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16 June 2013


Posted by Jenny Hoelter | File under Holidays, Milestones

Bellies full of pancakes and bacon, a new Lego kit and Dad on the living room floor=happiness at our house!20130616-083804.jpg

A look back to where it began–


And some other favorites–





10 December 2012

Christmas Tree Hunting

Posted by Peter Hoelter | File under Activities, Holidays

For six years now we have trekked out to the same Christmas tree farm just outside of Dallas. Each trip includes a bumpy ride on one of the farm’s tractors (a red wagon this year).

Once out on the farm, Dad must dismiss at least eight perfectly good trees before becoming serious about the selection process. With surprisingly little debate and only one lost Lego man (don’t ask), we were able to find the perfect tree. One of the farm workers offered to be our photographer, making this (I believe) the first family Christmas tree photo.

While Dad ties the tree to the top of the Subaru, the rest of the family gets to sip hot cider around a fire.

Back home, the decorating fun begins. This was the first year that we can say that all of the kids were truly into the decorating process. While there may be too many ornaments on the lower-front of the tree, it was a joy to watch them not only help with hanging ornaments, but also get excited about the “tradition” part of the experience. So fun!

One final tradition: the hanging of the star on the tree. This year may be Sara’s last year as the official hanger (Drew protested much this year). She did great.

All in all, a nice family day. Let the Christmas season officially begin!

28 May 2012

Grampa’s House

Posted by Jenny Hoelter | File under Holidays, Wings

I think Wamic is at its best in May. The grass is still green and the lupine blooms. Lily thinks so too.

The Wing/Watson/Hoelters were all there to “camp” at Grampa’s house and learn important things, like how to unlock the gate and make the toilets flush.

While we were there, we made sure the rocks hadn’t all been rolled down the hill and the cave is still there. Sara and Owen got to sleep with real dogs (!) in Adam and Jen’s tent.

We tested the water at White River Falls State Park (yep-cold).

We tested a new fire pit (yep-will cook a marshmallow).

And here is the whole lot of us. Next year: same time, same place?

16 April 2012


Posted by Jenny Hoelter | File under Holidays, Kids

Happy Easter!

We had sunshine this year for our egg hunts, first at Miss (beloved preschool teacher) Ann’s house, then, with Jackson and Carson at Grandma and Grampa’s house in Portland after our ham and cheesy potatoes. Owen took charge of the hiding, and the littles did the finding.

Here are these cool kids dressed up for church, prior to being covered in chocolate. I love Owen’s hip guy stance, this may hint at things to come, and a combed Drew is a rare sight!

The kids ended the day with a game of catch mediated by Grampa–pretty cute all in a row here…

2 February 2012

Fall Photo Round-Up

Posted by Peter Hoelter | File under Adventures, Beach, Holidays, Photo Gallery

Well, it happened again — I got way behind in sorting and posting photos. So the time has come for another catch-up post. Presented for your enjoyment are three galleries from the Fall of 2011.

Christmas photos are next on my list — perhaps before Valentine’s Day?

School Daze

Fall brings with it the familiarity of back-to-school events: Photos on the front porch, a trip to the beach with Dad, visits to the pumpkin patch, soccer games, fun runs, and more.


Thanks to a purchase at a wine-fueled charity auction earlier in the year, in late October we headed down to California for two days of magic at Disneyland, with a bonus day at Legoland. Grandpa Mark and Grandma Miriam joined in on the fun. Needless to say, it was an amazing trip!

Things That Happen Around This Time of Year

Trick-or-Treating, fall leaves, birthdays, outdoor adventures, and Thanksgiving with family – it was an active Fall for us. This gallery begins with three little Angry Birds, and ends with a sunny hike along the Santiam River.

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.

6 January 2012

Christmas, part 1

Posted by Jenny Hoelter | File under Holidays

Christmas vacation!

We had a real one this year, with several days all together at home and then a trip to the beach with the Wings. I think this will take 2 posts, but I want to show all  of you some of the highlights:

1. A cold, but not quite freezing, picnic (okay, Christmas cookies and clementines probably don’t equal a picnic) at Bald Peak, where we found some sun above the freezing fog of the valley on 12/22.

2. Waiting patiently (and not-so patiently) to open gifts with the Hoelters on 12/23:

However, the gifts could wait for a story…

Thanks again, Mark and Miriam and all of you crazy Hoelters for your kindness to our kids and to Peter and I! We love you.

3. Christmas Eve service. This church was much darker and full of people when Owen played (with hands that shook much less than his mother’s) his Christmas repertoire of “Angles We Have Heard On High” and “Deck the Halls” on that giant baby grand in the front left corner. I think it’s fair that I gush just a little bit over how calm and confident he was, and how the sound filled up that big church. I might have sniffled a tiny bit.

Stay tuned for pictures of Grandma Judy and Uppa in matching Christmas shirts!

21 December 2011

Magic at the Mill

Posted by Peter Hoelter | File under Holidays

For the past few years we’ve walked to the nearby Mission Mill, which puts on Magic at the Mill every year at this time.

There are aways an impressive number of Christmas lights, which the kids love:

And a model railroad that they all want to reach out and touch:

The lighted bridge is a great location for a failed Christmas card photo:

However, we did find a location that made all three kids happy (yes, Drew is smiling-he’s not grumpy):

Fun times where had by all — Merry Christmas, kiddos…


9 December 2011

Sara Sings Blitzen’s Boogie

Posted by Peter Hoelter | File under Holidays, Sara

Our little girl gives this performance of Blitzen’s Boogie her all at her school’s Christmas program. She’s quite the professional!

7 December 2011

Star Trees

Posted by Jenny Hoelter | File under Holidays

This year, as in the past few years, we walked down to the lighting of the Star Trees on Willamette’s campus. A cold, slightly foggy night, good for atmospheric pictures of kids in hats and Christmas lights. The Star trees are 5 Sequoias that were planted in a ring in 1942–they are massive!

In this picture you can see the star shaped bit of sky (thus, “Star Trees”) when you look up from the center of the trees. They say that if you kiss under the star trees you will have true love forever.

(You would, too, wouldn’t you?)