Sunday, August 17, 2008

Cool Weddings

I am so behind...but if I'm going to catch up so that the back-to-school posts are on time, I have a bit of work to do!

A few weeks ago we went to a wedding in Mattawa, Washington. It was Sean's dad's cousin's daughter (or Rochelle's daughter Katie, if you just want to follow names). It was important for us to go to this wedding, so that we don't lose touch of this side of the family. Just about all the Cool descendants were represented. There was Sean's Aunt Reta & Uncle Bob and their children (Rochelle & Steve, Regina & Gary, Rod & Kathy, Royce & Eva) and grandchildren (so many to name...but the boys especially had a blast with Zane, Royce & Eva's son). Also, his Aunt Sharon and Uncle Kay were there, and their son-in-law Gabe officiated.

The beautiful bride Katie and her dad Steve...

The mother of the bride, Rochelle, and her son Nate...Here's Sean and the boys with Reta (the boys look like they had a hard night partying, huh?)...

And Sean and Sharon...The wedding was held at the groom's parent's property, and kinda reminded me of our wedding, ten years ago (double digits now!). It was outdoors in 100+ degree heat (ours was ~90), with about 200 people or so (ours was ~150), with BBQ (they had beef and real plates, we had pork and paper plates). I wouldn't have done ours any differently, and I'm sure Katie and Chip feel that they wouldn't change anything either. One of the neatest touches at their wedding was the use of antique quilts--they lined the "gift table" with quilts, and put quilts on the hay bales for close family to sit on. So cool.

For the boys, the highlights were the water guns (no pictures--self & camera preservation, thank you very much!), their Zoobs building toys, the creek, and the tractors...

Beautiful day, great wedding, and a fantastic family weekend!

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Fair (Good) and the Ferris Wheel (Bad)

We went to the Northwest Washington Fair a couple weeks ago and had a blast. The ice cream, the sunny skies, the animals ('cept the pigs--we could do without the pigs), the rides...

We just *had* to get the ice cream. Gotta love the Dairy Women of Whatcom County.

Guyan milked a cow...well, sorta...

I won a blue ribbon with my quilted wall hanging of Guyan's first grade teacher, Mrs. Hawes. It was a Christmas gift for her last year, and she let me borrow it to enter in the fair.

Sean and the boys each got the carnival wristband to ride unlimited rides. I think Sean had visions of going on all the roller coasters with Guyan, but alas, Guyan is a late bloomer in that department. Guyan and Sean did ride the Tornado together, and Owen and Sean rode the Octopus. Owen was very excited to ride the Octopus, but Sean said it wasn't until the ride was almost over that he actually decided to enjoy it.

And at the end of the day, the boys wanted to ride the ferris wheel again. After standing in line for a while, they needed another body to even out the weight...I somehow, in the moment, forgot that I'm afraid of heights. In the first picture, I'm coping (with some comforting help from Guyan).
In this picture--yes, I'd call that a panic attack. Get me DOWN!!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

If You're Going to Steal a Tractor...

...don't drive it into a bog.

We visited Burns Bog in Vancouver, British Columbia ( and saw the famous tractor that got stuck in the bog in the early 70's. Two teenage boys stole a couple tractors from a nearby peat plant (no longer in operation), and drove the tractors into the bog. They got stuck, and while one tractor was removed with a helicopter crane, the other one remains there, almost completely sunk. Our boys sat and mourned for the tractor...and hopefully learned never to steal one (or at least don't drive it into a bog if you do!).

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Budding Artists

Guyan and Owen both had art camps last week, and loved them! Owen's theme was "Jungle Boogie," while Guyan's was "The Land of Enchantment." A big thank you to Grandma and Grandpa Black for subsidizing the camps!

Guyan's camp was five days long, and on the last day, family was invited to come to an "Art Show" to view his creations. We had to make sure that Owen also got his due (his mini-camp did not host an art show), so on Thursday night, we opened the Cool Gallery to invited guests--Grandma & Grandpa, Uncle Ryan, Aunt Lizzie, Cindy, Dave, Nathan and Lindsey. We served refreshments as well--root beer floats, of course. Thanks to all of you for coming--Owen definitely felt special, and enjoyed showing off his new-found talent.

Owen's art was impressive! He drew a parrot (he answered questions about it at the art show, see below, and it's now on display at Grandma's house), a monkey (his favorite), and a tiger (ummm...not his favorite, but I love it!).

Guyan did very nice work as well. He's pretty talented, and you can always find little details that he adds in as his own touch...there's wood nymphs hiding in the fairy drawing, for might not be able to see them since they're really small. All of these drawings are treasures--when you come to visit, you can admire both boys' art class projects on our permanent "art show wall"--I'm sure they'll bask in the attention, and answer any questions you might have about their art and inspiration!

Riiiiiide, Sean-ry, Ride!

This hasn't gotten into the posts yet, but have I told you what Sean's been up to this summer? He has taken to riding his bicycle. Perhaps the cost of fuel, the death of our Isuzu Rodeo in May, and only one modern car until mid-June had something to do with it. Bike riding isn't an entirely new development--he commuted by bike in college, and has completed a couple bike rides, including the Seattle to Portland ("STP") in 2002. Usually, each spring/summer, he chooses a race or two (running or biking) to train for, and gets his exercise in that way.

His first race this summer wasn't *just* a bike ride--he did his first triathlon! It was a "sprint length" triathlon (is that what they call it?) at Clear Lake Washington. A sprint (yeah, right!) includes a 1/3-mile swim, a 14.8-mile bike ride and finishes off with a 4-mile run. The photo below is pre-race, at the transition area.

After that, he needed another event to keep him going. Enter the Tour de Whatcom. With 25, 50 and 100-mile options, Sean and his friend Kevin (a neighbor of ours) chose the 100-mile option. UGH. Crazy man. But they had tons of fun.

The boys and I met Sean and Kevin at a couple of the pit stops along the Tour. An absolutely beautiful day for a bike ride (although I would have opted for a 5-10 mile cruise, I think).
This is Sean (and Kevin, just ahead of him) leaving Birch Bay....oh! and look--that's our new Prius, off to the left. Isn't it purdy?

I was trying to get a picture of Kevin, but Sean must have thought the photo needed "something more."

And up next? I think it's going to be the Ride 542 Mt. Baker Hill Climb. Did you notice the "Mt." and the "Hill" in the title? A 25-mile ride with 4300 ft elevation gain. You make the call--mountain or hill? Good luck, Sean!