Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dylan's grad portraits

Feast your eyes!

We included Haley in this photo shoot because these portraits will be their senior prom portraits, and because we really wanted these pics to show what Dylan's highschool years are all about. Right now, Dylan is all about playing the trumpet and being in love. Not necessarily in that order.

Help me decide which ones are best! And also let me know if there are any you'd like to order.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Well, let's see...

I haven't updated in two weeks and you wouldn't believe how many people have noticed : )

Dylan did indeed audition in Victoria as planned on March 13 and came home that evening. According to him, he didn't play his best during the audition. He didn't hit a few of the notes right, and on one song his timing was off. He did okay on the aural test. They told him to play a note on the trumpet while they played that same note on the piano. Then they played a second note (he couldn't see the keys) and he had to play that same note. He got two out of three right. He did well on the sight reading. And his interview went well. My hope is that because he's applying for a Music Education major, as opposed to a Performance major, the minor imperfections in his playing won't matter as much. He has an excellent transcript and glowing letters of reference so I'm hoping he still has a chance. But we won't know until May. In the meantime, he has an audition April 17 at our local university here in Langley. They have a two-year music program. So if he doesn't get into UVic, he'll most likely be accepted at Kwantlen and then after 2 years he can transfer to Uvic. That would actually be easier financially speaking, but he would miss a year in the dorms and I really think that would be a good experience for him.

Nathan went back to Alaska on the 13th after an all-nighter of video games with Alex, who then drove Nathan to the airport for his 5:40 a.m. flight. We do love Alex. He called me shortly thereafter and told me that after his weeklong Tower Climbing course, he was going to stay in Virginia for a 2-week Aids to Navigation Positioning course. This class actually ends on Wednesday the 14th of April and after much "working the chain of command" Nathan was able to get Thursday and Friday off of work so he'll have a 4-day weekend here in the PNW. We're all very excited and thankful that we get to see him again so soon. And, Nathan being the hockey fanatic that he is, realized that he would be here for a playoff game if the Canucks make the playoffs. And then he gambled and purchased FOUR playoff tickets to a game that might or might not happen. Don is excited beyond belief. Naylene has never been to an NHL game before, so this will be a nice introduction for her. And her dad, Steve, was able to secure the afternoon off of work (the game is at 1:00) so he's all set to go, too. So now we're all rooting really hard for the Canucks.

Sean is keeping busy with getting good grades, being involved in the jazz band, cadets, and paintballing. Not to mention Combat Arms. He's also trying to earn money to support said hobbies. So tonight he's babysitting for a couple at church who have three kids. One is a baby. Like younger than Nick. I sure hope everything is going to be alright. He gets to leave on Thursday to go visit my mom and Lee for Easter weekend. Lucky kid!

The Littles are all still fun and happy and healthy. Tonight, my brilliant 18-month-old pounded on the bathroom door until I took him into the bathroom, took his diaper off, and sat him on the toilet. Lo and behold, he produced some "toilet fodder" of the solid variety! I couldn't believe it. So I got him all re-dressed and set him out to have his milk and bedtime t.v. show and before I knew it he was banging on the bathroom door again! So, we went through the process again and once again he was successful in his potty-training attempts. I have never had such a young person interested in the toilet. It might be a fluke. Or maybe he's just the most brilliant baby ever born. Time will tell...

Patience and Jordyn had their second swim lesson with Marianne and Jordyn made great strides in her floating and keeping her face in the water. I was really proud of her. Patience continues to be a mermaid, swimming laps back and forth until she has no energy at the end of her lesson. We signed Patience up for spring soccer.

Well, the San Jose Sharks have figured out how to win again after a dismal losing streak. Tonight they beat Colorado which was a double-bonus, because we want Colorado to lose frequently so that the Canucks can win their division. Don has never been so happy to see the Sharks win!

Don gave me my birthday/mother's day gift early: I, too, am going to visit my mom and Lee at the end of April. The wonderful thing is that I fly back to Seattle the same day that my dear friend Heather, and her daughter Haley, are flying up to visit me for a week. We'll all land within an hour of each other and drive here together. They'll be here for my birthday, Patience's birthday, and Mother's Day!

So, I guess you're all caught up now : )
I'll do my best to keep the posts coming more frequently.


Friday, March 12, 2010

Break a leg, Dylan!

Tonight Dylan left the mainland to go show University of Victoria just how well he could play a trumpet. He is traveling with friends from Kwantlen University, where Dylan plays in their community orchestra, and the whole group is staying with a friend who lives in Victoria and has an apartment near the campus.

He auditions at noon, and has a panel interview sometime after that where they'll look at his transcripts, letters of reference, etc. and make sure he would fit in their music program. I don't think he was really nervous until today when he was packing. But if I know Dylan, he'll give his best performance tomorrow and that's all he really can do. I'll post information when I get it... I don't think Dylan will be using his cell phone much because it'll be long distance.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Why Tom Bennett is my hero

Do you remember Tom Bennett, Nathan's friend from cadets who drove to Virginia last summer with Nathan so he didn't have to make that drive alone?

Then later sent me these as a thank you for setting up that trip!

Well, last night when he was here visiting Nathan he said he would be happy to drive Nathan's truck to Alaska this summer! Saves me 5 days on the road : ) Tom assures us he will easily be able to find a road-trip buddy, and really, it will be a perfect trip for two young men...they're planning on just throwing some camping gear in the back and camping along the way. Another adventure awaits!

Thanks, Tom. You're my hero! And you're a very, very good friend.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

A Jordyn funny...

Today I was sitting beside Jordyn, eating another one of my wonderful salads for lunch. She looked at it and said, "Mom, your salad looks like compost."

I ate it anyway...

Monday, March 08, 2010

Man's best friend

Nathan and Storm, best friends for 11 years. This duo has taken a thousand walks on this farm, spent hundreds of hours together at 4H training sessions and shows, and countless hours just hanging out together. Storm is very loved.

Take me home...

this is not exactly a "country road," but close enough I suppose.

You might see one of these on our Christmas cards this year, although Nick will change a lot in the next 9 months!
Do you have a favorite?

Fun with big brothers

You better believe Nathan will be bookmarking this post so he can get his fix of his wonderful little siblings who he misses so much...

Lunch...are you jealous?

Here's my lunch for today: a massive spinach salad made with grape tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, mushrooms, and kidney beans. Along with my choice of Tropical Mango dressing or Raspberry Merlot. Heather and I are keeping each other accountable for our food choices this week...I think that will really help me stay away from the stuff I know I shouldn't eat. After all, Heather and I are going to be on a cruise in just a couple of months and neither of us want to wear muumuus.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Tooth Fairy is coming tonight!

Late-breaking news! 5 minutes ago Patience was playing with her "wiggly" tooth, and to her astonishment, out it popped!

She has it in a tooth holder which is safely under her pillow. I bet the Tooth Fairy leaves her a looney!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Identical twins meet at 20

Sure, they might not look alot alike. But trust me, if there was EVER a set of kindred souls, it would be Nolan and Nathan.

Ever since Heather and I reconnected 5 years ago via the wonderous internet, we've been trying to have our sons meet up. Everyone in our combined families, including the Littles, have met each other, but because of one circumstance after another, Nathan and Nolan had never met.

Until yesterday! My dad took Nathan and Hailey to BART and they successfully navigated their way to Pleasanton, where Nolan and his sister, Haley, picked them up. They did some shopping and ate at Chevy's, and then played a game that Nolan had brought with him right there at the restaurant table. They stayed there until they were politely reminded by their server that his shift was almost over and could they please settle up their bill? They had a great time and I'm sure that they'll be getting together in the future now that the skids are greased.

Nathan and Haley.

Nathan and Hailey @ the Shark Tank

Nathan and his cousin, Hailey, are spending almost 1 week in California visiting friends, family, and the Shark Tank for 3 games. They flew into San Jose Tuesday afternoon and my dad picked them up and the three of them went to the hockey game. After the game Nathan and Hailey spent the night with dad and Edith and then headed east on BART for another adventure.

Nathan and Hailey at Nathan's happiest place on earth.

Nabokov and Martin Brodeur stretching before the game.
Nathan watching warm-ups.
Thornton with a slap shot.
Nathan wanted to point out how much Patience's form is like Joe's. It's uncanny!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The State of the USCG Address

Here is Nathan and his shipmates watching the Admiral's "State of the CG Address." They're on board the Sycamore.

Surviving Alaska

A few weeks ago Nathan and other shipmates got to participate in a weeklong-survival course. He had a blast! I'm getting the feeling that being in the Coast Guard in Cordova is like being in "Boy Scouts on Steroids." I borrowed these photos from the USCGC Sycamore blog.

One of the lessons was how to survive in cold water. I think the plan is to be wearing one of these orange suits. Nathan is in the middle of the pack here.
At the end of the week they got dropped off here and wished the best of luck in surviving:
And then they got "rescued." Nathan's (new Land's End) jacket still smells like smoke! But I guess the good thing is that they were able to make a fire : )
Nathan is the one wearing sunglasses.

Tower climbing

Nathan is going back to school! At the end March he's going back to Yorktown, Virginia to attend a week-long tower-climbing course. All Guardians have to be certified to climb any tower over 20 feet. Nathan might have to climb a tower as high as 150 feet in his buoy-tending career, so he's getting this special certification. It'll be a nice break from the Alaskan winter : )

Photos compliments of the USCG.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Krause Berry Farm in the winter

The farm is hibernating. Resting. Getting ready to produce the berries that we all know and love.

Nathan's oldest friends

Nathan met Alex when Nathan was in Grade 2 and Alex was in Grade 1. I think. This makes Alex Nathan's oldest friend that he still keeps in touch with.

Storm, of course, is another old friend of Nathan's.

Walking dogs

Harley and Storm had the pleasure of going for a walk today with Nathan and Naylene.

Harley loves Naylene!

Stinking cute baby

Either he's getting even cuter than before or I'm just getting more and more partial to him : )

Circus baby

We're trying to determine Nick's potential for being a trapeze artist in the circus when he's older. So far he's pretty talented. Mom, you probably don't want to look at these pictures.

Evening photos

These are from about a week ago. I wanted to see how my camera did in the evening light.