Saturday, June 27, 2009

Summer Storm

Warm front + cold front = storm front. This equation was spectacularly obvious last night as we watched a massive storm front bear down on our town. We are somewhat used to emergency alerts in our part of the country - blizzards, floods, damaging winds, and tornadoes. First the national weather service alert shows up on TV, then we check the radar map online, sometimes the sirens go off, and then most of the time the worst part of the weather goes to the north or south of us. Not this time.

We had a great view from the edge of the field behind our house, watching it blow our way as the tornado sirens went off all around town. We saw what looked like the start of a few funnel clouds and felt the temperature drop 25 degrees or so as the storm reached us. With the kids safely inside with Bill, Rob and I watched the sky from the front porch. I have never seen anything like that - the entire sky above us was filled with dark clouds rotating above our town. It was such a slow-moving front that it provided many hours of excitement for us. We were very grateful for modern technology so that we weren't huddled in the basement, worried sick the whole time. Fortunately, although there were four confirmed funnel clouds, no damages or injuries were reported.

Haley was fine watching the storm approach until the sirens went off - they are pretty unnerving.

The closest we saw to a funnel cloud forming.

Yeah, that's a pretty massive front.

Looking north across the field behind the house.

Bill and the kids chillin' and watching Food Network while the storm raged outside.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Summer Thing

One night this week we headed over to University Park for the annual Summer Thing event put on by the Parks Department. It features free crafts, projects, games, bouncy houses, and activities for kids - all on a gorgeous summer night.

Haley decorates a light switch cover for her newly-painted room.

Jake and his friend Maggie wait for their turn in the bounce house.

No surprise, Jake loved the fire hose. He was not timid at all and wowed us with his aim.

Future firefighter? Better eat more spinach, kid!

Haley takes a break from crafts to try out the fire hose too.

Haley remembered this one from last year - a big plastic tunnel that has a fan at one end; the kids can decorate it with paint.

Jake is into serious speed these days - rockets, race cars, superheroes, you name it. This is his "Gentlemen, start your engines!" pose....

... And he's off!

This is a beautiful park and Haley wanted me to take some "fancy" pictures of her.

This is what I got when I asked Jake to let me take some "fancy" pictures of him.

Sometimes the candids are better than the posed ones...

Haley glides along the grass, lost in her imaginary "fairy" world. The kids are so fun at these ages.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


10 years ago...

...we had no idea Grand Forks, ND even existed.

...$600 a month in rent seemed steep for a 1-bedroom condo with mustard-yellow countertops.

...weekends included going out to movies, sailing, hiking, and sleeping in late.

...we could shop whenever we wanted, for whatever we wanted, for as long as we wanted.

...the most expensive clothes we owned were hiking boots and North Face coats.

...having kids was a vague, fun idea for the very distant future.

...daily life included exams, writing papers, and meeting up for lunch at the HUB on the UW campus.

...we worked out at least 5 days a week - runs around Green Lake or along the Burke-Gilman trail, and weights at the IMA.

...our car was a 2-seater that got 50 miles per gallon. Seattle to Salt Lake was a day trip with one stop for gas.

...flying stand-by to Paris, Vegas, or New York was an exciting adventure.

Ten years later, we still don't know where life will lead us or where we'll be ten years from now. Our lives have changed a lot, but we wouldn't trade any of it (well OK, maybe our location!). Here's to another wonderful ten years!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Heat Is On

It has finally warmed up here the last few weeks, at least enough to set up the pool in the backyard. Haley and Jake love to spend the whole day running around the backyard, from pool to slip 'n slide to sprinkler. I love these carefree summer days!

Jake tests the waters before trying the slide.

Brr! It's colder than it looks.

Summer cuties.

I had to document this, the little stinker - Jake woke us up at 6:30 so I came downstairs with him. He had some breakfast and then fell back asleep on the couch, something he's NEVER done before. Did I get more sleep? Nope, I was already wide awake by then. I guess he's helping prepare me for baby brother...

The hot weather must have been brought north by our friend Bill, who drove up from Salt Lake to visit this week. The kids adore him, and we're all happy he's home safe after spending four and a half years in Iraq. Along with the heat he brought up two coolers filled with treats from Rob's childhood - Robintino's pizza and Pace's Dairy Ann bars. Rob was in heaven! We've roped him into helping with several "man" projects (tiling a friend's shower, transplanting a tree), and the week isn't even over's great how these guys get things DONE!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Great Dad, Great Day

Rob is such a great dad, and although we don't take the time often enough to show it (especially lately), I hope he felt appreciated today.

The kids and I woke up early to serve him a "breakfast of champions" in bed before church as well as give him a big ol' book on amplifiers that he's been poring over all day. He also got some solid guitar time this afternoon, followed by steaks on the grill, blueberry pie, and more guitar playing around the firepit. It was nice to have a relaxing day together as a family. Happy Father's Day, to Rob and our wonderful dads too!

Jake was 30 seconds ahead of me getting downstairs, and this is how I found him. At least he had the good sense to take off his slippers...FEED me, Mom!
The breakfast tray - Coke, donuts, and a present - what a way to wake up!
Apparently the Kix were not enough - Jake helped himself to Dad's donuts.
Haley picked out the card, which played Dan Zane's "Smile, smile, smile," one of Rob and the kids' favorites.
Forget the steaks, I'll just have pie for dinner.

Haley, reading her new Tinkerbell book by the fire.

Jake could happily swing all day if someone is there to push him. We're working really hard to teach him how to pump!