Sunday, December 06, 2009

Winter Entertainment

Yesterday promised to be a somewhat sunny day so we thought we’d have a go at the Oregon Skiing. We’d done a very unscientific survey (Christine had asked a few people) of ski fields, there are a couple within approx 2 hr drive but settled on Hoodoo, a mountain in the cascades up highway 22 from Salem.

We did a little research the night before and learned that the neighboring mountain looks like what we (with some experience of the southwest) would call a Mesa. Hoodoo is a pointy mountain and apparently the names were swapped on a map because the neighboring mountain is called ‘hayrick’.

From Skiing at Hoodoo OR

We got up early and left here by about 6:30am and got there in plenty of time to park virtually next to the lodge. We signed the elder kids and Richard up for lessons and rented (tried to ‘hire’ it, they thought I was talking about ‘hiking’) the required equipment.

Richard, Liam and Madeline all spend the morning learning to ski, Madeline for the first time. Student to teacher ratio was very low; some had more than one instructor. Lucky we didn’t pay for private lessons!

From Skiing at Hoodoo OR

The weather wasn’t great, cold with light snow but we had plenty of gear to keep warm. Lunch was provided as part of the lessons for the kids and Izabel borrowed some ski boots to have play in the snow at lunch time (even the smallest boots were about twice too big).

From Skiing at Hoodoo OR

The afternoon was spent with more skiing while Christine and Izabel enjoyed the apr├Ęs ski facilities in the ski lodge. Lessons stopped at 3, Madeline was stuffed, Liam and Richard did one run before he was done too, and Richard appeared to all but have the mountain alone.

From Skiing at Hoodoo OR

We came home a slightly different route but found it much longer, still it appears we’ve proven that it’s fairly easy to go skiing for the day from here and we hope to do it again after our annual migration to the south.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Going back

We spent Canadian thanksgiving weekend in Victoria with some good friends and the kids visited the school and caught up with teachers and friends from last year. Madeline seemed to be working on the if I say it enough it will happen option of I want to stay in Canada, though we're pretty sure that it actually has to be James Bay.

one is 'doo and four is five.

We've had a couple of birthdays since the beginning of the month. Madeline has been very pleased to receive parcels in the post. Izabel has torn wrap off parcels and been excited about there being things inside.

We all went to the Aquarium on Sunday which was a big hit. The kids enjoyed the glass blowing video in the oddwater area of the aquarium. Liam liked the sharks and Madeline liked the dolphins, which we think is the concrete one's in the play area.
Thou it might be the seals who were very active.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


We have returned from the east ( some time ago now) and are in our new house. We have three bed rooms and a lovely yard with a playhouse and swing.
Liam started school yesterday and seems happy with it. We have Madeline's preschool lined up, but she doesn't start till the 21st they are also signed up for swimming and after today dance as well. We have a piano in the house do there might be some lessons on that too although Liam is keen to do guitar, so we'll see. We expect our stuff from Santa fe this week which will probably contain some surprises.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

National sea shore

We've made our way south and are on the cape. We spent last night camping here. The kids have another junior ranger badge each and are loving playing in the sand. I can see the attraction of a summer cottage on the cape, although one on mount desert island woulde be pretty good too. The beach we're at today is really shallow and the tide is going out so there is miles of beach. Yesterday we were on the outer side and there is surf and the sea is eroding the cliff. We visited some cultural sites in the park one I'd which was the macroni wireless site, interesting since both Richard and I have read thunderstruck.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Ice cream

We can recommend Beal's icecream in Portland Maine, exit 9 off the I 295 and it's straight though the Washington st intersection. We also enjoyed Tubby's in Wyne, also in Maine.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Seals and lobster

Mostly we hung out at Sarah's today, but in the afternoon we drove to Boothbay and went on a Lobster and seal boat trip, we saw seals and harbor dolphins and there were lobster in the trap they pulled up. Liam enjoyed the lobster part the most, he also enjoyed dissecting the lobster Richard and I ate at dinner, he was NOT interested in eating any, but he doesn't like crab or shrimp either so I wasn't very surprised, Izabel was quite keen on it.

At the other coast

Yeasterday we went to Coast with Sarah and Ethan, Pemaquid Lighthouse, in fog and lobster dinner, in the rain. It did clear in between and we had a look around Pemaquid point.

There are new pic's in the sidebar, click on it to view them.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Into the field

It took us a while to get up and Going from Paul's place, but we got to the shops by about midday. We've brought our tent, mats and sleeping bags with us, so we needed a stove, cooking and eating equipment and food!
We left by route three and drove past Lake Winnepesaukee to the White mountains. We found a covered bridge on our way . The weather was cloudy but not raining, we camped in Campton NH, tested out the cooking equipment with pad Thai, most successfully. Another slow start but we packed up and drove through some back roads to Woodsville
and had lunch by a hydro electric power station, and did a factory tour of Cabot creamery (a cheese factory) we'd hate you to think we weren't giving our children the right sort of exposure
Via a covered rail bridge we camped in Vermont at Smugglers Notch State Park
The next morning we went for a hike in the park before heading into Stowe and having lunch at Trapp Family Lodge, bakery. The family which sound of music is based on. We followed this up with a visit to the cider factory and after another covered bridge, Emily's bridge and collecting of more provisions we searched out a camp. Have tried to write more four times now, will post this and start again!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Rain drops keep falling on my head

We've made it to the East coast, saw the sea out the airplane window as we touched down in Boston this morning -EARLY! well it felt it on pacific time it was 4am, but actually 7am EDT.
We have collected our rental car and spent most of today at a collegue of Richard's, We walked in his neighbouhood, looked at a beaver dam and how industriously they dam the culverts. It's raining so were working on getting a firmer plan for the next three weeks together but we drove into Lexington and Concord and looked at and read about the battle sites. We're all pretty tired so it's worked out well and we'll get our camping gear sorted and try it out tomorrow.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Not the witch town

So here we are in another Marroitt room, not such a fabulous view but still a comfortable spot. We drove down the Washington and Oregon Coasts as far as SH22 then cut across inland to Salem. This is our destination for the rest of the year, we have a vacation to the East coast planned for a couple of weeks from now, we'll find a house over the next two weeks (hopefully) then move in.
Richard and Liam are off unpacking the UHAUL into a storage locker since we'll be either in the hotel or away for about five weeks.
Salem looks pretty so far, but I've only driven through it once. We'll get out for a play and look around later on when its cooled off a bit. It's warm here ~35 Celsius when we drove in yesterday, and its no cooler today.
We stopped in a couple of really prety places to camp in Washington, the first was a long sandy beach with a forested campground and the second on a narrow peninsula of land, the campground was on top of the hill part and overlooked the beach where lots of people were letting of early 4th of July fireworks.
Just as well there's lots needs doing, every now and then the kids come up with someone they want to see or something they want to do which is somewhere else.
Madeline is convinced we're either going back to Canada in a week or so or on our way to "Charles Island"

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

On the move

I'm sitting in a room on the eleventh floor over looking Victoria. We have a few last bits to pack into the uhaul and the cleaning is happening today. Tomorrow is Canada Day so we'll hangout with friends and watch the fireworks before we get onto the COHO ferry to Port Angeles on the Mainland, in the US. We have a couple of days to get to Oregon so we plan to look around the Wasington Coast, snail fashion with our trailer follwing along.

Everyone is sad to be leaving Victoria, thou Izabel doesn't realise it yet. Liam had a hard time on the last day of school, his teachers this year have been a great fit for him and the school as a whole is a warm friendly welcoming place for us all.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

the hockey song

I mentioned this event a few posts ago, today I found this on good ol' you tube, Mr B on guitar is Liam's teacher, you won't recognise anyone else :)

Show business

"So Madeline and I are in show business aren't we mummy?"

Liam and Madeline appeared in Liam's end of year ballet with Boston Dance Collective's show, Madeline's not technically with this school but Liam's ballet teacher created a part for her which she was delighted about.  
Liam also managed to appear in three things for the scholl talent show, a comedy routine
 with a classmate, a tap dance by himself and a group dance item with the junior dancers.

Friday and last night Liam's school choir performed with the Arbutus Singers  Liam was very popular with the crowd.  Last night there were treats afterwards and lots of people talked to the kids who'd stayed up for them.

The preceeding week we had final classes for tap (Liam and Madeline) and Ballet 
(Madeline) as well.  

Monday, May 18, 2009


During our trip to Tofino with visiting family in July they erected this pole. It was a fun thing, they dug a deep hole and put up a really tall pole.
We visited Tofino again this weekend and called in on the same beach, we were impressed to see the same pole in the same location, if slightly tilted. I really hadn't expect to see it still there.
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Sunday, March 29, 2009


Liam's working on getting all aspects of Canadian culture in his time here.  After school on fridays now you'll find us in the playground watching and playing street hockey.  One of the other mum's from school has done the organising and there's a dad whose been a hockey coach who does the on court control, with which ever other dads are around.  Last week there as a huge turn out.  Liam had a great time and wanted his own stick (and so Madeline wanted one too).  We purchased a hockey set which has two goals and two sticks and a ball.  So now thats set up in the basement and I can hear Richard and Liam down there now.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring break

Today is the last day of Spring Break, we didn't do anything specifically this break but both kids played at friends and had friends over here.  
We did go to Swan Lake Nature House where they had a CSI activity discovering who had killed the duck in the truck, Liam really enjoyed this it was a little old for Madeline but she enjoyed some of it.  They tested a sbstance on the body, which they had to collect, they interviewed the neighbour, reviewed possible suspects and took their case to the judge.  There were also bins with compost and various bones which you exposed and identified. 
So tomorrow its back to school.   We got report cards before Spring break, there were no surprises, Liam is popular not great at focussing, could improve his writting, but otherwise is at grade level.


Richard wanted some pictures of Wellington since people ask so I finally put this together.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

In Wellington

It feels like the time here in NZ is fast coming to an end, this week has been interesting because I've done lots of visiting people who I didn't see last time. Richard is sanding the flakey paint on our house and so has been in the neighbourhood. I wandered around the yard and looked at the growth of all our tree's chatted to neighbours as they walked past on the street and popped over and had a cuppa with some.
Our wee niece arrived on saturday so friday night was long and full of timing contractions, doing accupressure, passing drinks and povitive affirmations. It's the first birth I've been to that was planned as a hospital birth, the birthing units are OK, they move into the new hospital next week so I guess they have been better, but they don't stand the comparison to Liam's time in Denver Children's Hospital, and the ward is definately an experience I'm pleased to have missed. The new mother seems to be going well, today the men folk including Liam are helping shift them to their new abode.
My league experience is coming in handy, but I am aware that I haven't done calls for a while. I went to a LLL meeting here too which was a lovely huggy feeling with lots of people I've meet before and leaders I enjoy seeing.  
Today we're off to the park with the small and middle one's and a bit of shopping think we'll try to take the bus.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Back Down Under

The kids and I flew to NZ on Friday last week, without Richard who has some work to complete before he's allowed to join us. The prospect of flying with three children by myself was stressful, but the actuallity of it was mostly unevently. Our friendly airline concierge introduced herself to us at Vancouver Airport and helped us onto the plane. Mostly the older two were entertained by the onboard service, but I had enough other colouring books and things to fill the time. Most of the flight all the children slept, myself not as much but Izabel was on me as she's a lap traveler still and with nine infants on the plane, didn't manage to get a bassenet. Getting off the plane I did manage to leave the passports in the seat pocket but again my handy concierge was able to retreve tem for me and we were still out (through some extras special lanes) to the bags before they were on the carosel. Murray met us in Auckland which made the trasit easier, we had breakfast then continued to Wellington where we were met again and driven to Wainuiomata. The kids were excitted to see all the welcoming partys, Madeline had fallen asleep traveling to Wellington so she was still sleeping in the backpack to get of the plane.
So far since we've been here I've mostly collected the things we needed, undies, pj's togs, that weren't worth bringing and the kids have constructed and adventured around the Wainui yards.
I have joined the evening walk that mum and Ruth do, my knees don't think it's that great an idea but the rest of me feels better for it.

Today was the first venture out and the kids and I saw Cathie before a trip to some Wellington Parks and a Cable car trip for them and a Cafe lunch with Mere's antenatal group for Iza and me.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Seasons Greeting

Winter break is almost over but as we were winding up for Christmas the kids dance all had watching days.

These are from the tap class that Liam and Madeline were in together.

The last week had the school Christmas concert, Liam's ballet watching day and lots of snow (by Victoria standards anyway).  
richard (with a small amount of assistance) made a snow fort in the front yard so he and the kids had hot chocolates and buttered toast in it.

Liam and Richard went to a Salmon Kings game and the girls and I went to a friends Yule party and it snowed about 10cm while they were at the game. The roof of the fort colasped from the weight by the morning. 

The kids and I had a couple of days to finish christmas preparations including the annual Santa photo, Izabel wasn't keen on the big man so I'm in this years pic too. 

We had trouble getting children to sleep on Christmas eve rather than anyone waking up to early so the day started in a fairly civilied manner with stockings at about 8.30.  We followed that with Eggs benidict, 
home made hollindaise and all. Then presents, present construction and "lunch" at about 4.30.
From 2008 12 25
All of us have had colds over the break and Izabel still has a nasty cough so there haven't been a lot of outings but we have managed a couple of sledding sessions at Beacon Hill park and some bike rides. 

Today Richard, Liam and Madeline saw a movie and I did some sewing.