Portfolio Day at CLASS Academy

At the end of every year at CLASS Academy, the school throws a “portfolio day.” This is when the kids have their parents come in, take them on a tour of their classroom, and show off all the things they’ve been working on all year. It’s also a day for saying goodbye to the teachers they’ve spent so much time with.

Here’s Will next to his self-portrait:


And with his teacher buddy – Mr. Butler, the Dragons teacher.


Lucy had a great time with Mr. Dougherty as a Kangaroo this year.


Also happening that day was the class plays, put on by the Kangaroos and Butterflies. There were three plays, one of which was written by the students. The whole production was… extraordinary.

Lucy played either three or four parts, we couldn’t figure out which. There was a magician and a baby dragon, and a mischevious fairy maybe? The plot had something to do with cheese. The kids all had a fabulous time doing this.


It makes us really proud to see how far the kids have come over this school year. We (and they) are looking forward to the next one.

#88: Dress up Fancy for an Event

This is part of our 100 Things in 2014 challenge. Here’s the full list.

Who doesn’t like to dress up?

One of the kid-oriented stage shows we had tickets to this year was Fancy Nancy, which if you’ve ever seen the books, you’ll realize it’s all about dressing as magnifique as you know how. Ooh la la!

All of us busted out our most sparkly accessories, and we made sure to park six blocks from the theater so the whole city could see us.


Scout’s not sure she approves of Becky’s shoes.


Lucy in particular had a lot of fun with accessories – she’s been stockpiling them for this moment. Notice the “fur” cape.


Will’s no slouch, though. He rocked the sequinned-pink-tie-and-fedora look, and pulled it off pretty well.


In the end, disappointingly, we were the only family to dress up for the show. (Did anyone else read the books?) Sure, there were plenty of kids bedazzled with sequins, but all the parents came in T-shirts and jeans. Mauvaise odeur, mes amis.

April Miscellaneous Round-Up

Yet another lump of assorted semi-random photographs, offered with very little explanation, and brought to you by the month of April!

Check out Lucy’s haul from the student store:


Girl loves her some avocado-chia pudding.


Will’s turn: he’s become quite the connoisseur of graphic novels:


They’re both big enough to help with the schlepping!


Will’s class takes transit to swim lessons, here’s where they change buses:


Ben likes to eat and read:


Becky had a retreat in Neskowin:


Puppy puppy puppy puppy puppy puppy puppy time!


Kid-Parent Retreats

It’s time once again for our semi-annual kid-parent retreats! We set aside an entire weekend to spend some one-on-one time with Will and Lucy.

This time, Lucy and Becky were the “away team.” They had rented an Airbnb in Sherwood, and needed to stop for supplies on the way there. Target is Lucy’s favorite store, and she went straight for the shoe department and tried on every pair they had in her size. She ended up spending $20 of her own money on a pair of Hello Kitty mary-janes; the brightly-colored pair below were a close second.


They arrived at their lodgings pretty late, and the next morning they found the local farmer’s market, and the first crop of Oregon strawberries!


Also happening during their weekend was the Tualatin Bird Festival! There was a narrated covered-wagon ride, and tons of flying creatures.


They also took the opportunity to visit Pokrov Farm, and become members of the raw milk club! Lucy immediately made friends with the kids there, and almost lost part of her pants to a tiny cow.


Ben and Will were the “home team.” Friday night at home is always a movie night, and the surprises start on Saturday morning. This time, it was a day at the Woodburn Drag Strip! Will was thrilled at all the classic cars, as well as the specialized, custom-built machines that could hit 250 MPH in less than 10 seconds. We even saw two jet-powered cars!



Will wanted to spend some of his allowance money at the drag strip (he got a new Hot Wheels drag racer), so when we got home, he counted out what was left.


The next day was a great day for a bike ride. We didn’t let the rain deter us, and headed out on the streets to Alberta Park.


Then the ladies got home, and we had a big reunion lunch, and swapped stories about our weekends.

Awesome 3000

For the fifth year in a row, our family headed down to Salem for the Awesome 3000, a fun-run for kids, with the added benefit of raising money for the Salem and Keiser schools.


Most of what we shoot is atmospheric and candid, but there are a couple of set-piece events that we need to cover. Becky always prepares by turning me into a lighting model.


The runs are held in heats, and while the kids are waiting for their turn, they hang out with teenage volunteers and play games, and sometimes get souvenirs with Geo (SKEF’s alligator mascot) on them.


This year Will ran with the 3rd-graders. He ran hard, but made sure to smile for the camera as he ran past us.


This year Lucy ran with the 1st-graders, and it was her first time running the whole race alone! It’s a little hard to see, but she stopped to pick a flower about halfway through, and carried it the rest of the race.


They were both so proud when they finished.


Ty was a big help at the finish line, making sure all the medals were in order.


Here’s Grandpa Chuck and Krina. And yes, they always act like that when you point a camera at them.


Maybe next year Ty will be running.


Pilot Butte State Park

This is part of our Oregon State Park challenge! Check out our progress here.

We were out on walkabout anyways, we thought we’d get a hike in. Pilot Butte is an amazing place in the middle of Bend, and there’s a cool 360° view of the city that we completely failed to capture on film. Oh well, at least we can prove that we were there:


I dropped the others off at the top, moved the car to the bottom, and met them halfway up the hiking trail. It’s an interpretive trail, so there were signposts all along the way, and a guidebook so you knew what you were looking at. The kids loved making sure we didn’t miss a single sight.


Lo and behold, at the bottom there was a playground! We let the critters get some wiggles out before heading back to the cabin.


If you’re ever in Bend, make sure to see this place. It’s pretty cool.

Ochoco Wayside State Park

This is part of our Oregon State Park challenge! Check out our progress here.

We couldn’t stay in our cabin for our whole Prineville trip; there are lots of other Oregon State Parks to visit!

This one is just a wayside, but it has a spectacular view. Perched on a bluff over Prineville, you can see several volcanic calderas, the entire city, and a golf course. It’s not much more than a small parking lot and a bathroom, but the location is hard to beat.


If you’re passing through and need to stretch your legs, this is a nice spot to do it.

Prineville Reservoir State Park

This is part of our Oregon State Park challenge! Check out our progress here.

The drive to Prineville Reservoir State Park is long, but worth it. We arrived after dark, but this is what greeted us the next morning:


We’re…not tent campers. We like our comforts. Fortunately, Becky is good at jumping on bookings when they become available, so we had reserved a “deluxe cabin” for our stay – with a bathroom, a bedroom, a barbecue, and a kitchenette with a refrigerator. It was perched on top of a bluff, and had an amazing view.


One of our days, we didn’t even start the car. This probably sounds normal to you regular campers, but we’re usually out and about, seeing the sights. This time, we set aside lots of time to just hang around the park.


We brought the kids’ bikes, and after showing them around the park, we turned them loose to ride on their own (eek!).


We made sure to bring lots of things to keep little hands busy. Lucy stole brought a bunch of stuff from her art class to do crafts with, and Becky organized a rock-painting group. I…was nerdy.


Some homework was done as well.


The camp hosts had a new pug puppy! His name is Wally.


Will and Lucy built this “fairy castle” together, and decided that the princess that lived there was named Purplina (she’s a purple crayon). The radio-control truck was friends with her maybe? I lost track, but they had a ton of fun.


The cabin’s futon wasn’t really lit well, so we improvised for reading time.


Did I mention that this trip was over Easter weekend? We had the kids hide plastic eggs for each other, and had a prize party when they liberated the goodies from inside.


We hiked about 2 miles along the bank before turning back, and never saw another soul.


Will and Lucy both love taking pictures, so we worked in some practice time.


These were taken by schoolchildren:


On our way home, we decided to make a stop at Little Crater Lake (which isn’t actually a crater at all, FYI). Becky’s dad brought her family here when she was a kid, and she still has strong memories of that moment when she first saw the “lake”. This time, the campground was closed, but the short trail was gorgeous and peaceful, and the lake itself was stunningly clear.


The weekend was long, and we returned tired, but it was well worth it. Both of these parks are great. Prineville is one of the nicest campgrounds either of us has ever stayed at, and we highly recommend it if you’re in the area.

White River Falls State Park

This is part of our Oregon State Park challenge! Check out our progress here.

On our way to knock another state park off our list, we stopped for a leg stretch and a short hike at this well-kept little gem. It’s a day-use park, and there’s a 100-yard hike to a viewpoint of a pretty cool waterfall.


Oh, and the crumbling ruins of an old dam.


It’s pretty out of the way, but worth a stop if you’re in the area.