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16 October 2012


Posted by Jenny Hoelter | File under Adventures, Kids, Vacations

No cousins were injured with sticks. Just in case anyone wondered.

7 October 2012

Double Your Pleasure

Posted by Peter Hoelter | File under Activities, Kids, Milestones

For the first time ever we had two kids running in the school’s annual Fun Run. The weather was unusually perfect, as this year Summer has (thankfully) decided to hang on well into October.

This year Sara got to participate for the very first time, and her class kicked-off the morning’s events. As you would expect, she was a fierce competitor, and managed 13 laps around the playground – pretty good for a Kindergartener!

Owen, always a big fan of the Fun Run, managed one more lap than Sara, and just as many smiles.

He even had his biggest fan out on the field cheering for him, though to keep everyone honest Mom wasn’t recording Owen’s laps. High-fives, however, were allowed.

And what about Drew? Well, he still has two years before it’s his turn. However, he insisted on being photographed at the event.


11 September 2012

First Days of School

Posted by Peter Hoelter | File under Kids, Milestones

There were not one but three first days of school for us this year. Owen was first, with his 4th grade year looking very similar to his 3rd grade (he has the same teacher, who we think is awesome).

Next up was Drew, taking the place of Sara at Montessori (and assuming all of her boy friends).

Finally, a week after her open house, Sara began Kindergarten today, and she couldn’t be happier about it.

With all three now in school, we attempted to get one group shot … as you can see we were moderately successful.

All in all, everyone is happy to be back in school. Our summer was incredible (we still owe this blog a summer wrap-up post), but we welcome the predictability and rhythm the school year schedule brings.

Happy school year, everybody!

19 August 2012


Posted by Jenny Hoelter | File under Kids, Vacations

So many good things this summer–Here are a few shots as we get ready to take off on another short trip, to the coast with the Stuenkels this time!

Drew boogies with Nelle and Jackson at Mary and Garret’s beautiful wedding. Not sure where he got those moves:

Diamond Creek Falls with a buddy:

Dropped Owen off at Camp Lutherwood for a week, then played “airplanes” on the Quad at OSU, finished off with American Dream Pizza:

We’ve kicked the kids out and they are living in the backyard:

“Play me, I’m Yours”: 11 decorated pianos set up around town, this one on the pedestrian bridge over the Willamette:

Riding back from a concert (Cherry Poppin’ Daddies) at Bush Park with neighbors: we were our own parade–2 Daddies with tag-alongs, 2 Mommies with trailers and 2 4th graders on their own:

Don’t try to take Drew’s ice cream, but please feel free to wipe his face at any opportunity:

Peter will have many more pictures in a gallery at Christmastime (Easter?) but you can enjoy these in the meantime. 2.5 more weeks!

31 July 2012

The Summer So Far

Posted by Peter Hoelter | File under Photo Gallery

Pictures from our adventures during the first half of summer, including hiking, biking, a birthday celebration, backyard BBQs, two parades, three concerts, and a quick family trip to Sunriver.

(Note: For those paying attention, I’m skipping the first six months of the year but will try to post them at some undetermined time in the future. For those who missed it, I did post photos from Christmas 2012, but never announced it).

18 July 2012

Canoeing and other summertime happenings

Posted by Jenny Hoelter | File under Adventures, Home, Sara

I think next summer we will have to find a kayak–we are getting to be too much family for a 17 foot canoe! Owen had a paddling lesson this week at Sparks Lake in preparation for being my co-pilot next year.

In addition to paddling and biking at Sunriver, there have been swimming lessons,

Lots of hammering and building on our tree house, now less of a death trap,

And BBQs in the backyard, giant Jenga supplied by the uncles.

(Unpictured, but significant!) A gazillion books, including Owen and my joint summer reading list. My choices: My Side of the Mountain and Misty of Chincoteage, His choices: The Lost Hero and The Strange Case of Origami Yoda. He finished these in about 3 days and I am just now catching up. I’m thinking  Island of the Blue Dolphins and  Ann of Green Gables next…

And of course, a sweet girl’s 5th Birthday, with a trip to Enchanted Forest and birthday cake with a friend. Sara at 5 is long and lanky, swims like a fish and can almost ride a 2-wheeler. She can read Green Eggs and Ham except for “anywhere” and “would”, and writes the most fantastic completely phonetic  stories (thanks Montessori). She will only rarely wear a dress, loves blue and purple and puppies (but is a little scared of actual, living dogs). She has green eyes like her Dad and a rarely photographed smile that will knock your socks off. She, along with Drew, spends a good portion of her time in some kind of fantasy, usually involving rescuing animals or packing for/going on trips. She is a great kid.



18 June 2012

20 Miles!

Posted by Jenny Hoelter | File under Adventures, Kids

Some folks ride 20 miles every day. We are not those people. We ride to the grocery store or the park, very occasionally (usually at Sunriver) we take a longer 10 mile or so ride. Today, we rode 20 miles in celebration of Father’s Day! We are very proud of ourselves tonight, and have a collection of very sore bottoms to show for it.

We started at the Banks end of the Banks-Vernonia Trail and rode out/back to about the middle of it. Owen rode his one-speed, Peter had Sara (who has a need for speed) on the tag-along, and I pulled Drew in the Burley trailer. He took a nap. The first five miles were pretty flat, but the next five were not—a steady railway-style climb with very little respite. BUT going down was REALLY fun, and took a tiny fraction of the time.

We had a snack (Oreos) at the turn-around.

McMenamins Grand Lodge in Forest Grove fed us dinner. (Of note, the last time we were there, it was for Jeff’s 30th birthday, and he turns 40 in two months!)

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 May 2012

Any available checker?

Posted by Jenny Hoelter | File under Kids

I just found this picture, taken a month or so ago at Trader Joe’s, and it cracks me up.

6 May 2012


Posted by Jenny Hoelter | File under Activities, Beach, Kids

I was out of breath, having a hard time keeping up with this little girl yesterday. She told me as we were lining up to start the race (together) that she wanted to run NOT holding hands this time. Okay! I had to cut the corners to meet her at the finish line.

And this speedy guy finished strong and made 2K look like a piece of cake. Of course, he immediately ate a hot dog and all of our snacks, then had a hamburger for lunch. Plenty of energy for horseplay with the buddies.

Little enthusiasm for a post-race picture. The best thing about this one is the stand of native camas blooming in this little piece of preserved Willamette Valley oak savannah. It only got a little trampled.

We got out of town today to Neskowin and got a start on this year’s failed Christmas card photos! Lovely, warm and windy day on the beach. Loving being at a point now where the kids are able to dig their own holes and gather their own rocks, leaving Peter and I to relax on a blanket and have a Real Conversation. They helped each other wipe sand out of their eyes and took turns with the shovel. It was magical!