Friday, July 31, 2009

Almost Famous. Again.

For the girl who has:
> had her face shown on the TV show 20/20
> appeared in a Cascadian Farm television commercial during prime time,
> had her face hidden in some vegetables on a box of Cascadian Farm frozen veggies
> has been pictured inside a teacher's guide at the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center
has somehow made another public appearance.

Tanya received a phone call today from a friend who suggested she check out page 32 in the Skagit County Fair 2009 Official Program (distributed as a supplement with the local Skagit County Herald newspaper).

This photo was taken at the 2008 Skagit County Fair. Yes, that is Josie the dog (not the pussycat) and the poster in the background is also Mikayla's handiwork.

You can find Mikayla at the County Fair again this year. The fair runs from August 12 - 15, 2009 at the Skagit County Fairgrounds (of course).

See you there!


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fourteen Years Ago

Fourteen years ago (according the the camera date stamp anyway) Tanya, Kim & I were enjoying a sunny day out at Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands.

Someone had the bright idea to rent mopeds.

I'll spare you all the details, but it involves forfeiture of a damage deposit, riding in a van with a complete stranger on an island and an after hours visit to the local hospital.

This was back before digital cameras, so instead of a 4 minute video supplemented with cool music and 250 photos, all I have to remember that day is 1) Tanya, 2) Kim and 3) this scanned "before" and "after" picture.

Oh... the good old days.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Stef's Wedding (video)

Here is a late addition that should have been included in Stef's wedding post.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Little Stef's Wedding 07/18/09

Last weekend we traveled across the state to Richland, WA in order to attend Stefanie's wedding.

Stefanie is one of Tanya's cousins.

Tanya is always sharing stories about how much fun she had 'in the olden days' helping to take care of Stef and Kendyl (Stef's younger sister).

Stef is also responsible for our periodic use of "You get what you get and don't throw a fit" which she was overheard saying to Kim & Kari (T's college roommates) while handing them stickers at Stef's 4th birthday party.

Kendyl used to like Tanya so much that even when Tanya wasn't around Kendyl wouldn't let anyone eat any yellow M&M's. This is because Kendyl would save them for Tanya's next visit, since yellow was Tanya's favorite color.

Kendyl was a bridesmaid in the wedding.

Both of our girls were invited to be flower girls in the wedding. You can imagine that I took a lot of pictures.

We left home early Friday morning, met Sue & Steve in North Bend (for the last time since they have now sold their house) and headed eastward.

8 people. 3 dogs. 2 vehicles. 90+ degrees.


We arrived later that afternoon and the kids took a quick swim before we ventured off to the rehearsal dinner.

Here is a pic of Stef, Alexia, Mikayla & Kendyl:

Here is Kendyl, Tanya, Kim (Stef's & Kendyl's Mom, T's cousin) and Stef:

Kendyl & Alexia:

The next morning we spent a couple hours with the Washburns at their home in Richland. The Washburns used to live up the street from us in Mount Vernon, but they relocated last summer. The girls frequently played with Emma Washburn and we had a great time visiting with them.

Here is Camille(another Mt. Vernonite visiting them for the weekend coincidentally), Emma, Alexia and Mikayla in Emma's backyard:

Finally we returned to the hotel for the girls to get dressed up for the big event.

Once at the wedding location, alongside the Columbia River, it was time for the pre-wedding pictures.

Grandma Bette & Grandpa Ron Beckman were able to fly up from Arizona to be present at the wedding. It was great that they could come and visit as I haven't seen them since our Christmas vacation.

During the photo sessions, I happened to capture this image of Stef. Clearly she and Tanya share some genes. This pic is evidence that they both share a gene that I call "The Dispatcher Gene".

**Video slideshow now available here.**

Tanya realized that Stef is the first person who had the privilege of having Tanya present at both her birth and her wedding. They're both lucky, but feel free to remind Tanya that she's still a spring chicken.

It was a lovely wedding (albeit very hot for those of us from Western Washington) and reception and we were thrilled to be a part of this event. It was also fantastic to be able to see many of the long-lost relatives who we don't get to connect with very often.

Congratulations & Best wishes to Stef & Bryce, the new Bride & Groom!


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Mikayla!

After a whirlwind trip to the tri-cities in Eastern Washington for a wedding (story and pics here) we hustled home to host an early birthday party for Mikayla.

She's now 12.
I'm now old.

A few of Mikaylas friends came over on Monday and enjoyed a sunny afternoon at Grand Bay Resort (a water slide park in Birch Bay).

Afterwards, the whole crew came back to our house for swimming, playing, dinner, cake and presents... followed by a slumber party.

Nana came up to help out (thanks Nana!!).

Thanks, everyone, for coming and helping her celebrate this milestone.

Happy Birthday Mikayla!!


Monday, July 13, 2009

Post Weekend Update


T, A & M went to the circus.
It was outdoors.
In +85 degree weather.
Without shade.
Too hot for pictures.
They had a good time anyway.

Eric went hiking.
It was outdoors.
In +85 degree weather.
With partial shade.
Too many bugs for pictures.


The family spent the day at a Dog Agility match.
It was outdoors.
In +55 degree weather.
With partial rain.
And a bathroom that get flushed by pouring in a bucket of water.
There were 0 bugs and a lot of nice people.
Took a few nice pics of the family, individually.
Mikayla & Josie earned two blue ribbons and may have earned a spot at the State Fair.
Alexia couldn't compete with Katrina as Katrina is still to young.
Alexia was, however, sporting her new glasses today.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Getting Busy With Summer Activities

Now that we're into July, the girls are finally getting into a summer routine. Here is a quick summary of what's going on around here these days.

Sleeping in until at least 8:00am

Alexia is back in swimming lessons.

Mikayla & Alexia are starting gymnastics next week.

Alexia is doing Girl Scout stuff

Both girls are busy getting ready for the county fair (well, not as busy as they should be since it's rapidly approaching).

Backyard camping

Garage sale

Tickets to the circus

Birthday party planning for Mikayla's upcoming event.

Friends frequently come over to play & swim. In fact, I think they've had about 6 different kids over in the last three days. Today I came home to find two more kids visiting... and noticed this warning outside Alexia's room:

Summers always seem to fly by way too fast.

That's all for now.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Our fourth day of July 2009

We spent the 4th of July doing the traditional things that you might expect our family to do.

Here is a quick overview for those of you who were off doing your own traditional fourth of July activities.

1) Waking up. Alexia and I slept in the tent and Tanya and Mikayla slept in the house. The tent was much more comfortable at bedtime because the temperature dropped so quickly while the house remained way too hot. In the morning, the tent quickly heated up in the sun while the house was much more comfortable.

2) Sedro Woolley Parade. Mikayla, Alexia, Josie and Kat-rina were going to ride on the 4-H float in the parade, but Alexia realized that if she is IN the parade she doesn't get to collect all the candy tossed out by the rest of the parade participants. Plus, her friend Aryanna was coming to the parade. Alexia decided to sit with us instead of riding on the float.

Mikayla and Josie walked in the parade behind the float. They were entry #15 so Mikayla was able to come back to sit with us and still watch about 3/4 of the parade (and collect candy).

3) The kids were too hot after watching the parade and just wanted to go home to be lazy. So, we dropped them off at home, picked up our BFF Lynne and went out for a quick lunch.
4) After lunch I did some yard work while the kids swam and played with Aiden & Mitchell from next door.
5) We BBQ'd with the neighbors out on the patio.

At this point, I feel the need to elaborate just a bit about the BBQ.

First, on her first bite of steak, Mikayla started choking. She quickly stood herself up out of her chair stepped to the side of the table and yakked that steak right out and onto the patio. Blech.... but we were relieved that the situation didn't escalate. I have vivid memories of Aunt Rachel choking on stew meat when I was about Mikayla's age... so I was ready to jump into action if needed.

Second, for those observant blog readers/ photo reviewers, Mikayla is drinking Creme Soda. Not beer.

Third, you may have noticed an animal in this picture. Sure, it's not unusual to see pictures of animals in our family photos, but this is an animal you haven't seen here before.

The reason you haven't seen this dog before is because it isn't our dog. Mikayla found it wandering through the neighborhood as dinner was cooking and she jumped into Dr. Doolittle mode to save this guy. After a few phone calls to an owner (on vacation at Lake Chelan funny enough) who didn't seem appreciative at all that we were trying to get this dog back home we connected up with the person who is supposed to be watching the dog and sent him on his happy way.
6) Argued over who was / who was not going to go watch the fireworks show. Ultimately we all decided to go. The dogs stayed at home.
Here are a few pics and a video which shows the live finale at the end (less than 3 minutes total).

We all hope you had a safe and fun Independence Day.