Sunday, December 19, 2010

Gingerbread House 2010

A good start to the winter break for the girls as we wrapped up a trip to Peacock Lane, a visit to Aunt Katie's house, and a sleepover with the Farleys! In order to make sure the kids got to bed on time we tried to wear them out by taking ours to the park (the Farleys went rock climbing) and we settled for Gingerbread House decorating in the evening with the hope that all of the girls will sack out come 9 PM. The beverage on the table is Susan's really.

The girls made quick work of the gingerbread house and some of the candy even made it on as decorations.The Christmas music was playing and the kids debated their favorite song. The consensus was Jingle Bells and we were treated to a rousing rendition when they could remember the words. The four of them did a good job of putting it all together and it was fun for us to take a listen. Maybe some caroling later in the week is in order.
The girls really took pride in the decoration of the 2010 edition, but perhaps it was just the sugar rush that was helping with the smiles on their faces. Abby's favorite part of decorating was "eating the icing" Katie liked the candy best and Lucy liked the roof. Amelia enjoyed the extra halloween candy that we broke out to supplement the provided provisions. There was Dots and Smarties that were from October but does sugar really ever go bad? Lucy really got into the action and it was fun to capture them all into such a project. I don't think it took them more than 15 minutes.
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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Grace's Birthday and Cyclocross Nationals 2010 in Bend

We went to Bend for Grace's Birthday and it was the same weekend as the Cyclocross Nationals.
It was a wet weekend in Bend (pretty rare) and windy which made for tough conditions for the cyclists and good conditions to watch the race. A lot of mud puddles and slippery conditions.
We had a great time checking out the activity at the race grounds near the Old Mill. Abby was dressed warmly and was very curious about the bikes and the competition having been in the Kiddy Cross a few months earlier. She also had a good time running around the various sand mounds that the City uses for keeping the streets passable during the winter months. Amelia had a good time at the start until she did a face plant into a puddle and got muddy.
We got to the start of the race and managed to catch a huge pile up. Yes, those are bike tires in the air. Someone in the front of the pack took a spill and it caused chaos throughout the pack. The rider with the wheels in the air, tried to pick up some ground by sending his bike aerial and getting past some of the competition instead of having the problem of the bike getting caught up.
The conditions were very difficult and there was some pretty significant ponding that resulted in changes to the course throughout the week. I had a hard time believing that there puddles would be a good line, but many of the racers seemed to embrace it to avoid getting tangled up in the fencing, which we saw later in the action. It was a bit daunting to consider the course as we saw it, but I think it would be fun to try next year at the start of the season.
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Saturday, December 4, 2010

2010 Civil War

Football in December had to mean Civil War! The 2010 edition featured the Beavers fighting to get to .500 on the year and the U of 0 trying to punch their ticket to the National Championship game. We were happy to have kept our tickets although I would be lying if I hadn't thought about selling out to a friendly Duck Fan or two. If the shoes were on the other feet, I would want to be in Eugene to see the Beavs extend their record to 12-0.
The start of our trip to Reser was to hit the Crowbar downtown and eat our pregame salad.
We paused to take photos outside Reser. The scene on the street was great, there were a ton of tailgaters and many that came fror the party without tickets.
Kurt and Monica were excited about the game and ready. Susan and I had to scramble a bit for help with the kids, so we were relieved to be there.
The pregame had started a long time before we got there as the Ducks record attracted the ESPN GameDay crew with Lee Corso, Desmond Howard, and Kirk Herbstreit. The pregame started at 6 AM, so there was a lot of fun to be had early on in Corvallis. Seeing the action from home, the Memorial Union Quad was packed and they had separated Duck fans from Beavers, which was probably a pretty good idea.

This was Susan's second game this year with the first being against the Washington State Cougars, where the Beavs mailed in a pretty bad performance. We were hoping for the best, but expecting the worst given that the Ducks were the #1 team in the nation. Yet, as true Beaver Believers you have to be happy that we do as well as we do and that we are competitive and have hope for the future.
So, into the stadium we go with just a bit of business to finish before we jump in to the vat of Potato Salad.
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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

DC Prepares for Christmas

I travelled back to Washington DC for a FHWA workshop.
The travel took me back to the scene of one of the most exciting moments of my life (which I would prefer not to repeat). Walking past the GWU Hospital made me think back to the people that helped me during a time of need. I felt very small walking next to the Metro station and thankful that I wasn't taking another mode today.
If that wasn't enough to make one think deep thoughts, I walked past the White House on World Aids Day, with the red ribbon dorning the Obama residence on Pennsylvania Avenue.
A challenge of epic proportions which we can look across the globe and recognize that as far as we can go, there's a need to work together to meet our common foes.
My last stop in DC that was blogworthy was Union Station. I am always happy to spend a little time in this great monument to transportation and appreciative of the great things that we have done in this country that have made our world a better place.
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