Sunday, October 28, 2012

Crystal Mountain Trip

Amelia and Dad taking a swim in a secluded lake near Mt. Rainier.

Amelia with a tree just her size.

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Halloween Costumes 2012

Abigail looks spooky as a Vampire!
Amelia as native American. This costume resulted in a lot of questions for me,
wanting to use the choice of the costume as a teaching moment about the
importance of culture in our society. It is always a challenge being a parent, so
many opportunities to share and pass along and be a better society.  The interesting
part of this is that she got the inspiration for the costume from the boots which were her
sisters, which are from the Gap, so probably about the least authentic article of clothing
possible. A vampire probably would have been easier to explain.
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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Kids Cross 2012 - Portland International Raceway

Amelia near the start navigating her way down a tough hill.
She's riding it and testing her luck. The boy to her right is walking his bike down.

Abby on the back stretch racing through the competition!

Amelia gets ready for the barrier.
 The kids cross course wasn't nearly as muddy as ours, so that was a good thing for us that have to clean them up!
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2012 Cyclocross - Peter

 The family has started to enjoy cyclocross on Sundays at the Cross Crusade series. I got a Team S&M jersey  (Sellwood-Moreland, get your mind out of the gutter, sheesh) and have started to get a little faster out there on the course. It has made it more fun.

The courses that I have been out on are around the Portland area (Alpenrose Dairy was first and Heron Lakes at Portland International Raceway was second), so one of the things I like to do is bike to the event. The first course was pretty dry, but this last race was muddy and it made for a good time. The last time I raced at PIR, it seemed like I was falling a couple of times each lap. This time I think I only went down once and it wasn't a bad fall on the last lap when I was really very tired from giving it my all. I think that cost me about four slots in the standings and I finished 43rd.

The outcome is not pretty, but turned out pretty well overall as I finished in the top 20% for my age class. It helped that I started nearer to the front than normal.
A great sport if you like getting muddy.
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2012 Cyclocross - Susan

 Susan had her day at the Portland International Raceway turn out a bit better than her earlier race at Alpenrose Dairy by not getting a flat tire.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall Thoughts from Abby

My favorite things to do in fall are baking delicious foods in the oven, cyclocross racing and going to the pumpkin patch. We bake turkey, golden crispy German pancakes, fluffy warm rolls, tasty scalloped potatoes, and sweet, golden pies.

At cyclocross races we bike in mud and dust. At muddy races I hear the sucking of mud. At dusty races I see the haziness of the dust as the sun shines through it. Fall is lots of fun!!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

2012: The Kids Schedule Returned

We're celebrating Susan Koonce Appreciation Week at the homestead. It is a every four year tradition (or something like that, at least we did it in 2008 and I am thinking that the Boston trip that they did to pick up the white pick up was about 2003 or so.

The 2008 version had me thinking through what and where the kids needed to be at any certain time. It's funny to look back at that version and laugh at how Susan thought she could control the behavior. I find myself thinking about how just to get along. Also, there was mention about walking to school and now we always bike. There isn't even a question with the kids, they would be shocked if we didn't.

Abby's Schedule
Monday: Take homework to school and complete Spelling Test.  Play Date with Eryn until 5:30 PM (pick up bike after)
Tuesday/ Friday: Abby has soccer practice at 5 - 6 PM 
Wednesday: Play Date with Brynna, Piano at Sellwood Community Center. 

Amelia's Schedule
Thursday: Amelia has soccer practice from 5 - 6 PM - I coach!

All in all, a busy week. 

We went to pick up Abby's bike after the play date and we biked with Annie running alongside. When we got to pick up the bikes, Abby told me she forgot her key. So when we started back home, the rain really set in! The kids wouldn't even put their rain jackets on tonight when we picked them up on bikes from their playdates and they were singing about being so happy in the rain. I just sorta of shook my head and laughed at how Oregonian that was of them. For 40 degrees - lobster gloves. Definitely helps to have the fingers stay together.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sellwood Neighborhood Maps - Through the Kids' Illustrations

Amelia focused on the school and the homes near ours.
Abby had a class project to describe her neighborhood and name the streets around the house. A really good assignment for a fourth grader, who should know their address and how to get home from a few blocks away and from distinct landmarks and businesses, etc. We took the opportunity to do a little more than the class assignment and include Amelia into the fun.

Abby had a lot more to detail and scope of the project. She needed a little help with the street names, but was happy that she could draw the bike shop and her friend Chula (the dog that has a home away from home in the shop). The Sellwood pool and our neighbors were in there as well. Biking to school is prominently described here too.
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Tiger Lillies Soccer - Abigail #8

Abby is in her fourth year of soccer as a Tiger Lilly.
Coach Tina Farley is still at the reins.
Both #8, our Saturdays this fall have been spent in the grass.
Abby likes to play goalie in the games. She took a goalkeeper's Camp this summer.
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Blue Kangaroos Soccer - Amelia #8

Amelia is in her second year of soccer and this year, I am head coach of the team. We called this group the Blue Kangaroos in honor of our local coffee shop, which is a frequent reward post-game, especially if it was a tad wet out. This summer has hung on so long, we haven't had a hint of rain (well maybe a bit at the last game). 
Amelia chose #8 to be like her sister!
Lots of Amelia's friends on this team, including two from Lexington Street!

The team is mostly girls which is fun for Amelia. I guess that's what you get when you have a lot of friends new to soccer and a dad that jumps in to coach a "new" team of kids.
As I coach, I try to emphasize having a good time. We accomplish that sometimes as long as there isn't a request for special treatment too often.  Now, if only they looked this ferocious at the other team!
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