The last few weeks

… we’ve had swim meets, and swim practices and some beautiful swim moments.

… we’ve also had baseball games and some rained out games, that makes space for some other kind of playing.  Still with friends, still fun.

… have dried some clothes outside.

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… we’ve been studying Africa and wondering how long we can stretch this unit for, because what I thought we’d take a month or so, it’s been more like 3 months!  And we are still enjoying it and having fun.

… the garden is being readied and planted, slowly, but it’s in everyone’s minds.  We’ll get there eventually.

… we’ve been outside a whole lot more.

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… we’ve been mowing the yard, a lot.  Between the sun, the heat of a 90-degree day we had last week, and the rain, it’s growing like crazy!

… new friendships are grown and getting stronger.  Sometimes it’s hard, sometimes it’s easier and wonderful and funny.  Teens and pre-teens, and all the previous years, are all an amazing time for learning and growing up.  All of us, but mostly me as a parent.

… windows are often open all day through the evening.

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… I’ve been listening to new to me music.

… I found this video and made me think.

… it’s been so nice that I find the kids doing their work outside many times…. love that of homeschooling!

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Summer is coming, I know it, and the calendar says so. We are looking forward to it.

Spring in May

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DSC_0191My Mother’s Day Clematis has done her job and shared it with all of us.  What a treat.

DSC_0230 Roses everywhere, so beautiful.

DSC_0223 A wild bouquet.

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DSC_0227Because all those colors outside… I had to bring some inside too before the rain was coming.

DSC_0210 The apple trees in the backyard are getting full of leaves for sure.  That shade is so nice for those hot days.  It cools it as much as 10 degrees I think.  it is so nice to have.

 

DSC_0198 Chives beauty.

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I know the heat is coming….

 

The beach on a rainy day in April

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We went to the coast a few weekends ago, and it was really cold.  We had a swim meet so we were indoors for most of the days, so it didn’t matter that it was raining.  But it did get us wet when we went to check it out while Siena rested.

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Treasures and frisbee is a must at the beach, right?

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Wet clothes, sandy and wet feet, soaked coats, sea smelling hair, and our lungs filled with fresh smelling ocean air.  Even for just an hour, it felt good to be out there.

baseball-ing

Spring is here.  Sun and rain combined, many times at the same time.

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We’ve had Picture Day, we’ve had home games, away games and a tournament. I think I can say we are in full baseball season.

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With the correspondent amount of laundry and practicing my stain removing skills, we are immerse in all that baseball brings.

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And even with all those people around, no one cares that there are baseballs flying in the sky, and that there are more kids than not with big metal bats moving around.

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There were little ones, there were pink and sparkly shoes.  Everyone waiting for their turn to get pictures done.

DSC_0004 That day it felt that Lucas was one of those big kids this year.  Until of course I saw the high schoolers.  Yeah… is he going to grow up that much?  Can I stop time just for a little while?

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With the same jersey and some of our friends from last year’s team, but mostly with a whole new team and coaches, we headed a new season of baseball.  We’ll see what this year brings.  But no matter what, I know this little guy of ours is in heaven, playing what he likes the most.  These two guys of mine are in such a happy place, I love watching them.

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Happy basbeball-ing, Lucas.  I am ready to keep learning the game.

The Dogwood

When we bought our house 20 years ago, it was this beautiful Dogwood a big draw.  We liked how large it was, and how beautiful turned out to light up our home of pink light when full in bloom in the spring.

In my opinion, the flowers don’t bloom not long enough, but I’ll take what we get, because it is just beautiful.

IMG_0963 IMG_1289 With weeks, if not months, of anticipation of what’s tom come.

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What a treat.  Thank you Mother Nature.

Barking again

IMG_1375 Every couple of years we put new bark in our backyard, where the chairs and picnic tables are.  It makes it look so nice and clean and neat again.

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But we have to dig out the old bark so it doesn’t get too high and go over the edges too much.   This year, all that hard work, was mostly done by Siena and Lucas.

IMG_1414 They did so good and worked really hard to make it happen.  Because there were only few hours in between swimming or baseball.  The rain was coming.  And the bark chips had been delivered to our friends’ from yard and couldn’t leave them there for too long.  The job had to be done.

IMG_1415 And they did it all.  Dug it all out.  Placed it in the backyard.  Wheelbarrows after wheelbarrows of cedar chips brought from few houses down.  Almost 4 cubic yards of bark.

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I helped with the hydration, of our first lemonade-rhubarb drink over ice.  At the end, sore hands and muscles, with few blisters, and tired arms they saw their hard work look so beautiful, and for what they say, smelling so good too.  Thanks to the youngest two in our family, we have a beautiful backyard sitting area, ready to be enjoyed many, many times by us and our friends.  We are ready for spending our time out there.   Thank you you two.

My Mother’s Day Clematis

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I’ve written before about this beautiful corner in our garden.  The entrance to our vegetable garden.

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It is in full bloom, and I love watching it and taking photos.  As if each flower is different and each year as well… I know they are, and at the same time, they are so similar and identical in beauty. IMG_1438 IMG_1834 IMG_1846 IMG_1836 IMG_1848 IMG_1835IMG_1847

Happy Mother’s Day Weekend to all the mom’s out there and especially to My Mamá.  Feliz Día Mamá.

Last few weeks…

… Lucas lost a half a tooth and then 5 days later he lost the other half.  Does that mean the Tooth Fairy comes half way and then the whole way? Does she leave half the coins?  How does he have to deal with this situation?

… there’s been more playing out of doors.

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… we went to the beach and spent just a short hour on the beach (itself) and many hours inside an indoor pool.  This time, I wouldn’t take it any other way.  We are so proud of our big fish.  She did great in that swim meet.

… I played a few games of Mahjong.

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… I went to the store and then came home to this on his window.

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(Please don’t look at the rotting, and paint chipping windows… it’s in our list of things to do around the house, together with the roof, the chimney, the rotting porch, and oh yes, windows.)

… the two boys in our house got a hair cut.

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… have been cleaning a little here and there.  There always seems to be piles anywhere you look.

DSC_0097(And yes, we need to already put the Easter decorations away.)

This is how Portland gets its name

Portland (Oregon) is called The City of Roses.  And yes, it is a sight worth seeing, each and every spring.

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We have this small, unkept rose bush, and it flowers every year, and I love seeing that little bit of color in that corner of the yard.  But it is those who know Roses, that I enjoy the most seeing their gardens.

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And of course, visiting the Rose Garden up in the hill is a real treat.

But it is the rhododendron what always fills my heart the most at this time of the year.  When we first moved to Portland (and didn’t spend our spring weekends in swim meets or baseball tournaments), and we hiked in the woods more frequently  that I enjoyed and amazed at the size of wild rhododendrons, underneath the tall canopy of trees, in the middle of the forests.

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Last weekend, without going too far for a hike, just a walk in the neighborhood, while the kids warmed up and waiting for the baseball game to start, I noticed these beautiful plants in front yards.

IMG_2051 The delicate colors and flowers…

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Oh the colors….. against that bright blue, I think this orange made the top of my list that day. IMG_2069 IMG_2070 IMG_2089 IMG_2084 IMG_2086 IMG_2078

I think Rhododendron should be Portland’s middle name.  Portland, The City of Roses and Rhododendrons (and Azaleas).