Recent Photo Galleries

Family Blogs

Other Stuff

20 January 2013


Posted by Peter Hoelter | File under Milestones, Owen

Ten years.

It’s hard to believe Owen has been running/crawling/hugging his way around this world for that long. I suppose when you look back on it quite a lot has happened in the last decade. But to have this kid turn double-digits, that’s pretty darn cool.

We needed to celebrate, big time. First on the list—take four of his closest friends (and little siblings) to Wings and Waves, the only water park with 747 on top of it.

We all had a great time, with very short lines, NFL games on the giant screen, and four hours of swimming, interrupted only by five orders of french frys and an order of cheesy nachos. Awesome.

Next up was pizza at a local joint in McMinnville, where arcade and pinball games were played, pizza devoured, and gifts opened.


In the end, I’m not sure what was more fun: the water park or the 40 minute car ride home with the buddies in dense fog. The laughter from the back of car (not to mention the pre-teen but clearly getting older jokes) brought a smile to my face the entire drive back.

That ended Day One. Whew.

Day Two (the actual birthday) was much more calm, with just the family hanging out at home, opening gifts and playing games.

The day ended with a nice birthday dinner with dear friends and a candle in an apple turnover.

Happy birthday, Owen. We’re proud of you…


25 January 2012

Christmas and post-Christmas

Posted by Jenny Hoelter | File under Beach, Holidays, Owen

Here are some odds and ends, including the long awaited matching Christmas T-shirt picture…

And here are a few from our trip to the beach with the Wings!

And, we have a 9 year old!

Peter, a brave man, took these 5 characters bowling to celebrate the occasion. He won. By a lot. Just in case anyone wondered. His score was like 190 or something.

7 October 2011

Run, Owen, Run

Posted by Peter Hoelter | File under Activities, Owen

Things have been a bit quiet here on our humble little blog. Perhaps it’s because, like Owen earlier this morning, we’ve been running and running for the past month or so.

So, to break the silence, here are a few images from Owen’s school Fun Run this morning (held inside due to good-old western Oregon mist/rain/showers outside).


Right after I took the image below, both Owen and the boy behind him fell, and both of Owen’s shoes flew off his feet. He slipped them on quick, but not completely, and ran feet half-in for a few more laps.

Owen ran 22 laps, which means Mom and Dad are writing a big check to the PTA this year.

Drew was in attendance, and cute as always.


18 June 2011


Posted by Jenny Hoelter | File under Owen

With a “just do it” sort of mindset, I took Owen backpacking this week. We only spent one night out, and Opal Creek is a nearby and familiar hike. But, my son did carry his 11 lb backpack 2 miles in and 2 miles out with (gasp) NO WHINING. Not a peep. I didn’t even have to bribe him with M&Ms. Chatter was abundant and awe of the ancient forest was punctuated by poop jokes, but hey! We were in the woods.

We found this lovely little campsite near the Merkens Mill area and set up our little orange tent.

After setting up our campsite, we hiked further up the Opal Creek Trail unencumbered.

We saw one salamander, one Stellar’s jay, some chipmunks after our peanuts, and lots of buzzing, nonbiting bugs.

We may be a few years from Hells Canyon, but we got out of the backyard.

7 May 2011

Twice the Awesomeness

Posted by Peter Hoelter | File under Activities, Owen, Sara

Today was Awesome 3000, the biggest youth event in Salem and a favorite of our family. This was Owen’s fourth race, and he did great running 1500m. Every year it becomes more of a social event for him (and for his parents), with many of his closest friends participating. Uppa and Grandma Judy were in the stands to cheer the kids on.

Here is Owen warming up just slightly apart from his pack of (270!!) purple friends.

Sara was not going to be left out this year. All week she practiced sprinting around the living room. She was very excited (most excited?) to have same t-shirt as Owen. Jenny ran with her for the full 300m, and I think they both had a lot of fun. We are so proud of our little girl! She ran fast!

They posed for our traditional post-race photograph, though I don’t know where the kung-fu-ish stance came from.

Next year, we will have THREE runners at the event. I can’t wait.


Owen was part of a group photo that ran on the cover of the Statesman Journal’s Mid Valley section. This is the second time in four years that his image has been on the cover of that section!

Source: Statesman Journal Web site

9 March 2011

From the Backseat

Posted by Jenny Hoelter | File under Owen

(last week on the way home from school)

Owen: “Mom? How much does a thermal spy camera cost? With remote control? Mounted on a helicopter?”

Mom: “Oh, I don’t know. Probably a couple thousand dollars.”

Owen: (exasperated sound) “And I just blew $9 on Legos!”

What can I say? The boy has goals.

16 January 2011

8 is Great!

Posted by Jenny Hoelter | File under Milestones, Owen

Owen’s Birthday was duly celebrated!

We started with a birthday dinner of steak, potatoes and peas, as requested, with ketchup on top. Grandparents were present, making it a “real celebration”. (No, Miriam and I aren’t cleaning off the kids plates…)

Then we really had a party: picture 9 7-8 year olds, a computer running Photobooth and 1/2 of a package of photo paper worth of goofy pictures. We appealed to the inherent hamminess of the age, and I think they had a good time. They took over 600 pictures of themselves and we turned some of them into buttons (Thanks Chemeketa!!) and Peter make a video (see below). We also had cake, opened presents and had a scavenger hunt. And then we still had another hour to go. 2 hours is a very long time when one is shepherding 9 8-year-olds. Luckily they still like to play “Simon Says”, and Cranium Hullaballoo filled in a few minutes.

Owen had a good time, but I think he found it a little overwhelming as well, and has retreated to his books–Chronicles of Narnia this week. Oh, to be able to read children’s fiction for hours and hours!!

4 December 2010


Posted by Jenny Hoelter | File under Owen

We found this list in Owen’s backpack. He says they are in no particular order. Peter and I took a deep breath and got ready for a philosophical discussion about #3, but Owen says he “just doesn’t know what he looks like”!

15 November 2010

Lego Man II: The Bottomless Pit

Posted by Peter Hoelter | File under Owen, Playtime

A comic by Owen Hoelter. Click to enjoy.

Legoman II Comic

12 September 2010

First Day!

Posted by Jenny Hoelter | File under Milestones, Owen, Sara

We are back to school too!

Owen started 2nd Grade last Wednesday where he’s gone for K and 1st grade. He knows most of the kids in his class and seems to have fallen into the routine pretty quickly. He gives thumbs up to chocolate milk for lunch and being able to bring his own book for “free reading”. He chose a book of Calvin and Hobbs comics and is learning about sarcasm.

We are SO big!

Sara started preschool last Thursday and has her second day tomorrow (she goes M, T, Th). She did great and had a good day, despite a really short nap. She has been squealing about going to school ALL summer long, and it’s fun to see her finally reach this point. I absolutely love this picture of her! Peter captured her smile and that hint of big-girlness that we see more and more of.