi Guido Fischer. After a rough go earning the yellow stripe (performance anxiety), Nate did a great job and was very excited to be there. Sensi Guido is an amazing teacher and is fantastic with the kids. Nate's buddy Collin also earned his orange stripe.

Shotokan dojo kun

1. Seek perfection of character.
2. Defend the path of truth.
3. Strive to excel.
4. Be courteous.
5. Refrain from violent behaviour

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Family, Friends and Fireworks

We've just returned home from our trip to Rockaway Beach, Oregon for an old fashioned family 4th of July. That it was! Grandma Jan and Papa Ron invited us to stay at their beach house. Upon arrival, the boys decided that they would commandeer the downstairs bedroom and leave mom and dad to fend for ourselves on the futon. We least for one night! After that, even I didn't have enough natural 'padding' to make that comfortable!
They boys were off to the beach no less that 15 minutes after our arrival. No pics from that time (major regrets!) as I left the camera behind not knowing that Thursday would have our only hours of sun! We dug and carted and patted and toiled to make the perfect sand castles. Ian was enamored with the ocean and convinced daddy to take him in, Nate joined later. What started as looking at the water was then toes in, ankles in, run from waves, wade in waves, sit in waves, full on body surfing (with Dave holding on to them for dear life!) The 3 of them were drenched from head to toe and couldn't be happier!
The 4th brought us to the town parade. A half hour of cars and 'floats' made by the locals. Taffy and tootsies flew from the air. By the end of the parade, in true Oregon Coast fashion, were were soaked to the skin with drizzle. Nate didn't care though, he had a bucket load to take home.
The fun continued into the afternoon with town games. Nate decided to take on the pee wee crowd in the Money Pit. $30 of dimes, nickles and quarters were hidden in the sand in a 6 x 6 foot square. 10 minutes later, he had $.80 (don't tell him but some kids, mostly the girls, hauled out over $5.00 in coins.) After the kids were long gone, off doing races, we found an additional $2.70 in undiscovered coins.
We finished the day with a huge family bbq with the Westby's neighbors in their stunning beach front home. Nate and Ian, true Shuster boys, charmed the girls in the house. Nate attached himself to the 11 year old (you go Nate!) and Ian palled around with the 4 and 2 year olds. Running joke of the weekend, Ian was so happy to about his sleeping arrangements, he invited everyone he met to 'sleep with him'. Rockaway Beach had a fantastic fireworks show at 10pm to cap off the night. Both boys barely could keep their eyes open for it but they made it and had a great time.