Monday, May 25, 2009

Two for the Canoe

Sean was a late addition to a Ski to Sea team this year. He had tried to get a team together with his coworkers, but the team started dwindling about February (everyone is super-enthusiastic at the Christmas party, of course, heehee). Luckily, a past coworker, Dan, was on a team that started losing members in April, and Dan needed a canoe partner.

The Nooksack River was very high this year. Not as high as last year, when they canceled the canoe portion of the race, but high enough that there was no sand at the river's edge to watch the racers come in. There was a short strip coming up the slope to the mountain bikers that was fenced off with a green mesh. I would say only about 20 spectators could fit comfortably behind it and actually see racers come in...but about 40+ spectators crammed themselves in. When we heard Sean's team number called (meaning they had passed under the Main Street bridge), my friend Michelle stayed with her kids and Guyan playing in the woods at Hovander Park, and Owen and I ran down to see Sean come in.

And here they are! The guy with the helmet is the mountain bike racer, the next leg in the race. The guy on the right at the front of the canoe is Dan, and you can see Sean at the back of the canoe (at least his legs and his hat). Sean was disappointed that I didn't get a good picture of him. "Get in the front of the boat next time," I told him.

But you know, not even that would guarantee a good picture. In 2006, he also did the canoe leg, and was in the front of the boat. Here are the two pictures I have of them coming in (look at all that sand--but I think I'd trade it for the fabulous weather we had this year), and he's not facing the camera in either of them.

Back to current day...Dan and Sean did pretty well in their leg. They had only about a half an hour of training, but at least an hour of strategizing. Their team, overall, came in 186th out of 414 (always nice to be in the top half), and 18th out of 69 in the Recreational Mixed Division. Within the canoe leg only, they were 125th overall, and 10th in their division (whoo-hooo!!!). Both Sean and Dan finished better than they had when they raced in the canoe leg in previous years, with different partners. Just imagine if they had practiced more. What studs.

"That's the first time I graduated!"

Last Thursday (YES!!! JUST DAYS AGO!!!), Owen graduated from Christ Lutheran Christian Preschool. It's official--he's ready for kindergarten.

Over the past couple years, Owen has shown that he does not like performing in front of an audience. He tapped (banged?) his foot during his first Christmas program, and refused to get up and sing at last year's Mothers' Tea. This year, he has done much better, but still gets the butterflies. This picture shows it clearly. While all the other graduates are giddy with excitement waiting to answer CLCP's traditional BIG question at graduation, "What do you want to be when you grow up?," Owen is nervously rehearsing his answer...

The loooooong walk across the stage...

And his answer: "An artist." Those lessons are going to pay off, Grandma and Grandpa!

Guyan took this picture of the new graduate with his proud parents. Just after Owen had received his diploma, he turned to me and said, "That's the first time I graduated!" Here's to many more!

Mothers' Tea

Every year for Mother's Day, Christ Lutheran Christian Preschool holds a Mothers' Tea (Mothers/Mother's/I dunno). It's great--it's Owen's and my favorite activity of the year. The kids bake muffins and make cards for the moms, and make a special gift.

This year, the gift was a quilted wall hanging of the child's drawing. In March and April, I became very familiar with those wall hangings, as I volunteered and did them all (there are six preschool classes with I think 76 kids total--yes, that was a self-congratulatory pat on the back right there). They were so cute! The only one I didn't do was Owen's--his teacher, Mrs. Johnson, did that one for me. Owen's picture has a rainbow heart in the middle with the word "LOVE," plus pictures of all our family members (including Freckle, of course).

As a very special treat, Grandma Black also got to come to Mother's Tea. She donated all the fabrics and batting for the quilts, and wanted to see the mothers' reactions too.

Ahhh...the last Mother's Tea. Owen says he'll have tea parties with me, if I want...I'll probably take him up on that.

Before we move on...

I lied. I thought this was going to be about the big May highlight--preschool graduation--but in looking through photos, I found three more big May highlights--the boys' Art Show, Mother's Tea, and Ski to Sea. I can't skip them! Forgive me... First, the Art Show.

Guyan's artwork that he chose to display in the BellinghamArt Show was his harbor scene. In this piece, the students studied shadows and reflections. Typical of Guyan's drawings, it has a lot of detail, which may not be too evident in this picture.

The art show is at the same time as the Bellingham Children's Art Walk, where artwork from students in Bellingham is displayed all through downtown. BellinghamArt (where the boys take classes) had a small display in a fancy furniture store with about ten pieces or so. Guyan's most recent piece, the Taj Mahal, was displayed there. Very cool!

Owen's Teddy Bear was his display piece. The art studio also chose his piece to be featured (along with six or so other students' pieces) on their postcard to advertise the art show. What an honor!

Grandma and Grandpa came to the Art Show also. As the financiers of art school tuition this year, we'd like to REALLY thank them. The boys have loved their classes, and have learned a lot. For both of them, art class was a highlight of their week, every week.

Some Catching Up To Do...

So it's been over a month since my last post, and my last post talked about stuff that happened four months ago. Guess I've got some ground to cover. So in a nutshell...

In February, we adopted a dog, Freckle. She has been a great addition to the family. Lovable, stays close, doesn't bark too much, likes to play, etc. etc. Only complaint--shedding. We're hoping that's a seasonal thing (only once a year, PLEASE!!!).

In March, Owen and I celebrated our birthdays. Owen's party was a Star Wars theme, which was a big hit. At the party's end, the newly trained Jedis got to try their skills out on Darth Vader (poor Sean). My "theme" was breakfast in bed (no pictures from my birthday--the bed head is just too scary!).

Also in March, Grandpa Black came to one of Guyan's Wolf Scout den meetings to show them what scouting was like 50 years ago. All the boys were enthralled.

In April, Grandma Rae came to visit. We all had a great time, and went up to Vancouver Island for a few days to get away on Spring Break. Grandma Rae, my Aunt Cindy and I all had tea at the Empress. That was quite the girly treat!

I'm sure if I hadn't gotten so far behind on my blogging that these events would have gotten much more attention and description. But if I'm ever going to catch up, this has got to cover it! Next post....things that happened less than a week ago! Shocker!